Friday, January 3, 2014


Charlotte Sometimes (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Barney LivingstoneMark BrockHoracio Benitez , Kenny DelahantyLouis Ramirez

IN: Miguel BaezPlacido CantuJose Iglesias

PREVIEW:  Hattons Sometimes did battle for the division and won it with a 84-78 record. They accomplished this with average hitting (.266 BA-15th, 813 runs-15th) , average pitching (4.54 ERA-17th, 1.34 WHIP-9th) and average fielding (101 errors-18th, .983 FPct-18th). Average indeed! Average Charlotte went into the playoffs as the #4 seed and spanked the 95 win Moonbats. Then in the DCS they played the #1 seeded Salmonbellies. It didn't go well, they were swept in 3 games. In the off-season Hatton let Livingstone, Brock and Benitez go to free agency and released Delahanty. He traded away Ramirez to Louisville. Then he signed free agent Baez and promoted Cantu and Iglesias. The signing of Baez will bring in more homers and runs,but they lost some pitching. Hatton and his Sometimes have the fortune to play in one of the weaker divisions and are the favorites to win it. But the Blues are improved and may take the pennant from them. Charlotte has to win the division because there will be no wildcard from the A L South. PREDICTION:86-76 (Division Winner)


LAST YEARS 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). 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

OUT:  Wayne Danks

IN:  Peter Hodges

PREVIEW:  The Blues finished 3 games above my prediction of 75 wins. Tchagnon's guys had the #3 hitting squad with a batting average of .284 and scored 880 runs (6th).That's the good news, now for the bad. The pitching (5.30 ERA-30th, 1.51 WHIP-27th) and defense (120 errors-29th, .981 FPct-29th)was terrible.It's obvious the that the offense couldn't overcome the pitching and defense. In the off-season TC let Danks go to free agency. And signed free agent Hodges and has yet to assign him to the ML roster. Santa Fe has one of the younger teams in Wrigleyville. And many players have improved with another year in the bag.I think the Blues finish above .500 and It's just a matter of time before they make the post-season. They have a good shot at winning this weak division.Could this be their year?? PREDICTION:85-77

Charleston Tobacco Farmers (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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 surprised this team won 73 games.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

OUT: Mo ColemanJosh ParkerLouie ElcanoDean HayesWandy MatosTim Oliver

IN: Anthony RupeClayton BraggRicardo Amaral

PREVIEW:  Nwsheehy's Tabaky farmers have fallen on rough times. I predicted they would finish in the middle of the AL ,but they were nearer the bottom. Charleston fans eyes were filled with tears, and with good reason. This team had acrimonious hitting (.256 BA-28th, 743 runs-23rd) , pitching (5.04 ERA-28th, 1.52 WHIP-28th) and defense (112 errors-26th, ..981 FPct-28th). In the off-season Nwsheehy let Coleman, Parker, Elcano, Hayes, Matos and Oliver go to free agency. Then he signed free agents Rupe, Bragg and Amaral to replace them. The Tabaky Farmers promoted Taylor Allen  , Nelson Webb and Douglas Bolton last year. They alone with their improved numbers will make this a better team . Charleston is just a couple of good players from making the playoffs. Right now they are a 75 win team but could add some players during the season and make a run for the division.PREDICTION:75-87

Little Rock
Little Rock Moonshiners (AL)
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LAST YEARS 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!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're gonna need it.PREDICTION: 68-94

OUT: Dan ColesRene WalkerAlex OutmanVladimir Gonzales

IN: Cristian SatouTroy FosterEmilio JacquezIsmael Galvez

PREVIEW:  The Moonshiners finished about where we thought here at the WHIF. When the room stopped spinning and the little green leprechauns disappeared , Dmann was left with 67 wins. Drinking heavily will do that, I know. The drunken Arkansonians had wobbly hitting (.251 BA-29th, 723 runs-23rd) , , inebriated pitching (4.98 ERA-27th, 1.43 WHIP-20th) and stumbling defense (101 errors-19th, .983 FPct-19th). In the off-season Dmann let Coles go to free agency and released Walker. He traded away Outman and lost Gonzales on the waiver wire. Dmann promoted Satou and picked-up Foster and Jaquez in the R-5 draft. Finally he brought in Galvez thru a earlier trade. Dmann improved his team a little and he still has about 10 million in AAA contracts thanks to the previous owner. This is one of the youngest teams and they will get better.Maybe it's this year??? Odds are it's still a year or two away. PREDICTION:78-84

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