Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Jackson Black Bears (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Yep.....These Bears can 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!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

OUT: William MateoJumbo MacFarlaneAlex SuarezAlbert Cabeza

IN:  Zeus ButlerRob DillonTaylor Castillo

OLEMISS'S PREVIEW:  Defending WS Champions Jackson return virtually the entire roster. Jackson led the league in pitching by a wide margin last year, and return every major piece of that staff. The only loss is Jumbo MacFarlane ,who was going to be the odd man out of the rotation. Jackson hopes there is no major injury to the rotation, as MacFarlane would have been a more than capable replacement. The Black Bears added a stud reliever in Zeus Butler ,to go along with an already stout bullpen of Rick Prince Mac Patrick and Hick Boucher. Jackson management would be disappointed if the staff's numbers don't improve from last years.If there is a injury to the rotation, the first call to AAA will be to bring up Benji Torres . As for the offense, the Black Bears return everyone, with the only addition being CRob Dillon .The Black Bears won't be as solid defensively as last year, but should be better offensively. Management would be disappointed with anything other than another 100+ win season and a deep run in the playoffs.

PREVIEW:  Look out Fer Them Bears! Olemiss bested my 100 win prediction and finished with 105. They did wreak havoc in the playoffs and brought a World Series Trophy to Jackson. Congrats Olemiss ,well done. Last year the Black Bears had the #1 pitching staff with w ERA of 3.36 and a WHIP of 1.20. They also had the 3rd best defensive squad with only 75 errors and a FPct of .988. Their hitting was average at best with .258 BA (26th) and 857 runs (10th) scored. Looks like pitching and defense will win every time. And if you manufacture enough runs....well then you have Championship Team. In the off-season Olemiss let Mateo go to free agency and traded away MacFarlane, Suarez and Cabeza. He traded for Butler and Dillon , and picked up Castillo in the R-5 draft. The pickup of Butler ( who I tried to trade for) will make a very good bullpen great. It was a pricey pick-up,but after Suarez got injured last year, he was tradeable. Dillon was brought in to shore up the catching corps, and he does have 3  rings with Burlington, so he's no slouch. The Black Bears are the team to beat in Wrigleyville. They will get competition from the others in this division but should win it. The World Series is another story...... Anything can happen in the post season.I would be surprised if they didn't play in the Series again. PREDICTION:103-59(N L Champ)

Austin City Limits (NL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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

OUT: Craig DoddJose Lee

IN: Andres Espinosa

WYLIE'S PREVIEW: The City Limits are hoping to make the playoffs again,but we'd have to get lucky to win it all, I think. We have a solid offense, led by 1B Damaso gardel and RF Zip Madson. The pitching will be our downfall. We have a nice #1 in Jung Kim,but all the other starters are #3 or #4 starters ate best. The bullpen is dependable, but not great. I think if we keep Cfer Howard Ruffin healthy and the pitching shows even minor improvement, we'll be in the playoffs again.

PREVIEW: Wylie's City Limits had a very good year and finished close to my predictions. They won 92 games with good hitting (.269 BA-12th, 851 runs-11th) and pitching (4.09 ERA-9th, 1.33 WHIP-8th). the defense was porous with a 109 errors (24th) and a FPct of .983 (24th). Austin went into the playoffs as a wildcard and trounced my Zoids in the first round 3 games to 1. Not surprised here, he trounced me in the regular season also. Then in the DCS they met up with the #1 seeded Muskellunges and lost in 4. In the off-season Wylie let Dodd and Lee go to free agency. Then he picked up Espinoza in the R-5 draft. This is the same good young team with another year of experience. They will battle for the division crown and will need Jackson to stumble in order to win it. Wylie's warriors should make the playoffs and are dangerous with very good pitching.PREDICTION:96-66(Wild Card)

Jacksonville Juggernauts (NL)
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LAST YEARS 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.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 call-ups Denny Satou and Clarence Aubrey can put it together. But the position players are young. And it's and it's a crap shoot whether 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'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

OUT:  Brian Martin

IN: Kenny Delahanty

PREVIEW: Wish's Juggernauts finished below my .....prediction of 84 wins. Still 79 wins are a improvement from the previous season. They did this with very good defense (83 errors-6th, .986 FPct-6th) a decent pitching (4.38 ERA-12th, 1.38 WHIP-14th) . The hitting is lagging but not terrible (.264 BA-21st, 750 runs-22nd). In the off-season Wish let Martin go to free agency. Then he signed free agent Delahanty to fill out his roster. The Juggernauts game is pitching and defense . If they can score enough runs Jacksonville may make the playoffs. Having to battle 2 tough teams in their division doesn't help. For that reason, I'm inclined to believe this team will miss the playoffs. PREDICTION:81-81


LAST YEARS 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).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

OUT:  Santos MiesesSanto PrietoVictor MedranoJimmie GuerreroGeorge CordovaAdam HamiltonJoe CunnaneJavier Manzanillo , Jose PenaJames WainhouseArt DesmondEsmerling Sanchez , Matt GibbonsEmil AguilarHarry PadillaZeus ButlerAlexi RiosJackie GuthrieWilliam Tabaka , Javier Flores

IN: Vladimir GonzalesDante SwindellLouie WatersHarry EspinosaAlex CortezDerrick SandersTroy Towers , Dave MooreBryan LombardiTori MillerYunesky CruzJavier OzunaEmil Soler , Vince WashingtonBenny CulverAlex Suarez

PREVIEW:  Missed this one! Jmas's major overhaul didn't go well. The Stars only managed 75 wins and this may be due to playing in a tough division. But that's not the only reason, lack of timely hitting and run support was their downfall. Last year Tampa Bay had average hitting (.265 BA-18th, 718 runs-26th) and pitching (4.38 ERA-13th,1.39 WHIP-16th) with good defense (85 errors-8th, .986 FPct-8th). This poor season led Jmas to go back into retirement. Svick bought the team for a Netflix gift certificate and a Commodore 64 game console.That should keep Jmas entertained in his survival bunker.  In the Off-season Svick let Mieses, Prieto, Medrano, Guerrero, Cordova, Hamilton, Cunnane and Manzaillo go to free agency. Then he released Pena, Wainhouse, Desmond, Sanchez and waived Flores. He traded away Gibbons, Aguilar, Padilla, Butler, Rios, Gutherie and Tabaka . Phew!! Man that's burning down the house with a flame thrower. When the embers cooled Svick claimed Gonzales, Swindell and Waters off the waiver wire. Then signed free agents Espinosa, Cortez, Sanders, Towers and promoted Moore, Lombardi, Miller, Cruz, Ozuna and Soler. He picked-up Washington and Culver in the R-5 and one of the earlier trades brought in Suarez. Forget last year stats, all of last years players are gone and replaced with waiver claims, R-5's , low level free agents and young prospects from the minors.This is a house gutting and re-build plain and simple. Svick slashed 50 million in contracts and has 30 million in player cap space.While picking up prospects and getting younger. He may transfer money and pick up some tasty IFA's . Or if his team does well early, pick up some high dollar waiver wire cast-offs. I had to go to the Magic 8-ball for my prediction. PREDICTION: 68-94

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