Monday, April 7, 2014


New Britain
New Britain Bruins (AL)
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LAST YEARS RECORD:91-71 (Division Winner)

LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Dodgers Bruins finished close to my prediction of 92 wins and the Misfits were nipping at their heels. In the end, they did win the division due to their great pitching staff (4.00 ERA-6th, 1.32 WHIP-5th). The hitting was good with a .274 BA-(9th) and 891-(5th) runs scored. The defense (97 errors-16th, .984 FPct-13th) was like a dingle-berry on a bears butt..... not a  problem.They went into the playoffs as the #2 seed and battled all the way to the World Series. It was a bear of a series and the Bruins lost to the Black Bears in 7 games.Last year Dodger called up youngsters Gill Hartzell  , Adam Green , Esmailyn Figureoa and Gio Francisco and looks as if they're in the Bigs to stay. New Britain will finish with a division win with the Misfits and P-dogs finishing close behind.PREDICTION:100-62(Division Winner)

OUT: Destin BrowFreddie LongLuis RodriguezDavid Cabrera , Artie GarlandVic Espinoza

IN: Bill SkinnerRaul SilvaEric WestPablo VasquezLou Gamel

 LAST YEARS PREVIEW: New Britain will finish with a division win with the Misfits and P-dogs finishing close behind.Prediction: 100-62 OUT: Louis White, Jeremy George, Vic Espinoza, Freddie Long, David Cabrera, Vasco Morales,Destin Brow, Artie Garland IN: Bill Skinner, Eric West, Raul Silva, Carl Hinchliffe, Jeremy DeHaan, Steve Cashner, Pablo Vasquez, Lou Game 
PREVIEW: Most teams would happy that they made it to the playoffs in five of the last seven years,but any year that the Bruins don’t make it to the ALCS is a disappointment. The Bruins feature a lethal group of talent that includes former MVP Ardolis Guerra,and 5 time Cy Young winner Miguel Blanco. The Blanco sweepstakes captivated, amused, and even befuddled Wrigleyville during the off-season. Now that he has landed back in New Britain, the team has undertaken quite a few changes.The older and less productive players have started to filter out of the organization allowing new talent to make their way in. Mostly it is fill in bench players, and suspect bullpen arms. Still, the team features Gill Hartztell,Guerra, Mark McCarthy, Mack Diaz, Josh Stuart, Yorman Velazquez, and Johnny Stone. This team is loaded. The question marks are backup catcher (Rigo Garces) and the new starter in CF Willie Giles (who is only there for his glove).Overall, this team will continue to contend, but seem to have taken a step back. You can expect them to score between 810 and 840 runs, and allow 740 to 710. PREDICTION: 88-74

PREVIEW: The Bruins did win the division but the misfits and P-dogs weren't even close. Dodgers guys won 91 games with the #1 defensive team and the #3  pitching team in the American League. Imagine how good they would be if the hitting (10th in the A L) was improved. They took their great pitching and defensive team into the playoffs as the #2 seed. Where after a first round bye, they beat a good Charlotte team in 4 . In the American League Championship, the Bruins were surprised by the 100 win wild-card Salmonbellies. In the off-season the biggest priority was to re-sign Miguel Blanco and Dodger let Brow, Long, Rodriguez and Cabrera go to free agency. He released Garland and waived Espinoza. With a couple holes to fill ,Dodger signed free agent Skinner and picked up Siva, West, Vasquez and Gamel in the R-5 draft. After Dodger blew his wad on Blanco he had about 10 million left to fill the holes. He signed one free agent and filled the rest with R-5's. So Dodger got his guy but can he overcome some of the other talent he lost with R-5 pick-ups? With the other teams in the division not doing very well last year he will eke out a division win. But this team will be a under dog in the post-season.PREDICTION: 89-73(Division Winner)

Hartford Insurance (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Hit the bulls-eye on last years prediction. PB's Misfits won 89 games and played very well last year offensively.They sported  a batting average of .280 (4th) while scoring 875 runs (7th). Their pitching was below average (4.56 ERA-19th, 1.38 WHIP-15th) and may be due to one of the worst defensive squads (120 errors-30th, .980 FPct-30th) in Wrigleyville. Even though they missed winning the division, they did get into the playoffs as a wild-card. Where they swept Richmond in the first round, and in the DCS  they took a good Bruins team to a 5th game, but came up short. This team makes me scratch my head, I thought you needed good pitching and defense to go far in the post-season. It just shows to go you, anything is possible in the playoffs.Minnesota improved the pitching with Surkamp,Little, Roque and Torres. They also brought in a good defensive player in Pena. With the improvements PB's Misfits are gonna be in the division race. And it may come down to who has the least amount of injuries. If not the division they will be in the wild card race.PREDICTION:94-68(Wildcard)

OUT: Joe ValdesLivan MercadoPedro RondonChad Jones , Thomas Dingman

IN: Kendry TorcatoTsubasa CheungDamion WangKarl Faulk

PB's PREVIEW: I'm giving these guys one last chance. I moved Badenhop to DH and brought in a defensive C. Maybe that will settle down some pitchers as I move into more of a hitter's park.If my batters can regain their form and Javier Lopez performs as he should, maybe we can have a decent season. Last season 2/3 of my team underperformed their career averages!!!

PREVIEW: Pbsilver was tearing out his hair and gnashing his teeth last year. And my prediction of a 94 win Wild card team was way,way off. I knew by the All-star break last year that the Misfits were Misfiring when I wrote this in my "At The Break" Post: We have been discussing the fall of the Misfits on the chat. I have been scratching my head at the Misfits downward slide. One owner pointed out the hole in the 2nd/ Cf/ Rf defense and that could be the cause. But this years Misfits score 1.2 runs less per game and that is hard to overcome. PB made a trade and brought in slugger Javier Lopez ,who may help drive in more runs. Right now Minnesota is on track to win about 70 games and miss the playoffs. So much for my prediction.
Pb's Team did win more than 70 games in the end with 78 wins. The bright spot was that they had a good defense that was ranked 5th in the A L . So after ordering a new rug to hide the bald spots on his scalp, PB moved the team to Hartford. Maybe a change of scenery will help?? In the off-season PB re-signed Rick SurkampPasqual Perez and  Cesar Roque . He let Valdes,Mercado, Rondon and Jones go to free agency and  released Dingman. With a few spots open ,PB signed free agent Torcato and promoted Cheung. He picked up Wang and Faulk in the R-5 draft to fill out the roster. The new park in Hartford is a hitters park compared to the neutral Humphrey dome in Minnesota. It's a great move and they will score more runs and the pitching is good enough to keep them in games. Look for good times with Hartford battling for the division. They could win it but may have to settle for a wild-card. PREDICTION:88-74

Chicago Black Hawks (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Black Sox finished with 78 wins as predicted. For the record, last years big signing of DH/C Ryan Olshan went well. He smacked 24 homers while hitting .279. Not great...but not bad either. Last year Hackers Black Sox had average hitting (.266 BA-16th, 859 runs-9th), below average pitching (4.85 ERA-24th, 1.51 WHIP-26th) and again the worst defense in Wrigleyville (125 errors-32nd, .979 FPct-32nd).Hacker continues to hand out big signing bonuses, 5 million for both Ruiz and Belliard. In the long run this will make future payrolls low and that may be his strategy. Ruiz will help the defense at the hot corner, and it's hard to believe this team is so bad at defense with a GG Cf'er. Maybe it's the lack of a good shortstop? None the less , The Black Sox are another one who will try and outscore their foes. It may prove to big of a hill to climb? PREDICTION: 82-80

OUT: Dean HayesFlash ReimoldKoji Martin , Justin Granger

IN: Mule CrawfordRandy Palmer

PREVIEW: Hacker changed the name of his team to the Black Hawks after failing to reach the .500 mark. I predicted they would win 82 games but they only won 77. This team is one of the better hitting teams in the AL ,ranked #2. It's the pitching ( Last in the A L) and the defense (13th in the AL) that held them back last year.It was to big a hill to climb! In the off-season Hacker let Hayes, Reimold and Martin go to free agency and released Granger. he only had a couple roster spots open and filled them with free agents Crawford and Palmer. Chicago is on the right track by bringing in 2 good pitchers but will it be enough? I think they will win 6-8 more games but with a weak division they have a good a shot as anybody for the division crown.PREDICTION:83-79

Fargo Prairie Dogs (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The P-dogs lifted their leg and pissed on mine. I thought they would improve on a .500 season last year and I was wrong,wrong wrong. I keep forecasting a 90+ win season and they keep putting up 80 win seasons. They did have allot of turnover last year ,so my bad,but I still have wet pant legs. Last years team had good hitting again (.275 BA-7th, 860 runs-8th). Below average pitching (4.72 ERA-21st,1.45 WHIP-24th)  and defense (102 errors-20th, .983 FPct-18th).The youngster McNamara is finally ready to play a full season in the bigs. And if he plays up to his ability, that alone will improve the P-Dogs.Dawley and Leonard are good offensive players and Dodd was a multi GG shortstop on the decline. Looks like the P-dogs will try and out score their opponents with great hitting and poor pitching. Another average year in Fargo. PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Vernon NickleKendry TorcatoJavier FloresRaul Castillo

IN: Ismael GalvezJ.J. Lansing

PREVIEW: The P-Dogs were another team that relies on the bats (8th in the AL) to overcome the holes in the pitching (12th in the AL) and defense (9th in the AL). And they did improve the defense from the year before ,but in the end they could only muster 73 wins. At The Break Aaron was throwing in the towel and looking to move players. This was my All-Star post: The P-Dogs have crawled in their holes and refuse to come out. They are on pace to win about 65-70 games. Right now Fargo is giving up more runs than they are scoring and will be lucky to reach my prediction of 81 wins. That may be why Aaron is throwing in the towel on this year . he posted:
I'm open to trading just about everyone on the roster. I've got two, nicely priced power bats, some solid defensive players, no pitching, but there's something out there for everyone
See ya next year P-Dogs . Then they may come out in the sunshine.
That post about says it all about last years season. In the off-season Aaron let Nickle, Torcato, Flores and Castillio go to free agency. He filled the holes with free agents Galvez and Lansing. This is pretty much the same team as last year with a slugger(Lansing) and a good speedy defensive 2nd baseman(Galvez) added. With pitching still the problem in Fargo the P-dogs will stay in their holes.PREDICTION:80-82

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