Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comish's Predictions - NL West

1st - Puerto Cabellas Pandas
2nd - Lancaster Pretty Ladies
3rd - North Valley Bears
4th - Shamokin Miners

And finally the NL West. Despite the poor start I continue to like the Panda's here.  All through the draft I thought Brad's team was one of the best and I still feel it's top 5 and a threat to win it all.  The lineup versus right handed pitching is quite good and I think Buster Posey will work out in the end, a top-10 type of catcher.  The heart of the order is Tip O'Neill, George Brett, and Babe Herman.  O'neill the best of the bunch, even though he lost 20 points in batting average with the new era.  Sam Thompson is a heck of a player in the 6th spot and getting back to the top Cal McVey and Phil Cavaretta can work at the top of lineup.  I am a bit worried about McVey against righties, Brad will have to monitor it.  He chose to employ a 4-man rotation to start the season with the great Babe Adams leading the way.  Bill Swift (1935) is a questionable #2 starter (500 resim trap?) but Jason Schmidt and Spud Chandler are above average at 3/4.  The bullpen may be the best in the game - Cla Meredith, BJ Ryan, Steve Reed along with the new Aroldis Chapman.  Nice team.

Ted K drafted 11 straight batters and it may have worked.  I have them a step behind the Ladies but they can make a run.  It may be the names (as opposed to the quality) but I like this team and find myself rooting for them.  Eddie Collins, Hous Wagner, and Yaz lead off.  How great is that for classic ballplayers.  Elsewhere there are Home Run Baker, Rocky Colavito, Cy Seymour and Lance Berkman (ok Berkman doesn't fit in).  And in a nod to Ted's love, there's quality Negro Leaguer's Edgar Wesley and Biz Mackey.  Of course when you avoid drafting pitchers it will show in the rotation.  Ted could have done a lot worse than Bobby Shantz, Reb Russell, Vern Law and Red Faber, but it's still a liability.  And he'll have to get creative with the pen - some good names in Darren Holmes, Mark Eichhorn, and Buddy Groom but things get thin quickly.

I have TJ's Bears are roughly equal to the Pretty Ladies.  I don't understand Roger Clemens at #1 (resim trap) but Harry Brecheen is a quality arm at 2.  Whit Wyatt, CC Sabathia, and Ed Reuelbach will likely struggle however and I think Vean Gregg will be in the rotation come June.  Keith Foulke and Jim Brewer are above average closers and Huston Street is solid against righties in the setup role.  The offense is headlined by Negro Leaguer Willie Wells, who some think (including me) is the best shortstop in the game.  He bats third in front of Pete Browning and Ken Williams, a solid top of the order.  Ryan Howard and Mike Schmidt will hit for power at 5 & 6, but each may have a sub .300 OBP which is problematic.  The last three of Red Schoendienst, Vlad, and Napoli are run of the mill. If the rotation proves to be reliable TJ can certainly make the playoffs.

This was a tough division to call.  The Miners have quality players as well and realistically have a good shot at the playoffs too.  Arky Vaughan, Jeff Bagwell, and Jim Thome are quality bats while Reggie Smith, Dick Allen, and Willie Mays have each had good years in the past.  It's a shame Yogi Berra doesn't fair better in DMB.  The pen has some above average arms in Damaso Marte and Troy Percival, but they are 2nd tier setup men in a great pen.  They have to play above average to really help the Miners go far.  Joe Sambito is solid too.  I fear Fergie Jenkins is miscast as an ace but Noodles Hahn is a fine #2.  It will be interesting to see how Catfish and Jack Chesbro handle themselves in a 4-man rotation.  I think they'll have to do much better than I anticipate for Shamokin to advance.  Frankly, they have the best logo in the game anyway, everything else is gravy.

My NL Playoff Picture
- Shadows in the East
- Beaters in the Central with best record in the NL
- Pandas in the west
- Wild Card goes to the Ladies in an upset; DC gets shut out.

Keep the predictathon entries coming in.  I will only post on Sunday, not fair to show others entries at this point.

Sim 1B Complete

Comish's Predictions - NL Central

1st – Spanish Harlem Pinata Beaters
2nd – Otherton Fishbiscuits
3rd – Leesburg Snowhole
4th – Niagara Frontier Blackbirds

My love for Oscar Charleston may be clouding my judgment here, but the Pinata Beaters sure seem the team to beat, not only in the NL Central, but across the National League and even across ATB (reverse jinx in effect, or does me announcing it cancel it out?).  Their lineup is stacked from top to bottom: Jesse Burkett, the King, Charleston, and a very underrated John Olerud lead things off.  Then a well above average second basemen in Cupid Childs, Pronk, and a good OBP guy Wade Boggs follow up before things finally peter out with Ross Youngs and Ozzie Smith.  And of course Smith is not there for his offense.  The bullpen is top-notch.  Mike Jackson and Hong Chi Kuo will share setup and reliever duties, while Neftali Feliz and newcomer Jake McGee back them up.  If McGee is for real, this is a top-3 bullpen.  The only complaint is the rotation.  7 times out of 10 Jesse Tannehill has a good year, but sometimes he just spits the bit and pops a 4.50 ERA.  He's ideally suited as a high end #2 starter but with that good of an offense, you simply can't have a great pitching staff too.  John Tudor and Ed Siever are fine 2nd and 3rd starters while Monty Stratton and especially Arthur Henderson (New Negro Leaguer) are question marks.  I think the only way Justin loses the division is if Tannehill fails.

Brian's Biscuits may win 90 or 70, I don't think there is much in between.  The lineup is simply awful, and may even struggle to score 600 runs in the beehive.  Not to list names again, but do a starting 9 of Ken Singleton, Paul Waner, Eddie Mathews, Bill Terry, Lenny Dykstra, Fred Clarke, Miller Huggins, Darrel Porter, and Dave Bancroft scare you? No.  However, they play excellent defense and with Pedro and Bill Bernhard highlighting he rotation the team should win games.  Juan Marichal is hit or miss but look for a good ERA this time around from the 3rd starter and perhaps the fortunes of the club rest with Danny Darwin.  In limited duties in the resims Darwin looked great.  Brian jumped on him late and inserted him as the 4th man in a 4 man rotation.  If Darwin holds his own, look out.  The Biscuit pen is good but not elite.  Dick Hall and Bill Henry are the best the team has to offer, with Ferdie Schupp and Ray Narleski 3rd and 4th options.

Park effects aside, I think Snowhole has the best 1st through 3rd starters in the game.  Ace Nip Winters is followed by Addie Joss and Justin Verlander.  One can't wish for much more than that.  Deacon Phillippe is a good #4 and with Claude Hendrix at #5 set to Skip, this team should be fine.  An aside:  One amazing thing I noticed this year, the 6 division alignment has resulted in 5 less off days throughout the season.  Previously it took until October 4th or 5th to complete the regular season, but this year we're done by September 29th.  Those skips will not get as much use as in years past.  By years-end Jay will likely have his manager tendencies set to ride the starting pitchers.   Tom Gordon is fine, but John Wetteland, Bill Risely, and Jim Kaat are suspect in the bullpen.  Their game 1, twelve-run outburst aside, this team will likely struggle to score runs.  I love Norm Cash in the three hole, and I can live with Hank Aaron batting 4th (OBP will be terrible), but I am not sure Mike Trout is ready for prime time in ATB.  He leads off for Leesburg, with the question being for how long.  Ed Rile bats 5th and had a huge opening night, if his is legit it will go a long way towards helping this team make the post-season. 

I am fairly certain the rotation will be the downfall of the Blackbirds.  Mort Cooper is the defacto ace and I am certain Greg knew going in he wasn't a true ace.  That's fine, he went offense first in the draft and that worked well.  Eddie Cicotte at #2 may best cast in a #4 role, but again, he is a proven commodity and will be about average.  Nels Potter is the #3 and he's never been thrust into a starting role (that I can recall) in ATB before.  The 500 resims liked him but I am extremely hesitant he's the real deal.  At 4 and 5 are the infamous Lady Baldwin and Ben Sanders.  I don't know how a 1st year owner would know this, so Greg can't be faulted, but these two are the poster children for the 1800s reset from last year.  To remind everyone, these used to be ATB aces until I realized they were entered in the game incorrectly and as a result, their profiles where reset.  They turned awful since the reset.  I don't recall if the 500 resims showed improvement or Greg used the player cards and got hosed.  Either way, this is a rotation full of question marks.  I really like the lineup though.  Tommy Tucker, Wilile Keeler and Nap Lajoie start things off.  Great stuff.  They are followed by Mel Ott, Josh Gibson, Duke Snider, and Ducky Medwick.  More great stuff.  As we have seen with every team the bottom third struggles and here is no different - Robin Ventura and Nomar should be you average bad hitting 8th and 9th place hitter.

I think the Beaters run away with the division but any of the three remaining teams can challenge for the wild card with the right breaks.  In the case of the Blackbirds, they need several breaks in the rotation which is why I have them 4th.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sim 1A Complete

"Play Ball!"

Day 1 Complete.  All stats are being loaded and placed under League Results, linked on the right.

My predictions are trashed.  Case in point - Sandy Koufax.  CG, 6 H, 1 BB, 12 K, and a W

Tormund Giantsbane Takes Over Wildlings; Immediately Calls Out Hoplites For Being Soft

This Just in From The Wall (sent by Raven):
After a weak preseason performance by the Wildlings they have removed Larry Bowa as manager and replaced him with Tormund Giantsbane.  Tormund has little familiarity with baseball, but after a trial by combat where Bowa yielded meekly, Tormund took control of the clubhouse and immediately declared war on the Sparta Hoplites, "King Leonidas?! YAR! That's a laugh.  He and his kith and kin are no match for my free folk.  We run free, hit free, speak free and pitch free.  His boy-loving excuses for warriors have no hope against us!"  When tossed a baseball and asked to throw it, Tormund simply bit half of it off and said, "Tastes like winning!"  Finally, in response to preseason polls that have the wildings behind the Spartans, he simply said, "Lion-me-please would like that wouldn't he? Yar!" 
Owner Joe V when asked for comment simply said, "Wildlings are hard to control.  Tormund keeps them in as much control as possible, but up here on thw Wall we believe that type of aggressiveness will lead us to victory.  I have all the respect in the world for Mr. Bowa and wish him well in his new role with our organization." Bowa was reassigned to a position in maintenance, labeled Chamber Pot Castellan.  The Wildings open their season in a few days and will have a giant feast the night before the opener.  No players were allowed to comment on this transaction, per club policy. 

Thanks Joe V for submitting this!

Comish's Predictions - NL East

It's a 3 horse race in the NL East:

1st - Brighton Shadows
2nd - DC Chips
3rd - Helena Handbasket
4th - Detroit Tigers

In my humble opinion, the Brighton Shadows are the team to beat in the NL East.  The roster is headlined by Gehrig, Junior Griffey, Pete Hill, Buck Leonard in the field; Bruce Sutter, Rafael Soriano, and Grame Lloyd in the pen; and Joe Wood, Danny Haren, and Dizzy Dean in the rotation.  The lineup should be fine, especially with solid role players in Ben Zobrist and Pete Reiser (even catcher Darren Daulton can hit some) but this team will live and die by the rotation.  It lacks elite talent and while I have seen first-hand how good Haren can be, I've also seen him struggle to crack a 4.50 ERA.  Cliff Lee and Silver King round out the rotation, and they are about as good as any other 4/5 according to the resims. 

The DC Chips are an overall solid team from top to bottom.  No single area stands out with a glaring hole, and at the same time, no single area stands out as an asset.  What I found most interesting is how Steve will handle his bullpen.  The pioneer of the "All Relievers, All the Time" methodology, Steve has historically had the likes of Mariano Rivera, Gabe White, the great version of Joe Neale, or the amazing version of Frank Killen, to work with. His top relievers would get 150 or more innings every year.   This season it appears other owners learned and jumped on the elite relievers before Steve had a chance himself.  Instead of Mo, the Chips will try and abuse Tug McGraw and Rob Murphy, great relievers, but not elite ones.  The offense will be fine – Deacon White, Barnes, Cristobal, Bill Joyce, Frank Robinson, Ben Taylor, Sheree Magee, and Pop Lloyd – all good ballplayers one can work with.  The rotation rides on the left arm of Bob Ojeda.  He was great in each of the last two seasons with DC, but the 500 resims told a much different story.  If the Chips can continue to work their magic with Ojeda this team will be fine; if not then the rest of the rotation (Javy Vazquez, Atlee Hammacker, Randy Jones, and Jim Merrit) aren't good enough to make up the difference.

Any of the top 3 teams can win this division.  Sure I like the Chips and Shadows a bit more then Helena Handbasket but do I like them enough to place a meaningful wager?  No, I think not.  Helena could easily win this division behind a solid middle of the order of Lou Boudreau (2nd), Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, Adrian Beltre and to a lesser extent Larry Doby.  McCovey actually platoons here with Ralph Kiner, a great combination.  The rotation is better than first glance.  Russ Ford is a legit #2 starter (1.20 resim WHIP) cast in an ace role, but Derek Lowe, Hank Aguirre, Bob Feller, and Dolf Luque will likely combine to make an above average 2nd through 4th starter combination.  The bullpen is anchored by the always good Jeff Zimmerman, and Octavio Dotel and Chris Hammond simmed extremely well

The Detroit Tigers are run by rookie owner Bill N and I think the team will struggle, just like 90% of all other first year owners.  ATB can be very complicated, especially if not utilizing the 500 resims a great deal.  Rogers Hornsby and Hugh Duffy are fine building blocks as the first two picks but Sandy Koufax as a team ace in the 4th round is a lot to overcome.  Koufax was awesome for the Dodgers of course, but DMB has historically  made him into a 5th starter.  The 500 resims showed him better than usual, maybe they can catch lightning in a bottle.  Rounding out the rotation is Satchel Paige, Bob Gibson, Ed Walsh, and Luis Tiant.  Again, all great real life names but each comes with warning signs in ATB.  The rest of the lineup has some pluses (Al Simmons, Billy Williams, Carlos Delgado) and question marks (Ivan Rodriguez at 7 for instance) but should play somewhere around average.  The pen is led by Armando Benetiz, Arthur Rhodes, and  Trevor Hoffman – all solid.  Overall, a good effort from Bill – he just fell into the same trap so many other first year owners have encountered, loving real life baseball history.

Stock Up, Stock Down

I did some analysis and overall in this years draft, owners selected players roughly 1/2 a round earlier than last year.  It works out be an average of 13 slots sooner in the draft.  That didn't seem right to me so I looked a bit more closely.

Turns out we really had two drafts within one.

Here is the data sliced by rounds.  A positive number means the pick was made later than last year, a negative number is early than last year.

Rd 1-3::  +3.3 Picks (about 1/8 of a round later than last year)
Rd 4-8::  +28.7 Slots (about 1.2 rounds later than last year)
Rd 9-14:: +35.7 slots (about 1.5 rounds later than last year)
Rd 15-19: -39.3 slots (about 1.6 rounds earlier than last year)
Rd 20-28: -93.1 slots (about 3.9 rounds earlier than last year)

Spot the change in sign?

Earlier in the draft when new high valued talent (Negro Leaguers) were available, the average pick was made 1 or 2 rounds later than last year.  For example last year Billy Hamilton was taken at 49th overall, and this year at 84th.  This seems reasonable, for every Oscar Charleston, Nip Winters, Heavy Johnson, etc., taken this means an former ATB great was bumped down in the draft.

Then, at about halfway through the draft, it reversed.  Suddenly, players usually taken much later where coming off the board in Rd 15.  This too makes sense, I certainly missed out on many players I originally targeted for the late rounds.

I think that owners realized everyone was drafting so well, and a result they they had better not wait on a late round sleeper.  If there was a player one wanted, better grab him now than miss out on him altogether.  This process fueled itself, and as more late rounders were drafted early, the more "panic" set in, and as a result even more players were selected earlier than last year.

There is nothing groundbreaking here; much talk on the board alluded to this very thing.  But it is nice to see the numbers match the intuition.

Below are the players selected much earlier or much later than last year:

I understand why Ellsbury dropped, but is Monty Stratton really that bad?   He may be the pick of the draft.

Saberhagen a 500 resim trap?

Exhibition Analysis

This bit of exhibition analysis comes from Steve, owner of the DC Chips.  On a personal note, any time ATB impacts work time I smile...


Ok, I've got a client meeting later this morning but work can wait….Your predictions prompted this little two-part test.

First, I took a look at the two leagues by comparing the final exhibition records.  I'd rather have analyzed run differential but it looks like the exhibition stats are down.  With the obvious caveat of small sample size and teams were still a work in progress, here's what jumps out:

- The seven best records are all NL teams (Justin, Steve, Brad, Dave K, Joe T, Greg M, Mike M)
- Of the five best records, three are in the NL East
- Only four AL teams had winning records:  Allen (13-12), Joe V (12-11), Matt B (13-12), and Mike S (12-11)
- No AL team was better than just a single game above .500
- Of the four AL winning records, three are in the East and one is in the Central
- No AL West team had a winning record
- Of the nine worst records, seven are AL teams  

Second, prompted by your thought that the AL Central might be the strongest division, I computed the W-L records for each division.  Results are below, with usual caveats, and expressed in terms of winning percentage to account for unequal number of games:

1 - .611 - NL East (52-33)
2 - .553 - NL Central (52-42)
3 - .543 - AL East (44-37)
4 - .526 - NL West (50-45)
5 - .413 - AL Central (39-53)
6 - .402 - AL West (35-52)

Oh brother, I'm having bad ATB flashbacks to last year.  Will be interesting to look back at the end of the season.


Thanks Steve for the analysis, it is certainly damning.  The one thing I would like to point out is most of exhibitions featured horrendous lineups generated.  Perhaps I am convincing myself of this because I was under .500, but when my set-up man Jeff Gray gets a few starts then something is amiss.  Even my #1 draft choice Turkey Stearnes was being pinch hit for late in games.  Then again, maybe I should panic if the AI thinks so poorly of my draft.

Comish's Prediction - AL West

The AL West is the most difficult division to predict, in part because of the volatility of the parks.  Many players across the teams aren't top-end players, but when you put a home run hitter with a low OBP in a park that inflates the long ball by 300% the results are outside my limits of comprehension.  Still, here's a stab:

1st - Rusty Kuntz Traveling All Stars
2nd - Colorado Green Sox
3rd - John McDonald Fanclub
4th - Rochester Beau Brummels

The strength of the All Stars may be their pitching.  With Walter Johnson and Tex Hughson at the top of the rotation and Joe Nation, JJ Putz, and Bryan Harvey at the back end - this is at least top 10 material.  Juan Padron is a question mark at 3rd starter, but Cy Young and Ron Guidry a perfectly cast as 4th and 5th starters.  The balance of the pen is littered with above average arms too - Derek Liliquist, Aaron Fultz, Sergio Romo, Mike Adams, and Steve Ontiveros.  Top top bottom, this may be the best pen in the game, we'll have to see - their certainly isn't an holes.  On the face of it the lineup is adequate and nothing more.  However, if you put Willie Stargell, Reggie Jackson, Joe D, and Roger Maris in the Baker Bowl good things can happen.  I think they win Division by 3 or more games.

I think of the Fanclub as the opposite All Stars, even if they had the same draft strategy - sluggers in a slugging park.  They have a more bruising lineup but a questionable rotation and bar none, Fanclub has the best back end of the bullpen in the game with Gabe White and Dennis Eckerlsey.  It's a bit thin after, hopefully it won't matter with two stud arms.  Mike Mussina, Jimmy Key, Wait Hoyt, And Pettitte, and Paul Derringer make up the rotation.  That's thin, magnified in the Polo Grounds (and I can't say that I know who Derringer is).  The Polo Grounds do suppress singles, doubles, and triples by 30% so I am guessing the idea was to help the pitching by improving WHIP.  However, I don't recall that the 5 starters where particularly good at preventing home runs so it will be interesting to see what happens in a park that inflates homers by 260%. On offense two good table setters in Hughie Jennings and Roy Thomas are followed by Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Albert Bell, and Ed Swartwood.  Even the back end is respectable with Chase Utley, Jorge Posada, and Ezra Sutton.  This is a good team.

I don't know what happened to the Green Sox, their an enigma. Their draft started with Babe Ruth, Jason Giambi, Harvey Haddix,  Jim Gentile, and soon after Takaisi Saito.  Very nice, excellent even.  But soon sprinkled into key roles were Mark Fidrych and Brett Boone.  Let me take some of that back, in Coors Field a lineup of Bullet Rogan, Oyster Burns, Ruth, Gentile, George Foster, Giambi (batting 6th!), Monte Ward, Bret Boone, and Mike Scioscia is more than good enough to win with.  However, is a rotation with Jose Rijo, Dick Ellsworth, Fidrych good enough?  I am thinking yes, and this a third team that can win the division with the right breaks.  The pen is relatively weak and while I like the talent of Steve Mingori and Al Hrabosky (too aid Saito) and don't like them so much in Coors Field.

A 4th place ranking for the Beau Brummels is odd because I really like this team.  They don't have the offensive horses to run with the rest of the division but George Sisler, Sam Jethroe Fred Dunlap, and Luis Gonzalez make up a good top of the lineup.  The pitching will be a problem.  I want Christy Mathewson to be great, same with Pete Alexander and Hal Newhouser.  These are all superior MLB pitchers but historically have not translated well to ATB.  Their #5 Ben Sheets may have the best ERA out of all of em.  Brad Lidge, the Goose, and Sparky Lyle headline an above average bullpen.  The Beau Brummels have the capability of winning their division and I would not be surprised if ultimately they do, I would simply be less surprised if the other 3 went home.  Late draft pick Bob Caruthers is new to ATB and riding the pine.  It will make a great difference if he ends up being good and can push his way into the rotation.

OK, with all three AL Divisions complete, some words about the playoffs.  The 3 division winners advance, plus a single wild card team from any division.  While there are absolutely no locks, I have the All Stars as favorites by the widest margin so lets advance them.  The Top 4 teams are likely the Hoplites, Wildlings, Red Eagles, and Ball Four.  Advancing the Hoplites because I called them the best team in ATB, that leaves 2 playoff spots for the Red Eagles, Ball Four, and the Wildlings.  Wow, no idea.  Someone will be disappointed  especially when these predictions bomb and 4 other teams advance.  All I can say is when the league is so even, better win the division and avoid counting on the Wild Card.  Virtually every team can make the playoffs in the AL

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Comish's Predictions - AL Central

The AL Central may very well be the strongest division in baseball.  Here's how I think it will shape out

1st - Ball Four
2nd - Manetheren Red Eagles
3rd - Platte County Burnt Ends
4th - Planet 10 Red Lectroids

Realistically, any of the four teams can win the division but on paper it seems that Ball Four is best poised to win out of all the teams if they encounter some injuries.  This is simply an above average team everywhere save top end starting pitching. The lineup features ATB greats Joe Morgan, Bill Dickey, and soon to be great Heavy Johnson.  In addition, the second tier players are all top-second tier players - Roger Connor, Jim Edmonds, and Fred Lynn are all very good.  The rotation is skimpy at the top, but a 5-man of Kevin Millwood, Teddy Higuera, Joel Horlen, Zach Greinke, and Lefty Grove is still above average.  Add Craig Kimbrel (we think) and Mariano Rivera in relief and this becomes a good team.  Prediction:  If the new-year Lefty Grove is good, the teams wins, if he's bad then the rotation falls short and so does Ball Four.

The Red Eagles are not a typical Lou team.  I normally focus on on base percentage, but the lure of Turkey Stearns and his 60+ doubles in the resims captured my imagination.  So, I drafted an extreme doubles park and drafted extreme doubles hitters - Joey Votto, Ed Delahanty, and Stearnes may realistically hit 150+ between them alone, driving in John McGraw every game in the process.  The back end of the lineup suspect just like the back end of the rotation.  Similar to Ball Four, my team will live and die by the new players - Delahanty, Frankie Frisch, Tom McCreery, and Eddie Rommel have never been used.  Norman Yokely, Porter Charleston, Stearnes, and Hurley McNair are unproven Negro Leaguers.  I need at least 5 of the 8 to live up to expectations to win.

I don't know that the Burnt Ends will score more runs than any other team, but a top 7 of Benny Kauff, Larry Walker, Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Cochrane, Joe Kelley, and Joe Torre is about as good as a Top-7 I have seen when considering defense too.  Like so many other teams it's the starting pitching that may prevent a playoff run.  The pen will be fine, it's above average with Tom Henke, Hideki Okajima, and Jason Isringhausen but are Ted Lyons and Roy Halladay playoff caliber 1-2's?  Even the three through five of Willie Mitchell, Tiny Bonham, and Brandon Webb have me worried (Webb may end up the best of 'em).

Ty Cobb will need to exceed his 500 resim average in order for the Red Lectroids to make the playoffs.  I said I wasn't going to use numbers, but I had to in this case.  Cobb exceeding expectations likely going to happen.  His .500 resim average was .862 and he exceeded that 50.4% of the time.  Cobb is surrounded by above average hitters in Rickey Henderson, Albert Pujols, and possibly Will Clark but Bill Bradley in the 2-hole and Tim McCarver rightfully batting 6th is problematic.  If McCarver is your best 6th hitter you'll struggle to score runs.  The pitching looks bad on paper, but this is a great defense with Ex defenders at second, short, left and Johnny Bench platooning with McCarver.  Everywhere else is Vg along with 2 of the 3 outfielder arms.  This will make Johan Santana, Mike Scott, and Bucky Walters look better than they are (though it may not help Theodore Trent and Earl Moore).  It's my guess this team will win 85 games a quarter of the time in the end of season 20 resims, whether or not they do during the regular season is a different story.

Week 1 Moves

Pinata Beaters - Drop Tommy McCarthy for Gary Gaetti 1988
Pinata Beaters - Drop Denny Lyons for Melvin Mora 2004
Fanclub - Drop Vince Coleman for Jessie Barfield 1986
Green Sox - Drop Jim Abbot for Steve Sax 1986

Comish's Predictions - AL East

I've never done this before (I think) for ATB, but those that know me from other fantasy leagues have experienced my predictions before.  The general thought process being is a good ranking is the kiss of death, as bad luck (ha ha) usually prevents my predictions from coming true.

However, I spent almost an hour on the phone today with another owner reviewing each and every team in the league.  Geekdom at it's finest?  You bet, but it was wonderful, and too good not to share.  Think of this as stream of consciousness writing from the gut, with no numbers, which is unusual for me.  It also should make a lot of what I say suspect.

Here are my thoughts for the AL East

1st – Sparta Hoplites
2nd – Wildlings of the Wall
3rd - Carlisle "Mechanics"
4th - Downsouth Brews

The Hoplites are my early favorite for best team in the league.  Their lineup has few holes and Greg Maddux/Kevin Brown are a top 3 one/two combination in the league.  Is Jerry Reuss a #3 caliber starter?  Probably not but Frank Sullivan and Warren Hacker are both #4 types and can make up the difference.  Offensively I only question Lou Whitaker and Rico Petrocelli at 8 & 9.  The rest of the lineup is very deep, even without home run power.  Richie Ashburn, Chipper Jones, Orator Shaffer, and Edgar Martinez to start the lineup will score runs in this league of parity.

For the first half of the draft I thought the Wildlings were the favorites in the AL East.  However, as the draft wore on the Hoplites pulled even and then ahead, although just slightly.  Billy Hamilton, Ted Williams, Joe Jackson and even Derek Lee are legitimate stars in this league, but I worry about Jackie Robinson in the 2-hole.  The back end of the lineups is relatively weak compared to the front, but the point is moot - each of eh 24 ATB teams have the same  problem.  The rotation is about on par with Sparta (though they don't have an elite ace) and the bullpen combination of Bill Wagner, Jonathan Papelbon, and Joakim Soria is among the best in the game.  They are all righties however, and Bruce Ruffin as the first lefty from the pen is a liability.

The "Mechanics" have a good lineup.  Jimmie Foxx, Tris Speaker, George Hall, and Mike Piazza are among the best at their respective positions.  Sammy Sosa is one dimensional, but when that dimension comes with 40 home run power you can live with it.  The rotation will be a problem though - Rube Waddell, Dutch Leonard, Mordecai Brown, Robin Roberts, and Dwight Gooden?  Not sure if there is a #1 or #2 caliber starter in there.  I love Red Ryan and Joakim Soria at the end of the games, hopefully they will not be overworked by the questionable starters.  Can this team make the playoffs?  Absolutely, they just need a few more breaks than the Hoplites and Wildlings.

The Brews on the other hand may need more than few breaks.  (Of course, this statement likely means they'll win the division.)  The lineup is certainly respectable - Bobby Murcer, Dan Brouthers, Harry Heilmann, Howard Johnson, and even Josh Hamilton are good players - teams have won with them in the past.  The problem is the rotation.  The new year for  Randy Johnson (2000) is a question mark this team didn't need.  Bret Saberhagen may end up being a "500 resim trap" - he was never that good in any previous ATB season, not sure why he dominated in the resims.  Chris Carpenter is an above average 4th starter but Jerry Koosman screams future drop.  Tom Niedenfuer is an ideal setup man, but thrust into the closer role on this team.  This leaves Fred Beene and Roberto Hernandez - two decent pitchers for sure - to complete the setup work.  But most teams have great back end relievers, not sure if decent will cut it.  This can be a playoff team if I am proven wrong on Randy Johnson.

Parks Page is Up

Just like modern day baseball, although for different reasons, the National League will play as a pitchers league while the American will be a hitters league.

Here's how the park factors stack up for each league (#'s are Lefty/Righty)
The NL does increase singles at the rate of 2-3% above normal while the AL reduces singles by about the same margin, but AL teams will see enormous increases in triples and home runs.

AL batters will enjoy a 27% increase in the long ball while in the NL, the same batter would see their production cut by 10% - in all a 37% swing.  Lefty batters will see a 30% swing between the leagues.

The Hitters Division is undoubtedly the AL West.  Shotgun, Gary, and Jason B all chose extreme hitters parks that increase home runs by 200-300%, though only Gary's Coors Field increases all aspects of hitting across the board.  Here's the list of real life home run leaders that will play home games in the AL West

70 - Mark McGwire (Fanclub)
61 - Roger Maris (All Stars)
57 - Luis Gonzalez (Beau Brummels)
54 - Babe Ruth (Green Sox)
52 - George Foster (Green Sox)
49 - Harmon Killebrew (Beau Brummels)

Interestingly, ATB best pitchers league is also in the AL.  In the East all aspects of batting are suppressed - singles  by 1%, doubles by 3%, and home runs by about 32%.  Key pitchers in this division include:

Greg Maddux (Hoplites)
Eric Gagne (Hoplites)
Randy Johnson (Brews)
Cy Blanton (Wildlings)
Jonathan Papelbon (Wildlings)
Red Ryan ("Mechanics)

Across ATB, the most extreme pitchers park is the infamous 1939 Bee Hive - 96 / 74 / 48 / 26.  There the Otherton Fishbiscuits will send out the best 1-2 combination in the game, Pedro Martinez and Bill Bernhard.  Can't wait to see their ERA's.

All the divisional and park to park details can be found here.

Notes from the RKA Preseason Press Conference:

PHILADELPHIA -- The normally thought-provoking and eloquent Rusty Kuntz nearly lost his cool at today's preseason press conference. He announced the lineups and rotations for the team Traveling All-Stars team that he has managed for the past three seasons. In an attempt to shake things up, he has taken a new position as the general manager this season, handing the reins over to former Chicago Cub ace Chet "Rocket" Steadman. 

When Kuntz opened the presser up for questions, he was forced to correct media members multiple times (amidst snickering from those in attendance) after they incorrectly pronounced his name. Unfamiliar with the mean-spirited Philadelphian way of life, a red-faced Kuntz was befuddled. Lashing out, he said the team will continue to bare his name until the day it is pronounced correctly and he is "not mistaken for multiple oxidized vaginas." 

The general manager talked around questions about the team's defensive liabilities with Willie Stargell and Roger Maris in the outfield, saying he was just glad they had less room to cover in the minuscule Baker Bowl. When critiqued about the lack of tablesetters on the team he assembled, a visibly flustered Kuntz nervously mentioned the team's prolific home run capabilities. He then quickly introduced Steadman and ducked away at a spirited pace.

A surprised Steadman, who wasn't due to take the podium for another 15 minutes, was finishing up a meal as he was summoned.

"This is the best salisbury steak I've ever had," Steadman boasted. He joked that, as was his tradition while playing, the entire pitching staff would be eating salisbury steak on all flights. 

Steadman then became very serious. He gave a speech about the "Have To" of the game, thoroughly confusing the media and apparently himself. Upon taking questions, Steadman mentioned he would be working with the younger pitchers and was excited to be working with the 25-year old Walter Johnson. 

Triggered by a reporter calling him "Rocket," Steadman was vehement he was no longer the "Rocket" and he began retreating to his typical succession of incoherent grunts and "Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god." chants.

SS - Hanley Ramirez
DH - Reggie Jackson
CF - Joe DiMaggio
LF - Willie Stargell
RF - Roger Maris
.C - Chris Hoiles
1B - Carlos Pena
3B - Ken Caminiti
2B - Bobby Grich

SP 1 - Walter Johnson
SP 2 - Tex Hughson
SP 3 - Juan Padron
SP 4 - Cy Young
SP 5 - Ron Guidry

CL - Joe Nathan
SU R - JJ Putz
SU L - Derek Lilliquist

Thanks Shotgun for submitting the write-up!

National League Opening Day Probable Starters

1:00 PM
North Valley Bears @ Puerto Cabellas Pandas
Roger Clemens (21-7, 2.05) @ Babe Adams (17-10, 1.98)

Spanish Harlem Pinata Beaters @ Otherton Fishbiscuits
Jesse Tannehill (20-6, 1.95) @ Pedro Martinez (18-6, 1.74)

Detroit Tigers @ Brighton Shadows
Sandy Koufax (26-8, 2.04) @ Joe Wood (34-5, 1.91)

4:00 PM
Leesburg Snowhole @ Niagara Frontier Blackbirds
Nip Winters (18-4, 2.37) @ Mort Cooper (22-7, 1.78)

DC Chips @ Helena Handbasket
Bob Ojeda (10-13, 2.88) vs Russ Ford (26-6, 1.65)

8:00 PM
Lancaster Pink Ladies @ Shamokin Miners
Red Faber (25-15, 2.48) vs Fergie Jenkins (22-16, 3.39)

Monday, January 28, 2013

North Valley Bears Lineup and Rotation

TJ O's squad..

CF - Pete Browning
LF - Ken Williams
SS - Willie Wells
DH - Ryan Howard
3B - Mike Schmidt
1B - Johnny Mize
2B - Red Schoendienst
RF - Vlad Guerrero
.C - Mike Napolo

SP 1 - Roger Clemens
SP 2 - Harry Brecheen
SP 3 - Whit Wyatt
SP 4 - CC Sabathia
SP 5 - Ed Reulbach

CL - Jim Brewer and Keith Foulke
SU L - Tom House
SU R - Huston Street

Leesburg Snow Hole Lineup and Rotation

Jay H's squad...

CF - Mike Trout
LF - Goose Goslin
1B - Norm Cash
RF - Hank Aaron
DH - Ed Rile
3B - Heinie Zimmerman
.C - Elston Howard
2B - Robby Cano
SS - George Davis

SP 1 - Nip Winters
SP 2 - Addie Joss
SP 3 - Justin Verlander
SP 4 - Deacon Phillippe
SP 5 - Claude Hendris

CL - Tom Gordon
SU R - John Wetteleand
SU L - Jim Kaat

Breaking News - Willets Point Moves to Carlisle, PA

CARLISLE, Pa. - After reports surfaced that beloved Dacar Auto Radiator Stadium and its hubcap-adorned awnings would likely be razed as part of the hotly debated redevelopment plans in Queens, General Manager Pasiana Rodriguez began shopping her team. Interest was not high in the middling franchise, but one legendary athlete emerged from the group of potential buyers. Jim Thorpe (All-American!), motivated by the All Time Baseball league's curious expansion to Central Pennsylvania, will bring the 'Mechanics' to his hometown of Carlisle. Thorpe has negotiated with Dickinson College to use their field for the 2013 season.
"We are motivated with the recent uptick in interest in the all-timers here in Pennsyltucky - er - Central Pennsylvania, and we have tempered our uncertainty regarding the demographics of that Pretty Ladies squad. Many Shamokin and Lancaster season ticket holders have already approached us regarding their concern about supporting a brand new franchise, so we expect to sell out our stadium, which seats 2,500, on a regular basis."

The franchise will remain as the 'Mechanics' in recognition of the town's famous car shows.

I take no credit for this wonderful news blurb.  Thanks Matt B for sending this in.

American League Opening Day Probable Starters

1:00 PM
Sparta Hoplites @ Downsouth Brews
Greg Maddux (19-2, 1.63) @ Randy Johnson (19-7, 2.64)

Rusty Kuntz Traveling All Stars S @ Colorado Green Sox
Walter Johnson (36-7, 1.14) @ Al Orth (20-12, 2.27)

Ball Four @ Red Lectroids
Kevin Millwood (18-7, 2.68) @ Johan Santana (20-6, 2.61)

4:00 PM
Rochester Beau Brummels @ John McDonald Fanclub
Christy Mathewson (37-11, 1.43) @ Mike Mussina (19-9, 3.29)

Manetheren Red Eagles @ Platte Country Burnt Ends
Garland Braxton (13-11, 2.51) @ Roy Halladay (19-7, 2.93)

Willets Point "Mechanics" @ Wildings of the Wall
Rube Waddell (24-7, 2.05) @ Cy Blanton (18-13, 2.58)

Planet 10 Lineup and Rotation

Alright folks from here on out I will not be posting full write-ups for each team.  Think of it as a bonus for those who submitted very early.

Here's Planet 10

Manager:  Miller Huggins

LF - Rickey Henderson
3B - Bill Bradley
CF - Ty Cobb
DH - Will Clark
1B - Albert Pujols
.C - Tim McCarver
SS - Dobie Moore
2B - Joe Gordon
RF - Kiki Cuyler

SP 1 - Johan Santana
SP 2 - Bucky Walters
SP 3 - Mike Scott
SP 4 - Theodore Trent
SP 5 - Earl Moore

Dixon Announces Pretty Ladies Lineups and Rotations

Ted K was on hand this morning to introduce Rap Dixon, the new manager for the Lancaster Pretty Ladies.  Dixon, a superstar in the Negro League's, was excited to manage a lineup with both MLB greats like Eddie Collins, Honus Wagner, Frank Baker, and Carl Yastrzemski along with a few Negro League stars such as Edgar Wesley and Biz Mackey.

He did voice some concerns about his defense on the right side as Rocky Colavito and Wesley aren't exactly fleet of foot, but thought Mackey would be one of the best throwing catchers in the league.

As for the rotation, Dixon reminded everyone that it was Ted, and not he, that chose 11 batters to start the draft, but was also thrilled that he landed Bobby Shantz, who may be the best #5 starter in the league.

Here's the Pretty Ladies:

2B - Eddie Collins
SS - Honus Wagner
LF - Carl Yastrzemski
CF - Cy Seymour
1B - Edgar Wesley
3B - Frank Baker
DH - Lance Berkman
RF - Rocky Colavito
.C - Biz Mackey

SP 1 - Red Faber
SP 2 - Vern Law
SP 3 - Jack Taylor
SP 4 - Reb Russell
SP 5 - Bobby Shantz

CL - Darren Holmes and Buddy Groom
SU - Mark Eichhorn and Eric O'Flaherty

Rodriguez Announces Miners Lineup and Rotation

"Anyone who wants to be a can't-hack-it pantywaist who wears their mama's bra, raise your hand."  Thus started yet another remarkable press conference in the league of All Time Baseball.  Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez was introduced as the Shamokin Miners Manager on Sunday and was as colorful as ever.

Rodriguez spent much time remembering the glory days of sandlot baseball with Smalls, Ham, Squints and "Yeah-YEah" but he did have a moment of clarity to explain his philosophy on getting the most out of players, "Man, this is baseball, you gotta stop thinking! Just have fun. "

SS - Arky Vaughan
RF - Reggie Smith
1B - Jeff Bagwell
DH - Jim Thome
CF - Willie Mays
LF - Tommy Holmes
3B - Dick Allen
.C - Yogi Berra
2B - Roberto Alomar

SP 1 - Fergie Jenkins
SP 2 - Noodles Hahn
SP 3 - Catfish Hunter
SP 4 - Jack Chesbro

CL - Troy Percival
SU R - Jeff Russell
SE L - Damaso Marte

Legends of Baseball Loooking For Owners

Hey everyone, the Legends of Baseball league is looking for a few owners for their upcoming season.  LOB is a lot like our ATB with two main differences:
  • Larger player pool (any player can be drafted, but they can only used about as much as their real life IP and AB)
  • They run 1 game per day
If interested, email Tom at taustin660 at

Here's their constitution

Green Sox Announce GM, Lineup

(This was one comes directly from the owner, Gary G)

Bob Costas recently sat down with Colorado Green Sox GM Dwayne Johnson to discuss the upcoming season:

 "Dwayne, to be perfectly candid, something special happens to my nipples when you adopt your persona as 'THE ROCK' and speak in the third person. Could you please do that?"

 "It would be a pleasure, Bob. How are you?"


"IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU'RE DOING! The Rock says this: The most electrifying team in ATB will lay the smack down on all the candy asses in the American League! Not since Hannibal Lecter was a vegetarian has there been such an eclectic collection of superstars. The Rock has signed players from the American League, the National League, the Negro League, the Justice League, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, everybody but the English Premier League. We have skinny players, fat ones, teetotalers, drunks, roidheads, and everything in between. We have players from the 19th century, 20th century, 21st century, Century 21, Roman centurions, Roman candles, 16 Candles, Sweet 16, and Sweet & Sour Pork. And The Rock's not even going to include Mrs. Costas -- one kind of pork is enough."

"Do you think you'll be able to win the West Division of the American League, playing in the sparsely-oxygenated air of Coors Field?"

"The Green Sox, playing in the very same city where Peyton Manning threw touchdown pass number 420, in the Mile High City, the week after Colorado legalized marijuana last year, will do it, or die trying. IF YOU SMELL...WHAT THE ROCK...IS COOKING!"

Johnson throws down his microphone. Costas is visibly aroused.

CF - Bullet Joe Rogan
3B - Oyster Burns
RF - Babe Ruth
DH - Jim Gentile
LF - George Foster
1B - Jason Giambi
SS - Monte Ward
2B - Brett Boone
.C - Mike Scioscia/Manny Sanguillen

SP 1 - Al Orth
SP 2 - Harvey Haddix
SP 3 - Bill McCall
SP 4 - Jose Rijo
SP 5 - Dick Ellsworth

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bostock Announces "Mechanics" Lineup and Rotation

Late Friday evening new "Mechanics" Manager Lyman Bostock and Owner Matt B were flooded with questions after dropping the biggest news in sports in the past 50 years, perhaps of all time.  Matt and Bostock will require each and every player on the team to donate portions of their salaries commensurate with their results, as measured by the .500 resims.  Bostock explained, "I drafted Jimmie in the first round for a .350 OBA and .539 SLG with 39 home runs.  If he isn't within 10% of those numbers his pay will be docked and will be donated to a charity of his choice."

The players were mostly mum on the news, with all but Rube Waddell declining to comment on the concerning, albeit altruistic, nature of the "Mechanics" front office.  Waddell on the other hand was visibly excited though frustrated, as he couldn't decide if the Colorado Gator School  for alligator wrestling, or the National Historic Fire Foundation's "Hall of Flame", was the best place to send any donations.

The "Mechanics" Lineup
CF - Tris Speaker
RF - Ichiro Suzuki
1B - Jimmie Foxx
DH - George Hall
3B - Al Rosen
.C - Mike Piazza
LF - Ryan Braun
2B - Hardy Richardson
SS - Cal Ripken

SP1 - Rube Waddell
SP2 - Dutch Leonard
SP3 - Mordecai Brown
SP4 - Robin Roberts
SP5 - Dwight Gooden and Red Ryan

CL - Joaquin Benoit
SU 1 - Red Ryan
SU 2 - John Hiller

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weaver Announces Chips Lineup and Rotation

Steve C, owner the DC Chips, welcomed Earl Weaver to his ball club this afternoon.  After an initial hesitation at returning to the Baltimore-DC Metro Area, Weaver quickly agreed to pilot the franchise after realizing the star performers up and down the lineup.  True to form, Weaver was his typical eloquent self.

When asked about how he'll run the club, Weaver said, "A manager's job is simple.  For one hundred-sixty two games you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did in January." 

Years ago with Baltimore, Weaver was famous for his "pitching, fundamentals, and 3-run homer" philosophy, and thus expressed concerns at the possible question marks in his new rotation.  After all, he said, "The only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field," and, "Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching."

On being reunited with Frank Robinson, "Frank was the most intense ballplayer I've ever seen.  He played the game as hard as anybody.  He never, ever gave up on an at bat no matter what the score was.  He'd get a big hit.  He went into the stands in New York to make a catch.  But what's important is, he did those things every day."  Of course, he also added, "I don't think in all the years I managed him, I every spoke more than thirty words to Frank."

Bill James was on hand and added his own two cents after the press conference, "If there was no professional baseball he'd have been a bouncer at a midget bar.:

Chips Lineup
.C – Deacon White
2B – Ross Barnes
CF – Cristobal Torriente
DH – Bill Joyce
RF – Frank Robinson
1B – Ben Taylor
LF – Sheree Magee
SS – Pop Lloyd
3B – Chone FIggins

Chips Rotation
SP 1 – Bob Ojeda
SP 2  - Javier Vazquez
SP 3 – Atlee Hammacker
SP 4 – Randy Jones
SP 5 – Jim Merritt

CL – Tug McGraw
SU R – Kent Tekulve
SU L – Rob Murphy

Jennings Announces Fanclub Lineup and Rotation

"Ee-Yah, I am looking forward to managing this club.  I may score 150 runs hitting in in front of Bonds, Muscles McGwire, and Joey Belle."  Hughie Jennings assumed the managers role for John McDonald Fanclub on Friday and immediately inserted himself at the top of the order.  "Last year for the Orators I was hit by a pitch 67 times, the year before with the Survivors it was 79 times.  My philosophy for this team is to get on anyway possible, and I expect Roy to do the same."  He continued, "Roy was hit 5 times in his entire career, I can do that in two games."

Asked about his decision to play a 256 error rate out of position, Jennings stood firm.  "Thomas, Chase, Sutton, and myself are each a heck of a fielder.  Swarty will be fine, how much harm can someone really do in right."

Jennings ended the conference chatting about McGwire's chances at the ATB home run record playing in the Polo Grounds and how excited he was to see Gabe White and Dennis Eckersley coming out of the bullpen.

SS – Hughie Jennings
CF – Roy Thomas
LF – Barry Bonds
1B – Mark McGwire
DH – Albert Belle
RF – Ed Swartwood
2B – Chase Utley
.C – Jorge Posada
3B – Ezra Sutton

SP1 – Mike Mussina
SP2 – Jimmy Key
SP3 – Wait Hoyt
SP4 – Andy Pettitte
SP5 – Paul Derringer

CL – Gabe White and Dennis Eckersley
SU – Mike Myers and Ken Sanders

Jimmy Dugan Announces Blackbird Lineup and Rotation

The following is a partial transcript of the Jimmy Dugan press conference, where he was purportedly to announce the Niagara Frontier Blackbirds starting lineups and rotation.

Dugan (entering room): All right, everyone, let's listen up now, listen up.... Something important has just happened. I was in the toilet reading my contract, and it turns out, I get a bonus when we get to the World Series. So, we're gonna play hard, play smart, and use our heads.

Reporter:  Jimmy!  You've widely acknowledged your love of spirits, will that impact your decisions on the field?
Dugan: It was made very clear to me what I'm supposed to do here. I smile, wave my little hat... I'll do that, so when do I get paid?

Reporter: What do yo think of some of your ballplayers... Lady Baldwin, Robin Ventura, and Judy Johnson
Dugan: Ballplayers. I don't have ballplayers, I've got girls. Girls are what you sleep with after the game, not, not what you coach during the game.

Reporter: Jimmy, you're obviously drunk right now. 
Dugan:  Did anyone ever tell you, you look like a penis with a little hat on?

Owner Greg M (walking out with Dugan): Uh, great interview Jimmy, I especially liked that move towards the end when you scratched your balls for an hour.
Dugan: Well, anything worth doing is worth doing right

Little Boy: [Exiting the press room, Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy, who reads] Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.
Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that's good advice!

The Blackbirds later published their starting 9 and 5-man rotation:

1B – Tommy Tucker
RF – Willie Keeler
2B – Nap Lajoie
DH – Mel Ott
.C – Josh Gibson
CF – Duke Snider
LF – Joe Medwick
3B – Robin Ventura
SS – Nomar Garciaparra

SP1 – Mort Cooper
SP2 – Eddie Cicotte
SP3 – Nels Potter
SP4 – Lady Baldwin
SP5 – Ben Sanders

CL – Tim Burke
SU L – Jim Poole
SU R – Joe Neale

Sorry for the minor cop out, I used most of this last year for another team.  I thought it worked well though, and Greg has never seen it, so went for it.

Jim Bouton Announces Ball Four Lineup and Rotations

After the animosity between Joe V and Sean  S (fully contrived by the way), it’s refreshing to remember that ATB is just a game.  Mike S named Jim Bouton the manager for his “Ball Four” club today, stating the need to portray the fact he isn’t a “geek” like so many other owners.

When it was Bouton’s turn to field questions, he was asked about his philosophy on pitching.  Two particularly poignant aspects stood out, “In every case I’d rather walk the guy with my best pitch than let him beat me with one swing at my worst,” made the most sense, while,  “Throw him low smoke and we'll go pound some Budweiser” received the most laughs.

Asked how the game has changed in the past 40 years a thoughtful Bouton smiled and said, “Back then, if you had a sore arm, the only people concerned were you and your wife. Now it's you, your wife, your agent, your investment counselor, your stockbroker, and your publisher.”

Before heading back to the managers office, he did have some advice for his players, “Whitey Ford always said that the way to make coaches think you’re in shape in the spring is to get a tan. It makes you look healthier and at least five pounds lighter.”

The Ball Four Lineup
2B – Joe Morgan
1B – Roger Connor
DH – Heavy Johnson
.C – Bill Dickey
CF – Jim Edmonds
RF – Fred Lynn
LF – George Stone
3B – Stan Hack
SS – Candy Nelson

SP1 – Kevin Millwood
SP2 – Teddy Higuera
SP3 – Joe Horlen
SP4 – Zack Grienke
SP5 – Lefty Grove

CL – Craig Kimbrel
SU 1 – Mariano Rivera
SU 2 – Al Grabowski

Phillip Wellman Introduces Fishbiscuit Lineups and Rotations

Brian B introduced Phillip Wellman as the new Otherton Fishbiscuits manager.  Underwhelmed?  We were too, but only until realizing who Wellman was.

Asked why Wellman was the choice, Brian responded, “Look at our lineup.  Lenny Dykstra is batting 5th and the back end may combine for a .500 OPS.  Sure, my staff is amazing but do you think the fans will come out for 81 games where we score 91 runs?  Of course not, Wellman will bring the fans and he won’t be on a leash.”

Wellman, at first sheepish, suddenly jumped up, crawled in a prone position across the floor like a soldier, and pretended to bite and hurl a microphone at a report as if it were a hand grenade.  On his way out he concluded by pretending to eject John Heymen with a fist pump and finally blowing a farewell kiss and bow to a clearly uncomfortable Brian.

This should be a fun season. 

The Fishbiscuits lineup:
DH – Ken Singleton
RF – Paul Waner
3B – Eddie Mathews
1B – Bill Terry
CF – Lenny Dykstra
LF – Fred Clarke
2B – Miller Huggins
.C – Darrel Porter
SS – Dave Bancroft

SP1 – Pedro Martinez
SP2 – Bill Bernhard
SP3 – Juan Marichal
SP4 – Danny Darwin and Don Newcombe

CL – Bill Henry and Dick Hall
RP – Ferdie Schupp and Ray Narleski

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lou Brown Announces Pinata Beaters Lineup and Rotation

In on of the more interesting press conferences of the pre-season, Spanish Harlem Pinata Beaters manager Lou Brown offered a prepared statement.  “All right people, we got 10 minutes,” he started, “. I'm not much for giving inspirational addresses, but I'd just like to point out that every newspaper in the country has picked us to finish last. The local press seems to think that we'd save everyone the time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves. Me, I'm for wasting sportswriters' time. So I figured we ought to hang around for a while and see if we can give 'em all a nice big shitburger to eat!

He fielded one question. Asked by USA Today journalist Chuck Johnson about managing characters such as Pascual Perez, King Kelly, and Oscar Charleston, Brown simply responded, “My kinda team, Charlie, my kinda team.”

LF – Jesse Burkett
.C – King Kelly
CF – Oscar Charleston
1B – John Olerud
2B – Cupid Childs
DH – Travis Hafner
3B – Wade Boggs
RF – Ross Youngs
SS – Ozzie Smith

SP1 – Jesse Tannehill
SP2 – John Tudor
SP3 – Ed Siever
SP4 – Monty Stratton
SP5 – Arthur Henderson

CL – Hong Chi Kuo and Mike Jackson
SU L – Jake McGee
SU R – Neftali Feliz

King Leonidas Announces Lineups and Rotations

An imperial looking King Leonidas gripped the podium as if trying to crush it.  With biceps bulging and sword in hand he began to speak, “The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many.”  A puzzled yet nervous hush fell upon the reporters in the room.  “Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word,” the King resolved. 

After an uncomfortably long silence, Joe Posnanski asked what tyrant Leonidas was speaking of.  It was, of course, Larry Bowa, manager of the Wildlings. “Gather round! No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight.” 

Later, someone gathered the courage to ask a baseball related question, wondering how the offense would respond to playing in park that suppresses home runs by 80%.  The King simply said, “Let every Spartan assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul.”  He ominously concluded, “and while you're at it, search your own.”

Sean S, owner of the Sparta Hoplites, was unsurprisingly unavailable for comments.

His lineup
CF – Richie Ashburn
3B – Chipper Jones
RF – Orator Shaffer
DH – Edgar Martinez
1B – Todd Helton
.C – Fred Carroll
LF – George Gore
2B – Lou Whitaker
SS – Rico Petrocelli

SP1 – Greg Maddux
SP2 – Kevin Brown
SP3 – Jerry Reuss
SP4 – Frank Sullivan
SP5 – Warren Hacker

CL – Erick Gagne
SU L – Steve Howe
SU R – Bobby Jenks

Ralph Houk Announces Brews Lineups and Rotations

It's no secret that Allen C's Downsouth Brews have struggled since their franchise inception 5 years ago.  The solution?  According to Allen it's all in the manager and the owner has brought in Ralph Houk – who won over 1600 games in his MLB career – to pilot the Brews in ATB XV.

The quick tempered Houk was already on edge when he spoke to the press.  After revealing the rotation (see below) Houk was bombarded with questions about his ace Randy Johnson.  Johnson has historically been the best lefty in the game and a top-5 pitcher overall, but Allen C gambled on draft day, picking a completely new year.  Houk wouldn't be pinned down, refusing to answer whether or not he though Allen  should change years.  The press conferenced ended abruptly with Houk walking away, insulting a WFAN reporter with the following, "I just thought you might like to know that I passed a kennel on the way to the game and your mother is all right."

The Brews Lineup
CF – Bobby Murcer
LF – Josh Hamilton
1B – Dan Brouthers
RF – Harry Heilmann
3B – Howard Johnson Howard
DH – Ted Kluszewski
2B – Buddy Myer
SS – George Carr
.C – Javy Lopez

SP1 – Randy Johnson
SP2 – Johnny Allen
SP3 – Brett Saberhagen
SP4 – Chris Carpenter
SP5 – Jerry Koosman

CL – Tom Niedenfuerer and Hoyt Wilhelm
SU – Frank Beene and Roberto Hernandez

Joe Terry Announces Handbasket Lineups and Rotations

Earlier today, Helena Handbasket announced their lineups and rotations for the upcoming 2013 season.  After a solid 11-7 showing the exhibitions season, owner Joe Terry decided it was time to unleash his grand plan – making a power play for full control of the Handbasket franchise.  Seemingly without opposition, Terry has named himself Manager.  Already Owner and General Manager, Terry becomes the first Mega-Manager in ATB history.

Sure, others have failed to name a specific manager in the past, but Terry is the first to proclaim himself as all knowing.  Unavailable for comment, he did find the time to distribute his genius to major media outlets throughout the country.

1B – Rod Carew
SS – Lou Bourdreau
CF – Mickey Mantle
DH – Willie McCovey
3B – Adrian Beltre
LF – Larry Doby
RF – Roberto Clement
.C – Jason Kendall
2B – Nellie Fox

SP1 – Russ Ford
SP2 – Derek Lowe
SP3 – Hang Aguirre
SP4 – Bob Feller
SP5 – Dolph Luque

CL – Jeff Zimmerman
SU L – Chris Hammond
SU R – Octavio Dotel