Friday, August 31, 2007

The Junior Cuomo Experiment

Some of you know that I've dallied between with having all-stud pitcher Junior Cuomo be a starter, rather than the closer that he naturally is. He spot-started two games for me earlier in the season and pitched very well, just not deep into games (he only has an endurance of 4, after all). But, I won both games in the end, and, now, as I plan for 2011, I'm converting him into a full-time starter.

His first start in this past sim, against Danville, was an interesting game. I lost 1-0, but my pitchers combined on a one-hitter. The only run in the game was unearned, against Cuomo. He pitched 4 innings, gave up one hit, and struck out six. Troy Nelson and Frank Carroll finished with two hitless innings apiece, but my offense could only muster 4 hits off Frank Osbourne and co.

His second start in this sim was another game I lost, but I don't blame it on Junior. He pitched into the sixth inning this time, striking out 11 in 5 1/3rd. He gave up a single hit again, plus an unearned run (his first since July, and only his 13th for the season) as I lost 4-3 to Walla Walla.

In his third start, he only lasted three shutout innings in a 6-4 win over River Cities. I'll see if I can increase his endurance (is that possible in spring training, does anyone know?) and go from there.

Meanwhile, new closer Johnny Cowherd has seven saves thus far this month.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Individualized Stadiums

Right now, everyone is playing in lovely "Old League Park", which is perfectly symmetrical, league neutral, and seats 45,000. It's a lovely stadium, I'm sure, but it seems so boring. Wouldn't it be great to be able to pick your own stadium and its characteristics. Play in the Polo Grounds if you want. Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in the L.A. Colosseum. Whatever you want, you could do.

Anyway, I sent Zev an email asking if we could individualize our stadiums. He told me to put it up on the blog for discussion. So, here's my post, put out for public consumption and consideration.

My thoughts on the subject.

1. Obviously, I'm in favor of letting teams personalize their stadiums.

2. We can't let people go hog wild. For instance, a team with a ton of right handed hitters can't create a stadium with the left field fence 175 feet from home plate. That's just not right. So, we have to have some brackets around what's acceptable. My suggestions of reasonable ranges follow.

3. We need some sort of mechanism to get the stadium to Zev in a way that he can use. Setting aside the graphical issues that don't matter much in this type of league, here are the variables that can be set per park:

Name of ballpark
Type: Open, Domed (No provision for rolling roofs like Safeco and others)
Surface: Grass, Astroturf
Attendance Capacity: (Doesn't seem to have any limits on low or high, but the team front office pages imply a range of 10,000 to 75,000.)
Park Factors: RHB Avg., RHB HR, LHB Avg., LHB HR, 2B, 3B
Outfield Dimensions: Leftfield line, LF, LC, CF, RC, RF, Rightfield line
Wall Heights: Leftfield line, LF, LC, CF, RC, RF, Rightfield line
Weather Data for each month (Mar/Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct/Nov): Temperature, % chance of rain
Average wind and direction (eight choices)

You can also put in a couple of picture files, but that seems kind of pointless here.

I suspect that Zev may not be excited about sitting down to enter all of that information in. It may be that one of us could do that and then send him the resulting team files. I'd probably be willing to do that. Someone else may have a better idea.

4. Here are my thoughts on some boundaries to set on the stadiums.

a. Attendance. There should be a minimum and maximum. Let's use the 10,000 to 75,000 range implied by the team front office pages.

b. Park factors / wall heights / etc. I would say that the range should be the scope of major league history. If there's a precedent in major league history for it, you can do it. That is an awfully broad range, but I think relatively fair. (Another reasonable option would be to confine people to features, park factors, etc. that exist in current MLB stadiums.) So, as an example, Fenway's wall is 37 feet in left field and is 304-315 feet down the line (estimates vary). So, you could put in a left field wall like Fenway's in your park.

c. Weather data. Needs to be roughly comparable to some reasonable city, although it doesn't need to be the city that the team is supposedly based in.

d. When can the stadium be changed? I would suggest only changing it in the offseason and limiting how frequently it can be changed. Some rule like "the stadium cannot be changed for X years after a prior change. The only exception is when a new owner inherits a team." I'd suggest somewhere between five and ten years as the minimum period between changes. That forces a certain far-sightedness and cuts down on the efficacy of making changes just to suit a particular roster.

So, that's my idea. Thoughts? Criticisms? In favor of the idea? Against it?

League Records in Jeopardy

With one tenth of the season to go, here's a list of the league individual records that are in jeopardy of being tied or broken.

Adams League Records:
Previous Record: G. Mudge, 143, Seattle 2005
Current Leaders: G. Mudge, 132, Seattle; B. Fraser, 130, Saskatoon

Previous Record: W. Klopp, 131, Seattle 2004
Current Leader: S. Arant, 124, Seattle

Games Pitched
Previous Record: L. Morales, 112, Saskatoon 2005
Current Leader: D. Roberts, 101, Houston

Previous Record: S. Contreras, 44, Seattle 2009
Current Leader: N. Fuentes, 42, Saskatoon

Zotti League Records:
Previous Record: G. Bowers, 49, California 2003
Current Leader: D. Raglin, 44, New York

Previous Record: C. Barmore, 24, Stockholm 2004
Current Leader: J. Villatoro, 22, River Cities

Previous Record: J. Daigre, 25, Covington 2009
Current Leader: G. Icenhour, 24, Covington

I'm sure there may be others, but these were the easiest to find and compare.

Sim 12: Who Uploaded?

River Cities
New York
South Bay

Saturday, August 25, 2007

10 Things I Wonder About My Team at 2 A.M. on a Friday Night

1. Is John Redman the only player to have been an All Star in all nine seasons of the league? Can he do it again the next two seasons he's signed with me?

2. Is Junior Cuomo the only pitcher to have a 10 in all three talent ratings for Stuff, Control, and Movement? Even the Villatoros, Placencias, Nelligans and Ramirezes of the league have an 8 or a 9 to sully their talent ratings.

3. Is it possible that Ricky Peppers is still getting better? If so, where will he plateau?

4. Why is Martin Baker having such a poor season? Did Nate know something I didn't and let him sign with me last offseason?

5. Who the hell is going to play 2B for me next season? I have already promoted Roy Frederickson to claim the job, but he hasn't exactly shined. I could resign Jeffrey Drewry, but he can't hit righties. I also have Robert Young, who was given the starting job this season, but has been even more ineffective against righties than Drewry, and he just suffered a season ending injury. I was really hoping that Adrian Lee would shine in his fourth (!) season at AA, but he hasn't and probably won't be ready for the bigs until 2012 at the earliest.

6. Should I keep Boris Harris around for next year's rotation? He took a major step back this season, but I have a feeling that if I let him go, he'll just turn into the next Sherman Wheeler somewhere else.

7. Also for the 2011 rotation, should I resign Rocco Wojcik? He's going to be 38 next season, but has been solid this season for me. He struggled throughout much of August, but pitched a gem in his last outing and might still be effective next year.

8. What should I do with Willie "The Dutch God of Walks" Klopp for next season? He can't hit, but he sure can walk. I can afford to dump his salary, but at the same time, he does get on base and gives someone for Peppers, Luis Jeon, and Redman to drive in. But, can I possibly have a lead-off guy who hits .214 with an OPS of .606?

9. Is the big trade that I did with Seattle last season the reason Mack finally won the Cup and why my team has lagged behind River Cities the past two seasons? Do some players carry a winning gene, and others a losing gene? If so, that answers my questions about Boris Harris, Willie Klopp, and Robert Young, and gives me great pause about Anthony Koepp, whom I'm hoping can be a mid-season callup next year.

10. Finally, how can I be so disappointed about a team that's on pace to win 90 games?

Friday, August 24, 2007

September Call-Ups

Now that we're in September, the rosters expand and previously unknown players can get their chance to shine on the big league stage. So, this is a post to discuss who we're all calling up.

Of course, since those damned Canuckleheads won't go away, I don't have room this year to experiment. So, I'll only be calling up two players. Outfielder Freddie Villacorta, who spent most of the year with the big league club already, will come up to provide depth in the outfield and a right-handed bat off the bench. I'm also calling up reliever Wesley Elton to get his first taste of the majors. He's the top rated minor league closer, according to the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list, and has pitched very well for the Tacoma Titans in AAA this year.

If Saskatoon drops off in the next sim, I may call up starting pitcher Joseph Macaluso to make a spot start as a prelude to a possible spot in the rotation next year, but that would probably be it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sim 11: Who Uploaded?

River Cities
South Bay
New York

Monday, August 20, 2007

I can't see the front page

Does anyone else see the front page of the site as having just the standings? I can't get to the league file.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sim 10: Who Uploaded?

South Bay
River Cities

Sim Tonight

Sorry, guys, but I was treated to a surprise night at the theater last night (we saw Les Mis). I'll run the sim tonight.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The SDMB OOTP Pre-Sim Show

Am I the only one who thinks there ought to be some kind of pre-sim show, hosted by various talking heads? Maybe Vin Scully as the lead announcer along with a couple of retired players. Perhaps Robert Casarez to represent for the hitters and Hobert Hagerty for the pitchers. Hagerty won two Cy Youngs, Casarez two MVPs, and both still have some national popularity going for them. The three could do a quick rundown of the status of each team, its performance in the last sim, and the upcoming schedule.

It may have a limited viewership, but in these days of increasingly fragmented and targeted programming, this could have a chance.

P.S. This is the sim I open a three to five game lead over Saskatoon. Sorry, Trevor.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mudge Stands Up For Women

(AP) SASKATOON -- Seattle Monarchs first baseman Gregory Mudge has already had a remarkable career. Two-time MVP. Two-time Gold Glove winner. Batter of the Month nine times. Player of the Week 17 times. Filling the career batting leader lists at the young age of 30 (10th in AVG, 16th in hits, tied for 4th in home runs, 4th in RBI, 14th in runs). Mudge's place in SDMB OOTP history is already assured.

Mudge added to his reputation last night when, despite his team's precarious lead in the standings, he stood up for one lady and, by so doing, struck a mighty blow for women everywhere.

Unwinding at O'Shea's Irish Pub after the Monarchs' 5-3 road loss to Saskatoon which narrowed Seattle's lead to a single game, Mudge tossed back a few Guinnesses (eight to ten, according to barkeep Danny O'Shea). Suddenly, a few of the locals became rowdy. They began hassling the attractive yet fragile Katie O'Sullivan, a waitress at the drinking establishment, by asking her twice to bring them the drinks they had ordered a mere half-hour before. Their seeming politeness was obviously a thin cover and things looked like they would turn ugly. Mudge was, at the time, several tables away. He nonetheless rose to Ms. O'Sullivan's defense, and serpentined his way through the bar to the hostile young men.

Arriving at the table, Mudge announced that he would "kick their ashes for bothering thish poor gal" and asked the four men if they wanted to "take thish outside, hic." The comment puzzled the young men to the point where they curiously offered to help Mr. Mudge walk back to the team hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn located just a few blocks away. Mudge would have none of that though, despite the requests from an obviously terrified Ms. O'Sullivan to "let it go." Oddly, everyone at the bar then ganged up on Mr. Mudge, telling him that it was HE who had had too much to drink.

Mudge refused to let the insult slide, and threw a fierce, but errant, right hand at one of the locals. The young man, obviously trained in self-defense, sat still as he watched the blow miss by mere feet. He then must have used some form of mind control in causing Mudge, on the follow-through of his mighty blow, to suddenly careen into the jukebox. Unfortunately, that was the last thing that Mudge remembers from that evening, as he woke up in the hotel the next morning with a severe "shiner".

The mighty battle was summed up by Doc Gooden, the team physican, with this pithy epistle to Manager Alvin Davis:

Sunday, 8/4/2010
From: Seattle Doctor
Subject: Gregory Mudge injured

Hello Manager,

He had a little fight in a bar, and got knocked out. Diagnosis: Swollen Eye. He is day-to-day, but full recovery will take one week.

Team Doctor.

Although Mudge may have come out the loser in one sense, his willingness to stand up for Ms. O'Sullivan, and women everywhere, makes both Mudge and society the true winners.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sim 9: Who uploaded?

River Cities
South Bay
New York

Sim 9: Who uploaded?

River Cities
South Bay
New York

Monday, August 06, 2007

Next sim

Sorry folks, but we had a minor family emergency when we got back from vacation. I'm probably not going to get to the sim tonight either, so let's leave it for Wednesday night, it's regularly scheduled night.


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