Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Get to know your fellow coaches!

Get to know your fellow coaches!

A great way to make new friends.  I decided to put them in order of where people live.    Pardon me if my geography is a little rusty, since I'm not as familiar with the east coast.  Great turnout!   Heard from all except for one person.  I find these quite interesting as we learn what a diverse group we have here.  Seems Chicago and Boston are the most popular places to live here.   Thanks everyone for participating!

Sgmedia, Toronto Phantoms- I live about ten minutes east of Toronto.  My name is Derek, and I am a self-employed event planner, and stay-at-home father of two autistic kids. I also am a manager in the world of professional wrestling. My favourite sports teams are the Green Bay Packers,  Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Argonauts, Toronto Rock, and Toronto Maple Leafs...in no particular order. My favourite hobby is spending time with my beautiful fiancee, who is carrying my third child (her first).

Csudak.  Albuquerque Komodo Dragons.  Casey Just north of Boston 32 Youth sports director I'm a homer, so I'll cheer for any Boston based teams I have 12 tattoos, at least 7 of them I regret.

Soxfan_9.  Florida Retirees.  Nick, 26, North East. Run a cafe, Boston Red Sox. Tired of my team sucking in this world,lol

Holleybard.  Kansas City Yardbirds.  My name is Michael. I'm 44. I live in Boston. I have the greatest job in the world: I'm a sportswriter and broadcaster.  I've written a few books on football and one on baseball. So, clearly, I'm obsessed with sports and have been that way for as long as I can remember. When I'm not doing that, I'm spending time with my wife and three kids.  As for sports teams, I root for all New England teams in professional sports. In college, I have a major soft spot for Ohio State football (I'm a native Buckeye).

JKenned, Salem Volcanoes.  Jason, 32 from Binghamton NY. I am a college professor of archaeology originally from Missouri who is a die-hard Cardinals fan. My research is focused on the organization of early farming villages in Mesopotamia around 5000 BCE.

Qtip32.  Indianapolis Valhalla Varauders.  I from Brooklyn Ny, where I'm a coach on my 8 year old sons baseball team. There is no place I'd rather be then on the filed having a catch with him. I'm a Yankee fan since the days I couldn't choose who was favorite Donnie baseball or Dave wWindfield.

Phillies26, Philadelphia Moneymakers.  My first name is John. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and I currently live in Clinton, MD which is right outside of Washington, DC. I'm 55 years old and I currently own my own Real Estate investing business. I love all of the Philadelphia sport teams.

Erichanville, Texas GalvestonWave, Obviously my name is Eric.  I am 37, live in Richmond Va, have a wife and a 2year old baby girl. Luckily looks like her mom, thank god. ;) Another baby on the way due March 4th. Will find out actually tomorrow if it is a boy or girl. Can't wait to find out!   I am a SEO(Search Engine Optimizer) which is nice because I get to work from home. I am also studying for the ACSM exam. Would like to start my own personal training business eventually. I love to workout at least 5 days a week. Love almost all sports.   I am a Atlanta Braves fan. Football I am a die hard Chiefs fan and a USC fan for college. Basketball, I am a Lakers fan and for College I go for Kansas Jayhawks. I moved around a lot. (Military) plus I was born in Kansas Fort Leavenworth.  I forgot to add that I also love to watch Movies and play Texas Holdem. Oh and I love Turkey Hill's Moose Tracks Ice Cream. Major Addict, might need to see counseling to get off of the stuff. lol If you need to ask me any questions feel free. :)

Starbuckdc, Fargo Wood Chippers, Joel wash dc 47 photojournalist. Love the Nats! Matt williams needs to go

Reggie988, Scranton Red Barons-   I'm Nick, 33, from Bloomington, IN.  I just recently returned to Indiana University to study Informatics, after spending the last few years as a tour manager for mostly indie bands. I've been cursed a Cubs fan since childhood, but at least the Colts give me a chance to root for a winner

Ghutton9, Seattle Strikers.  Glenn, 38, Kentucky.  I'm a project manager for commercial roofing. my favorite teams are the Cincinnati Bengals, Reds, UC Bearcats, and while not a huge bball fan,  I like to keep up with the OKC Thunder. My hobbies are this of course, but I also make time for my PS4 games, and my absolute favorite past time is weight lifting.

Skplayer07. Vancouver Canucks.  My name is Tyler and 26 years old.  I live in Hinesville, GA and I'm a Military Policeman on FT. Stewart, GA. I enjoy UK basketball/football and love the Cincinnati Reds/Bengals. I play a lot of softball on my off time, I enjoy fishing, and spending time with the family.

Rxw1.  Tampa Bay Thunder.  Robert / Live in Orlando, Florida / 47 / I am an IT Executive / Favorite teams are Mets,
Raiders, & Magic / Something of interest is I won the WS in my very first SimLeague Baseball League in 2003 - been playing WIS ever since. Right now I am only playing Hardball & Gridiron Dynasty.

Greygoose123, Jacksonville Juice.   My name is Jim. I am from the Chicago area. And I work in Information Technology.  Over the years my interest level in sports has waned. And now I mostly follow Soccer. I equate playing WIS HBD to being a parent of young children. It can be infuriating and unexplainable. But if your patient, it can be rewarding.

jbburner, Cincinnati Firestorm.  My name is JB. I am 52 and live in Chicago. I am a retired Wildland firefighter. The Cubs and Blackhawks are my favorite sports teams and I love to play golf!

Toe64.  Colorado Springs Night Watchmen.  Tom, Illinois, 51, Insurance, all Chicago sports teams

Horvie78. Milwaukee Magnitude.  Matt - 33 years old. I am a high school math teacher and live in the suburbs of Chicago.  My favorite sports teams are Chicago Bears, White Sox, Blackhawks, Notre Dame football, and DePaul basketball. I am fairly new to HBD so that is a major hobby right now, along with drinking craft beer.

Fantasy Frea.  New Orleans Zephyrs.   My name is Nathan, 36 years old, I live in Jacksonville, IL with my wife and 2 girls (a 3 year old and 9 year old).  I work as a sales associate for a privately owned cell phone agent. I am a huge Cubs and Bears fan ( finally got to see my first game at Wrigley this year), but I also like the Bulls and Blackhawks but baseball and football are my favorite sports.  My main interests is during the summer and fall I play softball. Occasionally when my kid doesn't steal my Xbox to play Mindcraft I will play some Madden football.    Most of the the time I do this though. I have been playing WIS for a long time. Thought about quitting a few times but it was a big time killer when I had been going through chemo that I just never did and probably won't either.

tk21775, Iowa City Hawkeyes, Travis, 33, from Iowa.  Insurance, Michigan Wolverines fan, Iowa, spend most of my time coaching/watching my 4 kids in sports

Jibe, Wichita DwArf'y Mojados,  Jim Age: 46 I live 20 miles from where the mighty Mississippi river begins in Minnesota. where you can walk across. Occupation: We have a nursery specializing in edible fruit plants with a U-Pick fruit operation. I also farm small scale. Do carpentry and have rental properties. I am married and no rug rats. Serial number: 000-00-0000.  Also my favorite team is the Minnesota Twins, ugghh, and major league baseball. Followed closely by Minnesota Gopher sports and college football.

Bobbyj7, Jackson Juggernauts.  Bob, Live: Minnesota, Age: over 40, Job: work in the financial industry, Sports teams: Twins, Gophers, Timberwolves, Interests: family, fishing, traveling

Tmfran.  Dover Dinklebergs.  Toby, 37 live in St. Louis. Follow all St. Louis teams. Work for Monsanto, which is headquartered in STL.

Flucie.  St. Louis Arch Angels.  Phillip, I live in the Great state of Alabama, I'm 61 years old, Retired Correctional Supervisor,    I worked at the highest security facility, worked at the biggest facility in the state and work at community facility (work release) St.Louis Cardinals fan since 1964, Dallas Cowboys fan since 1966, Alabama Crimson Tide fan since I was born.

Bagwellbluff.  Houston Roughnecks.  My name is Tim. I am 57 years old.  Baton Rouge, LA.   I am a former ordained Pentecostal minister, now an agnostic. I was in management in the automobile industry before I retired to get my PhD in History in 2009.  I am currently in the History PhD program and am a graduate teaching assistant at LSU. My favorite pro sports teams are the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Houston Rockets, and Arsenal.  No St. Louis roots; I've rooted for the Rams since 1967, and wish they'd move back to Los Angeles.) Why the name "Bagwellbuff" for a Cardinals fan? My son is the Astros fan and after helping him with some GD and Sim League baseball teams,  I just took the name over when he moved on from WIS. My original username, under which I played a little GD and a lot of Sim League baseball-including a coveted Tournament of Champions trophy--is timlan2057.

kjmulli. Boston Pilgrims.  'm a 30-year-old pit boss at a casino in the old wild, wild west -- Dodge City, Kansas. I was born in New York and grew up between Maine and Pennsylvania,  with short stays in Florida and New Hampshire as well. I've been around but I'm an East Coast guy at heart. Growing up in Maine, I'm a Red Sox and Bruins fan (and somehow, Dolphins for football). No mater where I'm living,  I make it back to Fenway at least once a year and last fall I ponied up a large amount of cash to go to Game 6 of the World Series to see Boston clinch it at home for the first time in almost 100 years, and I would pay double to do it again.

Brentcnb.  Oklahoma City Prarie Dogs.  Brent. I was not born in Oklahoma but have lived in the land of hot and windy basically all of life. I enjoy sports, having played high school football.  I played baseball up until I was 15 but did not have the opportunity to play after that age. That may be just as well as I was a passable fielder, OK pitcher, but a pretty lousy hitter. I have 2 kids and work in the health profession.

Wylie715.  Rochester Retards.  My name is mark. I'll be 58 years old on 10/28. I have a 17 year old daughter and twin 13 year old sons. I am a customer service advisor for a company that makes automotive accessories.  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. My favorite sports teams are MLB: Yankees & Giants, NFL: 49ers, NBA: Warriors. I grew up in NY but have lived here for 26 years.

Blapo21.  Nashville Merchants.  Tyson, Chehalis WA, 34, Mariners, UW, Gonzaga, EWU

Arfy, Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's .  Lauren, age 41. I'm a Pastafarian, and love to talk about it.    I live in Walla Walla, WA, and am a Sales Rep for Frito Lay Inc.    I grew up in Montana, but also lived in Wisconsin for a number of years. I'm a Braves fan, Boise State, and also a diehard Denver Broncos fan!  I love watching movies, Facebooking(laurenarf@yahoo.com) and  playing on the Xbox(Arfy3123).  Feel free to add to me on either!

Skuff730.  New York Damage Controllers.  Al-Amin, I currently live in Anchorage, AK. I am 30 yrs old.   I do IT up here. My favorite sports teams are, the NFL: Saints, NBA:knicks, baseball: Mets, college football: Bama. I like PC games, SWTOR, Diablo, etc. and I enjoy playing NCAA 14 on PS3. Also, if you have steam: swizzkillz is my name, hit me up.

dlmose.  Fresno Grizzlies.  My name is Dave. I'm about 8 years older than dirt. Most of the 4 years I spent in the military were overseas so when I got out I went to work for an Engineering & Construction company and spent 30 more years overseas. We built refineries, pipelines, off shore platforms and the like in places like Saudi Arabia,  Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Australia, Pakistan, and some others. Even built a gold mine on a place called Lahir Island, Papua New Guinea. I retired about 10 years ago and since I was single (as in divorced for the 4th,  or was it 5th) time, I plopped my old *** down in Bangkok determine to live out my days drinking fairly bad beer, eating spicy food, chasing some of the most beautiful girls on the planet and spending every penny in my bank account.  As fate would have it, before I ran out of money, I met a sweet young li’l brown girl whose family owned quite a bit of land and she made me an offer I couldn't refuse, "upgrade their rice farms." Oh, and for reasons unknown,  marry her. Now my rice framing abilities are bout equal to my success in marriage (I once was paying child support in 3 currencies). However comma, I have never been one to let ignorance get in the way of speculation so here I am,  all grown up, married, again, and farming rice in SE Asia. I still love baseball, primarily a Cards fan that grew up in Little Rock listening to Harry Carey call their games on the radio.  I got the first transistor radio in my neighborhood and there were 5-10 kids in my driveway every night (that the travelers weren't in town) hanging on his every word.  Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst were my heroes. Harvey Haddix came up when I was 8 or 9 and immediately became the hero of the neighborhood. Even adults joined us in the driveway on the nights he pitched.  The minor league baseball team in LR was the Travelers in the Southern association and sold out most games. Us kids would go out to the park during BP hoping to get a ball that you could turn in and get into the game free. The fences had "  knotholes" drilled into them, all between about 3and 5 feet high. My gang would climb the 2 big oak trees behind the LF wall and sit on the limbs. I still remember those limbs were worn as smooth as glass by generations of kid’s butts.  Both of my older brothers sit on them and they are 14 and 8 years older than me. It was such a pure and beautiful game then. It's grossly different now and not as rewarding in my opinion. Everything is about money.  George Brett would be laughed out of town today and I still don't know how they tell the difference between 49.5 and 57 million? Sorry, didn't mean for this to turn into a Russian Novelette but I couldn't find a spot to shut ‘er down.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NL West- Season 29 preview

Somehow Seattle made their way back to the top of this division last season after a 3 year post season drought. They ended up with the #1 seed in the NL, but that didn't help them. They went on to lose to division rival Colorado Springs 3-2 in the Division championship series. Colorado Springs finished in second after 3 straight division titles and went on to lose in the NLCS to Scranton. In third place was Oklahoma City, who ended a 17 season playoff drought. It also marked the first back to back winning seasons for this franchise since seasons 8-10. They eventually lost to Scranton in the Wild Card round. Albuquerque finished in last. They were likely the most disappointing team in the NL after finishing the previous season with 92 wins and a wild card berth. This has become a very competitive division with 4 teams that have post season potential.


Seattle Strikers
owner- ghutton9(22 seasons)
Season 28 record- 100-62(NL West champs)
Last 5 seasons- 379-411

Offensively, this is not a team with much pop. They have solid contact abilities and really good batting eyes. They should get on base a lot. They even mix in some decent speed. The defense is among the best in the league. They could use a bit better glove at shortstop, but they have a great centerfielder and good gloves at most positions with really good range. They could be a top 3 defense. The rotation is good. They have a few good top of the rotation type pitchers and solid back end guys as well. The bullpen is this teams real strength. It's a deep bullpen and the guys at the top of it are among the best in the league. The pitching staff ranks in the upper half of the NL. Seattle should be tough to knock from the top of the division this season and could even make a post season run.

Owners perspective- Since the preview is basically my perspective anyway, I'll tell you how I feel about my team. I'm off to a great start, but I don't feel like this will be the norm for my team. I do feel like they are good, but I think I'm still a piece or two away. I like my off season additions and feel like my team is better than they were last season. This might be my favorite team I've ever put together.


Colorado Springs Night Watchmen
owner- toe64(28 seasons)
Season 28 record- 96-66(Wild Card, NL runner up)
Last 5 seasons- 474-336

This team has a good amount of power. They also have some guys that can hit and get on base. They aren't a team that will steal a lot of bases. I really think they have a good offense. I put them in the top 5 of the NL. The defense is below average though. They lack a real shortstop and a centerfielder with range. I think if anything will be this teams downfall, it'll be the defense. I rank them near the bottom of the league. The rotation looks about average and they lack an ace. They have a good group of mid rotation guys to make up for that though. The bullpen has a few good arms, but they lack depth. That could hurt over the long run. The pitching staff looks about average to me. This team has the offense to really be good, but I don't know if it'll be enough to overcome the defense issues. This is still a good team, but they'll need some things to go their way in order to take the division title.

Owners perspective- I have virtually the same team as last year minus King Ashburn in center which was a big loss. Nonetheless, appears another year of age on my guys is the straw that broke the camels back. Not much to say except it's a marathon and not a sprint. We'll see how that works out for me.


Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs
owner- brentcnb(16 seasons)
Season 28 record- 91-71(Wild Card)
Last 5 seasons- 392-418

This team gets it's power from 2 players and one of those, Jin-Chi Yamamoto is a superstar. They have some good hitting and decent batting eyes. They also have some good speed. This is a really good offense. The defense is solid but they don't look good at shortstop. The rest of the field will feature pretty good gloves though. That is what brings them to slightly above average. The rotation is below average, but they have lots of options and guys with good stamina and control. The bullpen is pretty much the same since some of those potential starters will be relieving. The pitching as a whole is a little less than average. I really like this teams offense and the defense is pretty solid also. I think that should be enough to help this team contend again this season and possibly get them into the post season.

Owners perspective- I tried to improve the team defensively with a couple FA signings. Strength of the team is probably speed and defense. That is probably my biggest concern in that the pitching staff is maybe a bit above average but not much and the overall hitting ability of the team leaves something to be desired. The Prairie Dogs could finish anywhere from 1st to 4th in the division and it would not surprise me.


Albuquerque Komodo Dragons
owner- csudak(9 seasons)
Season 28 record- 73-89
Last 5 seasons- 368-442

Albuquerque is a team that can hit some homeruns. They have quite a bit of power. They also should have a really good OBP as they have plenty of players with good hitting eyes and contact. They also have good speed. This could be the best offense in a division that has plenty of it. I wouldn't be surprised to see them score the most runs in the NL this season. Defensively they are average. I like the shortstop, but they don't have good range in centerfield. That's OK though, they have solid range and defense at most spots in the field. The rotation isn't bad, but they are below average. This team really lacks an impact starter at the top of the rotation. They also have plenty of options for the rotation as they have plenty of pitchers with good stamina. The bullpen is made up with those guys and that's not really a good thing. The bullpen doesn't look very good. I think this is a below average pitching staff that could use a few good arms. This team still looks pretty good overall though. I think they can challenge for the top spot and if not win the division they could still get into the playoffs.

Owners perspective- Thoughts on my team 1) Love my hitting, good solid young talent at most positions, 2) Fielding is questionable, probably going to cost me a few games, 3) I can't get pitching. Even when I think I have solid guys, the results just aren't there. In theory, my best pitcher over the last 2 seasons has been Preston Reese, which makes zero sense and he is on the DL for the first half of the year. My goal is to move hitting for younger pitchers and hope I find a couple of gems. Even with the rough start, I'm hoping to challenge for a wild card spot if I can piece a staff together.


Predictions
I'm really liking my Seattle team this season and really feel like they can make a good run in the post season. This is a really tough division though. Colorado Springs features a really good offense, but the defense and pitching aren't as good. They should still finish above .500 this season and challenge for at least a wild card spot. Oklahoma City looks really close to Colorado Springs. I'm not sure they can take the top spot, but they should battle for a wild card. Albuquerque looks like the closest team to taking the division title from Seattle. The pitching holds them back a bit, but the offense offsets that and the defense is better than OKC and CSP. I think all 4 teams finish above .500 and it's going to be a close race at the end. At least one team, if not two will take a wild card spot.

1. Seattle
2. Albuquerque
3. Oklahoma City
4. Colorado Springs

SEASON 29 AL WEST PREVIEW

SEASON 29 AL WEST PREVIEW

AL WEST

Always one of the closest divisions in Pine Tar.  Last season wasn't entirely different.  Salem made a couple of late season trades and then really went on a tear and ended up winning the division by 10 games.  They ended up winning the World Series.   It was the franchises second WS victory. Their first game in season one, under a different owner.  It also marked the franchises first playoff appearance in 8 seasons.   Fresno finished 2nd last season under previous ownership.  It marked their fourth straight winning season.  St. Louis finished third winning 91 games, but still took the wild card.  It was their fourth straight winning season and their 8th playoff appearance in the last 12 seasons.   Vancouver finished in last place.  It was their first last place finish in 10 seasons.  It also broke the franchises winning streak of 7 seasons.

Salem Volcanoes
Owner:Jkenned (7th season)
Last Season-103-59(1st Place)
Last 5 seasons-421-389(.520)
Payroll-$71.8m
Draft Pick-53rd

Great defense.   Great speed and baserunning.  Offense is one of the best in the AL, and they have great power.  Their pitching staff is easily the best in the American League.  100 wins?  I would think so.

Fresno Grizzlies
Owner: dlmose(1st season)
Last Season-93-69(2nd Place)
Last 5 seasons-442-368(.546)
Payroll-$75.1m
Draft Pick-28th

Defense is below average.  Great speed and baserunning.    Their hitting is below average and the team essentially has no power.    Pitching is below average.    I don't see this team winning 93 games again.

St. Louis Arch Angels
Owner: Flucie(15th season)
Last Season-91-71(3rd Place)
Last 5 seasons-435-375(.537)
Payroll-$89.5m
Draft Pick-26th

Defense is probably the weakest in the AL.   Poor speed and baserunning.  Hitting is above average with above average power.   Great pitching.  Should be another good season in St. Louis.


Vancouver Canucks
Owner: skplayer07(12th season)
Last Season-74-88(4th Place)
Last 5 seasons-424-386(.523)
Payroll-$87.1m
Draft Pick-13th

Defense is one of the best in the AL.    Average speed and baserunning.  Hitting is solid with decent power.  Pitching staff looks really good, above average.   Vancouver should be right back in the thick of things this season

Interviews

I spoke with Jkenned about his first Pinetar WS victory.  Congrats on your first Pine Tar World Series victory last season. How do you feel about this years team compared to last?  His response: We are a better team to start the year than last year with a full season from Rymer Tavarez and Lonny Gonzalez in the rotation. I just hope that Darren Banks can replace the production that the Volcanoes received from Sticky Farhquar after he came over in a midseason trade. The offensive should be better this season as well with a full season of Hipoloto Arredando. With the youth and depth of the lineup and with solid production from the rotation I think this group has a shot at repeating, especially given that the other squads in the division have lost a number of key pieces since last year.

I also spoke to newcomer dlmose.  Welcome to Pine Tar dlmose! The only new owner in the American League this season. How do you feel about the franchise you have inherited, and what are your expectations for your first season here?  His response: Fresno Factoids: 7 new pos. players( 4 Rule 5's) and 8 new pithcers(1 R5) set the lofty goal of somehow winning 60 games No talent in minors but have 7 picks in first 50 in this season's draft I already drink so no worries. Me: Any comment on why you called your team the Grizzlies? dlmose:  It's the name of the Fresno minor league team. I pondered on "The Fresno Raisin Eaters" which was the 1906 team but ran out of single malt in time.

Vancouver press release: After a disappointing season Vancouver is hoping to rebound and make the playoffs this season.With the signing a true leadoff hitter in Houston Graves and addition of Apollo Fletcher to the pen the Canucks are looking like they are in good position to have good season. Look for Yoshinori Zhou to anchor the rotation and be a possible Cy Young candidate. Willie Tarasco will bat 3rd and be a beast as usual. Im expecting this to be a 90 win season or else a failure.

Predictions

A great Salem team, just got better in the off season.  There are many good teams in this division again this season, but I think Salem might be in a class of their own.  Vancouver and St. Louis seem to be pretty even in many categories, however I think St. Louis's weak defense is going to cost them a few games.  This division should still win a wildcard this season.  Fresno appears to be lacking in too many categories to compete.  I'm sure new ownership will have that team heading in the right direction before we know it.

1. Salem
2. Vancouver
3. St. Louis
4. Fresno

SEASON 29 AL SOUTH PREVIEW

SEASON 29 AL SOUTH PREVIEW

AL SOUTH

Last season New Orleans won this division pretty easily, as he was the only team to even finish over .500.  They have won the division 2 of the last 3 seasons and have 6 winning seasons in a row now.  Florida, previously in San Juan finished 2nd place.  That marked the second straight losing season for the franchise.  Just a side note, this franchise has never won the division.  Nashville finished tied for 3rd last season.  It was actually the first time in 7 seasons that they didn't finish in dead last.  Tampa Bay finished tied for third last season.  It broke a streak of 9 straight winning seasons.

New Orleans Zephyrs
Owner: Fantasy Frea(8th season)
Last Season-88-74(1st Place)
Last 5 seasons- 439-371(.542)
Payroll-$79.5m
Draft Pick-32nd

Defense is one of the strongest in the AL.  Good speed and baserunning.  Hitting is slightly below average, and their power is about average.  Probably one of the weakest pitching staffs in the league.  I don't see this team winning 88 games again this season.

Florida Retirees
Previously San Juan Pollos Hermanos
Owner: Soxfan_9(13th season)
Last Season-75-87(2nd Place)
Last 5 seasons-412-398(.509)
Payroll-$84.2m
Draft Pick-14th

Defense is slightly above average.  Good speed and baserunning.  Offense is slightly above average.with average power.  Pitching is not too impressive,  below average.  I would expect to see them finish right around the record they did last season.

Nashville Merchants
Previously Nashville Nalas
Owner:Blapo21(3rd season)
Last Season-69-93(T-3rd)
Last 5 seasons-287-523(.354)
Payroll-$56.2m
Draft Pick-6th

Defense is slightly above average.    Not very good speed and baserunning.  Their offense is probably one of the strongest in the AL.    Slightly above average power.  And their pitching is very strong.    It's about time this team finished tanking.  Should be a great season in Nashville.

Tampa Bay Thunder
Owner:rxw1(29th Season, A Pinetar original)
Last Season-69-93(T-3rd)
Last 5 seasons-434-376(.536)
Payroll-$76.1m
Draft Pick-7th 

Defense is about average.  Above average speed and baserunning.  Offense is slightly above average but they have alot of power in the lineup.  This team should score alot of runs. Pitching is slightly above average.  I don't see this team having another losing season.

Interviews:

I asked Fantasy Frea, You don't look as strong as previous seasons. Are you taking a step back this season?  His response: I didn't mean to, but I ran out of funds. I meant to decline the options on Slotnick and Stratton, but I got busy and when I finally got on it was to late.

I also spoke to Soxfan_9.  You changed cities from San Juan to Florida. What was the reasoning behind your change? His response: My team was terrible in San Juan with a team that should have competed most seasons. Just wanted a new start and Retirees seemed fitting with Florida.

I also spoke to Blapo21 about moving.  You changed your team name from the Nala's to the Merchants. Does this team name change have any meaning behind it?  His response: My favorite downtown easygoing restaurant when I'm in Nashville

Tampa Bay Press Release: Season 29 looks to be a rebuilding year for the Thunder after only their 4th losing season in team history. I like to rebuild in flight, so we will added some youth on offense by adding a great young talent in Daniel Acosta and Ron Atkins then look pickup addition players in trades & International talent. With the #7 pick in the draft and some you pitchers making their way to the show, the Thunder should be ready to reload and contend quickly.

Prediction

I believe we are about to see the changing of the guard here in the South.  With probably the best pitching staff and the best lineup, I don't see anyone beating out Nashville.   Nashville might even be good enough to compete for the AL pennant this season.   Tampa Bay has a good strong team, but not quite in the same category as Nashville.  I think the biggest question mark in this division will be who will finish in 3rd.  I go back and forth on this one, and it could go either way.  I expect these teams to finish somewhere in the 70-75 win mark.

1. Nashville
2. Tampa Bay
3.  New Orleans
4. Florida