Sunday, September 28, 2014

Revised Franchise Rankings

After tweaking the formula, and adding last seasons' results, here are the updated franchise rankings, along with their franchise score and their spot in the last rankings...

1 (1)- Indianapolis Cougars- 104

2 (2)- Kansas City Jayhawks- 71

3 (4)- Durham Bulls- 62

4 (3)- Baltimore Buushwackerz- 61

5 (5)- Nashville BootLeggers- 56

5 (6)- Honolulu Hurricanes- 56

7 (10)- Vancouver Voodoo- 52

8 (7)- Santa Cruz Designated Drinkers- 50

8 (8)- Philadelphia Erffdoggs- 50

10 (9)- Chicago Orphans- 49

11 (13)- Las Vegas Desperados- 48

12 (15)- Syracuse Shockers- 47

13 (11)- Richmond Fire Blitz- 44

13 (12)- Jackson Mudslide- 44

15 (14)- Los Angeles Lothbroks- 37

16- Cincinnati Red Bowties- 35

17- San Francisco Gothams- 34

18- St. Louis Blues- 31

19- Charlotte Charlotteans- 24

20- New Britain Red Coats- 22

20- San Juan Padres- 22

22- Pawtucket Griffins- 19

23- New Orleans Big Test Icicles- 18

24- Trenton Fisherman- 16

24- Jacksonville See You Now- 16

26- Cheyenne Feather Heads- 14

27- Helena Hill Williams- 12

28- Buffalo Buffalo- 11

29- Florida TIGERS- 9

29- San Diego Surf Sharks- 9

31- Boise Spuds- 4

31- Little Rock Rebels- 4

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Third Quarter Power Rankings

Team Record Since Record roster Expect score last
1 Las Vegas Desperados (AL) 90-40 28-13 1 2 1 1.16 1
The best team and the gap between them and #3 is huge. If anything they are widening the gap between them and the rest of the league. The rank 4th in runs, 5th in pitching and 3rd in total defense. On top of all that they were the 2nd best team in 3rd quarter of the season.

2 Kansas City Jayhawks (AL) 87-43 29-12 2 1 2 1.83 3
The partner in crime to Vegas. The real WS will be the ALCS. The best roster, the best defense, The best pitching and the best record over the last 41. There is no category I track they are worse than 2nd except runs scored.
3 Pawtucket Griffins (NL) 82-48 22-19 3 4 4 3.33 2
Pawtucket had previously been in the league of Las Vegas and KC,, but has slipped in the 3rd quarter. While they still possess the 2nd best pitching and top 10 offense and defense, Durham is suddenly a game from stealing their #1 seed. No worries on the bye though as I cannot see Charlotte making up 8 games.
4 Jacksonville See You Now (NL) 79-51 23-18 5 3 3 4.33 4
3rd in runs, 6th in pitching, 5th in defense, my squad is a solid club who in theory could be even better. However, only 2 games back from winning our first division title and 12 from tying our all time wins record so I can’t complain.
5 Durham Bulls (NL) 81-49 23-18 4 6 6 4.66 5
Durham has a real shot at collecting the #1 seed. To show what an idiot I am I didn’t even think they would make the playoffs. They’ve done everything well except play defense (22nd).
6 Indianapolis Cougars (NL) 78-52 26-15 6 5 5 5.66 7
Best offense, top 10 pitching, roster, and expected performance. Only their defense has been worrisome. The king isn’t dead yet. Plus, they were red hot in the 3rd quarter.
7 Charlotte Charlotteans (NL) 74-56 20-21 7 11 7 7.66 6
On purpose or on accident, Charlotte took their foot off the gas and settled into the third seed in the NL. They still do everything well, but just didn’t have a good 3rd quarter.
8 Cheyenne (AL) 71-59 18-23 9.5 8 11 9.5 8
Karma has seemingly caught up with Cheyenne as they had a terrible quarter, though had built enough cache that they actually didn’t lose a rank. They are likely to make playoffs, but one wonders how far they will get with only average pitching and defense.
9 Vancouver Voodoo (AL) 71-59 22-19 9.5 9 12 9.8333 12
Better than average in all categories, A good 3rd quarter, in the driver’s seat for the WC. A solid team that could make a run in the playoffs.
10 San Juan Padres (NL) 73-57 23-18 8 23 8 10.5 10
Similar above average ranks to Vancouver except in 3 ways. They don’t hit home runs, they defense is not in the top 20, and they have the bad fortune of being in the NL. Still, they had an excellent 3rd quarter, playing themselves into contention.
11 Cincinnati Red Bowties (NL) 69-61 17-24 12.5 7 10 11.167 9
Despite the 3rd best pitching and 7th best roster, they played themselves right out of the playoffs in the 3rd quarter. Is it possible they over tinkered?
12 Baltimore Buushwackerz (NL) 69-61 22-19 12.5 16 9 12.5 14
Top 4 pitching has them putting the fear of God Jacksonville and Indy. Up to 12th, they continue to be on the rise.
13 Syracuse Shockers (AL) 69-61 26-15 12.5 19 14 13.833 18
A kick butt 3rd quarter has vaulted them up 5 spots. The hitting continues to hold them back, but the pitching and defense are there.
14 Jackson Mudslide (AL) 69-61 24-17 12.5 18 18 14.333 16
So I am trying a new defensive measurement system out and pretty much it has tracked with the teams that are at or near the top being the one’s that are really good om D. The exception is Jackson who is 2nd overall. All season they have been one of the few teams my roster rank has not gotten right, Maybe this is why. Also, they had a very nice 3rd quarter.
15 Nashville BootLeggers (AL) 68-62 21-20 15.5 12 13 14.5 11
Nashville is one of those really hard teams to write about because they are just a little above average at everything without a real strength of weakness.
16 Richmond Fire Blitz (AL) 68-62 23-18 15.5 17 15 15.667 15
It’s odd to me Rich played so well in the 3rd quarter and yet dropped a spot. I thought ther might be a flaw in my SS, but I couldn’t find it. Another one of the teams that is “fine” at everything, but not really good at anything.
17 Honolulu Hurricanes (AL) 67-63 20-21 17 14 16 16.333 13
Similar to both Richmond and Nashville except they can’t play D (26th).
18 San Francisco Gothams (NL) 65-65 25-16 18 15 19 17.667 21
I’m glad to see that someone wants to win the NL West. That said, worst defense by a country mile.
19 Los Angeles Lothbroks (NL) 63-67 17-25 19 26 20 20.333 17
Though I wish it was Nick as he is a fun guy to work with.
20 St. Louis Blues (NL) 59-71 26-15 23 20 21 22.167 28
The biggest shock of the 3rd quarter ratting. Up an impressive 8 spots. You just do not see teams go from 4th worst overall to 3rd best in a quarter.
21 Philadelphia Erffdoggs (AL) 60-70 17-24 21.5 22 26.5 22.417 20
Not having enough talent has really caught up with them.
22 Santa Cruz Designated Drinkers (NL) 61-69 19-18 20 32 23 22.5 22
The rebuild continues along as light appears at the end of the tunnel.
23 Trenton Fishermen (AL) 56-74 19-18 26 10 22 22.667 25
The offense if fine, but the pitching is only getting better slowly. More was expected from the 10th best roster.
24 Boise Spuds (AL) 58-72 20-21 24 24 17 22.833 23
The Spuds should have a better record. Third highest scoring team in the league, with a pitching staff that is only slightly below average. Actually have a positive run differential on the season, despite a sub-.500 record.
25 New Orleans Big Test Icicles (AL) 60-70 22-19 21.5 28 26.5 23.417 24
Amazing record for such a trashy roster. By the time you read this Jacksonville will have even added their best pitcher.
26 Little Rock Rebels (NL) 57-73 20-21 25 31 25 26 27
They we better than their original 32nd best ranking, but not that much better.
27 Chicago Orphans (NL) 54-76 17-24 28 16 29 26.167 26
They just do not have enough talent at the ML level even if Mule Meek is awesome.
28 Florida TIGERS (AL) 55-75 12-29 27 27 24 26.5 19
The anti-St Louis. Went from a middle of the road team to among the worst with terrible, terrible quarter.
29 New Britain Red Coats (AL) 44-86 14-27 30 21 30 28.5 30
Another top 3 pick headed to New Britain. They are accumulating a number of huge young assets.
30 San Diego Surf Sharks (AL) 51-79 16-25 29 30 28 29 29
A bad team that isn’t getting any better
31 Helena Hill Williams (NL) 39-91 14-27 31 29 31 30.667 32
No longer 32! Things are looking up for Hotdog!
32 Milwaukee High Lifes (NL) 33-97 14-27 32 25 32 30.833 31
Poor, poor Cyben

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Season 24 Amateur Draft Review.

Amateur Draft Review, Season 24
This is my Standard disclaimer. These are my opinions and mine alone. I may not value someone as you do, and my scouting is pretty whack, so I’m definitely not seeing their proper proj. Please keep that in mind. Also, I have no clue what I’m doing. Read at your own risk. 

Non-Common Baseball Terms (to help speed things along)
VSR –Versus Righties (applies for both Pitching and batting, referring to the opposite obviously)
VSL-Versus Lefties

Also, the quotes at the end are of course quotes from their respective owners.

1)      New Britain – Joshua Monahan SS – Projects to be a decent hitter. Decent Contact, Great power, and should kill lefties. Looks to be average at VSR, but should have an OBP around .320-330. Will prob have to move over to 3B, as his range doesn’t seem like it’s going to cut it. Health is a concern. If he stays healthy during development, should be a Decent 1st rounder. Not worth 1st overall in my opinion, but, decent pick none the less.

2)      Milwaukee – Sam Gentry – P- **Disclaimer. Never saw Gentry. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. Its set at 0)**** Ok, so assuming Gentry projects anywhere close to where my advance says, and that’s a 50-50 shot, not a bad pick. Especially since I think cyben got the team about 8 hours before the draft. Decent Sta/Dur combination, great control, decent splits, great velocity, great groundball, and solid 1st and 2nd pitches. Same as with Monahan, Health is a major factor. “He may not develop into a CY Young level pitcher, but he could warrant a spot on some ML staffs right now despite just being 18 years old”

3)      Chicago – Mac Relaford- P **Disclaimer. Never saw Relaford. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)****Not a bad pick, and certainly has some upside. Huge Sta/Dur combination. Seriously. Huge. 38 Dur with a 92 Sta? Could easily hit 260 in a season. Easily. Lew Ellis (Syr Shockers, SP1) has a 24/91 and usually hits 235. Control is average, splits a little low, but makes up with great velocity, and is rumored to have never given up a fly ball in high school. 1st and 2nd pitches are great, 3rd and 4th need some work. And let’s hope he drops that 5th pitch. Expect hit to get hit early in counts, and when he gets someone to 2 strikes, to put them away. Health is not as much of a concern, but something to keep an eye on.

4)      Helena – Eduardo Guerrero- P- I don’t like this pick. Especially at 4. Let’s start with the upsides. Great Sta/dur combo, great velocity, and an ok 1st pitch, slightly better 2nd. Health has some great upside, shouldn’t hit the DL, and great Makeup. Should hit close to projections. Unfortunately, his control is a huge liability, and his splits don’t help. 47 proj control means he will always struggle, and with a 60 proj VSL, and him being a RH, I see him getting lit up. Especially without great pitches to help alleviate the low splits. Expect him to see the majors, and to constantly allow guys to get on. I see a 5.5 ERA for him. “Pitcher Eddie Guardado should be a good one”

5)      Florida- Alex Diaz- RF- ok. Health is an issue. Seems to be a theme this draft. Proj 61, keep an eye out. Overall however, a very nice pick at 5. Good power, good contact, decent splits, and a solid eye. Great base running, and a little speed. Not much, but a little. His defensive ratings pretty much limit him to the slugger spots ( 1B, RF, LF, DH) so don’t expect too much there. I could see him hitting 35 HRs in his best season, with 25-30 being the norm. I like this pick. “Florida with the #5 pick, 2nd on my draft list, drafter RF Alex Diaz. Should have a great all round player in him.”

6)      San Diego – Iceman- RF-**Disclaimer. Never saw Wilk. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)**** Well hello Mr. Slugger. This guy will hit. Maybe not in Petco, but when he’s in your stadium, you might want to just walk him. I don’t see all of his proj being met however. Contact should be around 65. Power, in the 90’s. Good against lefties, better against rights. And he won’t chase balls too often. Defensively, he’ll get to everything, and he will throw hard and accurate. However, don’t count on it being and out until he catches it, because that glove is going to hurt. Good health, not great Dur. Great makeup. Nice pick overall. Should have prob gone a few picks higher.

7)      San Francisco – Hamish Durbin – SS-I hate the 7th pick. Close enough to the top that you feel you should get a stud, but low enough that all the studs are gone. But, solid pick here. Durbin is a very rangy SS, great arm, and won’t be a slouch at the plate. Pretty ML Average with the stick      (.260/.320/.450). Only drawback is his glove. Needs to hit that proj of 81 to be a SS. Don’t see it happening though. Can play a great 2B, 3B, or CF though, so def not a wasted pick. “SF grabbed Hamish Durbin with the 7th overall pick. He appears to be a good hitter with some defensive skills and a top notch arm. Too bad he may take his skills to the ice. He is still deciding on whether to play pro hockey” He Did end up signing.

8)      New Orleans – Stuffy Young –C- interesting pick here. Listed as a DH, but could play C. weak arm only thing preventing him. DH prob the best with his mediocre Durability. Health is solid, but makeup worries me about him getting to that level. Low contact, good power, good VSL, Phenomenal VSR and eye. This guy is a lefty and will slug. Luckily, I think a snail can run the bases faster, so feel free to just put him on. Too bad WIFS doesn’t give us that option, so, yeah, good luck. Should have gone before Guerrero in my opinion.

9)      Jackson – B.J. Dunwoody -3B -**Disclaimer. Never saw Dunwoody. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)**** for a 9th pick, Not bad. Solid 3B, will play every game, and shouldn’t have to worry about injuries. GG potential, solid makeup. Offensively, will hit League average, maybe slightly higher on his best day. Low contact, decent power, but splits and eye are average at best. But, to get a GG 3B who can play every day with the 9th pick? Pretty solid in my book. “Though hoping for better at 9, am ok to have drafted BJ Dunwoody. See him as a solid ML 3B that can provide some power at 6 or 7 in the batting order. “

10)   Boise – Happy Brock –P- This Reliever Will pitch often. When his arm is still attached, as his 38 health really freaks me out. Surprised he isn’t on the DL already. However, should he stay healthy, great pick. Pitches nearly every day, 1.1-1.2 inning potential, great splits, great control, and solid pitches. “Inherited team and draft settings. Was ok with 1st pick. We’ll see what the kid can do very quickly. Would love to see him team up with Newfield and Tobin down the road to help Boise get their own version of the “nasty boys” (reds, circa 1990). Worst case scenario he flames out and becomes a backend hard thrower.”

11)   Trenton – Anthony Paulino –P- Not a big fan, but good for 11th.  This guy can pitch, that’s for sure. Good Splits, good control, great 1st and 2nd pitch combo. Health is good. Even has a solid 25 durability for a starter. But that’s the problem. This guy will never start with his 49 stamina. He’s a bullpen guy. And what good is a bullpen guy that can only pitch every 4th or 5th day. With that being said though, should be a decent bullpen arm. And will be able to pitch some long games as long as he gets the proper rest afterwards. “With the 11th pick in the 1st round, the fisherman drafted Anthony Paulino, a hick from Iowa, freshman from northeast community college. He is viewed as a risky pick by many experts. If he hits the lofty projections, he could be a super set-up man in 4 or 5 season. But his work ethic is questionable, and the rumor is he has a knack for the red-light district. Stay tuned to see which way he could develop”

12)   Santa Cruz – Ernie Gaudin -P -**Disclaimer. Never saw Gaudin. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)****so, assuming the proj match up, this is who should have gone 4th, 10th, or 11th instead of 12th. Will pitch deep into games. Never walk a guy. Splits? Great. 1st pitch is great. 2nd and on? Going to hurt. Health is decent. Might see a trip to the DL once or twice. I’m worried of him making those proj with the low makeup however. But if he does, it’s a steal at 12.

13)   Los Angeles – J.R. George –P-**Disclaimer. Never saw George. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)****not a fan. Kind of like with paulino, this guy is set up to start, but doesn’t have the Stamina. Might be able to fill in and go 5, maybe 6.  But never more. VSL is going to hurt. VSR could be better, but not too bad. But his pitches? Def makes up for it. Great 1st, ok 2nd, amazing 3rd. should be interesting to see how this guy plays out. “I drafted JR George 13 overall. Currently I am attempting to get him to sign. He thinks he might play football or something. Either way, he’s a solid Ml 4 or 5 in the rotation if he hits his potential. Not a superstar though.”

14)   Little Rock – D.J. Randall-2B- not bad for 14, but I don’t see him playing 2nd. Any corner not called 3b is more likely. Not a bad hitter. Slightly above average, but low contact will hurt a bit. Nice double power potential here. Will need to be rested often, as he doesn’t have great durability. But nice pick overall.

15)    San Juan – Russell Stammen- 2B-not sure what they saw here. He’ll never be able to play second efficiently, and is stuck on the corners. Should play 150+ games a year, and rarely, if ever, get hurt. Makeup is solid, but his bat is extremely mediocre on his best day. Kind of a wasted pick in my opinion. Don’t expect much out of him.

16)   St. Louis – Manny Saitou- RF- switch hitters are always nice. Glove worries me a bit, so maybe best at 1b, but could play his proj position of RF. Good dur, nice health. Solid on batting, but that 49 VSL worries me a bit. Don’t expect too much. Not sure if he’ll reach his proj. Makeup is a little lacking. Not bad for a 12th pick though.

17)   Santa Cruz – Tim Young -LF -**Disclaimer. Never saw Young. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)**** this is a high risk, high reward pick here. If he hits his proj (he won’t, I highly doubt it) he’d be the steal of the draft. But, I’m going with this as if he will (cause where’s the fun in doing it the other way) Great contact, Best power in the league, Great VSL, and decent VSR, good eye. Will hit everything. Will play every day (no rest for that weary pitching corps of yours) and shouldn’t be injured. Oh, he’ll steal on you too. Ugh. If he hits proj, this guy will be a stud.

18)   Santa Cruz – Emmet Hogan –P- Same as young. High risk, high reward. Looks like they doubled down with their back to back picks. So, we’ll go the same route. Assume he hits his proj. Solid back of the rotation starter. Will pitch often, and can go 3 days rest routinely. Pitches and splits combo worry me a bit, but I’ve seen stranger things happen. Hopefully, that amazing groundball ratio will help. Really, the only thing knocking this guy is the Splits-pitch combo. But, he’ll keep his team in the game, and if young develops alongside him, that’s a solid thing.

19)   Jacksonville – Kennie Hardy – P – Interesting Reliever. Should be able to pitch often. Good Sta/Dur combo, good control, throws hard, on the ground, and a great 1st pitch. However, he’s going to get touched by lefties. Will play in the major leagues for his career, but never in the 8th or 9th innings. At least shouldn’t. “Kennie Hardy will be a good RH arm out of the bullpen. A low risk/low reward pick, hardy isn’t a great value at 19, but was the only top 8 guy left on our board when we picked. Still, his control, VSR, Vel, GB, and pitch 1 almost guarantees that he’ll be in the pen for the now’s by season 27”

20)   Baltimore- Dean Barfield –P- -**Disclaimer. Never saw Barfield. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0) **** Interesting pick. Have to assume my scouting is throwing me off. Great Sta/Dur. Won’t hit his control, which could be spotty at times. Lefties are going to touch him like 19th pick hardy, but damn, does he throw hard. Will get more groundballs than fly balls, but I foresee a lot of line drives to the gaps. No great pitches, but decent ones. Don’t look for him to have a big impact in the majors. Will prob only pitch a few seasons

21)   Nashville- Pete Fedroff- P- ***currently unsigned*** Hmm. This guy’s comes down to one thing, and that’s control. If he can at least keep the pitches close to the zone, should have some success as a Starter. Deep into games, should stay healthy. Will pitch filthy, but, with that low control, will appear as Ricky Vaughn in the first major league film. It’s really going to come down to that. Maybe hire Lou Brown to help settle him down? “With the 21st pick of Season 24 draft, the Bootleggers pick Pete Fedroff. I think he will be a terrible player since he has decided not to sign with the bootleggers. He can take his 6-0 192 frame to the NFL as a kicker or punter. His accuracy is rated as a 56 so QB (although he does have a strong arm) is out of the question and his speed of 41 takes him out of being a RB/WR/DB and his size takes him out of being anything else but a punter or kicker. What the NFL sees in him I do not know. He would have project to be a possible #1 but more like a #2 because of that control He had above avg splits with 4 quality pitches and a very live arm. Durable and health would have been top line as well. Oh well, at least I have 2 first rounder’s next year.”

22)   Philadelphia – Daro Stults – C- Ok. He might be listed as a catcher. And he could play there. But, your pitchers are going to look dumbfound when he calls for a Fastball outside in a 3-0 count. Ok, maybe a 3-1 count, but you get the point. Should play most games, but limited to that DH role. Raw power here, with decent contact. Crushes lefties, and decent against righties. But, he’s going to chase that 3-0 outside fastball every time. Maybe that’s why he calls it?

23)   Philadelphia – Conor Webber – 2B – Ok. He’s never going to play 2B. Let’s not fool ourselves. 1B, LF, RF and DH. Watch for those injuries. Rumor has it he claims a migraine when someone flicks him in the temple. But he will hit, especially in Philly. Great contact, good power, effective against LH and RH, and decent eye. Will be an above average hitter with that. Might make an all-star game or 2 if he gets lucky.

24)   Durham – Charles Powell – SS- Interesting pick here for the Bulls. In all honesty, he’s going to be a black hole at SS if he develops fully. Think Ozzie Smith. Will play every day if he’s healthy, but that’s a big if. High contact. High power. But very weak splits and very weak eye. Should be interesting to see which way he goes. Either way, will be in the ML either as a starter or at least a backup SS.

25)   San Francisco – Tony Kwon – P – ok, if you though Fedroff was Ricky Vaughn, think again. This guy has it all. Stamina, health, great against lefties, decent against righties, fast, groundballs and good pitches. But damn. He’ll try to go outside to a hitter and end up hitting him. Don’t really see him making it the ML. “Tony Kwon was taken in the 1st round, at pick 25. If he can keep the ball over the plate, his sinker and curveball could be deadly.”

26)   Cheyenne – Omar Hernandez – C- great defensive catcher. No holes there, nothing but positives there. Offensively, he’ll be challenged by rights. Decent contact, average power, hits lefties and a good eye. But those RH pitchers? Well, they’re going to get to him. And unfortunately, he’s only going to be a backup/platoon because he just can’t play often with his durability. (Also, might be the skinniest damn catcher I’ve ever seen, 6-4, 182 lbs.) Won’t take much to bowl him over. “He has all the tools to be a starter, which makes him a steal where I got him. Unfortunately, his Dur will limit him to a platoon type.”

27)   Honolulu – Sandy Corbett – P- Not a bad pickup for 27th. Control a slight issue. Short starter. Never more than 6 innings. No holes here other than control and stamina. Everything else is pretty nice. Might want to build a strong bullpen that can eat some innings though, as they’re always going to be pitching at least 3.0 innings during his starts.

28)   Vancouver- Henderson Farrell- P- -**Disclaimer. Never saw Farrell. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0)****wow. Great Reliever. Sta/dur a great combo. Will shut down lefties and righties. Throws hard, and on the ground all day. Great pitches. Wait. Did he just throw the baseball over the backstop netting….3 times in a row? Yeah, control is a major issue. Won’t do much other than a cup of coffee in the ML under managers get tired of him. “With the 28th overall pick the Voodoo are proud to have drafted Henderson Farrell. Projected to be a good ML middle reliever with a great groundball ratio. His control will be erratic at times though. “

29)   Charlotte- Dave Helton – P-*** Currently Unsigned*** nice pickup. Won’t be more than a 5th starter, but for late first round, I’ll take it. Should be able to take the ball every 5th day. Low sta. Have the bullpen prepared. Lefties touch him a bit, but righties get frustrated. Ball comes in slower than Tim Wakefield’s Fastball, but damn. Hitters just can’t touch it. And always on the ground. Have a good Defensive infield. “Drafting late I didn’t expect to draft an impact player. But Dave Helton fell to us due to his signablity issues. He has been tendered an offer, but will most likely not sign. Here’s hoping to a deeper draft class next year.”

30)   Syracuse – Don Loretta – SS- Should develop into a Solid SS. Remains to be seen if he’ll be a starter though. Great defensives skills, and could play every day. Health is ok, will prob hit the DL once or twice. High contact, no power. Struggles against the lefties…and the righties. Average eye. Great base running, but I think 80% of the league can run faster than him. Ok for 30th. Would’ve liked to see something better here. Owners an idiot. Oh. Wait a minute…..

31)   Las Vegas – Don Barfield – CF- Interesting pick here. Should be a great defensive CF. High Range, high glove, and little weak sauce on the arm. Think Juan Pierre. Decent contact, not much power, great speed, struggles to get walks. Should be a nice player here. Oh, and is projected to have a 100 health. So, 4 or 5 60 Day DL trips because WIFS never makes any sense "In Vegas this season, we were targeting players who we hope can play CF in a couple of season as Espinosa is likely in his last season in the desert. We were happy to land barfield, who was #1 on the wish list (of players we realistically thought we had a chance to get) our scouts say he should develop into an excellent defender and base stealer. His offense won't be anything special, but should be just good enough. If he develops into a .260 AVG, .300 OBP type player who hits 10-12 HRs per season to go with his speed and defense, then I’ll be very happy with this pick. "

32)   Pawtucket – Ralph Lewis – P- Ummm. Ok. Have a slight issue. Scouts did not see him. And he’s unsigned. I literally, cannot see anything about this guy. Of course it would be the very last guy. So, uh, hey look, Mongoose is eating paste in the corner…..

And a little extra. Decided to look at the financials. Those who were asking for too much, and those who just wanted to play ball. With that said, the 2 draft awards go to…
Mr. Montgomery Burns. Highest signing bonus. - J.R. George of the Los Angeles Lothbroks- 5.6M. Really. Does the 13th pick ever deserve more money than the 1st overall…..?

Mr. Billy Chapel. Lowest signing bonus. – Bert Thompson of the Kansas City Jayhawks. I mean, let’s face it, how expensive is it to live in Kansas City….

 Since a certain commissioner pointed out a few details involving the first round….

33) Milwaukee – Kent Davidson – LF- -**Disclaimer. Never saw Davidson. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0) **** Hmm. Very interesting. If he hits his projections, and he should with his high makeup, I’d be very happy with this pick. Projects as a 1b as he’ll have a weak glove, but, could play RF with the strong arm and not do too much damage. But his stick. First glance, nothing special. Kind of weak actually. Average contact. Below average power. 65 against lefties, but a whopping 94 (which he won’t hit, I foresee something in the low 70’s, and a very nice eye. Which he will hit. It’s not great, but for talking about a 33rd overall selection, pretty solid.

34) Kansas City – Bert Thompson – RF- -**Disclaimer. Never saw Thompson. Going off my advance scouting, which is bad. It’s set at 0) **** Similar to Davidson. But opposite in some regards. Low range puts him at 1st. But again, strong arm puts him in RF without too much damage. High speed. Boy has wheels. Low makeup worries me, as it’s the most defining attribute of a prospect for me (unless he’s already a 75 or something when drafted. Then fuck makeup.) Not sure if he’ll develop fully. Low contact, but average power. Above average VSL, and average VSR and average eye. But damn if he doesn’t have a chance to be a very intelligent base runner. Given the speed, plus average power, I could see him hitting doubles all day long. If he hits his proj. We’ll have to wait and see. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

All Star Break Power Rankings

New formula gives 50% more weight to actual record and 50% less weight to my roster rankings. Value of expected winning percentage remained the same.

Team "record" "record since last pr" "Rec rank" "roster rank" "Expected wp rank" "overall score" "ranking last pr"

1-Las Vegas Desperados (AL) 62-27 33-14 1 2 3.5 1.66 3
The clear class of Hobbs. 2nd best record since the last rankings, the best record overall, best roster in the AL. The do everything well.

2-Pawtucket Griffins (NL) 60-29 30-16 2 3 2 2.11 1
The clear class of the NL. 2nd best record, 2nd best expected record, top 3 roster. 2nd fewest run runs surrendered, 7th most runs scored. The favorite in the NL.

3-Kansas City Jayhawks (AL) 58-31 31-15 3.5 1 6 3.77 4
Top pitching, best roster, top 3 record, there is a lot to love here. The only worry is an offense that is only average at scoring runs.

4-Jacksonville See You Now (NL) 56-33 33-13 5 4 1 4 11
The best record since the last rankings propels them up 7 spots. They have the best offense, the best expected winning percentage and a top 4 roster. Their streakiness is a little worrisome. Remove their 18 game winning streak and they are only 38-33.

5-Durham Bulls (NL) 58-31 28-18 3.5 9 3.5 4.11 5
I cheated a little bit to get them this high. They are the only team that does not score well on my roster ranking (their real score was 15th) , but since they are ahead of me in the standing I figured overall score better be pretty close to mine. In theory the WS champ should come from these 5 teams. They is a big jump here. Their offense is top 3.

6-Charlotte Charlotteans (NL) 54-35 30-16 6 7 7 6.33 8
Either 6th or 7th in every category they are pretty consistent. The offense is not quite as good as the rest of the team, but they are good.

7-Indianapolis Cougars (NL) 52-37 23-23 8.5 5 5 7.33 2
Indy lurking at #7 scares the piss out of everyone. We can only hope that Cincinnati and Jacksonville keep them out of the playoffs entirely. The biggest worry is that they seem to getting a bit tired and their recent .500 record shows it.

8-Cheyenne (AL) 53-36 25-21 7 11 8 7.66 6
Eight in scoring runs, tenth in preventing them, 7th in record, they have slowed down a little in the second quarter but are a consistently good team.

9-Cincinnati Red Bowties (NL) 52-37 26-20 8.5 6 9 8.33 7
They have some wonderful hitters, but can’t hit. Their worst hitters are really dragging them down. However, their top 3 pitching has them tied with Indy for the last playoff spot in the NL. No one is more active than jbugg so it will not be from lack of trying.

10-San Juan Padres (NL) 50-39 27-19 10 20 10 11.11 13
They defy the roster rankings a little too, but their bats have them in the playoff hunt.

11-Nashville BootLeggers (AL) 48-41 27-19 12 8 11 11.33 18
Everything about them is above average, but not above average enough to be one of the elite teams.

12-Vancouver Voodoo (AL) 49-40 26-20 11 10 13 11.33 12
If Vancouver could only hit they’d really have something. Still, their WC #2 if the season ended today so mission accomplished so far.

13-Honolulu Hurricanes (AL) 47-42 24-22 13.5 15 14 13.77 14
Playing solid overall. Just above average in hitting, pitching and fielding, but not excelling in any particular aspect of the game

14-Baltimore Buushwackerz (NL) 47-42 26-20 13.5 21 12 14 20
If this is the worst team in your division you have a strong one. Like San Juan and Durham they are playing above their roster, but here they sit within striking distance of the playoffs.

15-Richmond Fire Blitz (AL) 45-44 18-28 16.5 18 15 16.33 9
After a fast start, Richmond really struggled in the 2nd quarter.

16-Jackson Mudslide (AL) 45-44 23-23 16.5 16 18 16.77 17
Jackson’s struggle to score runs is keeping them close to .500

17-Los Angeles Lothbroks (NL) 46-43 20-26 15 27 19.5 17.33 15
Sometimes it’s all about the division you were in.

18-Syracuse Shockers (AL) 43-46 19-27 19 17 16 18.11 10
Syracuse really struggled in the second quarter.

19-Florida TIGERS (AL) 43-46 20-26 19 22 17 18.88 16
Where would this team be without Bryan Iorg? At the break, he is 13-1 with an ERA of 2.00 in 129 innings.

20-Philadelphia Erffdoggs (AL) 43-46 25-21 19 26 23 20.66 26
They actually played really well in the 2nd quarter. Maybe the guys they traded were clubhouse cancers?

21-San Francisco Gothams (NL) 40-49 20-26 22.5 14 19.5 20.88 19

22-Santa Cruz Designated Drinkers (NL) 42-47 25-21 21 30 21 22 29
Santa Cruz was on the slow plan to success, but no one told their players. They tied with Jacksonville for the largest jump in rank.

23-Boise Spuds (AL) 40-49 26-20 22.5 12 26 22.11 25
Boise had a supremely disappointing 1st quarter, but played up to their talent 2nd quarter. I expect more of this.

24-New Orleans Big Test Icicles (AL) 38-51 25-26 24 29 24 24.55 23
I maintain that blanch is doing it wrong. A nearly .500 2nd quarter is no way to build through the draft

25-Trenton Fishermen (AL) 37-52 19-27 26 13 27 24.77 21
After a decent start, Trento is in a tail spin.

26-Chicago Orphans (NL) 37-52 18-28 26 19 28 25.66 24
Chicago really seems to miss Billy Williams Jr.

27-Little Rock Rebels (NL) 37-52 20-23 26 31 22 25.66 27
In the 2nd quarter Little Rock finally started playing like the so-so team jc said they were.

28-St. Louis Blues (NL) 33-56 15-31 29 25 25 27.66 22
St. Louis seems to have already started their rebuild with the recent Nieves trade.

29-San Diego Surf Sharks (AL) 35-54 22-24 28 28 30 28.44 30
The worst offense. Just terrible. Played a little better in the 2nd quarter, but still seems bound for a top 5 pick.

30-New Britain Red Coats (AL) 30-59 14-32 30 23 29 29 28
In full rebuild mode, they are clearly the 3rd worst team.

31-Milwaukee High Lifes (NL) 19-70 10-36 32 24 32 31.11 31
Milwaukee has a better roster than Helena, but a worse record.

32-Helena Hill Williams (NL) 25-64 13-33 31 32 31 31.11 32
Poor, poor hotdog.

Friday, August 1, 2014

40 Game Power Rankings

thanks to our Power Rankings correspondent topoftheworl

1- Pawtucket Griffins (NL) 30-13 Tied for first in record, no worse than 3rd in anything. A destructive machine that seems likely to win at least 110.
2- Indianapolis Cougars (NL) 29-14 The two champs are up to no good! First in run differential, no worse than 4th in any component they have to be the favorite to win it all again.
3- Las Vegas Desperados (AL) 29-14 2nd best roster and only a game behind the best record, they have played a little above their run differential. It should frighten us all that they could summon as much as 27 mil in prospect budget should they wish.
4- Kansas City Jayhawks (AL) 27-16 They have the top ranked roster, have already added a you catcher, rp, and corner of to their system and on pace for 102 wins. Oh well, at least I got Wellington Park out of him.
5- Durham Bulls (NL) 30-13 Tied for the best record, 2nd in run differential, my numbers say he only has a middling roster, but I can’t argue with 30-13. Does he AND Indy need to be in my division?
6- Cheyenne Feather Heads (AL) 28-15 The Cheyenne Professional Baseball team offense is firing on all cylinders, but their pitching is only average.
7- Cincinnati Red Bowties (NL) 26-17 Their bats have been quieter than my predictions expected, but their pitching has been top tier and it has them in a nice place overall.
8- Charlotte Charlotteans (NL) 24-19 Solid hitting and pitching usually equal a top flight team, but Charlotte has only been a little above average. They seem likely to improve.
9- Richmond Fire Blitz (AL) 27-16 Steelforge has been getting superior results from what I see as a decent, but not amazing roster. His run differential is in line with my roster projections so we will see if he can keep this up.
10- Syracuse Shockers (AL) 24-19 Pitching has been excellent and the batting has been decent. See Charlotte only more so.
11- Jacksonville See You Now (NL) 23-20 Top believes that he has all the pieces in place to dominate for seasons. Just not this season.
12- Vancouver Voodoo (AL) 23-20 Their underlying numbers say they should be average and they are.
13- San Juan Padres (NL) 23-20 Their run differential says they are a top 6 team. Their scoring runs like a champ. However, their pitching and bad luck seems to be holding them down.
14- Honolulu Hurricanes (AL) 23-20 Pitching has been fine, hitting not as much. Their performance matches their roster ranking and run differential.
15- Los Angeles Lothbroks (NL) 26-17 This is the 2nd mystery team. There is not one underlying number that justifies this record. None! They can’t hit, their pitching is about average and they make trades with me (thereby questioning their character). Yet their 9 games over .500
16- Florida TIGERS (AL) 23-20 Florida’s team name is all in CAPS. Speaking of funny spelling, Bryan Iorg is having a 'I take steroids in my Wheaties' kind of season, and leading the pitching staff with his 7-0 record and 1.78 ERA. The rest of the staff has a combined ERA of 5.05.
17- Jackson Mudslide (AL) 22-21 Ranked 4th in the AL in OBP, and 2nd in SB and total runs scored. The offense is humming and running along. The pitching isn't getting it done though, team ERA is 4.84.
18- Nashville BootLeggers (AL) 21-22 Nashville is playing way above their run differential. They have a good roster and scoring runs. I would expect them to sort it all out over the next 40.
19- San Francisco Gothams (NL) 20-23 Considering what they are paying for their roster they are doing quite well. Excellent hitting, suspect pitching, but 40 million sign me up.
20- Baltimore Buushwackerz (NL) 21-22 Can you believe that this good team is the worst in my division? Sheesh! What a power house to walk into.
21- Trenton Fishermen (AL) 18-25 They actually are almost a top 10 roster, but they haven’t played like it. Just kind of below average everywhere.
22- St. Louis Blues (NL) 18-25 The pitching is serviceable, about league average. The offense though, simply hasn't gotten it done. Third lowest run total in the NL.
23- New Orleans Big Test Icicles (AL) 18-25 Will New Orleans be a force with 2 seasons? Yes they will. No team has done more to improve themselves for the future and the present isn’t even that bad.
24- Chicago Orphans (NL) 19-24 The rebuild has clearly started. The LoA and HiA squads are a combined 65-27 so far this season. Watch out for Chicago in 2-3 seasons!
25- Boise Spuds (AL) 14-29 Boise is scoring runs, but their pitching is just not good. One wonders how long it will be before megatalent Michael Palmer gets dealt for pitching.
26- Philadelphia Erffdoggs (AL) 18-25 Many tears were shed as fans were devastated by the trading of Philly legend, perennial All Star and former MVP Ken Woods. The rebuild is in full effect!
27- Little Rock Rebels (NL) 17-26 I can back up a lot of what was said in WC. His underlying numbers say he’s close to average. His roster ranking and record say otherwise.
28- New Britain Red Coats (AL) 16-27 Franchise has seemed to be stuck in neutral for the last seven seasons. It seems destined for another year with a W total in the low 70s.
29- Santa Cruz Designated Drinkers (NL) 17-26 Despite their record I actually like what Santa Cruz is doing. They have accumulated a lot of talent already, have 7 first round draft picks, have maximized cap flexibility, and securing themselves a great draft pick without being THAT bad.
30- San Diego Surf Sharks (AL) 13-30 They just can’t score a run to save their lives. The pitching has been o.k. The gulf between them and the next two is very wide. San Diego may have finished 30th, but their score is in the “normal” range.
31- Milwaukee High Lifes (NL) 9-34 Milwaukie and Helena both have nothing except high draft picks next season going for them at the moment.
32- Helena Hill Williams (NL) 12-31 Poor, poor hotdog

Monday, July 28, 2014

Anatomy of a Deal... by topoftheworl

Unless otherwise stated all commentary is mine.

All times are in Alaska Standard Time. 4 hours earlier than the East Coast

10:21pm Friday (henceforth labeled as “F”): St. Nick writes “I’m open for trades people, not truly in a building phase but looking for some young future ML keystones. Will trade all but 1 (you’ll know him when you see him).

I see it soon thereafter and look at my spreadsheet at his team. My spreadsheet is what I sent out plus some formula that give every hitter a score for their bat and every pitcher a non-stamina/durability based score for their arm. 2 guys catch my attention. Diory Diaz who scores as a #2 starter and Jesus Gutierrez who scores as a #1. It turns out Gutierrez has ultralow stamina (10) and is oldish (32) and I already have too many ML quality relievers with my Fausto Rodriquez IFA signing. He should have gone directly to the ML, but there is no innings there for him yet. However Diaz is 29 and in the last year of his deal. I like that if he is willing to sign because I’m happy to lock him up for 5 more. Right now I have a #1 (Bronson), 2 #3’s (Chang and Mays), and a #4 (Rodriguez). Adding Diaz allows me to move everyone by Bronson down and gives me a slightly better than average rotation. Plus, at 29 Diaz still has at least 4 high quality seasons after this one. His stamina/durability is a little low (which is why he is only a 76 overall), but I have quality bullpen arms coming out of my ears so that matters less to me than it otherwise would.

11:22pm F I ask him who the 1 guy he will not move is. I also state my interest in Dorey Diaz, but only if he’ll resign.

11:51pm F I learn the guy is Ike Allen and that Diaz wants 5/30mil

I had no interest in Allen anyway. He’s amazing, but I have corner OF covered. I’d have given Diaz 5/40 without blinking so I’m pleased.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: At this point in the season I was surprised to have a winning record and be in first place in the NL West. As much as it pains me to say it, since I left the Blue Collars in the NL East - several seasons ago - I had just been drifting along in Hobbs. Realizing that I had to return to my old form, I took a long look at my entire system and was not overly pleased. My system was lacking the talent necessary to sustain a winning organization and the "Lothbroks" are a winning organization. For those of you who watch the Viking's series and know the "Lothbroks," you know that Ragnar Lothbrok is no drifter. So, having realized my needs I announced to the world my intention to begin trade talk and immediately sent numerous trade chats/offers to various owners. At the time Topoftheworl contacted me about interest in Diaz, I had not specifically thought about trading him but true to my word, all but one was on the block. I looked over Topoftheworl's roster and discovered a lot of young talent. In particular, I noticed Reagan (who I saw as a long shot), Matos, Hoiles and Bagley. I decided to shoot for Matos.

12:23am S He asks for Miguel Matos

The two positions not settled on my ML roster are SS and 1B. I have guys playing out of position covering 1B which is fine for now. Matos can just plain hit and he’s only 20. I need to redirect St. Nick. It is at this point I notice that he has a better record than me.

12:31pm S I tell him I intend to start Matos next season and that while I won’t say he’s off limits, I would want to see if I stayed in the race before making that deal. I tell him I am thinking about centering a deal around Fausto Rivera. I also state that he has a pretty good team.

On my screen I have Fausto Rivera, Henry Coleman, and one other guy on my screen for Diaz, but haven’t offered him yet.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I can see that Topoftheworl appears to want to deal around Rivera, a SS. I know that losing Diaz will hurt, but I conclude it will not hurt nearly as bad if I can get an impact prospect in return. Looking at Rivera I realize he is a "solid prospect" but do not view him as an "impact" one, at least for my system. At this point I doubt I will get to Reagan, but want to test the waters some concerning his tradeability. At this point I know that if I trade Diaz, Matos must be part of it.

12:50pm S He tells me likes Rivera, but that he is also interested in Don Bagley, Kevin Holes, and Woody Regan. He also tells me that he thinks his team is playing well, but he wants to add a few prospects.

1:06am S I seek to affirm that he does not want a ML back and that I will send him an excellent 4th OF because I’ll need the roster spot anyway. I also state that Reagan is not available and that I don’t want to move Bagley unless I am going to stay in the race.

I’m stalling for time at this point. He has a taste of the deal and I am hoping by pulling back a little he will strive for it by taking Rivera instead of Bagley or Matos. Rivera is a good player, but he kind of lacks a position. Not enough glove for SS, not enough bat for a top flight 3B. He’s still getting better so he may grow into it, but probably not with me.

I send him Rivera, Kevin Hoiles, and my wonderful 4th OF Eckenstahler. I want him to send 5mil back.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I review his offer and immediately notice that Matos is not a part of it. I know we do not yet have a deal. Looking at the offer, however, I look at Eckenstahler and plug him into my own player evaluating system. The result: he's not a starter and has a serious health risk, but I really like him. I view him as an excellent outfield/infield sub who can come off the bench and steal bases. I like to have one of these players on every team, and like that he will also replace the ML roster spot I will have trading Diaz. But not for Rivera.

1:27a S He tells me he thinks the deal is fair, but hesitates because he’s pretty deep at SS.

1:29a S I reply that he should feel free to counter but think that he will take my offer in the morning.

Getting a #2 SP for 4th OF, a solid young RP prospect, and a SS/3B is pretty awesome.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I do not hesitate at all about declining the offer. I know what I'm after, it's Matos. So, I counter swapping Rivera for Matos and while I'm at it, why not cut the cash from $5M to $2.5. My reasoning: Looking at the finances, I realize that the deal is fine financially but also want to leave room to possibly contract a SP from the free-agent's board since I will not be getting a replacement ML pitcher.

10:38a S He let’s me know he has countered and I don’t like it at all!
He wants Matos instead of Rivera and he cuts the cash in half.
10:42a S I tell him that I can’t see myself giving up Hoiles and the cash.

I’m winning on the Guerrero negotiations. Funny, I think I overpaid for my first IFA, but think Guerrero worth at least 3 mil more that I do not have. Even in this deal I’m in trouble in terms of signing my 1st round pick, but I’m within a million. I can’t give up the cash, but don’t want him knowing that so I try to make it sound like it’s about Hoiles. I like Hoiles, but he’s a future Setup A. I gamble that he will want Hoiles more than the cash since Hoiles would be a 6 millionish IFA if we was on the market.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I'm also gradually increasing my bids with an IFA Guerrero, but receive his last insult as he tells me something his mother says - I don't really listen and brush it to the side - and then he informs me that he will be wearing another teams uniform unless I offer him the green. His passive aggression is offensive to me and I wonder in the back of my mind whether his Mother is his agent. I decide to stop my bidding on him because he's immature and get back to dealing for Matos. I figured I'd probably have to pay $5M, so was not surprised there.

10:54a S My gamble pays off and he gives the cash back.

11:00a S I’ve negotiated myself into a corner by getting him to concede on the cash with a concession from me. I’ve kind of hinted that I will accept now by that move. I ask him if he sees Matos and Bagley as equivalent. I like Bagley a lot, but like Matos better and will probably do it if he will take Bagley. Getting a SP I am going to lock up for 5 seasons makes Bagley less necessary. I also ask for time. Finally, I ask if he actually wants the 4th OF as at this point I am not pleased with the thought of overpaying and will try to get someone else to overpay for my OF.

11:13am S He expresses a clear preference for Matos, though concedes there is a health risk. He says that he likes the 4th OF (Eckenstahler) a lot too (he’s really quite good).

11:15am S He informs that Indy has expressed an interest in Diaz too, but that he does not see a deal being made at this time. We make fun of Indy for a while, but really we are both just jealous. I tell him he should lie to Jibe about what I am offering to see if he’ll over pay.

I REALLY don’t want Indy getting him and he has to know that. stnick is wiping the court with me right now. I look for some way to get myself back in the driver’s seat and not give him $1.25 on the dollar because I need the deal more. I see that Cam Ford has 30 million coming to him over the next 2 seasons but is only worth half that. I have payroll flexibility in droves. I go fishing to see if he will pay me to take Ford.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I google "skilled negotiator" and read that building confidence an rapport is important. Google says "common interests" and "flattery", so I immediately think back to my time in the East with the Scranton Blue Collars. We discuss the challenges that the Indianapolis Cougars present, I am also currently playing the Cougars and kicking their asses, although I fail to mention this. I attempt to convince Topoftheworl that with Diaz he is sure to improve his chances of "staying in the race" and then ask whether he would like to "go big" with this deal, referring to a possible deal for Diaz and Ford, in which case I think I may have a chance at Reagan.

11:47a S He doesn’t bite and plays Ford as if Ford has value.

12:26p S He goes fishing and tries to see if he can get me to include Reagan. He says some nice things about having been in my position against Indy before.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I have now discussed common interests and exercised flattery, I think I'm sure to land a deal now, once again discussing the possibility of throwing Reagan into the mix. I think it might be squashed, which it was, but figure it was worth trying.

12:40p S I restate that Reagan is not in play.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: Topoftheworl unequivocally informs me that Reagan = Ike Allen, the one player that I stated from the beginning as untouchable. This registers loud and clear. Still, it takes me 5 minutes to convince myself to not bring Reagan up again, at all, lest my rapport with Topoftheworl and all the flattery will be all for not!

12:47p He offers Diaz, Ford, and 10 mil for Matos, Bagley, and Hoiles over two deals.

1:25p-1:35p We go back and forth about how valuable spreadsheets are in HBD

2:41p I tell him that including Ford just doesn’t add up for me. According to my formula he is only a little better of a hitter than Matos right now.

2:50p I pull out of the deal as currently constructed.

I feel bad, but it’s just not a good value for me. I look one more time for something we can do. It’s only at this point that I see Herm Stein. I missed him the first few times looking at my SS because while it lists the defensive stats, it doesn’t score them. I just pull up his top 3 overalls to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I’m like holy **** 97 range. 23 years old, on a minimum deal. 21 + plays? I go to my SS. He’s bat is would be the 4th best on my team and he’s only 23. I compare him to Arthur Bryant (who I really, really like) and except for health and batting eye (their durabilities are close enough) Stein wins across the board. An all-star at 22, I think he’s probably a top 3 at his position guy right now and he’s still getting better. I want him BADLY.
3:12p S I tell him I am offering him a deal with Bagley and Matos

I then futz and fiddle about how to get him to do Stein, Matos, and Bryant for Diaz, Stein, and 5 million. In the end I send him an offer without Bryant and with Hoiles instead knowing he’ll say no, but giving me somewhere to counter to.

3:41p S He tells me he can’t do it. It’s a fair offer, but that Stein is his one good young ML’er.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: After our discussions and much time attempting to reach a compromise, I simply feel that I cannot give up Stein. In declining the offer I point out that he simply is the best CF I have had, ever. I begin to think of my enjoyment in seeing frequent + and ++ as I scroll down the game logs. Although I fail to mention it, I know that I will not get the same results from Bryant, although he's a very close replacement. I deny the offer and tell Topoftheworl that I cannot do it because he is my only youth ML guy.

3:47p S I reply that I included Bryant he would still have a plus CF’er. He counters that while that is true, Bryant is no Stein.

Well, I tried.

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I read his remarks and think, "That is true." I mean, my only concern was having youth, which really is the only reason I could not pull the trigger on the deal. I feel cornered, a bit trapped. In fact, I feel as Dakar apparently did in a previous negotiation with Topoftheworl, "in a headlock."

4:01p S With the family in the car I go back in the house just to tell him that I am heading to a BBQ on the beach (of the Arctic Ocean).

STNICK'S COMMENTARY: I read that Topoftheworl is going to a BBQ, and I have a moment of sheer panic as the envy sets in. I also arrive at the realization that Topoftheworl too must have googled "skilled negotiator" and was using his knowledge of "commonalities" against me. I too have a family and a car, and who doesn't like BBQ's. Realizing that we've negotiated hard, that I frankly did not enjoy the headlock, and truly wanted to help him dismantle the Cougars as I was currently doing, I immediately began a counter offer to surprise him upon his return from his BBQ. I plated the deal for Matos, Bryant and Bagley, giving up Diaz and Stein. I'd note that in the latest offer, Topoftheworl had reduced his cash demand to $4.25M from $5M. Out of the kindness of my heart, and having determined that i would not need to employ the services of another FA pitcher, I upped the cash back to $5M, and submitted.

All in all, I agreed very quickly because the deal was extremely fair. He received to quality ML players who will definitely improve his team, and I was receiving 2 quality prospects and an extremely good CF to replace my CF stud. I'll miss Diaz and all of Stein's plus plays and above average, actually great, bat, but this was a great negotiation and a lot of fun.

6:45p S I come to see that he has offered me the deal I thought I was going to have to talk him into.

7:03p I thank him for being such a pleasure to work with.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The First 23... A Ranking of the Most Successful Franchises in Hobbs History...

As the inaugural post of the re-vamped Hobbs Headlines, why not do a look back at the most successful franchises in the first 23 seasons of the league. The teams were ranked on both regular season success and playoff success, pennants, and, of course, championships. Each franchise name is listed in its current incarnation. The initial post will be teams 10-15, and I'll post one new team per day until we get to #1 (but I'm guessing all of the long time Hobbs members can guess which team is #1... SPOILER ALERT: Its not a surprise!).

1- Indianapolis Cougars

Championships: 5
Pennants: 7
Division Titles: 14
Total Playoff Appearances: 14
Franchise Record: 2128-1598
Seasons w/ winning record: 15
Best Position Player in Team History: Sal Lombardi
Best Pitcher in Team History: Jair Gonzalez

I won't lie... this one is painful for me to write. I'm still bitter, broken and emotional over back-to-back seasons of losing the WS in Game 7 to the Cougs... Two of the WS could be mine! But, alas, they're not. They're just two of a collection of WS Banners hanging at aptly named 'Victory Field.' Just to show you how far ahead the Cougars are... I'll reveal the franchise scores for this ranking. The scored for #2 KC was 60, and the score for #10 Vancouver was 48. All of the teams at 2 thru 10 were pretty damn close. Indianapolis scored at 101. Take a deep breath... here are the records... most championships, most pennants, most regular season wins, most division titles, most trips to the LCS or deeper, most 100+ win seasons, second most seasons with a winning record and second most trips to the playoffs. What about the Golden Age? That's right now. This team has been dominating Hobbs over the last six seasons, and dominating the NL for 13 seasons. Six consecutive trips to the World Series, with 4 championships to show for it. Only Colorado (now Honolulu) and Syracuse were able to slow down this dynasty. The NL in particular has really been under this team's shadow. Out of the last 13 seasons, the Cougars have been to the NLCS 11 times. The NLCS has almost been an appointment to see what team gets to play Indianapolis for the Pennant. Even more impressive... during those 13 seasons the Cougars (or, briefly as the New York Nightmares) were the #1 seed in the NL 10 times! They were a #2 seed twice and a #3 seed once... Thirteen seasons of dominance is absolutely incredible... will the Age of the Cougars ever end?

2- Kansas City Jayhawks

Championships: 1
Pennants: 3
Division Titles: 12
Total Playoff Appearances: 16
Franchise Record: 2100-1626
Seasons w/ winning record: 16
Best Position Player in Team History: Luis Concepcion
Best Pitcher in Team History: Woody Clifton

Normally I'd talk about a team's history, when they were at their best, where else the team has played etc, etc. Not the case with KC. They have only played in Kansas City, only ever been the Jayhawks, and only Dakar has run this squad. They don't have a Golden Era, because they don't really have down seasons... only missing the playoffs 7 times in 23 seasons. The only chick in this franchise's armor is the lone, single title. But lets check out the other stuff. Second best franchise record in the league, most seasons with a winning record, most times in the playoffs, second most division titles, second most 100+ win seasons, and second most trips to the LCS or deeper with 9. The Jayhawks have been the benchmark for consistency and winning in the league, and the jewel of the AL.

3- Baltimore Buushwackerz

Championships: 2
Pennants: 3
Division Titles: 5
Total Playoff Appearances: 13
Franchise Record: 2006-1720
Seasons w/ winning record: 16
Best Position Player in Team History: Slick Rapp and Hugh Figueroa
Best Pitcher in Team History: Steve Smart

This franchise was one of the most stable in the league. For 21 seasons this team was the Scranton Blue Collars and guiding by stnick44. For Season 22 it stayed in Scranton as the RailRiders, before turzich took over a couple of seasons ago and the team became the Baltimore Buushwackerz. For this piece, we'll be focusing on the Blue Collars. This is the 4th winningest franchise in Hobbs and one of only 4 with multiple WS titles. The 16 seasons with a winning record is tied for the most with KC. The Blue Collars really hit their stride in Seaons 5-14. During that span, the team made the playoffs every season, and also was the NL's #1 seed for 4 straight. The team won 3 Pennants and 2 World Series, in Seasons 6 and 13. The franchise has really been in a drought since that Season 13 WS win though. In the 10 seasons since, it has made the playoffs but twice, including last season, the 1st season that turzich took over.

4- Durham Bulls

Championships: 1
Pennants: 4
Division Titles: 4
Total Playoff Appearances: 12
Franchise Record: 1926-1800
Seasons w/ winning record: 13
Best Position Player in Team History: Fred Henderson
Best Pitcher in Team History: Rob Abercrombie

Different franchise. Nearly the same story. Six different owners, five different cities. First the Dover Diamond Devils, then the Dover Bull  Dogs, the Columbus Red Dogs, the Wichita Lineman, the Rochester Rockets and now the Durham Bulls. This team really had its glory days as the Dover Diamond Devils. That team played for Seasons 1-9. Every one of those seasons it made the playoffs. Four times the Devils were the NL's #1 seed. Four times they won the NL Pennant, and they won the World Series in Season 2. The next 11 seasons were terrible. Not once did the Bull Dogs or the Lineman or the Rockets make the playoffs. And only once did any of those teams finish higher than 3rd place. Bux_express took over 4 seasons ago, and has made an immediate impact. Though he certainly hasn't reached the heights of the Diamond Devils, the Durham Bulls have made the playoffs every season they have been in North Carolina. They even made it to the NLCS. Now they just need  to take the next step forward and start seriously competing for a Pennant.

5- Nashville Bootleggers

Championships: 1
Pennants: 3
Division Titles: 12
Total  Playoff Appearances: 13
Franchise Record: 1987-1739
Seasons w/ winning record: 13
Best Position Player in Team History: Yunel Guerrero
Best Pitcher in Team History: Corban Chiasson

This franchise hasn't had the instability that has plagued many of Hobbs' franchises. Its only played in four cities, under four different owners. The seasons that propelled this franchise into the top five were all early in Hobbs history. In Seasons 1-6 (with 1-4 playing as the New Orleans Bayou Bengals and 5-9 playing as the Austin Kangaroos), this squad was a #1 or a #2 seed in the AL every season. They won the AL South every season. They won two AL Pennants and a World Series in Season 4. The team would then go from Austin to Oklahoma City. The five seasons in Oklahoma, as the Falcons, were a time to forget. The Falcons would never make the playoffs, never have a winning record and would finish in 3rd or 4th place every season. Rbjb came in to take over the team in Season 16. He moved the team to Nashville and re-branded it the Bootleggers. In just one season he had his team back in the playoffs. Since the move to Tennessee, the Bootleggers have been a factor in the AL and a perennial playoff team. They have made the plyaoffs 5 of the last 7 seasons, and also won the AL Pennant in Season 19. This franchise has tied (with Kansas City) for the most division titles in the AL, has the 2nd best overall franchise record in the AL and is tied for the 2nd most 100 win seasons in the AL.

6- Honolulu Hurricanes

Championships: 1
Pennants: 4
Division Titles: 7
Total Playoff Appearances: 10
Franchise Record: 1881-1845
Seasons w/ winning record: 11
Best Position Player in Team History: Zack Matthews
Best Pitcher in Team History: Jack Harding and Dennis Hyun

In the pre-historic period of the Hobbs league, this franchise was the whipping boy of the AL. In Seasons 1-11, this franchise earned exactly 1 playoff appearance and had exactly 0 seasons with a winning record. The only reason the team made it into the playoffs at all in Season 1 was the AL West was terrible and 76 wins was good enough to win it. This franchise even finished in 4th place for five consecutive seasons at one point. Part of the issue was most certainly (like many other teams at the time) instability in ownership. Season 1, San Jose Red Bulls... Season 2, Portland Pioneers... Season 3, Salem Thunder Stixx... Seasons 4-10, Las Vegas Legends/Beer View Mirrors... etc. The only thing these squads had in common (because it certainly wasn't ownership, 3 different owners in the first 6 seasons before mal24 took over) was that they lost, a lot. The franchise finally found a long term owner in Season 7, when mal24 came in. He would guide this team for the next 12 seasons through Season 18. Though the team would still bounce around a bit (from Las Vegas to the Salem Senators to the Honolulu Honolulus to the Colorado Crotch Crushers) before mal left, he provided the stability and direction that the franchise desperately needed. Though it didn't appear that way at first. For mal's first five seasons, the team had a losing record, averaged a record of 63-99 and finished in last place. Then the team moved to Salem and everything seemed to fall into place. In the first season as the Senators, they finished with 90 wins... and the franchises 1st ever winning record and trip to the playoffs. It was a sign of things to come. The Senators would win back-to-back AL Pennants in Seasons 13 and 14, though ultimately lose in the WS both seasons. This team was now an AL power. Five consecutive division titles, five consecutive 100-win seasons, seven consecutive trips to the playoffs, 3 AL Pennants and, finally, that elusive WS title in Season 18, in their only season under the guise of the Colorado Crotch Crushers. Mal would leave Hobbs on top, and rattlers would take over in Season 19. Under pressure of the players, the team was moved back to Hawaii (I mean, come on, Hawaii or Colorado?) and re-christened the Hurricanes. Rattlers took over a team that was on the back side of dominance and was able to orchestrate a mini-Renaissance in his first season, and playoff baseball was back in Honolulu. Ultimately though, he was unable to maintain playoff status, as the team was clinging on a bit too long to prior glory and was in need of at least a re-tooling, and maybe even a re-build. Rattlers chose the re-tooling route, and though the team missed the postseason for three straight seasons (20-22), it was still a competitive team and he was he was rewarded for staying the course with a fantastic run in Season 23. Last season's playoffs were a magical time for this team. They defeated the Season 20 WS Champion, and their 2 All Star starting pitchers Wilson and Ellis, in Syracuse in the Wild Card round. Then in the ALDS, in a tight 5-game series, the Hurricanes defeated the back-to-back AL Champion, and division rival, Las Vegas Desperados. In the ALCS, they surprisingly ran over the AL's top seed, and perennial AL power, Kansas City Jayhawks in 5 games. To add insult to injury for the Jayhawks, the Hurricanes are now tied with the Jayhawks for most AL Pennants with four. The team fell just short in the WS though. Once again the dynastic Cougars defeated the AL Champion in a very tight seven games. It was the third straight season that the AL has had their hearts broken by Indianapolis in seven games. Will the Hurricanes carry their success into Season 24? It'll be tough, no doubt. The AL West boasted 3 teams with winning records last season, and Vegas has proven to be the class of the division (and it could even be argued of the AL) for the last 2-3 seasons.

7- Santa Cruz Designated Drinkers

Championships: 3
Pennants: 3
Division Titles: 9
Total Playoff Appearances: 9
Franchise Record: 1839-1887
Seasons w/ winning record: 10
Best Position Player in Team History: Roland Stanton
Best Pitcher in Team History: Mike Burroughs

Like the now Vancouver VooDoo, this is another franchise that has a history of instability. It has played in 10 different cities, under 11 different names, with 9 different owners guiding it. Are you ready for the list (deep breath): Las Vegas Marauders, San Francisco Dedringers, Arizona Cascabel Diamantes (named after the snake I suppose, but could also have been sponsored by Mitsubishi?), Boise Potato Heads, San Jose Poppies, San Jose Phils, Anaheim Angels, Albuquerque Swingers, Oakland Cracked Bats and the Scottsdale Darts. The longest period of stability was Season 2 through 8. The team was the San Francisco Dedringers. But we'll get back to the Dedringers. Unlike Philadelphia and Chicago, who earned their way onto this list with decades of stability, winning records and playoff appearances with the occasional Pennant and World Series, this franchise broke onto the list with a short period of extreme dominance. This is the only franchise in the Top 10 with a losing record, that has more losing seasons than winning seasons, and has the fewest playoff appearances of any of the Top 10. But its hard to overlook 3 World Series titles. Lets go back to the Golden Age of Hobbs baseball in San Francisco. For a seven season stretch, this team was the San Francisco Dedringers. In six of those seasons, they won the NL West. It also won 3 World Series' in a five season span... raising a championship banner for Seasons 3, 5 and 7. Since this team left the City by by Bay, it has been but a shell of itself. In the 16 seasons since that last World Series win... only 3 trips to the playoffs, and only 3 seasons with a winning record. In those 3 playoff trips, the team didn't make any noise. This season brings yet another new owner, and another new city. Though nobody is quite sure what to expect from the new Santa Cruz Designated Drinkers, hope springs eternal from fans in this small beach city. There is certainly opportunity here as well, as the NL West has been a weak division for the last two seasons, with only one team within the division producing a winning record during those two years.

8- Philadelphia Erffdoggs

Championships: 1
Pennants: 2
Division Titles: 7
Total Playoff Appearances: 11
Franchise Record: 2042-1684
Seasons w/ winning record: 16
Best Position Player in Team History: John Yamamoto and Ken Woods
Best Pitcher in Team History: Ted Sheets

The Erffdoggs have consistently been a very good team throughout their history, always in contention for the playoffs. They have the 3rd best franchise record, and are one of only 3 teams to have 16 seasons with a winning record. In recent Hobbs history, the Erffdoggs have been one of the AL's heavyweights. For seven straight seasons, from 16-22, Philly won their division and was either the #1 or the #2 seed going into the playoffs. In six of those seasons, 16-21, the franchise won at least 100 games. In Season 17, the City of Brotherly Love was treated to this franchise's 2nd AL Pennant, and a its lone, and long overdue, World Series Championship. Considering the dominance of this team during that span, one could argue that this team has underachieved in the playoffs, but I think that is overlooking the really brutal nature of the AL in the last eight seasons or so. Perennial playoff squads Syracuse, Las Vegas, Nashville and a recently reloaded Kansas City squad make the AL playoffs a gauntlet to run though, and a real crap shoot where anything can happen. Going into this season, I think fans and the local media have some questions about the direction of this squad. For the last two seasons, this squad's win total has taken a step backward. Last season, the Erffdoggs didn't make the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. The question is: Is the Golden Age in Philly over? Is this group done? Is it time for a rebuild? Or were the last two seasons an anomaly? Is this squad capable of reloading around the great Ken Woods and veteran Juan Carrasquel and making another playoff run? Stay tuned for our AL Preview Post...

9- Chicago Orphans

Championships: 1
Pennants: 2
Division Titles: 9
Total Playoff Appearances: 15
Franchise Record: 1975-1751
Seasons w/ winning record: 14
Best Position Player in Team History: BJ Lawton
Best Pitcher in Team History: Willie Strong

Though this team has been at the bottom on the NL in recent seasons, the Orphans break into the top ten due to the franchise's incredible consistency. The team has the 5th best record in all of Hobbs, and has been in the playoffs more times than any other franchise except for Kansas City. From Seasons 4-18, 15 consecutive seasons, the Orphans were in the playoffs. The team was a dominant power in the NL for a 4 season span in Seasons 10-13. The team was 405-243 during those 4 seasons. It won 3 division titles, 2 NL Pennants, made 3 trips to the NLCS and won its only World Series title. Franchise legends Lawton and Stong were both instrumental in winning that title and in Chicago's Golden Age. Lawton, of course, isn't just a legend on his team, but one of Hobbs' All Time Greats. He is in the Hobbs HoF, and is 3rd on the all-time home run list, and 2nd in career SLG. Outside of this four season Golden Age though, the Orphans haven't had any success making deep playoff runs. Despite the team being unable to get to 70-wins for the last four seasons, the franchise has a number of very good prospects and could be on the verge of turning their fortunes around. David James (LF), Harry Johnson (CF) and Mule Meek (SS) are all highly touted, top end prospects who are on the verge of getting their call to the big leagues. The pitching farm depth isn't nearly as deep, but the team does have young lefty Corey Booker in the lower minors. Booker has the potential to develop into a top of the rotation starting pitcher, though it won't be for another few seasons yet, and well after James, Johnson and Meek are well established. If Chicago can either add a few more elite arm prospects, or make a couple of timely free-agent signings of veteran pitchers, this team could be figuring into the NL playoff picture in the very near future.

10- Vancouver Voodoo

Championships: 1
Pennants: 4
Division Titles: 4
Total Playoff Appearances: 8
Franchise Record: 1891-1835
Seasons w/ winning record: 16
Best Position Player in Team History: Alfredo Payton
Best Pitcher in Team History: Adrian McGuire

Out of the top 10, the Voodoo have one of the lowest win totals, fewest division titles and playoff appearances. What put this squad in the top 10? Its 4 AL Pennants. That is tied for the most in the AL. It was the early history of this franchise that was its hay-day. In Season 1, as the Seattle Imperials, this franchise won Hobbs' inaugural World Series. They then won the pennant in the AL in Seasons 1-3. After dominating the AL for the league's first three seasons, its been downhill. The franchise has been plagued by a revolving door in ownership and has moved from city to city. There have been 9 different owners and seven different cities. No owner has stayed with this franchise for longer than six seasons. They started in Seattle as the Imperials, and stayed there through Season 6, finishing that stint as the Mariners. Then, staying in the Pacific Northwest, they moved to Portland for 3 seasons as the Pub Crawlers. The team packed up and moved across country for one season as the Syracuse Orange, before returning to Portland once again, for only a single season as the Seadogs. Another cross-country trip to play for two seasons as the Hartford Colonials preceded the longest period of stability in franchise history. The team moved to Canada, and for the next six seasons played as the Mutant Caribou. This period was highlighted by a magical playoff run in Season 16. The Caribou were the AL's #6 seed and tore through the playoffs to win the franchise's 4th AL Pennant, including a shocking upset of the heavily favored Philadelphia Erffdoggs in the ALDS. The team would ultimately play in Montreal for 8 total seasons, with the last two under the name of the 'Exporters'. For the last two seasons, the team has stayed in Canada, but on the west coast as the Vancouver Voodoo. They are the only Hobbs team in Canada and have a strong following throughout the country, having just played their 10th season in the US's northern neighbor. Times have certainly been very lean for this franchise in recent history. It hasn't won a division title since Season 4. It has only made the playoffs 4 times in the last 19 seasons. Things seem to be looking up though. The team was in the playoffs last season, and boasted a regular season record of 97-65, the best record this team has had in 14 seasons.

11- Richmond Fire Blitz

12- Jackson Mudslide

13- Las Vegas Desperados

14- Los Angeles Lothbroks

15- Syracuse Shockers