Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Chicago Scandal 2nd Edition.

Author’s Notes

Welcome to another edition of The Chicago Scandal. There have been some interesting developments over the past weeks, to include a healthy dose of trades, international free-agent signings and of course the injury bug. First, congratulatory comments go to Buddy Berry, who hit for the cycle during 1/23/16 PM2, Milwaukee Magnitude @ New Orleans B&G Steelers. The 5-time all-star is batting .308 for the year, while racking up 5 HRs and sitting in the top ten of the AL with 29 RBIs. In other news, the AL North divisional race is heating up with the dubbed “War in North”. The Milwaukee Magnitude sit atop the division with an 18-12 record. Hot on their heels though, owner holleybard’s Kansas City Yardbirds sit at 17-13, only a game out of 1st.  My Chicago Black sox and the Dover Dinklebergs round out the division at 16-15 and 15-15 respectively.  Barring any major setbacks for either of these teams, we could be headed for a down to the wire divisional race. Let’s keep our eyes on that as the season progresses.

The El Paso Walkers traded SS Phil Starr to New York Sultans of Swat for Pitchers Vin Cornejo and Sal Clayton.

Albuquerque Komodo Dragons traded P Glenn Karl and P Tony Perez to Texas Galveston Wave for Major League P Glen Brooks.

Albuquerque Komodo Dragons also traded Pitchers John Carter and Lou Montgomery to the Boise Coursers for P Antonio Simms.

Boise Coursers traded RF Willie Oropesa to Iowa City Hawkeyes for P Nate Bush. 

Boise Coursers traded C Morgan Stephens and Scooter Snell to Scranton Red Barons for 3B Alex Moreno.

Boston Screaming Babies 3B Wily Toca to San Juan Marichals for P Quilvio Benitez.

In a series of deals, the Chicago Black Sox sent P Khiry Carlson, P Freddie Brower, and P Clayton Webster to the Jacksonville Juice for 3B Bunny Barber, LF Edgard Villano, P Kameron Moore, P Bernie Wolf, P Gordon Ramirez. 

The Chicago Black Sox sent RF Howard Atchison to Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's for SS Max Owen and RF Lee Jefferies who was drafted via Rule 5 by the Syracuse Orange.

Chicago also sent long time Catcher Brad Schneider Nashville Merchants for DH Dilson Betances.

Cincinnati Firestorm trade 3B Travis Taylor to Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's for P Ringo Thomas.

Colorado Springs Iron Horseman traded P Mike Franklin to Jacksonville Juice for RF Ralph Hatcher, 3B Rex Bradley, RF Chris Gibson. 

Houston Roughnecks traded RF Donnie Benard to Seattle Strikers for C Phil Simmons.

Kansas City Yardbirds traded P J.R. Priest and SS Don Morris to St. Louis Miracles C Cesar Santos.

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's traded 1B Hipolito Arredondo and 2B Bengie Uribe to St. Louis Miracles for LF Bono Durham and  P Wascar Azocar.

Wichita Tornadoes 1B Cookie Tapia to Milwaukee Magnitude for P Ben Boyer and P Aramis Mendoza.

The Nashville Merchants sent RF Wilfredo Soria to Texas for P Dennis Jones, C Benji Valverde , and RF Erasmo Johnson.  

San Juan Marichals traded P Miguel Garza  to Seattle Strikers B.C. Nunez. 

Trade rumors
Albuquerque (15-15) is in the market for some prospects. They are willing to move Benny Garcia - RF, Ed Paul - P, Ernesto Mendez - CF. Sources have confirmed that the Cincinnati Firestorm (19-12) are actively shopping for a closer and a center fielder.  El Paso (12-18) is possibly looking for a SP as well as an upgrade at SS. They are looking to pair LF Vic Ward with a prospect in order to bring in a ML level SS.

Hot or Not
Team Hotness:

Salem Volcanoes remain atop Team Hotness. They have the best record in the show and 7-3 in their last 10.  These road warriors are 15-1 when playing outside of Volcanoes Stadium. They are still my favorite to when the AL. Their team pitching sits at a whopping 3.10 ERA. This is a powerful team offensively and defensively. Let’s see who has the skill to knock them off their perch.

Houston Roughnecks have also gone 7-3 in their last 10 after a slow start. They appear poised to give Jackson some competition for the NL South crown behind the arms of aces,  Wilt Sizemore – P and Albert Olivo - P. H-town is definitely hot right now.

The AL North made the list because of their brutal battles for division supremacy and remaining the only division with every team playing .500 ball. One can only wonder how this will play out in the weeks to come.

Honorable mention: Omaha Oracles (9-1) in their last 10. Colorado Springs Iron Horseman (16-15) are in second place in the AL West after the abysmal start. I’d keep my eye on this team.  

Team Notness:
Boston Screaming Babies currently riding a 6 game skid have managed to go 1-9 in their last 10. With one of the highest payrolls in Pine Tar, expectations are pretty high. We can only hope that this is just an early road block and that this team can use the talent they have to bounce back. I do like their chances, but I do wonder if owner kcclark may decide to abandon ship and begin a rebuild or stay true to the course.

New Orleans B&G Steelers made the list this week. They are a young team in rebuilding mode. However, the lack of runs scored have really hampered their ability to be competitive. The future does look bright for the B&G Steelers with the talent pool they have in the minors. It should also be noted that they have tons of cap space. The question is, will they use it?

St. Louis Miracles round out team Notness. Not because of their record, but because I think they are truly under-performing. They are statically a top 5 pitching team with a 3.64 ERA. Where they are hurting, is their ability to generate runs. They have only scored 100 runs, which is the lowest totals in the Majors. I would love to see them go after a power hitter like Gus Justice or  Keith Williamson just to add some much needed offense.

The Players Club

Buddy Berry – Hit for the cycle, .308 avg., 5 HRs, 29 RBIs.  
Michel Pena - .367 Avg., 10 HRs, 30 RBIs, 14:1 SB to CS ratio.
Hamlet Allen – 4-1 in 7 starts, 2.81 ERA, 43 strike outs
Rymer Tavarez – 6-0 in 6 starts, 1.27 ERA, s8 strike outs and the most impressive stat: 0 HRs given up this year. Sniff, Sniff…. what’s that smell, “the CY Young”.

The Minor League Minute will be delayed this week. Look for it in the 3rd edition. 

Disclaimer: Hot or Not and the Players Club are entirely opinion based. Even though stats are considered, future players and teams will be selected based on what the blogger/writer decides. As always inputs are always appreciated.

Friday, January 29, 2016


We are a little over a week into the season now and I want to take a look at some things around the league that may be of interest. Usually this is the time of the season that teams will promote their future stars to the big leagues. After game 20 teams save a year of arbitration so this is the perfect time to do it. I'll list some key promotions that have taken place, some key injuries and also some notes about stats.

Pedro Contreras- Jacksonville Juice
Contreras is a left fielder/1b type player that has solid power and a great batting eye. He will hit good against left handed pitchers, but is likely to struggle against righties. He was drafted by Jacksonville with the 17th pick overall in the season 31 draft. He still has some room to grow, but he's close to reaching his potential at this point.

Karim Ontiveros- Jacksonville Juice
Ontiveros is a centerfielder with decent range and glove. At the plate he make good contact and has good power. His batting eye and ability to hit are not very good. He won't have a high batting average or OBP, put he should be able to put the ball in play and provide some pop. Ontiveros was signed as an IFA by Jacksonville in season 29. He has likely reached his potential.

Santo Baez-Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's
Santo is a left fielder with a good bat. He won't put up great numbers, but Baez should be a nice addition to the lineup. With decent contact, power and batting eye, he should provide some good numbers. He was signed as an IFA by Louisville in season 29 and probably will not grow much more.

Jarrod Henley-Seattle Strikers
Henley is a shortstop/2b/centerfielder. He has great range and great arm strength for any position. He has a solid glove for shortstop, but he'd be a great 2B. Offensively he has great contact and average power. His batting eye is bad and he won't hit for even a decent average. Henley was a 2nd round 63rd overall selection by Wichita in the season 28 draft. He has pretty much reached his potential.

Other notable callups-
Dustan Fletcher-El Paso Walkers
Tyrone Milligan-Colorado Wildcats
Paulie Sparks-Seattle Strikers
Vin Gray-Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs
Slick Maurer-Durham Doormats

Pedro Sanchez-Colorado Wildcats
Dave Coleman-San Juan Marichals

Aurelio Ozuna-Salem Volcanoes
Hades Phillips-El Paso Walkers
Willie Fisher-El Paso Walkers

Naoki Martin-Tampa Bay Thunder
Martin has been the highest paid IFA so far. He projects to be a centerfielder with great range and really good glove and a solid bat with speed. I think he's a bit overpaid, but the market decides that and so far he's one of the best to come through.

Pedro Mota-St Louis Miracles
Mota projects as a good starting pitcher. I think he was a steal in the IFA market for the Miracles. His potential to me looks like a 3 starter and possibly a 2. He has good split projections, decent control and 3 average pitches.

Vic Torcato-Colorado Springs Iron Horseman
This was a nice signing, but not great. The value was good, but he's not a future star. He should have average power, decent splits, but his batting eye worries me a bit. He has a great glove, but his range doesn't project very high. With a solid arm I think he will end up as a third baseman or right fielder.

Dante Pong-Durham Doormats
Through 25 games, Pong has hit 13 homers to lead the league and is hitting for a .302 average, .343 obp and .750 slugging.

Michael Pena-Salem Volcanoes
Pena is on fire, hitting a .389 to lead Pine Tar, and has a .436 obp and .741 slugging. He's also added 12 doubles, 8 homers, and 13 steals.

Benny Villano-El Paso Walkers
Villano leads the league in opponent average with a .124, is second in ERA with a 1.36 and leads in WHIP with a .73 while adding 3 wins in 6 starts.

Apollo Fletcher-Seattle Strikers
Fletcher leads the league in saves with 10 in 10 tries and has a .90 WHIP, and 1.80 ERA in 10 games.

Chan Won-Houston Roughnecks
Won leads the league in pinch hits with 13 already and has done that in 21 at bats while also hitting 3 pinch hit homeruns.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Chicago Scandal

The Chicago Scandal

Hello my fellow Pine-Tar owners. My name is Al but also known as skuff730 of the Chicago Black Sox, formerly the New York Damage Controllers. I am going to be contributing to our awesome blog and hopefully continuing to provide enjoyable reading segments that complement our league. I hope to cover a range of topics from notable games, to trades, and even a look into the minor leagues. With that being said, let’s get down to business.
We start Season 34 off with a brief recap of last year where Scranton defeated Boise 4-3 to capture their second World Series title. Season 33s playoff were not without some memorable moments as we saw the three best teams in the league; Salem (119-43), Nashville (113-49), and Houston (100-62) all get bounced out of the playoffs in their respective Divisional Series matchups. The big question going into Season 34 is, how they will respond.

I caught up with Salem owner jkenned: 2 time WS Champion, 3 time AL Champion, and 6-time Divisional Champion

What did you think of Season 33s playoff lost?
It is always tough being the #1 seed and not bringing home the title and I have never been a fan of the 5 game series but the truth is that Syracuse was better than I was. It was frustrating but hopefully that allows the squad here in Salem to focus and bring home another championship this season.

What are your goals for the Season 34?
My entire offense is in their peak and the pitching is strong enough to carry us back to the #1 seed in the AL.

Best addition, i.e. player and/or coach.
We really didn't change things up too much in the offseason as there were not very many feasible ways to improve on a 119 win roster. Our window is starting to close but this squad still has the talent to bring home a couple of trophies before it does.
There you have it, from Salem Volcanoes Owner jkenned.

I have to say I agree that this team is going to be a tough out in Season 34. Note this day 2/2 PM2 when they host Syracuse for their first matchup of Season 34.

Modification: 1/24/2016
The Chicago Scandal staff was able to get an interview with bagwellbuff. 1 time WS Champion, 2 time NL Champion, 5 time Divisional Champion. 

What did you think of Season 33s playoff lost?
We lost to eventual the eventual World Champion, so you could say we have some consolation: we lost to a team of destiny. However, that does not ease the disappointment of our coaches, our team, and our fans. We can't settle for being a steppingstone in another team's triumphant narrative.

Best addition, i.e. player and/or coach.
We mostly stood pat, mainly because I think Neifi Gil (RF) will top his first All-Star appearance by coming into his own as a real superstar and upping his batting average to complement his power. I'm proud of our pitching--our  bullpen is mostly home grown as well as starter Albert Olivo and Stewart Hall. We hope to improve our team BA while maintaining our outstanding pitching and fielding. Our power numbers were satisfactory but we should improve those. Of course, we are a team at a crossroads. I'd feel better if we could have signed Wilt Sizemore long term, but he's looking at FA after this season. So if we fall short again with this veteran team, we may have to seriously consider in which direction we will go from here

What are your goals for the Season 34?
We hope to improve our team BA while maintaining our outstanding pitching and fielding. Our power numbers were satisfactory but we should improve those. Of course, we are a team at a crossroads. I'd feel better if we could have signed Wilt Sizemore long term, but he's looking at FA after this season. So if we fall short again with this veteran team, we may have to seriously consider in which direction we will go from here.

Thank you Bagwelllbuff.

Houston is at a crossroad this year and with the arrival of Jackson as a major player in the division, we could be seeing a changing of the guard. They currently sit at 3rd place in the NL South, but it is still early in the year. So we will keep our I on Houston and lets see if they can recapture the magic of  season 33. Upcoming notable game: 1/30 PM vs Scranton Red Barons (9-2)

Season 34: The story so far....
The first week of games are behind us and there are some interesting develops thus far. On the AL side, the Salem Volcanoes (8-0) got off to a hot start as they notched eight straight victories to remain the only remaining undefeated team left in the Majors. They started the season off with a four game sweep of the Omaha Oracles, followed by a sweep of the Colorado Springs Iron Horseman. Notable game: 1/22 PM2 Salem Volcanoes vs Colorado Springs Iron Horsemen

On the NL side of the house, the Jackson Juggernauts (7-1) sit atop NL South with the National League’s best record. The Juggernauts are showing their offensive prowess with a NL 2nd best 48 runs scored. The defensive isn’t lacking either, only giving up 29 runs. It’s early in the year, but I’d say Jackson is setting themselves up nicely to snap their 10 season playoff hiatus.

Hot or Not
This is the inaugural hot or not list.

Team Hotness: Salem Volcanoes Undefeated and 7-0 on the road.
                        Jackson Juggernauts 2.5 gm division lead in the NL South. Bad moon rising
                        Seattle Strikers Despite dropping two games to Colorado, they have a favorable upcoming schedule against the Philadelphia Moneymakers and the Albuquerque Komodo Dragons.  They should come out of that stretch at a minimum 6-1.

Team Notness: Philadelphia Moneymakers It’s an uphill battle, trust me I know from experience.
                        St. Louis Miracles  I think they have the most potential of Team Notness to get back on track. They can get the hits, they are just not bringing the guys across home plate. 
                        Colorado Springs Iron Horseman Their in a division with Salem Volcanoes and Boise Coursers, enough said.

The Players Club

Pedro Martinez (CIN) 2 doubles, 1 HR and 8 RBIs. Not to mention an 8 game hit streak.
Keith Williamson (TEX) Leads the ML in HRs (5) and RBIs (20)
Gerald Foster (IA) 1-1 1.69 ERA
Wilt Sizemore (HOU) 1-1 1.20 ERA
Kevin Jenkins (SEA) 15 Hits, .517 AVG, .793 SLG

This is just the first of the Chicago Scandal column. I hope you all enjoy.
Future columns will include the Minor League Minute, Trade winners and losers, and the Rumor Mill.
I am available for comments/suggestions at

Disclaimer: Hot or Not and the Players Club are entirely opinion based. Even though stats are considered, future players and teams will be selected based on what the blogger/writer decides. As always inputs are always appreciated.