Thursday, December 27, 2012


Durham BullShippers (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: My prediction of the Bullshippers division title was spot on but they were not a post-season force.Which suprisingly made me happy, seeing how the Bullshippers lost to my Totems. Wishlists defensive team is second only to Salem with only 78 errors and this makes the pitching staff(3.92 ERA-8th) look very nice..indeed! The only chink in the Durham armour is the hitting(.261 BA-19th) but that is easily fixed.In the offseason Wishlist re-signed Clarence Christiansen then let Ozuna,Bonilla and Caseres go to free agency. To plug the holes Wish signed free agents Catalanotto,Ordonez and Durazo. Looks like Ozuna got too old for Wish's liking and he brought in a younger Catalanotto. This may help the Bullshippers score more runs and finally get over the hump. PREDICTION:95-67

OUT: Clarence Christiansen , Juan Durazo , Lorenzo Torres , Cristobal Beltran , Julio Johnson , Albert Torres , Jarrod Mann , Mo Andrelczyk , Kris Karros , Charley Tenbrink , Edgar Marquez , Esteban Guzman , Bob Neugebauer

IN: Rico Mateo , Shane Ryal , Herm Harris , Bobby Garland , Jerome Cochrane , Walt Lieberthal , Bert Nathan , Rob Stults , Delino Lima , Pablo Reyes , Miguel Sanchez , Alberto Tapies , Coco West

PREVIEW: The Bullshippers finished below my prediction but still won the division with 88 wins. Durham took the tough Coat Factories to a 5th game in the first round of the playoffs, but lost. Wishlist's guys had a good year with good pitching (4.05 team ERA-8th) and average defense (94 team errors-14th). The hitting was average also with a team BA of .267 ranking 16th in Wrigleyville. In the offseason Wishlist let Christansen, Durazo and Torres go to free agency. Then he traded away Beltran, Johnson, Torres, Mann, Andrelczyk, Karros, Tenbrink, Marquez, Guzman and Neugebauer. After the tradeathon was over, Wishlist went about fielding a team. First he signed free agents Mateo, Ryal, Harris and Garland and promoted Cochrane and Lieberthal.The trades brought in Nathan, Stults, Lima, Reyes, Sanchez, Tapies and West. This was a major overhaul thru trades and Durham got younger and lowered their overall salaries by 40+ million. It will be nice if it works. Right now I think some more prospects need to cook to make the playoffs.PREDICTION:81-81

Jackson Black Bears (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Black Bears were better than my prediction and this is good for Olemiss and the league.Jackson won 73 games last year with average pitching (4.33 ERA-14th), below average defense(.982 FPct-24th) and the worst hitting club (.246 BA-32nd) in Wrigleyville. In the offseason Olemiss re-signed Carson Bellinger then let Hasegawa,Middlebrook and Webster go to free agency. Then he released Maeda,Sweeny,Lawrence,Megias,Borland,Montana and Melfi. With most of last years team gone, Olemiss signed free agents Yacko,Cedeno and Caufield. He promoted Veras,Prince,Crawford,Bellinger then picked up Mills,Montgomery,Reddick,McDonald and Mcnamara in the R-5 draft. Gentlemen, the Black Bears are on their way back to contention. 3 young prospects got the Callup and the rest of the roster is a mix of R-5 players and low level free agents. While this team is not ready for prime time yet. The next few years will be good for Jackson Fans and trouble for us.PREDICTION:78-84

OUT: Jim Caufield , Roberto Cedeno , Benito Rijo , Ivan Rosado

IN: Tony Jang , Melky Barrios , Lucas Myers , Kelvin George , Davey Leon

PREVIEW: The Blackbears finished pretty close to last years prediction with 77 wins. Jackson is excited about the direction the team took last year and so is Olemiss. Last year the Blackbears improved their hitting (.256 team BA-24th), while the pitching (4.42 team ERA-19th) and defense (.981 FPct-25th) remained the same. In the offseason Olemiss let Caufield and Cedeno go to free agency and he released Rijo and Rosado outright. To plug the gaps Olemiss signed free agents Jang, Barrios, Myers, George and Leon. This is a tough preview because of the unknowns. Olemiss signed a bunch of low level ML guys in free agency. And he has a ton of talent in AAA ready for the callup. I think the free agents are just a temporary fix until after the 20 games have been played. Then Olemiss can call up the prospects and save a year on thier Major League clock. Thats just my guess?? PREDICTION: 85-77 if he calls up prospects.

Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Stars (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Nelig Stars won 82 games last year which surpassed my prediction. Tampa Bay has a bunch of young talent and they played well with the waiver wire pickups. The pitching staff (3.58 ERA-4th) was the of the Stars. Which helped overcome a woeful defense (.981 FPct-30th) and hitting (.250 BA-27th) squads.Imagine how good this pitching staff would be with some defense...its scary. In the offseason Nelig re-signed Tarrik Francis then let Sefick,Cunnane,Ramsey and Martis go to free agency. The last player to go was Mercado, getting released outright. With just a few roster spots to fill, Nelig claimed Mota off the wire and signed free agent Phillips. Then he promoted Aguilar,picked up Danks in the R-5, and traded for Lima. The addition of Lima will help the struggling defense but Phillips defensive range has fallen so much, he should be in LF. The great Tampa pitching will try to keep them in the game and it could be enough for a playoff spot.PREDICTION:84-78

OUT: Glen Swann , Earl Christenson , Billy Tenbrink , Gail Phillips , Harry Aguilera , Max Ruiz

IN: Carson Tobin , Paul Shibata , Al Acosta , Robert Adkins , Jim Jones , Santos Mieses , Charley Tenbrink , Edgar Marquez , Kris Karros

PREVIEW: The Stars finished below my prediction and maybe I was a little optimistic that the pitching could overcome the hitting and defense. Last year the pitching fell off to a team ERA of 4.27,which was ranked 14th overall. And the hitting (.246 team BA-30th) was again near the bottom, but the defense did improve to 16th overall with a FPct of .984 with 96 errors. In the offseason Nelig let Swann, Christenson, Tenbrink, Phillips and Aguilera go to free agency and released Ruiz. with a few holes to fill Nelig signed free agent Tobin and promoted Shibata, Acosta and Adkins. Then he picked up Jones in the R-5 draft and traded for Mieses, Tenbrink, Marquez and Karros.Nelig added Marquez, Mieses and Shibata to create more offense. It's a step in the right direction and this team should improve. This team could win this division now that Durham has sold off some talent. PREDICTION: 84-78

Austin City Limits (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: It wasn't the breakout year I had hoped for. It was a breakdown year.The City limits finished with 73 wins, far below my prediction. If it wasn't for the 5th ranked defense(.985 FPct-5th) the season could have been worse. The hitting (.272 BA-11th) was decent but the culprit to last seasons decline was the pitching (4.69 ERA-21st). In the offseason Wylie let Bragg,Wilson,Pineda go to free agency, then traded away Mendez. With a couple spots open in the roster, Wylie claimed Freeman and J Castillo off the wire and signed free agents Moreno and S Castillo. Then he picked up Coleman, Osterbrock in the R-5 and traded for Franco. Wylie knows it was "THE Pitching" so he brought in some new arms. Some will be here for awhile, others like the R-5 guys, won't last. Look for Wylie to either promote some pitchers or make some deals early in the season. Right now this team is about 500 with some potential.PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Rick Reagan , Anthony Malone , P.T. Cabrera , Frank Takada , Michael Gardner

IN: Vern Coleman , Chris Dawley , Eswalin Canseco , Emilio Rios , Troy Hayes , Eduardo Duran , Raul Aguilar , Trenidad Zapata

WYLIES PREVIEW: I've given up trying to predict how this team will perform. If they suck, it won't surprise me. If they are good it won't surprise me. If they all run off to join a convant it won't surprise me. That being said, here are my starting lineups and pitching rotation.

VsLefties vs Righties
Mat Herndon 2B E Valdes CF
Vern Coleman 3B Troy Hayes 2B
Hector Ruth LF Hector Ruth LF
Damaso Gardel 1B Shaggy Castillo DH
Eswalin Canseco C Eswalin Canseco C
Shaggy Castillo DH Damaso Gardel 1B
Tony Rios SS Vern Coleman 3B
Tomas Benaverte 3B Tony Rios SS 
Eduardo Valdes CF Tomas Benaverte 3B

Starting Rotation Bullpen
Eduardo Duran Tony LeCroy - Mopup
Arthur Blackburn Chris Dawley - LRa
Destin Baldelli Dwight Webster LRb
Raul Aguilar Omar Hartman SetupA
Stump Lawson Emilio Rios SetupA
Vinny Nomo SetupB
Will Brohawn Closer

PREVIEW: It looked bleak last season so Wylie raised the white flag and pulled the plug on his faltering team mid-season. While it wasn't a fire sale he did ship off several players for prospects. This means that last years stats are pretty much useless in gauging this team. But Wylie will get this team right soon with some luck. In the offseason Wylie let Reagan and Malone go to free agency and he released Cabrera, Takada and Gardner. With several holes to plug Wylie signed free agents Coleman, Dawley, Canseco, Rios and Hayes. Then he promoted Duran and picked up Aguilar and Zapata in the R-5. Looks like Wylie will try and get the City Limits going again with free agents, a prospect and 2 R-5 guys. Can he win this division?? It's possible in the weaker N L South . But the odds are long and Wylie may get another anvil on the head.I hope I'm wrong.PREDICTION:75-87 

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