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Showing posts from March, 2008

The Real Futures Team, Part V

Grading the Shortstops

Shortstop, like second base or centerfield, is a position where sometimes the best players go because they actually are shortstops and other times they just play there. Capra is blessed with some future standouts currently working between second and third base; unfortunately, for some this is just a short stop on the way to a new position.

Future Gold GloversPlayers who could develop into defensive divas of the diamond, directly.

1. Wesley Smith, Tacoma Rookie, 1st year pro, 18 years old. The seven teams that passed on Smith in the season seven draft stiffed the man who could become the most complete ballplayer in Capra, based on his projections. The high-school prospect is already impressive, but he could quickly develop into a seven-tool player with the talent he's been given. P-A-P Scouting says he will have above-average speed, baserunning, and power to go with exceptional fielding, range, contact, and plate discipline. He has the most to grow in h…

Vancouver Maintaineers Spring Training Update

Ownership continues to build from within and tweak with trades for role players. AAA World Series MVP, Paul Hayashi, joins a staff desperate for an ace. If spring training is an indicator, he is ready for the assignment at 2-0 with a 0.87 WHIP. Paul was the sixth selection in the season four draft. Shortstop Edgar Romero moves to center field to make room for Danny Carlson, the fourth pick of the season five draft. Romero should solve the perennial problem at center field. Carlson projects to one of the best arms in the game, was also an AAA champion with Hayashi. Another rookie, Cameron Wohlers, gets a shot at the big league as a back up third baseman. Wohlers slammed fifty-two round trippers in season seven. He will be counted on for power off the bench.

Two players arrived via trade: pitcher Sean Bold and shortstop Vin Plata. Bold came over from Anaheim for minor league catcher Wiki Martin and reliever Paul Potvin. Bold has a major league 1.29 WHIP over five seasons and s…

Recent HBD Update

The March 6 update to the HBD engine features some important developments we should all be aware of. mnnorthstars mentioned one of these in the chat page: Spring Training playing time now has increased importance. Specifically, those with adequate playing time could get a friendlier boost in ratings, and big league players who don't get enough playing time can take a hit in their ratings. This latter element is the key thing here to note.

As far as what equals adequate( or as tzentmeyer called it "enough") playing time, we don't know yet. Since this update is so recent, there have yet to be any studies in the forum. Before the update, I tried to get as many players as possible 40 at bats and 15-20 innings for starting pitchers to capture the Spring ratings boost.

Perhaps when ST is over some of us can report back here with the varying results of playing time.

The other update to the engine involes rookies and big league service time. Previously, you could call up rookie…

Rule 5 Draft

Capra held its 3rd annual Rule 5 draft a couple days ago. The Pawtucket Patriots kicked off the festivities by selecting 23 year-old centerfielder Peter Phillips, formerly of the Minnesota North Stars. Phillips was a 3rd round pick in the S4 draft and has been an All-Star, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove winner in the minor leagues, but he'll need to learn to drive the ball a little better to stick in the big leagues.

The Cleveland Brewdogs made shortstop Del Fuentes the 2nd overall pick. Fuentes is an excellent baserunner and skilled with the leather. He could be moved around the infield very comfortably.

Overall, 35 previously unprotected players were snatched up by other teams. The North Stars lost the most players, four, and didn't themselves draft anyone. Boston lost three and didn't select any. Pawtucket drafted the most players in the draft, seven, followed by the Brewdogs, who snatched up SS Fuentes and three subsequent pitchers.

Other intriguing players selected incl…

Five Questions with the Season 7 Champ!

Me and Shoeless Joe . . . we be mates. Here's my responses to rls1's five questions. I've been unsuccessfully lurking around WIfS for 3 years playing Simbaseball, HBD and GD. I play progressive Simbaseball theme leagues, but enjoy the dynasty games more. I run a progressive theme "History Rewritten" that started with the 1885 season and should reach the present day season in 30 years. We'll be here if you want to join. This is my first BLOG post, so I guess I'm officially a nerd.

1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports?

I enjoy the nicknames used in baseball (yeah, not just a baseball thing, I know). Names like ‘The Splendid Splinter’ or ‘Bucketfoot Al’ or ‘The Old Fox’ speak to the rich tradition/hazing of baseball. Baseball is one of the few sports that place so much emphasis on tradition (well, except Judge Smails’ beloved “galf”). I always go back to Terry Mann’s (James Earl Jones) monologue in the movi…

Anaheim Anteaters S8 Preview

A few seasons ago, Anaheim(then Portland) was steeped in the possibilities of the future. The minor league system was preparing to mature many top-flight prospects: Charles Jones, Alex Beck, Patrick Spencer, Marino Flores, Julio Santos, Pat Trammell, Cristobal Cruz, Delino Julio, and Eli Lopez were either getting their first taste of the bigs or prepping for their big-league debut. And while many of them have, indeed, flourished, the franchise is suddenly met with a pressure to win now.

Anaheim's veterans are getting older and beginning to see an erosion of their skill ratings. Chiefly, Jacob Foster, Kip White, and Nerio Miller are entering their mid-30s, an age-set that HBD doesn't think very much of. Furthermore, the fact that so many of those prospects graduated at the same time will price some of them out of Anaheim's budget in another year or so. This current group of ballers, that has played in the previous two League Championship Series, may be in their final season …

Helena -- The curse of Dwight Hamilton

Editorial in the Helena High Times
Howard Gristle, Editor

For the past 4 seasons the Honolulu entry in the AL West has finished in second place but was barred from the playoffs because of the mediocrity of its won-lost record. Beat writers in the Aloha state never faulted the punchless lineup because of the many pitcher-friendly features of the ballpark. However, despite good team defense and the obvious advantages of the stadium, the performances of the various iterations of the starting staff have hovered in the realm of the horrendous, and the press, and eventually the fans, were merciless in grilling these pitchers over the flames of mockery and contempt.

In a decision aimed as much to save the psyches of his pitchers as to garner tax advantages, franchise owner Saffron has moved his team to our fair city after the 7-year lease expired at Aloha Stadium. Helena fans are hoping there is some method to his madness as critics of the move have noted the logic that bad pitchers likely wo…

Budgetary Concerns

bowlum's teams(formerly Idaho, now Colorado) continue to reward handsomely their players. For the third time they have the highest allotment for player payroll, this season at 114. In fact bowlum has been in the top 5 player payroll amounts for 5 seasons running and has never budgeted less than 90M for players. In 8 seasons, bowlum has budgeted 839M on player salaries, or 57% of his entire franchise budget.

On the flipside, beernoser and chazzzzzz continue their competition as the rightful heir to Billy Beane. Both franchises(Montgoomery and Albuquerque, respectively) have established consistent records of excellence at all all levels while maintaining very low player payroll at the big league level. Beernoser's Constitutions have not run a player salary of more than 50M since season 4, and that was only 65M, all the while averaging 90 wins per season and completing an October engagement. chazzzzzz's Roadrunners have not gone beyond 68M since Season 3, a stretch that includ…

5 Questions with Saffron

Saffron is one of the most respected and thoughtful owners in WIS baseball. He has started multiple progressive leagues, including his pioneering of the Split Progressive League. He has played over 240 seasons of Simleague baseball, but recently transferred his interests to HBD where he now runs 10 simultaneous teams and makes the playoffs in roughly 60% of those seasons. (Photo inset is the Saffron flower.)

1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports?
"Saffron" was pure serendipity -- the first word which came to mind when my eyes strayed to a photo of Indian food in a magazine next to the computer. I thought that it was merely a means of accessing the site, not a moniker which would stay with me; but I've grown attached to it. I came to WIS through a link on

2) Offer a paragraph bio of yourself, possibly including things like work, family life, geography, other hobbies, quirky traits, bad habits, etc.
With my wife and two …

Walt Cashman: An Appreciation

In a game filled with offensive studs, few hitters have risen to the consistent level of excellence as Toronto's Walt Cashman. Cashman has played over 150 games in left or centerfield for the Beavers since Capra's onset. During that time, Cashman has accumulated the following numbers(along with all-time placement),

Career Batting Average: .352. 1st overall.
Runs Scored:1,033. 1st overall.
Hits: 1,565. 1st overall.
Doubles: 355. 1st overall.
Triples: 86. 1st overall.
Runs Created: 1249.70. 1st overall.
RBIs: 1,017. 2nd overall.
Slugging %: .650. 2nd overall.
Runs Created/27: 10.90. 2nd overall.
At-bats: 4,441. 2nd overall.
OPS: 1.076. 3rd overall.
Intentional Walks: 115. 3rd overall.
On-base %: .426. 4th overall(tied).

Furthermore, Mr. Cashman also holds the following Single Season Records

Doubles: 59
Hits: 248
Runs Created: 216.04

All of this has led Walt to winning 4 MVPs, being an All-Star selection 6 times, and a Silver Slugger 5 times. Walt Cashman, I believe I speak for all of us when I sa…

Albuquerque Roadrunners Season 7/8 Off-Season Report

When MLB teams talk about creating a player development machine, they often refer to the likes of the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, or Los Angeles Angels (of Orange County). In Capra, one of the teams in that sentence would be the Albuquerque Roadrunners. In 7 seasons of play, Albuquerque has won the division 5 times, and made numerous playoff appearances at every minor league stop. That didn’t change in season 7, as the Birds took 5 of the 6 possible division crowns, capping it off with a trip to the World Series by the parent club, despite a disappointing 86-76 regular season mark.

Since the starting nine routinely pace the league in batting, thanks in no small park to the expansive, and dead, air of their home park, the Roadrunners must make an annual look at improving and revamping a pitching staff that curses that same air that gives the offense life. Charles Jang and Max Bennett, notable trade acquisitions, have paced the staff since their arrival, but now both are…

5 Questions with jrnyfan01

1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports? I am a huge fan of Journey - the band. I guess I was hoping to give them some love by getting them to the top of the standings. They are not so well respected in music circles... oh well. I never have been one to follow the popular choice.
I was playing Diamond Legends when an owner posted the whatifsports website. At $10 per team instead of $50, I thought I could experiment more, and then take my knowledge back to Diamond Legends for bigger prizes. Of course, I never went back.

2) Offer a paragraph bio of yourself, possibly including things like work, family life, geography, other hobbies, quirky traits, bad habits, etc. I am a research associate at Marcus & Millichap, the second largest commercial real estate firm in the country. It is kinda boring. I am studying for my doctorate in education. Expected graduation date is Winter 2009.

3) A sports-themed bio paragraph. Favorite team? Pla…

5 Questions with bballc

bballc joined Capra for S6 and took a team that had played .198 in S5 to two straight better-than-.500 seasons. The Jacksonville Juggernauts just won 84 games and are a franchise on the upswing under his management. Elsewhere, in the OCD World, bballc's Richmond Rockets have won 4 of the first 7 World Series titles(eat your heart out Woodchippers)!
1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports? bballc started off being a sign on for my son. He was a basketball player. I couldn't talk him into trying WIS so I kept the sign-on for myself. I heard about WIS on a local radio station. Homer 1360, now Homer 1530 from Lance McCalister.
2) Offer a paragraph bio of yourself, possibly including things like work, family life, geography, other hobbies, quirky traits, bad habits, etc. I'm an old guy. I'm 50. I love sports. I have enjoyed watching my kids play sports. My youngest (bballc) recently got a scholarship to play college football. I live…

5 Questions with crickett13

crickett13 is a legend on the WIS progressive circuit, having played over 265 Sim baseball seasons and serving long-term in many of WIS' longest running and most-respected leagues. He was kind enough to respond in detail for the benefit of the league.

1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports?
Crickett13 comes from a combination of an old girlfriends nickname and my number when I played softball. Why 13? I'm dating myself with this but some of you may remember the hero's of the NFL books of the late 60's and early 70's. One featured Don Maynard and even though I hated the Jets (I'm a Colts fan) I really liked Maynard. he said that he wasn't superstitious and wore #13 to prove a point. You didn't need luck to be good you just needed to play harder. As far as the old girlfriend truth be told I don't even really remember what she looks like at this point but just like jrny who asked me this a couple of years ag…

Notes on Season 7: American League

The defending World Series Champs pace the AL all season with 109 wins, their best to date, but get trumped in the post-season by the Roadrunners, who go on to the third World Series appointment. . . All 4 division winners(Montreal, Albuquerque, Jackson, and San Juan) repeat their division crowns from S6. . . Abuquerque has now won the division 5 straight seasons and has been to the Series in three of those, but remains a bridesmaid, so to speak. . . Since S3, Honolulu's minor league teams have made the playoffs in 18 of 25 tries. Meanwhile, the big league team hasn't been invited since S1. . . Jackson's Low A team has now won the World Series 4 straight seasons and running. . . Las Vegas fans are losing patience as the Longballers have now dropped 302 games over the last 3 seasons.

Diego Santana. Diego Santana. Diego Santana. . . Elsewhere, Dennys Yamakazi keeps getting better as he gets older and wins CY #3. . . 36 year-old reliever Terry Blauser was on the trading block …

The Iron of Fake Baseball

MINNEAPOLIS - Recently, catcher Jose Almonte was acknowledged for his long streak of consecutive games played, which has lasted the entire existence of the league.

"Es un gran honor ser mencionado en las mismas frases con los héroes de béisbol como Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, y Cal Ripken, Hijo. En algunos lugares, me comparan con mi compadre y mi amigo, Miguel (Tejada). Sólo intento jugar y divertirme cada día y si jugar cada día sea impresivo para los aficionados, pues, gracias," Almonte said at a recent offseason meet-and-greet with fans. "Doy gracias a mi Dios por darme tanta buena salud y al gerente por poner su fé en mi cada día durante las siete estaciones. Sólo espero un aumento de pagamiento para pagar mi cirugia en ambas rodillas durante mis años 40," he said, laughing.

Here's some more info about Almonte. His 1,134-game streak would theoretically put him in sixth place all-time compared with the real Major Leaguers. If he made it through season 8, he …

The Real Futures Team, Part IV

Third Basemen

"The Hot Corner" is a hot issue for the future of Capra. In the infield, the secondary offensive threat traditionally comes from third base, and these young men deliver in that category. We also have a speedy tablesetter, a couple of guys who could play shortstop as well as third, and a collective ability to get on base and then get home from there.

1. Javier Osuna, Jackson High A, 4th year pro, 21 years old. Osuna's a beast, plain and simple. His one drawback might be his slow advancement through the minors in Jackson, where he repeated high A this year. If he played this season in the majors, odds are that his numbers would have been somewhat close to what he put up in high A. He does everything, witnessed by his .366 career average and career-long streaks of 36 doubles, 21 home runs, and 110 RBI. Osuna had 92 extra-base hits and 95 singles in season seven. If he gets hurt, this could all go south in a hurry.

2. Moises Guzman, Jacksonville AAA, 3rd year…

Notes on Season 7: National League

Fargo has its best season to date with 115 wins, but doesn't make it to the NLCS for the second straight time. . . Instead, Anaheim and St. Louis duke it out again for the NL flag. . . The Archers are the third NL team to win the World Series(Fargo 3x and Toronto once). . . Under new ownership, Tacoma passes the .500 mark for the first time. . . On the flip side, the Beavers finish under .500 for the first time. . . Atlanta has won the NL East for 6 straight seasons. . . Little Rock had their string of four straight division titles snapped by El Paso. . .

Brett Tracy misses 1/4 of the season with a sore shoulder, but still manages to win his 7th straight Cy Young by going 18-5 in 201 innings. . . Kip White sets a Capra record with a .513 OBP and wins his first MVP. . . In 3 seasons Atlanta's Greg Shields is 108/116 in save opportunities. . . Cathcer Jerry West was signed as a cheap, backup for Little Rock and ends up hitting .300 and winning the Gold Glove. . . Melvin Martin w…

The Real Futures Team , Part III

Second Basemen

Second base is one of the depositories of the most talented players in the minor leagues. Many of them are on different career paths; even if they are headed for the major leagues, they might turn into shortstops, center fielders, left fielders, or, amazingly, second basemen. These two facts make them hard to rank, so this is more of a roll call than a ranking. The players are split into two groups. The first group is made up of the youngsters who project to defensive and offensive excellence, while the second group is everybody else. The basic idea is that all of these guys fit the category of can't miss prospects, but they will fill different roles in their organizations down the road.

Future Gold Glovers
Edgar Berroa, Atlanta AA, 2nd year pro, 19 years old. Berroa is a five-tool player who caught a cup of coffee in AA and hit 42 doubles in season 7. He can steal bases and should be competent in the field no matter what level he plays. .290/.380/.480 is so…

The Real Futures Team, Part II

First basemen

The common assumption is that first base is where the lumbering hulks with the big bats go so they don't make fools of themselves defensively. That's true for some of these guys, but others of them can seriously pick it and could play somewhere else next season or further down the road. As far as excellence at the plate, these guys have it covered. Our boys have hit .401, hit 74 home runs, and driven in more than 200 RBI in individual seasons during their short careers with even more to come.

1. Carlos Pulido, Jacksonville AAA, 4th year pro, 21 years old. Pulido is a masher in the purest form, cracking 32, then 59, then 62 home runs as he moved up a level each season. He seems to be getting better as his competition improves and his RBI totals have been sick. Expect a .320/.390/.650 line when he goes pro with 50+ homers on his good years.2. Tex Jordan, Boston High A, 2nd year pro, 22 years old. Jordan is a home run machine like some of his counterparts, but …