Due to technical difficulties (followed by about 20 minutes or cursing at a computer screen) the audio has been lost for Episode 5 of the Capra World Buzz Podcast.
Thanks to dcbove for coming on the show. Despite what he says, he was a very good interview. Congratulations to the Cleveland Spiders for their S32 championship. World Series victories are not rare in Cleveland, this being his fourth championship as an owner.
(His girlfriend took him out to dinner to congratulate him on his championship!)
He credited his world series win to solid pitching and a great lineup, which he certainly has. But most of all he credited his win to the Capra World Buzz Podcast Curse.
"When you guys were previewing the playoffs in your last episode, you had great things to say about every team, especially Seattle. Then you got to my team and you dismissed us." -dcbove
For those of you that aren't aware, there is a friendly rivalry between Cleveland and the AL South. And we dismissed his team from having a chance at the series.
How wrong we were. He turned that into bulletin board material real quick.
DCBove hails from upstate NY, something that may not mean a lot to some, but from a couple of guys (khendrickson and tbrad321) hailing from Clifton Park, NY (just outside of Albany) it was nice to talk to someone back from the homeland.
Ironically enough, the two of us live in Ohio now... The home state of the Cleveland Spiders. I digress.
DCBove is a staple in Capra. He keeps a statistical database of every at bat in the history of Capra. (He's sent them to me, it's quite an impressive task) We chatted about team-building strategies. We talked about his passion for analytics, numbers and the non-human element of baseball.
I'm going to leave a lot of this to the next time we have him on. Because khendrickson and I both agreed we want him back on the show. I hope you guys would want to hear strategies of a team that has won 90+ games in every season since S15.
Let's go Cruzin'
Everyone is talking about it, as they should be, the Wilin Cruz saga. Already arguably the most exciting time of the season, the off-season, just got a hell of a lot more interesting. Have you ever seen an IFA like this before? ML ready. 90+ overall rating. 26 years old. I have not seen anyone like him. Certainly a once-in-a-world type player.
And teams were ready to sell their souls for him!
Maybe not their souls, but they were ready to sell everything and anything. And one seller certainly caught the attention of the World Chat. That being the trade of Paulie Taft to the Jacksonville Bulls. The Oklahoma City Okies offered a trade to the Bulls, essentially for salary relief to transfer to the prospect budget. Taft was sent over with a prospect catcher, in exchange for nothing. The catcher was Gail Rogers. A young catching prospect that honestly has a chance to be a decent catcher. Not a superstar by any means. He can play in the ML, and he would be on the bottom half of catchers, but he could play.
And that's where the debate begins. Should teams that are trying to sell players for salary relief be able to trade prospects in the deal.
Khendrickson and DCBove agreed that the trade was OK. No one wanted Paulie Taft. No one would have picked him up off the waiver wire, probably. He had a bad contract. Was overpaid, so the incentive for the Bulls was to get a prospect in return.
But on the other side of things there's the theory that ML talent should be traded for ML talent. I agree with this theory, as did 13 other owners, that chose to veto the proposal.
To each his own, we decided, and the point is now moot, as the trade has been vetoed and Cruz has signed with the Texas Legion.
And on that note, welcome to Capra, DaJack! And more specifically, welcome to the AL South. We, as you might be able to tell based on this offseason, are a very active world. We only had one spot to fill in the offseason, and it was great of you to join us!
And congrats on nabbing the best IFA this world has ever seen. We suspect he'll be in AAA for about 20 games, then get promoted to ML after the arbitration clock clears. A great addition to any team. Texas' franchise has some building to do, of course. But Cruz, a top 5 pick, a deep minor league system and a smart owner can turn things around for The Legion within a couple seasons.
(Not if khendrickson and I have anything to say about it)
Stacked in Salem
One of the biggest movers this offseason is none other than jrnyfan01. What a team he has put together. His pitching rotation is stacked. Glen Restovich, Cozy Carter and Sammy Ontiveros headline the pitching staff. He acquired Davey Pedroia and Pete Price, one through trade one through FA. This team is going to be a juggernaut this season.
Look for Salem to make a statement in the American League this season.
No more in Nashville
After missing the playoffs last year, Nashville began a rebuilding process. He sold Pete Price to the aforementioned Salem, and ace pitcher Burt Mullens to Atlanta. A sub-4.00 ERA career pitcher that is likely headed to FA next season.
Atlanta takes over Mullens, and adds to his pitching staff of Donovan Fail and Trenidad Donezalez. He fully expects him to ride the workhorse Mullens for all he's got.
"Look, he's heading to FA next year, so I'm going to use him. And abuse him. Drain every inning out of this guy that I can." -khendrickson
Big FA signings
Speaking of Atlanta players heading to FA. Atlanta lost its best player to the FA market in Kazuki Saitou. Negotiations broke down, and Kaz found himself a free agent, only to be picked up by jdrake and the Detroit Dragons.
"This is the cog that bumps the dragons over the Screw" -tbrad321
As confusing as that statement is, the Dragons made a great signing in Kaz, and despite a less than desirable pitching staff, jdrake could win the division on the bats of Kaz and Fritz Doumit alone, passing the Chicago Screw.
Julio Jimenez, former Jacksonville Bull, finds himself an Iceman now. Quite literally. It's cold in Ottawa (I imagine). After a fierce battle between at least myself and mfahie (and possibly other owners), Jimenez is now a member of the Ice. But a lot of owners are maybe questioning, is he worth it?
"'Not so fast my friend.' - Lee Corso" -khendrickson
As khendrickson pointed out, Jimenez's L/R splits as a starting pitcher don't impress, but his pitch ratings are off the chart. First pitch rating of 96 and second pitch rating of 91. This is going to make up for his mid 60's L/R splits.
"Who even throws a Palmball?" -tbrad321
This is why I'm most upset that the computer crashed and we lost everything. We had planned a segment called lightning round. It was glorious. I mixed down some lightning round music, and it played over the segment. We went through division by division, picking winners.
God I wish you guys could hear this music. We'll be bringing back the lightning round next time for sure. This was glorious.
Anyway in the lightning round we went division by division, predicting the season. So we're just going to do it here. Khendrickson is here. Here we go. Imagine awesome music while reading this.
khendrickson: I was thinking Ottawa reclaims their division title, and gets back to the playoffs. They were S30 champs, and I think they finish on top again. I think the Roses finish second and claim a wild card.
tbrad321: I like the Roses to repeat as AL North champs. Not a lot changed on the Roses with a couple of exceptions. I like Ottawa to compete for a wildcard spot and finish second in the division. I'm not saying they have a wildcard spot locked up. By they will be in the mix. Jimenez was a great addition.
khendrickson: Cleveland. Without a question. They are too consistent. They have mostly the same team from last year. I like the Expos to finish second in the division and grab a wild card. Vic Zumaya should be making his ML debut this year and make a big impact for the Expos.
tbrad321: I like Cleveland as well, but I'm not yet sold on the Expos. I like Charlotte and Cleveland to compete near the top for most of the season. One of these two teams will win the division. The other will grab the first wildcard. If I have to pick. Cleveland wins the division.
khendrickson: We win.
tbrad321: We win.
khendrickson: Don't get me wrong. The Okies have a great franchise, but Salem is just too stacked. Salem wins the division and has the best record in the AL.
tbrad321: I agree. And I'll take it a step further. Salem wins at least 105 games. Salem is too stacked.
khendrickson: Proven experience and a really consistent team, I have to go with the Screw. The Dragons are close though. They will grab a Wild Card.
tbrad321: I said something about a cog and a screw earlier, and I'm sticking by it. The Dragons pass the Screw in the NL North and grab the division title. The Screw will grab a wildcard.
khendrikson: The consistency of the Sicilians prevails. Who can argue with three straight World Series Appearances? The pitching staff of Philly will give them a chance, though.
tbrad321: Syracuse. Closer than last season. But Syracuse by 4 games.
khendrickson: I like Little Rock. They improved 20 games from S31 to S32. I think they improve on that and take the division.
tbrad321: I like the SunRays. They acquired Wilkin Mujica, a SP from Philly. They were in the mix last year. The division, quite frankly is up for grabs. I like the SunRays.
khendrickson: The commissioner completes his rebuild and takes the division from Seattle. Strong all-around team in Anaheim. Seattle grabs a wild card.
tbrad321: I like Junior Hernandez way too much to pick against him. He's a beast with the worst agent in the world. Seattle takes the division. The Anteaters compete for a wildcard spot with the Stars and the Screw.
khendrickson: Salem over the Sicilians. The Sicilians become the Buffalo Bills of Capra.
tbrad321: I think Salem wins the AL. But the Sicilian reign is over in the NL. Dragons in the WS to represent the NL. But Salem edges them. Can't argue with that pitching staff. Salem over Detroit.
And there we have it. Again. Sour taste in my mouth watching the computer freeze into oblivion. But hopefully this makes up for it a little bit. This is everything we covered.