Thursday, June 30, 2011

The International Market

My Scouting at the International level is not so hot as I decided not to partake this season. So far there hasn't been much to crow about so it appears. so this should be rather short.

Enrique Iglesias has been paid the most so far by the Charlotte Knights at $6.1M. Fancies himself as a 2B but a very weak one if you ask me, might be better suited in RF. Has the speed and contact if he can get on base which could be a trifle tricky.

Rating: C

Lariel Melendez was nabbed by the Dover Dung Beetles for $3.8M. Has the arm for the 3B position if things work out but the range and glove just may not be there. Could wind up being a decent hitter however. Many were scared off by his lack of health.

Rating: C+

Kevin Woo was overtly wooed by the chirping of the Dung Beetles also at $3.4M. Could be decent at the SS position but his hitting style might not be ML material in the end.

Rating: C

Max Galvez was picked up rather cheaply by the Texas Rangers for $2.1M. The range for 1B might be a bit below standards. Hitting could be a power positive however. Many were scared off by the lack of durability.

Rating: C+

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AL Preview

AL North

Has things flipped in this division again? This should prove to be an interesting division as Toronto, Minnesota and Seattle could all be first place at the end of the season. Oh, lets no leave out Detroit either. Don't let the early season antics fool anyone, Seattle has the better team on paper.

Then again paper teams don't always win and I like Toronto's chances. Followed closely by Seattle and the Twinkies.

AL East

Last season I made a wild prediction in this division, not this year. Boston all the way. I do believe Washington will wind up second along with Atlanta. Dover just doesn't have the oomph in my belief.

AL South

Little Rock zoomed out to an early lead but has settled down to earth already. I have always liked Tampa Bay in this division but have always been disappointed. Will this season be any different?

I still like Tampa Bay (glutton for punishment on this prediction) to win the division with everyone else a close second. Watch out for those Texans however, can never rule out a team under this management guru.

AL West

Oh umm..I hate this division, anyone can win even with 10 games to go. This division will be as interesting as the rest of the AL. All four teams are equal one way or another and to give one a slight edge would be tough. I like Helena personally but the Slobs are candidates also, not to slight the other two.

Odds on favorites to win their divisions

1. Helena Hot Pockets
2. Seattle Mariners
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Tampa Bay Rays

Wild Cards hopefuls (not in any particular order)

5. San Diego Padres
6. Anaheim Angels
7. Toronto Blue Jays
8. Las Vegas Slobs
9. Minnesota Twins
10. Texas Rangers

NL Preview

NL North

The Pirates have dominated for quite a few seasons now and have jumped out to an early 4 game lead. I believe the Brewers have a better team overall but their starting pitching rotation is lacking. The Reds will fight and play their hearts out but will probably end up third. The Cubs are still rebuilding and looks to have another dismal year in the cellar.

Can the Brewers overcome a slow start to breath down the necks of the Pirates is the big question.

NL East

The Browns jumped out to the early lead just like last year, but here comes the Phillies closing the gap before the first turn again. The Mets fixed their offensive woes in the off-season but the pitching staff has been luckless so far. The Orioles made an opening series statement but has been very lackluster since.

If the Phillies win, it will be because of the starting pitching staff. Expect the Browns and Orioles to fade away once again. That leaves the Mets to challenge if they can get things in sync.

As a side note, this could be the last season in old Shea Stadium as the lure of the Bronx is overwhelming as the new stadiums loom but will still be called the Mets.

NL South

The Marlins have dominated for some time because of one player in all reality. The Red Devils are making a showing this season so far while the Astros and Knights have lingering effects.

Don't be fooled by the early season goings on in this division. Look for the Marlins to win but the Astros will wake up and challenge while the Red Devils will remain formidable. The Knights are under a learning experience curve and will get better.

NL West

The Dodgers have jumped out to an early lead and don't expect them to give it up so easily. The Super Sequoias are still a force to be reckoned with. The D'Backs aren't shabby along with the Giants.

This division should be the one to watch as they all have a shot. When it is all said and done however Salem should be on top with with the other three a close second.

Odds on favorites to win their divisions

1. Salem Super Sequoias
2. Florida Marlins
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Philadelphia Phillies

Wild Cards hopefuls (not in any particular order)

5. Houston Astros
6. Milwaukee Brewers
7. Mexico City Diablos Rojos
8. Arizona Diamondbacks
9. New York Mets
10. Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday, June 17, 2011

More FA News

It was the normal FA frenzy this season as 21 Type B and 9 Type A players changed franchises. Owners were careful as only 4 first round picks were given up.

Johnny Collier was a sought after prize that was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Encarnacion gave up his services to further help the Charlotte pitching staff.

Edgard Espinosa was signed by Texas hoping to improve their beleaguered pitching staff.

Maverick Duran was often criticized in Dover but Toronto thinks he can be a winner.

Gene Podsednik was over looked by many because of his fielding abilities, but it seems the Dodgers wanted an OBP type player, now where to play him?

Rob Holzemer was cheaply acquired by Boston to strengthen the rotation.

Barney Byrne dealt with Texas as they needed a defensive center-post in the outfield.

Omar Garrido was the best power hitting non-1B available but it seems no one was willing to start a bidding war. Pittsburgh decided to give a huge bonus up front and a peanut contract to hit home runs for the kiddies making up for their huge loss.

Shaggy Stratton was highly prized by many teams as Tampa Bay won the bidding war for his pitching services at a staggering price.

Juan Carrasquel was coveted by most teams and the war ensued. Anaheim shelled out the biggest contract of the season.

Doug Cambridge and his old arm was given a breath of fresh air, err smelly air, as he joined the Dover Dung Beetles

Don Gong was given a chance to prove his worth in Arizona.

Elrod Daley moved his somewhat gregarious catching abilities to Anaheim in the hopes of besting left handed pitchers.

Harry Sanchez moved his newly acquired World Series ring to Atlanta who was looking for a lead-off batter and could play the hot corner.

Groucho Rogers was an unlikely candidate for middle relief duties at Florida but was tagged to fill out the pitching roster.

Clarence Valentin was the latest signing by the New York Mets. Overlooked by everyone it seems, the two time Gold Glove winner at 3B brings his services to the Big Apple who needed an every day infielder/outfielder.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hall of Fame Voting

A look at who I think deserves voting consideration.

Jesus Cruz has a very nice resume if you ask me and yes I voted for him.

Juan Castro had 522 Home Runs (85 in season 5) and 345 stolen bases and was rarely caught and really deserves to be in the Hall even with his somewhat low average.

Posiedon Warden was a constant threat to be on the pads during his hey day. In his last season it was decided he would be put on every team, does that ever bring back memories. Yes, he deserves to be in the Hall.

James Kim seemed to always get on base. Other than his batting average however leaves him kind of in the cold.

Ramon Dong was like Kim, always on the base pads. Everyone needs a big Dong on their team, DJ's sister lusted after him.

Charles Kinney wasn't great but made teams he played for great as he could get them to the 6th or 7th inning and be in contention. 142-56 is not a laughing stat. Yes I voted for him.

Frank Gates was one of the best hitting catchers I have ever seen with over 3300 hits. What a resume and Yes I voted for him.

Andrew Spencer does deserve consideration but too many others that were better.

Chad Sanders deserves to be there also, a Cy Young and 5 World Series rings proves it.

Billy Ulrich was an all around good catcher, but Gates was better.

Bryan McDowell was a great closer, the 6 fireman awards in a row proves that.

Mel Wagner deserves heavy consideration, 226 wins proves it. Yes I voted for him.

Mitchell Ray like McDowell was one of the best closers and went head to head a few times. 5 fireman awards! I voted for him because of the 454 saves.

Randy Lamb was a bit over the top but still had 627 Home Runs and for the most part on a bad team.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Player Fatigue

Fatigue is a common issue that happens to players in this game just like the real world. They need to be rested from time to time. The biggest complaints takes place in the minors with pitchers. The objective is to have them play at 100%. Minor rosters have 25 active players just like the majors but can have 10 or more on the inactive roster. Two or three extra pitchers is always helpful regardless of how ugly they are. This allows you to swap players out if needed for a rest. Position players also get tired so it isn't just the pitchers. Fatigue on players run a higher risk of injury and his playing abilities diminishes.

For a pitcher, Stamina is the driving factor as to how many pitches can be thrown in an outing but differs between the different types of pitchers. Durability is used as the rate of recovery. The lower the Durability the slower the recovery. Most of your time will entail going through each pitching roster and resting pen pitchers after each game. Tweaking the TPC and MPC usually eliminates the need for extra days for starters. For a newbie it is tough until you get the hang of it. But be warned, if a pitching staff gets to 0%, recovery is very tough.

Fatigue on position players is different. It is based on the number of AB's. The formula: 730 x Durability% gives the number of AB's a player can roughly have in a season without fatigue being an issue. Basically they use a formula that projects a players number of AB's with his batting slot and when the number is exceeded fatigue sets in. Roughly, a player with a 70 durability needs about 15 to 20 games off throughout the season where an 80 durability needs about 12 to 15 games off. Usually you don't have to worry that much about position players with a durability above 85. Also remember that players in the first 4 slots in the batting order will get more AB's in a season.

It was noticed last season in both of my worlds that certain young players at the ML level never fatigued, not sure why.

Time for Spring Training

Helpful things to do before Spring Training starts.

1. Add minor league players to the Spring Training Squad

2. Set the Manager Settings for Spring Training. I try different things here but have replacement and rest settings so more players get into the action as early as possible, like the 6th inning.

3. Set the Player Rest, Defensive Replacements and Pinch Hitting. I normally save the Show Recs, too hard with 25 to 30 players to do individually.

4. Edit Player Settings to limit pitch counts. Get more pitchers into the game to evaluate and you don't want starters pitching 6 or 7 innings a start in Spring Training. I usually set it to Show Recs then manually change the pitch counts, time consuming. Normally 45/50 for starters and long relievers and 15/20 for setups.

5. Set the lineups. I normally use my opening day lineup for the first 5 games or so then get the backups some starts before letting the invitees into the game. Of course you might want to see that special not ready for prime time rookie earlier.

6. Limits AB's to about 22 to 25 for the opening day players, catchers 18 to 20. I save a few AB's for the starters near the end and use them as Pinch Hitters. If you have a rookie you want to take a long look at, I usually go to 30 AB's.

7 Limit starting pitchers to about 10 innings and pen pitchers 5 to 8. I usually use a 6 man rotation (or Tandem) in Spring Training and flip flop pitchers around and work them from the pen also. A helpful hint for the last game of Spring Training, rest your ML pitchers as there are no off-days between Spring Training and the start of the season for rest.

Note: If you select a Rule 5 player, the roster will unfreeze after the draft so you can get them on the roster before the first game but you will have to redo steps 3 or 4 or both depending. An advantage to the West Coasters as midnight might be too late for us Easterners.

Don't Forget: After Spring Training you have a little over a day to set all these settings again to your liking before the ML season starts. About two days for the minor league clubs, yes don't forget about them.

Someone always asks about the rookie call up to squeeze an extra year, it is 23 ML games if I remember right, 25 to be on the safe side. Personally I wait until after the first advancement boost that occurs around 30 minor league games.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet The Mets Night

The Mets spent the off-season fixing the offense hoping the pitching is as good as we think they are. The fans are excited as well they should be for a change. Several new faces will abound this year and a couple more could grace the field before the final out is yelled.

Team song: I Love New York

1B - Tomas Guerrero was the top hitter in a dismal lineup last season but his defensive prowess left a little to be desired.

2B - John McInerney antics at the plate and on the field left management fit to be tied. This season he comes back stronger and more focused in getting the job done.

3B - Chun-Lim Satou was captured in a Winter meeting trade as his old bosses were more than disappointed with his play. We remembered his past accomplishments at Florida and realized that it may have been bad luck. Making him the "hot corner" has ignited his passion once again.

SS - Tomas Trevino played the position exceptionally well last season and expect more of the same. He may not be a prolific hitter but manages to look graceful.

C - Rob Webster was targeted quickly in the FA market to be the starting catcher. His defense was the driving force even though his hitting is admirable enough. Equally sharing the backstop duties is Gary Stanley another standout defensive attraction the pitchers love.

LF - Dan Radke was awed that he was the starting left fielder last season. Second only to Guerrero in hitting, has plans to be much better this season. His fielding still lags a bit and is still learning.

CF - Abdul Riggs was a surprise addition last year. The only other hitter with an average above .260 and second in the stolen base department, all from the lead-off spot.

RF - Domingo Jose was our highlight in the FA market and a steal in our minds. We desperately needed a "hole" hitter and we feel he was the best fit for our club.

Bench - Daiki Xaio, Pedro Johnson, Pascual Zapata

Starting Pitchers

1 - George Atkins was the first starter with a winning record in quite some time. If the offense and defense gels, could be the first ever Met to be a 20 game winner.

2 - Damaso Espinoza had a trying season last year. Didn't matter how well he pitched, the offense just wasn't there. He still talks about his 1-0, 3 hit complete game loss as his best game ever.

3 - Dwight Ramirez had a bad season last year and knows he has to do better this year or it off to no mans land.

4 - Clinton Cedeno made some off-season improvements and has been given a short leash this year.

5 - J.D. Kennedy has been penciled into this slot but we just aren't sure at the moment.


Al Limon is a great long reliever but had problems when the game was on the line.

Charlie Hicks had problems last year and the coaches think they can fix the problem.

Christy Levis pitched well last year but wound up in the dog house anyway.

Gus Brooks didn't fare well as a starter last season and it might turn into an early farewell.

Don Zhou was the snagged early in the FA market and we are hoping that the 8th inning are a sure hold instead of a hope we hang on deal.

Wayne Hampton learned a great deal last year and has returned more determined than ever.

Dale Stevenson caught a break last year and took advantage of his chances as a 31 year old rookie.

Dom Tabaka had his best season since his younger days. He is hoping to have a great season this year and get back on track to 400 saves.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The FA Splash So Far

Todd Hafner became the first big FA to sign a contract. Arizona chimed in with a modest two year deal in hopes of fixing their pitching staff. They weren't done there as they later signed Rico Polonia to a rather large but comfy long term deal. I got out of this bidding war at $33M as I had other needs.

Jeff Wolcott signed with the Seattle Mariners. Not great defensively in CF but is adequate if that are their plans for him. Maybe they are regretting trading Abdul Riggs to the Mets last year. Nigel Lennon was also signed later to a descending contract, though my feeling is still overvalued.

Boston saw fit to sign Philip Nelson. They took notice as he performed pen duties well in Texas.

After making cap room in the Satou deal, Toronto went after Cookie Eyre to further help the pitching staff.

Edam55 targeted Britt Swindell, one of his favorite players from years gone by. Why not, he still has enough juice for one more season.

Joaquin Villano was tapped by the new guy in Charlotte. May or may not be a good fit, but the contract is not too outlandish. Along with Villono comes Myron Michaels, me think they are twins somehow.

Domingo Jose was pegged by the Mets as their hole hitter. J.D. Kennedy fills the vacancy left by Inge in the Satou deal.

The Twinkies rolled out the carpet for Charles Chang, the hapless Cubbie. A 1-year deal, looks like either trade bait or transaction deadline deal.

Willie Espinosa became the first double digit contract signee by the Dodgers. At 35 and a 4-year deal seems like a risk, hopefully there are exit clauses at the end. Not being shy about pitchers, they also signed Johnny Collier. I was hoping he would be there on the cheap late, as his health was an issue with me for that much cash.

Ron Hudson was snagged by Houston. He has had his ups and downs,(DJ's Sister maybe?) but a surprisingly cheap pickup unless you were looking for an everyday closer.

Mets Splashes Awes Fans

The Met fans are excited this season as we have made a flurry of deals. Most of the fans are calling us crazy in all reality, but we don't mind. If it works, we might just have a chance.

Our first moves were to fix the ailing offense which was dead last in runs scored. The trade for Chun-Lim Satou got the fans buzzing and shaking their heads for sure. Yes we are hoping that he just had a bad season in Toronto at the plate. Giving up Pepper Inge in what most say was a salary dump was a tough decision. Inge was actually in my dog house for much of the season so it wasn't that tough. In Satou we are hoping to make him a GG 3B along with being able to play several other key positions if needed. We are hoping his bat comes around after last years horrendous season in Toronto.

Picking up Rob Webster in the FA market probably surprised a few. But he is my type of catcher, strong defensively and can handle a decent bat. Overall he is actually a vast improvement over Bip Phelps who was released to make room.

Still needing a #4 hitter, we decided to go with Domingo Jose. It was a heated discussion with the owner as he really wanted Omar Garrido. The big selling point here was contact and Type B.

The pitching staff which was surprisingly decent last year according to the stats. With the worst offense in the league, it was actually hard to evaluate. We selected J.D. Kennedy. We think he will do a great job for us in the Big Apple. He might be a fringe starter and may wind up in the pen where help is needed also. We got Don Zhou to further help our pen.

We decided this year that we would give up trying to get a star IFA player. Last year, we only saw about 50% of the big talents and the ones we did see went for more money than Satou's contract.

We have the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, so we are not done yet. It is possible that we could find a talented player here if someone doesn't protect them. We still have a hole on the offensive bench from an underperforming vet and several in the pitching department as several could still find the unemployment line.

Looking at the minors is actually a non-issue as they are not ready to put on that big league uniform plus there is only a handful we are keeping an eye on. Trading one of those players is highly unlikely.

At least we won't be the offensive laughing stock of the league this year. Hopefully teams will fear us instead of resting their players as opposing pitchers will sure take notice. Defensively we had the best Met team in a decade as the curtain fell on that tragic comedy. Our team speed was surprisingly good and more emphasis was put on that aspect as well. The mystery on stage at this time is the pitching staff, is it as good as the numbers indicated last year or were they just lucky?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

FA and ARB

Time to sign your Free Agents. Is he worth the money he is asking? How long of a contract as opposed to his age? Do you have a player that is better in the minors? Compensation picks maybe? Does he fit in with the teams future plans? These are just a few questions to ask yourself.

How anyone handles this is their prerogative. The only rules that I follow are rather simple. I normally won't sign a player whose age exceeds 34 by the end of their contract. I won't sign a defensive bench warmer for more than $3M. Minor league players asking for a big contract aren't worth it. Never release a FA, he will leave on his

Arbitration isn't all that hard except for a newbie. Once a player has accrued 3 year of ML service, he is Arbitration eligible. Normally an Arb player in their 1st year can be signed rather cheaply but must go thru arbitration and is normally won by the team even though it says otherwise. Second time Arb players is a different story and can get more money than they are asking. Third year players is even more difficult as they can opt for Free Agency which is more likely to happen.

I normally go thru arbitration on players I want to keep the first year giving them their asking price. The second year I give them their asking price for a long term contract. I normally won't trade an Arb eligible player because the window is so small to get the trade done, though I have done it. Most generally the owner will do the arbitration at your request while the trade is in progress. If you don't want an Arb eligible player and can't get him traded then release him before the end of the hearings cycle.


The rehiring of Coaches is not all that hard. Just click on the ones you want to keep. The frustrating part in most cases is the ones that want to leave is the ones you would like to keep. Keep in mind this is a game of ratings and as well as players, coaches are also governed by ratings. You can also promote coaches at the same time.

Bench Coaches are more important at the minor league levels than the ML level. They should have a high rating in Strategy. The Bench Coach at the ML level takes over when you get tossed from the game, it does happen every now and then (or more in some cases).

Pitching and Bull Pen Coaches need a high rating in the Pitching IQ.

Hitting Coach needs a high rating in the Hitting IQ.

Base Coaches need a high rating in the Baserunning IQ

Fielding Instructors needs a high rating in the Fielding IQ.

The Patience rating is more important for minor league coaches unless you have a young team at the ML level. The Discipline rating according to the players guide should be high but I am not real sure that it has all that much bearing. A high Loyalty rating means the coach is more likely to return for further seasons, I wouldn't bank on it.

Rehiring is easy, wait until it is hiring time to fill empty coaching slots. The hiring phase is worse than going after a Free Agent.


Setting a budget is the first step of the season and could be the most critical later in the season. Even veteran owners get it wrong. Several factors can play an important part on how one decides the budget. The players guide does help and explain the different categories. However, one wrong calculation or misstep during the season can leave an owner out in the cold and hoping for help.

Player Payroll: Basically this is the category from which players get paid. You must allocate enough money to meet the payroll for the entire season. Some things to remember, Free Agent salaries and bonuses is paid from this area along with arbitration monies paid. One thing many forget is that players who are promoted get more money at each level and these costs must be allocated also (I usually make sure I have #1M or so for that at the end of the season).

Prospect Payroll: Basically this category pays for the bonuses paid to International Free Agents and drafted players. Their salary however is paid from Player Payroll. If you are going to dabble heavily in the IFA market, lots of money needs to be allocated to this fund (ok, so $20M is max but it is possible to put more here). It is not unusual to have great prospects go for $15M to $20+M.

Coaches Payroll: Coaches salaries are paid from this category. Coach hiring remains one of the most despicable things in this game. Normally $11M to $12M will get you a nice staff, however it is a dog eat dog world out there.

Domestic and International Scouting: Money allocated in these categories determines how well you see the possible future ratings of potential players. The more money spent, the more accurate you see them. One thing to remember about player ratings, the current ratings are seen by everyone the same.

Advance Scouting: Money allocated in this category determines how well you see the possible future ratings of any player on a roster. By the way, future ratings only apply to players whose ages are 26 and below. Most players do not advance very much once reach the age of 27.

Training: This category really means something else entirely. More or less it keeps players from getting injured supposedly. It doesn't help in advancing to their future potential, well sort of. It is suppose to help veteran players from rapid decline also. Money spent here really isn't realized until rollover the following season as this is turned into several different ratings boosts for players IMO. It does pay for that much needed whirlpool, bandages, Bengay and condoms. It doesn't help in beer brawls, tripping over the family pet and such.

Medical: This category helps recover players faster when an injury occurs. A three week injury could become 10 days with a high budget. It also determines ratings loss and or gain from injury.

If you put too much in one area and not enough in another, money can be transferred from one account to others using the transfer budget option. However there is a steep price for doing that.