Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Season!!

Yahoo, the new season is about to get under way!!! What better way to start the season than with my favorite team, the Mets of course. I am actually a little dismayed with the rollover, like $20M in training and medical didn't seem to to diddly squat. At least we weren't  beat up by retirements but do have many career minor league pitchers in the FA market to sign.  So what are the Mets up to this season, lets take a look.


Fielding:  Jason Reynolds will be returning. Don't think he is the reason for the range problem I am seeing with my players but what else is causing it.
Bench: Opening here which isn't all that bad and will probably promote Jerry Dawkins from AAA.
Pitching: Kid Cornelius wants the job and I am willing to pay the extra 140K. Reginald Kline just didn't gain any knowledge but I don't think he has reached his pinnacle yet.
Third: Phil Hitchcock returns for yet another season. I would replace him as I think he is the reason we have a hard time scoring but there just isn't that many better than him that might be available.
First: Marvin Morris wanted the 3B job which is a laugh, so I will have to find a body to bounce balls off of. Melky Rijo is the only coach in the minors I would think about so I am not exactly sure what to do.
Bull Pen: Since Kid is moving up a spot and I have a fight for the pitching job at AAA a little promotion is in order and Dan Melton is in line for the job. Consensus says he is good enough but I usually get a better coach for this job.
Hitting: Hector Levrault is returning for another season.

C: Mariano Pimentel had a career year for him and it was actually his first to really show off his abilities. The bad news for him, it will be for another team as the Mets are not interested. Pepper Murton was well liked by the pitching staff and picking up his relatively cheap arbitration contract is not going to be a deterrent. The big question is whether the Mets go for a possible big FA name if one is available or call up one of their AAA defensive hacks in Felipe Izquierdo, Leonardo Williams or Yamid Ortiz.

1B: Leo Rodney is signed thru season 30 so you know he is the guy here. The Mets were happy about his 33/31/103 output last year but still scratch their heads over the his sub par average even at .264.

2B: John McInerney had a terrible time playing CF and was moved back to is old haunt. The Mets are highly perturbed about his slowly declining range at such a young age.

3B: Felipe Peralta was voted team MVP last season even after only playing 51 games. He did lead the World in Home Runs with 70, 28 of those for us which almost ended up leading the team. The fans were upset about his disappearing act in the playoffs however. He is excited about getting a chance to go after a GG at 3B.

SS: Ronn Penny has endeared management with his play which should be better than ever this year.

RF: Marc Redman will get his long term multimillion dollar contract soon enough. His play at 3B last season was unexpectedly ugly so it is back to his old stomping grounds.

LF: Omar Ordonez will only play here this season as he wasn't real thrilled about playing RF so much last season.

CF: This position is totally up in the air and could wind up in the hands of Carl Browning.

At least one and up to three of the following will find a new home in the coming season. 

Guy Oquist was the little darling of the Met fans last season because of his .309 average that was in the .350 area for most of the season. An arbitration case even though cheap for the season could become a casualty because of questionable diminished range. Chances are good he gets another season  however only as a bench warmer to backup SS.

Dan Radke is rather pissed with the organization. His talent is actually being wasted because there is no place for him to play.

Mariano Diaz is unsure of his status with the ML club. They like his power but is highly inconsistent at the plate. Fielding doesn't make the high-light reels as he is positionally challenged and expendable.

Clarence Valentin was the GG at 2B last season but his playing days are numbered. Another range casualty only this one severe because of age. He may find himself flipping burgers with the AAA lot before the season ends or begins for that matter. Oh wait, last time I tried to put him at AAA he declined, so the waiver wire route is probably coming to a store near you.

Miguel Otanez has a few things going for him, he can play 3B well enough and bats left handed. Picked up late last season from the waiver wire and given a chance that just didn't help his stature.

Starting Pitching:
Harry Rodriguez pitched well last year and is ready for another good year.

Bobby Forbes pitched well last year but didn't get much in the way of offensive support.

Dean Boone had a good season and another one that got little offensive support at times.

Ubaldo Rijo was brought in to anchor the end of the rotation last year and what a wonderful job he did.  The Twins may be kicking themselves for not giving him a chance.

William Galloway is one of those players I keep my fingers crossed every time he is due up and seems to come through well enough.

Pen: Benny Calero was a 10 game winner out of the pen last year. Need him to do the same if we are going to repeat.

Trace Kennedy surprised us last season and we are hoping for more and better things this season.

Sherm Brock done a great job as a short guy and sometimes closer.

Ted Maxwell should be a rival to Ivan but he just doesn't get the job done as a stater or in long relief. Last year we moved him into the closer role at All-Star break where he was 20 for 21 in the save department. We are expecting a Fireman award winner from him this season.

Bernie Diaz is an emergency pitcher of sorts and is quite capable even with his anemic splits. Just gotta love his pitches with that control.

Birdie Osbourne and Billy Olson were call ups but don't expect them to be on the roster opening day.

Needing to find replacements for:

Cesar Perez who had his greatest season ever last year, but his health and diminished abilities makes him too big of a liability.

Tito Gao might have another season left in the tank but it won't be in New York.

Wayne Hampton is going to get his walking papers. Was in the the Met dog house for much of his early career but finally learned how to pitch as we didn't give up on him. Now, his terms are just not in our wheel house.

After all that we can say we are going to look heavily into the FA market in the off-season. Possibly into a catcher or center fielder that might catch our eye. Definitely will be after pitching as we will need three or more.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Retrospective on the Sky Sox Season 26

Holy crap, a World Series in the Erfffdog Memorial League.  After 10 seasons of distributing budgets, stressing over minor league bench coaches, setting lineups, freaking out over injuries, etc., I can now relax that I might never win this thing.  And it was a crazy season.  Props to Mal for nearly taking away the AL West division crown after I'd been up most of the year.  And congrats too to the other division winners, and to Josepaco, whose Cubs were clearly a dominant team.  To win in game 7 of the Series was nerve wracking, especially after losing one game by 1-0.  I was up hitting refresh beginning at 3:20 am this morning.

This league has so many great competitors (yes, even Boyd), and the strictures of the budget cap are so demanding, that I doubt I'll ever have another championship team.  So before this one gets disassembled (although much of it will be together another 5 seasons or more), I wanted to run through the team.  This is probably pathetic, and I apologize for the length, but I care about my HBD players more than most guys on the real-life Boston sports teams.

C:  For the fourth year in a row, a lefty-righty platoon of Lonny Rojas (28 years old) and Trenidad Nieves (26).  Not the best defensive combination in the world, but the offense is ridiculous: this season they combined for 51 HR and 151 RBI.  Both were IFAs; Rojas was traded to Texas for a spell, but -- in what will be a recurring theme -- I traded back for him in Season 23.

1B:  Robinzon Aguilera (27 y.o.)  A steady .275, 25 HR, 100 RBI kind of guy, and a switch hitter to boot.  May never be an All Star or win a Silver Slugger, but a dependable presence in the lineup.  Also an IFA.

2B:  Probably the star of the team, most likely to eventually get elected to the HOF, and the MVP runner-up this season, is Russell Lewis (26).  Traded Houston to get him and my SS in a blockbuster, offensive-prospects-for-pitching-prospects deal in Season 21.  He's been up since Season 22, and in five seasons has 4 All Star appearances and three Silver Slugger Awards.  He can be penciled in for roughly 100 runs, 20 HR, and 50 SB a year.  Love this guy. 

SS:  For one season only, then back to right field because he's a defensive liability, three-time All Star Andres Carrasquel (26).  The other part I acquired in the trade with Houston that brought Russell Lewis.    Putting aside a disastrous Season 24, he's usually good for 15 HR and 25 SB.

3B:  After Lewis, the most decorated player on the team is third baseman Robinzon Santana (25):  former rookie of the year, three-time All Star, two-time Home Run Derby champ, and earned a Gold Glove in LF.  Pencil this guy in for roughly 40 HR and 30 SB a season.  An IFA back in Season 19.

LF:  A rookie, Thomas Otanez (25), who had a solid first campaign.  Solid hitting ratings in everything but power, he'll probably be a perennial .300, 30 doubles, 10 HR kind of guy.  Not ideal for left field, but he's cheap and not bad for the 2-hole.  Acquired him in a trade for my closer, Ramon Nakajima, in Season 24 (then of course traded to get Nakajima back in Season 25).

CF:  A guy who sort of breaks my heart, Pepe Feliz (30).  I called him up my first season, Season 17, and he proceeded to place second in MVP voting twice in his first three years.  Despite injuries and playing six years in Petco, over 10 seasons he's averaged 34 HR, 35 SB, 97 runs, and 99 RBI a year; chances are he'll finish with better than 500 HR and SB each.  But he's a notorious second half player and, for whatever reason, has a hard time hitting for average, so he only has 2 All Star appearances to his name.  He's locked up for another five seasons and I intend for him to retire with the team.

RF:  Shannon Lyon (30), who was called up at the same time as Feliz.  Mostly played 3B over his career, and has three All Star appearances at that position.  Usually good for about 20 HR and 30 SB a season.  This will be his last year with the team, as he's a free agent and I had to break the bank to bring in pitchers in mid-season trades.  He will be missed.

DH:  Jim Jenkins (31).  More than anyone, he was screwed by six seasons of playing in Petco.  In recent years has been a dependable 40 HR, 110 RBI hitter.  And cheap too:  only $4.7 million a year including a prorated bonus.  Locked up for another three seasons.  Another Season 17 call up.

Bench:  A motley collection of cheap free agents and AAAA players: lefty bat Quinn Quinn, defensive specialist (and next year's shortstop) Galahad Shaw, Dennis Thomas, and the oldest position player on the team, 3B/RF Carlton Hodges.

SP1 and SP2:  Around the All Star break, I realized my starting pitching was not good enough to win it all, so went ahead and emptied my minor league system in trades for two front line starters.  First came Jesus Candelaria (29).  I had actually traded Rocky Spencer for him way back in Season 17, then traded him to Houston in Season 21 in the deal that brought Lewis and Carrasquel.  When Detroit (who acquired him from Houston) was lagging mid-season this year, I flipped some prospects and got him back.  I then sent most of the rest of my prospects to Tampa Bay for former Cy Young winner Jim Matthews (34).  His first few starts for me were an epic disaster, but he turned it around and ended the season 4-4 with a 3.48.  Under contract for one more year, we'll see how his ratings hold up before deciding whether to resign him.

SP3:  Rookie of the Year Alex Mesa (22).  At one point this season he was 16-2 and, while he tailed off at the end, he still finished 17-6 with a 3.68.  Now age 22, he was the 22nd overall pick in the Season 22 draft.  Many look at his splits and think "he's mediocre at best," but his peripherals suggest a successful career ahead.

SP4:  Don Evert (26).  Owner of a career 3.77 ERA over 5 seasons, his 4.72 ERA this campaign was by far his career-worst.   His struggles this season are what convinced me to spring for Candelaria and Matthews.  Was the 6th overall pick in Season 18.

SP5:  Harold Adcock (28), who was in the running for a Cy Young award with a 2.68 ERA last year, but like Evert had a generally poor showing this year:  14-9 with a 4.49.  A first round pick back in Season 16.

Closer:  Season 23's Fireman of the Year, Ramon Nakajima (28).  I acquired him in a trade in Season 19, traded him to Dover in Season 24, but naturally traded back for him in Season 25 and reinstalled him at closer.  I put him in middle relief earlier this year to get more innings, but gave him the closer job again when things started getting tight late in the season.  He's got a career 3.32 ERA and 145 saves, and might now have the closer job until he retires.

Bullpen:  I love half of my pen.  Kirt Blasingame (31) could probably close on most teams; he was acquired in a deadline prospects-for-veteran trade last year specifically to shore up the pen for the playoffs, then I forgot to add him to the playoff roster so he missed them.  Didn't make that mistake this season, and he was solid during the regular season (2.91 ERA in 86 innings) and the playoff run (3.46 ERA).  Enrique Nunez (24), a sandwich round pick in Season 22, was an All Star closer last season but lost the role to Nakajima this year.  Averages nearly a strikeout an inning and has a career 3.86 ERA.  Geraldo Rios (28) was acquired when I initially traded away Lonny Rojas.  Has a career 3.13 ERA, a dominant lefty out of the pen.

Finally there were Manuel Mercedes (29), who has been in my rotation forever but lost his role to Matthews, and rookie Kip Shields (23).  Both of these guys had absurdly anomalously poor seasons (based on past performance), of the kind possible only in HBD, and were put on "rest" during the playoffs.  Presumably (hopefully) they'll both be serviceable next year.    

Only two guys will be gone from this crew next year, Shannon Lyon and Carlton Hodges.  Maybe we'll make another run for it, but most likely, the next several years will see a steady decline as guys age and my record and payroll make it difficult to replenish with draft picks and IFAs.  Probably in five or six seasons I'll blow up what's left and start rebuilding.  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this game.

Cheers gentlemen, and good luck in Season 27!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Top 10 Things About the Erffdogg League

  1. New owners competing for World Series (K-Mart and Wrecks).
  2. A "big tobacco" lawyer that goes by LuckyStrike.
  3. Tanktarding.
  4. Tardtanking.
  5. BruceHearse's unfettered access to alcohol.  Ever get the feeling? that SeaBreeze and Knucklebones had a love child, and that love child is BruceHearse.
  6. Northerngaul.  He is the "Ten Bears" of our Dances with Wolves.  "Let us smoke awhile."
  7. Dwight Johnson's sister.  
  8. Little Rock's international scouts.
  9. Players named Jumbo and Ebenezer.  And Injured Wilt flying team charters.
  10. Patrick Rudy.
  11. The re-branding of VEGETABLE LASAGNA.  And it stuck.
  12. Josepaco, the Larry David of the Erff.
  13. Mal's hatred of Vegetable Lasagna.
  14. Firesign - our own Boston Sports Guy.
  15. The new commissioner.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


In General

Each coach has a major attribute and a couple secondary attributes. The primary attribute will normally rise by up to 4 points after each season while secondary attributes normally will only rise by 0 to 2 points.  It is generally believed that the progression in points depends on how well the players respond, their record and the chemistry of the other coaches.

Patience and Discipline is always a good thing to have at the minor league levels but not crucial at the ML level.  These three attributes will never rise by the way as they will only decrease on an inactive coach. Loyalty is always good as he is more likely to stick around with an organization instead of a one and done type. Patience allows a coach to better teach the youngsters and boost their performance and advancement. Discipline allows a coach to better teach fundamentals, too much is bad though (I like the 50-60 range myself).

A good coach will stay at a level for 2 years before wanting a job at a higher level unless his primary attribute exceeds the level in question.The big overall objective is to hire coaches at the Rookie level that will progress through the minors like the players at a reasonable rate to possibly become your ML coaches one day.

Primary attribute rule of thumb:

Rookie: 40's LowA: 50's HighA: 60's, AA: 60's and 70's, AAA: 70's

Pitching Coaches

Primary attribute is Pitching IQ.
Secondary attributes Patience, Discipline, Strategy and Loyalty. Secondary attributes are more helpful in the minors than at the ML level. Like a high Discipline at the ML level will cause a pitcher to throw strikes which may not sound bad but if he is trying to get the terrible throw away pitch in for a strike, disaster is sure to follow. Patience at the ML level can be dependent for young players as opposed to vets.

Hitting Coaches
Primary attribute is Hitting IQ.
Secondary attributes Glove, Base Running, Patience, Discipline and Loyalty. Glove and Base Running do not need to be exceptionally high but always a nice commodity to have. A high discipline at the ML level might cause more strike outs to hitters.

Bench Coaches
Primary attribute is Strategy.
Secondary attributes is basically all of them that can complement the other two. Normally you will find these coaches can be relatively high in one other area.

First and Third Base Coaches ML only
Primary attribute is Base Running IQ.
This is really dependent on player speed, if you have three or more players that can be consistent base stealers then you want a First Base coach with an IQ above 50 or more at least. At Third Base you want a coach with an IQ above 75 or better at any time.

Fielding Instructor ML only.
Primary attribute is Glove.
Secondary attributes should be a high Patience and Discipline.
He is key to helping defenses perform at the ML level. He is also instrumental at teaching players and coaches the fundamentals at the minor league levels.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Minor League Series Champs

Some actually strange things occurred in the Minor League Championships. First, no series went longer than five games. The Rookie League was the only one that featured two #1 seeds, matter of fact other than that only one #1 seed made it to the finals. Other than the Rookie League obviously, the series champ was a #2 seed. Hmm, I say interesting.

AAA: Houston Astros 
AA: Montreal Expos
Hi A: Louisville Colonels
Lo A: Philadelphia Phillies
Rookie: Philadelphia Phillies

Monday, March 18, 2013

The odds are in for the LCS match ups.The odds are not flaringly one-sided as one might expect.

Boston vs Colorado Springs: Boston got to the big game by downing heavy weights Anaheim and Texas. That is a big feat in itself beating two 90+ win teams, still the odds for Boston are only a measly 1-1. Colorado Springs had a first round bye and only had to get by KC to get to the big AL show which they did with a sweep. Odds makers weren't generous as they are only showing a bit of favoritizm with a 2-1 placement.

Atlanta vs Chicago: Atlanta got by the Mets who showed some gumption. The final game of that series took both of us by surprise as I was predicting either a 4-2 win of 6-3 loss but favored the Braves, at least I got the favor portion right. Then a wild encore performance with LA where the Dodgers, couldn't hit or score runs. Chicago got a bye for the first round and had to put up with the antics of Mexico City who just slapped the Reds around. Although that series went 4 games, Mexico City didn't pose much of a challenge. The odds makers are only giving the Cubs a 2-1 edge while the Braves garnered 1-1 odds. 


There are better odds that Burke Moss could be the NL series MVP which now stands at 4-1.

The Cubs wore green hats yesterday with their game with Oakland, maybe they should have went with green socks or something for the Irish thing as the caps were disgusting and unimaginative.

Monday, March 11, 2013

It was a wild season to say the least but, alas it has finally come to the end. I think every seed changed hands several times in the last 20 games in the AL. Several hopes and dreams were shattered for sure. The Senators had their best season ever only to fall short by a game. The Expos go 21-4 down the stretch like a phoenix rising from the ashes, but their fire was extinguished in the end. The Mets sneak in after throwing a tantrum, after calmness prevailed they figured out a way around those annoying pitchers, then a novel idea came about in Louisville.

 Pascual Solano moved the all-time Save record to 656 this season. We are not sure he will be able to tie his shoes next year.

Dom Tabaka moved into second place on the all-time Save list at 552 passing Zeus Singleton.


1. Texas Rangers - they win the biggie with a 21-9 division record as H2H was 5-5.
2. Colorado Springs Sky Sox - Lost the division crown for a while but got back on track.
3. Detroit Tigers -  We thought they would run away with it but got threatened at the end even.
4. Boston Red Sox - We are not sure they are the best team in the division, their record says so however.
5. Anaheim Angels -Had a bad last 20 as they coughed up a possible #1 seed after trailing most of the season. Not bad for a piecemeal team.
6. Kansas City Royals - All but written off at one point in the season then watched the Red Hot Expos zoom into the seed only to see it vanish like Twinkies.


1. Chicago Cubs: Was there ever a doubt?
2. Los Angeles Dodgers - outfought the Braves in the final roundup to get a few days off.
3. Atlanta Braves - Tired teams can do this at the end.
4. Mexico City Diablos Rojos - The way championships should be done at the end.
5. Cincinnati Reds - Stepchild of the North, sibling rivalry this way come?
6. New York Mets - What a nail biter I had, too many things had to go right the last three games. I had to sweep Philly, Mexico City had to win 2 from Florida and San Diego had to win 2 form Arizona.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Award Voting Is Coming

With only a few games to go, owners may want to start looking at who is on the award rosters.  I have looked them over and have made my decisions already as I don't think things will change all that much.


I am not to inspired about voting for a DH but Del Alvarez got my attention. The 27 games played at 1B was not awe inspiring however.

Collin Kirkland made a bigger impression as he does play 1B but his walk to SO ration ended up being the big factor in elimination.

Russell Lewis is my choice. Non power for average hitters don't get recognized that much but when one hits, runs and fields like he does, makes it an easy choice.


Pat Suzuki wins my vote hands down because he can do it all well.

AL Cy Young

I am not real enthused about any of the candidates but need to choose.
Jun Dong, how could you not like his stats? It is a one off season in my mind though.
I like Edwin Webster though he isn't what you would call a real starter.
Mark James gives up too many long balls to get my vote.
I usually don't for closers in this area but Harry Ramos has a good resume.
Someone will have to convince me to vote for either  Dong or Ramos.

NL Cy Young

Ivan Johnson is Ivan Johnson yet again but I don't think he was dominant.
I figured out how to break Willie Pascual, only took three tries.
Frank Cortes and Albert Cubillan had great seasons but...
I am voting for Vance Knowles because his overall numbers are the best.


Alex Mesa had a surprisingly good year pitching and it could be his best one.
Jose Hernandez is a 30 year rookie DH for average hitter, real good stat but he is a DH.
Tomas Otanez I believe will get my vote, a very good LF and a good for average hitter. A shame he has speed and can't steal well.


Landon Jones gets my vote, a little better team and a CY Young was possible. He faced the Mets once early on, pitched well but no offense sealed his doom.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Down to SIX!

With Six games to go, did the playoff picture change?

AL North

Headlines Read:
Tigers Maul Sky Sox
Montreal Exposes Angels

The Tigs can wrap up the division crown with a combination of things but the easy way is two wins. They can capture the three seed by staying even with Boston as they own the first tie break (6-4).

The Expos are in a must win situation to have a shot at the Wild Card. Twins and Jays, so it won't be a cake walk.

AL East

Boston needs a win to secure the division crown but must finish ahead of the Tigs to get the three seed.

Washington is in a must win situation now. To make things worse, Boston is next on their list. 

AL South

Rangers have the crown already and have a slim 1 game lead for the one seed. It won't be easy with the Rays and Royals.

Royals have a one game lead for the final Wild Card spot. With the Heads and Rangers on tap, it would seem there could be an opening for the Senators or Expos.

AL West

Angels and Sky Sox are neck and neck and both were just humiliated but both are in the playoffs. Which will win the division crown and the one or two seed? They both play Seattle and Helena, may the best team win.

NL North

The Cubs of course with the division crown and the one seed.

The Reds have wrapped up the fifth seed.

NL East

The Braves have won the division crown and may have let the two seed slip away.

The Mets are still in contention for the final Wild Card spot but needs help besides needing to win out.

NL South

The Marlins popped into the lead by a game but got beat up badly by the Brewers and Mets. St Louis has proved not to be a reprieve who is on tap next.

Mexico City got pummeled by the Dodgers but managed to win one to stay close. Houston sounds like a good place to get ahead but a misstep could spell disaster.

The final three will have meaning I do think as the Marlins and Diablos will hook up for all the marbles.

NL West

The Dodgers have the division crown in hand and just need to do a little posturing for the number two seed, staying ahead of the Braves in the win column that is.

Arizona was very frustrated after losing 5 of 7 to the Mets. Tied with Mexico City for the final playoff spot didn't help. The Giants and Padres are their final foes and they probably need to win out also to have a chance.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Confusion Ten

The Last 10 games could be a thrilling ride for some.

It is a good possibility that the playoff teams will be announced after the next four games.

1. Chicago has wrapped up the this seed barring an unlikely collapse.
2. Atlanta sits here at the moment but only by 1 game.
3. Los Angeles could move up a spot yet.
4. Florida is heavily penciled in but could fall to Mexico City and possibly completely out. Brewers, Cards and Diablos left on the schedule.
5. Cincinnati owns this spot but needs to win three or four and that seems most likely.
6. Mexico City could take the division crown yet but has to go through LA, Houston and Florida to get there. Truthfully, it doesn't look good. 
7. Arizona is tied with Mexico City and anything could happen. Mets, Giants and Padres left looks more appetizing.  
8. Pittsburgh is only 2 back of the final spot and need to win and get help, that won't be easy either. Colonels, Cubs and Reds, don't get your hopes up too much.
9. New York needs to win all 10 probably, D'Backs, Colonels and Phills. 

What a mess!! Believe it or not it could come down to a tie breaker between the Senators and Royals for the final WC spot.

1. Sky Sox, Angels or Rangers, someone please make up their minds. Can't remember the last time I seen so much contention for the number 1 seed this late.

2. Rangers or winner of the West.
3. Boston for now but must hold off Detroit.
4. Detroit for now as they need to watch out for the suddenly surging Expos.
5. The loser of the West, at least this one is simple enough. 
6. Kansas City gets penciled in but the eraser is ready.
7. Montreal suddenly in contention.
8. Washington D.C is in a filabuster or is that a fluster. 

Angels vs Expos could define the whole works real easy, what a series this is going to be.
Sky Sox vs Tigers can't get any better than that.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Intl Report

The International Market has been in full swing, just nothing to write home about until recently.  Pitchers with good ratings in the pitching department but no durability or terrible control but everything else is good. Position players with 1 or 2 tools and nothing else. Yet teams are spending a small fortune just to spend it. So here is a couple bright stars.

Little Rock spent $22.8M for Yusmeiro Molina.  There is a good chance his control will remain under the radar though his splits could be rather good. A flame thrower with good recoil but that third pitch might find the upper deck much too often.

Shelby Bergman seemed like a bargain at $22.1M for the Expos.  Doubtful he will play SS at the ML level but could be a standout at 3B.  Could steal a few bases with a wily coach. Has some very good qualities at the plate and bats left-handed to boot with some pop even. An ideal player for the first three slots in a lineup. A very good signing.

New Record

A new record was set in Rookie Ball, not one to be exactly proud of either. The Mets became the first team in the Rookie League to win 50 games and not make the playoffs.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Twisted Twenty

Yup, the last twenty games are on tap. For many teams this is just a formality, several others means a possible playoff spot.


1. Cubs: Division pretty much in the bag with a 10 game lead. Comfortable 5 game lead for the #1 seed. A somewhat important 3 game series with the Braves on tap.

2. Braves: A 12 game lead in the division is pretty comfortable. It really looks like they are playing for the #2 seed which might be needful. The next 6 games could be trying with the Cubs and Mets but rather relaxing after that.

3. Dodgers: A comfortable 8 game lead in the division. The schedule is not exactly their friend with the Marlins, Reds, Diablos and D'Backs ready to do them harm. #2 seed is in reach but it will be a tough road, mostly at home though.

4. Diablos: Currently in the #4 spot with a 1 game lead. The reason is Reagan Mathews has decided to pitch this year. But Florida is right there in case of a slip. Could put some distance with a relatively easy schedule until the last 10 but they are all on the road.

5. Reds: A tenuous spot as the # 5 seed at the moment with only a three and four game lead. Not taking care of business in Arizona didn't help and the schedule is not friendly.

6. Marlins: Still in heavy contention for the division crown as well as this WC spot. They are a dejected bunch however with their heads hanging low as they lost 2 of 3 to the Pads. With a somewhat difficult schedule they must work thorough it if they wanna be theree in the end.


Diamondbacks and Mets: Almost identical type of schedules as they play each other 7 times. One can break the other or both. 

Pirates: The easiest schedule left if you call being in the North easy. We don't know what to think as they had an even worse Mets melt down with Houston followed by a Braves tomahawking.


1. Angels: Okay! Someone has to be kidding right? Nope, mal put together a moneyball team and look where they are after a surprising melt down by the Sky Sox. For how long we don't know as two teams are in close proximity including a 1 game lead in the division. The way things are in the AL I can't really say for sure but the schedule does not look friendly.

2. Rangers: Comfortable 9 game lead in the division and only 2 back from the #1 seed. Most of the schedule is on the road, not sure if that is good or bad but not exactly an easy one either.

3. Tigers: Just because they are in the North and too lazy to look it up. 8 game lead over the surprising Expos and Twins (your Been high I think as they look uberextraordinary on paper and just float along during the season. Had a melt down against Helena then handily swept Baltimore, I am just as confused. Not an easy schedule left at all.

4. Red Sox: They could actually be #3 for all I know. A tentative 3 game lead at the moment, think every team in the division has been on top at one point during the season and not long ago. Just won 5 of 7 from the Sky Sox, so they are on cloud 9 at the moment.  But not happy campers with the schedule as Texas invades next.

5. Sky Sox: They have collapsed in the last 30 games or so with no reasoning behind it what so ever. Other than Little Rock, they have barely showed up to play ball. With a comprising schedule and lack of enthusiasm we are not sure what might happen.

6. Senators: What? Yahoo! Could still win the East. 

Hopefuls: Everyone except Toronto, Little Rock and Helena are 5 games or less behind. Looking at the schedules doesn't help because everyone is so streaky.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ramblings and Things

I am frustrated about how this season has unfolded more than anything. 5 games with still a chance to make the playoffs should be heartening but it isn't. I still haven't got over what transpired several days ago. A four game sweep of a pretty good Giants team had me smiling but the Pirates put a damper on things with a sweep in my house no less. I was less than overjoyed, so much so the cats stayed away until I left the computer room. Oh well, shit happens, guess I can over look that one. Find some solace in Houston, no offense VL. That didn't happen either exactly, maybe I was expecting too much. A split wasn't what I had in mind, I could have dealt with winning 3 of 4, but 1-0 loss followed by a 5-4 loss had me quasimodo. My spirits even sunk lower when the Cubs were next on the list. It wasn't the fact that I got swept by the Cubs but the 2-1 losses, yeah that's right, we pretty much shut them down to no avail. Then came the sweep of Florida, the way things had been going caused me to scratch my head. Up next was San Diego and a probable 3 of 4 there. I can take getting beat by Flipper, but by the charleton (cheese ball kind ya know) maybe charlatan is better way to describe him.

 I was less than candor, why you got the Minor League report instead of the Dirty Thirty as usual. Then again a pissed off Dirty Thirty report may have been a better issue. BTW, have you ever looked at the Transaction Lists for minor league teams? Then try to make heads or tails about some of them? I think my Low A team might be in the running for the fewest with 4 DL actions since the start of the season. Think I will chat with Bruce and help drink one of his bottles of gin, tonic and lime please. I even have recipes for elegant candy tasting orange creme soda....

Anywho...after looking deeply into my crystal ball I noticed an odd occurrence. Maybe not so odd, there is probably like a 100% chance the Mets will end the season with 85 wins for the third straight year. That means we will have a record of 15-12 the remainder of the season. Most of the playoff teams would be overjoyed if 9 of those 15 wins came at the expense of Houston, Louisville and Philly. The odds of that happening holds water but the luck of the Mets make it slim. That means Mexico City, Florida and especially Arizona are not happy we are on their schedule. Then again, I don't think anyone is really happy with the end of the season antics called a schedule this season.

The Braves actually have themselves in a pickle or possibly backed into a corner. They either need to rest players or hope they can take the #2 seed. I know they have been trying and they know they must also scrape together at least 8 to 10 wins. 

So what does the Mets really need to happen to get in the playoffs? For one I ether have to at least split with Mexico City and take two from Florida and hope LA mops up for me. Take care of business with Arizona. Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are hopeful, but they both have a round robin in the North which isn't conducive. After looking the schedules over, the Pirates actually have the easiest.

The AL, I can't make heads or tails out of what is happening. Other than Colorado and Anaheim, no one really seems to be that enthusiastic. Well, the Tigs are on a high and are casually floating through time and space. Maybe everyone is waiting for a cataclysmic event to happen.

Just a reminder, it is September, time for minor league call ups in the morning.  I have been looking over my AAA troops and decided on three likely candidates. Not that I need to but more or less just to give some depth and a few more options. One of them is just a look see.

I have also been doing some analysis on some players most of the morning. The fans just love Guy Oquist this season. A whopping .331 batting average and 3 dingers...Not bad for my weak ass UT player. He got a lot of starts in CF after I got tired of all the misplays out there. They are just trying to make him look good for Arbitration next year, it isn't going to work BTW.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Minors at a Glance

The AAA NL Has their 6 teams almost. The Giants and Padres are still fighting it out for control of the West while the Colonels are like Custer making their last stand. The big story here is about the Brew Crew who were running away with the #1 seed around All-Star break. We think they have found Bruce's gin supply and been happily imbibing. So much so in fact that the Mets, Astros and Cards have caught up and are could pass them by.  We don't see it happening however, as there just isn't much fight in the Northern opponents.  The #2, #3 and #5 seeds will go to the round robin winners in the East and South. Meanwhile the #4 will go to the last man standing in the West. The #6 seed could be a bit up in the air if one of the two teams in the West totally collapses. 

Very little drama  in the AA NL. The Brew Crew should drink their way well into the evening with a 44 game lead and the #2 seed. The #1 seeded Astros (101 wins is a woowee!) only concern is which beer to serve at the next series, Corona, Dos XX or Tecata and the number of limes needed as they will face the #5 seed Diablos before the playoffs even begin. Worse for the Astros though is they will turn around and have to play a series against the #6 seed Cards then face one of them again in good probability in the playoffs. The  Phils will more than likely be the #3 seed. The Padres and Giants are fighting once again in the West, a 5 game lead is tough to overcome though in a rough and tumble division as we think the Padres will survive.
The Mets are just hoping to win 3 or more games to be .500 or better.

At HiA NL the #1 and #2 seeds will be the Phils and Padres and it is doubtful that it matters. The Cards have the #3 seed while the pesky Brewers have the #4 seed. Mets are currently in the #5 seed while the Diablos and Astros and going to have one of those donny brooks for the #6 seed.

At LoA NL Has the best win record with a 102 total by the Padres which must mean they are the #1 seed (DoH!)  Following close behind is the Phills and Colonels in the 90's, being in the same division means their is a fight looming for the #2 and #5 seeds. Worse yet for them is the Diablos, who could worm their way into the #2 seed while nobody is looking.  The Mets and Astros get to throw their 2 cents in and a monkey wrench besides as one will grab the #6 seed, Astros in all likelyhood. Up North, the Brewers ( haven't we heard enough of them?) will grab the #4 seed with a possible sub .500 record. 

Rookie NL is a complicated mess with about 8 games to go. Chances are the Phills will be the #1 seed, Diablos the #2 seed, Giants the #3 seed for sure, and a good chance the Pirates might tiptoe into the #4 seed. 4 teams are casting their ballots for the two WC spots, Colonels, Mets, Marlins and Cards. Big note here, the Mets ended the Marlins 16 game win streak. 

AL AAA sees the Expos with the #1 seed. The Senators and Royals vying for the #2 seed. The Marines bring up the rear at the #4 spot.  The Tigs and Beetles are holding down the WC spots. The Angels were in the thick of things but their 1-9 slide just about took them out of the picture. 

The AL AA picture is in complete turmoil still. The Heads are in position to easily wrap up the #1 seed and the Expos with the #2 seed. The Beetles (not the Liverpool bunch either) and Senators may take the rest of the season to determine a winner in the East along with the Sky Sox and Hot Pockets in the West throw in a possible coup by the Mariners. The WC adds the Twins and Tigs to the mix.  Look out! anything could happen and usually does.

AL HiA is pretty well determined as the only dramatic end could be in the East as the Beetles and Red Sox vie for the crown and/or a WC spot. Yup, them perturbed Expos has the #1 seed while the Heads are penciled in at #2.  Them pesky Beetles and Mariners are tied for the #3 and #4 slot though the Red Sox could easily stick their big toe in things. The Tigs wrap up the #5 seed, but at least we know who the 6 teams are.

AL LoA could have an exciting finish for the #1 seed as the Expos (again?) and Tigs have 90+ wins in the North, unfortunately the #5 seed awaits one of them as a boobie prize. Sky Sox and Heads nab the #2 and #3 seed which could see a flip flop before things are done. The Beetles settles in with the #4 seed. The final WC spot is up for grabs between the Rays, Senators and Hot Pockets.

Rookie AL is a difficult mess with the Expos on top (boring huh?) but could be tested by the Rangers who have their own worries with the Royals. Then we have a confrontation in the West between the Hot Pockets and Sky Sox.  Just for fun we throw in the Tigs, Twins and O's.