Saturday, June 30, 2012

Season 20 AL East Preview

AL East
We seen some changes in this division last season. Durham took home the division crown for the first time since season 13 as they ended Pittsburgh's 5 season run atop the division. Pittsburgh still had a good season, but it wasn't quite good enough to reach the post season. Boston remained in third for the 4th time in 5 seasons and seen their record worsen by 1 game. Chicago seen their win total rise by 5 games, but continued an 8 season run without a post season appearance.

Durham Doormats
Season 19 Record: 94-68(AL East Champ)
5 Season Record: 397-413
Owner: algoman1 (774-846, 3 division titles)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .291 1 Fielding % .982 20 ERA 4.99 28
Home Runs 319 1 Double Plays 421 10 Opp. Avg. 283 28
Ops. 879 1 + Plays 49 19 Stike Outs 1122 6
Runs 991 1 - Plays 51 26 Saves 46 16
Steals 55 24 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .512 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- SP Wayne Perez(FA), RP Flip Buck(FA)

Key Losses- SP Chris Kirk(Released), SP Curtis Bannister(Released)

Durham was the division champ last season as they ended an 8 season streak without a winning record. The post season didn't go very well, but they are moving in the right direction. This team has some very good young talent and could be poised to be on top for quite some time. In the off season they actually added the 2 oldest players on the team, but still very quality pitchers in Perez and Buck.

Offensively this team was the best in Pine Tar last season. The offensive production by this team was pretty phenomenal. I don't see that changing. With players like Eric Lindsey, Julio Navarro, Fred Inge, Billy Haynes, Ernest Christiansen and Angel Faulk in the lineup, they are going to be tough stop. They sure look like they'll be the top offense again. Grade- A+

The fielding was below average last season. With such an emphasis put on offense, this will happen. Angel Faulk is a pretty good shortstop though and Eric Lindsey is a solid centerfielder. Besides that they aren't very solid at the other positions. The defense is what brings this team back to the pack. Grade- C

The pitching was pretty bad last season. They ranked near the bottom of the league, but they have some solid pitching. They made a couple signings in the off season to help address this and hope it will pay off. The rotation is anchored by Willie Jacquez, who is a legit ace. Rounding it out are Benny Bravo, Orlando Cruz, Wayne Perez, and Victor Maranon. This is a pretty good rotation. In the bullpen they have Glenn Hafner, Flip Buck, and Miguel Gonzales, who should all be pretty good at closing down close games. The pitching staff looks pretty good and should bounce back after a poor performance last season. Grade- B

This team looks really good offensively and should be able to win a lot of games just on that. The pitching is good too though, but the defense will likely keep them from reaching the peak of their abilities. This team could very well win 100 games though with what they have and should win the division again. They should give it a run at making the World Series as well, but their defensive woes could stall that push.

Pittsburgh Psychics
Season 19 Record: 89-73
5 Season Record: 190-134
Owner: blues_bros (190-134)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .270 10 Fielding % .986 10 ERA 4.27 16
Home Runs 225 11 Double Plays 485 2 Opp. Avg. 267 17
Ops. .783 6 + Plays 45 21 Stike Outs 1019 24
Runs 824 8 - Plays 45 21 Saves 50 12
Steals 70 23 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .443 6 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- 1B Joseph Bang(FA), SP Ivan Silva(FA), C Felipe Reynoso(FA),
  SP Bartolo Montero(Rule 5)

Key Losses- SP Jorge Figureoa(FA), 1B Charles Torres(FA)

After winning this division for the past 5 seasons, the run ended. With 89 wins the team failed to make the post season. The team wasn't happy about that and went out and made some changes in the off season. With one of the older teams in the league, it appears that it's almost time to start rebuilding. I guess that will depend on how the season shapes up for them.

Offensively this team was one of the better teams in the league last season. They were top 10 in average, OPS, Runs and Slg, and finished 11th in homers. With players like Corky Lawrie, Joseph Bang, Alvin Reed, Reggie Creek, Phil North, Coco Stratton and Felipe Reynoso spread throughout the lineup, the should be able to rank up there again. They have real good hitters for average, some decent power and good eyes. Grade- A-

The defense was good last season. The gloves were there, but they lacked range for the plus and minus plays. Robin Risley is a solid shortstop, but this team is only average at the other positions on the field. They have average gloves and less than average range. Grade- C+

The pitching was pretty average last season. They were right in the middle of the league. Ivan Silva was a solid pickup, but not a move that can change the way the staff looks. Carlos Nieto is a good starter, Lou Offerman is solid, and Walter Heredia is good, but they aren't really aces. They are better suited as middle rotation pitchers. The bullpen has a couple good arms in Irv Coghlan, and Rudy Jameson. This staff really looks average to me. Grade- C+

I like the teams offense, but the pitching and defense really hurt them. That is what is likely to hold this team back from the post season again. I don't think they can match up with Durham, so a division title is unlikely. They would need a lot of things to go right for them to get into the post season.

Boston Pilgrims
Season 19 Record: 76-86
5 Season Record: 374-436
Owner: kjmulli (341-439)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .261 18 Fielding % .982 18 ERA 4.63 21
Home Runs 242 5 Double Plays 420 11 Opp. Avg. 269 21
Ops. .766 11 + Plays 133 1 Stike Outs 1003 28
Runs 801 12 - Plays 30 12 Saves 40 24
Steals 46 27 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .766 10 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- None

Key Losses- SP Charles Hayashi(FA), 1B Junior Cruz(Released), RP Chico Guerrero(FA)

Just a few seasons ago, Boston was on its way up and finished second in the division with 83 victories. They've hit hard times since and have seen the winning percentage drop in each of the past 2 seasons. They aren't too far behind the leaders of this pack though as they finished just below .500 and could be a few pieces from jump into contention. In the off season they didn't really make any key signings, but lost a few players that could hurt them. It looks like the team is planning on bringing up a couple of young prospects, Matt Jaha, and Hipolito Owen a few weeks into the season.

Offensively this team was just above average last season. The team average was just average, but they hit for power and scored runs at a decent clip. Pepper Sanders, Darren Urich and Rico Tatis should hit well. Rico Tatis has tons of power also and can get on base. He's always a threat to take home an MVP award. Houston Baptist adds some power, but he's not a great hitter. This offense has some really nice pieces, but they could use a few more. If they added some average players in with this group they could be really good, but the others look below average to me. Grade- B

I'd say this was an above average defense last season. The gloves ranked in the middle of the league, but they flashed some range with the plus plays. I'm not sure who will be the shortstop, but the team has 2 potential gold glove options in Yusmeiro Julio and Chun-Lim Li. Neither played short last season and that is a surprise. Tito Raburn was the shortstop, but he committed a lot of errors and could be better used at second or third where he'd commit less of them. I like this defense. It isn't great, but it's pretty good. Grade- A-

The pitching on this team was below average last season. Hayashi and Guerrero were good pitchers and the losses will hurt. Ronald Lynch and Woody Sheridan are solid starters, but neither can anchor down the rotation. Nash Casanova and Damaso Infante are good relievers, but there isn't much else for this team coming out of the pen. I think they pitching takes a step back this season as I'm unimpressed with what I see. Grade- C-

I really do like some of the pieces this team has offensively, and defensively, but the pitching is a real weakness. They could also use some depth in the lineup. I think the weakness is enough to keep this team from reaching last seasons win total and that means that I don't see them in the post season with the way things are right now.

Chicago Wind Tunnel
Season 19 Record: 73-89
5 Season Record: 348-462
Owner: skidmark (558-738)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .258 24 Fielding % .977 27 ERA 4.80 24
Home Runs 197 19 Double Plays 430 6 Opp. Avg. .283 23
Ops. .744 19 + Plays 37 28 Stike Outs 1055 16
Runs 752 20 - Plays 44 23 Saves 38 25
Steals 224 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .416 18 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- SP Cutris Banister(FA), C Davey Decker(FA)

Key Losses- OF/IF Roberto Fernandez(Released)

The Wind Tunnels. This team has been struggling for some time now. The last post season appearance was back in season 11. They've only had 1 winning season since then. Last season was a step forward as they improved by 5 games over the previous season, but they were still a ways off. I do like the 2 key additions they added in the off season. Banister should be solid for them and Decker should hit. If anything though, this team has some good young talent.

Offensively the team was slightly below average last season, but they stole a lot of bases. They do have some speed on this team for sure. They also have a few good hitters in Barney Taft, Russell Powell and Davey Decker. They just don't have much to go around them. The team is still a few good hitters short of having a good offense. Grade- C+

This teams defense wasn't very good last season. Gerardo Vega is the best option at short and he's not a very good option. They do have solid gloves at other positions, but they are not good up the middle. The middle is where most of it happens and that brings this team down a lot. Grade- D+

The pitching was also below average last season. Vinny Napoli is a good starter and Curtis Bannister is solid, but they don't have very quality arms besides them in the rotation. The bullpen looks worse. Yorvit Diaz and Alan Denham are decent, but they are it. This teams pitching staff could use an overhaul. I really don't like what I see. Grade- D

I'm just stumped with what I see here. This rebuild is taking longer than I would have expected. They should be loaded with young talent, but I just don't see it. Outside of a few players, this team really doesn't have much quality major league caliber players. It's looking like they will continue the rebuild for another season and likely finish in last.

Durham is looking tough this season. They have a great offense and decent pitching. The only thing that may hold them back of the AL championship could be the defense. Pittsburgh has a real good offense, but the pitching and defense hold them back. I think they'll struggle to make the post season. Boston has a few nice weapons offensively and a real good defense, but the pitching could use some help. I think they may be a few good pitchers away from challenging for a post season spot, but as it stands now I don't think they can reach 81 wins. Chicago just looks like a AAAA team to me. They have a few really good offensive weapons, but those weapons are meaningless if they don't have a full compliment of help for them.

1. Durham
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. Chicago

Friday, June 29, 2012

Season 20 AL South Preview

AL South
In season 19, Nashville continued their run of dominance in this division. With a sixth consecutive 100 win campaign, they extended the division title streak to 8 seasons. Tampa Bay closed to gap in the division last season a bit though. Tampa ended up 15 games out of first, but took a wild card spot and returned to the post season for the first time since season 11. The team in San Juan finished third, but continued a 5 season streak of improving their record. New Orleans finished last in the division as they haven't been to the post season now in 11 seasons.

Nashville Nalas
Season 19 Record: 107-55(AL South Champ)
5 Season Record: 391-419
Owner: bnags (1148-958, 8 division titles, 1 World Series Title)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .286 2 Fielding % .988 2 ERA 3.58 4
Home Runs 225 12 Double Plays 399 18 Opp. Avg. .239 4
Ops. .818 2 + Plays 98 3 Stike Outs 1101 9
Runs 978 2 - Plays 15 4 Saves 46 13
Steals 160 6 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .456 3 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- None

Key Losses- SS Tino House(FA)

This team has now won 8 division titles in a row and they've been doing it pretty impressively. With 6 straight 100 win seasons, this team has established themselves as a true power house. The problem for them has been post season success. For all the winning they do in the regular season, they've only won 1 World Championship and that was 5 seasons ago now. Last seasons let down of not even making the ALCS had to frustrate the fans in Nashville. The team didn't do much in the off season, but the loss of Tino House doesn't improve things for them.

Offensively this team has been pretty good for some time. The have some great hitters and some speed, but only average power. 2 time MVP, Heini Rice, is a phenom at the plate and provides most of the power on the team. Brian Sveum, is one of the best hitters around with a career .333 average and .405 obp. Juan Latos, is really good hitter also. These are only the guys that stand out to me. The lineup is loaded with players that are close to as good as these three. I would grade them an A+ if they had more power. Grade- A

Defensively, Nashville is one of the top 2 or 3 teams in Pine Tar. They ranked near the top of the league in the key defensive categories. I'm not really impressed with the shortstop situation here, but they do have real good gloves at almost every other position. That should help ease the lack of a real good shortstop. With a gold glove shortstop this team would be the best defensive team in the league, but I can't say that right now. Grade- A

Pitching is another of this teams strengths. Like there are any weaknesses? They ranked near the top of the league in pitching last season. The starting rotation is a big part of that. Alex Martis, Dan Seibert, and Jeremi Rice are 3 very good pitchers and any of them could be considered an ace. The bullpen is pretty good as well with Mitchell Hayes, Tom Leonard, and Raul Santiago coming out to close down games. Grade- A

The ownership in Nashville has declared that the window on this team is "Closing fast." As the newest member of the Owner Hall of Fame, bnags, is a pretty good owner and knows his stuff, but I'm not quite sold on his statement. This team looks poised to make another run this season and should push for another World Series appearance. I see no way that they don't win the division this season with the talent that they have assembled.

Tampa Bay Thunder

Season 19 Record: 92-70 (Wild Card)
5 Season Record: 397-413
Owner: rxw1 (1665-1413, 7 division titles, 2 World Series Titles)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .273 8 Fielding % .980 24 ERA 4.18 13
Home Runs 205 15 Double Plays 980 22 Opp. Avg. .252 9
Ops. .767 10 + Plays 38 27 Stike Outs 1141 4
Runs 810 11 - Plays 68 29 Saves 55 4
Steals 110 12 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .428 13 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- SP Heinie Hutton(Promoted),

Key Losses- None

Last season was pretty successful for this franchise. They ended a 7 season run of not making the post season. They also ended a 3 season run of losing records. While they still didn't step up to Nashville's level, they made strides toward getting there. The team didn't really make any splashes in the off season, but the promotion of my long lost cousin, Heinie Hutton, adds a little help to the pitching staff. I tried to talk his parents out of naming him that, but the whole family got a good laugh out of it anyway.

Offensively this was an above average group last season. They ranked in the upper half of the league in the key categories, but they weren't quite at the top of any of them. This is a pretty good hitting bunch. They have some power also. This isn't a great offense, but they are above average again. Grade- B+

Defensively this team ranked near the bottom of the league. I don't see much improvement. They lack a good shortstop and centerfielder. They do have solid gloves at other positions though. Overall it's a below average defense. Grade- C

Even with a bad defense, this team had some good pitching last season. They were a good, but not great staff. Starter, Claude Collins, is a true ace. Bo Carter, and Jimmy Washington are solid middle rotation pitchers. The bullpen has Ezdra Johnson and Frank Murphy as two really good arms coming in to tight games. Overall, this is a pretty good staff. Grade- A-

This team looks pretty good heading into this season. I don't think they can challenge Nashville, but I can see them with 90+ wins and in the post season again. Anything short of that is a disappointing season for this franchise.

San Juan Pollos Hermanos
Season 19 Record: 78-84
5 Season Record: 231-255
Owner: soxfan_9 (231-255)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .277 4 Fielding % .987 6 ERA 4.77 23
Home Runs 234 7 Double Plays 384 27 Opp. Avg. .269 16
Ops. .794 4 + Plays 66 12 Stike Outs 1056 15
Runs 903 4 - Plays 25 9 Saves 41 23
Steals 76 22 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .447 5 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- SP Charles Hayashi(FA)

Key Losses- IF David Reyes(FA)

You could say that the Pollos Hermanos had a successful season 19. They improved the win total for a fifth straight season and even though it was by just one win it was still a step forward. This franchise has had 11 losing seasons in a row now and any bit of improvement is welcomed. They really aren't far off from ending that slump, but this is a tough division. The addition of Charles Hayashi could be what they needed to give them that bump above .500. 

Offensively San Juan was one of the top teams in Pine Tar last season. They hit for average, and hit for power. This offense is led by youngsters Alexander Williamson, Bernard Charleston and Harvey Merrick. That is a pretty solid core of young players that this team has to lead them into the future. The offense as a whole isn't great, but they produce. Grade- B+

The fielding is also pretty solid for this franchise. They were one of the better defenses in the league last season. The have a good shortstop in Efrain Matsumoto, and real good centerfielder, Horacio Blanco. They are solid up the middle, but only average at all other positions. They don't have the best rated fielding instructor, but that guy knows how to get results. Grade- B

The pitching was a concern for this team. They were just below average last season. The addition of Hayashi really helps the staff out. Matching him with Diego Valbuena and Darren Banks should give them a really good top 3 in the rotation. The bullpen is solid, but I wouldn't even say they are average. They could use some bullpen help for sure. Grade- B-

San Juan has the team in place to make the jump this season. We shall see if they can, but my money is on them improving. They have a good rotation, but the bullpen could be the weakness that brings them down. The defense is solid and the offense produces. I think they challenge Tampa Bay this season for second, but end up just short. I do think they finish above .500 though.

New Orleans Nighthawks
Season 19 Record: 65-97
5 Season Record: 359-451
Owner: larryvegas (590-706)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .251 31 Fielding % .977 29 ERA 4.86 27
Home Runs 241 6 Double Plays 384 25 Opp. Avg. .273 19
Ops. .752 17 + Plays 73 11 Stike Outs 1023 23
Runs 738 25 - Plays 39 19 Saves 41 22
Steals 98 16 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .434 11 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- P Jesus Amezaga(FA)

Key Losses- 1B Dummy Wright(FA), LF Luke Ryan(FA)

This team has been struggling now for a while. Last season marked the third straight season that the win total dropped. They haven't been to the post season since season 9. The addition of Amezaga was a needed signing to help out the pitching. They lost Luke Ryan and Dummy Wright in the off season, but those aren't huge losses.

This team was below average offensively in season 19. They hit a lot of homers, but the team average was just bad and they didn't score runs very well. Sam Slotnick is a great power hitter, but his average could use some help. Youngster Braden Fussell is going to be a pretty good hitter for quite some time. Quinn Watson has had some good seasons and is another good offensive threat. I really think this team should be a better offensive team than they are. I guess the number don't lie though. Until proven otherwise, I'm grading them low. Grade- C-

The defense is one of the worst in the league. They have some range, but the gloves aren't good. Vin Hernandez is a real good shortstop, but the centerfield position could use a better glove. Looking at each position though, the team looks solid. I'm not sure how they ranked so low, but I think they'll bounce back a bit this season. Grade- C+

Last season the pitching was below average. The addition of Amezaga helps. The rotation features Darren Miller, Jhonny Andujar, Charles Taylor, and Everth Benitez. All of them are more suited for middle to back end of the rotation duties though. This team could use an ace at the top. The bullpen is real good though. Amezaga is better suited for the pen, so that's where I'm guessing he goes. George Eaton is real good coming out of the pen. Ruben Valbuena and Ron Bowen are a couple more solid bullpen arms. The pitching isn't great, but it's not bad either. The bullpen appears a bit better than the rotation. Grade- B-

This team isn't likely to move up the ranks this season, but they do have some pieces in place to make the move soon. With the addition of an ace and a couple more bats this team could contend in the next couple seasons.

I'm going with Nashville in this division. They just appear too dominant and poised for a World Series run. Picking them isn't a knock against the other teams in this division. They are just too good. Tampa Bay should have another run at the post season as they are a really good team, but a step below Nashville. I like San Juan's chances of surprising this season, but I'm not sure they'll be good enough to make it into the post season. I'll bet they give it a good run though. New Orleans isn't far off from being a tough team, but they still have some holes to fill before they step up to playoff team status.

1. Nashville
2. Tampa Bay
3. San Juan
4. New Orleans

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Season 20 AL West Preview

AL West
Last season this division was won by St Louis. The team had the worst record of all of the division winners, but that didn't stop them from making a post season run. They became the first team in the division since season 1 to make it to the ALCS. The run ended there with a loss to Dover, but the team showed everyone what could be to come from this franchise. Anaheim finished at an average 81 victories as they fell 3 games short in the race for the division title. Salem finished third and Vancouver fourth. Heading into this season all of the owners in the division return and we will have a third consecutive season with the same group of owners in the West. That's especially nice since this is the division that has seen the most turnover in league history. In all the division has had 30 different owners.

St Louis Arch Angels
Season 19 Record: 84-78(AL West Champ; ALCS runner up)
5 Season Record: 391-419
Owner: Flucie(391-419, 3 division titles)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .250 30 Fielding % .988 4 ERA 4.19 14
Home Runs 199 17 Double Plays 397 20 Opp. Avg. .262 13
Ops. .729 23 + Plays 103 2 Stike Outs 980 29
Runs 729 15 - Plays 11 2 Saves 46 15
Steals 211 4 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .409 22 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- P Sean Shipley(promoted), Rock Randall(promoted)

Key Losses- RP Mel Lloyd(FA)

Coming off the most successful season in franchise history, the fans in St Louis have high expectations for this club. The next step for them is the World Series after losing in the ALCS last season. They stayed fairly quiet in the off season, but the promotion of Sean Shipley looks like it will be a big move.

Offensively, St Louis, was average in season 19. The team average was bad, but they did hit some homers and stole a lot of bases which led to them being in the middle of the league in runs scored. If they could get the team average up some then the offense would be real tough. Looking at them this season looks pretty much the same. Lou Jefferies is this teams only true hitter. Everth Carreras and Neil Roberts add some pop. Grade- C

The defense was one of the best in the league last season. They ranked near the top in fielding, plus plays and minus plays. The loss of Ramon Martins glove will hurt and Vic Diaz isn't quite the shortstop. That alone has me thinking this team takes a step back. They are pretty solid at other positions though and that helps ease the loss. Grade- B+

The pitching on this team was pretty average a season ago. They ranked right in the middle of the league in ERA, opponent average and saves. The addition of the youngsters Shipley and Randall is a step in the right direction. This rotation has the potential to be pretty tough when you add Jim Kelly to that mix. The bullpen is solidly above average, but I don't think they are among the best in the league. Grade- A-

This team is going to be tough this season defensively and in the rotation, but the offense isn't going to strike fear into many teams. I think they'll be tough to knock from the top of the division and with a couple moves to help the offense could be a very good team. A fourth straight division title is in reach for them.

Anaheim Annihilation
Season 19 Record: 81-81
5 Season Record: 401-409
Owner: donniefenn92(321-327)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .265 15 Fielding % .986 11 ERA 4.14 12
Home Runs 193 20 Double Plays 394 20 Opp. Avg. .243 5
Ops. .739 20 + Plays 83 8 Stike Outs 1085 10
Runs 776 16 - Plays 21 6 Saves 52 10
Steals 130 8 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .413 19 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- C Julio Palmeiro(tr-Tre), 1B Rheal Beck(promoted),

Key Losses- 1B Miguel Flores(FA), RP Damaso Infante(FA), RP Bert Jordan(FA), 1B Zeke Decker(FA), IF Rex Billingsly(FA)

Anaheim has been hovering around the .500 mark for quite some time now. Last season they finished with 81 victories and that was some progress. They really have to decide whether to go for it and make a big move or start to rebuild and get some prospects for the long run.The team had some big losses in the off season and gained some draft picks in the process. They have 8 of the first 81 picks in this seasons draft. If we see a deep draft, then this could be a big building block for the franchise.

This team loss some weapons offensively in the off season. That isn't saying much since they were a pretty average team on offense last season. The losses could drop them to the bottom of the league though. The team has some good young hitters in Jim Christman, Jody Andrews, Rheal Beck and Julio Palmeiro though. Besides these four the team doesn't have much else. They won't have much power and hitting, but they do have plenty of speed if they can get on base enough to use it. Grade- C-

Anaheim had a pretty good fielding team last season. They ranked 11th in fielding percentage and were top 10 in plus and minus plays. The team will feature a great glove at shortstop in Pedro Berroa and Bronson Baptist should be a pretty good centerfielder. They even have solid gloves at other positions and should finish as a top 10 defense again. Grade- A-

The pitching was above average last season. They had a couple losses in the bullpen through free agency, but this still looks like a good staff. The rotation features Diego Benitez, a young hurler that has had some low ERA's the past couple seasons. Lazy Sweeney isn't an ace, but he is pretty solid and can be counted on for double digit victories. Patrick Wilson lacks good control, but he's tough to hit and excelled as a starter for this team last season. The bullpen has a few good arms also as pitching is a strength for Anaheim. Grade- B+

Anaheim is a solid team, but the offense has me wondering if they can compete over the long haul. They have a few good bats, but an injury to any of them means that this team will struggle to score runs. The defense is good enough to help them win some games and the pitching will help keep the games low scoring enough to give the offense a chance. I don't really think they make the post season, but they could give St Louis a scare.

Los Angeles Regulators
Season 19 Record: 65-97
5 Season Record: 378-432
Owner: bobswagger91(378-432; 2 division titles)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .276 5 Fielding % .977 30 ERA 6.12 31
Home Runs 226 10 Double Plays 406 16 Opp. Avg. .300 32
Ops. .343 6 + Plays 44 23 Stike Outs 1013 26
Runs 846 6 - Plays 100 30 Saves 26 31
Steals 101 15 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .440 7 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- SP Willie Cairo(promoted), IF Corky Whitehead(FA), IF Tino House(FA), 1B Miguel Flores(FA), RP Bernard Hoffman(FA)

Key Losses- 1B Wilfredo Leon(FA), C Felipe Reynoso(FA), OF Neifi Mathews(FA), SP Ruben Cruz(FA)

Well, after a few disappointing seasons in Salem, the team moves back to LA, where they experienced a bit more success. This team is still in rebuild mode, but they look like they are trying to improve upon the 65 wins in each of the past 2 seasons. They had some losses in the off season, but also made some nice signings.

Last season, this franchise featured a really good offensive attack. They did lose quite a bit of that offense in the off season, but they added some pretty good players in those spots. The team will hit pretty good, but they lost a lot of power that they didn't replace. David Lind is the only power hitter on the team and he won't hit enough to be a real threat. The additions of Miguel Flores, Tino House and Corky Whitehead give the team some good hitters to add to Rob Lee, Alejandro Torres and rookie Bret Richardson. Grade- A-

Defensive was a big issue for this team last season. They ranked as one of the worst in the league. The addition of Ramon Martin gives them a solid shortstop and Johnny Mateo could be a solid centerfielder. Whitehead and House also have good gloves if they aren't used as shortstops or centerfielders. The team looks like the improved the gloves quite a bit and should finish at least near the middle of the league defensively this season. Grade- B-

I'm not sure this team even had a pitcher on it's team last season. They were awful. Well, they were pretty bad, but surprisingly they weren't the worst. The team did add a reliever in Bernard Hoffman and promoted a starter in Willie Cairo, so they at least have 2 pitchers this season. Actually the staff looks better this season, but they could use some rotation help. I think the bullpen will be fine though. Grade- C

This franchise looks a ton better than last season, and look like they'll have the best offense in the division. The fielding has improved a lot and the pitching looks better, but is still not very good. If the offense can put up 6 runs a game then this team could challenge St Louis, but that is lofty expectations. I'm thinking they continue the rebuild for another season and may make the move next season.

Vancouver Canucks
Season 19 Record: 53-109
5 Season Record: 319-491
Owner: skplayer07(114-210)

Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .266 14 Fielding % .981 21 ERA 6.26 32
Home Runs 197 18 Double Plays 515 1 Opp. Avg. .294 31
Ops. .756 25 + Plays 61 15 Stike Outs 954 31
Runs 749 22 - Plays 38 17 Saves 26 31
Steals 116 9 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .423 15 1 1 1 1 1 1

Key Additions- IF Al Nen(FA), 1B Charles Torres(FA)

Key Losses- Chul Zhang(FA)

Vancouver tied for the worst record last season, but they end up with the second pick in this seasons draft. After 3 really bad seasons, this team should be ready to start making the move up the win column. They don't want another 100 loss season.

Offensively this team was a bit below average last season. They had a decent average, and decent amount of homers, but they didn't score runs well and the OPS was pretty low. They did flash some speed on the bases though. The team added some power with the addition of Torres and Al Nen will get on base for them. Henry Siddall is the player that this offense will rely on for a lot though. I think this offense is probably the second best offense in the division and should do pretty well this season. Grade- B

Vancouver was just below average defensively last season, but man could they turn a double play. They averaged over 3 of them a game. That's pretty good. The team still lacks quality gloves up the middle though and that puts a strain on other positions. Dietz will likely play short, but he'd make a real good thirdbaseman. McEnerney has the glove for centerfield, but his range makes him a better leftfielder. Until this team finds a shortstop and/ or centerfielder then I have to grade them low. Grade- D+

If LA was a bad pitching team then Vancouver was just sickening. They ranked at or near the bottom in most categories last season. This is the area the team should be trying to improve, but I don't see much of it. They added reliever Courtney Cashman and that will help, but he's only decent. The rotation is hurting, but Omar Siqueiros will help a little bit. The bullpen does look better though, but it'll be taxed from overuse due to the starting pitching. Grade- D

Vancouver has a good offense, but the defense and pitching are going to keep this team from doing much. Do I think they can improve from last season? The answer is yes, but not by a lot. I think the team is a couple seasons away from any help coming out of the minors and that is when they should start to compete again.

St Louis is looking like the team to beat in the West. They will look to improve upon last season, which will be pretty tough to do since they have to make the World Series to accomplish that. Anaheim is a solid team that could end up better than last season, but I think they will fall short of the division title. LA is moving in the right direction and have the offense and defense to be tough, but the pitching is not good enough. They'll likely battle for a while, but fall out of the race around mid season. Vancouver is still rebuilding and not likely to work their way out of the bottom this season.

1.) St. Louis
2.) Los Angeles
3.) Anaheim
4.) Vancouver

Monday, June 18, 2012

Season 20 Owner Hall of Fame Candidates

Record (1148-958)
World Series Championships (1)
League Championships (2)
LCS Appearances (4)
Division Titles (8)
Best Record (112-50)

bnags has been around since way back in season 6. He started his time in Pine Tar as the owner of Houston Writ of Sepulture and the team went 63-99 for a last place finish in the division. Not happy with that, he picked the team up and moved them to Florida where they became the Pelicans for the next 2 seasons. With very little success in Florida they moved to Nashville in season 9 to become the Nala Bears, which has since been shortened to Nalas. That move was what got this owner kick started into putting together a top notch team. After the move the team climbed the ranks each year to where they are now, at the top. The past 6 seasons have brought 100+ wins each season and one World Series title with 2 appearances in the Series. This owner has built a power house team over the seasons and they are set up to continue that. With 8 straight division titles, bnags has proven dominance in the AL South and has been one of the top AL teams over that time.

Record (738-720)
World Series Championships (0)
League Championships (1)
LCS Appearances (1)
Division Titles (3)
Best Record (106-56)

While qtip32 hasn't had a ton of success, it has been amazing the steady climb that the team has made each season since taking over the franchise. The franchise in Trenton had never won the division title and had only 2 post season appearances before qtip32's time. Back in season 11, the first season as owner, the franchise struggled to a 58-104 record. Over the next 5 seasons the team would improve, but in season 15 they just missed out on the first post season appearance for this owner. In season 16 they got over that hump and even won the division. That started what is now a four season run of post season appearances. In season 17 the franchise went to their first ever World Series, but couldn't pull of the championship. Last season the franchise pulled in a franchise most 106 victories to continue the move up this team has had since the start of qtip32's tenure.

Record (646-488)
World Series Championships (2)
League Championships (2)
LCS Appearances (2)
Division Titles (4)
Best Record (112-50)

When bobbyj7 took over the Jackson franchise it was a mess. At that point the team had just one winning season in 12 seasons. Then bobbyj7 took over and slowly got this team in the right direction. The first season was rough as the team went 69-93, then the second season was a bit better at 83-79. It was in just the third season with the franchise that bobbyj7 took them to their second post season appearance by winning the division title at 97-65. In season 17 they won the title again and broke the 100 win mark. In season 18 they won 112 games and went on to become World Champs. They would then follow that up last season after winning 99 games in the regular season. This team has moved up quick look like they have staying power thanks to the ownership of bobbyj7.

This should be an easy voting season. I'm only nominating 3 owners and a no vote button. These 3 are the top deserving candidates and really there are others, but the accomplishments for them are a bit behind these 3. Best of luck to the candidates.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Owner Hall of Fame Rules

We are going to do another vote for owner hall of fame. All 32 owners in the league are eligible to vote, and I will outline the rules as originally posted by prez with a few changes. The votes of current Hall members toe64, Starbuckdc, greygoose123 and rxw1, along with the league commissioner(myself) will be used to break a tie. This will be done before every even numbered season to make it a more exclusive club of owners. The max number of owners to be voted on will be 5 as selected by the league commissioner based on the rules listed below. Along with the poll there will be a blog post describing each owners accomplishments and reasons for being selected as potential inductee's.

As per the original rules post:

" order to qualify, an owner must have had his team for at least 5 years (unless no suitable candidates exist with 5 years' experience to round out the 5 nominees). Length of time with the league and amount of success are both factors for nomination-- owners who have taken their team to the playoffs many times, and those who have had success while in the playoffs, will be preferred, although exceptions may be made for owners who have only been to the playoffs a few times but have reached or won the World Series multiple times. Also, an owner must still be with his team at the time of the vote in order to qualify for nomination; bpdelia, for example, is not eligible for nomination even though he brought home 2 championships because he is no longer an active owner in the league."

There will still be an option for "blank ballot." If that option ends up winning, there will be no inductee into the Owner Hall of Fame that year (so as to not force owners to vote someone in if they feel no one is deserving).