Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jersey Hall of Fame Doubles to Four

Cooperstown--Jersey League voters added two deserving candidates to the Hall of Fame over the offseason, as reliever Carlos Prieto and 2B/LF Donantello Barker were elected.

Carlos Prieto, the league's first HoF reliever, played in the first 14 seasons of the Jersey League. He was a closer for the first 13, then suffered an injury in season 14 at age 42, appearing in only 3 games before retiring at season's end. Prieto was originally was a Detroit Lugnut, but that team was taken over by Helena in season 2. Prieto then stayed with Helena through season 9 when he was claimed off waivers by the New York Mutuals, which is were Prieto stayed until retirement. Prieto was a 7-time all-star and 3-time Fireman of the Year. Perhaps his best season was in Season 1 when he had 37 saves and a 1.71 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. Prieto unfortunately struggled in the playoffs, saving just 8 of 16 with a 9.97 ERA in 20 games. Hall of Fame voters apparently shrugged the poor playoff performance off in electing Prieto. Prieto made $77M over 14 years.

Donatello Barker played from seasons 1-12 and was one of the Jersey League's finest hitters. Barker played 777 games at 2B and 556 at LF, with the LF mostly in the latter half of the career, where he won two Gold Gloves. Barker was a .310 lifetime batting average and hit 410 career HRs, earning 5 all star appearances and the season 5 AL MVP. Barker was originally with the Toledo Pain Train (the precursor to the Minnesota Peacefrog) but was traded to the Colorado Rockies in season 3, where the thin mountain air put a charge into his hitting totals. Barker was a big free agent signing for Tacoma in season 8, where a big park put a damper on his hitting during seasons 8-10, although part of season 10 was played Norfolk after a waiver claim. Barker then left for Philadelphia in season 11, finishing up after season 12. Barker was an available free agent for season 13, but at age 37, the future Hall of Famer couldn't hook on anywhere. Barker never won a ring, but he saw action in 6 post-seasons, hitting 8 HRs and putting up a .985 OPS. Like fellow inductee Prieto, Barker made $77M, but did it over just 12 years.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jersey World Season 15 AL East Preview

Are you ready for the holidays? The cold weather got you down? Hopefully, this little slice of fantasy fodder will be enough to wet your appetite for the upcoming season (at least for the 4 teams involved). For the rest of you, I just hope you enjoy the musings that is my sixth installment of the AL East Preview.

Philadelphia Phillies

Owner: bball10 (6th Season, 310-500, 0 Playoff Appearances)

Franchise History: (949-1,319, 1 Playoff Appearance, 0 Division Titles)

Season 14 Recap:

Record: 69-93 (4th Place, 17 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .277 / .345 / .448

R / HR / RBI / SB: 846 / 216 / 823 / 99

ERA / WHIP / SO: 6.20 / 1.66 / 1,053

Fld % / CS %: .970 / .316

Fred Waters, RP (Free Agency from Minnesota)
Jimmie Ortega, RP (Free Agency from Rochester)
Billy Bush, RF (Free Agency from Charlotte)
Kyle Hobbes, LF (Free Agency from Salem)
Wilkin Castillo, C (Promoted)
Julio Martinez, 2B (Promoted)

Taylor Everett, RP (Free Agency)
Julio Rincon, RP (Free Agency)
Dave Fox, SP/RP (Free Agency)
Banana Munoz, RP (Free Agency)
Milt Purcell, CF (Free Agency)
Bartolo Maradona, RP (Free Agency)
Fred Miller, SP/RP (Free Agency)
Rafael Borbon, CF (Free Agency)
Tomas Tavarez, SP (Free Agency)

After a fast start last season (I believe he had the best record at 19-6), bball quickly lost composure and swooned down to his normal resting perch at the bottom of the AL East for the 4th time in 5 seasons. Although he did improve to 69 wins last season (up from 65 wins in Season 13), it is easy to see why this team ended up at the bottom. Poor pitching and poor defense was the undoing for this squad. On offense, this team is led by Brandon Fisher and R.J. Benitez. Both are only really capable of playing 1st Base, so they will probably share the 1B and DH duties this season. On the pitching side, they did not do much to improve, as there is only 1 pitching on the current opening day roster that is capable of pitching past the 5th inning on a consistent basis. If they don't improve on their pitching, they will NOT improve on there 69 wins from last season.

New York Mutuals

Owner: piratestros (7th Season, 462-510, 2 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (1,152-1,116, 6 Playoff Appearances, 6 Division Titles, 1 American League Championship)

Season 14 Recap:

Record: 79-83 (3rd Place, 7 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .269 / .342 / .424

R / HR / RBI / SB: 897 / 191 / 862 / 289

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.92 / 1.46 / 1,107

Fld % / CS %: .978 / .241

Taylor Everett, RP (Free Agent From Philadelphia)
Willie Wells, RP (Free Agent From Houston)
Geronimo Tatis, RP (Free Agent From Rochester)
Raymond Reese, RP (Free Agent From Trenton)
Aaron Marshall, RF (Free Agent From Honolulu)
Taylor Ramsay, RP (Free Agent From Arizona)
Marino Martinez, SP (Free Agent From Salem)

Carlos Prieto, RP (Retirement)
Norm Zito, 1B (Free Agency)
Johnnie Key, RP (Free Agency)
Miguel Sanchez, RP (Free Agency)
Dennis Daubach, RP (Free Agency)
Nigel Baek, C (Free Agency)
Sandy Milliard, RP (Released)
David Castro, RP (Released)
Harold Koehlert, 2B (Released)

For the first time since piratestros took over the Mutual franchise, they did NOT finish first in stolen bases (that honor fell upon Trenton by 1 SB). They spent the offseason bolstering the pitching, signing 5 relief Pitchers. They will start the season without Darwin McBride, who is on the DL with a shoulder strain. They signed Marino Martinez to cover until McBride returns. On offense, they will be led by speester Calvin Lee, who is currently 4th on the all-time Stolen Base list and has a possibility of being 2nd by season's end, barring any injury or sudden coaching strategy. This team will need to show better on-base presence if it plans to compete for post-season exposure.

Pittsburgh sluggers

Owner: larr100 (8th Season, 527-607, 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Division Title)

Franchise History: 1,130-1,138, 4 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Season 14 Recap:

Record: 80-82 (2nd Place, 6 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .273 / .337 / .457

R / HR / RBI / SB: 847 / 243 / 826 / 145

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.74 / 1.47 / 987

Fld % / CS %: .983 / .174

Damian Chang, RP (Free Agent From Tucson)
Terry Perry, SP (Rule V from Tucson)
Doc Huckaby, LF (Free Agent From San Francisco)

Buddy Johnson, RP (Free Agency)
Miguel Estrada, RP (Free Agency)
Brendan Harris, C (Free Agency)
Max Rios, SS (Free Agency)
Jayson Caufield, 3B (Released)
Glenn Mitchell, RF (Released)

For the fourth consecutive season, we saw Pittsburgh improve in wins and finished in second place for the first time since Season 9. Pittsburgh re-signed 3-time All-Star pitcher Pedro Tavarez to a 5-year extension, and Mark Woo will take over as closer. On offense, 1B Vernon Ojala and 2B Jose Pascual lead a youthful lineup poised to continue the pressure on the top of the AL East.

Norfolk Phanatics

Owner: ratatat72 (8th Season, 560-574, 5 Playoff Appearances, 4 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (1,056-1,212, 7 Playoff Appearances, 6 Division Titles)

Season 14 Recap:

Record: 86-76 (1st Place, Lost to St. Louis in Division Championship Series, 3-1)

BA / OBP / SLG: .282 / .348 / .432

R / HR / RBI / SB: 871 / 202 / 836 / 163

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.60 / 1.41 / 1,064

Fld % / CS %: .987 / .250

Ted Borland, SP (Free Agency From Boise)
Michael Norman, 3B (Promoted)
Chuck Casanova, 1B (Promoted)
Moises Chavez, C (Promoted)
Marco Karl, (Claimed Off Waivers From Trenton)

Patrick Ford, 3B (Player Declined Option)
Ron Niekro, RP (Player Declined Option)
Al Gandarillas, SP (Player Declined Option)
Kenny Graham, SP (Free Agency)
Billy Leach, 1B (Free Agency)
Heinie Hamilton, C (Free Agency)
Dale Tracy, SP (Free Agency)

For the second consecutive season, and fourth time in ratatat72's regime, the Phanatics took home the AL East crown. Despite this, the team definitely needs to improve from its pitching performance last season. Brett Henry will need to take his performance to the next level if Norfolk is to continue its success and advance further in the postseason. Norfolk continues to promote from the minors, as Chavez, Casanova, and Norman have been promoted to the Majors. If the Phanatics want to continue their reign on top, the pitching will need to return to form, which will be tough after losing Graham and Niekro to Free Agency.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tacoma Takes Thrilling Series

Talk about well-deserved! After 13 seasons of falling short, mjmage has taken the Jersey League title in Season 14. mjmage is an original Jersey League owner and has long been one of the league's best: through season 13 he had 12 winning records, 3 NL West titles, and 2 NL pennants, and he's had to battle every year with plague's always-strong Tuscon Hohakams in the tough NL West.

In Season 14, Tacoma won 97 games to take the NL West and the #2 seed, before sweeping arch-rival Tuscon in 3 games and knocking off Minnesota in a 6-game NLCS. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals, a franchise that has been very successful over the years for 4 different owners but had never won a World Series, crushed all competition in the AL. St. Louis, behind Jersey League all-time Wins leader Blaine Prince and free agent signing Robb Yarnall. St. Louis won 101 games, swept Norfolk, and beat the Las Vegas Dealers in a 5 game ALCS.

In the series, St. Louis pressed the aging Price, starting him twice on less than 100% rest. St. Louis took game 1 by a 2-1 score, but Tacoma's offense erupted for a 10-2 win behind Glenallen Wakefield's 3 RBI. Game 3 went to Tacoma 2-1 behind an 8th inning pinch hit by Sherm Karnuth but then St. Louis evened with a 1-0 game 4 victory. Game 5 again went to Tacoma by a 2-1 score. With 1st & 3rd and one out in a tie game in the bottom of the 8th, the Cardinals were at double play depth but couldn't turn it, allowing the go-ahead run to score. St Louis came back to take game 6 by an 8-6 score and it was all set for the deciding game 7.

In Game 7, the Tacoma manager oddly went with Jorge Renteria as the starter, even though he was shelled as the game 6 starter But after two batters, Renteria was mercifully pulled, and it was left to the bullpen. Tacoma was down 2-1 in the top of the 9th and it appeared bleak when St. Louis CF Don Wells made a spectacular play for the first out, but then the mighty Harry Suarez drilled a HR to tie the game. In the top of the 10th, Tacoma led with a base hit and stole second, then the crucial hit from Glenn Benson drove home the go-ahead run. The big question for St. Louis' manager: where was Yarnell in Game 7? He had only thrown to 5 batters the previous day.

Congrats to mjmage!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Did you hear that?? Was it a sonic boom?? Thunder clapping?? A meteorite crashing into the Big Apple??
NO!!! It was the collapse of the New York Mutuals American League Baseball team. After having a huge lead after 100 games into the season the next 62 was a disaster. If we didnt know this was a Major League Team, and thats still up for debate, we could have sworn that these were the bad news bears.
Was Morris Buttermaker managing this team??
The bullpen was just plain pathetic. 11 Blown saves by the closer(Sandy Milliard) and a total of 29 blown saves by the bullpen. 69 SVO 40 Saves.
The bullpen era was a whooping 6.39 allowing 409 runs (374 earned runs) in 527.1 innings and atrocious 107 long ball givin up. The starting pitchers did an adequate job at keeping us in ball games this season.
Don Vernon should have been an Cy young canadidate this season starting 32 of 35 games and a 2.94 era with a 15-4 record.

As of meeting with the coaching staff last night we have informed, bench coach Angel Melendez, pitching coach Giovanni Little, fielding instructor and minor league operation manager Giovanni Watson, bullpen coach Hipolito Ontiveros, 3rd base coach Walker Carver, and 1st base coach Randy Benjamin that we will be moving in another direction and that have been relieved of there coaching duties and that they will not be offered a contract for next season. We have offered Lariel Cedeno hitting coach a contract to return next season.

We will not stand for mediocracy on this team.
Despite a good offensive team three players did not play up to there potential Gerald Pratt, Norm Zito, and Teddy Evans.

I want to apologize to the fans of the Mutuals this is not the way New York baseball is suppose to be played and changes are on the horizon!!!

This is our 1st year of posting players and pitcher of the year.
season 9
ML Offensive player: Karl Shea
ML Pitcher: Jae Chang
Minor league offensive player of the year: Glen Lange (LoA)
Minor league Pitcher of the year: Earl Page (AA)
ML Offensive Player: Norm Zito
ML Pitcher: Karim DaSilva
Minor League OPLOY: Jake McDowell (AA)
Minor League Pitcher of the year: Bob Tracy (AA)
Season 11
ML OPLOY: Ramiro Seanez
ML Pitcher: Carlos Prieto & Kirk Gardner
MILPLOY: Jake McDowell (HighA)
MILPOY: Darryl Whiteside (LoA)
Season 12
ML OPLOY: Ramiro Seanez
ML POY: Carlos Prieto
MILPLOY: Lonny Roque (AA)
MILPOY: Chico Cruz (AA)
Season 13
ML OPLOY: Ramiro Seanez
ML POY: Kirk Gardner
MILPLOY: Sal Moore (AA)
ML POY: R.A. Dixon (LoA)
Season 14
ML OPLOY: Ramiro Seanez
ML POY: Don Vernon
MILPLOY: Abraham Stull
ML POY: Pete Mathews
Season 15

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jersey League Season 14 -- AL East Preview

It's just about that time of the season again -- I dust off my journalistic editorial hat, put it on (still feels nice), and once again try and summarize the doings (and un-doings) of what transpired over the off-season in preparation for the upcoming season. I am proud to announce that we have the same group of owners for the past 5 seasons, and some rivalries are starting to flourish. With that said, I present to you my Season 14 AL East Preview. As always, I will report in reverse order of previous Season finish. Enjoy!

Philadelphia Phillies

Owner: bball10 (5th Season, 241-407, 0 Playoff Appearances)

Franchise History: (880-1,226, 1 Playoff Appearance, 0 Division Titles)

Season 13 Recap:

Record: 65-97 (4th Place, 29 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .272 / .334 / .418

R / HR / RBI / SB: 845 / 189 / 819 / 212

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.88 / 1.62 / 1,011

Fld % / CS %: .980 / .183

R.J. Benitez, 1B (Promoted)
Raul Candelaria, C (Promoted)
Micah Russell, SS (Promoted)
Graham Mitchell, SP (Free Agency from Oklahoma City)
Jumbo Guerrero, IF (Free Agency from Atlanta)
Julio Rincon, SP (Free Agency from Houston)

Vladimir Hernandez, 2B (Free Agency)
Walt King, SS (Free Agency)
Russ Schneider, SP (Free Agency)
Curtis Graham, RF (Free Agency)
John Wang, RP (Free Agency)
Luis Estrada, C (Free Agency)
John Manning, SP (Released)
Eduardo Miranda, CF (Released)

Philadelphia fans seem to be abuzz over the offseason moves that bball10 has executed for this season. The fact that they had the most successful season under his tenure (albeit only 65 wins, but still an improvement nonetheless) coupled with the influx of young talent that has been instilled into the Major League roster. R. J. Benitez and Raul Candelaria should offset the loss of Estrada and Graham, and although losing Miranda and Hernandez will be a big loss in speed on the basepaths, Philly hopes to regain some of that with the callup of Micah Russell. They improved in every major category listed above from previous season, with the exception of Caught Stealing, where they ranked 29th in the Major Leagues last season. Personally, I like that they were so active in the offseason. Bball10 realizes that his team needs to improve, yet they didn't go nuts and sign any high contracts to do so. With that in mind, they will need to make great strides in pitching to be competitive in the East this season.

Pittsburgh sluggers

Owner: larr100 (7th Season, 447-525, 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Division Title)

Franchise History: 1,050-1,056, 4 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Season 13 Recap:
Record: 79-83 (3rd Place, 15 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .271 / .337 / .458

R / HR / RBI / SB: 860 / 247 / 837 / 136

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.93 / 1.48 / 947

Fld % / CS %: .982 / .253

Mark Woo, RP (Free Agency from Rochester)
Bryan Ross, SP (Free Agency from Iowa City)

Max Winchester, SP (Free Agency)

Pittsburgh had a good rebound last season, improving 14 games. With that said, I was a little surprised to see that they weren't a little more aggressive in the market to continue the momentum from last season. However, they did pick up 2 good pieces to their pitching. Woo has closer experience and can come in and take over should Brian Morgan falter. Bryan Ross will definitely help the rotation led by All-Star Pedro Tavarez. On offense, it is status quo for the Sluggers. They were able to produce more runs in Season 13, despite hitting less Home Runs compared to Season 12. I give this team a decent chance of coming out on top in the East this year.

New York Mutuals

Owner: piratestros (6th Season, 383-427, 2 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (1,073-1,033, 6 Playoff Appearances, 6 Division Titles, 1 American League Championship)

Season 13 Recap:

Record: 82-80 (2nd Place, 12 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .281 / .355 / .434

R / HR / RBI / SB: 938 / 185 / 904 / 330

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.14 / 1.54 / 1,120

Fld % / CS %: .978 / .304

Kevin Simpson, SP (Free Agency from Trenton)
Fausto Pineda, SP (Traded from Honolulu)
J.P. Henriquez, SP (Free Agency from Honolulu)

Harry Johnson, IF (Released)
Brian Sanders, RP (Free Agency)
Alex Dunham, RP (Free Agency)
Louis Collier, C (Free Agency)
Pablo Trajano, RP (Free Agency)
Karim DaSilva, SP (Team Declined Option)
Vitas Quinn, RF (Team Declined Option)
Geoffery Kelly, IF (Released)
T.J. Richardson, 1B (Released)

As all other teams in the East saw improvement from the previous season, New York did not share the same team success. Despite some improvement in getting on base offensively, the pitching took a step backwards, and that ultimately led to New York's season disappointment. Piratestros, not to be outdone by any Steinbrenner family, went out and made some big waves in the FA, signing J. P. Henriquez to bolster the rotation. Henriquez will replace the spot left by Karim Silva, who became a free agent when New York declined his option for the final year of his contract. Offensively, this team will still steal their way to victories, as they led the Majors in Stolen Bases for the 5th consecutive year. Piratestros keeps boasting that their defense is improved. That is still yet to be determined.

Norfolk Phanatics

Owner: ratatat72 (7th Season, 474-498, 4 Playoff Appearances, 3 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (970-1,136, 6 Playoff Appearances, 5 Division Titles)

Season 13 Recap:

Record: 94-68 (1st Place, Lost to Iowa City in the Division Play-in Series, 3-0)

BA / OBP / SLG: .275 / .345 / .435

R / HR / RBI / SB: 891 / 214 / 859 / 216

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.20 / 1.35 / 1,067

Fld % / CS %: .987 / .269

Michael Norman, SS (Promoted)

Malcolm Cornelius, 1B (Free Agency)
Roosevelt Hernandez, DH (Free Agency)
Dallas Pratt, RP (Free Agency)
Steve Oliver, RF (Released)

As owner ratatat72 enters his 7th season, he had to be proud of Norfolk's turnaround from the previous season. Every pitching category that was so abysmal in Season 12 became a strongpoint in Season 13. With that said, it is hard to see what Season 14 holds for Norfolk. They did add depth with their SP by adding Kenny Graham and Les Turner off waivers last season during the playoff push. Offensively, Bucky Gates and Mateo Flores continue to field the middle and will do so for a while, as both signed long-term deals this offseason to avoid arbitration. Losing Oliver hurts their ability to have a speedy guy at the bottom of the order, but rookie Michael Norman looks to take over RF, so shouldn't be too much of a drop in the batting order. Overall, this team can win again, but will need to see the same pitching success to do so. Hopefully, not too many players had career years last season.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Helena Takes Second Title

The Helena Vigilantes laid claim to being the Jersey League's most successful franchise with its second World Series title in Season 13. Helena also won in Season 10 and now has 3 NL pennants. Helena joins the Las Vegas Dealers and the Houston We Have a Problem with 2 World Series titles each. The New York Irish have three titles, but owner buffaloqb left the league after season 4 and the team has languished since.

Helena was the best Jersey League team from start to finish in season 13, winning 108 games, the most in the league. Helena then swept Tacoma 3-0 and beat Tuscon in 7 games to reach The Fall Classic. In the World Series, Helena bested the Iowa City Independence in 6 games. The Independence, the #5 AL seed, upset both the #1 seeded Las Vegas Dealers and the #2 seeded Rochester Orphans to bring home their second AL pennant.

Congratulations joemac55 and the Helena Vigilantes!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The price of being free

My family has had a long history of being military brats. I'd like to give thanks to all that has served, serving, or considering serving to keep us free.

There is always a price sacrificed for our freedom.

My grandfather served in WWW II and the Korean war.

My grandfather was one of the few survivors on the U.S. Indianapolis on 30 July 1945.

The Worst Naval Disaster in US History

At 12:14 a.m. on 30 July 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 men on board, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remainder, about 900 men, were left floating in shark-infested waters with no lifeboats and most with no food or water. The ship was never missed, and by the time the survivors were spotted by accident four days later only 316 men were still alive.
The ship's captain, the late Charles Butler McVay III, survived and was court-martialed and convicted of "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag" despite overwhelming evidence that the Navy itself had placed the ship in harm's way, despite testimony from the Japanese submarine commander that zigzagging would have made no difference, and despite that fact that, although over 350 navy ships were lost in combat in WWII, McVay was the only captain to be court-martialed. Materials declassified years later add to the evidence that McVay was a scapegoat for the mistakes of others.
In October of 2000, following years of effort by the survivors and their supporters, legislation was passed in Washington and signed by President Clinton expressing the sense of Congress, among other things, that Captain McVay's record should now reflect that he is exonerated for the loss of the Indianapolis and for the death of her crew who were lost.
In July of 2001 the Navy Department announced that Captain McVay's record has been amended to exonerate him for the loss of the Indianapolis and the lives of those who perished as a result of her sinking. The action was taken by Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England who was persuaded to do so by New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith, a strong advocate of McVay's innocence. The survivors are deeply grateful to Secretary England and Senator Smith and also to young Hunter Scott of Pensacola, Florida, without whom the injustice to Captain McVay would never have been brought to the attention of the media and the Congress.
Unfortunately, the conviction for hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag remains on Captain McVay's record. Never in the history of the U.S. military has the verdict of a court-martial been overturned, and there is no known process for doing so.
It can be stated unequivocally, however, that, if the Indianapolis had arrived safely at Leyte without incident, Captain McVay would never have been court-martialed. Thus, by exonerating him for the loss of the ship and the death of 880 of her crew members, the Navy Department has at last conceded that he was innocent of any wrong-doing. His exoneration is tantamount to an admission that he should never have been court-martialed in the first place.
The survivors are thankful that after 66 years the good name of their captain has been cleared.

My grandfather passed in January 1986 and never got to see the Captain cleared.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star.

One of the story's that my grandfather told me was this:

He had just come from the galley/mess hall/cafeteria and was heading to go up on deck to clean the deck with his crew. When out of no were a huge explosion hit the bow it threw him about 50 feet. As he was trying to get his senses back he stumbled about to the side of the ship. Within in minutes the ship began sinking. He had a split decision to dive off before the undertoe effect would take him under the water.
He jumped and was in shark infested water for 4 days. He saw a piece of wood floating in the water and held on for dear life. After about day 2 he was hungry and thirsty and was,well as the saying goes, cussing like a sailor. Then it doned on him that he had grabbed a few packets of crackers and had tucked them in his trousers. He was elated but also didnt know too when he would be rescued, if, that would happen. So he reached in his pocket and grabbed one of them.
Boy was he pissed he started cursing anything and everything that could hear or see him. As grandpa put it, I'll be a S.O.B. THE CRACKERS WAS SOAKED AND TASTED LIKE SHIT. But he did manage to nibble on the mush that was left. He was eventually rescued 4 days later.

Once agian thanks to all that keeps our freedom free!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dealers Preview

In season 12, the Dealers lost their second World Series Game 7. They're back in season 13 looking to avenge that defeat. The team returns largely intact, and everyone on the opening day roseter saw at least one Major League game last year.

Contract Extensions: Max White and Lance Ward, the two home-grown lynchpins of the Dealers rotation, were each signed to five year extensions, in lieu of going to arbitration for a second year. Dealers opponents will be seeing both of these boys until at least season 17. White will make $6.8M a year and Ward $7.0M. The Dealers outstanding 27-year old 2B, Angel Galvez also signed a lucrative 5-year deal for $8M per. Galvez, with a good glove, great speed and 20 HR power, is known to be on the trade market though, so he might not stick as long as Ward & White. The large contract extensions have jacked up the Dealers salary budget, and after years in the $70M range, salary budget went to $84M this year.

Trade: In an unexpected blockbuster, the Dealers shipped out stud RF Harry Suarez for prospects. Suarez is a rare player, with splits and power in the 80s along with good contact, speed, baserunning, and batting eye as well as solid durability and health and he has a career 884 OPS. So why trade him now when the team is bucking for another playoff run? Shayne Browne, that's why. Browne has been an all-star at each minor league level, patiently working his way through the system, and after a short cup-of-coffee call up last year, he's more than ready for full-time duty this year. With 100 power and coming from the left side of the plate, he'll replace Suarez at a much lower price. Coming back in the deal were pitchers Neftali Alvarez and Tyrone Sauer. Some fans criticized the return for the popular Suarez, but the Dealers were thrilled to move some corner outfield salary.

The Big Question: Which Quilvio Castro shows up this year? In his rookie season LF Castro was amazing, slugging 60 HRs and put up 147 RBI and a 1026 OPS, with 27 SBs to boot. He took home the MVP, ROY, and Silver Slugger awards, was the Home Run Derby champ, and was named to the all-star team. Last year Castro hit just 33 HRs and his OPS dropped 267 points, and he laid an egg in the playoffs. What do Dealers fans get this time? Some fans question if the beefy Castro, at 5'9" and 223 pounds (70 speed, LOL!) has spent too much time in the casino buffet lines to be effective.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lucky Season 13 AL East Preview

As I enter my sixth season in the Jersey League World, I take a look back and realize a couple of things. First, where has the time gone? When I first started here, I was not even expecting to be a father yet. Now I have twin boys over a year old. Good times. Second, my team has floundered in mediocrity for too long. Things have to change. With that said, I present to you the Season 13 AL East Preview. I will break down each team and attempt (again) to amuse you with my prognostication skills. I will preview each team in the reverse order of their Season 12 finish in standings. Hope you enjoy.

Philadelphia Phillies

Owner: bball10 (4th Season, 176-310, 0 Playoff Appearances)

Franchise History: (815-1,129, 1 Playoff Appearance, 0 Division Titles)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 54-108 (4th Place, 32 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .272 / .335 / .411

R / HR / RBI / SB: 779 / 172 / 753 / 184

ERA / WHIP / SO: 6.34 / 1.68 / 953

Fld % / CS %: .975 / .232

Bartolo Maradona, RP (Free Agency from Norfolk)
Taylor Everett, RP (Free Agency from Norfolk)
Tomas Tavarez, SP (Free Agency from Syracuse)
Banana Munoz, RP (Free Agency from Trenton)

Nash Ponson, RP (Free Agency)
Junior Lee, SP (Free Agency)
Norm Mantei, RP (Free Agency)
Donatello Barker, OF (Free Agency)
Al Clifton, SS (Released)

After a promising sophomore campaign, bball10 took a stumble backwards in his third year, finishing last in the division and ending tied for worst overall record in team history. You don't have to look hard (mainly because I did the work for you) to see that pitching was what did this team in last season. Bball10 focused on that in the offseason, picking up 4 pitchers via Free Agency. That, along with an improvement in defense, needs to come through for this team to have any chance at 81 wins, let alone a shot at the division crown.

Pittsburgh sluggers

Owner: larr100 (6th Season, 368-442, 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Division Title)

Franchise History: 971-973, 4 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 65-97 (3rd Place, 21 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .253 / .324 / .441

R / HR / RBI / SB: 801 / 259 / 785 / 121

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.48 / 1.59 / 923

Fld % / CS %: .974 / .249

Bob Bonilla, RP (Promoted)
Dude Lloyd, SP (Promoted)
Max Rios, SS (Free Agent from Colorado)
Junior Ortiz, SS (Free Agent from Florida)
Jayson Caufield, 3B (Promoted)
Patrick Peavy, RP (Free Agent from Colorado Springs)
Buddy Johnson, RP (Free Agent from Seattle)
Brian Morgan, RP (Free Agent from Atlanta)
Oswaldo Alvarez, SS (Free Agent from Norfolk)
Bernie Izquierdo, LF (Free Agent from Salem)

Gerald Grissom, RP (Free Agency)
Red DiSarcina, SS (Free Agency)

Pittsburgh is a team that has me baffled. GM larr100 came into this league the same time as me and immediately brought this franchise a division title. Since then, they slowly deteriorated down the standings (2nd in Season 9, 3rd in Season 10, 4th in Season 11) before finally rebounding last season and finishing 3rd, improving their win total from 63 to 65 wins. If the trend holds true, we should expect a 2nd place finish this year. The young talent is starting to break through this season. SP Dude Lloyd has earned the final rotation spot, RP Bob Bonilla has made the club as a long relief pitcher, and 3B Jayson Caufield has broken camp with the club to backup Rodney Mulder. Larr100 was also busy on the free agency wire, shoring up relief pitching and improved defense.

Norfolk Phanatics

Owner: ratatat72 (6th Season, 380-430, 3 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (876-1,068, 5 Playoff Appearances, 4 Division Titles)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 66-96 (2nd Place, 20 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .272 / .341 / .426

R / HR / RBI / SB: 857 / 189 / 833 / 194

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.82 / 1.65 / 937

Fld % / CS %: .983 / .246

Dion Hundley, LF (Promoted)
Hector Trevino, SP (Free Agent from Tampa Bay)
Tony Alonso, SS (Free Agent from Las Vegas)

Allen Chapman, RP (Free Agency)
Alex Dunham, RP (Free Agency)
Jake Webb, RF (Free Agency)
Taylor Everett, RP (Team Declined Mutual Option)
Brian Sanders, RP (Team Declined Mutual Option)
Bartolo Maradona, RP (Released)
Oswaldo Alvarez, SS (Released)

GM ratatat72 had his share of antacids last season. Who could blame him. After 4 solid seasons, the Phanatics took a HUGE step backwards. Lack of pitching depth at beginning of season plus DL stints by 5 pitchers during the season equals bad season. Chalk it up as a formula for disaster. They did get younger in the pitching, but may still be lacking depth to compete with the big boys in the AL. Offensively, they are led by SS Mateo Flores, 2B Bucky Gates, and AL Rookie of the Year winner Darrell Rossy. If the pitching rebounds from last year's disaster, they might give New York some much needed competition.

New York Mutuals

Owner: piratestros (5th Season, 301-347, 2 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (991-953, 6 Playoff Appearances, 6 Division Titles, 1 American League Championship)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 86-76 (1st Place, Lost to Rochester in Division Play-in Series 3-0)

BA / OBP / SLG: .268 / .338 / .429

R / HR / RBI / SB: 892 / 197 / 870 / 323

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.78 / 1.49 / 1,019

Fld % / CS %: .981 / .253

Brian Sanders, RP (Free Agent from Norfolk)
Alex Dunham, RP (Free Agent from Norfolk)
Louis Collier, C (Free Agent from Las Vegas)
Luther Crosby, RP (Rule V from Rochester)
Terrence Sheehan, RP (Rule V from Charlotte)

Eric Morris, RP (Free Agency)
Steve Singleton, C (Free Agency)
Larry Simon, RP (Free Agency)
Tony Blank, RP (Free Agency)
Donaldo Hernandez, SP (Free Agency)
Johnnie Key, RP (Free Agency)
Brian Vander Wal, C (Free Agency)
Cliff Parrish, SP (Free Agency)
Matty Ozuna, RP (Free Agency)
Jerry Halama, RP (Free Agency)
Gabe Eaton, RP (Free Agency)
Tim Buehrle, RP (Free Agency)
T.J. Richardson, LF (Player Declined Mutual Option, Released)
Albert Espinoza, 1B (Released)
Edgar Abreu, RF (Released)

Whew!!!! New York, the City that Never Sleeps. That is exactly true for piratestros, as the revolving door needed some serious oil after he was through with the offseason moves. The 2nd Division title in as many seasons did little to satisfy piratestros. Most of the players that left were September callups that had no options left, so there isn't too much damage. This team is led offensively by speedy Calvin Lee, who at only age 25 is approaching elite status in Stolen Bases, and Gerald Pratt. They also have speedy youngsters Dan Blank and Osvaldo Montero joining the carousel that is the basepaths of the American League. It won't be a stretch to predict that the Mutuals will steal the SB category for a fifth straight season. Their biggest concern will be how the Pitching holds up. They already lost Rule V pick Sheehan for the season due to a nerve irritation in the forearm.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Training for Newbies

Spring training is a time to try out some new players, get used to the game, and give your prospects some work. It seems like every experienced owner handles this a bit different, but here is what I do:

Spring Training Roster: Go to Manager's Office: Player Settings: Spring Training Squads. You will automatically have your entire major league roster already. I suggest adding your best prospects (about 15-20 total though can vary) from AAA and AA, and maybe even a top-notch prospect from HiA. I don't tend to use my youngest prospects in ST, but that's just me.

Veteran Players: Apparently there is a penalty of some sort if veterans don't get used enough during spring training, so you want them to get some work. However, there is no benefit to working them full time, as they will tire needlessly and be exposed to injury risk. I usually put my veterans on rest after about 25-30 ABs or 3-5 pitching appearances.

Prospects: Give them as much work as you can, especially the ones with a lot of upside in projections.

Lineup Strategies: There are multiple ways to do this: One is to start with your veterans then put them on rest when they get enough work. Another is to edit manager settings so that it rests starters after 5 or 6 innings. Be sure to set pinch-hitters, defensive replacements, and player rest or it won't work correctly.

Pitching Strategies: Again, there are options. A lot of owners use tandem starters, which allows certainty that those two pitchers get in the game. Another option is to use a standard rotation but put the veterans on rest after they get work in and start prospects later on. In any case, after setting the pitching staff, adjust the player settings for pitch counts.

A Note on Rest: Pitchers get fatigued with every appearance, then gradually work back up to 100%. If your pitch count is above recommended levels they may not be back to 100% for their next start. Batters fatigue cumulatively over the season. If not rested they may stay at 100% for half a season and then start to gradually drop right when the penant race is hot. For that reason, try to give batters ocassional rest all through the season. For batters, the durability rating is the driver. If its in the 90s, a player will need very little rest. If its in the 80s, the player may need to rest once a week to stay at 100%. If its in the 70s, even more rest is needed, and a platoon may even be best. Below 70 is certainly a platoon player.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Organizing Minor Leagues During the Pre-Season

Here are a few tips for newbies on organizing your minor leagues. Your goal is to have 5 viable teams that don't get overtired, and to develop prospects with potential.

Why is it important? To develop prospects properly you need to give them proper playing time, have them at proper positions, and give them orderly promotions. If they don't play enough or don't get promoted, then they won't develop. If they play too much and tire they are more likely to be injured and if you put them at the wrong position their defensive ratings won't grow properly.

Also, if you ignore your minors, you'll irk your fellow owners because it throws off the realism of the league.

To do list:

Resign all of your minor league free agents. You'll need them and its easier then finding free agents

#2: Identify your key prospects. (The team depth chart under World Office: Reports is handy for this; sort by projected ratings) Who is projected to be major league quality or at least close? For a pitcher they should have a vs. R and control of at least 50, preferably 60. Like MLB, hitters are much more dependent on positions, if someone gets to recommended defensive levels at CF, 2B, SS, C, they can make the majors even with a weaker bat....but everyone else has to hit very well to make it.

#3: Promote key prospects. Development can be stunted by staying at the same level two years in a row, so if you see a potential future major leaguer, be sure he's not at the same level as last year.

#4: Check defensive positions. On your edit rosters page if you click on the defensive position (i.e. "2B") it will show you recommended fielding levels. Hit the "show recs (proj.)" button and save that. If your team wasn't well run, you'll have guys listed as SS and 2B who really have no business playing there. If I was taking on a new team I'd do this for everyone in my system, but at least do it for key prospects.

#5: Assign your "needing assignment" (resigned free agents) guys where it looks like they will be needed. See below for what is needed.

#6: Promote your "non-prospect" prospects a level if you need them at the level above.

#7: Clear out Rookie League if you need them at higher levels. Rookie League doesn't start 'til after the draft so you can empty out your roster down there if you need fillers.

#8: Sign minor league free agents to fill spots.

At the end, your goal should be to have the following:

AAA and AA: 1 per defensive position + 3-5 subs (at least 1 of those needs to be a C and 1 should be able to play SS). 13-15 pitchers, at least 5-6 should have stamina at 65 or so plus so they can start. This many players means you should start with a couple inactive players, who should be the weakest guys.

HiA and LoA: 1 per defensive position + 4-6 subs (especially C and infield). 14-17 pitchers. You should have 2-3 inactive pitchers at all'll need them during the year when your guys tire and get hurt. You need more guys at A ball since stamina is lower and injuries more frequent.

Any questions? Post them on the chat board or ask a veteran.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Can Blaine Prince win 300 games?

St. Louis Cardinals
Blaine Prince

The Jersey League's all time wins leader is Blaine Prince, with 212 wins, 38 more than the closest rival. Before last year, few thought that Price had a shot at 300, but his age 33 season changed expectations, as Prince put up a stellar 23-4 record and won his second AL Cy Young. Prince, a tall skinny lefty, also kept himself in great shape over the off-season, showing virtually no ratings drop off as he enters his age 34 season. This ratings maintenance, along with his top-notch health, indicates that Prince might have several more Cy Young caliber years in him.

Prince, who hails from Bath, Maine, has never hit the free agent market, signing two long-term extensions with the same team (but now on 4th owner). He was an original ML player at league creation and he's only spent 15 days on the DL.

Can he win 300? The odds are still against him. Here is a projection of what I see happening:

Season 13 (age 34, SP1): 19 wins, total 231. Prince is in top form but needs help from offense and relief pitching to hit 20 wins again.

Season 14 (age 35, SP1): 17 wins, total 248. Prince is still near peak effectiveness but his stamina starts to wane, so he leaves games a bit earlier, losing a couple wins.

Season 15 (age 36, SP3): 14 wins, total 262. Prince's effectiveness starts to fade, but he's still a very good pitcher.

Season 16 (age 37, SP5): 12 wins, total 276. Prince is still a good arm, but he's really a soft tosser now and doesn't stay in games past the 5th or 6th inning.

Season 17 (age 38, SP5): 10 wins, total 286. Prince has lost a lot in key ratings, but is still a solid arm.

Season 18 (age 39, LRA): 7 wins, total 293. The tank is running empty but he's making a contribution out of the pen. Low health rating is a worry.

Season 19 (age 40, LRB): 5 wins, total 298. Its the end of the line here, barely hanging on to a roster spot.

Season 20 (age 41, LRB): 2 wins, total 300. A kindly owner gives Prince a few starts at a cut-rate salary to get him up to 300.

Season 21 (age 42, Retired): Prince retires back home to a life of leisure in Maine.

Key Variables: #1 the training budget, key to maintenance of veteran player ratings, #2 injury luck, #3 team quality, can't get wins on your own

Welcome New Owners

The Jersey League welcomes 5 new owners for Season 13. Four are newbies, although two of them have one other team so have some experience with the game. This is the most newbies we've had in a while, so let's help them out and keep on eye on them.

To the new owners, I think you'll enjoy this game and the Jersey League, we have a reputation in this league for looking out for new guys and helping them along. I was a newbie in this league in Season 3 and received lots of help. You should know that the reason we pay a lot of attention to newbies is that there have been new owners in that past that have really wrecked their teams due to bad trades and bad contracts, and then left after one season. Bad trades throw off the league's balance, and its hard to recruit owners for teams saddled with large unwise contracts. So, for those of us in the league for the long haul, it's in our best interest that we help you out.

Here is the new competition, boys:

zeg723L: Florida Oranges, AL South. New owner, has one other team in the Berra league.

missouridawg: St Louis Cardinals, AL South. Also a new owner with one other team. His other team is in Buckner, and sports an 88-69 record, so either he inherited a nice team or he knows what he's doing!

shnele: Tampa Bay Water Moccassins, NL East. A bit more experience here, shnele has 5 seasons under his belt and has made the playoffs twice. .456 career winning percentage. Two other teams besides Jersey, in the Griffey and F.Y.C. league.

headpirate: Texas Lone Stars, NL South. Total newbie here, this is his first and only team.

tschol: Honolulu Otto's. (I'm curious about this team name and the use of the possessive...does someone named Otto own the team?) Another newbie, first and only team here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Potentially Available Teams--Season 13

The Jersey League will be recruiting for Season 13 and it looks like we'll have 5 teams available. Contact Commissioner Feamster if you're interested. The five teams include:

Oklahoma City Pikes (AL South, 94-68). $35.6M in salary committed next year to 6 players. $7.5M is to the 33 year old Blaine Price, one of the best pitchers in league history with 212 wins. He was 23-4 in season 12 and with great health and good makeup, he might get to 300. **TEAM TAKEN**

Monterrey Cucarachas (AL South, 68-94). Should pick 9th in upcoming draft. Should be a good turn-around project. Pre-rollover I see two Ps projecting in the 80s (overall) and 5 in the 70s. Also a AAA 2B projects to 81. $37.5M in salary committed next year to 6 players. **TEAM TAKEN**

Chicago Curse (NL East, 53-109). #1 Draft pick alert!!! This team also had the #1 picks in Season 11 and in 12 and to show for it has a SS (age 22 pre rollover) with a 78/92 OVR and a (age 18) 2B with a 82/97. Someone take these marquee prospects and turn this organization into a winner. $24.5M in committed salary next year to 4 players.

Santa Fe Lobos (NL South, 80-82). $53M in salary committed next year to 10 players. This team has the 15th pick in the draft. Historically a well run team, won 89 then 80 games the last two years, but only 3 playoff appearances. Salary load is decent, mostly pitchers in their early 30s who are solid.

Vancouver Totems (NL West, 84-78). $19M in salary committed next year to 4 players. 18th pick in the upcoming draft. This team has been good, winning 90 and 84 games last two years. The contracts are to 3 SPs and a Catcher.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beagles Take Series in 7; Buffalo Rocks

The City of Buffalo held its first championship parade in decades as the Buffalo Beagles, led by psanders84, finally broke through to the World Series in his 8th year of ownership. Buffalo won in an oustanding 7-game World Series over the heavily favored Las Vegas Dealers.

World Series MVP
Julio Mercedes

Buffalo surged to a 2-0 at Las Vegas' home field, quickly putting the Dealers behind the 8-ball after demolishing the Dealers bullpen in both games. Game 1 was tied 3-3 in the 11th when the Beagles errupted for 5 runs in the top of the 11th. The Dealers held a 5-2 lead going into the 9th of game 2, but the Beagles put 7 runs up in that inning, led by a 3-run bomb from Erick Webster. The losses stunned Dealers fans, who had enjoyed a solid bullpen all year, which operated on a successful "closer by committee" that converted 51 of 62 save chances. Game 3 was in Buffalo, and the Beagles never got to the Dealers' bullpen, as Rigo Franco tossed a 3-hit complete game shutout. Buffalo stormed back to win game 4 by a 10-3 score, as the Dealers defense had a sloppy game and Beagles took advantage behind leadoff hitter Ed Boyd who had 3 hits and 3 RBIs.

With the Dealers' backs up against the wall they won game 5 by a 4-3 score, as 8 strong innings by Lance Ward and a 3-run homer by Rick Lennon were enough to survive a 2 run homer off the Dealers bullpen in the 9th. Las Vegas took game 6 by a 5-0 score behind 6 shutout innings from Max White and (finally) some solid work out of the bullpen. The entire season then came down to game 7 in Las Vegas, with the Dealers sending Rigo Franco to the mound, hoping for a repeat of his game 3 shutout and Buffalo sending Randy Matthews for his 3rd World Series start. The day belonged to Matthews, who turned in 6 innings of one run ball, while Franco gave up a 3-run bomb by future free agent 2B Julio Mercedes in the 5th inning. That HR was the game winner, and Buffalo won game 7 by a 4-1 score, ending the Dealers' dream.

Buffalo's Julio Mercedes was named World Series MVP, an honor sure to drive up his free agent value. Mercedes was 10 for 29 during the World Series, scored 6 runs, hit 3 HRs, knocked in 11 runs, was 3 for 3 in SBs, and reportedly visited every strip joint, casino floor, and buffet table in Vegas during the long World Series.

The NL playoffs featured two big upsets, as top seeded Helena was denied its 3rd NL penant after being upset in 5 games by 5th seeded Tuscon, while 2nd seeded Tacoma was knocked off by Buffalo in 4 games. Buffalo then took down Tuscon in a 6 game NLCS.

The AL playoffs played more according to expectations, as the #1 seed Dealers stormed to their 5th AL penant in 7 years without a single playoff loss. #2 seeded Syracuse made it to the ALCS, only to be blown out in 4 straight by Las Vegas.

In the minors, Vancouver took the AAA World Series, Las Vegas won in AA, Boise won in HiA, LoA, and the Rookie League. Either Boise has some ringers down there or they are a year or two a way from dominating the Jersey League!

Congratulations to Buffalo and to everyone else: Wait til Next Year!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Season 12 AL East Preview

Season 12 is finally upon us. Hope you enjoy the AL East Preview writeup.

Pittsburgh sluggers

Owner: larr100 (5th Season, 303-345, 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Division Title)

Franchise History: 906-876, 4 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Season 11 Recap:

Record: 63-99 (4th Place, 27 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .249 / .310 / .393

R / HR / RBI / SB: 668 / 189 / 650 / 102

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.78 / 1.53 / 973

Fld % / CS %: .980 / .187


Gerald Grissom, RP (Free Agent from Scranton)

Esteban Marquez, LF (Free Agent from Houston)

Denny Branson, RP (Rule V from Norfolk)

Max Jacquez, 1B (Promoted from AAA)


Steve Clayton, LF (Free Agency)

Preston Beckett, 1B (Released)

Willis Munoz, SP (Released)

Entering his 5th season, larr100 has done what very few can claim to have done in their first four seasons with the same franchise – place 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th – in that order. Since taking over, this team has declined in wins in each season (90, 79, 71, 63). Along the same trend, their team Batting Average has declined over the same span (.275, .262, .256, .249). The last 2 seasons, they have ranked last in the AL in batting average. They addressed this with the addition of Esteban Marquez from Houston. Last season, he hit .296 with 15 HR in 348 AB’s last season, and he has in the past shown the potential to hit 30-40 HR, though those days may be behind him. He still will bolster this offense regardless of his power numbers. On the pitching side, they still have the same rotation, anchored by Pedro Tavarez and Max Winchester, who were the only 2 pitchers not to miss a start during the season. Closer Phil Boggs did an outstanding job in his rookie season, recording 29 saves and had a 2.94 ERA.

Philadelphia Phillies

Owner: bball10 (3rd Season, 122-202, 0 Playoff Appearances)

Franchise History: (761-1,021, 1 Playoff Appearance, 0 Division Titles)

Season 11 Recap:

Record: 64-98 (3rd Place, 26 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .271 / .342 / .395

R / HR / RBI / SB: 770 / 145 / 741 / 209

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.14 / 1.59 / 1,078

Fld % / CS %: .973 / .285


Rafael Borbon, CF (Free Agency from Norfolk)

Fred Miller, RP (Free Agency from Oklahoma City)

D'Angelo Beltre, RP (Free Agency from Monterrey)

Curtis Graham, RF (Free Agency from Las Vegas)

Chad Simmons, RP (Rule V from Vancouver)

Birdie Terrell, RP (Rule V from Santa Fe)

Juan Perez, 1B (Claimed off Waivers from Oklahoma City)


Banana Baxter, SP (Free Agency)

Otis Mullaney, RP (Free Agency)

William Woods, SP (Released)

Louie Ortiz, RP (Released)

Ringo Thompson, C (Released)

Philadelphia did improve in the second season under bball10, though it may not have been enough to satisfy. They did not finish with 100 or more losses (which I predicted last season – chirp, chirp), and they did not finish in the cellar this season. To build off that, bball10 continues to look at the Free Agent market. He signs Type A Free Agent Rafael Borbon from Norfolk. who at 34 may be showing signs of an aging veteran but will still produce offensively for Philly, and Curtis Graham from Las Vegas to shore up his outfield (though rumor has it he is already shopping Graham). As per last season, they continue to find the right mix in the bullpen, obtaining 4 Relief Pitcher via Free Agency and the Rule V draft, led by Chad Simmons, who should fill in nicely as either 8th inning setup or closer for many seasons to come.

Norfolk Phanatics

Owner: ratatat72 (5th Season, 314-334, 3 Playoff Appearance, 2 Division Title)

Franchise History: 810-972, 5 Playoff Appearances, 4 Division Titles)

Season 11 Recap:

Record: 88-74 (2nd Place, 2 GB, Lost in Wild Card Round to Syracuse Comics)

BA / OBP / SLG: .280 / .356 / .410

R / HR / RBI / SB: 865 / 143 / 828 / 223

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.43 / 1.42 / 1,029

Fld % / CS %: .982 / .282


Stephen Tomlin, C (Promoted from AAA)

Patrick Ford, 3B (Free Agency from Colorado)

Malcolm Cornelius, 1B (Free Agency from Nashville)


Rafael Borbon, CF (Free Agency)

Edgar Telemaco, DH (Free Agency)

Ugueth Castillo, 3B (Free Agency)

Chili Satou, SP (Player Declined Option)

Benji Lopez, RP (Free Agency)

Woody Ross, RP (Free Agency)

Glen Prince, 2B (Released)

For the third straight season, the Phanatics were able to make it to the postseason. However, this season they earned a Wild Card rather than winning the division. They had their chances to win the division, but got swept in a late season series against the Mutuals that ended them up in 2nd place in the division. Injuries also played a factor, as 2 of their 5 starting pitchers hit the DL as the season ended. Still, this team had a lot to brag about. They finished 3rd in the Majors in OBP, tied for 3rd in the Majors in SB, and led the team in Team Saves. They lost a lot of players that were key contributors to their success last season. Ratatat72’s objective is to continue to fill positions from the farm. The biggest product from the farm expected to fill big shoes is Darrell Rossy, who will take over CF duties for Rafael Borbon, who opted for Free Agency. Free Agents Patrick Ford and Malcolm Cornelius will play major roles at 1B and 3B, respectively. On the pitching side, Brett Henry will anchor an otherwise questionable starting rotation, whose departure by Chili Satou will surely be felt.

New York Mutuals

Owner: piratestros (4th Season, 215-271, 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Division Title)

Franchise History: 905-877, 5 Playoff Appearances, 4 Division Titles, 1 AL Pennant, 0 World Series Championship)


Albert Espinoza, 1B (Traded from Vancouver)

Cliff Parrish, SP (Traded from Vancouver)

Darwin McBride, SP (Free Agency from Las Vegas)

T.J. Richardson, LF (Traded from Seattle)


Al Martinez, SS (Free Agency)

Geronimo Manto, 2B (Free Agency)

Ken Buck, RP (Released)

Henry Christiansen, C (Released)

New York finally claimed the AL East title for the first time under piratestros ownership and the 4th time overall in franchise history. They did so in remarkable fashion -- winning their last 11 regular season games, including a huge sweep of Norfolk during that streak. They took World Series Champs Iowa City the full 5 games before finally losing the series. They look to build off that success of last season, but have already fallen on a small obstacle. They have lost SP Karim DaSilva for the season after he had to have surgery on his elbow caused by an injury during Spring Training. Although this team looks pretty good at the ML level, their future development is pretty bleak (and that is putting it mildly). If they don't start off fast and furious, there may be a fire sale in the Big Apple to get this team stocked for the future.