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Showing posts from April, 2011

Syracuse Sicilians Preview

The Syracuse Sicilians returned to the playoffs last year, making that 4 appearances in 5 years (including 3 Divisional Championships) under the current GM.

The Sicilians have perennially found their strength in pitching and defense, while they have struggled to find a consistent offense. In Year 19 they did show improvement at the plate, however, finishing 7th in the league in runs scored. This followed 4 years where they finished 14th, 14th, 12th and 14th in the same category. The Sicilian pitching staff stumbled slightly and gave up the 6th fewest runs in the league in Season 19. This followed 4 seasons where they were 3rd, 1st, 3rd, and 3rd in runs allowed. During the past 5 seasons the boys from Syracuse have flashed spectacular glove-work, finishing 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 1st in fielding percentage.

As a new Opening Day approaches Syracuse fans are optimistic that their teams pitching and defensive strengths will remain just that and that their offensive improvement will continue.

HOF: Menechino vs. Wilson

A few days ago we were treated to mfahie's exhaustive recap of all the HOF candidates, including his comments on a crowded field of first basemen. Mfahie pointed out the merits of Henry Menechino, Trenidad Prieto, Alexander Henry, and - to a lesser degree - Don Wilson. He ranked them in that order, singling out Menechino as a top-tier candidate and designating Wilson as a borderline case and the 22nd most deserving candidate.

Crickett13 subsequently responded with a spirited promotion of Don Wilson's candidacy and has garnered some support for Wilson in the World Chat.

We'll try to compare each player's career here. In a crowded field with a number of worthy HOF contenders, it is likely that an owner's ballot might contain room for only one of these contenders. For counting stats, we'll compare per 600 plate appearance to try to smooth out some of the issues with playing time. And finally, we'll provide the stats for two other comparable candidates.

Henry…

Monterrey Campéones Season 20 Preview

After making their 3rd consecutive ALCS appearance, and celebrating 8 straight AL South division titles, Monterrey is back to compete for the title again. Monterrey said goodbye to two more of their longtime heroes, but hope with some new faces to make another deep run in the playoffs.

Infield:

Perennial All-Star Alfonso Cortez is back after signing a lucrative contract to anchor the Campéones infield. Vinny Holmes returns to man the hot corner. The right side of the infield is brand new, with defensive wizard Lance Plant at second, and rookie Juan Brogna at first. Veteran professional hitter Stan Lee will take time out from his budding career as a comic book artist to play some first base and help mentor Brogna. Ralph Daniels will hope to rebound from a very disappointing year last year, while Orlando Javier brings his stellar defensive skills and occasional pop back for another year. Ivan Soriano comes over from Madison to back up any and all positions. Javier Leon still owns a catche…

Cleveland Spiders S20 Preview

The S19 Cleveland Spiders did what had previously seemed impossible and brought a World Series title to the much beleaguered city of Cleveland. The "Mistake by the Lake" is now - if only temporarily - "The Town with a Crown". After three World Series losses and four straight, unconsummated 105+ win seasons, the Spiders won 107 games and topped the Louisville Redbirds in a six-game series.

The question now is: Can they repeat?

Most of the World Series roster returns intact, but the payroll has dropped from $107 million to $93 million. Unlike last season, where a slow start and some defensive issues were handled by acquiring Yorvit Guiterrez, there is no money in the budget for a pricey mid-season acquisition. Some help exists in the minors, but this is a talented team of veterans with little depth and they'll only go as far as their health allows.

Starting Rotation
S19 Cy Young runner-up Rick Christensen won 21 games.
The rotation continues to be anchored by Ric…

A Look at S20's HOF Nominees

The following are my views on this season’s nominees. I’ve put them in 5 categories: No Doubt, Good Chance, Borderline, Short Career, and No Chance. With only 5 votes, it’s very hard to determine who exactly to vote for.And for those who don’t vote for 5, think about players like Alberto Sosa, who has 550 HR’s and is about 15th in line (and won’t ever get in).Voting for 5 doesn’t guarantee that 5 get in, just that people have a chance.No Doubt
Brett Tracy – Should have a category all to himself.One of the greatest players ever in all of HBD, his 303 W and 3.09 ERA show that he deserved his 10 Cy Young Awards. Not much discussion needed here.Dennys Yamakazi – The numbers might not be staggering, with 190-133 W-L and a 3.89 ERA, but he was clearly the best pitcher not named Tracy in the early years of the league. No real-life pitcher won 3 CYA’s and isn’t in the HOF.His career ERA+ of 133 makes him comparable to Whitey Ford.He’s a HOFer.Henry Menechino – Others might find his career too …

Seattle Picards S20 Preview

The Picards stumbled out of the gate in S19, not even making it to .500 until the all-star break and then getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs. The team's struggles persuaded management to trade off some veterans and go with younger players. This season, Seattle will try to walk the tightrope of rebuilding with youth while still competing for a playoff spot. Will they be able to do it?

Pitching
Since coming over in a trade with Monterrey three seasons ago, David Armas has turned into the staff ace, posting sub-3.00 ERA's in back-to-back season. In the rotation, he's capably followed by Junior Funaki, Che Hasegawa and Denny Martin. Groundball specialist D'Angelo Rojas holds down the SP5 spot. Phenom Junior Hernandez is still a year or two away.

Seattle was unable to land a lights-out RP over the offseason, so they will go with veterans Slash Clay and Rolando Diaz in the late innings; along with youngsters Harry Hammond, Willie Seguignol and Pat McCullough.

Cat…