Friday, December 28, 2012
N L EAST PREVIEW SEASON 21
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
LAST YEARS RECORD:95-67
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
LAST YEARS RECORD:92-70
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 RECORD:56-106
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