Sunday, November 22, 2015

Season 17 NL Preview

NL North

Pittsburgh Pierogies
This Steel City crew won the division last season in a war of attrition.  There is plenty o' talent left here to win this division again.  Matty Little, Vlad Lopez and The Skipper bring offensive production to Gotham light and Park, Street, and Governale are workhorses in the rotation.  Jtedford should defend the title but how deep can he go?

Kansas City Sunshine Band
This squad definitely needs to "make a little love"  after last season's 57 win debacle.  Bjleader is an experienced owner that knows what it takes to rebuild.  The future is bright and KC will reap the benefits of high draft pix soon.  Young guys like Wengert, Bell and Nixon are already at the ML level and that will help them "get down tonight" to improve the overall record.  Look for a big stride but still not ready for a playoff run.

Buffalo Blizzard
This squad made a run at Pitt last season only to come up short.  New ownership has come in and promised to make the necessary changes to run down the potato pastries.  Stonewalter has a wealth of experienced ML guys, especially on the pitching staff.  Bob Chase, Alberto Beltre and Mule Strange are damn good pitchers.  Offense can be a challenge though.  Luis Rosario is a threat but doesn't have much help.  The addition of C Mark Little will help...but not enough IMO

New York Knights
Our own wonderboy, 19craig58, has stepped into New York to remake this franchise.  Last season saw this group lose 97, which was a surprise.  Expect improvement and a run at .500.  81-81 may be good enough to be in the hunt in this division but not likely enough to get into the playoffs.  Gookie Rolls is a great offensive C and Ren Chang was a nice pickup in FA for the O.  SPs are a concern here after youngster Ryan Clayton.  Again, this is another improved squad that should compete in the division of parity but not quite enough.

Pittsburgh  88-74
Buffalo 81-81
New York 74-88
Kansas City 67-95

NL East

Baltimore Blue Jays
Bluejayrules stepped right in and showed no fear taking over this successful franchise.  This team is off to a hot start and is making our resident youngster look like a genius.  The previous owner definitely left this thing is good shape with tons of ML talent.  Malloy and Giles head up a real good corp of SPs.  Offensively, Jim Ramsey's raw power will drive in tons of runs while vets like Nance and Burnett support a consistent offense.  This is a good team that will make the playoffs and has a shot at making a run.

Washington DC Nationals
Hexhash, an original owner in Josh Gibson, showed back up under the wire to revive this franchise. This version of the Nationals had a nice 91 win season last time out.  This division is a tough one and that total was only good enough for 3rd place and a WC birth.  It will be hard to improve on that performance but there is talent here to make another run.  Vet SP Paulie Ponson will give big innings as will Lew Dessens.  Carl George is also real good  However, SPs are not dominant.  This club has to win a lot of tight games using timely hitting and a good BP.  Youngster Mark Hayashi has the makings of a long-time run producer and C Al Guerra is a stud.  

Philadelphia Dragon Turtles

WTF is a Dragon Turtle?  Too bad the original owner bailed so we will never know.  Russilini stepped in right before opening day to take over this squad and is looking to improve on its historical epitome of mediocrity.  Ugh.  Hanging around .500 is meh.    There are some good pieces here to work with.  Omar Russell is really good and SP prospect Bert Presley finally got the call to the show.  I am not sure there is enough here to make a significant improvement over last season but they wont suck either.

Chicago Illinois Ice Bergs
Our WS runner-up is the squad to beat in this division even though they didn't win it last season.  Rynoman01 jumped on this opportunity so there is some pressure to NOT screw it up.  Alfredo Forbes is a MVP candidate.  There is also plenty of support with guys like Diaz, Dickson, Durham, etc.  RA Jennings is still a real good SP at 37 and the BP is solid.  I will take these lettuce heads to win this division in a close race.

Chicago 97-65
Baltimore 96-66
Washington 86-76
Philly  77-85

NL South

Atlanta Aces
I have serious pitching staff envy.  Kingleonidas has built an unbelievable corps of arms here.  I want to pick them as my choice to represent the NL in the WS this time out.  Forster, Summers, Sherrill, Baines rival the real Atlanta's staff of the Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, etc.  However, I don't love the offense...but I don't hate it either.  AJ Callaway is a superstar and his supporting cast is good.  Waters and Quentin lead a group of good players to fill out the lineup.  I expect the ATL to lead the division wire to wire and have a legit shot to win the WS.

San Antonio Missions
The Alamo gang can challenge Atlanta for the division but I feel like pitching will be the difference.  Amoebaman78 has gotten off to a great start thanks to some good FA acquisitions.  Chad Glanville is a great addition to the offense and SP prospect Lou Collins will be a superstar in the future.  A playoff run could be in the cards but just a little short.  I am happy to see an owner come in and take an aggressive approach.  It should pay dividends.

Oklahoma City 89ers
Newbie guyo26 has come aboard to take over this historically mediocre performer in OKC.  Vets like Dick McCall and Juan Aguilar should help keep this team's head above water but the supporting talent is lacking.  Young SP Amos Cunningham has the potential to be a solid ML SP and the other young call ups will help stabilize the staff but unfortunately there are better teams ahead of this group.  If guyo26 chooses to make a run he has pieces to trade or he can move those few vets for prospects to win in the future.

Houston Vultures
After a long run of winning in HOU, it looks like our resident "one dog night" groupie is at a crossroads.  I have a ton of respect for this franchise and have no doubt they will continue to succeed.  Unfortunately for the bullfrog, ATL is just really good.  A weird slow start is perplexing but there are good pieces to work with here.  Corey Mason, Kris Walker and Grover Young are all top notch SPs.  The BP is solid.  Puffer, Dickerson Eiland, etc. are solid ML players.  This is a good team that, on paper, should be in the playoffs.  However, sometimes the WIS sim engine disagrees.  I have faith and believe things will return to normal.

Atlanta  104-58
Houston 94-68
San Antonio  90-72
OKC  65-97

NL West

San Francisco Golden Cables
Newbie Go_Tribe_65 has this team overachieving early.  This franchise is historically a .500 hovering crew but new ownership has made some tweaks to improve.  Call up Julian Barkely is already helping the offense as is CF Carl Lyons.  Miguel Puildo can hit HRs as well so the offense is better.  Pitching is iffy but outperforming early.  The ballpark in SF will help the staff keep the ERA down.  but that goes both ways.  Ultimately, I see a slight improvement and a shot at the WC.

Oakland Stompers
Always hard to give an objective opinion on one's own team.  Offense--Pros:  Power hitters that will hit HRs.  Cons:  Not a great OBP team  Conclusion:  Inconsistent offense.  Pitching--Lots of middle of the rotation type SPs and an above average BP.  Cons: Lost Douglas Kendall in FA.  Tried to sign him to an affordable deal but couldn't justify breaking the bank since there are tons of holes elsewhere.  Conclusion:  Above average pitching but nothing studly Overall Conclusion:  Inconsistent again.  Perry Smalley was a good FA signing to help offense but I don't think it is enough to win the division.  Maybe a WC is possible.

St Louis Silence

theBrigadier has a good up and coming squad here.  There is a nice mixture of vets and young guys that bode well for the future.  Koyie Walls is a real nice young MI prospect that had a good rookie campaign.  Additionally, Alex Arroya looks to be legit at 1B.  those young guys coupled with Guerrero, Rose and Quinn makes this a pretty good offense.  SPs are the strength here.  Ken Martin is good and is Yorman Gandarillas.  MOF, top to bottom, the staff is just solid.  This team will be in the mix all the way.

Los Angles Bionic Freaks
kdforester continues to consistently field a good team and has figured out how to re-tool effectively without tanking.  Event though they are off to a slow start this team has all the pieces to compete in a very evenly  distributed division.  Newcomer Bill Griffiths looks to be the real deal as a SP and coupled with the vets Vin Rigby and, nice FA signing, DaRond White, this looks to be a formidable pitching staff (good BP here as well).  Offense might be a challenge but it is not awful either.  Cody Ford is a good OBP guy and Dave Tabaka has awesome power.  This division is really up for grabs.

St Louis 83-79
Oakland 82-80
San Fran 81-81
LA 80-82

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Opening Day Pics

Season 17 Previews AL

League Previews

AL North

Chicago Fire

After 111 wins last season, a new owner, Gregor199, will take over this formidable squad. However, I do not see a repeat out of this aging group. Matt Hanrahan and Lonny Ozuna are likely HOFers but at 37, do either have anything left in the tank? Santo Infante is still a great player but 100 wins would be a lot to ask him to carry. I think this division may be up for grabs.

Toronto Blue Jays

Newcomer, lfkbibanul (are u Turkish?), takes over this young squad that was in need of a face lift. All the best players on this team are younger than 27 and that bodes well for the future. Marquis Parker is the best all-around player but was OTB during spring training so it looks like this franchise is still rebuilding. Alex Rijo has great promise as a MI of the future. I like the direction but we are still a few seasons away.

Toledo Mudhens

Our former commish leads his squad into its 17th season. A good Mixture of young and Old talent will give him a shot at the division title. A couple preseason trades brought added ammo in Willis Jodie and Marvin D'Amico to spruce things up. Those additions plus superstar, Mike Foxx, may just give mjdato the bump he needs to displace Chicago. Maybe enough to rekindle the trash talk days with Coach34.

Rochester Red Wings

Yesac03 takes over a franchise in need of direction. Weston and Martinez make up an excellent, young MI and Ron Liverman is a real good SP1. There is some good stuff to work with here but this group ain't ready for Prime Time yet. The goal should be .500 this season and improvement after that.


Toledo 98-64

Chicago 97-65

Rochester 80-82

Toronto 72-90

AL East

Florida Fishy Fupes

Caesari steps in to take over this dormant group right before opening day. The previous owner dropped off from his previous division dominance to hang around .500 and, as all of us know , that is a recipe for disaster. Jim Truman is a good SP1 and the rest of the staff is pretty damn good, BUT...this team needs offense. Could be a struggle to stay at .500 but I have faith in ownership to get this thing going in the right direction.

Durham Ravens

The commish called in a favor to get TomHighway on board to take over Durham. This is a squad that really liked to hang around .500 as well. That's is not good. The new owner jumped right in and signed some veteran pitching to help the troops and I expect a lot of roster activity to help win now and build for the future simultaneously. A run at the wildcard is not out of the question but this division belongs to...

Boston Royal Giants

My odds on favorite to win it all. Nelsonba added Douglas Kendall in FA to an already great team. Bad thing for all of us is that this team is also very young. If you want to do a rebuild, you should read Nelson's book on the subject. Trevino, Beltre, Gonzalez, Banks, Ishii, etc. The list is long of potential All-Stars. I am pissed off right now...

Charleston Harbor Dawgs

Reigny jumped on this rebuild. Many seasons of struggle will eventually lead to the gold at the end of the rainbow. Though still a few seasons away from competing with Boston, this franchise has some good young talent. It is just not ready for the ML yet. I think last place is coming but brighter days are ahead. Nash Taft is a pretty good layer but he doesn't have help. A more active off season might have helped more but at least ownership is engaged and looking to the future.


Boston 115-47

Durham 84-78

Florida 78-84

Charleston 60-102

AL South

Little Rock Minnesota Iron Rangers

Identity crisis much?  Longest name award winner, twinsfan2936, steps into a pretty good situation in Little Rock.  This team finished first 4 of the last 6 seasons and has a good core group.  Melendez, Gomez and Gonzalez are all top shelf ML guys and have some good veteran support.  I think this crew will be a playoff team come late season.  Don't screw it up!

Tampa Bay Tougersons

A long time owner left this team in good shape for newcomer greffb1.  Javy Valentin is a stud.  Gio Castro and Marshall Washington can hit HRs.  This division will be tight and should come down to pitching and health.  If that is the case, I am not sure that this staff has all the pieces.

Memphis Graceland
I like this group, headed by another newcomer but old timer gaheel84, to be much improved and to make a run at this division.  Some savvy preseason moves have really improved things in Memphis.  Russell Bolling and  Orlando Martin are a great 1-2 punch as SPs.  Esmerling Rivera was a great addition to the offense.  This could be a three team race to the wire.  Nice job!

Iowa City Cyclones

Amarner32 stepped into this one with wide eyes and big hopes.  As a newbie, growing pains are expected.  Good news is that this franchise is pretty good and should be competitive.  Darren Weber is a real good, young player and Sammy Siqueiros is a top-notch SP.  However, I think this team is falling behind others in the division.  Work some magic marner...or ask some questions and we will help you!

Memphis 91-71
Little Rock (but really wants to be in Minnesota)  88-74
Tampa Bay 79-83
Iowa City 71-91

AL West

Wichita Natural Lights

KCWizards has joined our humble little world as a first timer to HBD and jumped right in with both feet.  A nice, cheap signing of Beamer Howington should give this squad a little boost and not much cost.  Couple that with an already good core group of Alfredo Wooten, Ernest Brinkley, and Esmerling Oliva and you have the makings of a competitive team.  A good example of good work by a newbie!

Seattle Whiplash
A quick turnaround is possible in the great Northwest.  One down season in last season (57 wins) was quite a surprise to most.  Jim Knight and Omar Garland can hit HRs but will find it harder to do in Safeco Field.  Pitching will automatically improve as this stadium will drop ERAs like a lead balloon (or as Led Zeppelin).  However, this pitching staff is a little weird looking to me.  Not sure where the big innings will come from.  Lets see if it works out for newcomer sirdaveyboy.

Sacramento Schnauzers
The threatening canines are about the only squad here that could threaten jibe's stranglehold on this division.  I like Houston, Garland, Pujols, Grim and the crew to make a run at it.  The pitching staff is pretty good with innings eater Placido Ontiveros.  Grim and Guzman need to pitch like SP1s here to make it interesting.

The dynasty may be over for our 4-time WS winner but Jibe still has a formidable team.  He keeps adding more payroll to keep his vets and sign new ones.  Eventually the entire $185 budget will be in payroll.  Superstars like Victor Telemaco, Bobby Joe Tekotte (isn't there a song about this guy?), and Yannick Porter will keep on winning.  However, it will be closer this time.  Geronimo Galarraga and Christopher Wulf are real good SPs still.  I think he can win this division but the WS is a NO.  (See Boston above^)

Vancouver 92-70
Sacrammento 86-76
Wichita  79-83
Seattle 70-92

Thursday, October 15, 2015

In Honorarium

Joshua "Josh" Gibson (December 21, 1911 – January 20, 1947) was an American catcher in baseball's Negro leagues. He played for theHomestead Grays from 1930 to 1931, moved to the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1932 to 1936, and returned to the Grays from 1937 to 1939 and 1942 to 1946. In 1937 he played for Ciudad Trujillo in Trujillo's Dominican League and from 1940 to 1941 he played in the Mexican League for Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. Gibson served as the first manager of the Santurce Crabbers, one of the most historic franchises of the Puerto Rico Baseball League. He stood 6-foot-1 (185 cm) and weighed 210 pounds (95 kg) at the peak of his career.[1]
Baseball historians consider Gibson to be among the very best catchers and power hitters in the history of any league, including the Major Leagues, and he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Gibson was known as the "black Babe Ruth."[2] (In fact, some fans at the time who saw both Gibson and Ruth play called Ruth "the white Josh Gibson.") [3] He never played in Major League Baseball because, under their unwritten "gentleman's agreement" policy, they excluded non-whites during his lifetime.