Friday, January 27, 2012

Mavs and DVs Ring the Bell!

The Mavs get their favorite player
The DVs are still tinkering to try and keep up with the Rhinos. This trade, though, is more than tinkering. This one is pretty major. The DVs send Elvis Andrus, Chris Narveson, and pick 75 to the Mavs for J.J. Hardy, Alexi Ogando, and Tom Gorzelanny.

Andrus is six years younger than Hardy, and he's a 1, but Hardy has a much better e-rating and is coming off a 30-homer year. The key for the DVs was getting Ogando for his rotation and the lefty Gorzelanny for his bullpen.

This will be an interesting season.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DVs and Goofs trade

Clippard to the DVs
The DVs got the reliever they wanted. The SuperGoofs send Tyler Clippard to the DVs for Pedro Alvarez, Matt Joyce and pick 43.

Clippard's 88 innings will help round out the DV bullpen that already included Bard, Madson, and Storen. Joyce figures into the current Goof lineup, while Alvarez gives him a young kid at 3b who has yet to live up to the hype of two years ago.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Making a Mockery of the Draft

This would be so much easier if all the best players hadn't already been taken before they got their first card, but it's time to stop beating that dead horse. Here we go...

1. Nads - Yu Darvish. Well, somebody had to. And even though you have to wait a year for him to get his first card, you do get to watch him. High risk, high reward.

2. Inmates - Doug Fister. While it would be funnier for a guy named Fister to be a Nad, I'm sure there'll be no shortage of Fister jokes after he joins the Waco gang. The Baptist Bowl Choralaires will sing songs devoted to their newest hero, idol, and icon. Well, until he blows his arm out in April.

3. Warpigs - Melky Cabrera. Oh what sad times are these when the third pick of the draft is Melky Effin Cabrera. Even sadder, it's a perfectly sane pick. The Pigs need outfielders, and Cabrera has BY FAR the most at bats of the available outfielders. Plus, he had over 200 hits for a .305 BA. He hit 18 homers. His defense is good, and he can play all three fields. And finally, although it seems like he's been around forever, he's only 26.

4. SuperGoofs - Matt Harrison. A bit of a reach here, but he has several things going for him. He's a Ranger. He's young. He's a lefty starter who had a great year. Sounds like a perfect fit to me. He'll team with fellow Ranger Colby Lewis on the SuperGoofs.

5. Sidewinders - Brett Lawrie. Young third baseman with Toronto. Supposedly good enough to force Jose Bautista off the hot corner and into RF permanently.

6. Tweeners - Cory Luebke. Lefty with 140 innings of top shelf relief. Year of the Tweeners.

7. Fungoes - Darwin Barney. The Fungoes get their shortstop. Barney, 25, plays more 2b, but he's still better defensively at short than any of the available guys with a full season of at bats. And he's younger and hits better. A natural fit. He can play ss at least until next year when he replaces O-Dog at 2b.

8. DVs - Eric Hosmer. Faced with the moment of truth, do the DVs take the reliever they so desperately need? Or do they take the young Royal first sacker they've lusted over? They take Hosmer. Who knew he would last this long? And thus endeth the DV draft plan and hopes of a championship season.

9. Mavs - Yonder Alonso. Moving to Petco Park won't help him any, but getting a full season of at bats will. And Alonso's bat is the real deal.

10. Killer Bees - Gerardo Parra. A 1 in LF who hit .292 with a .357 onbase. What's not to like?

11. Tweeners - Alfredo Aceves. Righty with 114 innings of top shelf relief. Year of the Tweeners.

12. Wahoos - Allen Craig. Powerful young hitter who plays everything except SS and C.

13. Rhinos - Josh Tomlin. The rich get richer.

14. Sidewinders - Jemile Weeks. The Snakes continue to add young offense to go with their outstanding pitching staff.

15. Buckeyes - Alejandro De Aza - Centerfield. Solved.

16. Zaps - Lonnie Chisenhall. When Bautista moves to RF, Chisenhall will be ready.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hot Stove Rankings

As we move toward (hopefully) new division alignments (the BI poll shows we favor new alignments by a 2-1 margin), here is a winter version of the team rankings for 2012. No harm intended. If I don't have you ranked as high as you think you'll finish, feel free to prove me wrong. On the other hand, if I have ranked you too high... umm, feel free to prove me wrong. :o)

16. Nads - The Nads pick first in this year's draft, and they'll pick first again next year. Said the manager of the wrinkled pink, "It's no secret that we've figured out the way to get that first pick. Frankly, I'm surprised no one else has figured it out."

The Good: Adrian Gonzalez. Aybar is a 1 at short. C.J. Wilson is pretty good. In fact, compared to the rest of the staff, he's great!
The Bad: Well... everything else.
The Ugly: J.D. Drew is the best Nad outfielder, and he hit .222 in less than 250 at bats.

15. SuperGoofs - Injuries to top Goofs (Choo, Ike Davis, Broxton, Zito) reverberated throughout the Goof Nation, but down years by others (Huff, Quentin, Blake, Pineiro) didn't help either.

The Good: Tyler Clippard and Mike Adams are excellent relievers. Brandon Phillips had a great year. His card might be the best 2b card in the league.
The Bad: LF, CF, and 3b are huge holes to fill.
The Ugly: Colby Lewis is the best Goof SP, and he had a 4.40 ERA and allowed 35 homers.

14. Inmates - The Year of the Inmate once again will lead to an early pick, which he will use to ruin some poor soul's career. (Incidentally, there is no truth to the rumor that the Inmates drafted Greg Halman last year.)

The Good: Carlos Gonzalez and Adrian Beltre.
The Bad: The rest of the offense.
The Ugly: The pitching.

13. Sidewinders - A perennial power, the Snakeman also knows when it's time to take a dive rebuild.

The Good: The Snakes have some great SP (Lincecum, Lester, Pineda, Ubaldo, Danks) and even better bullpen (Sale, Feliz, Kimbrel, Marmol).
The Bad: The offense would be bad anyway, but injuries to Mauer and Wright doomed this team to tanking rebuilding this season.
The Ugly: The outfield of Domonic Brown in RF, Stubbs/Rasmus in CF, and No One in LF is still better than the proposed infield, which features a double play combo of Gordon Beckham and Jed Lowrie.

12. Warpigs - Another perennial power looking at a long season. Almost every player from last year's team has been jettisoned, including Albert Pujols: "The Greatest Right-handed Hitter in the History of Baseball". The Pigs made several huge deals, including both acquiring Robinson Cano (for Cliff Lee and Carlos Santana) and then flipping him to the Rhinos (for two young corner infielders and all of the Rhino draft picks). Did the same thing then with Jered Weaver, getting him in the Pujols deal, then flipping him to the DVs for a couple of young starters.

The Good: Lots of young players and two SP (Strasburg and Wainwright) coming off of injuries.
The Bad: No one to play RF and nothing at DH.
The Ugly: Turns out having no one is better than having Delmon Young in LF... which is better than what's going to be coming out of the pen.

11. Mavs - Finishing .500 every year has led the Mav owner to consider changing the team name to the Tweeners.

The Good: Justin Upton is a stud. Hardy had a career year. Cain, Gallardo, and Ogando make a nice top 3 in the rotation.
The Bad: The bullpen is a mess.
The Ugly: Down sophomore year from Heyward; DeJesus is finished; Travis Snider has yet to get started.

10. FFTs - A team of "haves" and "have nots". The offense will have MVP type production from the 3-4 spots, but not much around them.

The Good: Albert Pujols: "The Greatest Right-handed Hitter in the History of Baseball" and Josh Hamilton are great. Michael Young and Carlos Ruiz are the next best hitters. The rotation of Kuroda, E.Santana, Anibal, Lilly, and Oswalt will keep them in games. And Mariano Rivera, in his "Age 58" season, is still a quality closer.
The Bad: The infield, other than 1b, will be made up of Prado, Carroll, Young, and Desmond.
The Ugly: Where have you gone, Ichiro Suzuki? BA plummeting... OB only slightly higher than BA... and he's no longer a 1 in the outfield. The HOF beckons.

9. Wahoos - Last year's disappointing finish to the season is still hovering about the Reservation. But as long as the nucleus of this team (Pedroia, Youkilis, Rollins) is around, they'll at least win as many as they lose. Just not enough to finish in the top half of the league.

The Good: Youkilis, Hafner, Pedroia, and new addition Swisher will take a lot of walks. Tough call as to the best 2b card - is it Brandon Phillips or Dustin Pedroia? Masterson and Jurrjens are a good 1-2 punch in the rotation.
The Bad: The rest of the pitching staff is not as good.
The Ugly: The Wahoos, along with walking a lot, will also strike out a lot. A lot. Their games will take 5 hours to complete. Better not cut off alcohol sales too early. It could REALLY get ugly out there.

8. Buckeyes - Ahh, the Buckeyes. The good old Buckeyes. You know in ANY divisional alignment he will still come out on top and make the playoffs. Imagine how well he'd do if he had good players!

The Good: He is the best manager in the league. He plays in a great park and he knows how to exploit it. Also, Carpenter and Hamels are an excellent 1-2.
The Bad: The rest of the pitching staff is thin, but this can be remedied in the draft.
The Ugly: Other than Bonafacio and Yunel Escobar, the lineup is so bad Ryan Sweeney is first on the depth charts in CF.

7. Fungoes - He just keeps having good drafts. That pitching staff and the emergence of Napoli make this a team to reckon with.

The Good: You could start with Napoli, but really, the strength of this team is Kershaw and Price and the rotation. Then there's Robertson and the bullpen. Other standouts on offense are Zimmerman at 3b, Gardner and Cruz in the OF, and Wieters behind the plate.
The Bad: CF is not as strong as he'd like. Berkman is getting old. The rotation, as good as it is, is very left-handed.
The Ugly: "And starting at shortstop for the Fungoes..."

6. Killer Bees - The Bees have the self-proclaimed best pitching staff in the league. And they'll need to be great, because this team has major lineup holes to fill. The bad news is there isn't a whole lotta help in the draft for a team needing offense.

The Good: The pitching staff really is phenomenal. The rotation is Verlander, Cliff Lee, Kennedy, and Cueto. The list of bullpen candidates goes on and on. And RF (Beltran, Ethier, Francoeur) and 1b (Fielder, Teixeira) are solid and deep. Carlos Santana's card vs LHP.
The Bad: Carlos Santana's card vs RHP.
The Ugly: Where to start... The Bees have no one to play LF. Or CF. Or 3B. Rickie Weeks, the starting 2b, is a 4. Starlin Castro, the starting ss, is a 3e30. Holy crap! Oh, and then there are the two words that define ugly: Adam Dunn.

5. Zaps - I know, I know... he's won the league two years in a row and would like nothing better than to three-peat, but it's not going to happen. The unexpected dropoffs from Utley, Crawford, Scherzer, and Greinke are big factors, but the injury to Josh Johnson is the real culprit.

The Good: Bautista, Miggy, McCutchen, Reyes... it just doesn't get any better.
The Bad: Add catcher to the Zap needs. But mostly he needs a return to form from Utley and Crawford.
The Ugly: Logan Morrison. Jeez, not only did he drop to a .247 BA, but he's a FIVE! Everywhere!

4. Drillers - For all the whining the Drillers do about how much more valuable hitters are than pitchers, he sure does have a good staff. And this, AFTER trading away Pineda and Lincecum. His recent acquisition of Yadier Molina to pair with Buster Posey gives DD just enough catcher ABs to run out with 14 games to play. Again.

The Good: Haren, Shields, Romero, and Vazquez will make the Driller faithful forget Lincecum ("The Most Overrated Pitcher in Baseball" - DD) and Pineda ("Hated to lose him.") The offense will feature Konerko, Longoria, Bruce, and most importantly, the return of Jacoby Ellsbury. An underrated Neil Walker will team with the underrated Asdrubal Cabrera up the middle. Put their stats up beside each other and compare them. It's eerie.
The Bad: It's not terrible, but Konerko is listed as the starting 1b AND the starting DH. I assume there will be others to be had during the draft. Or maybe the Driller Dude will play Posey at 1b/DH, thereby running out of catcher ABs even earlier.
The Ugly: The bullpen is a bearded mess. It's going to be painful for DD to use draft picks on lowly, stinking pitchers, but that's what he'll have to do.

3. Tweeners - Could this finally be the Year of the Tweener? A combination of good drafting, a few good trades, and the right guys having good years at the right time have put the Tweeners in a position to make plans for a post season flight to Texas.

The Good: The rotation is Felix, DHudson, Gio, Madbum, and Nova. The bullpen is not a big name group, but is deep and effective. The offense will include VMart, Morse, Sandoval, Zobrist, and Victorino. There are 1's in CF and 2b.
The Bad: VMart's knee injury won't affect this year's Tweeners, but it puts a dent in future plans.
The Ugly: Mark Reynolds hit .221 with 196 strikeouts. And he's a 5e39 at 3b. Luckily, he won't be needed as Pablo Sandoval shed a few pounds and lifted his game.

2. DVs - "We're going for it, man! I BELIEVE!!!!!" These words are said in January of every year by the DVs, who end up flickin' the bean in November. Ah, but hope springs eternal. The really best news for the DVs is the other two teams listed in this top 3 have also never won a Higdon. Said the DV manager, "Why shouldn't I be confident?!? It's just the Rhinos and the Tweeners! How the hell could I lose to THEM?!?"

The Good: Halladay and Weaver lead the staff. And as we've discussed in another post, they are easily the best 1-2 punch in the league. "The Beeboy thinks his guys are good, but he chokes his little stinger off thinking of Halladay and Weaver." Then there's the lineup: Holliday, Granderson, Stanton (a former cut of the Drillers), Helton, McCann, Kinsler, Aramis Ramirez... Pretty stout. And having Jesus Montero sitting on the bench will scare off a lefty reliever or two.
The Bad: The bullpen is average, with no lefty help. Andrus is a 1 at short, but he's an e29. That's bad. And there's still no DH. The rotation, after the big 2 and Latos, is lacking.
The Ugly: There really is no ugly. He even has a nice list of draft picks. The ugly will come in November.

1. Rhinos - The Rhinos have reached the peak of their 20-year plan. In the past, they would draft a bunch of young, stud hitters - only to ignore pitching and miss the playoffs. And he has always had trouble letting go of guys near and dear to his heart. But now... finally... he's ready. He traded away Hanley. Okay, forget that. The two pitchers he got in the deal immediately went into a freefall of monumental proportions. He traded away two prospects and all his picks to get Cano. He traded away Yadier to get back into the draft. And just the other day, in a move that signals a significant change in philosophy for the Rhinos, he traded for a 37-year old relief pitcher. The times, they are a-changin'.

The Good: Well crap, look at the lineup: Avila, Votto, Cano, Tulowitzki, ARod/Polanco, Alex Gordon, Kemp, Markakis, and Braun at DH. There will be 1's at every spot except catcher and LF - and LF is a gold glove winner, 2(-3)e3. There are no holes in that lineup. The rotation is Sabathia, Beckett, Tim Hudson, and Garza. The bullpen includes Venters, Marshall, Axford, Nunez, Soria, and the recently acquired Dotel.
The Bad: Nothing to look at here. Except this. Last June, the Rhinos were offered any SP and any RP on the Warpigs for Hanley Ramirez. The injury Ramirez suffered soon after the trade would seem like typical Rhino good luck, except for what happened to the two pitchers he chose in the deal. Now, he COULD have had Cliff Lee and Heath Bell, but he chose Trevor Cahill and the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez.
The Ugly: Cahill pre-All Star game, 3.12 ERA. Cahill post-All Star game, 5.80 ERA. Juan Carlos Oviedo (the former Nunez) pre-All Star game, 3.51 ERA. Oviedo post-All Star game, 5.01 ERA (including 11.42 in August).

So there you have it. New names at the top. Former champions Zaps, Drillers, Bees, Fungoes, and Buckeyes have to be licking their chops at taking on this fresh meat. Even the Snakes, after looking at the favored teams, may reconsider his decision to tank it rebuild this year.

Coming soon... A mock draft of the first round.

Woohoo! Where are the cards???

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dotel to the Rhinos

Yea! I'm not an Inmate!
The Inmates traded Octavio Dotel to the Rhinos for a 4th round pick in 2013.

The right side of Dotel's card will be pretty impressive. It will have 1 point of hits, 4 points of walks, and 54 points of strikeout. The left side won't be terrible, but he'll shut down righties.

Wainwright to the Pigs

Yea! I'm a Pig!!!
The Tweeners traded Adam Wainwright, pick 86, and a reserve to the Warpigs for the 11th pick in this year's draft.

Wainwright missed all of last season with Tommy John surgery.

Monday, January 16, 2012

DVs pick up lefty reliever

Geez, I suck.
The Warpigs traded Matt Thornton to the DVs for pick 107.

Thornton threw 60 innings last year with a 3.32 ERA while holding opponents to a .255 batting average.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ratings Disk

The 2011 Ratings Disk was made available this morning. The ballpark numbers are included. It's around $15 and you can order it here:


Friday, January 06, 2012

The announcement we've been waiting for...

First day of Pre-Orders: Wednesday, January 18th
Opening Day at Strat: Friday, February 10th

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

DVs Make a Move

Halladay and Weaver
The DVs made a huge step toward making 2012 the Year of the DVs! The DVs acquired ace Jered Weaver from the Warpigs, along with draft picks 8, 24, and 30. In exchange, the DVs sent 5 players and a pick to the Pigs, with a sixth player to eventually join the mix. The players were Dustin Ackley, Jeremy Hellickson, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lackey, and Brian Matusz. The pick the Pigs received is pick 11. The player to be named later is rumored to be Jesus Montero.

Jered Weaver will join Roy Halladay to give the DVs the best 1-2 punch in the league. Asked if this move sent a message to the Rhinos, Bees, and Tweeners, the DV skipper replied, "It's more than a message. It's a guarantee. 2012 is the Year of the DVs!"

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Tweeners and Inmates trade

Wells swings and misses. Again.
The Tweeners traded Vernon Wells and pick 76 to the Inmates for a reserve pick.

Wells was somehow allowed to get over 500 at bats with the Angels last year despite an onbase average under .250. Not his batting average - his ON BASE. Or as The HEAD INMATE put it...

"This could be the deal that puts the Inmates into contention. And butterflies could squirt out of my ass when I stand up."