Thursday, December 18, 2008

All-Time Franchise Wins Through Season 10

Rochester 1090
Indianapolis 985
Montgomery 972
Pawtucket 947
Colorado Springs 937
New Britain/Ottawa 934
Texas 906
New York (NL) 891
Kansas City 886
Toronto/Fargo/Buffalo/Syracuse 873
Anaheim/Honolulu 866
St. Louis 863
Augusta 850
Baltimore 837
Albaquerque/Oklahoma City/Las Vegas/Vancouver 835
New Orleans/Santa Fe/Charlotte 813
Montreal 809
San Francisco/Los Angeles/Boise/Arizona/Boise/Anaheim/Las Vegas 780
Nashville/Louisville/Richmond 776
San Diego/San Juan/Helena 753
Milwaukee 740
Cincinnati/San Juan/Boston/Chicago/Philadelphia 716
Charleston/Tampa Bay/San Antonio/Jackson/Mexico City/Jackson 716
Las Vegas/Tacoma/Tucson/Las Vegas/Salem/San Diego/Oklahoma City 715
Cleveland/Columbus/Chicago/Philadelphia/Iowa City 715
Boise/Arizona/Oakland 706
Chicago/Jacksonville/Cleveland 703
Richmond/Cleveland/Hartford/Trenton/Charleston 701
Louisville/Santa Fe/Atlanta/Memphis/San Juan/San Antonio 693
Norfolk/Syracuse/Philadelphia/Wichita/Chicago 687
Madison/Scranton/Philadelphia/Madison/New York (AL) 634
Atlanta/Tampa Bay/Nashville/Little Rock 597


Here are my picks for AL and NL MVP and the reasons


1. Karim Martin - He is a Mauler but with a .307 52 HR and 160 RBI season is hard to vote against.

2. Jorge Park - I tend to lean more toward HRs and RBI which is why I pick Parks .282 59 HR and 133 RBI.

3. B.J. Frascatore - Amazing season but plays for a losing team. .345 41 HRs and 109 RBI is a nice season.

4. Dion Lane - Again a losing team but if Fresh offered I'd take his .372 30 HR and 100 RBIs anyday.

5. Glenn Morgan - Another non-playoff team and another great season. .324 34 HR and 109 RBI


1. Rudy Aldridge - Surprise! Surprise! Aldridge having another great season. .362 50 HR and 130 RBI

2. Charles Baek - After Aldridge the next 3 are very tight in my opinion. I put Baek first because of the reasons in the next 2 player summaries. Baek ended up with .306 40 HR and 113 RBIs.

3. Garry Stankiewicz - Great season with a .309 31 HRs and 120 RBIs but not even the best player on his own team.

4. Stan Damon - .283 41 HRs and 122 RBIs are impressive but no playoffs knocks him down to 4th.

5. Otis Lowell - .292 28 HRs and 76 RBI.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Season 10 Amateur Draft Analysis: Picks 21-32

21. Stephen Johnson (Honolulu Tsunami) - The Tsunami have quietly stockpiled a ton of young talent, and Johnson is another piece to add. Three solid pitches and an ability to handle RH batters makes Johnson a solid future starter. Grade: A-

22. Del Douglass (Richmond Revolution) - Pitchers like Douglass are the hardest to predict: whether or not his control develops to where it's projected will decide whether Douglass is a successful ML pitcher or not. Grade: C+

23. Ozzie Wilkins (Kansas City Fresh) - Wilkins will be a very solid relief pitcher in the future, and will be able to pitch a lot thanks to his high durability. If his splits were a bit higher he'd be a great closer candidate. Grade: B

24. Josh Foster (Jackson Jokers) - Foster is another great steal of the draft. He has great power and is a nightmare for LHP's. Although he's not a great defender, he is adequate behind the plate and won't be limited to DH duties. Grade: A

25. George Bochtler (Colorado Springs Field Mice) - Although Bochtler is listed as a SS, it is unlikely he'll ever play there as he just doesn't have enough range. With his great speed, he might be a better option coming off the bench in the future. Grade: C-

26. Joey Seo (Charleston Vampires) - Seo is another hard-to-predict pitcher. If his control develops fully, he'll be a solid ML pitcher who can go deep into games. If not, he might be AAA material. Grade: C+

27. Gerald Nicholas (Cleveland Redlegs) - Without a dominant pitch or more than one really solid pitch, Nicholas will probably be no more than a solid number 4 or 5 starter. Grade: B-

28. Skeeter Offerman (Montgomery Maulers) - Offerman has great control and a solid 4-pitch arsenal. However, his low effectiveness vs. both lefties and righties means he should probably never see the big leagues. Grade: D

29. Toby Watkins (Indianapolis Lancers) - With durability 10 points higher, Watkins would probably be a solid 4 or 5 starter. However, with durability of 11, he's probably limited to a relief role in the future. Grade: B-

30. Ed Reboulet (Ottawa Rough Riders) - Reboulet won't be an All-Star (most likely), but he should be a pretty solid starter or bat off the bench. Grade: C

31. Jim Hoffman (Pawtucket Patriots) - Hoffman's solid splits and great batting eye will give him a high OPS. However, with his low pitch calling, he might be limited to DH duties. Grade: B

32. Hughie Wright (Rochester Big and Tall) - Wright won't be dominant out of the pen, but he'll be a very solid reliever who can rack up a lot of innings in relief. Grade: B+

Season 10 Amateur Draft Analysis: Picks 11-20

11. Gregg Falk (Montreal Canadiens) - While Falk falls a little short of the trio of aces due to his weak curveball and changeup and tendency to struggle a little against righties at times, he'll still be a very solid big league pitcher who should rack up some complete games. Grade: A-

12. Randall Osborne (Helena Loggers) - If Osborne signs, this will be one of the steals of the draft. While he's a bit subpar for SS defensively (probably better suited to 3B), he's a very solid hitter who definitely has a big league future. However, he hasn't signed yet and might opt for college. Grade: Incomplete

13. Alex Rice (New York BREAK YOUR BACKERS) - Rice boasts two very good pitches, solid velocity, great control, and an ability to pitch an insane number of innings out of the bullpen. However, his splits mean you might not want him pitching a lot of innings. Grade: D-

14. Rafael Quixote (Charlotte Grandma-mas) - Although Quixote will sometimes struggle with RHP's and doesn't have a great eye at the plate, he makes great contact, hits for great power, fares well against lefties and has decent speed. Grade: A-

15. Mo Levier (Augusta moose) - Levier will be a solid hitter and defensive SS. He doesn't have phenomenal power but he makes contact and drives the ball. He'll probably bat over .300 multiple times in his career. Grade: B+

16. Torey Burnett (St. Louis Arch Angels) - Burnett wants to sign, but it looks like the Arch Angels don't plan on inking him to a deal, and for good reason. Although he has good splits and quality pitches, his control means that he'll be a borderline ML pitcher at best. Grade: F

17. Marvin Owens (Texas Texas Rebels) - Good splits, great control, a dominant 4-seam fastball, and two other good pitches...on the surface Owens looks like a superstar reliever. And he will be good...when he is able to pitch. But that low durability coupled with his stamina means he won't be able to be used as a closer or as a workhorse setup man. Grade: B-

18. Alex Rogers (Vancouver City Slickers) - Rogers isn't a superstar offensively - he can hold his own but probably isn't going to be an All-Star when it comes to batting. However, his excellent defensive skills make his offense more valuable, and make him a good pick. Grade: A-

19. Chris Stark (Colorado Springs Field Mice) - Stark has some of the most pure power of any hitter in the draft. What makes him really special, though, is his ability to hit for average as well as get a lot of long balls. Grade: A

20. Russell Duran (Little Rock Radioactive Reindeer) - Duran is the definition of solid: he's not a star on offense or defense, but he will be a solid starter in both respects when he reaches the big leagues. Grade: B-

Season 10 Amateur Draft Analysis: Picks 1-10

Grades are based on the value of the player selected at the position they were selected at. I have $16 million advanced scouting, so everything I see isn't 100% accurate.

1. Eddie Flynn (New York Juicers) - Flynn is the best pitcher in the draft this year, and if he signs, he'll likely be one of the top pitchers in World Alexander. However, he still hasn't signed and word is he's heading to college. Grade: Incomplete

2. Glen Waterson (Philadelphia Wild Cats) - Waterson's changeup, sinker, and curveball are below average, but that won't stop him from being the future ace that the Wild Cats need so badly. Grade: A

3. Timothy Bowie (Chicago Cubs) - My $16 million advanced scouting budget shows Bowie projecting to a startling 98 overall - thanks in part to projected 100 durability, but also to the fact that he plays great defense at SS, has excellent speed, and swings a decent bat. A solid all-around player, but not a superstar on offense. Grade: B

4. Tony Flores (Oklahoma City Knights) - Flores is the third of a trio of aces picked near the top of the draft this year. Although he doesn't have a dominant pitch, his great splits, control, and velocity will make him a very good starting pitcher in the future. Grade: A

5. Javy Rivera (Iowa City Black Hawks) - Rivera plays solid defense at SS and swings a decent, if unspectacular, bat. He'll be a good player, but I think there were better players available this high in the draft. Grade: C-

6. Bono Dean (Oakland Acorns) - Dean boasts a great fastball and solid velocity, but his mediocre control and splits will prevent him from being a star. He projects to be a bottom of the rotation starter if he makes the big leagues. Grade: D

7. Wayne Knowles (San Antonio Stars) - If Knowles signs, this is one of the top picks in the draft. He projects to be a superstar hitter, as well as having the defensive skill to play behind the plate. Unfortunately, he also has skill on the court, as he's being scouted to play professional basketball and may not sign. Grade: Incomplete

8. Frank Saunders (Las Vegas Dreamers) - Saunders will be a decent player in the big leagues, as he boasts solid speed and a pretty good bat. However, he doesn't play 2B too well defensively, and he bat is only "pretty good." Grade: C

9. Francisco Espada (Milwaukee Brewers) - Espada's only weakness is his struggles facing left-handed batters. If he didn't have this problem, he'd rank right up there with Flynn, Waterson, and Bowie as aces of the draft. Grade: B

10. Ted Rogers (Cleveland Redlegs) - Rogers will be a good defensive catcher and above average at the plate. He should be an important part of the Redlegs' lineup for years to come. Grade: B+

Friday, October 24, 2008

Top 10 Mauler Prospects

1. Anthony Pritchett - Currently in AAA. Will make his ML debut next year at either 2B or CF. Great glove, range, and splits should make Pritchett a solid ML player.

2. Rip Scott - Currently in AAA. May play in the bigs next year or maybe season 12. Great splits, solid control, and average pitches should may Scott a solid LR man.

3. Mac Rupe - Currently in High A. Future CF or 2B. Great glove, eye, splits, and contact should make Rupe a very solid #2 hitter.

4. Stewart Giles - Currently in AAA. Hopefully will be my #5 pitcher next year. Some concerns with decent control and fairly low splits. Hopefully his 2 great pitches and 2 solid pitches will make up for it.

5. Charley Pratt - Currently in AAA. Pratt may pitch next year or season 12. Solid control, decent LHS, great RHS, and 3 good pitches should make Pratt a possible #3 starter.

6. Earl Stern - Currently in AAA. Stern should be a good Setup/LR man in a season or two. Great control and solid splits should help his sort of weak pitches out.

7. Tommie McNamara - Currently in AA. Solid hitter and good RF.

8. Brian Parrott - Currently in High A. Should be a solid hitter and good fielder.

9. James Lewis - Currently in High A. Low stamina forces Lewis to be a great LR maybe spot starter. Very good control and splits.

10. Neil Hearn - Currently in High A. With C's being the hardest position IMO to fill. I was very glad to get Hearn from the Inferno. GREAT PC, arm, and some pop with the bat. Hearn will be on my ML squad at some point in his career.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Indianapolis Lancers Top 10 Prospects - Season 10

1. Josias Pena - My $16 million advanced scouting sees Pena projecting to 100/100 splits, and while that's likely not 100% accurate, Pena will still be a very good reliever in the future. Expect to see him playing an integral part in the Lancers' bullpen beginning next season.
2. Steven Harris - Although he boasts projected splits of 90+ (according to my scouts), Harris likely won't see much time behind the plate in Indianapolis due to Rudy Aldridge. With a bat as good as he's got, and adequate defensive skills behind the plate, Harris will probably another franchise's long-term solution at catcher.
3. Max Hernandez - Hernandez is another solid catching prospect blocked by Aldridge. Hernandez fell to the supplemental round of the season 7 draft, though his great power and batting eye and adequate defense mean he'll be a possible All-Star catcher in the major leagues.
4. McKay White - A recent acquisition, White is a solid reliever capable of going multiple innings. If he's able to stay healthy, he'll probably move into the Lancers' bullpen in season 12.
5. Alan Ramirez - A 1st-round pick in season 7, Ramirez projects to be a solid if unspectacular long reliever or back-of-the-rotation starter when he reaches the major leagues next year.
6. Lewis Harvey - Harvey, a 2nd-round pick last season, is the third major catcher in the Lancers' minor league system. Even if Aldridge wasn't around, Harvey would have a hard time breaking the Lancers' future lineup due to the fact he's stuck behind Harris and Hernandez in the system. However, his great bat and solid glove will probably end up netting him a major league roster spot elsewhere.
7. Harold Green - Green was the Lancers' top draft pick last season, and he projects to be a similar pitcher to Ramirez: solid long reliever of back-of-the-rotation starter. He expects to make his major league debut in season 12.
8. Rico Delgado - Delgado was signed for $5 million out of Venezuela in season 8. He's a slow-footed power hitter who might just earn himself a starting job next season. Worst case scenario, he'll be the Lancers' first bat off the bench when he debuts in a year.
9. Pat Fischer - Fischer was the Lancers' top season 8 draft pick. Already age 24, he'll probably debut next season as a back-of-the-rotation starter due to the fact that he's got solid across-the-board ratings, but nothing spectacular.
10. Harry Lopez - Lopez signed an $8 million deal out of the Dominican Republic last season at the age of 19. While he converted only 25 of 34 save opportunities last year, he's still on track for a Lancers bullpen job in season 13.

Update on last year's top 10:

1. Damaso Moreno - Batted .258 with 34 HR last season, plus .429 in 28 post-season AB.
2. Pena - #1 prospect this season.
3. Pedro Santiago - Is making his major league debut this season as a setup man.
4. Ramirez - #5 prospect this season.
5. Hernandez - #3 prospect this season.
6. Geoff Holmes - Traded to the Juicers in the deal for White. Currently in AAA.
7. Sam Stewart - Came up last season to replace an injured player, and went 6-3 with a 4.70 ERA in 16 starts, plus 1-0 in 2 post-season starts.
8. Fischer - #9 prospect this season.
9. Lawrence Faulkner - Traded to the Juicers in the deal for White. Currently a setup man for the Juicers.
10. Denny Everett - Currently platooning for the Lancers in LF.

All-Time Franchise Wins Through Season 9

Rochester 977
Montgomery 876
Indianapolis 873
Colorado Springs 863

New Britain/Ottawa 851
Pawtucket 850
New York (NL) 818
Kansas City 818
Texas 817

Toronto/Fargo/Buffalo/Syracuse 781
Augusta 778
St. Louis 768

Anaheim/Honolulu 767
Albaquerque/Oklahoma City/Las Vegas/Vancouver 765
Baltimore 754

New Orleans/Santa Fe/Charlotte 742
Montreal 739
San Francisco/Los Angeles/Boise/Arizona/Boise/Anaheim/Las Vegas 703
Nashville/Louisville/Richmond 683
Cincinnati/San Juan/Boston/Chicago/Philadelphia 673
San Diego/San Juan/Helena 669
Milwaukee 655
Las Vegas/Tacoma/Tucson/Las Vegas/Salem/San Diego/Oklahoma City 652
Boise/Arizona/Oakland 640
Charleston/Tampa Bay/San Antonio/Jackson/Mexico City/Jackson 635
Richmond/Cleveland/Hartford/Trenton/Charleston 634
Chicago/Jacksonville/Cleveland 626
Cleveland/Columbus/Chicago/Philadelphia/Iowa City 623
Louisville/Santa Fe/Atlanta/Memphis/San Juan/San Antonio 621
Norfolk/Syracuse/Philadelphia/Wichita/Chicago 614
Madison/Scranton/Philadelphia/Madison/New York (AL) 566
Atlanta/Tampa Bay/Nashville/Little Rock 503

Friday, October 17, 2008


NL West Preview

Oakland Acorns

Oakland enters season 10 with a mission to put an end to the struggles that have plagued them for the last three seasons. Led by power hitting LF’er Ronnie Austin and newly acquired starting pitcher Eddie Bryant, the Acorns are poised to make a run at the weakest division in Alexander.

Oakland has some young players in AAA that are near ML ready, and could provide a boost to a struggling franchise if GM pengoman decides this is the season to bring them up.

Potential ML 3B

Potential ML 1B

Potential ML CF’er

Oklahoma City Knights
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Knights (NL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

OKC enters season 10 with new management. Knights fans are delighted that former Kansas University graduate rokchalkbaby finally retired, like most things Jayhawks touch, the franchise turned to shit under his management. Drthudd515 has promised the fans a more competitive effort this season, and with players like Tyler Monahan, Russell Yeager, Joaquin Espada, and Kyle Foster; the Knights have many of the tools to get the job done.

The youth in the Knights organization isn’t “thick”, but it does present some hope for the future.

ML Shortstop

Ozzie isn’t the best SS in the league, but he can hold his own in the top 10, and will be key to the success the Knights have this season at the prime age of 27.


Russell is one of the best 2Bman in Alexander at the youthful age of 25. He is the foundation for a team on the rebound… and rebuild.

Helena Loggers

The loggers saw one of their best seasons ever in season 9, only to be derailed by a very disappointing close to the season, where they lost a division lead that they owned for nearly 2/3 of the season. Rcf106 has shown confidence in his young team by making very few off season moves for season 10, he brought back the key components of his coaching staff, and is looking to build off last seasons successes.

What moves rcf106 did make should shore up a pitching staff that let that season 9 division lead slip away.

Starting Pitcher #1

Starting Pitcher #2

With returning stars Stan Rowand, Adam Gagne, and Tony De La Vega and with a couple very nice young players promoted to the big league level, Helena is primed to make a run once again at the division title.



All of these youngsters have division rivals scratching their heads. How can we stop Helena this season?

St. Louis Arch Angels

St. Louis
St. Louis Arch Angels (NL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

After 6 seasons of bad moves for a win now philosophy, St’ Louis GM evancavan learned what paying the price really means. St. Louis has a very thin minor league system, with only 1 prospect to brag about left; Augie Dorsey.

Without the chance to promote from within, evancavan focused on Free Agency and the trade market to get St. Louis ready for a tough battle. Norberto Manzanillo, Pedro Santos, George Fonda, Andy Woodall, Craig Strong, Will Prince, Buck Boyle, Bob Buckley, and Charlie Tatum were all added to the season 10 25-man roster. This is Change…. Can you believe in it? the only new acquisition in his 30’s is Manzanillo, so the Arch Angel fans are hoping they work out…. Because they are stuck with this squad for the foreseeable future.

After careful unbiased review, this humble correspondents prediction for the NL west is at best, flawed. But none the less….

St. Louis will win the division again in a tight battle that will come down to health and pitching. But the surprise for the Alexander world will be Helena… who will make the playoffs this season with a wildcard birth. The NL West will not be the doormat of past seasons.

St. Louis 99-63
Helena 98-64
Oakland 86-76

OKC 74-88

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Indianapolis Lancers Season 10 Preview

Once again, the Lancers went through a pretty slow and uneventful offseason. As most of their top players are in their prime, they probably won't need to make any huge moves for a couple of years.

Only a couple moves were made this offseason. C Rudy Aldridge signed a 5-year, $40.75 million contract extension to remain with the Lancers through season 14. SP David Lugo also was extended, inking a 5-year, $31.25 million deal to anchor the Lancers' pitching staff for the foreseeable future. 9 players were signed to 1-year deals through arbitration, while LF Michael Walker and RP Danny Alston saw their 9-year tenures with the Lancers franchise end. Only 2 new players will start the season on the Lancers' 25-man roster this season: RP Pedro Santiago and LF Denny Everett. The Lancers hope to repeat the success of the previous seasons with a solid season 10 lineup and pitching staff.

Montgomery Maulers Season 10

Not a lot of changes to the Maulers ML team. Hopefully that will get us back to the World Series.

Losses - Tyler Monahan is by far the biggest loss this year. Cesar Vizquel also is a big loss expecially considering he is the last player from my WS title in Season 1.

Additions - Wayne Hamilton looks to fill in for Monohan with Jose Perez helping out with Hamiltons durability issues. The other big move for the Maulers is Anthony Pritchett. Slotted to start at 2B maybe a year too early but should be a stud in the upcoming years.

Off Season Blitz - St. Louis

The St. Louis Arch Angels have been very aggressive in the off season, having made multiple personnel changes. Only 3 players from last seasons starting lineup remain... with competition being added for the SS spot. Spring training could see that number drop to 2 starting position players. (Clay Edwards, Pete Miles, and possibly Kirk Morris)

First base is potentially the weakest change with an anticipated platoon arangement:

Mark Kim
St. Louis
Arch Angels
Age: 27B/T: L/R
Born: Okinawa, JP
Position(s): 1B/LF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile


Will Prince
St. Louis
Arch Angels
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Odessa, TX
Position(s): 1B/LF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile


2nd Base sees newcomer:

George Fonda
St. Louis
Arch Angels
Age: 28B/T: R/R
Born: Monson, MA
Position(s): 2B/IF/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

He's a speedster with decent hitting skills, above average range and glove. Formerly a utility player, expect to see him in the lead off role for St. Louis this season.

At 3rd Base, St. Louis brought in a perinial all-star from the Free Agent ranks:

Norberto Manzanillo
St. Louis
Arch Angels
Age: 31B/T: R/R
Born: Cartagena, CO
Position(s): 3B/RF
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

St. Louis is expecting Norberto to add a leadership in the dugout that has been sorely lacking in the organization for the last 3 seasons.

At CF, St. Louis called on division rival, and long time trade partner, Oakland:

Pedro Santos
St. Louis
Arch Angels
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Las Vegas, NV
Position(s): CF/2B/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Pedro Santos has been an exceptional rightfielder during his career... he'll captain the outfield in center this season for the Arch Angels surrounded by the 2 returning stars Clay Edwards and Pete Miles. Santos is expected to fill the 2 spot in the lineup that has been upgraded for run production. St. Louis management feels his sub par offensive numbers are due to having very little support. And feels he'll excel in this lineup.

At Catcher, St. Louis has made a youth shift, bringing in 2 young players to split duties. Both are solid defensive catchers that have a very solid understanding of the game. These two rookies are going to be counted on to play beyond experience, and keep control of a historically eratic pitching staff.

Bob Buckley
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Hurley, MS
Position(s): C
View Hardball Dynasty Profile


Buck Boyle
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Fabens, TX
Position(s): C/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Neither is an offensive threat, but both have skills to make a difference from time to time. They are being brought in solely for defensive and game knowledge reasons.

St. Louis has also looked to the bench, and has brought in a nice role/utility player:

Andy is expected to back up 7 positions this season with his defensive skills.

This seasons newcomer to the rotation was brought in last season. Spent most of the year as a AAA player. St. Louis acquired him to be a relief specialist, but much like the RL counterpart in St. Louis, the Cardinals, the Arch Angels have a lack of quality depth of starting pitchers.... so this young man will be thrust into stardom as a #5 starter.

Torey Gonzales
St. Louis
Arch Angels
Age: 22B/T: S/R
Born: Moca, DO
Position(s): P (SP4)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Look for him to move back to the bullpen once the playoffs begin. With Charles Suzuki, Mo Levrault, and Don Darnell anchoring the playoff rotation.

Orber Ordaz remains the one starting pitcher without a definite role. St. Louis had attempted to trade him this season... but found little demand for him. Ultimately Eddie Bryant was the Starter that left town in a big trade involvng Pedro Santos. Ordaz is expected to eat up regular season innings, keep the bullpen fresh, and hopefully squeeze out 10-14 wins with a much improved offense behind him.

And as everyone knows, a team is only as good as it's coaching staff. St. Louis brought in Harry Belliard, a former coach from the glory days, and Sam Myers from juggernaut Pawtucket to help lead St. Louis back to thier contending days.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

zovakozi1 Interview

zovakozi1 is owner of the extremely successful Montgomery Maulers franchise in World Alexander. The Maulers were Alexander's first World Series winner. They have 6 playoff appearances in Alexander's first 8 seasons, and have never won less than 87 games. This year, they are 11 games up in the AL South and are battling two other teams for the one seed in the AL.

Q: How do you feel about your team's performance so far this year?

Pretty good. I expected somewhere around .600 ball but never expected to have a 10 game lead in the South.

Q: Who has underachieved and overachieved for you?

Yogi Lemon and Karim Martin have lead my team but I wouldn't call them overachievers. However, Alex Rivera and Felipe Johnson have been very disappointing. Maybe they will step it up in the playoffs.

Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a plan to fix those weaknesses?

I'd say offense is my strength and SP would be my weakness. No plans to improve but if I'm offered a solid ace pitcher I wouldn't turn it down.

Q: How does the long-term future of the Maulers look?

Again offensively I'm looking good. All players 32+ have a guy in the minors to replace them. SP is tough. I have a few decent guys but no #1's. I'm still trying to land some young arms.

Q: Who do you pick to get the one seed in the AL, and why?

That's tough. With Buffalo, Pawtucket, and me so close and I'm sure all of us are resting players just in case we don't get the first round bye. I'd say I'm at a disadvantage because I end the season playing my division (and all of them are .500+). So I'll pick Buffalo.

Q: Who do you pick to win it all this year, and why?

Well since the NL has won 7 straight WS I'll go with Indianapolis. I really like Rochester but til they beat Indy in the playoffs Indy will win it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

psanders84 Interview

Today we sit down with psanders84, one of the original owners in Alexander and longtime manager of the Colorado Springs Field Mice. The Field Mice have been one of Alexander's top teams since the world began, having won at least 89 games in each of the world's first 8 seasons, and having made 7 playoff appearances and one World Series appearance. This year, the Field Mice are 58-52, two games behind the Honolulu Tsunami in the NL West and a game ahead of the Vancouver City Slickers for the last wild card spot in the AL. Key to the Field Mice's success has been the continued dominance of 4-time All Star Placido Pena and the continued success of young RF Jorge Park.

Q: How do you feel about the season so far? Has your team exceeded your expectations or disappointed you?

I think we've made decent strides on the mound, with a solid starting rotation of Placido Pena, Carlos Franco, and Earl Webster. But on offense, we've been awful. I've never seen so many solo home runs and men left on base. With barely 30 games left, I don't have anyone with more than 72 RBIs or 73 runs.

Q: Who on your team has disappointed you, and who do you feel has been overperforming?

There's a long line of disappointments. Will Rolison muffed another shot at closer, but he's done decently well as a setup man. Pitcher Michael Connelly took a big step back this year. SS/CF Davey Murray and DH Mariano Mercado are having sophomore slumps, and CF Luke Lincoln lost his starting job because he can't hit the ball. At all.

For overperformers, Bingo Peterson has been a shock. He was happily enjoying his fifth year in AAA, a career minor leaguer earning a paycheck, until he got called up to the big club to cover for Mercado's injury. In about 150 ABs, he crushed 8 homers and hit .290. Not bad at all.

Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses? Do you plan on making any moves to eliminate those weaknesses?

Offense is my biggest weakness, but I don't think I have the horses in the minors to make any more moves. So I'll try to compensate with pitching and defense. Expect to see slick-fielding Aaron Toombs and Luke Lincoln at SS and CF for much of the year, despite their batting averages. And we'll try going to a four-man rotation when possible.

Q: How do you see the rest of the season shaking out? Do you think the Field Mice will hold on to make the playoffs after missing them for the first time last season?

I think we'll squeeze in, either as the No. 4 seed or as the No. 6 if we lose the division. Either way, I'd like to think we'll be a tough out in the first round.

Q: How does the long-term future of the Field Mice organization look? Is your future bright, or are you in a win-now-at-all-costs mentality? Do you have a specific plan? If so, what is it?

I have a lot of young guys in the lineup, but very expensive pitching. Pena's agent is demanding a four-year contract, but he's 36, so he's likely headed to free agency. I'm also losing the contracts of long-reliever Henry Anderson and minor league bust Roger Saipe, so I should have some cash to reload.

Q: Who do you pick to win it all in season 9? Why?

Buffalo. That team is built to win the postseason.

Monday, September 1, 2008

joshcarolina Interview

joshcarolina is an Alexander original and longtime owner of the New York BREAK YOUR BACKERS. After missing the playoffs in season 1, the BREAK YOUR BACKERS made the playoffs 6 straight years, but lost every single series. New York's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse recently, as they finished under .500 for the first time in season 8 and look to be headed there again this year. It's easy to see why: after 6 years of paying high-priced veterans to get them to the playoffs, it's rebuilding time in New York.

Q: How do you feel about your team's performance this season so far?

Though I hate to jinx them, their bats are finally starting to pick up and that has been the downfall of the last 2 seasons. I made some moves to get younger and more powerful last year with the additions of Edwards Walters and Calvin Smart, who are young but have slightly improved stats this year. Also, I made a move to get Fred Thomas because I had the room in salary and needed a backup infielder with the aging Randy Murphy close to retiring, and he has ended up the starter. I hadn't planned on returning Bonk Alexander, but after no one wanted him in free agency before the season, I decided to go ahead and sign him since I had a huge hole in the outfield and wasn't being rewarded with that type A free agent draft pick. My record may not look great this year but I am only 4 games out of the last wild card spot and my bats are finally warming up and we are ready to make a run!

Q: Who on your team do you think is underachieving or overachieving?

Well, Dean Brown I have always considered an underachiever, based on his ratings compared to his stats, but he is still a solid option at SS. Lonnie Milton has been a bust for me so far in right field along with outfielder Curt McEnroe, which I have 9 million a year between the two. As for overachievers, Bob McKnight, once a powerhouse pitcher in the league, is still holding his own at the age of 38 and rated a 56; it was a great buy for 1.08 mil for the year. Randy Murphy has been quite a surprise too at 37 years of age, still batting close to .300 after he was given up on by St. Louis a couple seasons ago while being one of the world's best hitters in batting average. As for teams, I think Honolulu, with the transactions they have made in the past couple years, I thought they would be a lot better so they are the underachievers. And for team overachievers, I am going to go with the Helena Loggers. They have had quite a turnaround which has really shaken up the National League and made it a lot more level of a playing field in the NL.

Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses, and how do you plan on fixing those weaknesses?

Definitely my strength is pitching, but that is declining, one more starter and I would have a top 5 pitching squad for many years to come. My bullpen has paid a price for getting younger, but I think it will all work out and we will be back in the playoffs before too long (if not this season). As for weaknesses, it would be lack of offense, which I sacrificed to get younger 2 or 3 seasons ago after not being able to advance past round 1 of the playoffs. I have some good young guys, I believe, that have developed nicely and should have some big careers here in New York; I'm just waiting for them to blossom. My outfield is my biggest concern and lack of offense from there. I think with the right guys here we can be a very strong competitor again, but not as good as division rival Rochester. I am bringing up David Valenzuela from AAA soon, so he should help, but besides that, my minors are full of minor league career guys, so that is another weakness, that I have no trade bait. I finally had a decent draft, my first one ever, so I did get a couple pitchers that possibly could see the bigs, but I have had to move them up a little fast due to injuries.

Q: How does the future of the BREAK YOUR BACKERS look? Are you still in win-now-at-all-costs mode or is the future bright?

I like to keep my team always competitive so I am always in a win-now mode, I have hit a bump by getting younger but I see my team definitely getting better if anything. I will drop some salary in the outfield in the offseason so hopefully thats when I will make my move and grab the couple players I need. The minors don't look promising but I am young enough to improve that in free agency, draft, and the international market, so I think I will have it figured out by the time this team is time to retire!

Q: Who do you pick to win it all this year, and why?

That's a great question, I like Rochester's talent, but they have trouble against Indy, so I am going to go a different direction and say a team from the American League will win this year and the Buffalo Blue will bring it home for the AL. They have been solid in ML and AAA the past couple years so I would say they are deep enough but it wouldn't surprise me to see Pawtucket or Colorado Springs be there either!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

gdfan Interview

gdfan is manager of another one of Alexander's most successful franchises, the Pawtucket Patriots. Another original owner, gdfan has guided the Patriots to 7 playoff appearances, including a World Series appearance. The Patriots are the 5-time defending AL East champions, and with a 6-game lead on the Vampires, they look to repeat.

Q: How are you feeling about your team's performance so far this season?

Tough to be disappointed playing .650+ baseball. I only wonder how good this team would have been if Orlando Perez did not have a season ending(career changing) injury. While his replacements, Luis DeLeon and Neil Taylor, have been adequate defensively, the .270 OBP really hurts.

Q: Who on your team has been underachieving, and who has been overachieving?

Alfonso Borges, CF, has been the biggest underachiever on the team. After winning the AAA MVP, and the silver slugger last season in AAA, I expected much more from him offensively.

Catcher Mark Bell, a career .320 hitter, is batting .386. I guess he is the closest to an overachiever on this team. Hard to believe I try to trade him every season with no takers.

Q: What do you think your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses are? Have you made or do you plan on making any moves to alleviate those weaknesses?

The strength of the team is pitching and defense. We rank first in both categories. 5 very good starters and a very deep bullpen is the key to the team's success. Having Gold Glove-caliber fielders in the IF and CF makes the pitching even better.

The biggest weakness this season is the bench. The biggest factor was the injury to Perez. Now I have a great role player the last few seasons(Taylor) starting half the games. It really hurts when resting a starter. The bottom third of the order has a hard time getting on base.

There are some bats in the minors that will be called up for the stretch run.

Q: How does the Patriots' long-term future look? Is the future bright or are you in win-now-and-sacrifice-the-future mode?

The future looks great. Felix Duran, 3B, 32, and Mark Bell, 28, are the only starters over 27. The 4 top starters are 29, 28, 27 and 25. The minor league system has a quality prospect at every position.

We will continue to try and win now by trading prospects and signing type A FA. We will also look to the future by finding quality late in the draft.

Q: Who do you pick to win the AL this year, and why?

Well, if pitching and defense win championships I pick the Patriots. However, in HBD that isn't the case. The Montgomery Maulers have a great offense, so they are my pick.

Q: Who do you pick to win it all this year, and why?

I'll go out on a limb and pick Rochester. That is as good a team from top to bottom that you will find in all the worlds of HBD.