Tuesday, December 25, 2012

S25 Hall of Fame vote

It just don't get any easier than this folks.   We've got five ARod legends up for the Hall this year.   Let's not embarrass ourselves by not voting a couple of these guys in (again).

1)  Emmanuel Aquino  -  13 All-Star appearances, 2nd all-time to Dante Ming, S6 AL ROY, S7 All-Star game MVP, 2x World Series Champ, 8x Silver Slugger and S14 AL MVP, Aquino's racked up some amazing stats.  Check out this slash line over 17 seasons - .325/.405/.643/1.048;  add 716 HR (#5 all-time),  2126 RBI (#4 all-time), 1871 runs (#5 all-time), 1100 walks, 500 doubles and dude could run too - 229 SB.   Aquino was never a magician (1 Gold Glove at 2B)  in the field but playing most of his career at 2B, he had a .985 fielding% while there.   If this guy isn't in the HOF this year I will have to question the collective intelligence of this world.

2)  Jack Redmond  -  10 All-Star appearances, tied for 3rd all-time, 4x AL Cy Young winner, 2x World Series Champ and S15 AL Gold Glove pitcher, "Black" Jack is in the discussion of best pitchers in the history of ARod and as if you needed more evidence - 253 W(#4 all-time) - 108 L in 523 GS; 2871 K(#3 all-time) vs. only 1044 BB;  career WHIP of 1.19 and ERA of 3.12.

3) Dan Stuart   -   6 All-Star appearances, 3x NL Cy Young winner, 2x World Series Champ, 2x NL Gold Glove pitcher, The Big Train was the most durable and dominant pitcher the NL has seen.  281 W(#2 all-time) - 159 L, 104 CG(#1 all-time) in 561 GS, 4002.2 innings pitched (#1 all-time), 2793 K(#5 all-time) vs. only 1088 BB and a career WHIP of 1.22 and ERA of 3.53.  Oh and he's #1 all-time in Shutouts(31), Quality Starts(357) too......Get'r done!!

4) Tony Weiss   -  9 All-Star appearances, tied for 4th all-time, S16 AL MVP, S6 NL ROY, 10x Silver Slugger, Weiss was one of the greatest non-power hitting hitters in the history of ARod and his MVP season was one for the ages----he hit .384 with an OBP of .451, scored 164 runs and ripped 262 hits (an all-time single season record) and stole 57 bases---not bad eh?   For his career he hit .324 with a .399 OBP, ripped 2961 hits (#5 all-time), scored 1809 runs, had 1321 RBI and walked 1031 times......almost forgot the 778 SB's (#3 all-time) and the 545 doubles (#5 all-time)!!!

5) Sal MacDougal   - 7 All-Star appearances, tied for 6th all-time, S4 AL Cy Young winner, S16 World Series Champ, MacDougal was the AL's answer to Dan Stuart.   He may not have racked up quite as many Cy's, but if you needed a Win, look no further - #1 in all-time wins with 286, #2 in innings pitched with 3814, #4 in CG with 77, #2 in Shutouts with 29 and #1 in K's at 3053.  Nuff said!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

S24 All-World Team

P -  Elrod Coke
C - Brant Ducey
1B - Vincente Bennett
2B - Ralph Kydd
3B - Benito Rijo
SS - Ajax Maybin
LF - Dan Blair
CF - Hi Shouse
RF - Pat Dougherty
DH - Dioner Monero

Congrats to cebola & Tampa Bay

1)  2nd World Series title for cebola in 4 years

2)  4th consecutive World Series title for the NL South

3)  8 of the last 11 World Series titles for the NL

Thursday, December 6, 2012

S24 LCS Recap by cebola

It was guaranteed that the NL champ would come from the NL South for the 5th consecutive season, as division rivals Iowa and Tampa squared off in the best of 7. In each of the first two games, Tampa came from behind late to steal the 2-0 series lead. Iowa got another superb start from Bruce Mullens (7 innings, 1 run) in game one, but the bullpen could not hold on, as Tampa comes up with 5 runs in the 8th to erase a 4-1 deficit. Kid Flair delivered the 2-run, 2-out hit to give the Dons the lead. In game 2, Iowa’s Cutter Darr staked the Rounders to a 4-0 lead in the first with a big 3-run blast off Rob Cormier. Tampa got huge lifts from a couple bench players as Ronnie Rapp got his team back into it with a pinch-hit 3-run homer in the 5th to cut Iowa’s lead to 2. And when Harry “Met Sal” Lee was able to come out of the pen and give his squad 3 scoreless/hitless innings, the Dons positioned themselves to make a comeback for the second straight game. Flair played hero again with a 2-run homer in the ninth to put Tampa ahead by a run, and closer Alfonso Villafuerte closed the door for the second straight game. Game 3 was more of a typical contest for these two clubs, as Clinton Puffer spun a beauty (7 innings, 1 run) in Iowa’s 2-1 win, thrusting his team back into the series. Sammy Cochrane got the big 2-out RBI hit in the 8th to put the Rounders ahead to stay. Doug “Buck” Rogers was the hard luck loser (7 innings, 1 run.) Tampa got great pitching in the next two games from Rich Sobolewski (8 shutout innings) and Rob Cormier (6 innings 0 earned runs) to seal the series with wins of 4-0 and 7-2. Game 5 was a 2-1 contest through Iowa’s half of the 6th, but Tampa was able to break it open with 3 homers the rest of the way, including another pinch-hit blast by Rapp. Tampa ends Iowa’s quest for the Three-peat (I use the term with Pat Riley’s permission), and get back to the series for the 3rd time in 5 seasons.

Iowa had another great season and looked to be on a mission to win their third consecutive title. There’s no doubt they will be back next season to add to their legacy and do whatever it takes to win it all! Great job.

In the AL Championship Series, Trenton stormed out to a 3-1 series lead with a couple of dramatic come-from-behind wins of their own. Game 1 was a great pitching performance by co-ace Karl Hurst and three relievers to stake them to the early series lead with a 3-1 win. Game 2 saw the Thunder come back from a 4-1 deficit by scoring 6 in the final two frames to win 7-4. John "lil Ichiro" Suzuki and Don Fukudome "No Fukudome You" each had a 2-run HR in the 8th to go ahead. LA took game three 4-3, on a brilliant pitching performance by Derek Hardtke, who tossed 4 innings of relief for the win. In game 4, Trenton survived a 5 run first inning by LA (Darren Ferguson and Andrew Gipson HR’s with ducks on the pond) to come back again and win 8-6. A couple of 2-out RBI hits by Victor Morales and Ober Furcal tied the game in the 5th, and Javier Rivera and Suzuki supplied the RBI’s in the go-ahead 7th. In game 5, the Dodgers again staked themselves to a 5-nil lead in the 1st on another 2-run blast by Ferguson, and a homer by Tony “The Crooner” Bennett. This time, they were able to make it hold up, as Paul Merrick throws 6 innings, giving up only 1 run on 5 hits and a walk. LA starter Don Wallace (7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk) comes up huge in game 6, outdueling Pat “Puffy” Combs in the 2-1 win that forces a game 7. In the do or die finale, the Thunder took a 6-5 lead to the 8th. Trenton’s Suzuki had a couple homers and LA got some big timely hits by the likes of Bennett and Geovany Molina. But Trenton broke it open in the 8th on a Victor Morales 3-run homer, and the Thunder hold on to win game 7 and advance to the World Series for the second time in 3 seasons.

LA had another terrific season, and definitely has a championship caliber team. You know the Dodgers are built to win for the long haul, and should be back in a position to contend for the title next year. Great job.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

S24 NL Awards

NL MVP -  Benito Rijo
     *Dig deeper....Rijo was a monster AWAY from Coors this year and should have gotten a Gold Glove at 3B.   It's time for his 3rd MVP.

NL Cy Young - Santo Cerda
   *My apologies to Donte Zoltan who put up ridiculous numbers in the light air of Colorado....but could the blog give his own guys both awards?? :)   As for Cerda, he's the reason Scranton wasn't in the toilet this year.

NL ROY - Shawn Lo Duca
      *I know Oleg hit alot of bombs and drove in a lot of runs, but for some reason I find myself more impressed with this rookie locking down 33 of 37 save opps......perhaps its my own history of never having a guy who can do that.....

NL CoY -  patrick71665
     -As much as I'd have liked to give this award to bigparb13, the wins in Colorado weren't as much of a surprise as what happened with Washington's run to the NL title.  Game recognizes game....

Monday, December 3, 2012

MWR - The loosecc decision

“After a thorough investigation, careful consideration, and much deliberation, the veterans committee has decided to grant owner loosecc a one-year probation for failing to meet this past season’s minimum win requirement. He will be required to win 67 games next season in order to stay in ARod; there is no "2nd" probation.

There were many factors involved in the decision, including the fact that loosecc was invited to join the league as a relatively inexperienced owner to take over a team with a recent track record of losing, before the minimum win requirement was "officially" established. This fact, combined with loosecc’s demonstrating a sincere dedication to improving his team and a commitment to improving his knowledge base was another consideration. The committee feels that the franchise is more likely to succeed with the current owner than it would be otherwise.

If you have any questions about the decision making process, you may contact any of the members of the veterans committee. Please know that this decision was not taken lightly, and that the committee acted with the best interest of the World in mind.”

S24 Playoffs - Division Championship Series Recap by cebola

The Jackson-Trenton series featured two great, relentless offensive attacks. It seemed that every time one of the teams built a lead, the other would come back. After Jackson’s game one 7-4 win, which featured 2 HR by Bryce Dupler & 4 hits by Jaret Walters, Trenton bats came alive. In game 2’s win, they took a 9-3 lead to the 8th, riding on the back of MVP candidate John Suzuki (2 homers, 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 ribbies), only to see Jackson give them a scare by scoring 4 in the 8th before holding on. Game 3 saw the Thunder come back from an early 3-1 deficit to forge ahead 5-3. But Jackson again got the bats going in the 8th to tie it up on a big 2-out, 2-run double by Malachi “Cornfield” Neal. Jackson had runners on the corners in the ninth with no outs, but Tyson Griffiths was thrown at home on a potential sac fly, killing the rally. Trenton got the win, walk-off style in the 9th. Nick Jacquez led off with a sinble and was plated on a hit by Guillermo Solano. In Game 4, Trenton again seemed in control, building an 8-3 lead, courtesy of Jonathan Hamelin’s 2 HR and 5 RBI. But Jackson would not to down easily in this potential series clincher, as they score 4 in the 6th to tie it, and forge ahead with a run in the 8th on another big hit by Neal. They actually had a chance to tack on, but Bryce Dupler made an out on the bases, squashing the opportunity for a big inning. The Jackson lead is short-lived, as Ober Furcal leads off the ninth with a game-tying homer. Trenton again walks-off in the ninth as the table setters get on for slugger Jacquez , who delivers the series ending sac fly. Hamelin drives in 14 for the series and takes the MVP. Trenton gets to the League Championship Series to face the mighty Dodgers for the second time in three seasons. LA will surely be looking to avenge that 7 game series loss.

It was another great season for Jackson. Special thanks to the new ownership for taking that franchise where they were expected to go. The team is still stacked and should be in contention for a long time. Hopefully, we can keep it in good hands!

How good was LA’s pitching in their three game sweep over Charlotte? How about only 1 run on 10 hits allowed for the entire series, including the epic no-hitter in the clincher. Mikey James went the first 6 of game 3, and Carlos “Exxon” Valdes tossed the final three in the ARod instant classic. LA’s deep and balanced attack gave the staff all they would need to get the job done quickly. Pedro “Hack” Bonilla hit .462, and Tony “The Crooner” Bennett drove in 4 runs in the series. Valdes threw 3 scoreless innings in each of the other two games as well to earn MVP honors. If LA gets through 6 with a lead against anybody, look out.

Charlotte got back to the post season with another great season. Their core of sluggers is still in their prime, and Estaban Guapo is poised to become their ace for the next several seasons. Great job.

Tampa’s three game sweep over Colorado was decided by only 5 runs and featured 2 tight one-run nail biters. After jumping out to a game one 10-7 victory, Tampa’s bats remained hot as they score an extremely crooked 8 in the 3rd of game two. Kid Flair had a big bases clearing double in the frame to stake the Dons to an 8-0 lead. But the Shock’s dominant line-up, which contains not a single weak spot, chipped away and eventually tied the game at 10 in the 7th. Hector Pena brought the club closer with a 2-run blast and another RBI hit, but it was veteran Raymond Brock’s big 2-run HR, following a Kid Flair error, that was the game tying blast. Tampa’s mid-season acquisition Kenta Itou came in to pitch 2 scoreless innings to put out the fire before Roy Miller pinch hit for him in the 9th and smacked a solo shot to give him and the Dons the victory. Game 3 was a pitchers’ duel, pitting Colorado’s Rafael Beltre, who has won at least 15 games in each of the past three seasons, against former Cy Young Award winner (and former Shock), Rich “Say It Ain’t” Sobolewski. Tampa’s first 2 hitters drew walks to start the bottom of the first to set the table for clean-up man Derrick Grissom who belted the 3-run blast that would hold up in the 3-2 series clinching win. Sobolewski hurled a complete game gem, the only real blemish a Marc Clarke solo homer in the 5th. The Shock had the tying run on third in the 9th, but Brock struck out to end the series.
It was another great season for Colorado.

They are a legit championship caliber team with a stacked line-up, deep bench, and tremendous pitching. No doubts they will be back next season in strong position to make a run at the title. Great job.

Iowa took the first two games of their series against Helena in typical Rounder fashion; great starting pitching and timely hitting. Cy Young hopeful Elrod “Rum &” Coke pitched 7 shutout innings (6 hits, 0 walks) in game one, and Bruce Mullens settled in after allowing 3 early runs to earn the victory in game 2. Both games featured a rash of 2-out RBI’s by Iowa’s balanced attack. With no margin for error, Helena sent 21-year old former first overall pick Darrell Bigby to the mound for game three. Bigby showed flashes of brilliance during the course of the regular season as well as in his 2 wins in the last series against Washington. He did not disappoint, as he earns the 5-2 victory to keep his team’s hopes alive. All the runs scored on homers, one each from the big guns in the middle, Gerald Hull, Cristobal Chavez and Hersch Glynn. He gets support as well through 4 shutout innings by his pen. But in game four, Coke was up for the task. Even as Iowa attempted to gift wrap some runs for Helena by committing four errors, Coke just kept getting big out after big out. He earns the series’ clinching win by going six strong, giving up only 2 runs in the 6-2 win. Cochrane, Darr and Chris Cust were in the middle of the offensive attack all day, scoring 4 and driving in 5 between them. Coke earns MVP honors for his two wins. Iowa moves on to face division rival Tampa for the rights to advance to the Series.

Helena proved that last season’s emergence was no fluke, as they follow up with another playoff appearance. This is a young team with lots of talented players on both sides of the ball. Glynn, Hull Chavez, Bigby, and Santiago to name a few. Great job.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

S24 AL Awards

AL MVP - Ralph Kydd    
    *As great as guys like Geovany Molina and Nick Jacquez were this year, this one is really a no-brainer.   Ralph "Billy the" Kydd not only led his team to an ARod best 106 wins, but he did it in style.   Check these numbers out, there's nothing he didn't do:   .354 BA;  .439 OBP; 131 runs; 213 hits; 32 doubles; 20 jacks; 111 RBI; 2/1 BB/K ratio (84BB - 40k); 51 SB and only 11 errors in over 1000 inning at 2B.   In the process Kydd moved into elite All-Star territory by picking up his 8th All-Star berth - he's just the 19th man in the history of ARod to earn at least this many All-Star berths;  and his 6th 2B Silver Slugger award - tying legendary slugger Pedro "Hack" Bonilla for the most AL 2B Silver Sluggers ever.   Kydd also earned his 2nd AL ARod Blog MVP (previously winning in S17).

AL Cy Young:  Pat Combs
     *Yes, I know Kennie Parrish was fantastic, but for a reliever to win the Cy Young he's gotta be better than fantastic.   This race came down to the two men at the top of the Trenton Thunder rotation, the $20 Million Dollar Man Pat Combs and 3-time AL Cy Young winner Karl Hurst.   As much as the blog likes creating legends, getting Mr. Hurst a 4th Cy Young this year just isn't going to happen, as Mr. Combs was just flat out better -  W/L (18-5 v 17-5); innings (226.1 v 190.2); ERA + WHIP (3.75 v 3.77); OAV (.208 v .214); QS (23 v 19); SO/BB (2.79 v 2.58).  Congrats on your 1st Cy Young Mr. Combs.  On a personal note, it's nice to see someone actually live up to the $20mil/year salary.

AL ROY:  Casey "Sam" Adams
     *The #10 pick in S20 draft picks up a 2nd ROY award for the S20 draft class (Wellington Rijo won the NL ROY award in S23).   In his first year in the show Mr. Adams gave us a glimpse of his future Gold Glove level defense in CF - why he played 20 games at DH is beyond anything the blog can imagine.  To go along with his special glove, Mr. Adams displayed as very solid bat by hitting .312, ripping 32 doubles and swiping 17 bases.  "Sam" Adams should be a fixture for the Maroons in CF and in the #3 hole for the next 10 years.

AL COY:  dengodd2 
     *It would be easy to give the Coach of the Year Award to the team that wins the most games but the blog couldn't ignore the fact that the "commish" put up 99 wins in easily the toughest division in the AL. The good times continue to roll in Augusta.