Sunday, March 27, 2011

Las Vegas releases 2011 NASBL Odds

- Stringer Report, Las Vegas

Normally this time of the year yields the Burlington Free Press' annual NASBL predictions. Economy driven layoffs have forced a different approach. The Free Press contracted with a freelance writer to report the odds on the big board from the Bellagio's Sports Book.

Team Wins (Over/Under)

LCC 97
SPR 92
HHA 86
ILL 64

LVI 105
OJW 86
NJT 79
GRK 64

TRY 90
SPL 84
FRE 74
DRF 69

GCG 92
VFS 87
PCM 72
SBU 55

Odds to Make Playoffs

LCC 5/4
SPR 7/2
HHA 7/1
ILL 50/1

LVI 1/5
OJW 11/1
NJT 35/1
GRK 75/1

TRY 4/3
SPL 2/1
FRE 17/1
DFW 25/1

GCG 1/1
VFS 3/2
PCM 18/1
SBU 60/1

Odds to Win NASBL World Series

LVI 3/1
LCC 5/1
GCG 6/1
SPR 8/1
TRY 10/1
VFS 12/1
SPL 13/1
HHA 15/1
OJW 25/1
Field 50/1

Odds to Win Taste Great MVP

Albert Pujols 3/1
Carlos Gonzalez 4/1
Troy Tulowitaki 5/1
Jason Werth 8/1
Shin-Soo Choo 15/1
Adam Dunn, Paul Kornerko, Joey Votto 22/1
Field 35/1

Odds to Win Taste Great Cy Young

Jon Lester 2/1
Jered Weaver 4/1
Josh Johnson, Clayton Kershaw 5/1
Neftali Feliz 9/1
Joakim Soria, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, Ted Lilly 25/1
Field 35/1

Odds to Win Less Filling MVP

Jose Bautista 4/5
Mark Teixeira 3/1
Carl Crawford 6/1
Matt Holliday 10/1
Shane Victorino 12/1
Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter, David Wright, Brandon Phillips 22/1
Field 35/1

Odds to Win Less Filling Cy Young

Felix Hernandez 4/1
Brian Wilson 5/1
Brett Myers 6/1
Ubaldo Jiminez 7/1
Chris Carpenter 10/1
Heath Bell, David Price, Carlos Marmol, John Axford, Zack Greinke 16/1
Field 35/1

Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 AJC Predictions

Following last season's lame predictions the AJC polled Roadkill Nation for the upcoming NASBL season. After watching ST at GRK's complex at Lake Buena Vista, FL it was unanamious that The 'Kill would repeat with a top 5 pick in the '12 draft.

TG MVP Joey Votto NJT
LF MVP Jose Bautista TRY

TG CY Clayton Kershaw LCC
LF CY Brett Myers TRY

TG FOY Neftali Feliz LVI
LF FOY Brian Wilson GCG

TG ROY Clay Buchholz LVI
LF ROY Jason Heyward "J-Hey" DFW

TGE Div Champ LCC over WC SPR
TGS Div Champ LVI over LCC

LFW WC VFS over Div Champ TRY
LFC Div Champ GCG over VFS

World Series LVI over GCG in 6
"Iron Pigs Win...Iron Pigs Win...Iron Pigs Win" and bring the title back to TGS!!
Prince Albert named WS MVP with 4 bombs & 12 Ribs

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quest for Posey Part # 4

Illinois Times - An anonymous source close to the Chows tells us they were in on the Posey Derby as well. Illinois is purported to have made 4 separate offers - but came up way short in the end.

ILL #1, Scherzer and ILL #4
Brett Anderson and ILL #3
ILL #1 and ILL #2 and ILL #4
ILL #1, Scherzer and Volquez
ILL #1, ILL #2 and Volquez

Was Illinois lucky to be turned down? Time will tell if the collection of Liriano, Scherzer, Hawpe and Robertson top Posey or not. Illinois believed that the only offer being considered was the one that included Scherzer, the 1 and the 4. The Posey Derby is turning out to be the most interesting derby this side of Kentucky as information continues to trickle out from various leaguewide sources.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quest for Posey 3

The Griz play to win no matter what the costs.

While the only Buchholz the Griz's 1st round pick probably would have netted would have been a Buccholz named Taylor and not Clay - the Griz offers would have given any team a formidable group to work with if they are good and lucky.

I too would to have loved to have Clay Buchholz, but Trevor Cahill, and other parts could be determined to be equal or better in the eye of some beholders.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inquiries Into Pick #2 in the 2011 Draft (Quest for Posey Part II)

I enjoyed reading the Grundy County article regarding his wheeling and dealing for pick #2 in the recently completed draft. I am not sure exactly how many offers there were for pick #2, but there were several. In the end it came down to preferring the combination of Lester and (Buchholtz or Latos) over Posey and Liriano.

Heyward and Feliz were the two players that I wanted in this draft. If JHay was there at two he was mine, other than that, the pick was going to be traded and turned into whatever combination that I thought would do best this season. Time will tell if it was the right deal, but I have been pretty satisfied with how Lester and Buchholtz play in my park during pre season exhibition games.

My suggestion to Grundy County for the next draft is to miss the playoffs and have control of one of the high picks without needing to trade for it!

Quest for the Posey - Denied

The Grundy County Grizzlies are used to having an early draft pick if not the first overall pick. In 2011, the Grizzlies wanted to draft Buster Posey. Posey, a young catcher with a lot of positive reviews and articles, is the latest qualifying baseball God until the next anti-pitcher ruler, Bryce Harper collects 200 MLB plate appearances.

Oh wait, the Grizzlies made their first playoff appearance in the NASBL by winning 87 games and passing perennial Less Filing Central Contenders, the Pocono Chin Music and the Vermont Fighting Sioux. WOE IS US. The Griz picketh 13th. Our chances of drafting Posey have been reduced.

Griz management was very sad.

But, wait, maybe we could trade to acquire the great Posey.

With the draft set to start at the end of February, Griz management pondered - "What would it take?"

First determine who had the 1st pick - Oh, Red Robbins, YUMMMM!!! The Dallas Fort Worth Spurs don't need a catcher, they have Victor Martinez, one of the top hitting catchers in the NASBL all ready. Red will want to give away that pick - We are sure. So the Griz management decided to make an offer for the pick.

So we sent Red the following offer in mid-January:

Griz's 1st, and two 2nd round picks for the #1 pick,
Griz's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th round picks for the DFW's #1,
any player on the Griz roster for that first overall pick.

Red said "No Thanks"

So the Griz decided to up the ante

The Griz offered Oakland RHSP - Trevor Cahill, Philadelphia starting catcher Carlos Ruiz, and budding outfield power prospect Alex Gordon for the first overall pick.
That would give Red one of the top starting pitching cards, a good hitting catcher that can actually catch and throw the ball, and a prospect who may have tarnished skills at this point, but at 27 still has a lot of baseball life to resurrect that potential. That would cover any direction Red would take in making the pick.

Again, Red said "No Thanks" and he indicated his appreciation for what he termed were worthy offers.

RATS!!! Denied!

But wait remember Red owns a good hitting catcher in Victor Martinez, maybe he will select someone else.

Who has the next pick? Answer - Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs commander - Kevin Burns. Kevin is usually a willing trader. Lets see if Kevin will trade us the pick.

So in early February we made a similar proposal to Mr. Burns:
The Grizzlies #1, and the two #2 picks we owned for the second overall pick (with the caveat that it would be a draft day trade assuming Buster Posey was available at that time.)
We also offered the Griz's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th round picks for the #2 pick with the same caveat, and
our final offer was Cahill, Ruiz, and Gordon for the pick to acquire Posey.

Kevin initially liked one or more of our offers. We remembered that Kevin had tried to acquire Cahill last season, so we thought that we would sacrifice the 3 players for Posey. It would be a tough pill to swallow, but we could make up for it in the draft.

As draft day neared, we sent Kevin a friendly reminder email and posed the potential trade again.

Kevin replied that he had had some other offers for the pick and he determined our offer was not good enough. He said the Griz's 1st round pick (13th overall) was to late. However, he asked if would I be willing to trade a 1B. I was willing to trade anyone on my roster, except Miguel Cabrera (I had reconsidered the possibility of losing Cabrera in my original offer to Red, and determined I was not willing to make that sacrifice), so I asked Mr. Burns to make a counter proposal.

I did not hear from Kevin after that. The next thing I knew was that the Pigs traded their pick to the league's newest manager, the Bulldogs. The trade was the #2 pick and Francisco Liriano, Minnesota's #1 starting pitcher for Jon Lester and the 5th pick. The Pigs choose another Boston starting pitcher - Clay Buchholz. Both Lester and Buchholz are an improvement over Liriano, but not much of an improvement in this person's opinion.

Thus, the coveted Buster Posey was drafted by the Slatington Bulldogs. Winner - Winner - Chicken Dinner.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Founding NASBL Member Red Robbins Honored for a Quarter Century of Service!

The NASBL has a long history of long-time membership, with the average member staying in the league for nearly a decade.

But one GM stands head and shoulders above his peers. Robin "Red" Robbins of the Dallas Fort Worth Spurs has now captained his NASBL team for an amazing 25 years! During this time, Red has presided over the entire 22-year NASBL career of Barry Bonds (drafted out of Arizona State by Red back in 1985) and Ken Griffey Jr, who played for Red's Spurs every one of his 21 NASBL seasons.

Red led his Spurs and their core of Bonds, Griffey, and Edgar Martinez to the 2002 NASBL Championship, then in 2007 Red became the first ever 2-time winner of the coveted NASBL World Championship title.

In recognition of a quarter-century of NASBL excellence, it was Commissioner Stephen Beard's recent honor to present Red with the baseball-diamond shaped plaque pictured in the awards ceremony above.

Thank you, Red, for your first quarter-century in the NASBL. We look forward to competing with you for another 25 years!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chows Trade for Another Pitcher and eye 2012

Last year the Chows led all of NASBL in pitching and were 5th in runs scored. Unfortunately, the Chows were 4th in runs scored in the mighty TGE leading to another season without reaching the play-offs. Going into the draft, the Chows figured to address their offense in the early part of the draft. Instead, Sherlag traded the Chows 1st pick for A PITCHER - getting Liriano and a 3rd.

"We figure our strength is pitching, and after having traded Carpenter, we were not as strong there. After adding Liriano, we really like our staff for this year and beyond. We dubbed draft day Project 2012 and we feel we set ourselves up to contend in the mighty TGE in just one year. We really believe we will not have to draft a single starting pitcher in 2012 allowing us to focus on our offense. "

The Chows have 8-9 starting pitchers on the current roster. Halladay, Liriano, Anderson, Scherzer, Volquez, Zambrano, Duensing, Wells and potentially McClellan. They should be able to assemble a solid starting 5 out of that bunch and may be able to leverage some of that strength to fill in some holes.

Here is how Project 2012 shakes out with a lot of uncertainty in a few categories:

Avoid Regression

Prado, H Ramirez, Willingham, Duensing, Liriano

Get Healthy

Nathan, Anderson, Beltran, Volquez


A Ramirez, Suzuki, Hawpe, Lee, Bradley, Zambrano

Reach Some Potential

Smoak, Davis, Colvin, Beckham, Scherzer

Potential Useful Parts

Fukudome, Wells, Bourn

Will these parts lead to a solid nucleus of 17 for 2012? Only the next season will tell.

Morandini will have a challenge to manage usage in some spots and comply with the 50% rule in others. Having only one lefty in the bullpen and two subpar closers (Gregg and Cordero) should pose additional challenges.

The starting pitching should keep the Chows in games this season, the lack of power and the suspect bullpen figures to lead to a lot of low scoring losses.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

At Haymakers Camp

Annapolis, MD: There is excitment in the air here at the Haymakers spring training facility in the capital of Maryland as the early round draft picks make their way into camp. First round selection and uber prospect Madison Bumgarner is here as well as new slugger Corey Hart. Back of the rotation starter Clayton Richard is already working with the pitching coach. Even backup outfielder Jim Edmonds is drawing a crowd of autograph seekers. Add in new superstars Josh Hamilton and Chris Carpenter and it's almost a who's who of players in a camp where last season was almost the opposite.

Japanese league veteran Hisanori Takahashi speaks to reporters through an interpreter as he fields questions about what his role with the club will be. New Haymaker relief pitcher Matt Guerrier carries the bullpen catchers equipment as he takes a few jabs from the rest of the pen.

Even the thought ot riding the pine can't stop a player's excitement. Last year's lone star player Pablo Sandoval is not worried about it, "I'm going to do whatever I need to to contribute this season," he says, "I know they told me I need to work on some things and I'll be in the cage everyday so that I can be available whenever I'm needed." Sandoval said that team management made it clear to him that he is part of this team's future. "I'll just do what I need to do this season to bring a championship here," he added.

The fans are clamoring for tickets, as season ticket sales are up over 80% from last year. There is no doubt that the fans will get a great show in 2010 as some experts are considering Troy favorites to win Less Filling West.

And the loose and confident mood around camp seems to portray that feeling. "There is definetly a big difference in the feel of camp this year compared to last year," said closer and senior team veteran Huston Street, "it's very exciting. There is a lot of talent here." The team GM had a different approach; "We can't get ahead of ourselves. There is some good competition in this league and we haven't even begun playing games yet."

Here's a quick look at how the Haymakers will look in 2011:

1. Chris Carpenter
2. Brett Myers
3. Jon Garland
4. Clayton Richard
5. Madison Bumgarner
6. Homer Bailey
Closer: Huston Street

C: Geovanny Soto/Nick Hundley
1B: Billy Butler
2B: Brandon Phillips
SS: Jason Bartlett
3B: Jose Bautista
LF: Josh Hamilton
CF: Brett Gardner
RF: Corey Hart
DH: Mark Reynolds/David Murphy/Jim Edmonds

Can the team live up to the lofty expectations??