Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome back Ken Griffey Jr.

There will be alot of new faces in DFW this season. However there will also be an old familiar one-- Welcome Back KGJ!

When you start thinking about the faces that the DFW fans have grown use to over the years gone are the likes of Barry Bonds (retired from baseball- maybe moving to another house or the Big House!), Alex Gonzalez -injured out for the year, Travis Hafner- cut, Luis Castillo- cut, Jamie Walker-cut, and Mark Henrickson-cut and KGJ-cut. Well in a surprising move DFW redrafted KGJ in the supplemental draft. In a move thought to be more sentimental than smart at the time it was made, the Spurs were very happy with the attitude Griffey has shown since coming to camp. That and the like his card too!

DFW had a 4 minute Press Conference to announce the re-signing of Junior. When asked about why the PC was so short, a DFW offical said, "First it's 'old news' and Second 'the Rookie Draft is half over"! D'OH

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Iron Pigs Welcome Newest Hog

Iron Pig management is pleased to welcome Eva Longoria to the Iron Pigs. Management is confident that she will increase our ticket sales for the upcoming season. We fear that while our product on the field will not be up to the high standards set by last season's squad, it was important to show our fan base that we are committed to providing other forms of enjoyment when coming to the ballpark.
Some things to know about Eva:
  • Statistics: Age 34, height 5'-2", weight 114#, 34-25-35
  • She has very soft hands and enjoys third base
  • She is talented with leather and very good at scooping fast moving balls
  • She is skilled working with the bat in her hands
  • She is not intimidated by the the high hard one
Stay tuned for further promotions regarding Eva.

2009 Trash Heap starting to fill out

After years of rebuilding, the Trash Heap are finally confident that the days of basement ball are over. Previous years drafts had focused on potential over current output, leading to disgruntled fans and low attendance. Trash Heap fans have two new reasons to be optimistic, as GM Moscariello utilized two 1st round draft picks to solidify two gaps for 2009 and future years. The 5th overall pick was used to select uber-prospect Jay Bruce. Bruce provides the rare combination of good fielding as well as the ability to hit for average and power at CF. However, don't think Bruce was selected only for his future potential. Bruce's 0.869 OPS vs RH will get him plenty of playing time in a CF platoon. Bruce will hopefully lock down a CF position that will be left open with Johnny Damon has been transitioning to LF and DH. The Heap made another bold move by trading 3 picks (#21 overall, #32 overall, and #48 overall) to get the 9th overall pick to select Joey Votto. Like Bruce, Votto fields a big void at 1B for '09 and future Trash Heap teams. Votto has almost a full card hitting at a 0.874 OPS with no real split difference. While the price was high, Moscariello told reporters that the move was made for three reasons: his faith in Votto's future potential, Votto having a strong card, and the lack of other good first basemen in the '09 draft.

Heap fans hope this is the end of the changing of the guard. Gone are the days of Luis Gonzalez, Richie Sexson, Gary Sheffield and Livan Hernandez. The last few drafts have netted big wins in Lincecum, Billingsley, Danks, and Iannetta, and the Heap are still hoping that Jeremy Hermida, Delmon Young, and Howie Kendrick will eventually live up to their expectations. The current Trash Heap is young and full of talent, some already realized and some yet to come. Moscariello is very happy to think that his future teams will have this look:

C - Iannetta
1B - Votto
2B - Kinsler
SS - Hardy
3B - Alex Rodriguez
LF - Delmon Young/Jeremy Hermida
CF - Jay Bruce
RF - Brad Hawpe

SP - Tim Lincecum
SP - Chad Billingsley
SP - John Danks
SP - Brandon Morrow

Friday, February 20, 2009

Soto, Ankiel and......Hamill?

Troy, NY: There was no doubt that the Haymakers had a weak lineup coming into the 2009 NASBL draft and with the second pick overall the team surprised no one my filling their biggest need in Geovany Soto, the young and very talented catcher. Soto comes to the team to not only to fill the need at behind the plate handling the young pitching staff, but also be the team's primary slugger. "We are going to try our best to not put a lot of pressure on him," GM Ken Anderson said, "we're just gonna let him go out there and play his game. He's a great talent and I'm sure he will be fine." Soto put up great numbers one the semi-professional Cubs team, slugging over .500 with 60 extra-base hits and a respectible throwing arm. The Haymakers got a second slugger in Rick Ankiel the pitcher turned outfielder who, if not for an strained abdonimal muscle would have easily slugged over 30 home-runs. "Ankiel will provide a great suppliment to Soto and our heavily right handed hitting lineup," said the GM. It's been said that Ankiel's power is prodigious and although he's not a young buck; he's already 31, he's still learning how to hit and has a Clemente like arm in the outfield. The Haymakers apparently had plans on taking on the death star when they traded their other pick in the second round for young slugger Mark Hamill (or Reynolds). The youngster, also with a good amount of power was asked about the resemblance..."Man I've never even heard of that guy. Oh wait, wasn't he in some movie in the seventies? I don't even think I was born when that movie came out." Although Reynolds has a slight tendency to strike out, he is the third 30 homer threat the Haymakers have added in th draft so far. With no third round pick, Troy has some time to prepare for their last 10 picks. "We still have a lot of work to do," commented the GM.

In other news, the Haymakers have also signed an exclusive contract with BALCO.

Chows Fill Out their Rotation

Illinois Times -

It was no surprise to anybody that Illinois GM Brad Sherlag went with a starting pitcher in the first round this year. After dealing for DeJesus last season and Huff this offseason, Illinois took care of their main holes in the line-up. Although the Maine trade helped with the staff, Illinois was still a starter or two short for 2008.

With their first pick the Chows selected Edinson Volquez. "We had four starters that we really liked in this year's draft. We felt comfortable we would get one of them with the 8th pick. Volquez was toward the top of that list and we were thrilled to see him still available when we selected. Edinson's MLB numbers last season indicate to us he is ready for the NASBL. Anytime you can get a 25 year-old who struck out more than a man an inning in the MLB over a full-season -- well that's a guy you have to feel can be a foundation of your staff."

Edinson slots into the Chows rotation as their number two starter. The Chows are expected to draft one more starting pitcher being a few starts short of the required 162 for next season.

Edinson Volquez 2008 MLB Key Stats: IP 196 K 206 W 17 L 6 ERA 3.21

Chows Current Rotation

1. Halladay
2. Volquez
3. Shields
4. Maine
5. Blanton

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Springield Times - Annual Draft Preview

Spingfield Times - It's that time of year again, and shockingly our Topes actually have a pick in the first round this season. Without further ado, the first round predictions in the NASBL Draft.
1) Geovany Soto - New York Knights – Though the best player in the draft appears to be Evan Longoria, the Knights are already loaded with corner infielders (especially considering the pending MLB move of Michael Young to 3B) and the recent trade of Salty to the Cannibals seems to indicate that the Knights are leading towards solidifying their backstop position with the 1st pick.
2) Evan Longoria – Troy Haymakers – The Haymakers thank their lucky stars that Longoria is here for them. Will form a great tandem with Adrian Beltre at 3B as the heavy side of a 3B platoon. Although drafting Longoria here could also mean that Beltre’s time as a Haymaker may be short-lived.
3) Edinson Volquez – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs – With only 3 starters on the staff, the Iron Pigs go with youth and productivity over PRODUCTIVITY by selecting Volquez over Cliff Lee with one of the picks acquired in the Carlos Quentin trade.
4) Cliff Lee – Grundy County Grizzlies – The Grizz believe that they can compete this year, and rightfully so. Adding the MLB Cy Young Award Winner gives the team the Ace that could push them over the top.
5) Jay Bruce – New Jersey Trash Heap – The Heap is absent a centerfielder on its squad (no apologies to Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher needed) and a young, young, power hitting centerfielder just happens to be available here.
6) Joba Chamberlain – Seattle Pilots – The supplemental draft and the trade for Miguel Tejada filled a lot of holes for the Pilots, so they have the luxury to go for the proverbial “best player on the board”. Joba could easily fill that moniker and end up a Pilot.
7) Joey Votto – Outlaw Josey Wales – It’s hard to see any holes in the Wales’ squad, which allows the team to get the best available young slugger, which happens to be Mr. Votto.
8) Jon Lester – Illinois Chow Chows – There’s no doubt that the Chows need some starting pitching to round out their rotation and a young, quality pitcher with 210 innings and a MLB no-hitter in 2008 fills the bill.
9) Justin Upton – Vermont Fighting Sioux – Younger brother of former 1st overall pick in NASBL B.J. Upton, Justin is frighteningly young and has all the tools to be a NASBL all-star when he fine tunes them. The Sioux just happen to need a right-fielder, as well.
10) Matt Garza – Lake Champlain Cannibals – The Cannibals need some pitching to go along with their high-powered offense. Garza is good and young and has plenty of innings.
11) Ricky Nolasco – Dallas Forth Worth Spurs – What a deep draft for good young pitching! The Spurs are very happy to get Nolasco here, a former Isotope that Topes GM Doug Sherlag appears to have given up on way too early.
12) Armando Galarraga – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs - With its 2nd first round pick, the Iron Pigs further shore up its pitching staff for the NASBL season by taking Galarraga. Righties need a lot of luck to hit this guy (I’m looking at you Outlaw – who happens to play in the Pigs’ division).
13) Rick Ankiel – Pocono Chin Music – I predict that Ankiel will become the only player in NASBL history to be drafted in the 1st round as both a pitcher and a hitter. The best outfield arm in the game (besides Ichiro of course) comes home to the Chin Music here.
14) Ubaldo Jimenez – Honolulu Hawaiians – Stan requires his pitchers to have one defining characteristic, no ballpark home runs. Jimenez is young, has electric stuff, and keeps the ball in the park.
15) Gavin Floyd – Lake Champlain Cannibals – With the pick acquired for Ryan Doumit, the Cannibals select former super-prospect in Gavin Floyd here. Another 200 innings of solid starting picthing.
16) Alexei Ramirez - Springfield Isotopes – The Topes need a SS and Ramirez is a good young slugger at that position.

No Loyalty in Springield

Springfield (AP) – It’s not show-friends its show-business. That could be the mantra for the Springfield Isotopes leading up to and on roster cut-down date. Fresh off its first NASBL World Series Championship, GM Doug Sherlag obviously didn’t show any loyalty to the Topes’ World Series heroes during the off-season. Some key players off the 2008 squad were traded for draft picks in the upcoming NASBL draft (Aki Iwamura and Cody Ross) or in the case of Rich Harden, for an everyday third baseman in Aramis Ramirez, making their departures much more palatable for the Topes fans. Others were simply cut loose and will have to pick up their rings next time they roll into town.

Key victims of the 2008 squad from roster cut-down day:
Jorge Posada hit .368 with a 1.139 OPS in 345 at bats after being acquired by the Topes during the 2008 season and caught every game of the post-season. Evidently, that was not enough to beat out Brian Schneider and make the Topes squad.

Rafael Betancourt is a two year Tope veteran who posted a sparkling 1.40 ERA in 77 appearances during the regular season and pitched stand-out relief during the postseason was also let go. I’m not sure what more Rafael needed to do, but it was rumored that Betancourt (who picked up 9 saves during the 2008 season) had demanded the full closer role for 2009 from Jonathon Papelbon, which didn’t sit well with GM Doug Sherlag.

Ryan Freel has been a Tope his entire four-year career and has posted a .360 OBP as a super-sub for the Isotopes squad. It appears that the Topes believed that Ronnie Belliard was a better option than Freel to fill this role.

Luke Scott provided the greatest moment in Springfield Isotopes history by hitting an 8th inning grand slam off of J.J. Putz in game seven of the World Series and has done nothing but hit (a .910 OPS) as a part-time player for the Topes the last two seasons.

Eric Chavez is arguably the greatest Isotope ever to lace up his spikes. He is the Topes all time leader in games, at bats, and doubles and is 2nd all time in home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, and walks all while playing gold-glove caliber defense at third base. Chavez has been fighting nagging injuries over the past few seasons but was still relatively productive last season, including hitting a home run in Game 7 of the World Series off Josh Beckett. At only 31 years old, a lot of Topes fans will think his departure is pre-mature, but the trade for Aramis Ramirez made this inevitable. “I can’t say I didn’t see this coming, with the team drafting Aki last year and trading for A-Ram, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I just can’t see myself playing for another team besides the Topes,” said Chavez from his Los Angeles home. “I think I’ll just sit out 2009 and see how I feel about returning to a different team next year.”

Ryan Freel and Jorge Posada have echoed Chavez’ sentiment and plan to sit out the 2009 NASBL season in order to bask in their championship and see if the competitive juices’ flow enough to play again in 2010. “We’ve talked about it and Jorge, Ryan and I have decided to cruise the banquet circuit this year and milk this championship for huge appearance fees,” said Chavez.

As for Luke Scott, he will always have a place in Topes fans’ hearts, and who knows what the draft may bring. He could be a Tope in 2009 after all. As of now though, “I won’t go to a Topes game all season,” said Justin Gates, long-time Topes fan. “I canceled my season tickets and am burying my Eric Chavez jersey in the backyard. What Sherlag did to these guys is a travesty and I’ll show my support for another ballclub that understands what loyalty is really about.” The Topes will have to hope that most fans don’t share Mr. Gates’ sentiment.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Supplemantal Draft - One Man's Opinion

This year's Supplemental Draft did not have much to choose from. Names like Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Zito sounded great, but what will they contribute.

The Griz went into the Supplemental Draft Room in lockdown mode. They rated all the available players and pitchers and much to their surprise - they did not find someone they felt they had to have. We kept 12 hitters and 4 pitchers so pitching is our greatest need. With one draft pick we had hoped to find a lefty hitting OFer who hits and play defense - like Griffey used to.

We are looking to improve on our 64 - 98 record. We would like to win at least 1/2 our games and our offense is ready to do that. However, our defense has taken a giant leap backwards. Our infield will not be 1B-1, 2B-1, SS-2, 3B-1. Youkilis returns but will likely move to 3B as a 3. Uggla is an ugly 4 at 2B. Drew replaces Betencourt at SS and is a 2. Morneau has a fielding edge to start at 1B and may split time with a 4 and a 5. Our 2nd place division finish last year was nice - but we have all ready noted the positives moves Vermont has made to its roster in order to reload and Pocono is always a winner.

As for the Supplemental Draft we ended up with 5 pitchers on our draft board. Wakefield was rated #1 and the Pilots took him with the only 1st round pick in the S. Draft. He has a good card but if/when you get on you can steal all day on his +9 hold rating.

Two of our next 4 rated pitchers went with the first 2 picks of the second round. Oliver Perez appears to shut LHBers down pretty well was 3rd on my list and Kevin Gregg, a closer was #2 one day and #1 the next day --- depending on how I felt. Gregg went third overall. Macier Izuturis a solid fielding/good hitting utility infielder who went next - I liked him but not enough to take him a head of a pitcher. The Chin Music took Barry Zito next with the last 2nd round pick. I am assuming they think he will rebound. He was cut by the Knights who had the worst league record. Zito had an 8.++ ERA for the Knights and just about as bad a year in MLB in 2008. So, I really doubt he would be much help this NASBL season, unless you were looking for an earlier draft pick.

Round 3 started and I had the 2nd pick in the round with the 2 remaining pitchers on my list still available. YEAH!!!

The Haymakers took former Griz SS Jhonny Peralta.

Now I had a dilema - both pitcher are available. Did I make a mistake? Have I rated these guys too highly. Should I look at lefty bats again. What should I do.

I looked at the available player list and did not see anyone that would play ahead of my top 12 keepers. OK, good --- now --- Do I want the SP or the RP. The starter was not bad - but not good either. The reliever I wanted could end up closing if I needed him to. (Griz don't have a closer).


Tick - Tock

What to do.

Hell, I will just take the reliever. I announce Jon Rauch. He will take the pressure off me to grab a closer early. Maybe. I doubt if he puts fear on the face of many batters, not like the old mad Hungarian, Al Hrabowski did. Well - he is half bad. Hope he is at least half good. Made my pick. Just glad that the 2 pitchers on my draft board were still there, I do not know if I could have passed on a supplemental pick. If I had to take someone - I would have recalled last years GRIZ ROY candidate Bannister, and hoped for a rebound season from him since he had an awful sophomore season.

Pilots then took Jason Marquis, recently traded by the Griz as part of a package to acquire Matt Holliday. Marquis had pitched ok for the Bears last year and should win a few games for the Pilots who had also taken Wakefield and Gregg earlier in the S. Draft.

Richie Sexson was taken off the board - a LH 1B- the Griz had thought about, but really, when would he get a chance to play on our roster.

Future HOF OF Ken Griffey Jr was thrilled that the Spurs picked him as their replacement for Barry Bonds with the next to last pick of the S. Draft. Griffey has Bond's defensive 4.

Pocono picked a Washington RHRP-Sal Rivera. Rivera gives 84 innings of relief for Pocono's blow out games.

The slow Griz runners are looking forward to upping their steal attempts against Wakefield and Rivera.

So the Griz give the Pilots an A+ for drafting Wakefield and Gregg, the two top pitchers on the Griz list. The Griz give themselves a B+ for adding a reliever/closer type. The Haymakers also get a B+ with their additions of Oliver Perez and Jhonny Peralta. The Chin Music get a B for 2010, maybe, and a C- for 2009. The Fluffy Dogs get a B for 2009 as do the Cowboy Horse Action Initiaters.

I wish each of you well. Bring on the Real Draft.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chows nab 1B/DH Type in Supplemental

Illinois Times:

The Chows filed a salvo in the 1B/DH Bats Race with LCC by selecting Richie Sexson with their lone pick in the supplemental draft. Illinois GM Brad Sherlag explained the move as follows "When one of your division rivals goes out and gets their fourth aging 1B/DH type you can't afford to sit idly by with only two of your own. Sure Carlos Pena and Aubrey Huff are nice, but now with Sexson we have the position properly log-jammed. I know if we allowed Sexson to enter the draft, LCC would have taken him before we had the chance."

Despite making light of adding another slugger, the move does make some sense for the Chows. Both Pena and Huff dominate RHP, while Sexson dominates lefties. A platoon with Pena is likely on the horizon for Sexson who brings 242 lifetime NASBL dingers to the Chows. Incidentally, Sexson now fills the role of team's tallest player - a role left open with the departure of Jon Rauch.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ryan Howard Signs New Deal With 0-0 Griz

The Griz signed Howard to a new 3 year deal for $60 M. We had to pay more than Philly because our latest ballpark changes creates new challenges for Ryan and he would rather play elsewhere.

Ryan will have to sacrifice his BP stroke as will all Griz this season. The walls were pushed back and raised. The walls now sit 440 feet from home plate in straight away center and 360 down the lines. The walls were raised from 12 feet to 1486 foot heights. This virtually will erase all those cheap homeruns teams collected when selecting a one or a two split card.

Griz management in its infinite wisdom after acquiring some wall bangers - Howard - Uggla adding to Cabrera & Morneau adjusted walls to make it all most impossible for its wall bangers to clear.

Yet we hear singing.

Where is it coming from?

Oh its the Bullpen Quartet.

They sound so happy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chows go with 16 Plus One

Who’s In:

The Chows are keeping enough players to fill every position on the diamond – a first for the franchise. GM/Owner Brad Sherlag discussed the roster as follows: “Our line-up vs. RH pitchers is pretty well set. We may be able to improve a little at 2b – but other than that – our team is pretty much set in stone. We expect to score a lot of runs this season and we do see ourselves as a contender.”

Here is the projected Illinois starting line-up:

1B Carlos Pena
2B Kelly Johnson
SS Hanley Ramirez
3B Chone Figgins
C Kurt Suzuki
RF David DeJesus
CF Carlos Beltran
LF Josh Willingham
DH Aubrey Huff

Bench – Troy Tulowitzki


Roy Halladay
James Shields
John Maine
Joe Blanton


Joe Nathan
Carlos Marmol


Chris Capuano

Who’s Out:

Notable players not retained by the Chows were 15 game winner Micah Owings and 3B Josh Fields. Also gone is Jose Vidro and Tadahito Iguchi who were members of the original Chows each of their three seasons.

Owings blasted Sherlag for the cut, “I don’t know what it takes to stick with this team. I really put together a nice season last year . I don’t want to make any accusations – but it is strange that my overuse resulted in the Chows slipping a spot in the draft and now I am on the chopping block. Dmitri Young and I are sources of embarrassment for the Chows GM and now we are both looking for work.”

Sherlag discussed the cuts as follows: “Josh Fields was our toughest decision. We really wanted to keep him, but flexibility proved more important to us. We wish Josh luck and still believe he will be a starting 3B in the NASBL. We would like to thank Micah, Tadahito and Jose for their contributions. They really did a lot for us and our fans will miss them. Iguchi has opted to play in Japan, Jose is contemplating retirement and we wish Micah luck in landing with another ballclub. We did discuss letting Blanton go, but with losing Glavine and Capuano, someone has to fill our innings eating starting pitcher role.”

Supplemental Strategy

The Chows could go with just about anything with their lone supplemental pick. They could get a platoon partner for one of their LH hitters or could solidify the bullpen.