Saturday, September 29, 2012


New Britain
New Britain Bruins (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Yep, it's a bright sun shiny day in New Britain. Dodgers team finished above my prediction and made the post season as the #5 seed. They were swept in the first round by Hartford, but it is still a move in the right direction.The Bruins had the 4th best pitching staff last year(.370 team ERA) and the 4th best defense(78 team errors,.987 FPct).Dodger did pick up #2 overall pick Mark McCartney and he grabbed Aroldis Guerra in the IFA Market. The future's so bright, Dodgersgale's gotta wear shades.Well.... the promotion of Parker may be premature according to some game philosophies. I hope he stays healthy and at age 21, its not like hes a kid. But all that aside, this team will be battling for the division and could win it. If not they will be in the wild card hunt and their good pitching and defense may take them deep in the post season.PREDICTON:92-70

OUT: Stuart Hausmann , Eddie Whitehill , Roberto Arias , Mark Nen , Zach Goodwin

IN: Carson Tobin

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

Fargo Prairie Dogs (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Aarons P-Dogs finished as predicted with 96 wins due to a stellar defensive squad (78 team errors, .987 fielding percentage) that was ranked 4th in Wrigleyville. They won this division for the 6th consecutive season and went into the playoffs as the #2 seed.They got revenge against the Shocksquad by sweeping them in the DCS.They found themselves in the LCS for the second year in a row. And Aarons P-Dogs lost a heartbreaking game seven to the Cobras (*sob*).The P-Dogs defense will always keep them in games. The rest of this division got stronger the last few years and the division championship will not be as easy this year. Aarons P-Dogs still should make the post season and maybe this will be the year of the Praire Dogs.PREDICTION:94-68

OUT: Victor Paulino , Dion O'Donnell , Dick Pence

IN: Tony Quantrill , Herman White , Billy Tenbrink , Hub Taguchi , David Pineda

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...pardon the pun. If they stay healthy, Fargo has a chance to be back in the post season.PREDICTION:90-72

Chicago Black Sox (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Dullaghans Black Sox are consistent with another 70 win season. They are still a work in progress so this was not a shock. With 3 first round draft picks last year, Dullaghan signed Robinson Glover ,Darron Flier and Stone Harding to bolster the farm system.Will this be the year they step up and take us by suprise?? I will say...... no. Mainly because Dullaghan has one of the lowest coaching budgets (9 million) and I think the youngsters need coaching....well thats how it works in the real world anyways. And the 8 million in training is a double whammy on a teams performance. If Dullaghen ups these 2 areas next year, this team may take off. Right now they are a good team with bad Coaching and training.PREDICTION:82-80

OUT: Edgar Flores , Craig Dodd , Matt Milligan , Mike Hyzdu , Ryuu Choi

IN: Vinny Tartabull , Chip Wilson , Chul Yoshii , Pat Stargell , Steve Davis , Chris Montgomery

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

Minnesota Misfits (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Up year ,Down year,Up year and now another down year. It's enough to make Pbsilver a little queezy. His Misfits took a step back again with a 76 win season. Minnesota has one of the better offensive teams(.273 team BA) but their pitching(4.72 team ERA) and defense(113 team errors) are below average.When I look back at last seasons Weekly Updates. Pbsilver started moving M L players for prospects around the All-Star break. He picked up several nice young players like Aroldis Guerra, Chad Jones and Chris Everett amongst others. So it wasn't a total loss last year, afterall.While bringing in Vanguri and Sierra improved the offense the loss of Olsen in the bullpen may hurt PB. Rondon is nowhere near as solid as Olsen. PB will let these guys play until the All-Star break and if they fall behind, he may trade for some youngsters again.The Pitching is still a concern so right now I'd have to say the misfits are a .500 team with an upside.PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Mark Phillips , Desi Bonilla , Tony Quantrill , Claude Coleman , Luis Lopez

IN: Geronimo Cruz , Clayton Bragg , Thomas Dingman , Sandy Mullins

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


Madison Muskellunges (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: My sleeper pick from season 17 improved in season 18, but the NL was improved also. The wildcard race was tight and it came down to the last week. Even with a late push, Madison found themselves without a chair when the music stopped. Last year the Muskies had the 3rd best offense(.280 team BA) and a woeful defense(124 team errors).But suprisingly they did turn 456 double plays(3rd best).The Muskies did add a couple almost M L ready IFA's last year(Ariel Cerda , Willie Aquino) and they will be called up soon.It looks like Canseco was an upgrade in the catching core.And he traded an old guy for a youngun but this is pretty much the same team.If they can overcome the errors with runs scored they may make the playoffs.I think Daddio will promote some of his talent in AAA and this team will win the division.PREDICTION:91-71

OUT: Kevin Martin , Geronimo Cruz , Craig Martin , Dewey Sabel , Rudy West

IN: Victor Torres

PREVIEW: I was right about a division championship for Madison. But I was opptomistic 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


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Sandberg took exception to my prediction last year. And with good reason. The Toyotas shattered my prediction with a brashness only equaled by their colorful owner.Last years 93 win season was the Toyotas first winning season, since season 8. It was also their 7th division crown, the last one came in season 9. The Trenton Toyotas were powered by their pitching(3.89 team ERA) overcoming a pedestrian hitting team(.257 team BA) and a road kill defense(119 team errors,383 double plays,.981 fielding percentage).In the post season they escaped the first round by winning a game 5 against the #6 seeded Cincinnati RLD's.Then they were swept off the road by the Champs in the DCS.The Toyotas have improved the good pitching staff and lost a little offense.Sandbergs guys will have to back up last years winning season before the fans of Trenton can put the Paper Sack wearing days behind them. And if they can ,Sandberg will thump his chest and proclaim the Toyotas have arrived. I want to believe, but will be cautious in my prediction.PREDICTION:86-76

OUT: Rodrigo Merced , Randy Finley , Pat Clark , Tony Quantrill

IN: J.T. Nichols , Danys Megias , Javier Veras

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) , a 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

Chicago Bleacher Bums (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Hshack's Chicago Bleacher Bums are stuck at 83 wins.Thats a good thing, at least they aren't sliding backwards. Extra base hits were the reason Chicago won as many games(258 doubles,31 triples)and they will need to improve on the pitching (4.70 team ERA,23rd overall) and defense ( 103 team errors, 20th overall) if they want to take the next step.The addition of 1st round draft picks Juan Fernandez and Dummy Knoblauch may help fix the defense in a couple years.Late last season Chicago promoted Ramirez and Winn and they should help out the rotation. The Bleacher Bums still have 18 million in cap space and could pick up some talent this season. If they do, they will make this a 3 team race for the division title. On a side note, I hope Hshack stocks his minor leagues. The cupboard is bare!!PREDICTION:84-78

OUT: Jason Ransom , Santiago Rodriguez , Jim Roundtree , Johnny Goldman , Brady Hamilton , Fausto Castro , Mario Raben

IN: Thom Wright , Trever Goodwin , Pat Clark , Freddie Long , Dean Hayes , Edgar Flores , Jeremy George , Joel Crane , Dan Evers , Brent Tollberg , Edinson Terrero

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

Milwaukee Sturgeon (NL)
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San Juan
San Juan Santurce Crabbers (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Yep ,Them Crabs are a pesky bunch. They won this division and the best record in Wrigleyville with the #1 hitting squad(.283 BA) and the 3rd best pitching team(3.22 ERA). Needless to say fellas.... the Crabbers are here to stay and you can't get RID of them. As the #1 seed in the post season ,Ralphs Crustations sidestepped all the way to the LCS. Then they were quick boiled by the Champs.These are the same resilient Santurce Crabbers that won't go away no matter how often you shave and scrub. And they are the best in the NL and will be again this year. They are my World Series pick , Sorry Ralph no jinx intended! PREDICTION:107-55

OUT: Vinny Tartabull , Rico Trevino , Shaggy Castillo

IN: Fausto Fernandez

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

Burlington Coat Factory (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Ehulls Burlington team almost reached last years prediction.They won 101 games for the second consecutive year with the second best pitching staff in Wrigleyville(3.09 team ERA).Because they play in the division of death the Coat Factories went into the post season as the #5 seed. They swept Durham in the first round and lost a heartbreaking game 5 to Ralphs Crustations.This is a easy preview!! Same team as last year, with stellar pitching they should battle for the division and if not......................Wild Card Baby!!PREDICTION:102-60

OUT: Joseph Hyun , Don Lim , David Terry , Kris Glauber

IN: Reed James

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

Cincinnati Red Light District (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: My Dark Horse pick came thru and the N L East did get 3 teams in the post-season. Lucky guess, I guess?? The real hero is jeff2106 and the Red Light District Team. Jeff did a great job with this team trading many prospects for key players throughout the season. It looks like we have another quality owner in a quality league fellas.The Cininnati RLD's won 90 games with great pitching(3.90 team ERA) and free whorehouse passes to WIS senior management. The magic season was over when Jeffs guys lost to the Toyotas in 5.I'm amazed at the trading prowess of Jeff. Not only has he strengthened the M L squad but he will have 4 extra first round picks and 3 extra second round picks in this years draft. The Red Light District will battle the Crabbers and Coat Factories for the division.Not sure if there will be 3 teams again in the playoffs again, but its a possibility.PREDICTION:88-74

OUT: Buster O'Connor , Reed James , Raul Lima , Dale Barker , Olmedo Franco , Michel Diaz , Tito Brea

IN: Joseph Hyun , Walter Kerr , Pasqual Perez , J.P. Mendez , Jorge Fernandez , Omar Bonilla

JEFF's PREVIEW:  The Red Lights had an ok year last season. I knew it would come down to the SP or lack there of.We traded for Ron Clayton last season to help shore up the Sp. Ron still wasnt enough to get us back to the post season. This season the SP should be better although were really needing one more 2-3 pitcher to compete with San Juan,Burlington and San Fran. We had to replace our SS since Reed James decided to test FA. So we traded for Jorge Fernandez to replace James.We traded away Olmedo Franco and 2 pitching prospects for J.P. Mendez , traded Tito Brea to Wash for Omar Bonilla to shore up the C spot, traded a 3b prospect to Bos for Pasqual Perez .Signed, Our lineup is better than last season so we should be in the top of the league in hitting (I hope), the bull pen looks pretty salty so it will prob come down to SP again. Well be looking for one more quality starter.Prediction: 95-67
 Out: Tito Brea Michel Diaz Olmedo Franco Raul Lima Dale Barker
 In: Omar Bonilla Jorge Fernandez J.P. Mendezp Pasqual Perez Joseph Hyun

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


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Poor Rugby and his Moose. Normally a 87 win season would put them near the top of any division but this is not ANY division.Still them Moose are a loose bunch and they can be proud of a good season. Not sure if the great divisional pitching contributed to their woeful offense(.247 team BA-2nd worst). But it's a good bet that they will have to improve at the dish if they want to compete in this division.So far no players have been added, but from what I can see.......Rugby has alot of talent in AAA. That could mean that the Moose will be turned Loose on Wrigleyville. This division just became a 4 Moose race with the development of the Moose calves.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Ignacio Herrera , Tsuyoshi Hujimoto , Mac Wagner , Julian Stern , Thumper Warner , Jorge Fernandez

IN: Casey Graham , Justin Brantley , Wilton Martin , Kevin Jang , Michel Diaz

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


Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. Wingdings (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Petey Lieber , Glenn Hull , Casey Graham , Luis Flores , Omar Bonilla , Chris Sosa

IN: Joaquin Pena , Wade Harris , William Wieters , Tito Brea , Rudy West , Dewey Sabel

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 canidate. This team was moved to Washington D C to be closer to Goldenbaers Digs and 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). 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

Pittsburgh Pirates (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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!!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

OUT: Juan Durazo , Terry Lewis , Dan Evers , Thom Wright , Damaso Martin

IN: Julian Stern , Hal Middlebrook , Jorge Molina , Wally Clark , Vic Flores , Edinson Trinidad

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


LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Victor Lilly , Rafael Valdez , Fernando Calvo , Luther White , Pasqual Perez

IN: Royce Jennings , Petey Lieber , Domingo Delgado , Graeme Quinn

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 Ardthomp addresses this.....The sun will set on the Knights early in season 20. PREDICTION:75-87

Louisville Howlers (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: David Vazquez , Ivan Cortez , Dan Hamilton , Jeffrey Moreno , Trever Goodwin , Ken Walton , George Lemon , Eric Milliard , Carson Tobin

IN: Chris Sosa , Renyel Maranon , Fausto Castro , Robin Cirillo , Matt Kreuter , Don Lim , Stu Elder , Gerardo Bonilla , Joakim Lecuona , John Diaz , Omar Perez

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 

Friday, September 28, 2012



LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Stu Elder , Billy Tenbrink , Ricardo Torres , Edinson Trinidad

IN: Craig Dodd

SWISH's PREVIEW: After losing in the World Series two years in a row the Cobras are at a crossroads with their roster.With an aging rotation that struggled at times last season there is hope for some bounceback or the season could be lost quickly.The Cobras weren't able to increase their offensive production this offseason so the hope is that by decreasing their opponents offensive production they can remain competitive.Craig Dodd was signed to take over at shortstop and the move of Charles Fetters to second base should make the Cobras extremely strong up the middle with Alexis Rios and Phillp Pryce spending time in centerfield.If Rios and Pryce can combine for 50 homers and 150 RBI's then the offense should be sound with two time AL MVP's Harry Padilla and Johnny Stone leading the way and with Carlos Estrada at the top of the lineup.There was very little turnover in the stout bullpen the Cobras had last season and more of the same is expected out of that group. A playoff spot is expected out of this group but injuries and age could cause this season to go down in flames.

PREVIEW: The Cobras were in the playoffs as predicted and grabbed the #1 seed. Swish's guys won a spectacular 111 games last year and made it all the way to the Series for the second straight year. Arizona was swept by the Crabbers in disapointing fashion and thats gonna hurt.The Cobras really have no weaknesses, with great hitting(.290 BA-2nd) ,pitching(3.67-6th) and fielding(.987 FPct-3rd). In the offseason Swish let Elder,Tenbrink and Torres go to free agency then traded away Trinidad. With only a couple spots open Swish signed free agent Dodd leaving one spot left to fill. Which makes this a easy Preview. The Cobras are the same team as last year with a little more experience. They will battle for the division with the others again and if they don't win the division ....... A Wild card is a lock. PREDICTION:105-57

Helena Barking Moonbats (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Billy Brown , Chad Frazier , Hub Taguchi , Robin Cirillo , Brent Tollberg , Victor Torres

IN: Victor Paulino , Buster O'Connor , Scott May

SORDIE's PREVIEW: After hitting the playoffs 15 out of 16 seasons and flailing away at a “rebuild as you win” team building philosophy,the disadvantages of success are finally catching up to the Moonbats. Burdened with a high payroll, an aged and declining core, and a depleted minor league system,the Bats seem destined for a precipitous fall from the upper echelons of Wrigleyville contenders. Missed most will be the once-steady contributions of departing free agents Billy Brown (a ten-time All Star just 99 hits short of 3,000) and Wrigleyville’s third all-time saves leader Hub Taguchi. Other departures include up & coming setup ace Victor Torres, SP5 Mark Brock,long reliever Robin Cirillo, and infielder Brent Tollberg. In their place will be a mish-mash of free agent stopgaps and AAA+ filler material who until this season would never get within sniffing distance of a Moonbat big league roster spot.The brightest newcomer may well be proficient bullpen performer Victor Paulino,signed away from the Prairie Dogs prior to a disappointing string of dismal failures at landing Wrigleyville’s top free agent prizes. Helena should see another season of contending for a wild card spot in the sickest-of-the-sick A.L. West, but circumstances have them singing the classic words of the Lizard King, “The future is uncertain and the end is always near.” Let it roll, baby, roll.

PREVIEW: The Moonbats are back baby!! Moonbat fever is alive and well with Helena's return to the post-season. Sordies Pteropodidaes won 98 games last year with the best offensive team in Wrigleyville (.293 BA-1st,1721 hits-1st) and a improved defense(105 errors-18th,.983 FPct-17th). In the post-season the Moonbats got by the Tabaky Farmers but lost in the second round to the Cobras. In the offseason Sordie re-signed Jose Roque and Fernando Urbina . Then he let Brown,Frazier,Taguchi and Cirillo go to free agency and released Tollberg. Finally he traded away Torres to Madison for May. With a couple holes to fill, Sordie signed free agents Paulino and O'Conner. Sordie did a great job upgrading his pitching and this will make them hard to beat with his potent offense. But this is the Wild Wild A L West and the competition is stout. The Moonbats have a good chance to win the division and should make the post season. PREDICTION:90-72

Salem Salmonbellies (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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.The only player added so far is free agent Jose. This team is incomplete and who knows how they will play.PREDICTION:????

OUT: Rolando Jose , Joel Crane , Javier Veras , Tomas Cruz , Juan Flores , Bruce Crosby

IN: None..Yet

At the time of writing last years preview the Salmonbellies had not finalized their roster. So it was impossible to predict how they would fare. Mdymonds guys did just fine last year in this tough division with 94 wins and a playoff berth.The Salmonbellies were the best defensive team last year with 77 Errors(-1st) and a fielding percentage of .988-(1st). Add some good hitting(.271 BA-12th) and pitching(4.16 ERA-10th) and its easy to see why the Salmonbellies made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs. In the offseason Mdymond let Jose,Crane,Veras Cruz go to free agency then released Flores and Crosby. Just like last season Mdymond will start the season several players below the 25 man roster limit. To each his own. Still the core players that are there are very good. So this team will battle with the other three teams in the A L West. PREDICTION:88-74

Scottsdale Shock Squad (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Aramis Crespo , Louis Rekar , Phillip Maloney , Omar Perez

IN: Toby Rogers , B.C. McMillan , Aurelio Mercado , Zach Goodwin

PREVIEW: Well....I knew one of the A L west teams would miss the dance. But I never thought it would be Scottsdale. I guess the great offense(.278 BA-4th) and good defense(.985 FPct-6th) couldn't overcome the average pitching (4.48 ERA-16th). Overall , Coachs Shocksquad is a good team with a chance to make the playoffs every year. And any of us would be happy with that. In the offseason Coach34 re-signed Vinny Goldman and Walt Nation then let Crespo,Rekar and Maloney go to free agency. Then he traded away Perez to Louisville  for Darrell Huff. With a couple roster spots open , Coach signed free agents Rogers,McMillan,Mercado and Goodwin. Coach went out and spent 21.5 million in free agency on top of the 10 mil it took to re-sign Nation and Goldman. Winning ain't Cheap!! The Shocksqaud would probably be division champs in another division, but the competition is fierce in the A L West. This is a very good team and always has the chance to win. It wouldn't suprise me to see them in the post season.PREDICTION:92-70