Thursday, June 28, 2012



LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Swish and his Cobras finished close to predictions . And Swish did pick up several IFA's (Anibal Tavarez,Cesar Berroa,Miguel Tabaka) along the way.He also grabbed Jerome Cochrane in the draft.Now in his 5th season Swish can be proud that his guys have improved every year while beefing up the farm system.Like last season, Swish had lots of cap space but this time he landed several top shelf free agents. And with last years late editions of Alexi Rios , Randy Rogers , Tony Wood , Gorkys Lopez this team is ready to take their place among the heavyweights.This division just got a little tougher.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Rich Ward , Dixie Stankiewicz , Harold Bates , Chad Wood

IN: Carlos Estrada , Billy Tenbrink

SWISH'S PREVIEW: There are a lot of question marks for the Cobras as we try to make the playoffs for the second straight season.Former prospect Alexi Rios will be playing CF full-time this season so his health/durability is a huge question mark as is the production of Ricardo Torres after his injury at the end of the season last year.The starting rotation was very healthy last season so it would be a surprise if that happened again but look for Gus Grossman (7-0 in the playoffs last season) to lead the way.Carlos Estrada looks to help out on offense as Johnny Stone and Harry Padilla can't do it all themselves. With a lot of teams in the AL improving it remains to be seen if this team has enough to get back to the playoffs.

PREVIEW: Swish's Cobras are dangerous and they finished above my prediction. Swish has built a tremendous team and that is one of the reasons he was last years Durocher Award winner. Congrats on the award and a great regular season Swish! He not only won this division but went into the playoffs as the #1 seed. Arizona breezed by the Crushers in the DCS then won in 7 games against the up and coming P-Dogs.In the World Series, Swish's Cobras took the champion Kickapoos to a 7th game but came up short. The Cobras have a good hitting (2.79 team BA) and pitching team (3.78 team ERA) and this combination made them hard to beat.In the offseason, Swish let Ward and Stankiewicz go to free agency and Bates was released. Then he traded Wood to New Britain for a prospect. With just a few spots on the roster to fill, Swish signed free agents Estrada and Tenbrink.Looks like Swish gave up a little defense for a 12 million dollar Slugger .Perhaps this will get them a World Series win. Who knows ?? The Cobras will battle for the division again and are a lock to make the playoffs.95-67

Scottsdale Shock Squad (AL)
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The Scottsdale Shock Squad keeps getting better folks. Last season they won the World Series against the Juggernaught San Juan Santurce Crabbers.When Coach added his 3 new pitchers last season I thought this team was gonna be pretty good. But I was suprised at the success they had against the best teams in Wrigleyville. Great Job coach, Well deserved .Coach is gonna miss Yofeet Stinks and Olivares in the bullpen. But Cortes was a upgrade over Morris. This is basically the same team and they will Battle for the Division. At worst they will grab a wild card berth. Then look out! PREDICTION:100-62

OUT: Nicholas Jamison , Jerome Floyd , B.C. McMillan , Glen Swann

IN: Bailey Gil , Craig Serrano , Bobby Bush

PREVIEW: Coach's Shock Squad did grab a wild card but finished below my lofty prediction of 100 wins.Scottsdale had the best defensive team(68 team errors, .989 FPct) in Wrigleyville. And this kept them in games when their average pitching staff(4.19 team ERA) faltered.They smoked the Tabaky Farmers in the first round of the playoffs. And Coach's dream of a repeat was crushed when the Shocksquad were swept by Fargo in the DCS.In the offseason, Coach let Jamison ,Floyd and McMillan go to free agency and waived Swann. He signed free agents Gil,Serrano and Bush to fill the major league roster. The signing of Gil made Swann expendable and Coach brought in some pitching and a defensive bench player.The Shock Squad is in a pseudo arms race with his division foes. And Coach's rivals are bringing in a nuclear bats to decimate their rivals.And Gil is Scottdales Nuke.Coachs team will battle for the division and should make the playoffs.PREDICTION:91-71

Salem Salmonbellies (AL)
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Mdymond and his Salmonbellies are a pain in our sides.And with the move to a neutral Park in Salem . The Salmonbellies will have a better offensive output. In fact Mdymond considered re-naming his team the Salembellies but decided against it. Word has it he nixed the re-naming due to the size of the bellys in Salem.Belly Bucking in the Stands might cause the bleachers to collapse.And nobody wants to see that!Mdymond has AAA prospects Tony Hernandez, Victor Ozuna and Esteban Guzman waiting in the wings.He also has about 25 million in cap space and has one of the lowest payrolls in Wrigleyville. My guess is he'll bring up the youngsters and save the money for more IFA's and his 5 first round draft picks. Things are looking good in Salem.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Edgard James , Tony Matos , Arthur Phillips , Gabe Kent , Tomas Cruz , Ewell Morris , Braden Duffy , Bobby Bush , Ivan Ortiz

IN: Rolando Jose

PREVIEW: Mdymond Salmonbellies came close to predictions, but playing in this tough division is cruel.And this Salem club has great up side with plenty of room to grow. Last season Mdymonds youngsters were one of the better defensive teams(83 team errors,.986 FPct) in Wrigleyville. And this is a great foundation for winning. Salem also landed a big IFA last year(Alfonso Mairena) and he will be a monster if he reaches his projections.In the offseason Mdymond let James,Matos,Phillips,Kent,Cruz and Morris go to free agency.The only player added so far is free agent Jose. This team is incomplete and who knows how they will play.PREDICTION:????

Helena Barking Moonbats (AL)
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I forgot to warn the Moonbats about the new kid in town, The Shock Squad. I'm sure Sordie knew that it would be a battle again for the division. And the Moonbats did very well indeed, but they just missed the division by 5 games. In the post season, Sordies nocturnal bloodsuckers went into the second round against Scottsdale, and lost game 5. I'm sure Sordie and his rabid friends are foaming at the mouth looking for revenge.Sordie still has a few roster spots open at this writing. And he has a couple buns in the AAA oven (Louis White,Andres Borbon , Larry Walker ). He could rush these guys up or spend some of that 20 million in cap space on free agents. My guess he wants to keep some money for IFA's or a Pony. But its nice to have options. Sordie always fields a good team and the Moonbats will be in the thick of a division race.Probably grab a wild card at the least.PREDICTION:100-62

OUT: Glenn Hull , Rick Cashman , B.C. Olivares , R.A. Ward , Del Lopez

IN: Fred Daal , Joaquin Morlan , Herm Harris , Victor Torres

PREVIEW: This is a good team and it's not easy playing in the A L West. Sordies Barking Moonbats had a good year just not good enough for this division. 84 wins was the worst win total since Sordie came to this league in season 4.......Thats Crazy Good!! Even with the mid-season pickup of Alfonso Mairena couldn't get this team to the top of the division, but it still was a good trade.Perhaps it was the defense(119 Team errors,3rd worst) that sunk Sordie, but his offense is stout(.279 team BA) and should be feared. In the offseason, Sordie re-signed Hub Taguchi and Jose Roque and let Hull,Cashman,Oliveras, Ward and Lopez go to free agency. Then he signed free agents Daal,Morlan and Harris and promoted Torres. The promotion of Torres will help out the bullpen and the FA signings have some upside.But playing in this division you have to field a stout team on the field and at the plate. If Sordie can cut down the team errors he should be in the post season.PREDICTION:86-76

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