Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New York trying to answer critics about recent slide

This was in response to the previous edition of the AL Power Rankings. KUDOS to piratestros for the following post:

The real season has begun. With 25 games to go in the regular season and late season call-ups can be made to help a late season push.

GM Tony Hunter has made some moves.

1st we called up and late season free agent signings(position players) Al Martinez & Geronimo Manto
Late season free agent signings Henry Christiansen & Steve Singleton
also we re-called Abraham Stull
and reinstated from the DL Osvaldo Montero

Pitchers we have recalled from AAA
Tony Blank,Eric Morris & Matty Ozuna

(Tony Hunter) We feel that having these veterns late in the season can show our young kids how to win.

Tony was asked if any other moves would occur after the minor league season was over?? At this time we feel we have a great group of guys we may make 1 or 2 moves in few days but that we are pretty much set on this roster for the rest of the season.

We have had a good season but we(Tony,BC Diego Rosa,HC Deivi Rijo) are, disappointed in 2 guys that has not really helped our team this year Norm Zito & Vitas Quinn. We signed these guys to be leaders on our team and at most point has been a cancer in our locker room.

Norm & Vitas was asked to comment on the comments only N. Zito would say that he had been batteling a hamstring problem all season long and was also disappointed in his play at the plate and in the field.

Tony was asked about the payroll.
We did sacrifice this season on vetern players and didnt go hard for securing our future in the minor league system. With the way the economy is we may have to cut our budget next year,but it all depends on if we make the playoffs and how far we go. Also there significant free agents that if not signed we would be interested in but we are not going to get in a bidding war for 1 superstar that wants 15-20 million a year when we can add 2 or 3 players for that same type of money. As far as international player signing we will not spend more than 8 million on one player no matter how good his projections are. We are not into being a psychic and fighting 31 other teams.
Wewill give and evalution of our team at the end of the season.

One thing before I leave who ever is in charge of the MVP balloting should be shot. Once again Calvin Lee is being screwed!!


With roughly 90% of the season wrapped up, the playoff picture is starting to heat up. Teams are bunching together tighter than white cotton panties on a girl in heat. Below are the rankings going into the final 16 games of the season:

1. Las Vegas Dealers (98-48, 1st AL West) -- This team has gone 22-12 since the last rankings, showing no slowdown evidenced by the recent 10 game winning streak. They did lose RP Javier Gardel for the season to the dreaded shoulder Aneurysm. This hit in depth could be crucial come the playoffs. Despite this loss, it looks as if all roads to the World Series will go through Vegas, Baby, VEGAS!!!!

2. Charlotte Chickens (88-58, 1st AL South) -- Since the last post, Charlotte has gone a lukewarm 18-16. Barring a major collapse, it looks as if Charlotte will have the 2nd seed wrapped up, but this performance will have pjrobb a little skittish going into postseason.

3. Syracuse Comics (82-64, 1st AL North) -- Who needs edwzipper. This team runs just fine with Sim AI running the reigns. Since last post, Comics have gone 23-9 and is now holding the 3 seed in the AL. Not sure what edwzipper has done to 'manage' this team, but I need tips to be able to have that success.

4. Iowa City Independence (80-66, 2nd AL West) -- carlspenard is at it again. A late season push has rallied this team into the 1st Wild Card seed.....AGAIN. Posting a 22-12 record since last post, their latest push included a 6-1 head-to-head record against Norfolk, a sweep of Charlotte, and 3 out of 4 against New York.

5. Norfolk Phanatics (80-66, 1st AL East) -- The only division leader to be BELOW .500 since last post (16-18) it has the disclaimer of being the best underachiever in the AL right now. Losing Al Gandarillas and Alex Dunham has definitely put a strain on the pitching staff. They hold their fate with the season winding down.

6. Cleveland Indians (79-67, 2nd AL North) -- Right now, ajb's squad holds the last Wild Card spot, but it has lost grip on 1st Place to red-hot Comics after posting an 18-16 record since last post. If Cleveland is to make the postseason, they will have to hold their own during the next 3 series (4 @ Iowa City, 4 @ Norfolk, 3 vs. Syracuse). Yikes!

7. New York Mutuals (78-68, 2nd AL East) -- After leading the East for the majority of the season, the Mutuals now stand with no ticket to the postseason party. They have lost their last 7 series, which simply CANNOT happen if you plan on making it to the postseason. They will have to reverse their 13-21 record since last post to have any chance. Key series at home against Charlotte and at Norfolk will more than likely determine piratestros' fate.

8. Richmond Rattlers (74-72, 2nd AL South) -- tafkadave has a slight chance of recording his best season with the Richmond Rattlers (Rattlers went 83-79 in Season 7). Sweeping Cleveland has given this team continued hopes for postseason, but will need to sustain that momentum in series against Norfolk and Charlotte to make that hope a reality.

9. Boise Bats (72-74, 3rd AL North) -- renrog's squad has posted a 20-14 record since last post, including imressive series wins over New York and Charlotte. Despite that, it looks as if the Bats will be seeing their 4th consecutive downward trend in standings barring a spectacular finish (will need to finish 13-3 to finish better than last season's 84-78 finish).

10. Salem Argonauts (71-75, 3rd AL West) -- Playing in the west is tough enough with Las Vegas and Iowa City constantly in your way. It makes it tougher when your team ERA is over 5 after 146 games. Expect this team to look for some serious pitching help in the offseason.

11. Tampa Bay Crowns (70-76, 3rd AL South) -- Going 18-16 since last post, deaconsoule had a good season once Prince was put back into the rotation. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for this squad as they will also see a 4th consecutive downward trend in standings.

12. Monterrey Cucarachas (61-85, 4th AL South) -- It looks as if mgdtiger will avoid the late season fatigue factor and finish off the season with some fight. Since last post, the Cockroaches have posted a 14-22 record. Don't let that fool you though. This team is dawg-tired on the offensive side (5 starters are less than 100%, and 2 of those are less than 90%).

13. Pittsburgh Sluggers (58-88, 3rd AL East) -- larr100 has shown some life since the last post, going 17-17 and winning some decent series against Las Vegas, Syracuse and Salem (twice). Hopefully this will be something for the Sluggers to build off of for next season.

14. Seattle Pilots (57-89, 4th AL North) -- Since the last post, it seems that the Pilots have gone missing. Going 12-24 since last post, they have not won any of the last 9 series (2 4-game series were split). The highlight for Hextall is that this team has already matched last season's win output, so anything in the last 16 games will be gravy.

15. Philadelphia Phillies (53-93, 4th AL East) -- bball10 will need to hire a fielding GENIUS next season to improve on this team. Expect to see bball be a mover and shaker in the offseason.

16. Vancouver Asteroids (53-93, 4th AL West) -- brooklypunx looks to be starting the process of cleaning house. Trading future HOF Bernie Gongora back to Houston, losing Willis Munoz to Pittsburgh via Waivers, along with other trades made earlier this season, he saved himself $42MM. However, he will need to continue to wheel and deal if he is to have any chance of a quick turnaround from this season.

That is all for now. The NL Power Rankings will be out either later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AL Power Rankings

With 2/3 of the season history, it's coming down to crunch-time for some of the teams that are fighting and jockeying for position. Some teams seem to be in cruise control, and other teams are scratching their collective heads wondering 'What the hell do we do NOW?!?!?!' With that said, below are the AL Power Rankings:

1. Las Vegas Dealers (76-36, 1st Place West) - jcallali once again has this team primed and ready for another WS run. Their BA is 2nd worst in the league, but don't let that fool you into thinking you can outslug them to victory. They are 2nd in the league in HR and SB, so they know how to score runs when they do get on base. They also lead the AL in Pitching ERA with 3.56, which is pretty astounding considering where they pitch and that they are an AL team. The pitching is also aided by the best defense in the league, boasting an excellent .992 fielding percentage.

2. Charlotte Chickens (70-42, 1st Place South) - Probably the best competition Las Vegas has at the moment. They are 2nd in the league in ERA at 3.59. However, unlike Las Vegas, they also know how to play a little offense as well, sporting the 2nd best BA in the league. Ideally, the ALCS matchup would be ideal to see these 2 teams square it off.

3. New York Mutuals (65-47, 1st Place East) - The turnaround continues in New York. piratestros continues to improve this team in every category. This season, the biggest turnaround has been fielding, as players are playing positions they are more comfortable at. The result? Leading the East for the better part of the season. Looks to be a 2 team race for this division with Norfolk and should be fun to watch for the rest of the season.

4. Norfolk Phanatics (64-48, 2nd Place East) - This team has the best record percentage in ratatat's 4 seasons, yet stands 2nd place in the division. Have to give this team credit for doing so well despite the loss of Chip Huson to Vancouver. Youngsters are playing their part and, hopefully, the pitching doesn't fall apart.

5. Cleveland Indians (61-51), 1st Place North) - Another team who will actually be battling for the crown until the end, barring his competition doesn't stay in hiatus and the fatigue factor sets in. ajb's squad is producing good offensive numbers, but can the pitching improve to guide them to postseason play? Stay tuned....

6. Syracuse Comics (57-55, 2nd Place North) - If edwzipper was ACTUALLY paying attention to this team, he might be in 1st and could argue being the 3rd best team in the league. Hope all is well and he returns soon. Otherwise, this could be Cleveland's division to lose.

7. Iowa City Independence (58-54, 2nd Place West) - The last 2 seasons, IC has finished in 3rd place in the division, yet represented the final WC in the playoffs. That shows the competition level in the West. The Independence has been the most consistent non-winner in this league the past 3 seasons. He is poised once again to grab one of the 2 Wild Card spots and will do so with their pitching and defense. A better offensive performance wouldn't hurt either.

8. Salem Argonauts (56-56, 3rd Place West) - The Argonauts lead the league in HR, Runs, RBI, SLG, and OPS. They HAVE to considering that they are near the bottom of the league in giving up HR, Runs, RBI, SLG, and OPS.

9. Tampa Bay Crowns (52-60, 3rd Place South) - You may see this originally and think to yourself 'Why is this team ranked ahead of Richmond?' I think that Tampa Bay's record had a lot to do with not having Blaine Prince at the beginning of the season. Prince missed approximately 8 starts, which would have probably converted into a few more wins. TB started the season 12-29, which is roughly the span the Prince did not play in. Since he has returned to the lineup, TB has gone 40-31. Not merely a coincidence.

10. Richmond Rattlers (58-54, 2nd Place South) - Richmond stands tied with Iowa City for the final Wild Card spot with 50 games to go. Can Richmond's offense wake up in time to provide ANY help to the pitching that has been productive so far this season? They will need to in order to keep pace.

11. Boise Bats (52-60, 3rd Place North) - Question: What do you get when you have a below average offense, a below average defense, and below average pitching? Answer: Boise Bats.

12. Seattle Pilots (45-67, 4th Place North) - We begin the bottom quarter of our standings with the only team that seems to still be effectively managing his squad and avoiding the End of Season fatigue factor. Barring any rash of injuries, this team will be rebuilding quite nicely and probably boost themselves by the final ranking.

13. Monterrey Cucarachas (47-65, 4th Place South) - Seems the Mexican sun is wreaking havoc on the players' fatigue. Unless the fatigue is managed better, don't expect many more wins from this squad for the rest of the season.

14. Vancouver Asteroids (41-61, 4th Place West) - A Wild Card team last season, it's hard to believe the fall from grace this team is experiencing. Not saying it isn't easy to understand (overspending on older players, no farm system to help fatigue, no money to help relieve situation). Unless brooklynpunx can perform a miracle, this squad may be near the bottom for seasons to come.

15. Pittsburgh sluggers (41-71, 3rd Place East) - Unlike Norfolk and New York, this team has been tailspinning to the bottom since larr100 has taken over this team. They did lose 3 of their starters to major injuries (Bartolo Lee, Jeff Richard, and Red DiSarcina).

16. Philadelphia Phillies (39-73, 4th Place East) - bball10 made a plethora of FA signings before the season began, and what looked to be an improving squad had all the makings. However, the worst defensive fielding percentage in the league (averaging 1 error per game), has deterred this team from making the strides to improve over last season. This has led to 71 unearned runs so far this season -- tied with Monterrey for that dubious mark.