Monday, September 30, 2013
LAST YEARS RECORD:99-63
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Just like last year, the Muskeys easily won the division and lost in the first round. Madisons 98 wins were close to my prediction, and they are a very good regular season team. But can they win in the post season? I've had a few teams like that and it can be frustrating.Will Daddio stay the course with his great hitting (.279 BA-8th) and defensive team(78 errors, .987 FPct-5th)? Perhaps improving the average pitching (4.59 ERA-17th) will help in the post season.In the off-season Daddio re-signed Earl Christenson and let Badenhop, Woods, Bottalico and Kingman go to free agency. And thats it........Daddio is standing pat with last years club. If it ain't broke why fix it ,Right! The Muskies are a good all-around team and they should win the division. PREDICTION 95-67
OUT: Jesus James , Jorel Woods , Fausto Fernandez , Olmedo Franco , Kevin Owens
IN: Andres Ferrer , Luis Baerga , Neifi Lopez , Mariano Lee , Khalil McNamara
PREVIEW: Daddio won the division crown with 99 wins This was due to good pitching (4.00ERA,1.30 WHIP-8th)and defense (85 errors,.986 FPct-8th). The hitting was average (.267 BA-13th) and could be the Muskellunges only weakness. 99 wins were good enough for the #3 seed in the playoffs where they met up with the Jeffs Red Light Districts. Madison was swept by Cincy and thats the 5th straight loss in the first round. Ughh! In the off-season Daddio re-signed Sammy Sanchez and let James, Woods and Fernandez go to free agency. Then he traded away Franco and Owens. Now with a few gaps in the line-up Daddio claimed Ferrer off the wire and promoted Baerga. He picked up Lopez in the R-5 and traded for Lee and McNamara. The Muskies lost some pitching with the departure of James and Fernandez but last years acquisition of Walter Parker and the promotion of Harry Jensen will cover their loss. The adding of McNamara will help the offense and if Daddio promotes Hector Pena from AAA......lookout. I think Madison is a great solid team with alot of upside. They should win this division and go deep in the post-season.PREDICTION:101-61
LAST YEARS RECORD:77-85
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Sandberg finished barely above .500 with 82 wins. The Toyotas are stuck in mediocrity finishing with 80, 83 and 82 wins the last 3 years. Can they take the next step to a playoff contender? Tacoma will have to fix a bad defense (123 errors, .980 FPct-29th) , below average hitting (.267 BA-23rd) and average pitching (4.50 ERA-16th) to make the post season. Sandberg did add Virgil Porter and Quentin Hermansen in last years draft and he also picked up IFA Oswaldo Marrero. They should help out his needs in the future.Trenton improved the defense with Forster, and Pep will help the bullpen. This is pretty much the same team from last year with a little better D. They may contend for a Wild card berth. PREDICTION:87-75
OUT: Eduardo Delgado , Tony Tejada , Howard Ruffin , Jimmie Guerrero , Alberto Ramirez
IN: Peaches Morehead , Luis Fernandez , Benny Sojo , Salvador Duran , Corey Quinn
PREVIEW: Well....Sandberg's Toyotas finished below my prediction and took a step back from 82 wins the year before. They did improve the defense (99 errors, .984 FPct-21st) and the hitting stats (.272 BA-9th). The pitching stayed about the same (4.69 ERA,1.40 WHIP-19th). Makes me scratch my head why Trenton slipped? This is a crazy game...and I know crazy. In the off-season Sandberg re-signed Juan Pena and let Delgado, Tejeda, Ruffin, Guerrero and Ramirez go to free agency. To fill the holes Sandberg promoted Morehead, Fernandez, Sojo and Duran and traded for Quinn. The acquisition of CF'er Quinn will help the defense and the promotions of the promising prospects will make them better. But with the tough AL East grabbing the wildcards every year. Trenton has to win the division to make the playoffs. I don't see them beating Madison. PREDICTION:85-77
LAST YEARS RECORD:71-91
LAST YEARS PREVIEW:
LAST YEARS RECORD:67-95
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: My prediction of a .500 + season fell a tad short. The Bleacher Bums finished with 78 wins and they never really jelled as a team. Last year Hshack's boys had average pitching (4.66 ERA-18th) and bad hitting (.266 BA-25th) and defense (123 errors, .980 FPct-28th). The Bleacher Bums picked up Clarence Clark and Willie Ochoa in the first round of the draft and they will be nice additions to the future M L roster.The Bleacher Bums went out and signed 7 free agents for a combined 29.5 million. It was a combination of pitching and infielders and they will improve this team. They could make the playoffs and this team could give Madison and Trenton some trouble. PREDICTION:85-77
OUT: Deivi Gabriel , Freddie Long , Jeffrey Blackley , Chris Dawley , Antonio Yamamoto , Julio Fernandez , Orber Dotel , Wilson Standridge , Clint Conway , Kevin Sheffield , Santiago Rodriguez , Jimmie James , Virgil Ramirez , Hick Boucher , Chien-Ming Chang , Britt Lukasiewicz , J.J. Lansing
IN: Dan Walker , R.J. Lima , Trent Green , Alberto Ramirez , Buster O'Connor , Jim Roundtree , Jae Yamaguchi , Rob McNamara , Lawrence Taylor , Vicente Prieto , Alving Franco , Edinson Terrero , Tom Yerkes , Carmen Schwartz , Byron Weathers , Buddy Koloff , Darron Moses
PREVIEW: Hshack was so distraught over spendin all that money and losing ground. He was found roaming the streets in a bathrobe and slippers mumbling incoherently. When it was clear that he could no longer continue as the owner of the Bleacher Bums .The team was sold to noted Curmudgeon, Jaredpaventi. Being a Syracuse native, he moved the team to Buffalo just to stick it to his New York neighbors . He can be seen sitting near the LF foulpole in his red,white and blue lawnchair. Yelling at the players to "Get the Hell off his lawn our he will spray them with the Hose". In the off-season Jared let players above Gabriel thru James go to free agency. Then he released Ramirez and traded away Boucher, Chang, Lukasiewicz and Lansing. Jared turned up the water pressure and hosed all of last years team out the door. Now he must find a team so he signed free agents Walker, Lima, Green, Ramirez, O'Conner, Yamaguchi, McNamara, Taylor and Prieto. Then he promoted Franco, Terrero, Yerkes and Schwartz and traded for Weathers, Koloff and Moses. This is one of the biggest makeovers in league history. And I have no idea if they will be Buffalo Blue Chips or Buffalo Turds? So I asked grumpy McJared that question. He said." Hey if they turn out to be Turds at least they will be my Turds!" Hmmmm.........Words of Wisdom. PREDICTION: (They'll Stink)
LAST YEARS RECORD:88-74
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Dodgers Bruins took a step back with only 86 wins ,which was below my lofty 94 win prediction. And they even missed the playoffs. Perhaps it was just an off year or it could have been the poor pitching (4.81 ERA-23rd) . The good hitting (.277 BA-9th) and defense (79 errors, .987 FPct- 6th) kept them in games and it's why they finished above .500. New Britain did add some youngsters to the farm. They picked up Larry McCormick , Howie Sweeney and Vance Murphy in the draft and Kouhei Chang in the IFA market.Hitting and defense is still the mantra of the Bruins. Hamilton and Corbin are decent pitchers but not the upgrade the Bruins needed. New Britain will continue to outscore their opponents and could make the playoffs if the pitching shows up. PREDICTION:88-74
OUT: Bernie Richard , Bob Hines , Albert Cabeza , Virgil Guerrero , Ed Corbin , Koji Martin , Chad Wood , Danny Chapman , Hipolito Maduro , Adam Hamilton
IN: Vasco Morales , Freddie Long , Luis Rodriguez , Jumbo Xaio , Tomas Alvarez , Josh Stuart
DODGER'S PREVIEW: The Bruin offense looks pretty much the same as last year. A full season of Gil Hartzel (.277/.333/.431 in 282 PA) will certainly help. Mark McCartney hopes to improve after a sophomore slump although he still produced 85 runs created and 3.2 War. Ardolis Guerra earned his second MVP award after a 11.0 War/153 runs created campaign. The rest of the gang didn’t take a step back so you can expect the offense to overall produce 870 runs.The Bruin defense was improved by trading for shortstop Josh Stuart. He’s a major upgrade and with McCartney should form an excellent keystone combination for many years to come.This is important because the Bruins missed a lot of opportunities to turn two last year (finishing below average. Overall the defense should be one of the top in AL once again.The pitching staff still features Miguel Blanco, who is upset he didn’t get the Cy Young after going 24-4 with 254 strikeouts in 255 innings. David Cabrera, and Ramiro Pena return for the rotation,but two new veteran faces (lefty Freddie Long, and 35 year old Tomas Alvarez). The bullpen has been almost totally remade with new closer Luis Rodriguez hopeful to keep the job over Vasco Morales and Kouhei Chang.The pitching staff/defense should take another baby step forward with a predicted 720 runs allowed. Overall, that should leave the Bruins with 96 win campaign and another #2 seed in the playoffs. This could be the year they win it all.
PREVIEW: Dodgers Bruins finished exactly as predicted in last years preview. They won the A L North and went into the playoffs as the #2 seed. I know ...my jaw dropped at a team with only 88 wins got a 1st round bye. But thats the way this game is ...you never know. New Britain took their good fortune and ran with it all the way to the N L championship series. There they lost in 7 games to a very good Cobra team. The great playoff run may be due to the good pitching (4.27 ERA, 133WHIP-12th) and defense (80 errors, .987FPct-7th). The hitting (.264 BA-17th) was the weak spot in last years team ,but still respectable. In the off-season Dodger let Richard, Hines, Cabeza and Guerrero go to free agency. He released Corbin, Martin and Wood and traded away Chapman, Maduro and Hamilton. With a few roster spots open Dodger signed free agents Morales, Long, Rodriguez, Xaio and Alvarez. He traded for Stuart and still has one spot left to fill. Dodger has 14 million in cap space so he has flexability in rounding out this years roster. He traded away a couple of really good players to land Stuart and he may be worth it. New Britain also strengthened the back end of the Bullpen and that should fix last years 17-21 record in one run games. I had my eye on free agent pitcher Tomas Alvarez as did Dodger. I think he will help out this years rotation. Dodger is the favorite to win the division but Fargo and the improved Misfits will be nipping at their Heels. PREDICTION:92-70
LAST YEARS RECORD:80-82
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Nice job Aaronwayne. The P-Dogs lifted their leg and pissed on my 84 win prediction.The P-Dogs won 95 games last year with good hitting (.274 BA-12th) and great pitching (4.24 ERA- 7th). Imagine how good this team would be with a little better fielding? (103 Errors-18th). Still ,Fargo went into the playoffs as the #2 seed, and after a first round bye. The P-dogs ran into the road and were flattened by the #6 seeded Cobras.Fargo lost some pitching but replaced them with free agents and a trade. He promoted a young infielder who is not ready for SS but can play any other position. This is pretty much the same group of P-Dogs that made a great run last year. Look for them to be the front runner in the A L North but the Bruins are closing the gap. PREDICTION:93-69
OUT: Patrick Miller , Mike Tewksbury , Victor Medrano , Al Pineda , Fausto Castro , Cedrick Meyers , Ryan Monroe , Zeus Butler
IN: Harry Suarez , William Wieters , Virgil Ramirez , Ivan Henriquez , Raul Castillo , Harry Ontiveros , Steve Teahen , Edgardo Alvarez
PREVIEW: The P-dogs were the favorites to win this divsion but were overtaken and trampled by the Bruins. Finishing with only 80 wins last year. It demolished my prediction of a 93 win season and Aarons playoff hopes. Aaronwayne had good hitting (.280 BA-8th) and defense (90 errors,.986 FPct-10th)but it couldn't overcome the average pitching (4.70 ERA, 1.45 WHIP-20th). In the off-season Aaron let Miller, Tewksbury, Medrano, Pineda and Castro go to free agency and released Meyers. Then he traded away Monroe and Butler to Tampa. With a bunch of holes to fill Aaron signed free agents Suarez, Wieters, Ramirez, Henriquez, Castillo, Ontiveros and Teahen. I won't spend much time on the guys that left, most were mid-season fill-ins. But I will point out the trading of a young super-closer and future FOY pitcher Butler, will be missed in the bullpen. Maybe the promotion of Efrain Willits last year made him expendable. Aaron spent about 30 million on free agents and most are solid veterans. Most of the signings were in his biggest need....Pitching. I like the direction the P-Dogs are heading and Fargo has 18 million in cap space for flexability. I think Aarons P-dogs rebound from last years average season and vie for the AL North title. PREDICTION:91-71
LAST YEARS RECORD:79-83
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Yep....PB's Misfits are in a re-build. So 60 wins was about right and they get the 2nd pick in this years draft. Last year PB picked up Ralph Barrett and Bob Harding in the first round of the draft and signed IFA Eswalin Lee. They should help Minnesota in the future with their Pitching and Defense. Last year the Misfits were expected to have terrible pitching (5.69 ERA-29th) defense (112 errors, .981 FPct-23rd) . But the average hitting was a pleasant suprise (.272 BA-17th). They are who they are......Misfits. These loveable collection of players remind me of the Athletics. Can they play like their real life counterparts? It's possible but unlikly in this number generated world. PREDICTION: 65-97
OUT: Trent Wise , Barney Livingstone , Hipolito Ordaz , Jacob Clayton , Bump Tyson , J.T. Stevenson
IN: Jesus James , Tommy Peterman , Aaron Wells , William Resop , Olmedo Franco , Randy Rogers
PBSILVERS PREVIEW: Well, my team's better than expected performance last season impelled me to go out and find some pitching.So I traded for Tommy Peterman, Aaron Wells and Randy Rogers. And signed FA Jesus James. Gave up SS Bump Tyson's bat to use a better defensive SS and traded for Olmedo Franco to get a little more power.If past season are any indication what will probably happen is that my batters won't bat nearly as well as last season and my new pitchers will either have subpar seasons or get injured. But I had to give it a shot!
PREVIEW: Pbsilvers affable collection of players suprised me and the league with 79 wins. While they didn't make the playoffs,It's safe to say that PB got the most out of this team. The Misfits had the 3rd ranked hitting team (.286 BA) and below average pitching (5.13 ERA-27th) and defense (101 errors, .983FPct-22nd). In the off-season Pbsilver re-signed Chris Everett and let Wise, Livingstone and Ordaz go to free agency. He released Clayton and traded away Tyson and Stevenson. With many holes to plug Pbsilver signed free agent pitcher James to a big contract and traded for Peterman, Wells, Resop, Franco and Rogers. While writing this preview the Misfits had their first major injury Rafael Uribe. That seems to be the Misfits luck! PB went out and spent alot of cash on James and traded for some very good players. It's apparent that he is going for it, in true Chevy Chase fashion. I like the additions to this years Minnesota team and think they have a good shot at winning the division.PREDICTION:89-73
LAST YEARS RECORD:76-86
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: I was very optimistic on my prediction of 81 wins after I said it would be a long year in Chicago. But it was a very long and disappointing year with only 66 wins. And I know disappointment ,my team won only 67. Surprisingly, Last year the Black Sox had very good hitting (.281 BA-6th) . But the hole in the toe of the Sox was the horrible pitching (5.77 ERA-30th) and defense (124 errors, .979-30th). Hacker did pick up 3 first round draft picks ( Addison Moss , Alex Phillips , Philip Darwin) so it wasn't a unproductive season.Here comes the Black Sox...They brought in a solid SP in free agency and promoted some young studs. Three of which will help out the defensive woes . Hackers payroll is 111 million and he still has 14 million in cap space. In a nutshell, Hacker improved his defense and pitching and still has a great offense. This team will win 20 more games than last year and if he picks up a really good pitcher or two during the season..... Who knows how good the Black Sox will be? Right now they are...PREDICTION:86-76
OUT: Chip Wilson , Cyrus Bottalico , Hiram Sweeney , Chris Montgomery , Justin Wallace , Steve Davis
IN: Todd Garcia , Koji Martin , Ryan Olshan
PREVIEW: The Blacksox were a better team last year but my 20 win improvement prediction was Optimistic. They won 10 more games with the worst defense in Wrigleyville (129 errors,.979 FPct-32nd). The piching was below average (4.98 ERA,1.96 WHIP-25th) and hitting was about average (.263 BA-18th). In the off-season Hacker let Wilson, Bottalico and Sweeney go to free agency. And Montgomery, Wallace and Davis were released. With just a couple gaps in the line-up Hacker signed free agents Garcia, Martin and Olshan . The biggest story in Chicago was the signing of Olshan. He got a 10 million dollar signing bonus with a 3 year 30 million dollar contract. Lots of money for a below average defensive Catcher. But the guy can hit and would make a wonderful DH. Overall Hacker improved the hitting and pitching, but the defense will lead them into darkness. It will be Dark, Dark days for the Blacksox. PREDICTION:78-84
Sunday, September 29, 2013
LAST YEARS RECORD:86-76
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Sometimes played like Everytimes. They won the A L South with 92 wins, which was a 6 game improvment from season 21. This was good enough for the #3 seed in the playoffs and they gave a tough Cobra team all they could handle, but lost a tough game 5. Hattons boys were solid last year with good hitting (.278 BA-7th) , pitching (4.36 ERA-9th) and defense (85 errors, .986 FPct-8th). Top ten in all 3 catagories makes Charlotte a serious threat in Wrigleyville.Charlotte is a fairly young team with an average age of 28.4 years. This makes them a tad unpredictable and Hatton has everybody signed to long term contracts with the highest average (2.3 avg contract years) in Wrigleyville. Looks like Charlotte is here to stay for the long haul and are the favorites to win this division. PREDICTION:95-67
OUT: Chris Sosa , Antonio Huang , Ross Griffin , David Cerda , Julio Castillo , Buddy Koloff , Louis Little
IN: Marc Mayne , Barney Livingstone , David Hernandez , Jonathan Valdes , Britt Lukasiewicz , Brad Cogan
PREVIEW: The Sometimes did win the division for the third consecutive year. My prediction of 95 wins was high but they did win 86 wins games. Hattons boys did this with great hitting (.282 BA-4th) and average pitching (4.31 ERA,1.34 WHIP-13th) and defense (96 errors, .984 FPct-17th) . Charlotte went in to the playoffs as the #3 seed with optimism. Their hopes came crashing down when they were swept in the first round by Helena. In the Off-season Hatton re-signed Garry Olsen and let Sosa, Huang, Griffin and Cerda go to free agency. He released Castillo and traded away Koloff and Little. With only a few spots to fill Hatton signed free agents Mayne and Livingstone and promoted Hernandez and Valdes.Then he traded for Lukasiewicz and Cogan to complete this years Sometimes. Free agency added some depth to the Bullpen and the promotion of Hernandez will help out the middle defense. The trades brought in a SP and a good hitting 3rd baseman. Charlotte is a good team with a few tweaks that made them better. They will be in the fight for the division but may need help in the playoffs...if they make it. PREDICTION:88-74
LAST YEARS RECORD:73-89
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Tabaky Farmers were one of the most improved teams last year. Nwsheehy won 20 more games than season 21 to finish with a respectable 78 win season. Charleston did this with improved hitting (.273 BA-13th) and pitching (4.78 ERA-22nd). The only slide was the defense play (100 errors, .984 FPct-16th), they took a slight step back from the year before. Nwsheehy did draft well with the addition of Taylor Allen and Doyle Barnes to the farm system.The Tabaky Farmers lost several of their bullpen guys and infielders. He replaced them with inexpensive Free agents and R-5 players. This gives Charlotte plenty of cap room for later moves if the pick-ups don't pan out. Right now this team looks like a .500 team at best....PREDICTION:80-82
OUT: Chad Krause , Willie Martinez , Tony Jang , William Tabaka , Benny Benitez , Aaron Boyer , Oswaldo Tabata , Juan Marmol , Sam Bailey
IN: Tony Wood , Magglio Rodriguez , Deivi Gabriel , Aurelio Mercado , Dante Suzuki
PREVIEW: You know it's trouble when you fill your roster spots with R-5 players and low level free agents. I've done it many times and it never seems to work out for me. The Tabaky Farmers won 73 games with bad pitching (5.08 ERA, 1.51 WHIP-26th) and defense (119 errors, .981 FPct-28th) and the worst hitting in Wrigleyville (.244 BA-32nd). Mr Magoo like hitting will not get you very far. But after looking at the stats, I'm suprised this team won 73 games. In the off-season Nwsheehy let Krause, Martinez, Jang, Tabaka and Benitez go to free agency. Then released Boyer, Tabata, Marmol and Bailey. With several holes to fill Nwsheehy signed free agents Wood, Rodriguez, Gabriel, Mercado and promoted Suzuki. The Tabaky Farmers improved the pitching and can hurl a baseball with the best of them. But the hitting and defense may make you hurl big chunks. Charleston should finish in the middle of the pack in the AL . PREDICTION:79-83
LAST YEARS RECORD:63-99
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Santa Fe finished right where we thought they would...at the bottom. Tchagnon will get the first pick in the draft and add to his stout farm system. I'm not gonna waste time on hitting, pitching and defensive rankings because it was a throw-away season. The Blues did add #1 overall pick Pete George in the draft and Julio Juarez in the IFA market.Holy Crap...deja vu!! Tchagnon pulled out his checkbook and spent 42 million on free agents. He picked up most of the bluechip pitchers in free agency and a catcher. Can Money buy you a championship?? maybe ...when I first looked at this team I thought yea he really bought himself a good pitching staff....but....The offense was lacking. Then I looked at the AAA squad and saw some talent almost ready to be called up. The Blues should be the most improved and will be above .500. They could give Charlotte a run for the division, But its a 2 team race. PREDICTION:84-78
OUT: Jim Sheldon , Byron Weathers , Miguel Piedra
IN: Dick Pence , Chien-Ming Chang
PREVIEW: Money not only can't buy you a Championship, but it can't even buy you 64 wins. Egads!! I wasn't the only one who jumped on the Santa Fe bandwagon. Swish had them ranked #5 in the pre-season power rankings. And the consensus on the chat, was the Blues would finally be happy. Just when I think I have this game figured out ,it humbles me. I thought the pitching would be good and the hitting would be bad. It turns out it was just the opposite.The hitting (.281 BA-6th) was great and the pitching (5.93 ERA, 1.63 WHIP-32nd) was the worst in Wrigleyville . Oh.... and the defense was pretty bad also (124 errors, .980 FPct-30th). In the off-season Tchagnon let Sheldon go to free agency and traded away Weathers. He also waived Piedra outright. TC had only 2 spots open on the M L roster and he signed free agent catcher Pence and traded for Chang. As I said earlier in this post, we had high hopes for the blues last year. And the defense really let them down. I looked at the numbers on the franchise rankings page. Of the 16 teams in the A L, the Blues are 13th in range and glove, 15th in arm strength and 11th in accuracy. Not good news for Santa Fe fans! Maybe the great hitting and the high dollar free agent pitchers will overcome poor defense. The odds are against it. PREDICTION:75-87
LAST YEARS RECORD:60-102
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Last year the Posse had another sub .500 season and long time owner Illicit, threw his arms up and cried, "Uncle". He sold the team to Dmann2158 for a collection of Box Car Willy 8 track tapes and toy train set. Heck, Dmann even threw in a conductors hat and whistle to sweeten the pot. We will miss illicit but he will be busy in his garage happily playing Railroad Tycoon. Dmann will have his work cut out for him after last season. Little Rock had the worst defense (150 errors, .976 FPct-32nd). The pitching (4.83 ERA-24th) and hitting (.267 BA-24th) wasn't much better...how did this team win 73 games?? Illicit did add Marc Dean in the draft so Dmann has something to work with.This team needed alot of help and it looks like Dmann has them on the right track. It may take a few more years before they will contend. But they will improve over last years record.PREDICTION:79-83
OUT: Kendry Pena , Jim Roundtree , Timothy Person , Clinton Goodwin
IN: Julio Castillo , Ruben Rosario , Courtney Darling , Del Ozuna , Ebenezer Barker , Alexei Romero , Andres Lorenzo
PREVIEW: The Moonshiners only won 62 games which was way....way below my prediction of 79 wins. Perhaps its my affinity to alchoholic beverages that skewed my prediction towards the .500 mark. What ever the reason the stats don't lie. The Moonshiners had bad hitting (.253 BA-31st), pitching (5.34 ERA, 1.48 WHIP-28th) and defense (100 errors, .983 FPct-23rd). Enough to drive ya to drink..happily! In the off-season Dmann let Pena and Roundtree go to free agency and released Person. Then he traded away Goodwin to Cincy. With a few gaps to plug Dmann signed free agents Casillo and Rosario and promoted Darling. He picked up Ozuna, Barker, Romero and Lorenzo in the R-5. The Moonshiners have shed 23 million in salaries from last year and have 30 million in cap space. Not choosing to spend the money in free agency means the Moonshiners either will trade for some big salary players or spend some cash on IFA's. He re-vamped his catching corp and filled the rest with R-5 players . The Moonshiners right now are a 70 win team at best. Drink Up Moonshiner Fans...you're gonna need it.PREDICTION: 68-94
LAST YEARS RECORD:104-58
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: There was a dark cloud over my Darkhorse pick. Olemiss called up many of the killer prospects he had stashed in AAA and I thought they were going to make a run. Even though they only won 78 games I still think they will have a break out year soon..too much talent not to.The Black Bears kept stocking up on IFA's with the addition of Cesar Gutierrez , Richard Kyung and Ryota Sugawara to the farm system. Jackson will have many options to aquire M L ready players this year. Last year Oemiss's Black Bears had the worst hitting team in Wrigleyville (.240 BA-32nd) . but they did have great pitching (4.18 ERA-6th) and solid defense (91 errors, .985 FPct-12th).I still believe that Jackson is the cream of the crop in the N L South. Olemiss brought in some proven winners in the trades and he still has several very good prospects in AAA ready to get the call-up. I'm afraid we have awoken a sleeping giant BEAR. PREDICTION:92-70
OUT: Melky Barrios , R.J. Lima , Asdrubal Morales , Jae Yamaguchi , Horacio Mesa , Mule Crawford , Darron Moses
IN: Albert Cabeza , William Mateo , J.J. Lansing , Hick Boucher , Jumbo MacFarlane
OLEMISS'S PREVIEW: The Black Bears return basically everyone from the Season 23 team. The only loss that really has any effect is Asdrubal Morales , but the Black Bears will slide Wesley Goodwin over from 2B to 3B to fill the void,to make room for youngster, Alex Suarez at 2B. The Black Bears traded C, Darron Moses for J.J. Lansing to get a little better there defensively, without losing much offense.In FA, the Black Bears added Hick Boucher and Albert Cabeza to compliment and already stellar bullpen. However, the prize pickup for the Black Bears was a trade made to acquire 3 time AS Jumbo MacFarlane .With a rotation going in of MacFarlane, defending CY winner Michael Suzuki , Carlos Castilla , Oswaldo Veras , and the tandem of Damaso Gonzalez and Robb Holder ,the Black Bears should be pretty good on the mound again. Offensively, the Bears return a team that was 9th overall in scoring and 7th in OPS. With 4 youngsters who have only gotten better,we would expect to finish in the Top 4 in scoring this year. The Black Bears also have young slugger Javier Lopez waiting on a callup, but the Black Bears simply don't have a place to play him right now.
PREVIEW: Yep.....These Bears can hunt....er......By the way, Bears are close cousins to dogs. I was a year early when I picked this team as a darkhorse. They have come out of a long hibernation and are hungry. The Bears clawed the National League and won 104 games with the #2 pitching team (3.18 ERA, 1.22 WHIP-2nd). That as good enough for #1 seed in the playoffs and nobody wanted to play them. The Utes got sent home in the DCS after a sweep then the 2 time defending champs got a crack at the Black Bears. Ehulls guys were the only ones that had a chance to beat Jackson and they did in 6 games. Olemiss had a pretty good year but if the below average hitting (.261 BA-24th) and average defense ( 95 errors, .984 FPct-19th) can improve. Look Out fer them Bears! In the off-season Olemiss let Barrios, Lima, Morales, Yamaguchi and Mesa go to free agency. Then he traded away Crawford and Moses. With several spots open on the ML roster ,Olemiss signed free agents Cabeza and Mateo. And he traded for Lansing, Boucher and "Big" MacFarlane. This is the same good young team as last year with the addition of a veteran SP and a tweak of the catching corp and bullpen. The Black Bears will win this division and will wreak havoc in the playoffs. PREDICTION:100-62
LAST YEARS RECORD:92-70
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Wylies Austin City Limits are headed in the right direction. He just needs to look out for the pitfalls. The City limits surpassed my prediction by winning 76 games last year. They did this with an average offensive club (.270 BA-20th) and average pitching (4.74 ERA-21). They are still held back by poor defense (117 errors, .981 FPct-24th) ,but it was an improvment over season 21. Wylie continues at add tasty prospects with the addition of Benji Machado to the farm system. Players like that will help out the pitching in the future.The addition of Stults will help out the offense but hurt the defense. But Herbert will be a solid defensive fielder and the bullpen will be helped by the addition of Lee and Aomar. All in all Austin is heading in the right direction but still has a way to go. Should finish in the middle of the pack. PREDICTION:81-81
OUT: Ignacio Sosa , Rob Stults , Vern Coleman , Victor Volquez
IN: Howard Ruffin , Jean Jefferson , Sid Miller
PREVIEW: I thought Austin had a ways to go but suprise!! they are here. Wylie's team won 92 games with great pitching (3.97 ERA, 1.33 WHIP-5th). The average hitting (.264 BA-15th) and defense (95 errors, .985 FPct-16th) still needs a tweak here and there. In the off-season Wylie let Sosa go to free agency and released Stults, Coleman and Volquez. With only a couple holes to fill, Wylie signed free agent Ruffin and picked up Jefferson and Miller in the R-5. Replacing Stults in CF with Ruffin will upgrade the defense considerably. And while Ruffin won't hit as many homers he will hit over .300. (I actually had my eye on Ruffin as a possible addition). Wylie plugged in a couple R-5 players and we will see if they are DITR's or LOC's (Lumps Of Coal). He still has 12 million to play with in his player budget and could bring in a good player or 2. The City Limits are a good team but will need a miracle to beat the Black Bears for the division crown. They have a good shot at getting in the playoffs as a wild card .PREDICTION:90-72
LAST YEARS RECORD:72-90
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Wish got the hell out of Durham just ahead of the angry mob. It's partly my fault when I predicted the Bullshippers would have a great turn around year. Thus now this team is The Jacksonville Juggernauts. Will they be more Jugger than Naught remains to be seen. But Wish will have to fix last years Hitting (.264 BA-26th) and Defense (121 errors, .980 FPct-26th). The pitching (4.74 ERA-20th) was slightly improved, so not all was Naught. Benito Torres was added to the farm and he should be a real Jugger.Jacksonville pitching will be better with the trades and the promotion of Bartee. Lee will help shore up the middle D and Myers will knock some homers. All in all the Juggernauts will be a better ballclub but may need more work to make the post-season.PREDICTION: 83-79
OUT: Omar Perez , Nicholas Black , Aaron Wells
IN: Jackson Harris , David Furcal , Javier Veras , Kevin Owens
PREVIEW: The Juggernauts were a little better but just a little. Wish's team won 72 games with above average pitching (4.31 ERA, 1.35 WHIP-14th) and defense (90 errors, .985 FPct-12th). The hitting (.255 BA-29th) wasn't very good and could be a target in free agency. In the off-season Wish let Perez go to free agency and released Black. Wells was signed to a long term contract then traded to the Misfits . To plug the holes, Wish signed free agents Harris, Furcal and Veras. Then he traded for Owens. Wish decided to add some pitching in the off-season and they should be a better club on the mound. The hitting may come around if last years mid-season callups Denny Satou and Clarence Aubrey can put it together. But the position players are young. And it's and it's a crap shoot wheather or not this team will start mashing. Wish also has only 35 million in salaries and has about 37 million in cap space. He may bring in some veterans or transfer money to prospects....it's nice to have options.The Juggernauts could be anywhere from .500 to a wild card contender . My guess is mid-80's but could be 90's with some mid-season pickups. PREDICTION:84-78
LAST YEARS RECORD:70-92
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Big fish in a small pond here. Neligs Stars won the division with a sub .500 record. They took their 80 win season into the playoffs as the #4 seed. And fell to the upstart Salt Lake City Utes in the first round. Tampa Bay had decent hitting (.272 BA-15th) but again the pitching (4.96 ERA-25th) and defense (121 errors, .980 FPct-27th) came up very short.The best player picked up in the off-season was the R-5 guy and that isn't good. The Stars will be lucky to reach the .500 mark especially with the improved Black Bears. PREDICTION:72-90
OUT: Matty Guerrero , Edgar Marquez , Harry Suarez , Anibal Franco , David Green , Ruben Rosario , Steve Teahen , Max Ruiz , Ricardo Lima , Bruce Peterson , Glen Harris , Wiki Serra , Andres Ferrer
IN: William Tabaka , Joe Cunnane , Wayne Zerbe , Jackie Guthrie , Matty Cruz , Santo Prieto , Brendan Ewing , Derrek O'Brien , James Wainhouse , Adam Hamilton , George Cordova , Art Desmond , Esmerling Sanchez , Javier Manzanillo , Jose Pena , Alexi Rios , Harry Padilla , Ryan Monroe , Zeus Butler
PREVIEW: The Tampa Bay Stars finished close to last years prediction. Nelig blamed last years debacle on the umpiring. And was so upset he decided to join them instead of fight them. Word has it that Nelig has enrolled in C.B. Bucknor's Blind Umpires Academy. Nelig...Nelig....say it aint so!! Former Tampa Bay Stars owner, Jmas410, decided to come out of retirement. And bring this team back to the Glory days when he ran the show. He will have some work to do because last years Stars had terrible hitting (.260 BA-27th) and average pitching (4.78 ERA, 1.49 WHIP-21st) and defense (95 errors, .984 FPct-18th). In the off-season ,Jmas let Guerrero, Marquez and Suarez go to free agency. Then he released Franco, Green, Rosario, Teahen, Ruiz and Lima. Finally he traded away Peterson and Harris and waived Sierra and Ferrer. Now with a bunch of roster spots to fill , Jmas signed free agents Tabaka, Cunnane, Zerbe, Guthrie, Cruz and Preito. Then he promoted Ewing and traded for O'Brien, Wainhouse, Hamilton, Cordova, Desmond, Sanchez, Manzanillo, Pena, Rios, Padilla Monroe and Butler. Whew!!! Someone was burning up the trade chat channels. With so many new faces it would be hard to predict how this team will do. So I will have to go to the Franchise Ranking page and base my prediction on that. In the N L the Stars are # 2 in Eye and Contact and #1 in RH hitting and LH hitting and #5 in power. So this team can hit with the best of them. The pitchers control is #4 ,LH is #8, RH is #2 and 1st pitch is 15th. So the pitching is about average overall. My guess this years stars will hit well enough to overcome average pitching and play for a wildcard berth.PREDICTION:87-75
Saturday, September 14, 2013
|Oh Ehull....You RASCAL!|
Hello everyone it's I.B Lyons here with season 23's Champions story. The Burlington Coat Factories did the impossible and 3-peated. I caught up to the Champs owner and chief fornicater, Ehull11, at their new spring training facility in beautiful Oracle Arizona.
The flight into Tuscon was uneventful but my taxi to the new Slap and Tickle.com stadium was uncomfortable. My taxi driver Ram Amandeep must have took the long way because after a long bumpy ride, my roids were barking. And the 125.00 fare made me feel very violated and ashamed. I made my way to the training room and there was Ehull11 at the training table filling his plate with carne guisada and beef enchiladas. I met him at the table as he was sitting down and he smiled,wiped his hands on his Guayabera and shook my hand. "Hello I.B. ,Welcome to my new Spring Trainig facility. Have you had a chance to visit our new interactive fan experience? It has everything for a Coat Factory fan, from the Butt and Booby whack-a-mole to the Raincoat flash your junk wax museum. Very popular with the ladies, that one." He shovled in a mouthful of carne guisada and I took this opportunity to ask my first question.
What did you think of your teams regular season?? Ehull took a long drink from his Tequilla Sunrise and said:
"The regular season was a surprise. Three guys hitting 40+ HRs is mighty unsual for these parts. In Burlington we believe in pitching first, pitching second, and pitching last. Suddenly, these kids are launching balls out of our spacious park left and right. It was unsettling. I also didn't care for the unrelated used syringes littering the clubhouse."
I agree Ehull it could be a pricky situation. What player in your opinion was instrumental in your run to the championship?
"Oh, Marty Allen was powerful special this year. Powerful special! .329 with 47 HRs in the regular season. Then hits 5 more dingers in the post-season while batting .375. He was truly the straw that stirred the drink." With that he guzzled his drink and ordered us 2 more.
Then I asked. After losing Karnuth to Madmuldoons team in free agency you picked up Torres from his team of miscreants. Did Torres behave himself ?
"Karnuth is a good, quiet kid. Works hard. Lives to hit his doubles. Minds his own beeswax. Then we pick up this Torres. What can I say? Wild. Came in from Vancouver with some tales that'd make a whore blush. Shit, we are used to rabble rousing. Booze. Maybe a bump of coke here and there. You know, kids stuff. But Torres was a whole different kind of beast. I don't know what ownership is doing up in VC but hopefully the move to warmer climes includes some straightening up of their ways. But I fear they moved to the desert for new locales to bury the bodies. I lived in Scottsdale for 5 years and they don't need anymore sketchy characters. I think they added a whole team of 'em."
Yea working for Mad is interesting to say the least. Now that he is in Scottsdale the debauchery has taken a new level. Used to be he had to stay indoors during the winter months. Now.....it's outdoors and in the open year round. We both nodded in agreement then i asked. Mad said in the preview that Guthrie was a key pickup in the off-season. What are your plans for him next year?
Ehull got up filled his plate and sat back down and said: "At age 34 that rascal wants a 4 year contract. 4 years! I told him to come back when reality sinks in. He took a swing at me. I grabbed my gun. All in all, it's a typical off season."
Way to stand your ground Ehull .But I'm not sure grabbing your dick was the answer tho. I grinned and decided to ask him a real world question. I know your a Diamondback fan. What happened to them this year and will they get in as a wild-card?
"My understanding is that the D'backs are deep in talks with Swish to pull off a rare inter-dimensional trade for Johnny Stone and Placido Telemaco. If the scientists at Cal Tech can figure this whole thing out, I think the future looks bright for the D'backs."
Whoa there big fella. Not sure the time continum can take that. Mixing the real world with the make believe can create all kinds of problems. Look at Miley Cyrus as an example, I can never watch Hannah Montana re-runs again with out whacking off. I shivered at the thought , downed a drink to clear my head and asked. What are the odds the Coat Factories 4-peat?
Call me crazy but on a scale from Charlie Sheen to Conway Twitty, I'm rating our chances at a Jesse Ventura. I know what you are thinking: "How can I even say that?" But I stand by it 100%."
No time to Bleed. I get ya. Last question then I will let you eat your dessert in peace. Is there anything you would like to say to the Wrigleyville bunch?
I'd like to say that I feel very fortunate to keep getting hot in the playoffs. Duking it out in the playoffs against great owners like swish, olemiss, jeff2106, mdymond, mark3313, hatton98, and nelig over the last three years is awesome. I also have to give a shout to rbedwell who kept me out of a few other series. In this league, you line up your guys and know that it is going to be a dog fight in the playoffs because every owner brings it. Good stuff and I look forward to another season. Good luck to all."
Well said Ehull and Congrats again on your 3rd World Championship. He ripped his cuban shirt off and wiped his chin, then slapped me on the rump on my way out the door.
It has been a pleasure to interview Ehull the last 3 years .And who knows, Maybe it will be 4???