Quarterpoint Power Rankings

22 02 2011

We just passed the 40 game mark, draft prospects have shown up for your viewing. It’s about time we did a Power Ranking.

1. San Antonio (rlahann)31-11 – Best record in the league in arguably the toughest division in the league. A remarkable 8-0 record in extra inning games. Not to mention an unreal 139 runs allowed, which tops both leagues.

2. Toledo (calvinhydro) – 30-12 – Second best record, with an impressive 9-1 division mark. After years of stockpiling talent, Toledo has moved quickly to pounce on the opportunity. League leaders in runs scored.

3. Salem (moy23) – 27-15 – Gave them the edge for the third spot after taking two of three in a series against San Antonio this weekend. Due for a spell of retardation.

4. Dover (tylermathias) – 27-15 – National League’s best record. Playing beyond the limits of mediocrity. Might backslide once TM is unemployed and decides to spend more time paying attention to the team.

5. Mexico City (cbriese) – 25-17 – The focus on defense and pitching has this team poised for another playoff season. Playing below Expected Winning Percentage, so there is improvement to be had for this team. Will probably finish with the least runs allowed in the league.

6. Detroit (robusk) – 24-18 – Winning the division despite a difficulty scoring runs. It will be interesting to see how they perform when robusk abandons them to gallavant around Europe.

7. Philadelphia (jwelsh) – 22-20 – Probably ranked too highly, but they’re severely outperforming this record. They’ve lost 12 games by one run. That shouldn’t happen with one of the best closers in the league on their roster. The expected winning percentage and improved late-game performance should have them as a frontrunner for a National League playoff spot.

8. Montgomer (r0b0t) – 24-18 – Should be playing better. An unreasonable amount of solo home runs highlights a need for OBP improvement.

9. Colorado (jstnklly) – 24-18 – Reigning NL West champions were slow out of the gate, but have been pushing moy for the division title as the season has worn on. Willie Simpson continues to play at an MVP level.

10. San Francisco (acecards) – 22-20 – This is where it gets tough, as there is a very large contingent of teams hovering around .500. However San Francisco has the framework to bust out of a minislump and improve significantly.

11. Memphis (patrickm) – 23-19 – Performing above expectations. Ranked this highly based on current success, though I foresee a precipitous dropoff in their future.

12. Honolulu (spacecoyote) – 22-20 – Tied atop the NL West despite preseason roster clearance sale. In a season in which they were not expected to contend, even by their owner, they have performed admirably and have an Expected Winning percentage that says they should be doing even better.

13. Montreal (gin) – 21-21 – Seems to be reinvigorating the franchise. There’s some motivation to this season for gin, probably out of spite. In fact, Cliff Santurria has been seen shooting crows with a potato gun. Perhaps in an attempt to feed someone crow later on.

14. Scranton (alcheez) – 21-21 – Good team. It’s too bad alcheez doesn’t have a functioning scrotum. He was in a good position to upgrade this team in the offseason and didn’t really do much. Probably still a virgin.

15. Cleveland (dmurphy) – 21-21 – Talented minor league system that’s slowly being brought up to the majors. Has improved with each week of the season, which either indicates that young players are blossoming or dmurphy being too consumed with his next child has let the SIM take more control over the franchise and undo his fuckery.

16. Kansas City (babypop) – 21-21 – Despite talented roster, having difficulty scoring runs. Pitching hasn’t been the weakspot as I had anticipated. If the hitting improves and the pitching maintains, they’ll make a run. But it’s probably a retarded see-saw in Kansas City.

17. San Diego (tisi) – 21-21 – Better than this. Played in an astonishing 20 one run games, and is 10-10 in those. A paltry 139 runs scored this season shows this team needs to make some strides offensively if they hope to really contend for their division.

18. Minnesota (Hawk27) – 21-21 – Staying close enough to Detroit to make a serious push if robusk stumbles.

19. Norfolk (stu) – 19-23 – Their early season run is in the distant past. Their team was buoyed by a devastating series sweep over the DANZAS to open the year, including a game in which they hung up 40+ runs. Perhaps rounding the bases that often in the first series wore this team out, as they haven’t performed as well since that point.

20. Milwaukee (mrfortune) – 19-23 – Reigning World Series champions are in the cellar of their division. The talent is there to redeem themselves, as they’re a better squad than last year. But they are in an improving division so expectations might have to be tempered.

21. Texas (vandydave) – 19-23 – Putting up a lot of runs, as usual, but allowing them just as often. Allowing a lot of runs for a team that was hoping to contend.

22. St. Louis ( traxman) – 19-23- Very talented team that’s slowly overcoming tlak abandoning them to start the season. Doing an adequate job getting the pitching staff in order, and the l ineup appears to be gaining steam.

23. Cincinnati (nellie) – 19-23 –  Allowing the most runs in the National League. The defense and pitching will have to be improved if Nellie hopes to make an in-season push.

24. Boise (urdanick) – 18-24 – Once again, another NL team that’s giving up a lot of runs. The pitching staff is weak, but the bats should be good enough to push this team closer to .500 as the year progresses.

25. Albuquerque (winepimp) – 19-23 – The move to a hitter’s park has done more for the opposing team’s batters than it has for the No Name’s. However, the prospects in the system seem to be showing some improvement and could help this team out sooner than expected.

26. Buffalo (tracyr) – 17-25 – This team broke Rob’s heart. Literally.

27. Scottsdale (Fregoe) – 18-24 – In the process of actively selling off all their Major League assets. The forecast doesn’t look very good for this team improving much this season.

28. Fargo (blackmink) – 18-24 – As robusk documented, blackmink is a little retarded. This team is injury-prone and not capable of handling those injuries. The team is error prone but not good enough to make up for those errors. Just a mess.

29. Hartford (mbriese) – 16-26 – I thought he was trying to get some apprenticeship in the robusk/rlahann school of team management? I guess he failed following his father’s style, and is trying someone else’s, and is failing too. Should not be this bad.

30. New York DANZAS (topoftheworl) – 16-26 – It’s impressive they’re even this high. This lineup was devastated coming out of spring training, and it took some work to get them competitive at the ML level. I’m actually pleasantly surprised they’re doing so well. They’re only 3 games back from their division lead. PLUS, they just pulled off a pretty nice trade to improve their team both short-term and long-term. They had tons of money sitting around that they’ve taken to bringing in a bad contract in return for a top prospect. Should pay off.

31. New York Bowie Mafia (dherz) – 15-27 – Just how many seasons is it permissable to say someone is rebuilding? When can we just say they suck?

32. Louisville (bret) – 13-29 – This is what happens when bret gets cocky. He finally thinks his team has a playoff shot, and they shit the bed en masse. Lowest runs scored total in the AL, second most runs given up. And it’s only second-most because New York gave up like 90 runs in one series.

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People I am better than: blackmink18

11 02 2011

I decided to do the first one of these on blackmink since he claimed he wasn’t an idiot.

So, let’s look at the Fargo Eh (that name sucks).

Career record:

904-1202 (.429)

Career record v. robusk:

43-74 (.368)

1st Round Picks in Last Five Seasons:

S14, Pick #8: Jaime Green, C – Never signed

S15, Pick #9: Joe Craddock, P – Mediocre splits, can’t throw many innings, no dominant pitches, average control, promoted properly

S15, Pick #20: Harvey McMilan, P – Never signed

S15, Pick #37: Lance James, P – DUR of 5, crappy control, crappy pitchers, average splits, still in AAA

S16, Pick #19: Morgan Decker, P – Yet another guy who can’t throw many innings and would need an owner who could micromanage a staff, poor health, strong ratings otherwise, put in AAA when he was 19 years old and has been left there for three seasons but the impact of this is debatable

S17, Pick #11: Harley Dransfeldt, CF – Will never be able to play CF or 2B at a high level, probably a LF or RF.  Pretty decent bat with power and batting eye

S18, Pick #27: Kazuhiro Masato, P – Really an awful pick.  AAAA pitcher.  Nothing to like about this guy.  Also below average health.

S18, Pick #58: Patrick Glover, P – Seems at least decent but probably not much better.  Average ratings across the board projection wise, but since he is already 23 I don’t suspect he gets as close to the projections.  Probably a Setup B type on an average to below average team.

Draft Recap – 8 first round picks in 5 seasons.  Two guys who never signed, 2 guys who can definitely play in the bigs, a guy who could possibly contribute, 3 indefensible selections.  Never had less than 15 million allocated to both HS and College scouting and averaged over 17 million each during that time.

Budgeting:

Last five seasons have had him at 14 for training and medical each season except for the one time he went to 15 for each; awesome for a guy who loves players with low health ratings.  Also continues to budget low dollars to coaching even though he regularly has high draft picks that need development.  He likes to stay in no man’s land in prospect budgeting, continuing to allocate 9-13 million a year in prospect money even though he doesn’t put any money towards international scouts.  He has then transferred money from this pool at a 50% loss to player budget every season has owned this team except for one.

Trade History:

Only three trades the last five seasons, none of them amounted to much.

Free Agency:

Likes signing old players on deals of 1-4 seasons, although in his defense, usually to contracts that get cheaper as they go along.  Also, for some unknown reason, he signs a crap load of guys who can throw limited innings and players with poor health.  Shockingly, his team underachieved last season because his pitching staff was fatigued and people got injured.  I can’t figure out why.  Pretty sure he never signs Type A players or splurges on a big name, which is good because since he is so awesome at drafting and getting quality coaches, he needs to focus on developing prospects.

Breakdown:

Blackmink doesn’t know how to draft.  When he needs talent for his team, he is content drafting guys that will never play for his team so he can transfer the money to his payroll and sign another 36 year old pitcher with a DUR of 2.  He likes leading the league in players on the disabled list.  He neither improves his team through free agency or the draft.  He likes pitchers who need to be micromanaged so he can go ahead and not micromanage them.  He likes to piss away money.  He doesn’t like it when people reach their projections.  Best thing you can say about him is that he doesn’t get trade raped too frequently.  Also, he lives in the middle of nowhere and news travels to him 10 times slower than to the rest of us.  I think he is on a 56k modem.  I am pretty sure I have never replied to a blackmink post.  He made the playoffs once in 13 seasons.  He votes for the same players as moy on Hall of Fame ballots.  Pretty sure he sucks at life.  Oh yeah, and before his rectum got worn out, he traded one of the best RPs of all time for a RF who couldn’t hit and an SP with a career ERA of nearly 5.





Hall of Fame Results

11 02 2011

Marty Velandia 22
Tarrik Grieve 16
Esteban Baez 13
Nicky Harper 13
Kerry Pride 13
Jimmie Franco 8
Al Romero 7
Bernard Bates 6
Jim Miller 5
Juan Manzanillo 3
Alex Azocar 3
Dennis Nakamura 2
Calvin Wayne 1
Seth Campbell 1
Elroy Clifton 1
Abraham Howard 1
Wayne Steele 1
Dante Hafner 1
Fred Allensworth 1
Marc Edmonds 1
Russ Westbrook 1
Jin Iwazaki 1

That’s a total of 121 votes cast. So it’s a given that some teams didn’t use all five votes that they could have. With 32 teams, there’s a potential for 160 votes. By my guess, that means 5-7 teams just neglected voting entirely.

That’s not even to mention the fact that some bizarre choices wound up with one vote apiece. I had Calvin Wayne, and I don’t see who could have possibly voted for him there.

Now that Velandia is in, the next group that could possibly get in features Grieve, Baez, Harper, and Pride.

Franco, Romero, and Bates all had fairly large contingents supporting them publicly before the draft, though the numbers don’t really show that.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the results.





New York DANZAS: Who’s The Boss?

9 02 2011

For the sake of full transparency, I wanted to discuss the goings-on involving the New York DANZAS franchise.

Despite numerous attempts at contact, hugenuge has been missing in action. His one appearance was to express surprise the league was already a week or so in. To my knowledge, he did not sign on after that.

I’m going to give it one last attempt to get him back, and then I’ll just solicit for a replacement.

In the meantime, his team was transferred to hopecorrupts, which I’m sure all of you are aware is a joint alias in which several of us have access.

New York only had 12 players on the ML Roster, and lost its second game of the season by allowing 48 runs… They needed an immediate intervention.

As such, free agents were signed for all levels of the franchise. The minor leagues were filled up to ensure that no prospect gets an avoidable injury.  The majors were filled with available ML FA talent.

I purposely did not sign any Type A Free Agents. I am also of the spirit that until a long term owner is found, there won’t be any trades involving that organization. Because of the potential for collusion, I will do everything possible to maintain an unbiased franchise until an owner is found.

If you have any owners you would recommend to take over this team, please send a trade chat to r0b0t.





Season 19 NL Preview

9 02 2011

We did the AL Preview a few days ago. It’s time for the NL now.

I will be the first to admit, that as an American League team, I don’t honestly pay much attention to National League teams. So in order to have some help reviewing teams, I’ve asked robusk to contribute a small passage on each organization.

Detroit Minorities

Last Season: 94-68. Division Title. NL Champions. Lost in World Series.

 

Changes: robusk made 12 Free Agent signings. I’m not going to take the time breaking down each guy, but they’re all pretty much veteran stopgaps and relative bargains. He didn’t overpay and he didn’t receive top-tier talent. He did however fill out his ML roster with some pretty good players.

Robusk’s Opinion: This should be another down year for my team. Of course, last year was supposed to be a down year but I still somehow almost won the championship. The league must have been having a down year, because even with my immense HBD genius, that team had no business going as far as it did. Granted, I am smarter than all of you, and I eat healthier, but that shouldn’t have gotten last year’s team into the World Series. I figure I’ll just use last year’s formula to see if a team of cast-offs can will me through a weak division.

Projection: Should win the division. Robusk is a good enough talent evaluator that his bulk FA binge should get him enough talent to make it through his division with near 90 wins. From there, the playoffs are pretty random.

Cincinnati Riot

Last Season: 81-81

 

Changes: Nellie signed five pitchers, all with middle to back of the rotation ability. He promoted top prospect Wesley Blair all the way to the Major Leagues to help provide some pop in the lineup.

Robusk: Nellie has a few good players in his organization. I think he might have rushed Blair by a season and a quarter. That would have been a nice 20 games-in promotion to save an arbitration season. Stupid. The top prospects in his organization are overrated. They don’t have the splits or defense that I think will make them top notch. I’d probably offer my SP5 for one of them straight-up, but I don’t think they’re worth much more.

 

Projection: Once again, hovering around .500. However, Nellie has done a good job acquiring some great young talent. With players like Blair, Alvarez, Franco, and Guttierez developing in the minors, the organization is on the upswing. They’re just a season or two away.

Minnesota Short Grass

Last Season: 87-75. Wild Card.

Changes: Between Free Agency and the Rule V draft, Minnesota made decent strides at improving their back of the rotation and their bullpen. They lost 15 game winner Valerio Delgado, but appear to have done a solid job replacing him in the rotation.

Robusk: I spent a few weeks in Minnesota before, and that state is shit. There’s some decent nature and stuff for my hiking, but I could not find anywhere to buy pot for the life of me.

Projection: Looks to be a better team this season than they were last season, so there is a decent opportunity to return to the playoffs. It’s just an issue of the improvements made amongst other teams in the NL and whether under 90 wins will still be good enough for a Wild Card.

Fargo Eh

Last Season: 66-96

 

Changes: The most significant change is the devastating injury to star pitcher, Rusty Dresden. Other than that, Blackmink had his usual offseason where he signed several ML players who really should be able to contribute if he knew how to use them correctly or wasn’t the death knell for a player’s career.

Robusk: blackmink makes bret look like rlahann. He should be winning this division with that roster, but he’s a mong. Probably because he’s from Minnesota, isn’t he?

 

Projection: It depends if blackmink is an idiot or an idiot savant. He’s had good seasons before and has more than enough talent to challenge for the division or the Wild Card. But blatant mismanagement and stupidity has cost him in the past, and it seems he’s reserved in just getting high draft picks and building his team up that way.

Dover Johnny Dramas

Last Season: 89-73. Division Champions.

 

Changes: No real roster changes of note. Dover went out of its way to resign Lyle Purcell. There was a shift in budgeting where money previously allocated towards amateur scouting was now redirected towards advanced scouting, which usually indicates that tylermathias was planning on acquiring some prospects. So perhaps he was preparing for a potential firesale or something. Or he just likes that accurate projection for the hell of it.

Robusk: Why is this team still named after an Entourage character? Does anyone still watch that show? I think liking that show is more likely to get you made fun of nowadays than something gay like Cougartown. You can’t say you’re being ironic with Entourage. Also, TM has a pretty solid team here but it’s nothing to feel threatened by. He should probably win his division but nobody is afraid of tylermathias in the playoffs.

 

Projection: I’ll agree with robusk here. TM will probably win his division but then shit the bed in the playoffs. And the sun will rise in the East. And moy will campaign for Hootie Stewart. And vandydave and the brieses will argue over something.

Scranton Dundies

Last Season: 86-76

 

Changes: Their biggest move, perhaps, was trading stalwart CF Damaso Belliard for a package of players. Scranton has cut costs significantly this season, and appears to be on a transition towards acquiring younger talent. Free Agent signings were relatively cost-effective with a concern more towards depth than starting talent.

Robusk: Needs more switch-hitters. The pitching is pretty good, but their lineup is average. They make mine look like a bunch of Woodie Jacobses. God, I love me some Woodie Jacobs.

 

Projection: Contention for the division has more to do with tylermathias undermining his own talented roster or somehow squandering what looks to be a definitive advantage in the division. If TM stumbles, Scranton should be around that 85 win mark and could squeek into the playoffs.

Philadelphia Phingers

Last Season: 79-83

 

Changes: Made several solid improvements. Sierra and Kraemer will provide a solid bridge to Brad Leach. Phil Lee will add to the division’s best rotation. Espinosa and Manuel will add some quality bats to jwelsh’s lineup. Promotions of McInerny and Oliva give jwelsh one of the NL’s deepest bench’s, as well.

Robusk: Fuck this guy. He doesn’t seem to respect those of us who have figured this out. He’s too critical of savvy gamesmanship and manipulation of the system because it isn’t realistic enough for him. You know what’s realistic? My smelly hippie pubes on his nose.

 

Projection: The best threat to Dover for the division, Philadelphia does have a solid and improving lineup. However, it might best serve jwelsh to stray away from what I assume are sim-recommended line-ups. Oliva shouldn’t be playing behind Combs.

New York Tampa Bay Lispy Tranthferth

Last Season: 73-89

 

Changes: Promoted a couple of guys, claimed a few guys off waivers. The four of them should be mostly providing depth. Hopefully, for dherz’s sake.

Robusk: Biggest mistake in dherz’s life moving to Tampa Bay. I hated it there. Lots of old people and old hang-outs and nothing cool. Bands don’t come to Tampa for shows. Restaurants and bars close at like 9 or something. It’s fine for an old married couple like dherz has turned himself into, but not if he’s cool like me.

 

Projection: Yeah, that’s a $30 million dollar payroll. And there is more talent in Hi-A than the majors. Dherz isn’t fooling anyone. They’re not playing for this season. They’ll just tread water enough for people to not say they aren’t trying.

Mexico City Quetzlcoatl

Last Season: 84-78

 

Changes: Traded for Rafael Chavez to provide a stronger bat in a weak-hitting lineup. Signed Todd Throneberry, presumably for some depth.  

Robusk: cbriese and I don’t have the same philosophy, but I think he’s shown that what he’s doing works. He puts a premium on defense and it pays off. He is always leading the league in plus-plays and doesn’t allow many baserunners. I bet his COF are usually near the top in outfield assists, too. You don’t go first to third on him often. He keeps the scoring down and his pitching is solid, and he forces teams to manufacture runs. It’s like his own patented method. I think I’d climax if I had a publicly-lauded method. Nobody recognizes my genius.

 

Projection: Mexico City will do well. They’ll win enough to be in the division and wild card hunt, mostly for the reasons robusk stated.

St. Louis Kitten Mittons

Last Season: 93-65. Division Champs.

 

Changes: Signed a few guys, and then forgot to assign them to his ML roster so they quickly became Free Agents. Turned that team around, and promptly abandoned it.

Robusk: I wasn’t around Shtickless when he used to post much, but he seems like a stupid little tool. Am I right? He’s mismanaged one of the league’s best teams. He probably should have done better last season. He’s done nothing this off-season. Like if he had half a brain, I bet he’d have won 100 games last year and my shitty team wouldn’t have been in the World Series.

 

Projection: It depends on when tlak decides to show up and take care of his team. I’m looking to potentially replace him, as he only has 17 guys on his ML roster. It looks like he just got upset that he missed out on a few free agents and didn’t sign on for Spring Training.

Texas Disease

Last Season: 74-88

 

Changes: Clearly took last year’s record to heart, and invested quite a bit of money into a good Free Agent class of Matos, Javier, and Valentin.

Robusk: Vandydave is like the one guy you know who doesn’t own a cell phone out of principle. He’s refusing to move forward with his management style and acknowledging the importance of defense, batting eye, and all sorts of other shit, and instead quoting archaic crap that doesn’t really have anything to do with the game. Clearly he cares, but he doesn’t care enough to do it my way. For that he’s wrong. And dumb.

 

Projection: The solidified lineup and a somewhat weak division mean Vandydave can move himself back into the playoff picture very quickly. With his lineup built around contact and power, he should be able to reach the postseason.

Memphis Blues

Last Season: 58-104

 

Changes: Spent heavily to acquire Raul Guerrero and play him out of position at shortstop. Received the gem of the Rule V draft in Mark Walcutt. Other than that, no real significant improvements to a pretty bad team from a season ago.

Robusk: He brings his guys along too slowly. I understand not wanting to promote them too soon, but he’ll do one level each year with every player regardless of his ML readiness. Some of his minor leaguers could start for him now. If he played his best players, he probably would win 30 more games this season.

 

Projection: There is some talent in Memphis. I think they work their way out of the cellar this season, but it just seems like patrickm has no consideration at all for a player’s defensive ability. Rick Speaker isn’t a good enough bat for first base when he has a catcher’s range and glove. Guerrero really should be playing third base. Stuff that isn’t hard to rectify, but belies the fact that he is one of the game’s programmers and should know better.

San Francisco Surf Dogs

Last Season: 98-64. Won NL West. Lost in NLDS.

 

Changes: Signed a couple of solid pitchers. Promoted a powerful bat in Galahad Fowler, that should complement the speed in the organization nicely.

Robusk: He’s another guy that has his own style. Speed and stolen bases. I know they cut down on the insane stolen base percentage some guys were having, so I can’t imagine how well his team would do before they actualized that. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves because he had the NL’s best record last year and I don’t know if there is anyone on his roster that people would know by name. But they’re a good team.

 

Projection: Should be a favorite to win the division, but they will be in a good place to reach the playoffs regardless.

San Diego Chicken Fukkars

Last Season: 87-75. Made playoffs as a Wild Card.

Changes: Signed a few pitchers. Traded for a high contact catcher, T.J. Peters, that should play well in Petco.

Robusk: Tisi is another of the few I respect because he always seems to get the most out of his players. He milks a good pitcher for every possible inning pitched. Micromanages a team well.

 

Projection: It depends on how many of the players he has in AAA move up at the 20 game mark. San Diego has a lot of talent that is very close to the Majors. It’s really an issue of when they come up. As they are now, San Diego is probably about a .500 ballclub. But there’s potential for more in the minors.

Boise Mays

Last Season: 68-94

 

Changes: Signed Nicholas White, one of the top catchers on the open market. Acquired Albert Rosales in the Rule V draft. Promoted highly ranked prospect, Julio Sanchez.

Robusk: I jerked off to my girlfriend’s childhood cat. I’m running out of people related to her family to think of.

 

Projection: Kelly Payne has enough surrounding talent to make a push for the playoffs, but it would be in spite of lackluster pitching. The problems with the rotation will probably keep Boise below .500.

Honolulu Birthers

Last Season: 84-78

 

Changes: Signed mostly cheap veteran stop-gaps for the ML roster. Traded away Wilfredo Gonzalez for prospects, and he might not be the last veteran to move.

Robusk: I miss Hawaii. It was expensive as shit, but I loved it there. (Ed. Note: He continues about Hawaii for 450 more words. I stopped it here.)

Projection: Openly and unapologetically in rebuilding mode. Well enough ran that they won’t just openly tank, but they’re not meant to be competitive this season.





Season 19 AL Preview

7 02 2011

Welcome to another season, and another B0t Stove Season Preview. Just like every season, I make a promise to stay more vigilant about this blog. Let’s see if I finally fulfill.

Each team will be listed with highlighted changes, strengths, weaknesses, and prognostication. I will try not to short-change the NL West by getting bored with this process by the time I’m near the end.

Milwaukee Directives

Last Season: 92-70. Division Champs. AL Champs. World Champions. Seriously.

 

Changes: Milwaukee took last year’s somewhat maligned and flawed champions and made them even stronger, and much more formidable through the middle of the order. Key additions include a trio of cast-offs from the team he beat in the ALCS, Montgomery (Ed. Note – Thanks for the draft picks!). Julian Coleman, specifically, will add some extra pop in this line-up around Fedroff and Kubenka. The other free agent signings are more for depth, with several veterans signed to cheap one-year contracts.

Strengths: This team does have talent. It might not be the juggernaut teams expect out of the AL, but there are a handful of players in their line-up that would start for most teams in the league. There’s also some depth in the minors with guys like Grebek and Tavares a few seasons away. The pitching is built around ace, Che Yamada, who swears by taking Pre-Natal Vitamins. Yeah, they’re meant for women, but he says they make his hair and nails look so good. Opponent batters think those nails digging into the baseball give him an unfair edge, and are hoping the league bans pills meant for pregnant women.

Weaknesses: Despite having a World Series to his name, this team isn’t the most prepared defensively. Brantley doesn’t have the range for shortstop, which he might be asked to play, and playing a left-hander at second base really isn’t the best idea. Also, the bullpen has holes in it. Milwaukee has above average starting pitching, below average relievers. You can outscore this team.

Projection: Division championship and a bye. An uncanny healthy streak and good luck propelled this team to the title, and neither of these seems like a repeatable occurrence. They will do well, but fall short.

Toledo Tapefaces

Last Season: 83-79, Second in Division

Changes: Toledo’s two biggest moves in the offseason involved bringing in high contact bats to a lineup that already possessed some power. Calvinhydro actually acquired both Wilfredo Gonzalez and Wilfredo Lopez because a gypsy psychic told him a Wilfredo will lead him into the playoffs.

Strengths: Major league hitting and minor league pitching. There is significant power in this lineup, and they have a good shot of being in the top five in the league in runs scored, home runs, and OPS. Meanwhile, the organization possesses several top tier pitching prospects.

Weaknesses: Bradley Cooper. Defensively, there might be a few holes in the infield. But the bats in the lineup should more than make up for it. The bullpen, however, will have a tough time keeping games locked down in late innings.

Projection: This team has the talent and the ability to not just contend for their division, but also could go on a similar run as Milwaukee last season. On paper, they look like Colorado from last year who rode a high-scoring lineup to a division title. But the wealth of prospects in this system could also lead to a few in-season trades that could push them over the top.

Montreal Hollowed-Out Exoskeletons

Last Season: 69-93. Paying about $1.2m per loss.

 

Additions: A lot of stop-gap pitching. Plus Lonny Blanco’s decaying corpse.

Strengths: Payroll and Wiki Armas. Granted, the payroll isn’t always allocated well and Wiki Armas is going to be having to carry the team on his own, but we’ll get to that in the weaknesses.

Weaknesses: This is the guy that won so many championships? It’s like bret spent two dollars of change at the toy machines at his grocery store to get a few handfuls of rings. If you have a top ten pick, why keep spending a lot of money on average-to-above-average pitching when you probably should be going higher than 6/6 in amateur scouting? It’s like gin is keeping a $110m+ payroll just to spite people for thinking he knows what he’s doing. He’s really done himself a disservice by failing more than fregoe in a spelling bee. Now it looks like gin only ever won when his computer knowledge led to an exploitation of a programming glitch. He has one top level hitter, and then he overspent to fill out his lineup with mediocrity. His pitching is a collection of guys that losing teams cut because they didn’t want the salary… Montreal has subpar fielding at most positions. Subpar bats, as well. Maybe this can all be lumped into the concept of “gin not trying”, or at some point we might have to realize that he just isn’t that good.

Projection: Failure. Armas will probably be intentionally walked all season. The pitching really needs gin to micromanage for them to succeed, but it doesn’t appear he’s willing to put the thought into anything.

Cleveland Threeways

Last Season: 67-95

 

Changes: Promoted Brian May, top prospect and Glee enthusiast. May has awful taste in movies and TV, because he had no clue who Jane Lynch was before she got on that gay singing show. Other than that, though, no real movement in Cleveland.

Strengths: In the Fregoe mold, in a sense not just having sergei touch their teams, but that there are many top ten draft picks in this organization. As such, there is a lot of young talent.

Weaknesses: The talent in a lot of spots might be too young, where dmurphy might be waiting a season or two before promoting some of these guys. In a few seasons, this might be a legitimate challenger for the World Series. For the time being they’re very young with some stopgaps at a few positions, and some young players who are still developing. Also, dmurphy is prone to spells of not checking in on his team for a week or so. As if nobody has ever had both children and whatifsports teams before.

Projection: It depends on how soon dmurphy starts bringing up more of his top prospects. For the time being I think they’re good enough to hover around .500. If he decides to cash in his chips and either play to win this season or move some players to acquire ML talent, he has a shot to contend whenever he so chooses. I just doubt it’s this season.

Norfolk Southern

Last Season: 82-80; won division

Changes: Nothing. Yeah, there was a Rule V pick, but that won’t really be that important. For the time being stu is holding serve, well-aware it’s a terrible division.

Strengths: His crappy division. Some talented young players throughout his organization. Norfolk has done a good job in the IFA market, generally. There is some talent in the majors, and even more in the minors.

Weaknesses: Honestly, it’s not a complete team. The lineup has a few top bats, but also some mediocrity. The pitching has a few nice arms, albeit Villafuerte recovering from injury, but also a weak back-end of the rotation. Boring team.

Projection: They’ll win the division, mostly because it’s the worst division in the league. First round exit to a much better wild card team.

Hartford Dark Blues

Last Season: 61-101

 

Changes: Made a few trades, one of which led to him being called robusk’s bitchboy. Signed a lot of veterans off the FA market, but none of which really seem that appealing.

Strengths: Defense. Ability to annoy vandydave. Ability to buy friendship from better HBD coaches.

Weaknesses: Flunked out of college. That weirdo who lives on campus for a community college. Lineup lacks in both power and contact. Pitching lacks in control.

Projection: Probably in the 70-75 win range. Will get name-dropped in more complaining posts by other owners than will have players on the AL All-Star roster. Will bring shame to his father.

Buffalo Fat Crazy Whores

Last Season: 76-86

 

Changes: There were no free agent signings and no trades. The most significant move was the promotion of  Javy Valbuena to the Majors. He’s still quite raw and hadn’t even played a full season in the minors yet, but his off-the-chart power numbers probably motivated tracyr to this expeditious promotion.

Strengths: I guess they have some talent. Guys like Valbuena are on the roster that will put up huge numbers in a short time. Tracyr has used the draft and the IFA market to build a steady stream of ML capable players into his organization, but most of them seem to be niche players. If he can figure out a way to combine them all to best suit their skills, then he could win this division. There’s a good chance this team could sport a good defense with so many not-quite-SS gloves spread around the field.

Weaknesses: The pitching leaves something to be desired. And I’m not sold that the niche players previously mentioned will be used properly. It might take some effort on Rob’s part to make this team work, however there is some groundwork for the future.

Projection: Anywhere from 65-75 wins. Could somehow manage to steal this division if things break his way. The pendulum is swinging upwards with this franchise.

New York DANZAS

Last Season: 50-112

 

Changes: They got worse? Ugh. Nuge hadn’t logged in for the budgeting and early stages of Free Agency, and then again hasn’t logged in since January 27th. I just texted him.

Strengths: Budget flexibility. There is $45m under the cap for this franchise. Too bad there is only $4m budgeted towards the IFA market. There are some decent players in the minors, too.

Weaknesses: Talent. Effort. Also, I think you need more than 13 men on your ML roster to be effective.

Projection: It’ll be another long season unless Nuge starts trying again or I get a good replacement owner.

Montgomery Stan Rhodes Memorials

Last Season: 105-57. Best record in the league. Division champs. Lost in the ALCS.

 

Changes: Julian Coleman went elsewhere. However, Montgomery acquired three All Star caliber players in Morrie Keller, Damaso Belliard, and Tanner Miller. Combined with the trades for Calles, Chavez, and Esposito last year, a lot of the depth in the organization has been traded to create a win-now atmosphere. Veteran free agents Jake Schmidt, Christopher Frey, and Stevie Riley were signed to bolster a strong ML lineup. Onan Chang has usurped Jesus Ayala for the starting shortstop position after a venomous but shitty rap battle was used to determine the starter

Strengths: Power. They’re going to hit the shit out of the ball. Realistically could have 8 or 9 players hit 30 home runs. There will be runs scored in Montgomery. The defense is also very solid, as they seem to have enough range to cover up all the holes in the field. The pitching is improved. Keller has greatly improved the bullpen. While Sal Ross won the Fireman award last season, a lot of that was due to being placed in a favorable position. Keller is perhaps the best closer in the league. Frey and Riley will solidify the rotation, and Sam Swindell continues to deepdick AL pitchers in moderation. His inning-count will be closely monitored as usual.

Weaknesses: Sacrificed organizational depth and positional flexibility for a stronger starting lineup in the playoffs. The same things that helped win the division last year will not win it this season. So cold hitting or injuries could doom this team.

Projection: Anything less than a World Series will be a disappointment.

San Antonio Something About Artificial Sweeteners(?)
Last Season: 102-60. Wild card. Lost in ALDS.

 

Changes: Not much. Another year older. But none of the usual big ticket free agents. There was a trade, but nothing special was involved.

Strengths: As a team, there is a premium placed on batter’s eye. They’ll draw a lot of walks and see a lot of pitches. San Antonio should get plenty of guys on base, and there is a very good group of pitchers. Really, pitching and defense as a whole is this team’s strength.

Weaknesses: Not as much power as San Antonio traditionally has, but it shouldn’t be too big of a hindrance.

Projection: Playoffs, either as the division champion or a wild card team. But they have more than enough talent to be in the postseason making their usual run.

Kansas City Wok

Last Season: 87-75

 

Changes: They got older, and the window closed a little further. The only free agent signing was a rapidly aging Cole Ashley, who doesn’t have the range to play at a Gold Glove caliber any longer.

Strengths: The ability to get quality players off the IFA market has helped Kansas City for a number of years. There is a good amount of organizational depth, and the real nucleus of this team is still pretty young. While sluggers like Glen Judd and George Rollins are declining, there is a young group of players ready to challenge for playing time. There are a lot of high contact, good speed players. Should get a lot of doubles and score from first more than your usual team.

Weaknesses: Despite some organizational depth, this team desperately needs catchers. Only two in the entire organization. Either they’re not drafting that position well, or they’re just ignoring it. Hubris regarding pitching. It’s a decent pitching staff, but babypop seems convinced he can work wonders with it. With a lack of trading and free agent signings, this organization does not really bring in players to supplement what they already have. Rather than fixing a flat tire, they seem content to put a little duct tape over the hole and hope it’ll make do.

Projection: Should be in the Wild Card hunt. They seem to be fading in the division, somewhat, but there is still some chance they can make a run with this core.

Louisville Will Break Your Knees

Last Season: 84-78 PROGRESS!!1

 

Changes: Fuck. I’m getting bored. Bret spent a lot to get Morgan Dorsey. So hopefully having a starting pitcher who isn’t horseshit will get him the half dozen wins or so he needs to get into the playoffs. Also, bret is doing a lot better at this game.

Strengths: Bret is acquiring some decent depth through his organization. I don’t think he’s been raped in nearly a year. He’s acquired some solid talent that should help him get further above .500. He’s just been getting a lot of second tier players, which is good considering he’s used to fourth tier.

Weaknesses: He’s still bret. I wouldn’t be surprised if he messes it up somehow.

Projection: Contending for the final wild card spot. Seriously.

Colorado Rapids

Last Season: 96-66. Division champs. Bye. Lost in ALDS.

 

Changes: Spent a lot of money in free agency to land Dave Newhan, Jeff Witt, Catfish Bennett, and Willie Maduro.  

Strengths: Lots of power in a hitter’s park. Pitching has skewed more towards groundball pitchers, which is helpful. They play to their homefield well, and can win away as well.

Weaknesses: There are a lot of bad contracts on this team. Some might argue a few of those FA additions might have been overpriced, but when you figure in something like Roosevelt’s albatross of a contract, you have to realize this franchise is going to be a little up to the budget for a little while. The lack of budget towards amateur scouting means they are concerned with winning in the short-term. The bullpen isn’t strong. The pitchers in general seem to have a low control, so they will walk some batters.

 Projection: I think they’re better than last season, but they also out-performed last season. My guess is a similar record but a more difficult playoff opponent.

Salem Slores

Last Season: 89-73

 

Changes: Made a few trades. Got rid of Keller and Tanner to Montgomery for a decent haul of prospects. No free agent signings, though.

Strengths: There is still a lot of talent in this lineup, albeit talent that was rushed into the majors and runs the risk of serious injury. Plus, moy spent a lot of money to make sure they’re all being coached well. Now has Jizz Bomber. Very strong bullpen and front half of the rotation.

Weaknesses: Admittedly, moy isn’t trying as hard this season. He’s under the assumption this is a rebuilding year. This could change with some early success. He could pull out a blockbuster trade and reshape this franchise. Moy is impetuous like that. There’s always the chance for injury. The defense still has holes in it. moy is moy.

Projection: Contending for both the division and the Wild Card, but with a chance of collapsing into itself like a dying sun.

Albuquerque No Names

Last Season: 67-95

Changes: winepimp signed Ozzie Xiao and acquired Timo Saunders off waivers. Both should help his team, but the most significant move might be the shift from a pitcher’s park to a very friendly hitter’s park.

Strengths: Taking an already powerful team and putting them in a home run friendly ballpark seems like a recipe for some fireworks. There are several candidates for 30+ home runs on this team, and they should be able to hang with anyone in the league in terms of scoring runs.

Weaknesses: The pitching staff appears prone to walking batters, and it might not be a good idea to have men on base in that stadium. The defense is subpar. The younger players are getting rushed to the Majors, a bit, and being asked to contribute relatively quickly. There’s a chance some of their better players won’t fulfill expectations.

Projection: This team can win anywhere from 60 to 80 games, potentially more if there’s an in-season move that fortifies their lineup.

Scottsdale Diet Pill Abusers

Last Season: 78-84

 

Changes: They signed a bunch of guys, but the lack of a good training budget meant that their veterans are rapidly decaying. This team is becoming an elephant graveyard of sluggers.

Strengths: They still have some pop in their bats. They can still put up runs on anyone.

Weaknesses: They’re all breaking down. Steve Thomas is withering away. Dan Johnson is losing movement in his extremities. Fregoe isn’t totally committed to rebuilding his franchise, either in part to loss aversion or being afraid of tanking allegations again. He should have started selling off guys a few seasons ago, but instead he let them get older and worse, and took on more contracts of players he won’t be able to keep healthy.

Projection: It’d take a lot of luck for this team to stay healthy. Right now, I find it hard to believe that they could win more than 70 games.





The Hall of Fame Career of Tarrik Grieve – A Point/Counterpoint

1 02 2011

This is our first blog post of Season 19. We’ll have some season previews ready shortly, but in the meantime, I felt like elaborating on the case for an old nemesis.

To further illustrate his candidacy, and to avoid appearing biased, I have invited Vandydave to serve as my counterpoint on this debate on Tarrik Grieve‘s Hall of Fame laurels.

Vandydave’s text will be italicized.

Thanks for helping with this, Dave.

No problem. It’s not like I have work to do.

Now my case for Tarrik Grieve has to begin and end with the fact that he was the most dominating pitcher on the most dominating team that our league has ever seen. Gin’s Season 7-11 behemoth had its entire pitching staff and team philosophy built around Tarrik Grieve. His traditional numbers just can’t reflect just how dominant he was.

Yeah, but he doesn’t have 100 wins or 200 saves or even my benchmark for innings pitched, 1,776.

I didn’t realize you were that patriotic.

It’s not for the Declaration of Independence. 17 and 76 are the jersey numbers for the two cutest boys on the local high school football team.

Looking at wins and saves and other standard statistics won’t ever properly highlight Grieve’s dominance. He’d pitch multiple innings of every important game gin played. He was so dominant in his appearances that he’d basically shorten a game to 7 innings.

Nine inning games are too long anyway. I’m not impressed.

How many relief pitchers average over 100 innings a season over their career? He was clearly a workhorse for that team.

Was he hung like one?

I’m not sure, but he played like he was. Move beyond his regular season statistics. Look at his post-season stats, in particular for that run between Season 7 and Season 11. You can throw in rlahann’s Season 12 if you must.

In Seasons 8 and 9 he pitched over 20 innings in the post season and had an ERA comfortably below 1. His career post-season ERA is below 2.00. His OAV/OOBP/OSLG were .183/.238/.272 respectively. That’s flat-out dominant.

Yeah, but he didn’t have any wins or saves during that period of time.

Because he was starting every other post-season game and going two or three innings deep each game. Like I said, he greatly shortened the most important games of the season. It averaged out as if your team came into those post-season games with only the ability to get two outs per inning.

There’s no postseason award or World Series MVP to his credit.

Those awards don’t exist.

No real awards exist for him, except for the Fireman awards from when he was used as a real closer.

He was better than a real closer. He played more than a real closer and had a greater affect on games than a real closer.

He was a glitch bitch.

No, he was just as dominant as Stan Rhodes and Marty Velandia, but he just happened to influence more games than either of them ever could.

GLITCHY GLITCHY GLITCH BITCH.

If you want to hate gin for finding a way to manipulate the tandem settings, or to manage the game where his best pitchers were being used most frequently, you’re kind of hating someone for being smarter than you.

I guess I don’t hate many people then. /Moral Superiority

You know, if Jesus played HBD, he would have used tandems too. Jesus was all about working together and the greater good. In fact, Tarrik Grieve and Jesus would probably have been nearly identical players.

Enjoy Hell.

I think Jesus would be enamored with that comparison.

I think you’re pandering for the neo-conservative hall of fame voters.

I think you’re a creep for making a career of playing tickle-fight with underaged kids.

It’s the Lord’s work.

So what would it take to convince you that Grieve deserves your vote? If all that’s pointed at is arbitrary stats and not actual influence on games or impact for the league, then nobody will ever get into the Hall of Fame. I argue that there was no greater impact among all HBD players in Shtickless than Tarrik Grieve. He was why gin always won.

I argue that there should be no age of consent, because if anyone under 18 can’t make a legally binding decision, they shouldn’t have to consent to whatever I do to them.

Whatever. Not voting for Grieve because he doesn’t meet stupid statistical benchmarks shows ignorance. Not voting for Grieve because he played in the AL and never really got to beat you down just shows that you were lucky. Not voting for Grieve because he represents a time when gin was smarter than the rest of us shows bitchy pettiness.

Not voting for Grieve either shows that you are ignorant, or you’re just taking the internet too siriusly.

Thanks for helping with this, VD.

I still haven’t taken down my Christmas tree.