Friday, December 28, 2012


Cincinnati Red Light District (NL)
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LAST YEARS RECORD:99-63 (World Series Winner)

LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Red Light Districts finished short of the playoffs with 85 wins. It was not due to effort, Jeff was a trading fanatic during the regular season. In the end the tough competition in the NL East may have kept them from the post season. Cincinnati had a great pitching staff (3.82 ERA-7th) and a below average defense (.983 FPct). The STD in the Red Light District was the Hitting squad (.257 BA-25th). Thats gonna leave a rash! In the offseason Jeff re-signed Shep Hunt and lost O,Conner and James to free agency. Then he released Lima and Barker and traded away Franco,Diaz and Brea. To replace the talent pool ,Jeff signed free agents Hyun and Kerr. Then he traded for Perez,Mendez,Fernandez and Bonilla. Jeff likes trading so much, sometimes I think he's having a fire sale.LOL. But he always brings in good talent for every trade he makes. Right now this team is competative but don't be suprised if they make it to the playoffs. One thing I can predict with certainty. Jeff will pull off a couple big trades during season 20. Might just put the Red Light Districts over the top. PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Danys Mota , Nicholas Bevil , Chad Frazier , Mark Nen , Melky Barrios , Thom Gates

IN: Deivi Gabriel , Wayne Zerbe , Javier Flores , Richard Dupler , R.J. Roque

JEFFS PREVIEW: What a season!! Well like Mad said, my trades have paid off! After the midseason acquisation of Alex Cornelius I knew this was a good team. We still had to hold off San Juan and Burlington but we did.First time in 7 seasons someone other than those two had won the division. Now were going to have to change the goals to defending the title now. Only twice has a team repeated so were going to try to be #3. Melky Barrios was released,Nicholas Bevil decided for FA as did Danys Mota . It wouldnt be proper if there wernt some trades made. We needed another starter to replace Bevil so we went and got Richard Dupler to be our #3 in the rotation.We shuffled around a couple players, J.P. Mendez was moved to 3b, Kevin Leonard to Lf. Needing a 1b we traded Thom Gates for R.J. Roque. Still needing a Rf we signed Deivi Gabriel . To fill out the last position spot we signed utility man Javier Flores . We were in the Weston sweepstakes but lost out so we had to change gears.we then went after Wayne Zerbe to be a setup/long relief/spot starter. all in all I think this is a better team than last season. We should be better on offense this season,defense might take a step back but not to bad. We will have one of the best pitching staffs and that will carry us again. I hope its enough to repeat, well see. Prediction: 101-61 to take home 1st again
Out: Danys Mota ,Thom Gates , Chad Frazier , Nicholas Bevil
In: R.J. Roque , Javier Flores , Deivi Gabriel , Richard Dupler , Wayne Zerbe

PREVIEW: Over the top went the Red Light Districts all the way to the World Series Championship. I never predicted the post season success but Jeff did pull off several key trades to put his guys in good position to win it all. Like picking up Luther Rapp , Danys Mota , Horacio Mesa and Alex Cornelius early in the season, were key pieces in the playoff run. Last season Cincinatti won 99 games with the #1 pitching team (3.30 team ERA-1st) in Wrigleyville. The Red Light Districts also had average hitting (.264 team BA-17th) and above average defense (85 errors-11th). In the offseason Jeff re-signed Joseph Hyun , Horacio Mesa , Shep Hunt then let Mota, Bevil and Frazier go to free agency. He released Nen and Barrios and traded away Gates. Jeff had several holes to fill and he first signed free agents Gabriel, Zerbe and Flores. Then he traded for Dupler and Roque. Jeff upped his cap space and he ended up paying out 110 million compared to last years 73 million. Most of his increase in salaries was due to some big free agent signings. This team got better and that is scary, so they are going to be in the playoffs and should be a favorite to repeat.PREDICTION:98-64

Burlington Coat Factory (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Coat Factories finished exactly as predicted with a wild card berth to boot. Burlington has the #1 pitching team, again (2.82 ERA) and a good defense (.984 FPct). But like my team , Ehulls guys have a tough time scoring (700 runs-26th , .255 BA-25th). The Coat Factories breezed thru the first 2 rounds going 6-2 . But they came up against thier division foe in the NLCS and lost 4 games to 1 against the Crabbers. In the offseason Ehull let Hyun,Lim,Terry and Glauber go to free agency. He signed James to a huge contract that he will be paying for later. The Coat Factories are a very good team that just picked up a nice young free agent SS/3rd. James should make this team better and Ehull will have him play at the hot corner. The Pitching will always be the Star, but now with a 5 tool player added to the mix. Burlington can win this division and make it to the Series and are my pick to win it all. PREDICTION: 107-55

OUT: Vasco Morales , Rico Trevino , Apollo West , Javier Flores , Albert Howard

IN: Fonzie Bittle , Cristobal Fernandez

PREVIEW: My appologies Ehull I threw the jinx on your Coat Factories when I picked them to win the World Series. But at least one of your division mates won it! Last year the Burlington won 95 games and were the #5 seed in the playoffs and made it to the second round where they lost to the tough Kickapoos. This team suffered a power outage with the 28th ranked hitting team last year(.253 team BA). They did however continued thier pitching dominance with the #2 ranked pitching staff (3.31 team ERA) and the defense was very good also (76 errors-6th). In the offseason Ehull let Morales, Trevino, West and Flores go to free agency and released Howard. With only a few coat hangers empty, Ehull signed free agent Bittle and promoted Fernandez.Even though the Coat Factories failed to bring me World Series Prediction Glory(It's all about Me LOL). I still like thier fit and they will give the Red Light Districts all that they can handle.Ehulls Burlington team will make the playoffs and be a tough foe in the post-season.PREDICTION:97-65

San Juan
San Juan Santurce Crabbers (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: What aya know....My Series pick actually won it. I can't take too much credit though, Rbedwells Crabbers were a stout team and the odds were in my favor. The World Champion San Juan Santurce Crabbers won 105 games in the regular season with the 5th ranked offense (.276 BA) , 3rd ranked pitching staff (3.50 ERA) and the 22nd ranked defense (.983 FPct with 108 errors). Ralph's Cangrejeros de Santurce went into the post season with a first bye and dominated the playoffs with Eleven wins to only one loss. Muy Bueno!! In the offseason Ralph re-signed Duke Krivda , Fonzie Bittle and Hi Shea then he let Tartabull,Trevino and Castillo go to free agency. He brought in free agent Fernandez keeping to his pitching tandem philosophy. Ralph will continue to win with this unconvetional wisdom. It's easier and cheaper to have several so called long relief guys pitching in tandem, than a couple of high pitch count Aces. Ralphs philosophy is sound and he won it all last year. Look for the Crabbers to battle the Coat Factories for the division and go deep in the playoffs.PREDICTION:103-59

OUT: Enrique Pimentel , Fonzie Bittle , Gene Weston , Pascual Vargas , Erubiel Espinosa , Keith Keppinger , Che Cho , Turk Wallace

IN: Doc Hampton , Ben Borland , Javier Manzanillo , Ernest Truman , Hersh Paul , David Bocachica

RALPHS PREVIEW: The San Juan Santurce Crabbers ‘ office is located in the unlikeliest of places, an abandoned slaughterhouse in the neighborhood of La Perla, surrounded by the discordant combination of slum housing and one of the island’s finest ocean views.

“They built this out here, outside the old city walls – the old city walls, you know, back when cities had walls to keep out pirates and robbers and shit – ‘cause who wants to live next to a slaughterhouse? Next to a goddamn slaughterhouse?” explained Crabbers’ G.M. Ralph Bedwell before taking a swig from a battered, amber colored bottle. “Then this neighborhood sprung up around it for the workers, and of course they didn’t pay those poor bastards much at all, not much at all, because they were doing the shit work, you know? The shit work. So it became a slum, a goddamned garbage in the streets, cardboard-walled slum. Million dollar views, though…”

Bedwell continued, anticipating the question of this puzzled reporter. “Why are the Crabbers’ offices out here? Why La Perla? Ah, my friend, this is where you can get the best cañita'! The BEST cañita'! The local moonshine, if ya don’t know, moonshine, 160 proof, the finest on the planet!” Bedwell, an imposing man of at least 6’3” and 250 pounds, then showed incongruously light feet while dancing the first steps of the Bomba, a traditional Puerto Rican dance.

“Want some, friend?” he asked, taking another long swig from the bottle. Yellow rivulets of cañita' overflowed his chapped lips, then settled in his salt-and-pepper beard, gleaming in the streaming light like amber.

“Uh, no thanks, I’m good,” I stammered, while wondering how this guy was still standing.

“Another reason we’re in La Perla is to cut down on the number of visits we get.” Bedwell laughingly said in his booming voice, chortling loudly while stumbling backwards, almost banging his head on a low-slung beam. “If ya hang out here buggin’ me for too long it’ll get dark, and ya know what might happen then… the las’ three reporters leavin’ here after dark didn’t make it outta the neighborhood with their cars and money. Hell, the last one didn’t even have his pants by the time he hightailed it back to San Juan!” Bedwell seemed to think this was the best joke ever, and laughing so hard that he stumbled on drunken legs across his large desk, falling hard to the floor behind it, still chuckling. But he stood up with surprising nimbleness, taking another swig.

“So you wanna know ‘bout the Crabbers, huh? Not much t’tell, my man, not much t’tell. We’re screwed and it’s our own fault, our own fault.” His penchant for repeating phrases was starting to annoy me. “We’re in transition, if you want me to sound more GMish. We got into salary cap hell and our best players ain’t what they were – age, hard livin’, all that shit.” Bedwell suddenly looked glum and took his longest draught yet from the amber-colored bottle. “Really, it’s all the G.M’s fault, and I’d fire his ass in a minute if he wasn’t me! Fire his ass!” Bedwell laughed again at his own joke. “We signed too many longtermers and didn’t have enough to resign Weston and the others, so we ain’t a championship team no more, not no more, nohow. So we gotta rebuild. Trouble is, none of these other bastard teams want any of these geriatrics for more’n a pot to piss in,” Bedwell continued. “Not even Parra, Mr. MVP, not even Parra. Guess I don’t blame ‘em.”

What’s your strategy and outlook for this year, I asked. He replied, “Just gonna hang, play .500 ball, try to keep ticket sales up with promos like Urban Fiesta Night, everyone with a bottle gets in half price, and all that. Gotta see about hiring some more scouts to rebuild, but that takes time in this game with these stupid rules they got. If I wasn’t on the ‘No Fly’ list, I’d book it to Cincy and get some things changed, you bet, but they is what they is. You sure you don’t wanna drink? This stuff is the shit, man! The shit!” Bedwell waved the chipped bottle in front of my face while weaving forward on unsteady legs. I noticed that his speech was beginning to slur. When I waved off his offer, he took another drink himself.

Well, I said, thanks for the interview, but I have another appointment in town. Actually, I didn’t have anywhere to go except for the trendy bar in my hotel, but I noticed the sun beginning to touch the horizon in the distance. I grabbed an empty bottle from the floor, just in case I might need it, then ran to my rented Toyota Camry, jumped in, and floored it.

PREVIEW: Even tho Ralphs Island Guys finished 11 games below my prediction, they still made the playoffs as the #6 seed. San Juan met up with the eventual champs in the second round and lost a tough game 5. Last year the Santurce Crabbers Had average hitting (.268 team BA-14th), and good pitching (4.08 team ERA-10th) and defense (86 errors-10th). In the offseason Ralph let Pimentel, Bittle, Weston , Vargas and Espinosa go to free agency. Then he traded away Cho and waived Wallace. Ralph had several gaps in the lineup so he claimed Hampton and Borland off the waiver wire. Then he signed free agents Manzanillo and Truman and picked up Paul and Bocachica in the R-5 draft. While this was not a firesale so to speak, Ralph has started a re-build of his team. He lowered his overall salaries by 20+ million and picked up many comp draft picks. Look for the Santurce Crabbers to ride out the season and pick up juicy prospects.PREDICTION:70-92


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Wheres the Noose?? I want to hang myself after predicting a 90 win season for the Moose. This is the reason why I'm waiting until the season starts. I guessed rugby would promote all his tasty prospects and that they would play well. That didn't happen so the Moose played out the season with lousey hitting (.249 BA-30th) and below average pitching (4.79 ERA-23rd). The defense was average at best (.983 FPct-20th) and could also use improvement. In the offseason Rugby re-signed Mike Malloy , Curtis Hutchinson , Carlos Maduro , Eric Howell and let Herrera,Hujimoto,Wagner and Stern go to free agency. Then he released Warner and traded away Fernandez. Rugby filled the holes first by signing free agent Graham and promoting Brantley. Then he grabbed Martin and Jang in the R-5 and traded for Diaz. The addition of Brantley and Diaz will help the offensive woes but I'm still concerned about Jair Arias playing in Center Field. His glove is no where near the minimum 85 and that can tax a team. I like the Moose and perhaps they will suprise us, But right now they will do well to reach .500. PREDICTION:78-84

OUT: Mike Malloy , Russ Dietz , Carlos Maduro , Casey Graham , Wallace Hartman , Donnie Witt

IN: Mac Fujiwara , Jair Olmeda , Raul Tavarez

RUGBY's PREVIEW:  Last season was a major disappointment for the Moose,I'm still not sure what happened. I really thought the offense was good enough to keep us in contention and planned to try to pick up some late season pitching help or maybe rush a promising youngster.When we were so far out it made more sense to leave the kids down on the farm. Then a lot of the extra money i had squirreled away for a top IFA or trade went unused as there was no one left I wanted to spend $ on,kinda outsmarted myself. I do have some really promising prospects in AAA and will start bringing them up after the 25 game mark in the season to help save an arb year. I think that is the right time to do that.The best hitter in my system is Ronald Carter whose best position is DH, moved him from C to 1B and may try to live with his range of two steps to keep his bat in the lineup or trade him to an Al team if a potential ace SP can be gotten in return.Anyway, thanks for all the work you do, it really makes this league the best one I'm in. Look for the Moose to start our comeback this year and be among back in the playoffs maybe by the end of this season and at least by next.

PREVIEW: Bad news...The Moose had a real bad year. The Good news... You can't hang me twice. I didn't think the Rugbys bunch would reach .500, but I never thought they would win only 56 games.Looks like a rebuild to me. In the offseason rugby let Malloy, Dietz, Maduro, Graham and Hartman go to free agency and released Witt. with just a couple of spots open, Rugby promoted Fujiwara and picked up Olmeda and Tavarez in the R-5 draft. One thing that struck me was that none of the players on the OUT list were not picked up by any other team. They were NOT good , and we knew it.Syracuse has one of the lowest overall payroll at 28.7 million. They have a ton of money for IFA's if Rugby chooses to go that route. Look for The moose to pick up some prospects and finish near the bottom again.PREDICTION:65-97


Pittsburgh Pirates (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: ARRRGGGHH!! The Pirates played like barnacle incrusted clams last year, finishing with only 71 wins. Far below my lofty prediction of 83 wins. I thought with some good FA signing the Pirates were ready to Rape,Pillage and Plunder. But they were scuttled early by below average hitting (.257 BA-21st) and pitching (4.88 ERA-26th). Ardthomp did improve his defensive squad with .984 FPct and 101 errors. This was an improvement over season 18's .982 FPct and 113 errors. In the offseason Ardthomp re-signed Karim Paniagua and let Durazo,Lewis,Evers and Wright go to free agency. Then he released Martin outright. To fill in the gaps, Ardthomp signed free agents Stern and Middlebrook and promoted Molina,Clark and Flores. Ardthomp knows how to play this game and he made some moves to get this team on the right track. Them Pirates will be pillaging at a location near you!PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Javier Manzanillo , Hal Middlebrook , Delanor Meacham , Josh Parker , Will Schoendienst

IN: Hector Padilla , Clarence Christiansen , Todd Flores , Roy Cousins , Luis Rodriguez

ARDTHOMPS PREVIEW: After seven seasons of missing the playoffs,the Pirates finished off a great comeback in the AL East Division and captured the division pennant. They will be looking to build upon this playoff appearance and decided that minor changes are the best way to continue their success.On offense, rookie Todd Flores will be looked upon to provide some power with his bat. He, along with Carlos Gomez and Vic Flores, could make this a top notch power lineup in the AL.Defensively, the Pirates called up rookie defensive whiz Roy Cousins. Cousins will be learning the ropes from veteran SS, Freddy Stahoviak, though Cousins may end up moving over to 3B before it is all said and done.On pitching, Pittsburg brought back their starting rotation from last season and added 8 time All-Star Hector Padilla and 5 time All-Star Luis Rodriguez to the staff to help tighten down the bullpen.The Pirates expect another playoff run, so anything less than that will be seen as a major disappointment and a fire sale could be the outcome.

PREVIEW: Ardthomp busted off the barnacles last year and got his Pirates sailing in the right direction. They broadsided the AL East and won the division by edging out the Wingdings with 85 wins. In the post-season Pittsburgh slipped by the Salmonbellies, then lost to the scurvey P-Dogs in the DCS. Last year the Pirates had very good pitching (3.92 team ERA-6th) and below average hitting (.256 team BA-25th) and defense (109 errors-23rd). In the offseason Ard re-signed Karim Paniagua and  Julian Stern then let Manzanillo, Middlebrook, Meacham and Parker go to free agency. He traded Schoendienst to Trenton to finish cleaning out the Ship. The Pirates need a few Scurvey Dogs so they signed free agents Padilla and Christiansen. Then Flores and Cousins were promoted from the poop deck and Rodriguez was shanghaied in a trade. The Pirates pitching got some help with the addition of Padilla, Christiansen and Rodriguez. If they pitch to thier potential, the Pirates may celebrate another division champion-ship. And Pirates love ships!!PREDICTION: 88-74

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. Wingdings (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Hartford Crushers replaced their longtime owner ARomano with taz21 midway thru last year. Aromano is a friend and he will be missed by Wrigleyville. Taz did a great job filling in and handed the reins over to Goldenbaer88 who outbid many other worthy canidates. This team was moved to Washington D C to be closer to Goldenbaers Digs and his favorite Tittie bars. Last year this team had the 3rd best hitting team (.282 BA) but one of the worst fielding squads( .982 FPct-28th). And stuck in the middle was the average pitching staff (4.53 ERA-17th) . Goldenbaer will have some work to do in the offseason so first he let Lieber,Hull,Graham and Flores go to free agency. Then he traded away Bonilla and waived Sosa. Goldenbaer promoted Pena,Harris and Wieters and traded for Brea,West and Sabel. We knew it was just a matter of time before Goldenbaer tapped the talent in the farm system. With the promotions and players brought in thru trades, this team is stout. But they are young with 11 players under 27. This team should win the division but don't be suprised if they stumble in the post season.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Tony Pena , Bennie Davis , Denny McCormick , Rob Stults , Tito Brea

IN: Marv Trombley , Cristobal Beltran , Julio Johnson

PREVIEW: The Wingdings did not win the division as I predicted, sorry for the Jinx Goldenbaer. They did however win 83 games and finished the year strong by winning 8 out of the final 10 games. Last year Washington was the #2 offense in Wrigleyville hitting .281 as a team. The pitching (5.00 team ERA-29th) was bad and the defense (105 errors-21st) was below average. In the offseason Goldenbaer re-signed Felix Ramirez , Kenny Byrne then let Pena, Davis and McCormick go to free agency. And he traded away Stults and waived Brea. Goldenbaer has only a few roster spots open ,so he first signed free agent Trombley. Then he traded for Beltran and Johnson. Looks like Goldenbaer diagnosed last years weakness and brought in some arms. The three pitchers should get the Wing Dings out of the basement in overall pitching ERA. Thats why they will battle for the division title and have a good shot at the post-season.PREDICTION:90-72


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: It's another sub-500 season for the Knights. The Knights have always been good at swinging their Swords and last year was no different. With the 7th ranked hitting team ( .275 BA) and a average defense (.984 FPct-15th). Boston was betrayed by the worst pitching staff (5.50 ERA-32nd) in Wrigleyville. In the offseason Avantrael let Lilly,Valdez znd Calvo go to free agency. Then he released White and traded away Perez.With only a few roster spots open, Avantrael signed free agents Jennings, Lieber and promoted Delgado. He then traded for Quinn to complete the roster. The pitching is still the problem and until Avantrael addresses this.....The sun will set on the Knights early in season 20. PREDICTION:75-87

OUT: Sidney Tresh , Quinn Collins


The Knights won 70 games last year, 5 games below my prediction. Boston had the worst pitching team last year with a team ERA of 5.47 . The hitting (.264 team BA-18th) and defense (97 errors-16th) was about average. In the offseason Avantrael let Tresh and Collins go to free agency and this was the only offseason moves.I took a longer look at this team because...well...I didn't see much change in the offseason. I noticed the pitchers weren't really as bad as thier 5.47 ERA. They also are getting no help with Mule Bennett and Petey Lieber at Centerfield. I found some other things I might change, but a really Rangy CF would help the pitchers out immensly. The Knights will not be riding into the post-season with this roster.PREDICTION:72-90

Louisville Howlers (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: This was a easy prediction seeing how the Howlers are in a Re-build. The Howlers defense was suprisingly good with a FPct of .985 and only 91 errors. The real story here are the players picked up in the draft like Sam Price  and the lack of any noteable IFA signings by the Howlers. It was tough to land a big IFA with all the cash being handed out in the IFA market. In the offseason Jmuhtoff re-signed Lyle Ruffin and let Vazquez,Corez,Hamilton,Moreno,Goodwin,Walton and Lemon. Then he released Millard and Tobin to complete the house cleaning. Jmuhtoff needs alot of players to replace the departed , so he first spent over 34 million on free agents Castro,Cirillo,Krueter,Lim and Elder. Then he promoted Bonilla and Lecuona and picked up Diaz in the R-5. Finally he traded for Perez and claimed Sosa and Maranon off the waiver wire. Whew!! that was some house cleaning. Gentlemen let me introduce the new look Howlers. They are a combination of good free agents with some juicy youngsters.They may be the most improved team from last year and could hit the .500 mark. Next year will be even better after some of the kids are cooked.  PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Ross Griffin , Chris Sosa , Cedrick Meyers , Coco West

IN:  Bob Neugebauer , Esteban Campos , Gene Weston , Glen Swann , Denny McCormick , Cesar Morales , Bruce Burrell

PREVIEW: Looks like it may take a little more cooking time for the new Howlers. Louisville won only 68 games last year with average hitting (.267 team ERA-15th).bad pitching (4.99 team ERA-28th) and below average defense (108 errors-24th). In the offseason Jmuhtoff re-signed Robin Cirillo and  Randy Lowell then let Griffin, Sosa and Meyers go to free agency. He then traded away West to bring in Neugebauer. With some holes to plug, Jmuhtoff claimed Campos off the wire and signed free agents Weston, Swann, McCormick and Morales. Then he promoted Burrell to finish out this years roster.Last year I predicted the Howlers would be the most improved team....That didn't turnout to be true. Pitching and Defense were the downfall of last years team. Weston and Morales should help, But I will wait and see if this collection of talented players, play like they should. PREDICTION:80-82


Fargo Prairie Dogs (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Well it was a down year for Aarons P-Dogs. I predicted a tough fight for the division, and it was. But my prediction of a playoff berth, failed to take into account the A L West's wild card domination. Fargos 83 win season was a step back. But 6 strait division crowns was a nice run for the P-Dogs. Last year Aarons pups were powered by a strong Offense (.275 BA-6th) and average Defense (.983FPct-19th). The mangy pitching staff (4.72 ERA-22nd) was Fargos weakness last year and may need some work in the offseason. Aaron re-signed Vic Chavez and let Paulino test the free agent market. Then he traded away O'Donnell and Pence. To fill the holes, Aaron claimed Quantrill off the waiver wire and signed free agents White,Tenbrink,Taguchi and Pineda. Looks like Aaron is trying to fix his pitching problem by bringing in the trio of White,Tenbrink and Taguchi. And getting Quantrill off the wire is a good a cheap way to get better. But can Aaron keep the pups from wandering out on the Highway? Last year they got injured alot and it kind of hurt them. If they stay healthy, Fargo has a chance to be back in the post season.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Ryne Bryant , Herman White , Hub Taguchi , Carlton Sheets , Ben Borland

IN: Enrique Pimentel , Woody Sullivan , Harry Megias

PREVIEW: Who let the DOGS OUT!!! Whoof!! The Prairie Dogs won the division with 93 wins and went into the playoffs with the #2 defensive team (70 errors) and the #4 hitting team (.276 team BA). Throw in a average pitching staff (4.23 team ERA-13th) and you have last years A L Champs. They played against the N L Champs In the World Series, but couldn't overcome the tough Red Light Districts. Still a very good year for Fargo and Aaronwayne.Congrats! In the offseason Aaron re-signed Edgar Ordonez and let Bryant, White and Taguchi go to free agency. He traded away Sheets and waived Borland. With only a couple holes to fill the Prairie Dogs signed free agent Pimentel and traded for Sullivan and Megias. Sullivan was a defensive upgrade and Pimentel and Megias was brought in to cover the loss of some pitching. This is a very good team and I like them to win the division or at least grab a wildcard.PREDICTION:95-67

Minnesota Misfits (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: There was no upside last year for the Misfits. They finished with a disappointing 68 win season. Pbsilvers good defense (.985 FPct-11th) and hitting (.273 BA10th) couldn't overcome a poor pitching staff (4.87 ERA-25th). In the offseason Pbsilver let Phillips,Bonilla and Quantrill go to free agency and released Coleman and Lopez. With just a few gaps to plug, Pbsilver signed free agents Cruz and Bragg. Then he promoted Dingman and picked up Mullins in the R-5. The 2 pitchers bought in free agency should help the pitching staff. But this team is a long way off from competeing. PREDICTION: 73-89

OUT: Pedro DeLeon , Jon Edwards , Tony Silva , Rheal Scott , Frank Vanguri , Charlie Forster , Doc Hampton

IN: Keith Aurilia , Randy Rogers , Robb Holder , Kirk Tomko , Trent Wise , Hong-Chih Tamura

PBSILVERS PREVIEW: Even though my team did a bit better than expected last season, I did some retooling. Brought up Mark Carter and Jimmie Pena at the end of last season,Traded Frank Vanguri for Hong Chi Tamura to shed some salary, picked up Keith Aurilia in the Rule 5. For pitching, traded for Randy Rogers, Robb Holder, Kirk Tomko and Trent Wise. Left me with pretty bare cupboards, but let's see if this helps.

PREVIEW: Pbsilver got his guys to win 79 games last year mainly on the backs of his batters (.272 team BA-8th). The pitching (4.82 team ERA-25th) and defense (108 errors-18th) were the drag on Minnesotas season. In the offseason Pbsilver let DeLeon go to free agency and he released Edwards and Silva. Then he traded away Scott and Vanguri and waived Forster and Hampton. Now Pbsilver had several gaps in the lineup so he picked up Aurilia in the R-5. Then he traded for Rogers, Holder, Tomko, Wise and Tamura. Give Pbsilver credit. He knew pitching was his weakness and he brought in alot of pitching talent with his trades. This should make the Misfits a contender in the AL North. PREDICTION:89-73

New Britain
New Britain Bruins (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: New Britain squeaked by the P-Dogs for the division crown. Dodgers guys won 85 games with Defense (.986 FPct-4th) and Pitching (4.20 ERA-12th). The Offense lagged behind with a .262 BA, 18th overall in Wrigleyville. In the post season the Bruins lost in the first round to a very tough Salem team 2 games to 3. In the offseason Dodgersgale re-signed John Daniels , Vic Martin , Benjamin Taylor , Chet Brohawn and let Hausmann,Whitehill and Arias go to free agency. Then he released Nen and Goodwin into the free agent pool. With only one spot to fill he signed free agent Tobin to help out in the pen. The Bruins have some young superstars in waiting. Will this year be the year that they have breakthru seasons?? If they do we are in touble.PREDICTION:92-70

OUT: Vic Martin , Phil Satou , Benjamin Taylor , Del Bonilla , Chet Brohawn , John Daniels , D'Angelo Solano , Deivi Gabriel , Miguel Sanchez

IN: Jeremy George , Artie Garland , Yorman Velazquez , Saul Valbuena , Brandon Robinson , Phillip Rhodes , Mo Andrelczyk

DODGERSGALES PREVIEW: The Bruins had an off year due to lack of run production.The pitching staff was among one of the best in the league, led by Miguel Blanco. The offense only averaged 4.5 rpg, and to fix that situation, the team will build around young superstars Hipolito Maduro,and Ardolis Guerra. They revamped their outfield by trading for Mo Andrelczyk (cf) and Phillip Rhodes (lf). Jeremy George was acquired via free agency to play shortstop, which allowed Orber Dotel to move to third,and Willie Burgess to move to right field. The total impact of the moves will be a more solid defense, and a tremendously improved (and potentially lethal) offense. The Bruins scored 725 runs, while allowing 754 with a w/l of 78-84.Expect a much different output. The Bruins will score 810 runs, while only allowing 720. That is a difference of 90 runs (9 wins) for a record of 90-72, which should be good enough for second place in the division but no playoff spot.

PREVIEW: Looks like the wait will be a little longer before the Bruins bust out.They won 78 games last year way below my prediction of 92. Last season New Britain had good defense (82 errors-9th), hitting (.270 team BA-12th) with average pitching (4.41 team ERA-18th). In the offseason Dodger let Martin, Satou, Taylor, Bonilla, Brohawn, Daniels go to free agency. Then he released Solano and Gabriel and traded Sanchez.Now with a couple holes to plug, Dodgers signed free agent George and picked up Garland, Velazquez, Valbuena and Robinson in the R-5. Then he traded for Rhodes and Andrelczyk. The Bruins have some very good young players at the ML level. In fact the Bruins have the 3rd youngest team in Wrigleyville ( average of 27.5 years old). And he has more talent in AAA ready to be called up. Looks like he filled the holes with R-5's until the magic 20 game mark. Then perhaps this team gets even younger. Right now they have the talent to win 90+ games, But will they play like it?? I think they will suprise us. PREDICTION:88-74

Chicago Black Sox (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Maybe the coaching was the cause of the 75 win Black Sox season. Maybe I put to much emphasis on coaching, we all have our philosophies. Regardless, last years Black Sox had terrible Pitching (5.02 ERA-28th) and below average Defense (.982 FPct-25th). The only bright spot was the average Hitting (.264 BA-17th). In the offseason Dullaghan let Flores and Dodd go to free agency, then released Milligan,Hyzdu and Choi. To fill the gaps Dullaghan signed free agents Tartabull and Wilson. Finally he promoted Yoshi,Stargell,Davis and Montgomery. The signing of Tartabull and the promotion of Davis and Montgomery will help the pitching problem. He promoted Stargell and Yoshi to shore up the defense but they are playing out of position.Stargell doesn't have the range to play 2nd base while Yoshi would make a good 2nd baseman. Chicago is heading in the right direction and could top .500 this year. PREDICTION:82-80

OUT: Chris Dawley , B.C. Palacios , Rafael Sanchez

IN: Danys Mota

PREVIEW: The Blacksox were still in the red last year with 76 wins. They hit the ball really well with a team Batting Average of .274 which was ranked 6th overall. The pitching (5.18 team ERA-30th)  and defense (130 errors-30th) were very near the bottom and thats never good. In the offseason Hacker let Dawley and Palacios go to free agency and released Sanchez. with just a few holes in the lineup, Hacker signed free agent Mota to a nice juicy contract. Chicago has the 5th ranked average salary per player at 4.2 Mil per. Like my high priced Totems, I'm sure Hacker will want a return on his money spent. They will continue to try and outhit thier opponents to win. So if the pitchers get hot also the Blacksox will make the post-season. But that is unlikely right now they are a .500 team or below.PREDICTION: 79-83


Madison Muskellunges (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: I was right about a division championship for Madison. But I was overly optimistic in my prediction of 91 wins. Good thing Daddio plays in the weak N L North. The Muskies won 84 games with good hitting (.275 BA-8th) average pitching (4.24 ERA-13th) and good defense (.984 FPct-12th). In the playoffs the Muskies were beaten by a tough Burlington team 3 Games to 1. In the offseason Daddio let K Martin and Cruz go to free agency then he released C Martin. He traded Sabel and West to Washington for prospects. With just a few roster spots to fill, Daddio traded for Torres. Madison still has a open roster spot to fill and perhaps Daddio will promote one of the prospects he aquired. Even without the promotion , the Muskelunges have alot of talent and it's just a matter of time before they go on a roll in the post season. They should win this division easily. PREDICTION:93-69

OUT: Bobby Garland , David Cerda , Eswalin Canseco , Harry Megias , Kirk Tomko , Phillip Rhodes

IN: Danny Barker , Carlton Sheets , Esteban Guzman

PREVIEW: The Muskies did win the division but it wasn't easy. With the resurgence of Milwaukee,Chicago and Trenton this division isn't a cake walk anymore. Daddios team won 91 games last year and went into the playoffs as a #3 seed, but were suprised in the first round by the always dangerous Santurce Crabbers. Last year Madison had good pitching (4.10 team ERA-11th), hitting (.272 team BA-9th) and defensive team (80 errors-8th). Dats good!! In the offseason Daddio let Garland, Cerda, Canseco and Tomko go to free agency. Then he traded away Megias, Tomko and Rhodes. With only a couple spots open on the roster, Daddio promoted Barker and traded for Sheets and Guzman. The Muskies are still the one to beat in the N L North, but like I said earlier ,It won't be easy. This is no longer a weak division and they may have to settle for a wildcard berth.PREDICTION:92-70

Milwaukee Sturgeon (NL)
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Chicago Bleacher Bums (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: I blew this prediction. The Bleacher Bums took a step back to 67 wins last year. Perhaps it was the decline of the Hitting (.258 BA-26th) which used to be pretty good. The Pitching (5.00 ERA-27th) is still near the bottom but the defense (.985 FPct-10th) made some gains. So not is all lost! In the offseason Hshack let Ransom,Rodriguez,Roundtree,Goldman,Hamilton and Castro go to free agency. Hshack has half his team gone so he needs many,many players.He signed free agents Wright,Goodwin,Clark,Long,Hayes,Flores,George,Crane,Evers and Tollberg. Finally he grabbed Terrero in the R-5 draft. When I look at this team I keep thinking of the Oakland Athletics. The Bleacher Bums are a collection of so called roll players that have some very good abilities and some not so good. The trick will be to put them in the right position to play like a team. If Hshack can do this, he may have something here. Good Luck Chicago .PREDICTION:79-83

OUT: Dan Evers , Cesar Morales , Jeremy George

IN: Bob Hines , Geovany Johnson , Freddie Henry

PREVIEW: The Bleacher Bums finished just about as predicted with 80 wins. I was hoping they would do better, but Hshack is still putting this team together and they are an improvment on the past. They almost made the magic .500 with below average pitching (4.66 team ERA-23rd) and average defense (104 errors-19th). Imagine how much better they would have finished with some more hitting (.255 team BA-26th). I've asked myself that with my own team. In the offseason Hshack let Evers, Morales and George go to free agency. With only a few holes to fill, Hshack signed free agent Hines and picked up Johnson and Henry in the R-5 draft. I look at this M L roster and there are many good players on it. And they have as good of chance as any team in the NL North. PREDICTION: 84-78


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Yep, The Toyotas failed to backup season 18's 93 win season. Trenton won only 69 games last year with terrible Hitting (.250 BA-28th) , a below average Defense (.982 FPct-23rd) , and below average Pitching (4.68 ERA-22nd). In the offseason Sandberg re-signed Alberto Ramirez , Arthur Griffiths , Jeff Terry , Nick McConnell and let Merced,Finley and Clark go to free agency. Then he waived Quantrill and he was claimed by the P-Dogs. Sandberg has some holes to fill so he signed free agents Nichols,Megias and Veras. History points toward a winning season but I'm not convinced. Predicting a Toyota season is like trying to catch a greased pig. Just when you think you've got end up with mud in your face. I'll play it safe and predict.........More Mudd.PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: J.B. Battle , Ben Davis , Antonio Huang , Danys Megias , Luis Rodriguez , Trent Wise , R.J. Roque

IN: Apollo West , Chip Greer , Taylor Towers , Charlie Wyatt , Pedro Lee , Zoltan Dellucci , Will Schoendienst , Rheal Scott , Thom Gates

PREVIEW: What do you know Sandberg took pity on my poor mudd covered face. The Toyotas finished near my prediction. Which has never been said before. Tenton won 80 games with a improved pitching staff (3.96 team ERA-7th). The hitting (.259 team BA-22nd) and defense (.983 FPct-16th) was about the same. In the offseason Sandberg re-signed Leo Charles , Jeff Terry , Alberto Ramirez , Alex Elcano and let Battle, Davis and Huang go to free agency. He released Megias and traded away Rodriguez, Wise and Roque. to replace the talent lost, Sandberg signed free agent West then promoted Greer, Towers, Wyatt and Lee. He picked up Dellucci in the R-5 draft and traded for Schoendienst, Scott and Gates. Sandberg has brought back West to finish his career as a Toyota and also promoted several nice prospects. Then he finished with several trades that sent and brought in talent. At the risk of a face full of Mudd I will predict a better year for Trenton.PREDICTION: 89-73

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Charleston Tobacco Farmers (AL)
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When the music stopped last year. The Tabaky Farmers won the tie breaker against Memphis. That put Charleston in the playoffs with 82 wins and a 3rd division crown.Charlestons long balls powered this team with 234 taters(5th best) but they were 23rd in overall hits (1469) ,Curious? The hole in the Tabaky Farmers game is defense. They were ranked 26th overall with a FPct of .982.This doomed them in the playoffs when they met the Moonbats with the #1 ranked offense. In the offseason Charleston re-signed William Tabaka , then let George,Calles,Caufield,Ordonez and Phillips go to free agency. Franco and Velazquez were released outright to complete the purge. With several holes to fill Nwsheehy signed free agents Scanlan, Gil, Martin and Gandarillas. Then he promoted Marmol, Bailey, Cervelli and grabbed Wallace and Span in the R-5. While the 3 prospect promotions will help out the Tabaky Farmers in the long run. They still haven't fixed their defensive problem. The Tabaky Farmers will try to outscore their opponents again this year. PREDICTION:84-78

OUT: Stretch Daly , Raul Iglesias , Luis Gil , Sandy Hiatt , Enrique Mangual , Ivan Cortes

IN: Miguel Martis , Chris Taylor , Sean Beckett , Oswaldo Tabata

PREVIEW: The Tabaky Farmers were a sub .500 division winner. But hey! Thats worth a $4.00 credit. Then Nwsheehy went into the playoffs and were swept by the Cobras. Charleston is a good hitting team with a team average of .271(11th). But the team ERA of 5.19(31st)  and the123 team errors(28th) let them down. In the off-season Nwsheehy re-signed Andre Scanlan . Then he let Daly, Iglesias, Gil, Hiatt and Mangual go to free agency and released Cortes outright. With just a few spots to fill Nwsheehy signed free agents Martis, Taylor and Beckett and picked up Tabata in the R-5. The addition of Martis will help the defense alot and The Tabaky Farmers still have 10 million left in the cap budget. They will be around .500 or better so they may still win the division. But the other teams have improved also and it will take more than a .500 record to win this division. PREDICTION:85-77

Charlotte Sometimes (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Sometimes you feel like a nut,sometimes you don't. Well I feel like a nut after I predicted a .500 season for Charlotte. Hattons young team had improved every season till last year. Hattons pitching(5.03 ERA- 29th) was the big culprit in his 101 loss season.The hitting ( .286 BA-14th) and defense (.984 FPct-16th) was average so its not all bad for Charlotte. In the offseason Hatton let Malone, Catalanotto and Kerr go to free agency. He released Quixote,Hendrick,Hunt and Lopez, then traded away Lima,Byrdak and May. With many holes to fill Hatton brought in free agents Caseres,Stankiewicz,Riggs and Rodriguez. He then promoted Glynn,Chang,Janish,Valdes and picked up Figureoa in the R-5.I like the direction the Sometimes are going this offseason. Bringing up some young talent while keeping salaries low.This team could be good in a few years, but for now they will do well to hit even steven.PREDICTION:70-92

OUT: Emmanuel Caseres , Pablo Aramboles , Tony Rosado , Sean Beckett , Benny Wainhouse , Buck Jodie , Rickey Tucker

IN: Ross Griffin , Albert Mendoza , Mark Brock , Chris Sosa , Grant LaRocca , Antonio Huang , David Cerda , Buddy Koloff , Louis Ramirez , Arthur Tolar

PREVIEW: Like I said in last years preview. This team will be good in a few years just not yet. The Sometimes are still cooking them prospects and perhaps they will be ready to serve soon. The Sometimes won 13 more games than last season with 4th best defense (75 team errors) and average hitting (.262 team BA). Hattons Hurlers were the 7th worst pitching team(4.83 team ERA) and that is probably why they finished below .500. In the offseason Hatton let Caseres ,Aramboles and Rosado go to free agency and he released Beckett, Wainhouse, Jodie and Tucker. With many holes to fill, Hatton grabbed a bag of cash and signed free agents Griffin, Mendoza, Brock, Sosa, LaRocca, Huang and Cerda. Then he promoted Koloff, Ramirez and Tolar to complete the roster. Looks like Hatton is making a move with a combination of the free agents and promotions. One thing is apparent , The Sometimes are a better team talentwise. Now can they play like it?? This division is weak and they could take it. PREDICTION:85-77

Little Rock
Little Rock Posse (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Posse were run out of Nashville. Illicit and his players were chased out by unruly fans hoisting pitchforks and yelling "The Posse Stink". So the Posse sprayed on some deodorent and moved to Little Rock where the fans recieved the club with open arms. Last years team wasn't too bad. They won 74 games with a average offense(.270 BA-13th) and horrid pitching(4.86 ERA-24th) and defense(.977 FPct-31st). In the offseason Illicit let Buckley,Byrne and Davidson go to free agency. Then he replaced them with free agents Roundtree and Walker. Will the new digs be kinder to the Posse? Probably not. Weak pitching and Defense is always a killer no matter where you play or how you smell.PREDICTION:72-90

OUT: Yeico Ramirez , Andres Romo , Matthew Eckenstahler , Rollie Bechler , Jesse Buhner , Juan Flores , Terry Oliver , Kevin Poole , Richard Dupler

IN: Rudy MacDougal , Eugenio Gutierrez , Timothy Person , Jerome Aumont , Alex Johnson , Clinton Goodwin , Angel Baerga , Matt Fedroff , Kenshin Suzuki

PREVIEW: The Posse finished pretty close to last years prediction. And It gives me no comfort for I love Posse and I want them to succeed. With Wrigleyvilles worst defense (.987 FPct-32nd and 136 team errors-32nd) It's easy to diagnose what went wrong last year. In the offseason Illicit let Ramirez, Romo, Eckensthler, Belcher and Buhner go to free agency. Then he released Flores, Oliver and Poole and traded away Dupler. With many holes to fill Ilicit signed free agents MacDougal, Gutierrez, Person and Aumont. Then he promoted Johnson, Goodwin, Baerga, Fedroff and picked up Suzuki in the R-5. All the free agents were good defensive players and the promotions of talented pitchers should improve this team. Can they win the division....yes. It depends on how the youngsters play. PREDICTION:84-78


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The short timers almost helped Tchagnon and his Blues reach the playoffs. The Tie-Breaker just wasn't in their favor. Memphis still finished above .500 with a good defensive club(.985 FPct-9th). But they will have to work on the average pitching(4.58 ERA-18th) and hitting(.266 BA-15th) if they want to make it back to the playoffs. In the offseason, Tchagnon re-signed Felipe Jose , Ossie Hyers and let Astacio,Fernandez,Mateo,Stankiewicz and Conner go to free agency. Then he released Tavarez,Coleman and Gil to finish the exodus. He filled the gaps with free agents Oropesa,Maeda and Cepeda, then traded for Byrdak. Memphis helped pitching and offense with the aquisition of Byrdak and Oropesa. but will it be enough?? Anything is possible in this weak division. Right now it's a two horse race with the Tabaky Farmers and the Blues. Hopefully it won't come down to a Tie-Breaker...again.PREDICTION:84-78

OUT: Will Byrdak , Ezdra Canseco , Benito Ozuna , Glen Hughes , Ahmad Burns , Emilio Rios , Bob Hines , Oscar Driskill

IN: Charlie Forster , Tito Brea , Rico Trevino , Luis Gil , Emmanuel Caseres , Cedrick Meyers , Pedro DeLeon , Thumper Smart , Julio Palmeiro

PREVIEW: What happened to the Blues??? I have no Clue??  TC's team suffered a power outage (only 155 Homers-26th) with the 4th worst hitting team (.249 team BA-29th) in Wrigleyville. In the offseason Tchagnon re-signed Jorge Blanco and let Canseco, Ozuna and Hughes go to free agency. Then he released Burns, Rios, Hines and Driskill to complete the purge. To fill the empty roster spots Illicit claimed Forster and Brea off the wire and signed free agents Trevino, Gil, Caseres, Meyers and Deleon.Then he picked up Smart and Palmeiro in the R-5. The Blues lowered their overall payroll by 20 million so it looks like a rebuild . While I believe this started last year with a couple trades it's still to early to say wheather this is a complete overhaul. Right now this team will finish about the same as last year.PREDICTION:74-88