Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yes, It Is That Time Again

Don't ask I don't know what time it is either. Dilo didn't like my name of this seasons book, so....In the form of Castle we need a new title. Sorry Cretins, All Dogs go to Heaven has been taken. Need to make another stab at it to prove yourself.

Sorry Mal, I laid down to watch Mega Shark vs Mega Octopussy and fell asleep, I couldn't figure out who to root for. Evidently, Mega Shark won because he was facing Super Mega Shark in the next movie.Umm, didn't watch that one either as an old rerun of Castle was more exciting and interesting.

Wholck, just because you might have found a mega shark is no reason to celebrate just yet. Have another beer and join Bruce in his frustration with the Pads vs Giants sic Dodgers.

John is happily plotting revenge already in Texas. He was pissed when he found out that they used a New York mega structure again instead of Texas. He got real excited about the idea they are pulling the core in TP. He things it will gentler on his holder even, the girlfriend and wife winked leaking that tidbit of information. Luckystrike is already campaigning for the removal in Brawny. You know, it is the quicker picker upper.

Meanwhile, back at the Oasis.

Just as predicted in the AL so far, northerngaul and Dakar are having a faceoff already. It could go down to the wire as to which has the ugliest face in the neighborhood.

I didn't predict the fall of KC though I said it was going to be tough, the season ain't over yet.

Nope, I declare the Angels ain't that good.

The NL North is shaping up. Maybe I can give the Pirates a little added octane, I told ya so.

I was worried about 1-run games, grrrrr..I have a bunch of them but damn wholck. Hey we are 4-1 in extra inning games, see why I like an extra pitcher. How do the Giants survive so many 1-run scares?

Mexico City? Say it ain't so, come on boys make him pay for the next round of Quervo! Cretins make that two rounds!

Go Bruce, make sick pay for his #statements umm...sorry svick. Ahh shit, lets just get drunk the erffdog way! Yes, go away I am crying thinking about it.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Opening IFA Market Picks

David Beltre became the first IFA to sign in the new season with a $2.1M bonus from the San Diego Padres. My scouts aren't exactly enamored with this pick for the money.  Going by what I see, RF might be the best place for him instead of the SS he is purported to be. Hitting is less than so-so for that matter. If you put him in the draft, he might be a late second rounder at the earliest. However I do see the possibility of him being better than he looks. So I am on the fence about whether it was a good signing or not.

Cookie Pena was the first of the new season with a rather large contract, $12M by Montreal. Maybe my scouts are blind as well. SS is a possibility though I worry about the arm and maybe the glove a bit. There are definitely other key spots he could play, like 2B/CF for instance. Hitting isn't exactly robust but for a decent SS is pretty good. His health scares me off the most. Montreal only has a consolation pick in the first round so you could consider him their first round pick. For the slot he might have been chosen in the draft, I would put him somewhere around mid to late first round easily enough. By my standards, maybe overpaid by a couple million unless the health is better than I am seeing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fun with Random Stats

While pondering the question of who was the best hitter ever, Albert's Johnson or Everett Hill, I spent some time digging through player records for no particular reason. Specifically, I wanted to see what some of the stat records for players were while with one team.  Some random stats:

Teams Without a Player with 300+ HRs In Their Uniform
San Francisco
St. Louis

San Francisco 'wins' the category with Edgar Montero sitting at 207. No active player has cracked the 136 mark (5th on their all time list).

Players with the Most HRs in One Uniform 
Joey Tracy, Cubs - 734
Nomar Cloud, Minn - 668
Harry Cora, Tampa Bay - 661
Colin Kirkland, Minn - 631
Omar Nixon, Cinn - 627

Minnesota is the only team on the list with 2 guys over 500+ HRs, at least as far as I could tell.

Teams Without a Player Winning More than 100 Games In Their Uniform 

I didn't write down who won this category, but multiple teams have no active guy in the top 5, meaning they wont get a shot at cracking 100 for several seasons (although they have active players on the list playing for other teams)

Players with the Most Wins in One Uniform
Ivan's Johnson, Tampa Bay - 402
Alex Matos, Tampa Bay - 257
Pedro DeSoto, Philadelphia - 235
Tim Loewer, Pitt - 224
Yamil, Cinn - 224

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NL Predictions

NL North

Chicago Cubs: Power house as always with Chatwood and Suzki. The pitching staff has some wear and tear but should be effective. Harry Ramos is chomping at the bit to become the all time Saves leader before the end of the season and we see it probably happening by All-Star break.

Cincinnati Reds: The only team to hit the 100 win total last season in the NL. The core stars are there from last season and starting pitching looks good. The pen is their downfall and could be a show stopper.

Milwaukee Brewers: They look great on paper and compare to both the Reds and Cubs well. Will it come together for them this year is the question. I have doubts about the pitching staff being effective.

Pittsburgh Pirates: They have been rebuilding quietly and quickly. Playing thieves in the FA market made everyone take notice even adding the lefty dynamo I was drooling over in Luis Perez. Pitching could be their downfall as there isn't enough to go round me thinks. They went all in like Toronto once and we saw what happened there.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: A tough cookie to understand and they do it just about every year. This year is a different story as I don't know where it will come from. They will have their moments is about all I will say.

Florida Marlins: A very solid team in the division and could easily scare anybody.

Philadelphia Phillies: They have been the team to beat. This year is no exception.

New York Mets: They are improved over last year providing cheapness to quality vets and adding quality youngsters. Lack of offensive leadership could hurt as there are no stars in the lineup anymore.  A good team that thinks they can compete with the rest in the divisiion. The first twenty games will tell the tale.

NL South

Mexico City Diablos Rojos: They have been a power to be reckoned with the last few seasons. A very solid team ready to do battle once again. The armor on the pitching staff is starting to rust through however and could become problematic.

St. Louis Cardinals: The Cards are a younger version of Mexico City if you ask me. It will be a battle between the two as to ends up on top.

Houston Astros: The Astros make the division race a gruesome threesome just like last year. If something goes bad with the Cards and Devils, they will be there to cleanup the mess for sure. Of course there is the possibility they will out distance those two easily.

Tampa Bay Rays: I would call the team still in rebuild. There are some bright spots but not enough to compete at the moment.

NL West

San Francisco Giants: While everyone one dithering about in FA, the Giants were getting the players they wanted. They are probably stronger than last season.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Always a good team that for some reason can't win. I can't explain that fact whatsoever. This year they look solid once again until you get deep into the the pitching staff and it becomes somewhat so-so.

San Diego Padres: The Giants better be good as the Pads might easily be there in the end. I am not sure it is enough but this division has always had some whacky things happen.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Strong enough to harass anybody and everybody. I don't think they are ready to compete for the title by a long shot. however.

This is a tough one for a pick six, the lottery is easier. The four teams in the North could easily win 90 games and three in the South for that matter add at least one from the West and that doesn't leave much to go around. Someone is going home mad at the end of the season.

1. Cincinnati Reds: I like them as the Cubbies tend to lose a key piece along the way.

2. Mexico City Diablos Rojos:: Just because the Cards are going to fall short again.

3. San Francisco Giants:: Just because they look the best on paper.

4. Florida Marlins:: They just look better in my opinion.

5. Chicago Cubs: Too much power not to be considered.

6. Five teams could easily be in this spot and a toss up that I can't even guess. Pirates, Card, Astros, Brewers, Padres, OH MY!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rule 5 Overview

Many bowed out with nothing really available. I changed my mind several times before deciding myself.

Svick got the first choice as the A's didn't see anything that would help and choseVic Mahomes. A starting pitcher that would be nothing more than a filler for a season. An upgrade somewhere? We don't see it personally and probably a quick waiver wire casualty to AAA.

Jeffrey Thebeau was chosen by the Mets after many deliberations. If the FI does his job and improves his glove which I am sure will happen. He could turn into a Carl Browning look alike.  May not look like much in the hitting department but Browning won a Gold Glove and the hitting wasn't all that bad. Besides, I wasn't sure Bob Hayes wouldn't go on the DL with a splinter in his ass.

Alfonso Baerga was chosen by Boston and made me laugh. Why? They let Thebeau go in the first place. Alfonso may be better defensively at the moment but Thebeau would have been the better hitter.

The Canadians got their fingers on Shawon Schmidt. I consider him better than Mahomes as he has some potential upside. Will it help? Spring Training might answer that if there is a little improvement.

I think the Twinkies lucked out with the addition of Patsy Garko. A good spring and there is possibility. Then to convince the engine to put him in to get out of an inning.

Detroit needed a lot of help and Miguel Espinoza was a good selection.

Eric Barry by Washington could be a long shot based on Makeup. They were looking for a backup SS apparently.

 Miles Jones taken by Florida. There is potential but that is the oddest fifth pitch I have ever seen, maybe it can be dropped again.

Hod Long in a Braves uniform doesn't seem to fit but Atalanta needs players. I think.

Houston was hoping and it fell through I think as Shane Sappington looks like a burger flipper to me in the end.

Baltimore was guessing as they chose Vicente Merced and probably off to the showers rather quickly.

Little Rock hasn't learned anything about names yet. Spud Holt will be back on the farm raising taters for McDonalds soon enough.

Brent Robinson is a deep dig but could be on the roster at the start of the season for Memphis.


Fearless..errr. Fearful Prediction Time

It may be too early to actually judge but real life situations may preclude me to get it done on time.

AL North

Montreal Expos: They will be clicking on all cylinders and a tough cookie to beat once again. Should have one of the best pitching staffs in the league. With the addition of Marc Redman gives them a good lead off hitter. SS might be their hitting weakness but not in the power department or defense. Worst player on the team is the backup CF hitting wise but could be a GG on defense.

Minnesota Twins: The Twinkies need to make some moves as it appears they may have been shut out in the FA market. A solid nucleus but has some holes to fill for sure and I am wondering where it will come from.

Detroit Tigers: They are more worse off than the Twinkies and pitching will be their downfall. At least it should be cheap filling all the holes they have.

Toronto Blue Jays: How they tanked to a fourth place overall finish last year is beyond me. They are close to being as good as the Expos but not quite. I consider them a wild card playoff team.

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: They have won the title for three straight years and have actually been in a divisional dog fight for all three.They are good enough to win a fourth but I am not penciling them in just yet.

Dover Dung Beetles: Could give the O's fits, more than they can handle maybe. Our commish should try and sweet talk dhyatt1080 into Yankee stadium. It is a rather young team that will probably be led by a new MVP candidate in Geovany Gregorius, it is a lot of pressure for the youngster.

Boston Red Sox: They made a lot of moves trying to bring back the glory years. I don't see it happening, it is Boston however and whacky things do happen.

Washington D.C. Senators: I thought they might be on the way to a dynasty myself. Good players, just not enough to go around and overcome the other three in this division.

AL South

Kansas City Royals: Still the team to beat I think though cracks are forming big time. Solid pitching goes a long way.

Memphis RedBirds: A very solid team and will give KC fits as they have in the past. Age is their enemy however and this season could wear them down even further. Is their enough in the tank to contend is the question.

Little Rock Heads: Last year I said they were too young and got a lot of grief from that statement. They made the playoffs but ousted in the first round. This year I predict they will win the division and play Montreal for the AL Title. I am not buttering up Robert either, that is my prediction. They are just as equal on paper this season as the Expos. Now let's see it happen!

Texas Rangers: Silent Ed left a good team behind he was rebuilding once again. John has returned and inherited a pretty good team. Remember, this is not Detroit and hitters love the hot dry air. It will be a close call but could manage their way into the playoffs especially if a couple other teams falter which could easily happen.

AL West

Anaheim Angels: Mal shit a brick last year when the Angels tanked on their own but came out smelling like a rose by the slimmest of margins. The team is good but there are a lot of unknowns out there. 

Colorado Springs Sky Sox: Truthfully, the Sky Sox look a lot like the Mets. Good and solid but lack a true leader on offense. I don't think they are good enough to make the playoffs. They have a way of hounding Mal to no end and makes it fun.

Oakland A's: I was disappointed with their play last year and a bit of a surprise. No surprises this year but you should see the minors and what is going to happen.

Vancouver Canadians: We have been waiting for the rebuild to push over the top. It is getting closer and closer. Soon, the A's and this team from up North will be fighting over the top spot I think.

So the final six should look like this:

1 - Montreal
2 - Little Rock
3 - Dover
4 - Anaheim
5 - Kansas City
6 - Baltimore/Toronto/Texas

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The "A" Deals So Far

First things first. The  Mets made their final transition early this morning. We got to thank Vick for keeping his grubby little paws off the waiver wire for once and putting a decent little lefty pitcher in the mix.

The Dodgers gave up on Neil Montague and I snagged him for one of those ailing youngsters in the pen.

Babe Hayes was also picked up as a better jack of all trades defensively. He can hit and field better though he seems to be weaker overall. Actually, he would be just as good with 10 points in his health or power. My AAA team will be better though, that is not saying much.

There must be one hell of a fight over Pablo Solano. I am wondering if he is actually worth it myself. It is a boon to other teams who don't seem to be taking much advantage of the cheap leftovers.

Wilt Pagan became the first type A to sign and did so quickly. Frisco saved $2M easily but did they get a decent return remains to be seen.

Wesley Hewson hit the money market next with a whopping $10M contract for two years. A good buy for Texas? Debatable.

Frisco seems to be playing money ball with picking up Vladimir Bennett. At least the contract is livable.

Larry Overbeck hit the ground running off to hide in Vancouver. Signing him for a third year may have been a cheaper and better idea. What is it with the need for good lefty closers?

Texas picked up Ralph Jackson as well for a lot less money mind you. Must have a real need for short relievers.

While the wait continues, Montreal must have given up on the big bidding war and sank a small fortune for Marc Redman.  Almost half price of his starting position. The Mets thank you by the way.

Johnnie Good made out like a fat rat picking up option money then going home to Milwaukee. He can hit but defensively he isn't much. Maybe he will play 1B or RF while drinking the suds down.

Zeke English makes his way to Boston as they pick up another cheap fallout signing. He could be a big help in Fenway.

Boston, being skinflintish also signed Arthur Donatello for another tour in a Red Sox uniform.

Yunel Mendez also got caught with his pants down with a meager contract in Toronto. Boots Rivera joined Yunel in the same cheap money feud as the Blue Jays must have gotten out of the race.

The Type "B's" made out like fat rats though I question the deal for Reagan Mathews. Marty must be sitting back stroking and hoping she is a beauty.

It took a few cycles but Arizona finally won out over me in the Kris Sisler war. I made them pay from the looks of things. I took my chances with a young  Alex Mesa on the sly, just wish his splits were better.

Funny, I don't remember Elrod Cedeno showing up on my list. Is that possible? I would have paid him that kind of money for two years.

Okay, I get the fact Bruce signed Hank Kennedy as he is a better 1B defensively. I think for a few grand less, Luis Perez would have been a better option.

Hey, if I could move Leo Rodney for a decent PC catcher and free up some money, I would make another grab off the FA market. There I go dreaming again, like I would actually trade my hero. Sentimental fool!

So, who is in the running for Solano? Too many teams not heard from in the FA wars.

Another New Season Underway

Yup, season 32 kicks into high gear. I have to laugh as there hasn't really been much to write about as of yet. I still like to hear you all gripe about coach hiring. I did too for a long time and so many changes but still a mess. I have a plan to fix it for the most part but is long and detailed. Basically it involves freezing coaches to the type they are and allow development within the organization but need to add the other type of coaches to the minors as well and not zoom the money concern at the same time.

The biggest gripe I have ever had was the Bench Coach at the ML level. A position every coach wants to be truthfully in real life but nothing more than a gopher for the most part here. Why spend more than the minimum on a guy that might coach five to ten games during a season at the ML level? The help section says he is about worthless at the ML level but important in the minors, so why pay a fortune on one. If I don't have an adequate guy in the minors or find one in the minors, I wait to near the end and find something rather cheap to throw in the slot.

Speaking of being near the end of the coach hiring cycle, I looked over what is available at the ML level. Some good cheap coaches available already. Makes me wish I didn't rehire my Bull Pen Coach as I could have made an upgrade for an extra 500K, oh well. I only allocated 10M for coaching and I got one of the best staffs I have had in years. I wondered where I was gonna find a 3B Coach, it took some effort as I found him wanting a BC job. Yeah, I had to overpay to get him at 3B but I think it was worth it.

I thought hiring coaches was going to be difficult but somehow I think allocated money dictates who looks for a new job sometimes. My returning BC wanted big bucks he didn't get and no one else wanted him either. So long, so! My Hitting Coach decided to look around, I met his offer and he took it right off the bat. Hey, he brings a lot of good attributes to the plate, puns intended. I do wonder if Loyalty plays a roll.

Marco Allen was jacking off in AA and I decided he would make the perfect BC. Not as disciplined as I like but can't have everything in a gopher, at least he has a good understanding of pitching.

If you ask me, the most important coach at the ML level is the FI and good ones are usually in short supply.

The bad part about coach hiring, if one is snagged for a BC job, he is going to take it no matter what. Has anybody tried to offer less money than their asking price for another position and they take it?

The Mets are still in a bit of flux as of yet. I am rather optimistic about our chances at the moment.  I am working on the defense aspect as I was dissatisfied with last years performance. Then again, some of it was my fault caused by an injury and wanting a bat in the lineup that didn't work out.  It may have caused a few losses but nothing to help get to the playoffs. We had 25 minus plays last year, most of those caused by the pitching staff, not much I can do about that. 98 errors could have been avoided and been in the low 80's easy enough. We led the league in passed balls, big deal as the offense generated overcame those.

I normally go with defensive catchers to help the pitchers be their best. Last year I had a tandem that are rather so-so defensively but together equal a good power hitter. Give and take I suppose.

I haven't actually decided on an actual lineup as of yet but pretty much have the starters down pat.

C - Terry Constanza and Chip Knepper. May not be the best defensive pair but together are a pretty nice hitting force.

1B - Leo Rodney. Age hasn't exactly been kind this year but it is the last year of his contract.

2B - Jim Conner. I am hoping he has a better season at the plate. I was rather surprised at his defense however.

3B - Brutus Mora or Jamie Beltre. I haven't made up my mind. Probably Beltre and Mora will play RF.

SS - Carlos DeSoto. Defensive minded and does a good job, just wish he could hit something with a bat other than the mascot. This where I got in trouble last year when Valentin went down with an injury.

LF - Paul Chiba. I acquired him in FA for this position as Ronny Gant  has lost the ability somewhat. This does present a problem however.

CF - Eric Wheat. He proved he could play the position after he was acquired in a trade late last season.

RF - Ronny Gant. He is penciled in at the position but there is little chance he will play there as he doesn't have the ability to play OF anymore in all reality. There is a good chance he will play 1B and Rodney offered for trade. I haven't made up my mind as of yet.

Darryl Palmer. He is left to play jack of all trades and on the hot seat if someone better shows up.

Pitching on the other hand is a myriad of  fielding incompetence. Their pitching isn't really all that much better most of the time and I just sit around shaking my head.

Harry Rodriguez. Can be good or lousy, not bad for a lefty though.

Matthew Ford. If he just had some better pitches his red hair wouldn't look so comical.

Nicholas Weaver. Better control would help but a better PC catcher could be the answer.

Rich Faulk. Should be the ace of the staff but bad luck always rears its ugly head.

Joaquin Romano. What can you say, he is at best a AAAA player with a short life span. Isn't exactly horrible though.

Fausto Castillo. We cringe anytime a lefty comes to the plate.

Brian Grim. Has been a stalwart in the pen.

Ubaldo Rijo. He isn't as bad as he looks. Do need an inning eater at times.

Alex Mesa. Acquired in FA just to prove the last guy isn't that bad.

Max Galarraga. Claimed off waivers, why? Your guess is a good as mine. Maybe we needed some one to roll the ball over the plate to fool the hitters. We hope he survives the season because he is cheap.

Fausto Candelaria. We are hoping he turns out to be the mid relief shut down guy.

Matt Wallace. We have hopes, he has dreams. Now if he doesn't trip over the rosin bag we will see what he has to offer.

Leon Clements. We really wanted to keep him the minors for another season but... We really needed another short guy in the pen.

F.P. Creek. He has lived in Sherm Brock's shadow long enough and Sherm was asking for too much to stay, ask Bruce.

There is a good chance that one or two of these guys will find their way back to the minors or the waiver wire before the season starts.