Thursday, June 28, 2012


Hartford Crushers (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Last year was an anomaly and the Crushers rebounded nicely. ARomanos guys lived up to their names.The Crushers were the best hitting club in Wrigleyville with a batting average of .299 , .364 OBP and 288 Taters. You could hear the announcer say all season in Hartford "That one was Crushed".In the post season ARomanos Crushers fell in the first round to the vaunted Salmonbellies.One of the reason the offensive numbers are so gaudy, is the fact that Welch Park is a extreme hitting park. And this team is built to win there. What suprised me was the fact that the Crushers had a better road record than home record.But if you can keep the game close you have a chance to beat this team. And Good Luck with that!Next year will be the same. The Crushers will make the playoffs and run into a good pitching team and try to outscore them. PREDICTION:89-73

OUT: Vicente Iglesias , Kris Glauber , Nicholas Bevil , Albert Torres


PREVIEW: ARomanos Crushers were the best in the A L East again. And like season 17 ,they were one of the best hitting teams(.281 team BA), second only to the Crabbers.Hartford led the league in doubles(282) and were third in homers(267). They could have won more games but the pitching staff was one of the worst(5.00 team ERA). This is the pros and cons of playing at Welch Park.In the playoffs ARomanos Crushers mashed the New Britain Bruins in the first round then lost the the A L Champion Cobras in the DCS. In the offseason ARomano let Iglesias,Glauber,Bevil and Torres go to free agency.Last year ARomano called up Odalis Suarez ,Rob Stults and Wilkin Segui and this may be one of the reasons the Crushers finished well. I never underestimate ARomanos baseball sense and he usually fields a competative team. And this year he will also have the #19 ,#20, #39, #40, #45 picks in the draft.So I'm inclined to think it will be another good year for Hartford and they will improve the farm system at the same time. Nice!!.PREDICTION: 88-74

Pittsburgh Pirates (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Well now we know! These Swashbucklers didn't scare anybody and only won 68 games. The Pirates were marooned on a the Deserted Island of Death.And when Ardthomp was rescued in the offseason. All he could say was "Wilson.....Oh Wilson ...No Wilson.....NO!! Poor Ard he is adjusting to light switches and ice cubes as we speak. Ard slipped on his eye patch, grabbed a piece of eight at the local brothel and went to work rebuilding his Bucaneers.Ard did improve his Pirates with many additions to his crew. They are mostly a young bunch with a veteran here and there.And with a new hitting coach it will be interesting to see how the new guys sail.Right now they look like a middle of the pack team.PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Terry Lewis , Thom Wright , Julio Colon , Sammy Oropesa

IN: Flash Reimold , Juan Durazo , Brian Martin , Peter Griffin , Nicholas Paramore

PREVIEW: Ards Pirates didn't finish at .500 as I predicted but he did pick up a couple of nice prospects. Ard has lowered the overall pay for his bunch of Bucaneers the last 4 years to strengthen the farm system. He threw 20 million in gold dubloons at Harry Lucano in the IFA market and shanghaied Roy Cousins in last years draft. Both of these scurvy dogs will make fierce Bucaneers when they reach the Bigs! AARRGG!! In the offseason ,Ardthomp let Lewis,Wright and Colon head to free agency. Then he released Oropesa who was acquired  last year from Arizona. Now that he has some open spots, Ard first signed free agents Riemold and Durazo. Then he promoted Martin, Griffin and Paramore to finish out the roster.The Riemold contract of 4 years 55million and a 10 million bonus can mean only one thing. Ard is starting to make his move. Then you throw in the promotions of some good prospects and the Pirates just became contenders. While they still have some youngsters waiting to finish cooking. Ard's Pirates will improve on last years win total.PREDICTION: 83-79


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Avantrael's boys fell on their swords last season. And my prediction was way, way off in a land far, far away.The Knights Defense was atrocious (126 errors) which made them the third worst pitching team (5.45 ERA) in Wrigleyville. Bostons Great Offense (.282 BA) could not overcome the failures of the Pitching and Defense.This failure was apparent on the road where the Knights were only 31-50.The signing of Tresh will help the defense but the 3 waiver pick ups are low level big leaguers, at best.Perhaps with 2 roster spots open ,Avantreal will promote Albert Sierra and Len Hawkins or make a trade for some pitching.With only 4 million in cap space that will not be easy. Right now with the pitching, this team is not goinig anywhere.PREDICTION:70-92

OUT: Christopher Beimel , Clyde Perkins

IN: Denny Donatello , Giomar Molina , Bob Lloyd

PREVIEW: Avantrael's Boston Knights finished close to last years prediction. Yep, the pitching was again the 3rd worst in Wrigleyville (5.03 team ERA).Avantreal's Knights did bring in James Wainhouse in the draft and he could help lower the ERA in 2 years.Boston still has a good hitting club (.275 team BA) and this kept them out of the scrap heap. In the offseason Avantael released Beimel and Perkins outright. Then he claimed Donatello off the wire and promoted Molina and Lloyd from AAA. The promotion of Molina will help the Team ERA but Lloyd is a little wild for my liking. With one more open roster spot, maybe Avantrael will trade for a impact Pitcher to get this team to the next level. The Knights can still hit the rock with the best of them and should be near the top in batting aveage.Right now this team is average but with an upside! PREDICTION:81-81

Louisville Howlers (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: I was wrong when I though the Howlers would battle for the division.The Howlers almost made it to .500 with the waiver wire pickups. Perhaps that is why they were on the Wire. But hey, the wire guys for the most part were nice pickups. Freddie Mohr and Kevin Holmes had pretty good years .Only Stuart Mench was considered a bust.Last year was a nice try with the waiver pickups and it looks like Holmes got a new contract out of it. This year The Howlers went a different way. They filled the holes with Free agents and R-5 pickups. The Howlers increased the payroll to bring in the talent and they look like a solid team. Can they get by the Crushers? Perhaps,anything is possible. But it will be long odds.PREDICTION:84-78

OUT: Duffy Peterman , Ronnie Bradley , Edgar Santos , Raul Veras , Royce Jennings , Aaron Wells , Jamie Yang , Virgil Guerrero

IN: Don Hyzdu , Ross Griffin , Dan Hamilton , Ivan Cortez , Lyle Ruffin , Davey Vazquez , Quinton Womack

PREVIEW: Jmuhtoff's Louisville Howlers held a Fire Sale last season. This is why they finished far below my prediction. Jmuhtoff was howling mad when his team started slow and he cleaned house. This brought in many good young players and the #2 pick in this years draft. With extra money after moving out salaries, the Howlers were able to grab Pablo Lee in the International market. In the offseason Jmuhtoff re-signed Lyle Ruffin then let Peterman,Bradley,Santos,Veras and Jennings go to free agency. Then he traded away Wells,Yang and Guerrero to Durham and picked up Hydzu and Griffen in exchange. With some holes to plug, Jmuhtoff claimed Hamilton off the wire and signed free agents Cortez and Ruffin. Then he grabbed Vasquez and Womack in the R-5 draft to finish rounding out the roster. Its obvious with the lowering of the cap by 22 million, Jmuhtoff is in a rebuild.The Howlers will look for more draft picks next year.PREDICTION:65-87

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