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Decisions, decisions [Nov. 13th, 2007|04:19 pm]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

[mood |confusedconfused]

I'm wondering about what to do. I have Akinori Iwamura under contract for the O's, and he's been great, raising his average to .305 in 2008 and fielding his position (3B) well. (Could've walked more than 47 times, but oh, well.) My 1B going into next year is Chris Vinyard, a farm hand who hit .402 in AA last year, and went 8-for-25 in limited time in the bigs. Not bad, but I could use a backup. No problem there...I have Nomar Garciaparra waiting to be signed. He's asking too much right now, so he's technically a free agent. There's also a FA pitcher I'd like to sign, Ben Hendrickson, and then there's Jeff Keppinger. He's a free agent now, was a Cubs Reds bench guy last year who played his way into the lineup. Keppinger hit .345, mostly as a pinch hitter before taking over at 3B. His career average is now .315, my scouts are rating him a 97 for contact, and he can also play 2B and possibly 1B. He's only asking $1.9m. (Oh, and Brian Roberts had an off-year in 2008, hitting .256 with 12 HR, though he had an OBP of .338.)

How do I sign all these guys? I just did myself a favor by trading the inconsistent Chad Bradford and his big-ticket salary to Oakland for Marco Scutaro, so that should help...and what do I do with them once I sign them? Garciaparra could DH, which is what he did for me last year (.284 with 11 HR and 68 RBI), but he's 35 now and wants $5.6m over 2 years. Currently, Nolan Reimold is slated to be the DH - he hit .278 with 5 HR in 46 games last year and he fields like he's on skates.
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Remaking the Orioles [Oct. 24th, 2007|12:23 am]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

So I've been going ahead with a Baseball Mogul sim in order to fill some of the downtime on this assignment at work. It's pretty straightforward - take the Orioles and make them a decent team again. Not an easy task. The O's are burdened with underperformers and ridiculous salaries, and there's no visible help on the way from the minors.

2007Collapse )

2008Collapse )
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Remaking the Orioles, Part 1 [Oct. 5th, 2007|04:18 pm]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

So I've been going ahead with a Baseball Mogul sim in order to fill some of the downtime on this assignment at work. It's pretty straightforward - take the Orioles and make them a decent team again. Not an easy task. The O's are burdened with underperformers and ridiculous salaries, and there's no visible help on the way from the minors.

The first thing I did was to dump salary, big time. At the beginning of the 2007 season, Kris Benson, Jaret Wright, Jay Payton, Jay Gibbons, Paul Bako, and Steve Trachsel were all shuffled off elsewhere for absolutely anything that anyone would give me. Melvin Mora was dealt to the Devil Rays for their rookie third baseman, Akinori Iwamura, and Ramon Hernandez was dealt for Mike Napoli of the Angels. The resulting lineup was not appreciably good, but it was appreciably cheaper - I went from one of the biggest payrolls in the AL to the third smallest, down with Tampa and Kansas City.

The season was a mess. We actually came out of the gate in fine form, going 18-9 into early May...but then the wheels fell off, and we sank to fourth place. Injuries were a huge concern, and I actually wibbled the sim midway through because teams were getting hammered; the O's at one point in late August had twelve players on the DL at once. Ridiculous...as a result of that and the lousy lineup, no Oriole had more than 17 HR (Tejada), and no pitcher had more than 11 wins (Bedard). First base was a whirl, with Kevin Millar and Doug Mientkiewicz (a pickup from the Yankees) sharing duties until Millar suffered a season-ending injury; Aubrey Huff, rookie Brandon Sing, and mid-season pickup Nomar Garciaparra also played significant stretches there. The rotation was a constant bother as well. Chan Ho Park was brought in to shore it up as pitchers kept dropping for the season (Adam Loewen, Rob Bell...) Daniel Cabrera did a long stint on the DL but managed to find himself in the process, turning in a sub-4.00 ERA.

Minor league call-up Adam Stern was a pleasant surprise, filling in at DH and CF, as Corey Patterson only hit .238. Stern hit .303 as a regular. Iwamura was consistently in the .280-.290 range, Tejada had a great year, hitting .305; Roberts hit .296.
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A league of whose own? [Jul. 29th, 2007|03:21 am]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

Thinking more about my created league. I'd still like to put a team in Hawaii, which would hopefully perform better than that of a few posts ago. My sister has this thing about not having more than one team in a state; thus, the Cubs, Mets, and such would move. My younger daughter wants to play, and will either take over the Red Sox or create an expansion team in Alaska...
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O's go the way of the D-Rays [Jul. 27th, 2007|11:56 am]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

As an exercise prior to setting up my new league, I decided last night to attempt to save the Orioles from the wreckage of Peter Angelos. It's not an easy task, given that this is a realistic game; the O's payroll budget is about $51 million, which they are more than $40 million over at the start of the game. Yikes.

Not easy to balance...and in order to turn the trick, I had to trade down like a rug merchant. Gone are Ramon Hernandez, Melvin Mora, Jay Payton, Aubrey Huff, Jaret Wright, Kris Benson, Paul Bako, Kevin Millar, Danys Baez...a whole host of overpriced folks, mostly to National League teams. But in return, I think I got some fair deals, and reduced the payroll to a more manageable $57 million. Scott Hatteberg is now the first baseman - a stopgap while we allow our talent to grow. Rookie J.R. House has come out of the minors to play catcher, and is hitting well with Dioner Navarro on the bench just in case (you should've seen what Atlanta wanted for Saltalamacchia or McCann). A trade brought Akinori Iwamura to the O's, and Craig Counsell backs up him as well as Roberts and Tejada. Anibal Sanchez was obtained from Florida to shore up the pitching, and Derrick Turnbow is the new setup guy for Chris Ray. The left fielder is now Josh Hamilton, with Patterson remaining in center and Markakis in right; Gibbons DHs until I can find somebody.

The minors are pretty well decimated, but then, I didn't begin with much. An 18-year-old phenom is the heir apparent as third in case Iwamura asks for too much. Justin Wayne and Kason Gabbard were picked up and await in the pitching mix.

So far? Well, 11-13 for the month of April. We're having a bit of trouble with the Yankees (except an empressive Opening Day win in the Bronx, coming back against Rivera) and Red Sox, but we're thumping the Rangers and Devil Rays regularly. In other words, no worse than they are now, except with a great deal more money saved. To be continued...
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A new ball game [Jul. 25th, 2007|02:53 pm]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

I have the latest version of Baseball Mogul, with teams and stats updated to the beginning of this year, and I'm considering what I want to with the league this time. I can run another Orioles dynasty, or I can expand the league and take over one of the expansion franchises. Don't know if anyone's paying attention here, either...comments? questions? care for a mint?
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But there is no joy in Honolulu... [Jul. 7th, 2007|04:35 am]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

[mood |shockedshocked]

Recently I decided to take the four-league idea that I'd detailed out in this earlier post and enter it into Baseball Mogul, just to see how it would react. What can I say, I was on the train and bored.

I rearranged the league according to the parameters I'd discussed, which involved adding two teams, which I entered as Portland and Hawaii. (I really like the idea of a team in Hawaii. I mean, who wouldn't want to play baseball in Hawaii?) The way that Mogul handles adding a new team is that it essentially populates it with buck rookies, of the type it introduces to the low minors as picks for the amateur draft. So essentially the whole team is a bunch of 18- and 19-year-olds with nowhere-near-ready-for-prime-time skills. As I discovered when I attempted to introduce the 1962 Mets into the Peanut Gallery League, Mogul's AI will respond by realizing the lousy predicament the team is in and snatching up every free agent it can find, not to mention trading up like a rug merchant in an attempt to field the least embarrassing team possible. This doesn't prevent the team from being terrible, but it is a pretty good response, and works marginally.

Anyway, the answer to how it handled the league was okay. I switched on interleague play and unbalanced scheduling, disabled the DH for all leagues, and grouped the AL and NL into a "Ruth League" while the PCL and CL were the "Aaron League", just to be grouping them. Ideally, the teams would play all their games in their "division" with the exception of a few outside of it, but it didn't quite work that way; the scheduler was trying to fit everyone in, and kept scheduling occasional one-game "series". (A possible fix would be to turn off "interleague play" and manually rotate the leagues. Thus, in the first season, AL teams will play each other and "interleague" against NL teams...the season after, they'll do the same with their out-of-league contests being against the PCL, and in the third season, they'll interleague against the CL. In between seasons I'll just swap the positions of the leagues so they work out.) At least the scheduler finished the season on October 3rd, leaving plenty of time for the World Series.

Just for fun, I started the simulator and decided to play the league until the All-Star Break. Browsed through, found everything pretty standard, the way it was supposed to be...though the CL had four teams which were really doing well. Minnesota, Atlanta, and Toronto were over .600, and Houston was quite close. Then I looked down at the bottom of the Continental League - and stopped dead.

At the All-Star Break, the Hawaii Islanders had one win.

One. Uno, eins, one single, solitary win. Against eighty-six losses.

Their win came just before, on June 11, as the Islanders, having endured 65 straight losses to start the season, finally won a 4-2 contest in Denver. I started looking into the stunning stats as I ran out the rest of the season, watching the train wreck unfold. The Islanders ended the season with a record of 7-155, 98 games behind the league champion Twins. (Astonishingly, two of Hawaii's wins came against the Twins.) They'd gotten free agents, as I'd expected - specifically, Roger Clemens, on whom they banked for at least a win every five games...but the strategy backfired, as he managed only 122 strikeouts over 32 starts and a 5.48 ERA, leading to a record of 2-21. Ismael Valdez, the former Dodger, was brought into to help, and responded with a 1-23 record and a 5.24 ERA. Rookie Kevin Folse led the Islanders with a .224 average, as Brad Fullmer, the former Expos and Jays slugger, and Fernando Seguignol, an infielder of no fixed address, both got injured and missed the chance to lead with their .266 and .268 averages.

The horror, the horror. One May road trip saw five straight shutouts; a memorable home stand against the Oakland Oaks saw the Oaks rack up 64 runs in four games.

They've also averaged about 7,000 fans a game, so they're in debt, and have been unable to rehire the free agents they picked up...

(Oh, and the Twins of the CL defeated the Cardinals of the NL for the World Series championship...)
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And now the second half... [Feb. 24th, 2007|03:35 pm]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

Week 16 (July 11 - July 17)
53-42 (.558)
2nd in AL East
2.5 GB New York

MINNESOTA 7, Baltimore 4
W: Radke (10-4) L: Fidrych (9-6)
The Bird is roughed up in four innings by the Twins; Maine takes over, but can't really help. Kubel and Jones HR for the Twins.

Baltimore 3, MINNESOTA 2
W: ratravarman (9-2) L: Chen (7-5) Sv: Cordero (22)
We've got a fever...and the prescription is more knuckler! Chen whiffs nine before giving way to Rincon - but "Izzy" gives up one hit, walks five, and K's eight! Cordero nearly blows it in the ninth with a two-run HR to Shannon Stewart, but pulls it together for the save.

And in San Francisco, the Mets are finally denied while going for their twentieth win in a row! Pedro Feliz denies Pedro Martinez with a second double to cap a four-run 4th. Pat Misch teamed with two relievers to hold off the Mets' bats.

Baltimore 4, CHICAGO 3
W: Cabrera (11-6) L: Garland (6-9) Sv: Cordero (23)
Cabrera outduels Garland, as Mora homers and Hillenbrand homers twice. kugelblitz and Cordero are spotless in relief.

Baltimore 7, CHICAGO 6
W: Bedard (8-5) L: Buehrle (6-4) Sv: Cordero (24)
O's commit four errors and kugelblitz and Chad Cordero nearly blow their respective relief appearances...but five doubles, including a two RBI hit by colley, gave the O's an ugly win.

CHICAGO 9, Baltimore 3
W: Contreras (6-4) L: Fogg (5-5)
Well, that hurt. Fogg and Maine were ineffective, and the White Sox hit four HRs.

BALTIMORE 6, Minnesota 5
W: kugelblitz (3-2) L: Silva (2-4)
kugelblitz was greeted in the eighth by Shannon Stewart's tying solo HR...but sub Dustan Mohr doubled to start the ninth against Carlos Silva, and John Buck doubled right behind him to win it for the home team!
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Some of the special players [Jan. 8th, 2007|12:00 am]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

Some selected stats from the All-Star Break. And yes, I will continue to use people's LJ-names and not their real ones, unless I'm given permission to do otherwise.

(btw, go ahead and click on the comments link if you need to - the stat columns will line up.)

2006 Batting             Team    G   AVG    AB    H  2B  3B  HR   BB    K   SB  CS    R  RBI   SLG   OBP
Bartalone, Andy           PRO   65  .176   204   36   6   0   2   28   60    0   1   20   23  .235  .278
kugelblitz                POR   26 1.000     1    1   0   0   0    0    0    0   0    0    0 1.000 1.000
Chutney, Dick             NYM   88  .254   307   78  15   4  11   45   64   16   4   61   37  .436  .367
Finch, Sidd               NYM   17  .133    30    4   0   0   0    0    9    0   0    1    0  .133  .133
jayel4192 (former)        CIN   80  .223   206   46   9   1   7   29   36    0   1   26   23  .379  .322
scooterbird               BAL   84  .293   362  106  18   2   6   25   56   13   5   60   31  .403  .340
mattcomics                LVD   38  .264   106   28   6   0   1   18   16    1   3   16   14  .349  .370
Rau, Justin               CIN    8  .250    20    5   1   0   1    0    3    0   0    1    4  .450  .250
Renard, Jean-Paul         MON   17  .056    36    2   0   0   1    1   13    0   0    2    2  .139  .081
colley                    BAL   86  .223   292   65   9   5   2   68   48    8   9   47   26  .308  .368
cnvarbiter                PRO   63  .325   200   65  12   5   1   17   17    1   0   24   19  .450  .381

2006 Pitching            Team     IP   ERA    G  GS   W   L  SV    K   BB   R/9
kugelblitz                BAL    7.2  4.70    8   0   0   1   1    4    4     
                          POR   33.0  2.45   26   0   2   1   0   16   18       
                                40.2  2.88   34   0   2   2   1   20   22 12.61
Fidrych, Mark             BAL  113.2  2.61   15  15   9   5   0   42   31  9.82
Finch, Sidd               NYM   85.1  4.64   17  17   6   7   0  128   48 13.39
ratravarman               BAL  123.2  3.64   18  18   8   2   0   72   50 11.64
rcpfiles                  MON   38.0  1.42   40   0   0   3  31   35   18  9.71
Renard, Jean-Paul         MON  111.1  2.10   17  17  11   4   0  129   26  9.30
Surbrook, Michael         BAL    5.1  3.38    4   0   0   1   0    2    1  8.44
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Going into the All-Star Break [Jan. 7th, 2007|04:53 pm]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League

Week 15 (July 4 - July 10)
49-40 (.551)
2nd in AL East
2 GB New York

Chicago 6, BALTIMORE 2
W: Buehrle (6-3) L: Cabrera (10-6)
Drat. Buehrle goes the distance, scattering ten hits.

BALTIMORE 5, Chicago 4 (10 innings)
W: Cordero (4-2) L: Jenks (3-4)
With the bases loaded in the 10th, Bobby Jenks plunks Joe Mauer. Not the usual way to win a ballgame, much less break the Sox's 7 game winning streak, but we'll take it. Jeremy Hermida with two homers.

The Mets winning streak, heading into the All-Star Break, is now 18 games. Mets close out the Reds, 4-3, when Fernando Seguignol lines out to end the game after Javier Valentin's solo HR gave the Reds some hope on the road. The astonishing thing is that the Expos and Phillies are just three games behind the surging Mets in the East!

AMERICAN LEAGUE 10, National League 2
W: Radke (Twins) L: Renard (Expos)
Vlad Guerrero homers twice, including a grand slam in the seventh off Brett Myers. That blast brought on Wade Miller of the Cubs, who, a few batters later, had Jorge Cantu of the Surf crank one out on him.

Wasn't too representative of an actual game, considering neither team used their bench except to change pitchers...

EDIT: Oh, almost forgot! Here are the results of the Home Run Derby...
Read more...Collapse )
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