Monday, June 30, 2008

Cannibal Wish List

LCC is interested in picking up a right-handed 1b, and either a reliever or a SP (as always, lefties and other misfit toys are welcome down by The Lake).

Tradeable "commodities:"

Brandon McCarthy plus draft picks: Roster fluff with an upside? No McCarthy sightings yet this year, so his ultimate upside is "uncarded status, plus you get an LCC draft pick."

Kevin Millwood plus draft picks: Roster fluff again. Can only help your draft position this season, "plus you get an LCC draft pick!"

Chris Young: 24 year old CF masher has shown every skill but batting average. In the not unlikely event that he bumps the ba up into the low .270's in the next year or so, he becomes very Andruw Jonesy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

SELLER DWELLERS: Knights Put Matsui, Others on Block

(New York Daily Mirror - June 20, 2008)

NEW YORK - With the 2008 season over before it began, Knights management has begun to look to 2009. And many current Knights apparently don't fit into the Knights future plans.

According to a press release issued by the Knights this morning, the organization is officially advising NASBL Commissioner Steve Beard and the other NASBL franchises that the team is willing to listen to trade offers for the following players.

OF/DH - Hideki Matsui
1b - Adam LaRoche
OF - Xavier Nady
IF/OF - Billy Hall
P - Dontrelle Willis

The release further advised that other than closer and '07 Less Filling ROY Takashi Saito, the team is also willing to discuss a trade for any relief pitcher on the team.

From a team policy perspective, it is somewhat surprising for GM Mitch Pak to announce that the team would be sellers; official team policy since 2005 has been to build through the draft. But the team's disappointing follow-up to a successful 2007 season has obviously demonstrated to Pak and Knights brass that the team has more needs than can reasonably be filled in a single draft. Additionally, pressure from the New York media and Knights fans for immediate change has also contributed to the surprise move.

It is somewhat surprising to find Hideki Matsui on the expendable list. Matsui has been a powerful presence in the Knights lineup since the team drafted him in the third round of the 2004 draft. In 2005, he hit 47 homers and batted .311, and in 2007, he hit .370 in an injury-shortened season. It is also surprising that mega-bust P Barry Zito is not on the list; however, as one anonymous Knights official put it, "what can we expect to get for him at this point? We might as well hang on to him and see if he ever straightens himself out. Besides, we gave up a lot to get him and we don't want him to go somewhere else, get healthy and come back to murder us."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Who Let The Spurs Out?? Oooo Oooo

The Grundy County Herald reported that Dallas Fort Worth took 2 of 3 from the Griz in Grundy County's first Block II home series. Not so surprising, especially after the Griz gave up 5 quality players for one of the hottest prospects in the 2008 draft. However, the story got a little murky.

Game 1 was won by the Grizzlies in 11. Yeah - the winning hit, or sacrifice in this case, was delivered by Ben Sheets who was pinch-hitting for one of our starting nine, who could not bunt as well. Garland had pitched 10 great innings for the Bears, only to get a no decision.

Game 2 was going much like Game 1 - score tied 1 - 1 going into the 7th when the Spurs rolled an unbelievable streak of 9 straight hits off three separate Griz pitchers cards, including starter Ben Sheets who collected the loss. NINE BLEEP-BLEEP HITS off my pitchers cards, weakening starter Ben Sheets and reliever Anthony Reyes without one roll on a hitters card, not a walk, not a groundball, popout, flyball, anything but hits on my pitchers cards. Eight Runs - I have never seen anything like that - it rates with the couple of no-hitters I have witnessed, 4 HRs in a game by one of my ballplayers, and scoring 23 runs in one game - the last 2 incidents are my personal highlights. The Spurs luck while a highlight was a lowlight for my pitching staff. Oh, well.

Game 3 was another Griz let down - Bear fans had too many of these over the years. The Spurs scored 6 uninspiring runs and then threw out a Bear trying to score from second to stop a home team rally and effectively put the game out of reach. The lone Griz highlight was Zack Greinke's relief effort. The Spurs reached Greinke in 1 1/3 innings, make him weak and then he buckled down and pitched perfect relief for 5 innings and looking like a future #1 SP.

We are not throwing our cards in at this time. At 24 - 24 - we look forward to our next series vs the Illinois Chow Chows.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cannibals hang 10 on Knights in the 5th, LCC 18 - NYK 7

Knights starter Matt Cain was cruising until the fateful fifth inning, but then the able Cannibals offense went double digits on he and Eric Gagne.

NASBL batting leader Curtis Granderson went 5-5, raising his average to .422, while Cannibal shortstop-for-a-day Chipper Jones drove in 6.

Strat-O-Matic Report

BOXSCORE: 2008 New York Knights At 2008 Lake Champlain Cannibals 6/21/2008

Knights AB R H RBI AVG Cannibals AB R H RBI AVG
G.Sizemore CF 4 1 0 0 .163 K.Lofton LF 2 0 0 0 .331
T.Wigginton 2B 5 2 2 0 .295 B-J.Francoeur PH,RF 2 2 1 1 .238
M.Kemp RF 3 1 1 1 .357 C.Granderson CF 5 4 5 0 .422
G.Atkins 3B 5 2 3 1 .253 C.Jones SS 5 3 3 6 .354
M.Young SS 4 0 3 3 .280 H-C.Young PH,LF 1 0 0 0 .333
H.Matsui LF 5 1 2 2 .228 D.Ortiz 1B 3 2 0 0 .344
A.Laroche 1B 4 0 1 0 .228 J.Thome DH 2 2 1 2 .326
J.Estrada C 3 0 1 0 .200 E-W.Pena PH 2 0 0 0 .279
F-S.Hatteberg PH 1 0 0 0 .292 J.Drew RF 3 2 2 3 .283
G-J.Saltalamacchia C 0 0 0 0 .193 C-C.Hart PH,LF 3 1 1 1 .257
M.Piazza DH 4 0 0 0 .125 I-E.Renteria SS 0 0 0 0 .350
R.Doumit C 2 0 0 0 .333
A-J.Gomes PH 1 0 0 0 .255
D-B.McCann C 2 0 1 0 .278
E.Encarnacion 3B 5 1 2 0 .203
A.Cora 2B 2 1 1 0 .184
-- -- -- --- -- -- -- ---
Totals 38 7 13 7 Totals 40 18 17 13

A-Pinch Hit For Doumit In 5th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Lofton In 5th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Drew In 5th Inning
D-Subbed Defensively (C ) For Gomes In 6th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Thome In 7th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Estrada In 8th Inning
G-Subbed Defensively (C ) For Hatteberg In 8th Inning
H-Pinch Hit For Jones In 8th Inning
I-Subbed Defensively (SS) For Hart In 9th Inning

Knights......... 1 1 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 - 7 13 4
Cannibals....... 0 2 0 010 0 3 3 - 18 17 2

Knights (13-34) IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
M.Cain LOSS(2-6) 4 5 7 5 6 2 2 5.98
E.Gagne 0 2/3 3 5 5 2 1 0 7.48
S.Linebrink 1 1/3 4 2 2 0 1 1 3.93
J.Miller 1 3 2 2 0 0 1 4.66
C.Qualls 0 1/3 2 2 1 1 1 0 6.02
K.Gregg 0 2/3 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.13
Totals 8 17 18 15 9 6 4

Cannibals (30-17) IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
J.Francis WIN(4-2) 6 1/3 12 7 6 1 2 1 5.55
D.Turnbow 2 2/3 1 0 0 1 3 0 2.00
Totals 9 13 7 6 2 5 1

ATTENDANCE- 39,188 DATE- Tuesday, June 21st 2008 TIME- Day
T- 3:25
LEFT ON BASE- Knights: 8 Cannibals: 9
DOUBLE PLAYS- Knights: 1 Cannibals: 1
ERRORS- M.Kemp, M.Young, J.Estrada, J.Saltalamacchia, E.Encarnacion-2
DOUBLES- T.Wigginton(6th), M.Young-2(10th), J.Estrada(2nd), C.Jones(16th),
J.Thome(6th), A.Cora(2nd)
HOME RUNS- H.Matsui(6th), C.Jones-2(17th), J.Drew(5th), C.Hart(4th)
STOLEN BASES- G.Sizemore(3rd), C.Granderson(5th)
WALKS- M.Kemp, M.Young, K.Lofton, J.Francoeur, C.Granderson, D.Ortiz-3,
J.Thome-2, A.Cora
HIT BY PITCH- G.Sizemore
STRIKE OUTS- G.Sizemore, G.Atkins, M.Young, H.Matsui, M.Piazza, C.Jones,
C.Young, W.Pena, J.Gomes, B.McCann, E.Encarnacion
GIDP- A.Laroche, C.Jones
WILD PITCHES- E.Gagne, K.Gregg
WEB GEMS- Top 1st: Kenny Lofton robbed Matt Kemp of a Homerun!
Top 3rd: Alex Cora robbed Hideki Matsui of a base hit.

Chipper Jones smacked 2 homeruns and had 6 RBI at Creutzfeldt-Jakob's as the
Lake Champlain Cannibals, running on all cylinders, ripped the New York
Knights by a large 18 to 7 margin.

Jones was really 'in the zone'. He cleared the fences for a two-run home run
in the 5th inning, doubled scoring two baserunners in the 5th inning and
popped a two-run clout over the fence (his 17th of the season) in the 7th
inning. Lake Champlain lit up the scoreboard in the 5th inning when they had
10 runs on 6 hits. Despite scoring in 5 separate innings, New York could not
get the win.

The winning pitcher was Jeff Francis(4-2) who allowed 7 runs in 6 and 1/3
innings. Matt Cain(2-6) was the losing pitcher. He allowed Lake Champlain 7
runs in 4 innings of work.

'Deal' or 'No Deal' or 'Let's Make a Deal'

A Power shift has begun in the NASBL and it started with the all the trades that have been made since the end of BK-I. In the Taste Great East LCC has a 1 game lead over HHA & SPR and ILL is only 6 games back. In the South LVI has a 1 game lead over GRK & OJW and NJT are 10 games out. In the Less Filling West MSU has the biggest lead 3.5 games over DFW, 6 over SPL and TRY is 13.5 out. In the Central GCG IS .5 game ahead of PCM, 2 over VFS and 10.5 ahead of NYK. BK-I saw 9 trades made, that include 30 players and 9 Draft picks exchanging teams.

This has been a real Buyers and Sellers Market and has produced one of the most exciting trade periods during a season in a long time. The big Buyers were GRK who went out and got John Lackey and a couple of outstanding relievers in Brandon Lyon and Peter Moylan. GRK paid a steep price in '09 Draft picks, but if I recall the last time Mr. Miller did this GRK won it all!! MSU went out and got two stoppers in Jason Isringhasen and Billy Wagner, to go along with the best stopper in the league in JJ Putz. Mr. Bess squad will be hard to beat if they have the lead after the 6th inning. LVI made two trades to help beef up Mr. Burns offense and relief pitching. He did give up NASBL steals leader in Juan Pierre, however for this year will get Reggie Willits who will be a better fit in the play off hunt. Then GCG and SPL pulled off a 5 fer 5 trade. Mr. Howard whose GCG is in first place got Alex Gordon in return which was this year's 'can't miss' rookie. Meanwhile in SPL Mr. Pennylegion got some much needed pitching and 3B Mike Lowell to help make their play off run. Last but not least SPR went out and got C Jorge Posada and P Ron Mahay. Mr. D. Sherlag might have got that final piece to win it all!

The Sellers were VFS. When Mr. Rabidoux decided the Sioux didn't have the arrows to compete this year, went out and traded some big names off the '07 Central Division winning team. '08 will be a long season now for the Sioux, but '09 sees them having 2 picks in each of the 1st three rounds of the Draft. TRY send a couple of veterans for young pitchers and a couple of mid level Draft picks. Mr. K.Anderson hopes his young stars keep developing so TRY can compete '09. NJT got MSU 4th in '09 for Jason Isringhasen. Mr. Moscariello wants the NJT to get back to winning form! Several teams stood pat for now, but you can bet there will be trades before BK-3 as teams position themselves for a play off run or an end of the season trot.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rumors of Discontent in Lehigh Valley

There are hushed conversations in the halls of the Pig Pen. Nothing certain, just the possibility of discontent. It is rumored that one of the largest Pigs might be shipped out of town to the meat packing plant in exchange for "players to be named later". "We cannot and will not have discontent within our locker room" manager Burns noted dryly. If one of my players is displeased with something about our team, he should have the stones to come and speak with me directly. As of now, I have not heard anything, therefore, I do not believe there is a problem".

"Reliable sources" note that there have been rumblings from some of the poorer performing players about the team makeup and the stadium makeup. "No one on this team is inexpendable" remarked Burns who also noted that "everyone must pull their weight (not so easy for some) and contribute in some way. Our closer has been terrible and our "slugger" has not even reached his weight as far as batting average is concerned." Stay tuned for further developments.