|But there is no joy in Honolulu...
||[Jul. 7th, 2007|04:35 am]
Scooterbird's Peanut Gallery Baseball League
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...)