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.