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

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