Archive for September 2011

Wednesday Wrap – 9/28/11

Every Wednesday I’ll post ten pieces of news, opinion, or stat to keep our blog active.  If someone else would like to choose another day to write a weekly piece, it would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.  Unless that other piece is from Steve then we want two pieces.  He started writing and we got 50,000 spam comments about erectile dysfunction medication.  I’m not saying they are related, but I’m just sayin’.  On with the Wrap…

1.  St. Louis will not win the World Series… again!

What’s that? St. Louis doesn’t have a team anymore.  If sabres cannot win in Scottsdale this season, he will continue his tour of the letter S in Salt Lake City next season.  Seriously, without Roscoe Kramer for most of the season, Scottsdale is still going to compete for the division title and will be a factor come playoff time.

2. Luther Aldred not getting into the Hall of Fame is a joke

The first hitter to get 3,000 hits isn’t in the Hall of Fame? He doesn’t have the eye popping numbers like 600 homers, but let me school you all on Aldred.  Caeer leader in doubles with 681.  Closest active player is free agent Blake Staley who is nearly 200 away.  This record will not be touched for a long time if ever.  Career hits leader with 3,031 and the only player with more than 3,000.  Alfonso Cruz is 153 hits behind him and declining rapidly.  I think Cruz will pass him because Nashville will probably keep playing him until he does, but from my experience in playing Ugueth Moya at that stage in his career, it is easier said than done.  Aldred has that illustrious foursome in baseball: 3000 hits, 300 homeruns, 1500 runs, 1500 RBI.  If he were a real player, the only other names on that list would be Kaline, Palmeiro, Winfield, Brett, Ripken, Murray, Mays, Yastrzemski, Musial, and Aaron.  No one else in the Big Sky has done it and only one other active player seemingly has a shot (the aforementioned Cruz). In terms of meaningless stats, Aldred is the career leader in games played, at bats, sacrifice flies, assists for 3B, and double plays at 3B.  But the real reason Aldred should be memorialized is that even though he epitomized what baseball is about.  He played the first 20 season in this world for the same franchise.  Who on your team do you still expect to be on your ML team 20 season from now? In real life, he honor players in baseball who have endurance, who stick with the same franchise and do not bolt for bigger money, who played in the field and at the plate, who won the big games, who have moments that are immortalized in history.  Aldred has all that and should be able to say he is a Hall of Famer too.

3. Ugueth Moya, retire already so I can hire you as my fielding coach

Seriously, why does HBD allow great players to linger in the minor leagues or free agent lists forever? Not every player is Rickey Henderson and wanting to make a comeback to they are 50.  There is a trick to get them to retire early if you don’t know it.  I forgot to do it with Moya last season so he is still around.  Cut them right before the end of the season.  If older players like that are free agents when the season ends, they will retire before the next season.  Remember that when you’re ready for some of the all time greats on your roster to retire. 

4.  Tampa Bay is the odds on favorite to win the World Series

Predicting World Series winners is next to impossible with the playoffs being so easy to lose in short series, but I always go with pitching because pitching is the surest bet in the playoffs.  I think some of their position players are overrated (in terms of their overall ratings), but they have no real holes now that Gene Cain is not playing SS any more.  Their top 3 pitchers rival anyone in the BSA and that’s what matters come playoff time.  I think adding a relief pitcher would benefit them, but as the teams are now, Vegas has them as the odds on favorite to win it all.

5. Fernando Neruda is ridiculous

There are many reasons I could say that, but at age 34, he is still not declining.  Now that I’ve said that, he’ll probably get his arm ripped off by a badger and never play again, but he has at least 4 more seasons of quality starting left even if he enters his decline.  With his makeup, I think he’ll decline rapidly, but he is going to get 300 wins easily.  I’m debating if 350 wins isn’t possible and 4500 strikeouts is almost a lock.

6.  Jacob Schmidt may be the next all time great player in the BSA

Let’s face it, we all love young prospects.  We look at what our projections tell us they could be, and we value those numbers over every other number in the game.  We nurture those players so they get as close to those numbers as possible.  And because of that, we rarely find a player who breaks in at such a young age that he has a chance to put up ridiculous single season numbers and play long enough to rack up all time leader type numbers.  Jacob Schmidt is that player.  At 22, he has progressed near his projections already.  He has all the key numbers you need with his only perceivable “weakness” being his eye.  He will win an MVP award.  He will average between 30 to 45 homers per season.  He’ll hit over .300.  He’ll be the complete package and with his high health rating helping him stay off the DL, he may have what it takes to become the greatest 2B in BSA history and one of the greats of all time.

7. Do you know who Rob Sanders is?

Probably not.  But he has more pinch hits than anyone all time.  He is the Jon Vander Wal of the BSA.  He can’t play everyday and he can’t field really anywhere, but in only 5 season in New Orleans he is the best pinch hitter ever in the BSA.  He’s quite a weapon off the bench and it’ll be interesting to see if more people come to know who he is because of him being called on to hit in clutch situations for an up and coming New Orleans team.

8.  What team is going to surprise everyone this year?

Not Toledo.  We’ll be better than the last 2 seasons after some more callups, but we’re no where near being anything.  Evan is will pissed at me for saying it, but I think Kansas City is back.  After years of being in the middle of the pack after always being in the playoff mix in the early years of the BSA, they came within 2 games of winning an average AL South last year.  Now with a full season of Toby Darnell and acquiring a few big veteran arms in Jason Sierra and Domingo Sosa and making a quiet signing of Claude Herndon to be a big power bat in the middle of the order, Kansas City has a balance of young players and proven veterans to start winning the South again.  It’s not like El Paso is ever going to be a championship club, so KC is ripe to get back into the AL playoff picture again.

9.  What team is going to surprise everyone by NOT being good this year?

This may sound crazy after a great season 20, but the Los Angeles Freaks.  In season 17, the last time the won their division and only time they won 100 games, they fell back to 85 wins and then 82 wins over the next 2 seasons.  With the bounce back to 97 wins in season 20, I think they are ripe to bounce back to the mid 80s in wins again.  I don’t think they have the consistent top of the rotation starters to be a 95 plus win team.  They could easily prove me wrong, but I think Sacramento is not going to have the dismal early season they had last season that gave LA its huge lead to begin with.  Back to 2nd place for LA.

10.  In real life, I’m really routing for the Braves tonight because the Cardinals blow

More specifically, Tony Larussa blows.  The upside to the Cards winning would be that no one would have to listen to Larussa whine.  The only way I would want Dusty Baker to continue as the Reds manager is if he jabs his toothpick into Larussa’s eyeball.   You can’t convince me that Larussa wasn’t double fisting needles into Canseco and McGwire in Oakland, which was essentially the petry dish for baseball’s steroid problem.  That’s right, I just made up a conspiracy theory that Tony Larussa is to blame for steroids in baseball.  And in spite of the fact that I have no evidence, you are thinking it could be true right now.  Why? Because Tony Larussa is that big of a tool.  Sorry shooter, you know it’s true.

Season 21 Hall of Fame Voting Suggestions

Coming off season 20 where we voted in 4 players, the BSA stands to become the most successful world when it comes to voting players into the Hall of Fame.  I would like to encourage all of you to be sure to vote for 5 players.  There are many worthy players.  I could make a case for at least a dozen.  The goal here is that a majority of us agree on 5 players and vote them in to continue to get players in who deserve it.  For those new to the league, the veterans owners appreciate your diligence and support in voting in the players that built this world.  Without further ado, here are my 5 initial recommendations for the Hall of Fame in season 21.

1. Luther Aldred

Last season, Luther became the first player to get 3000 hits in BSA history.  While All time great Alfonzo Cruz should pass his hit record this year, Aldred deserves to be remembered among the greats.  Baseball has always awarded longevity, and Luther Aldred is the HBD definition of longevity.  He should be a first ballot no brainer for everyone.

2. Ivan Mantalban

602 homers puts him in the top 5.  600 hundred homers is an automatic qualifier for Cooperstown in real life barring steroids rumors, so it should definitely be an automatic bid for us as well.

3. Brendan Towers

Hank would roll over in his non-existent grave if he knew I had to convince all of you to vote for Brendan Towers.  I get it, he doesn’t have a big win total and his other numbers are not dominant.  But if we are looking at the eras of the Big Sky Alumni, the early era of this world, the foundation it was laid on, was the juggernaut Boston dynasty.  They are the only true championship dynasty in this world.  Alex Yamamoto defined that team at the plate, but Brendan Towers was the heart and soul.  They utilized a 6 man rotation and so Towers missed out on a few starts he would have received in other places.  This is a legacy vote.  The Hall of Fame cannot be just about numbers.  It has to be about celebrating the game.  You can’t do that if you don’t recognize the early era of this world; this vote does that.  When we had a blog Hall of Fame before WIS introduced this feature, Brendan Towers was the first player we voted in.  Let’s get this guy in officially before they fix this and we don’t have the chance any more.

4. Hugh Bukvich

Before Toledo decided to redefine the word “sucks”, they were a staple in the BSA elite.  10 straight division titles.  13 playoff appearances in 15 seasons.  A few of the greats played on that squad during that time, but Hugh Bukvich was a key.  Among the top 10 in career wins, Buckvich also was amazing in the playoffs for the Black Sheep during their championships runs in seasons 11 and 14.

5. Shane Dean

There are many players on the voting list that I could build an argument for in this 5th spot.  But I think Shane Dean is worthy of being remembered as one of the greatest starting pitchers in BSA history.  While playing in a historically competitive division and being in the AL his whole career didn’t help his ERA, he was among the first pitchers to get to 200 wins and will always be remembered as perhaps the key ingredient to David (Kansas City) slaying Goliath (Boston) in season 4, which for those of us who have been in this world from the beginning will always stand as the most significant historical event in this world.

All Time Leaders

Hits
1. Luther Aldred 3031
2. Alfonzo Cruz 3004
3. Ugueth Moya 2830
4. Orlando Lee 2736
5. Alan Vickers 2643

Home Runs
1. Alfonzo Cruz 811
2. Dan Thompson 749
3. Ugueth Moya 686
4. Jerome Duran 633
5. Ivan Mantalban 602

OPS
1. Rusty Laker 1.021
2. Dan Thompson 1.020
3. Ugueth Moya .989
4. Matty Bennet .984
5. Emil Wilkinson .975

Wins
1. Fernando Neruda 352
2. Geronimo Flores 310
3. Esteban Cubillan 275
4. Frank Dehart 263
5. Shawn Radlosky 257

Strikeouts
1. Fernando Neruda 5038
2. Geronimo Flores 3866
3. Frank Dehart 3356
4. Esteban Cubillan 2955
5. Shawn Radlosky 2871

Saves
1. Jesus Torrealba 694
2. Hal Wagner 636
3. Charles Hall 575
4. Cole Alexander 488
5. Augie Martin 478