Saturday, October 11, 2014


Fargo Prairie Dogs (AL)
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LAST YEARS RECORD:96-66(Division Winner)

  Aarons P-Dogs finished close to where I thought they would. Even so, they just about won the division, but giving up 870 runs and 229 long-balls is hard to overcome.But help is on the way,Aaron picked up some pitching in the draft and they will help in 1-2 years (Curtis NelsonHarvey Romero). In the off-season Aaron let Leonard, Vincente, Henriquez , Blair go to free agency and released Dean and Romo. he signed free agents Javier, Gomez, Gamel,Vargas, Pimentel to fill the holes. Aaron spent 24 million on free agents and they are all solid players.His starting rotation is good and the bullpen will be great against RH hitters.The starting line-up defensively is poor but they are very good offensively. All in All I think the P-dogs will play better, and in this weak division, they could easily win it.PREDICTION:87-75

OUT: Pascual VargasRafael PimentelFrancis DoumitAlex GamelMarshall WinnJ.J. Lansing , Edgardo AlvarezKendry BocachicaBen Farley

IN: Dick PenceGiomar MolinaJ.B. BattleChien-Ming ChangYuniesky Trevino , Jason FaulkEduardo Navarro , Lewis Taft

PREVIEW: The Money Aaron spent in free agency helped get the P-Dogs over the fence and running the streets.  Who let the Dogs out? . They easily won the division with a 96 win season and they did this with great pitching. Fargo was the 3rd ranked pitching staff in the A L with a ERA of 4.25. In the post-season the P-dogs sat out the 1st round with a bye then mauled the Blitz in the DCS. In the ALCS the P-dogs couldn't swim with the Salmonbellies and were swept away. In the off-season Aaron re-signed Emmanuel Soto and let Vargas, Pimentel, Doumit, Gamel, Winn and Lansing go to free agency. He released Alvarez and Bocachica and put Farley on the waiver wire. Aaron signed free agents Pence, Molina, Battle, Chang , Trevino , promoted Faulk , Navarro and picked up Taft in the R-5. With a re-vamped catching corps and some addition of good players. Fargo should win this division but the Bruins are getting better and should give them a run for the money. Aaron will be back in the playoff and may make it back to the ALCS. PREDICTION:95-67(Division Winner)

New Britain
New Britain Bruins (AL)
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 Dodgers team did win the division but it wasn't easy. As predicted they did get challenged from the other teams in the division but finished 4 games ahead of the P-dogs. I also predicted they would be under-dogs in the playoffs and I was dog-gone wrong. The Bruins beat the 90 win Salmonbellies in the first round then surprised the 96 win Tabaky Farmers in the DCS. Dodger found himself in the ALCS and took the eventual Champs to a 7th game. All in all my prediction of a bad playoffs for the Bruins was colder than a 3 dog night! In the off-season Dodger re-signed Johnny Stone and let Martinez, George and DeHaan go to free agency and released Velazquez. This is pretty much the same team as last year and Dodger still has a roster spot open. They should win about 85-90 games and are always dangerous in the post-season.PREDICTION:88-74(Division Winner)

OUT: Johnny StonePlacido TelemacoBill SkinnerVic Cervelli

IN: Nicky FordhamGavin EveridgeRamiro Pena

PREVIEW: Dodger's guys didn't win the division and missed the playoffs. This was mostly due to the emergence of Fargo as a playoff force. The Bruins were lucky the previous year when they made the playoffs as a #4 seed while winning only 83 games. And continued the lucky streak by making it all the way to the ALCS. Season 27 wasn't so lucky and this is a fairly young team and may get better with more playing time. The strength of New Britain is the pitching. They were the best in the A L last year with a ERA of 3.95 and only allowed 704 runs. If they could improve on the 15th ranked hitting...Dodger's team may take off. In the off-season Dodger let Stone, Telemaco, Skinner and Cervelli go to free agency. He then signed free agents Fordham, Everidge and Pena. The loss of a great pitcher like Telemaco can be looked at as a bad thing but Dodger was happy he left and retired. His 20 million a year contract and diminished abilities were a drain on this team. With the extra cash in hand, Dodger was a smart shopper and picked up 3 good free agents to compete with the P-Dogs. It's a cathartic experience getting shed of a BIG contract and now that New Britain has some cap space they can make some mid-season acquisitions. I think this team has a good chance at the division but will come up a bit short and settle for a wildcard. PREDICTION:90-72(Wildcard)

Hartford Insurance (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: PB's Team has me pulling on whats left of my hair. I thought they would be in the running for a wild card ,but this was not so. The Insurances are stuck at 78 wins , at least they're consistent, and with a weak division they only finished 5 games back of the Bruins. In the off-season PB re-signed Pasqual Perez and let Surkamp, Franco, Pena go to free agency. He signed free agent Mullens,  picked up Terrell in the R-5 and traded for West. Mullins and Terrell will improve an already stout defensive squad. And West will improve last years team .267 BA. Hartford will make it a 3 team fight for the division.PREDICTION:84-78

OUT: Cesar RoqueAaron WellsJesus James

IN: Phil KohTony RomeroJ.P. MendezCesar Acosta

PREVIEW: PB's Insurance were stuck at 78 wins the last two seasons and last year they upped the game and won 79......WhooHoo!! They did almost get second place in the division but lost the tie-breaker to New Britain. Last year the batting average did improve to .273 but the pitching was still a little below average (4.64 ERA). In the off-season PB re-signed Kendry TorcatoDick Badenhop and let Roque, Wells, James go to free agency. He signed free agents Koh, Romero, Mendez and picked up Acosta in the R-5 draft. The loss of James, who I really like, Will be a blow . But it was softened by the pickup of Koh and Romero. Mendez is a career .300 hitter and will definitely help the offense. PB also has some options to fall back on in AAA if the new guys, like Acosta, don't pan out. Right now the Insurance look like a average team but the season is long and he has options. PREDICTION: 83-79

Chicago Black Hawks (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Black Hawks went the other way. Instead of winning 6-8 more games than last year, they lost 10 more.In the words of our governor here in the great state of Texas.........Whoops!! Last year wasn't a total loss, Hacker picked up Sam Sheridan in the draft. In the off-season Hacker released Sosa and lost Larish on the waiver wire. He signed free agent Fernandez and picked up Tomko in the R-5 draft.Same guys as last year with a couple new guys in the bullpen. Maybe they will win a couple more games but not enough to get to the .500 mark.PREDICTION:75-87

OUT: Randy PalmerRobinson GloverErnest Spencer

IN: Danny WilsonVernon Teagarden

PREVIEW: The Black Hawks finished about where we expected, just shy of .500. It's not from a lack of trying, Hacker has done everything he can think of to make this team win. He even speed promoted his first round pick all the way to the bigs last year (Gary Jacquez). That's just this side of desperation.In the off-season Hacker let Palmer, Glover go to free agency and released Spencer. He signed free agent Wilson and picked up Teagarden in the R-5 draft.This team has been carried by Rich Piper and he may get some help this year if Sam Sheridan gets promoted. Gary Jacquez is back in AAA and he may get the call-up soon. The addition of Wilson was OK but he walks too many batters for my liking. And Teagarden isn't ready for the bigs. This team has some studs and it will take a MVP year from Piper to make the playoffs.PREDICTION:75-87

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