Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saskatoon wins! Chaos in the Canadian prairie!

The Amigos scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back as they defeated the Cleveland Steamers 9-2 and clinched their first Cecil Cup championship, 4 games to 1!

Not much to say about this one, Anthony Koepp was wild from the start, walking one batter and then hitting the next three, before getting pulled without even getting a single batter out. Meanwhile, Saskatoon starter Jeff Blevins struck out seven in 6.2 innings and earned the victory.

The league file is posted. I've simmed the first day or so of the offseason, and now everyone gets to choose whether to tender contracts and decide on their options for 2016.

Zev will take things over from here as we march into the new offseason. Big changes are definitely afoot in the SDMB League!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Saskatoon wins game 4!

John Grondin had a bad game 4, as his critical fielding error in the second inning kept Saskatoon's inning alive, and they made the Steamers pay by scoring three unearned runs, providing their only scoring in a 3-2 nailbiter in game 4 of the Cecil Cup.

Cleveland kept the Amigos off the scoreboard the rest of the night, with starter Kaler throwing 7.2 innings without an earned run (but three killer unearned runs), and the Steamers scored single runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but Grondin flew out to left field to end the game, with the tying and winning runners on base. Ouch.

Zev's got game 5 on Saturday night. (Right, Zev?) Will that be the final game? Will it be the last day of the SDMB League as we know it?

Tonight's sim

Zev has deputized me to run the sim tonight, so I'm going to take care of it around 7pm PST (10pm EST).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Demarcus Ramirez Shuts Down Cleveland

Demarcus Ramirez completely shut down the Steamer batters by pitching eight innings of one hit ball. Ramirez struck out eight and walked no one in his eight innings of work. In fact, outside of a leadoff single by CF Monte Goss, no Steamer batter reached base. After the Goss single, Ramirez retired the next 24 batters.

The hitting star of the game was SS Royal Wilson (him again?) who went 3-4 with an RBI and run scored.

Game 4 -- Thursday night.


Zev's League

"It's Zev's league, so he's the ultimate authority here."

I know the person who made this comment had no ill-feelings or bad intentions when he said it, but I want to address the comment.

Over the last seven years (has it been seven years already?) I've tried very hard to avoid just that sort of sentiment. While it is true that I do act as commissioner of the league and wield some vague, undefined powers in that role, I truly believe that it isn't just my league, but our league. I firmly believe that this league belongs to all of us and I try to encourage that feeling whenever possible. As a result, I usually try to avoid engaging in debate on league matters (so as not to unduly influence one side of the debate over the other) and only take stands on issues when I feel it is very important. Otherwise, I leave it all up to you to decide the direction of the league.

So, please, remember that this is your league just as much as it is mine. :)


Feeder Leagues NOM NOM NOM

As long as we're discussing changes for next season, let me throw one out that should be pretty non-controversial.

We all know that the draft, as it is currently constituted, is a vast crap-shoot. Your scout may not say the same things about a player as my scout, and a third scout may yet say something entirely different. We've all seen cases where the player your scouted as a one-star career minor leaguer is taken with the third or fourth pick in the draft while you're amazed that a "five-star" prospect is still available early in the second round. It's one thing to say that your scout can't predict future talent, but it's altogether something different to say that there is such a disparity in evaluating *current* talent.

Of course, if we had a feeder league, things might be just a tad different. Perhaps one scout will stay that a starter is a two-star talent and another scout will say he's a four-star guy -- but both will agree that he went 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 65 K, 11BB in 57 innings. IOW, the stats generated by the feeder league will give you something objective, rather than subjective to look at. Of course college stats don't necessarily translate into big-league stats, but it's got to be a step up from what we have now.

That being said, I was thinking about opening up a college feeder league. It's not going to help us for the upcoming draft, but it should provide two benefits for additional seasons:

1. The availability of objective data to aid in decision making
2. The ability to see who will be coming down the pipeline in the next year or two. True, there will be some players in the draft who weren't in the feeder league, but it's better than right now where the future is totally blind to us.

So, what do you say to a college feeder league? 50-60 games in a season?


Monday, February 22, 2010

Schedules and Realignment and Interleague Play... Oh My...

OK, now that injuries are out of the way, let's get to the next topic on our hit list -- schedules/realignment.

One owner had noted that home/away schedules generated by the game were unbalanced. While each team ended up with a total of 81 home games and 81 away games, and that each team played (roughly) the same number of games against each other team in their league, the home/away splits for each team were out of whack. IOW, while a team might play another team 27 times over the course of a season, they might only have 5 home games and 22 away against that team.

To counter that, I wrote a schedule which I posted in a previous post. The schedule fixes this problem by evening out (as much as possible) the home/away splits against each team.
However, there are some in the league who favor a realignment solution -- going to three divisions with a single wild card team. I'm more than willing to discuss realignment (I'm not really in favor of it myself -- but I'm certainly willing to entertain the idea), but I'd like to get the schedule issue settled. There was also talk about keeping the current alignment, but adding interleague play to the schedule.

So, there are (at least) three possibilities:

1. Keep things as they are, with a new schedule to fix the home/away imbalance
2. Keep the current alignment, but add interleague play
3. Switch to a 3 division alignment with a single wild card
4. ... add your own proposal here...



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saskatoon Ties Series

The Saskatoon Amigos tied the Cecil Cup Series up at one game apiece today with an 8-3 victory over the Cleveland Steamers.

The game belonged to the Amigo batters, with 1B Billy Pla (2-4, HR, 2 RBI) and RF Santiago Salazar (3-4, 2 runs) being the stars of the game. SP Dario Lopez pitched a good game, going seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs. For the Steamers, SS William Midkiff had a good game, collecting three hits, including two triples, in four at bats.

Game 3 will be on Tuesday night.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Call For Vote: Injuries

I don't think this is going to be contentious, but we should have a formal vote. We've had a few days to discuss and now it's time for a vote on the first of the three issues that were brought up earlier.

So, please vote: Should the injury setting be changed from "Average" to "Low" for the 2016 season and beyond?


Cleveland Takes Game 1

The Cleveland Steamers took Game 1 of the Cecil Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Saskatoon Amigos. Cleveland drew first blood in the first with a lead-off home run by Monte Goss off of starting pitcher Thomas Cohen's third pitch.

The Amigos responded in the next inning with a solo home run by their post-season sensation, SS Royal Wilson.

The score remained tied 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth when the Steamers' Ronald Aiken led off with a single against Jeff Blevins. Tyler Thomas followed that with a double to left, sending Aiken to third. After William Midkiff grounded out for the first out of the inning, Chet Edwards hit a fly ball to center, allowing Aiken to score on the sacrifice without a throw.

After that, it all belonged to the pitchers. From the fourth inning on, only one runner reached third base (William Midkiff, after getting on base with a two-out error and stealing third).

Game 2 will be Sunday night.


Cecil Cup Preview 2015 - Steamroll or Amigo-rific?

Cleveland, Ohio (AP) - Tonight marks the first game of the 2015 Cecil cup and the people of Cleveland and Central Canadia are excited to get it started. The matchup is about as even as one can get. The regular season Zotti league champions and winners of 100 games, Cleveland Steamers, are hosting game one as they welcome in the Adams League Wild Card and 92 game winner, Saskatoon Amigos.

The big news this year is these two historical cellar dwellers fighting each other to be champions of the SDMB. Saskatoon finished last in the Adams League in 2014 while Cleveland's highest finish was 4th in 2006 before their rise to the playoffs and Cecil Cup Series last season.

The matchup is actually much closer than it seems at first glance. These two teams are evenly matched. Here is the breakdown:

Starting Pitching: This is actually a push. Even though Saskatoon has to push their number one starter Ramirez back until at least Game 3 and possibly game 4, that does not give the advantage to Cleveland.

The matchup in game one will be one for the ages. There is no hotter pitcher than Kendrick 'Boo' Kaler. He is 11-0 in his last 12 starts (including a gem in game one of the LCS). Over this span he has a 2.25ERA with a 0.90 WHIP in 88 IP and has 67 Ks. His opponent will be Thomas Cohen who went 17-10 this season with only 20 BBs the entire season. This should be a pitcher’s duel, but I think Kaler gets the best of this matchup.

Saskatoon has the advantages in games 2 and 3 with Lopez and Ramirez having the advantage over Minton and Turner, and that will leave it up to the decision on who goes in game 4 and beyond. It the number 4 starters go for the two teams the advantage would go to Cleveland as Keopp has had a great season while Orozco was a touch over average. But if either team goes to the game one starters on short rest, it is anyone's guess who would have the advantage there.

Middle Relief: After the starters get replaced the advantage will go to Cleveland. With the best closer in the league Junior Cuomo, Victor Valles and Arnold Pough leading up the charge for the Steamers they should have the advantaged over the Saskatoon relievers led by 19 year old former Steamer Closer Greg Fiala. If they have to head to the relief corps before the 9th inning, it could be trouble for the Amigos.

Catcher: Advantage to Saskatoon. Dash is the better hitter, but Dailey is the better fielder. Still Dash has a better overall potential in this matchup.

First Base: Advantage to Cleveland. Aikin is in a bit of a funk, but he does have the advantage of the platoon of Pla and Doezal who are still developing into their situation.

Second Base: Advantage to Saskatoon. With the injury to Burton for Cleveland it leaves the door open for the platoon of Peavey and Dalamau to take the advantage over fill in Edwards. Peavey has had an excellent season playing second and short this season and Dalamau is a good compliment in this platoon. Edwards has had a solid season, but he is more suited to the bench than an everyday starter.

Third Base: Advantage to Cleveland. Grondin has had a breakout season and has continued that into the playoffs. His LCS performance was good enough to win him the unofficial MVP of the series. If he keeps it up in the Cecil Cup Series he could be the reason why the Steamers win the championship. Burdine has had a solid season for the Amigos, but it would be tough for anyone in the league right now to surpass Grondin at third base.

Shortstop: Push. Both teams have solid defensive and offensive options at SS as Saskatoon runs out Wilson and Peavey while Midkiff gets the nod for Cleveland. Midkiff batted over .310 this season in his first season starting just about every day. His added offense is equaled by Wilson's added defense. Hence the push.

Left Field: Advantage Saskatoon. Rufus Murry is the real deal. He has power and average and speed a real 5-tool player. He will be a force to be reckoned with in this series, and could equal Grondin's productivity if it all falls right. For Cleveland, Christopher Pearsall is a quality OF, but he is not a Rufus by any stretch of the imagination.

Center Field: Advantage Cleveland. Monte Goss can hit. The lifetime .322 batting average is not matched by many in the league. His job is to get on base, and be knocked in by the middle of the lineup, and that is what he does. He scored 116 runs this season and looks to be a key part of the Steamers run to the championship. The Amigos throw Jose Diaz out in CF for his defense not his offense. He did hit 17 HR this season, but only had a career .226 batting average and that does not cut it for a starting player in the ML.

Right Field: Push. This is where the injured Brian Frison would be playing and Saskatoon will be missing him. Santiago Salazar is a decent replacement and has the power numbers with 26 HRs this season, but he is not a Frison. Tyler Thomas was signed to Cleveland to be the anchor in the middle of the lineup, and has done a decent job in the past of doing that, but has not lived up to close to $19M price tag. He has had a solid postseason so far, and will be needed to bring home the gold.

Bench: Push. It will be a crap shoot once we get into the bench area as both teams do not have the strongest benches around. It might be a lucky hit by one of these bench players that swings the series one way or another.

Overall, I would have to call this series a push and could go one way or the other. I would give the slight edge to Cleveland with their bullpen at the end of the game putting them over the top. I think we will see 7 full games with Cleveland winning the deciding game in the bottom of the 9th on a 3 run HR by Grondin. I think everyone is looking forward to the Cecil Cup Series of 2015.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saskatoon Dethrones the Monarchs

Saskatoon won their second Adams League pennant today with an 8-3 victory over the Monarchs. The star of the game was 3B Daniel Burdine, who went 3 for 4 with a triple, a home run and three RBI. Veteran SP Demarcus Ramirez outdueled Ronald Placencia by pitching seven innings of one run ball.

Congrats to the Amigos and the Steamers!

Game 1 of the Cecil Cup will be on Thursday night!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Cleveland Sweeps, Seattle Lives For Another Day

The Cleveland Steamers captured their second straight Zotti League pennant tonight with a 6-2 victory over the River Cities Sternwheelers. The game was a true pitcher's duel with Cleveland's Anthony Koepp and River Cities' Ed Scull keeping the game close. The contest was tied 2-2 going into the top of the ninth when the Steamer bats heated up and put four men across the plate, three of them on the strength of a 401 foot blast by John Grondin.

Over in the Adams League, Seattle staved off elimination with a 5-3 victory over the Amigos. Saskatoon was ahead 3-2 going into the top of the seventh when Saskatoon reliever Valentine Smith imploded, giving up three hits and two runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Join us tomorrow night for Game 5 of the Adams League playoff series.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saskatoon, Cleveland Make It Three In A Row...

The Saskatoon Amigos took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Adams League playoff series with a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Monarchs. Dario Lopez pitched well for the Amigos, throwing 6 2/3 innings of three-hit ball, giving up a single run ( a solo home run by Armando Cedeno in the second). SS Royal Wilson, who has been on fire this playoff series, contributed a pair of doubles and a single, bringing his series average up to .455 and his series OPS to an amazing 1.636.

Over in the Zotti League, Cleveland won again on Saturday night, defeating the Sternwheelers 5-3 to take a 3-0 league in the series. James Turner pitched well for the Steamers, going seven innings and giving up only two runs. In addition, he and his relievers did not allow any extra base hits to the River Cities batters. On the downside, Cleveland's 2B, Nathaniel Burton, was injured in a base collision and will likely miss the rest of the playoffs.

Next game will be Monday night. Tune in to see if we have a pair of sweeps.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Game 3s?

Are they going to be Saturday night?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saskatoon, Cleveland Win Again

The Amigos pulled off a second victory in the first round of the Cecil Cup by beating the Monarchs 5-1. Saskatoon's Thomas Cohen pitched a complete game, striking out five for the victory. Saskatoon's young SS Royal Wilson hit his second homer of the series with a three run blast off reliever Dalton Davis in the 8th.

Meanwhile, over in the Buckeye state, the Cleveland Steamers steamrolled the Sternwheelers with a 5-3 victory. 3B John Grondin and 2B Nathaniel Burton both chipped in with 3 hits each in the Cleveland win.

Next, the Adams series moves up north to Maple Leaf Land and the Zotti series goes down the I-77 to River Cities. See you on Thursday night.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cleveland, Saskatoon Take Leads...

In the Battle for the North, Saskatoon took a quick 1-0 lead against the Monarchs with a 6-2 victory in Seattle. The Monarchs took an early lead in the second innning, gave up that lead in fifth, tied it again in the sixth, and gave it up in the seventh when the Amigos took a 3-2 lead. However, the Amigos put the game away in the ninth with a three run homer by CF Edward Boothe.

Over in the I-77 series, there was only name that mattered -- Kendrick Kaler. Kaler simply shut the Sternwheelers down, allowing only one hit and one walk over eight innings, as the Steamers won 3-0.

Game 2 on Tuesday night. See you then!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Several Issues: Schedules, Injuries and money

I've noticed some "grumblings" about the injury settings in the league over the past few weeks, and the events of the past sim brought it forward (and not just because I lost a starter for the next season) to the fore.  If we want to lower the injury setting (or eliminate it altogether) for next season, let's discuss it and possibly set up a formal vote.

There have also been a number of suggestions regarding changing the schedule and/or the structure of the league.  I provided a schedule for 2016 for the current structure.  Nate has been kind enough to provide me with a schedule for a three-division (with one wildcard) structure.  I'm open to either of those ideas or some alternate form.  Let's discuss this so that we can get something in place for 2016.

Lastly, there have been some issues regarding financing and media contracts.  I have a framework for an idea, but I'd really like to get your feedback on it. 

I think we can all agree that success should be rewarded, so that successful teams have more money available.  On the other hand, you don't want to let the successful teams get too far ahead as then it becomes impossible for the worse teams to compete.  

So, how about having media contracts based on the previous year's standings.  Have a minimum and a maximum amount for the media contracts, and have the exact amount determined by the number of wins your team accumulates.  For example:

Suppose we expect the worst team to win no fewer than 45 games and the best team to win no more than 115.  That gives us a range of 70 wins.  

Now, suppose we determine that the smallest media contract should be $40m and the largest should be $60m.  The exact amount your team receives would be determined by the number of wins you receive.  If your team wins 80 games (halfway between 45 and 115), then you would get $50m.

Please keep in mind, I'm not married to those particular numbers -- they're for illustration only.  In addition, there are several ways we can do this -- we can place an equal value on all wins (from 45 to 115), or we can make some wins more valuable than others (differing marginal win values).  Or, if you don't like this idea at all, feel free to propose an alternate plan.

So, please let me know what you think on these issues.


One More Sim To Go

Game Date: October 1, 2015.

In the Adams League, it's going to be Seattle as the champion and Saskatoon as the wild card. In the Zotti League, it'll be Cleveland and River Cities in the playoffs. Cleveland still holds a three game lead, but it is possible for the Sternwheelers to catch up.


Brooklyn starter Nelson Coghlan is probably going to miss the vast majority of the 2016 season with a ruptured tricep tendon.
River Cities has two players that may miss part or all of the playoffs -- SP Juan Villatoro (hyperextended elbow) and 2B Timothy Palacio (knee damaged in a collision).

River Cities SS John Hukill reached his 300th home run this sim.

Upcoming sim schedule:

Last sim of the season: Thursday night (2/4)
1st playoff game: Saturday night (2/6)
2nd playoff game: Tuesday night (2/9)
3rd playoff game: Thursday night (2/11)

After that TBD.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tonight's Sim: How far?

How far are we going tonight? There's only five days in October. Could we finish the season tonight?