Wednesday, July 20, 2011

World Champion Charlotte Castoffs

Congratulations to Season 15 World Series Champions, the Charlotte Castoffs, and owner bwb53! This is the second championship for bwb53 and Charlotte. This time they started off as a 5th seed and ended up closing out the San Juan Crabbers in 6 games, a very impressive run indeed!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

World Series Game Three

Game 3 shifts to Hiram Bithorn Stadium in hot and humid San Juan. The starting pitchers are Charlotte's Joaquin Trevino, 15-8 overall, 3.86 era, and a 2-0 playoff record, against San Juan's Jordan Bailey, 13-8 overall, 3.99 era, and a 1-1 playoff record....a pretty even matchup on paper.

San Juan jumps right out of the box again in this game, just as they have done in the previous two games, with putting a two spot on the board in the bottom of the first. The inning's highlight was Frank Becker driving in the two runs with a single. Charlotte bounces back two innings later, first with a solo blast by Luis Romano (#5), then two runs scoring on a single by Louis Thompson, with Ryan Jacobs coming all the way around from 1st base. To top of the inning, another run scores on a single by Joaquin Beltran, making it Charlotte 4-2 over San Juan.

The next inning and a half feature 3 and outs, until the 5th when Charlotte's Jacobs hits a grounder to third that is muffed by Sean Manning. Jacobs then proceeds to steal second, and comes around home on Belliard's RBI double to make it 5-2. The bottom of the 5th has San Juan getting that run back on a RBI single by Enrique Diaz, making it 5-3. These two championships teams continue to trade punches as it is now Charlotte's turn to extend the lead once more. Santana gets a one out single to bring up Luis Romano. Romano proceeds to drill a fastball to deep CF whereupon it ricochets off the wall out of the reach of the CF Dean Ramirez. While tracking the ball down, the above average runner Romano is being waved around the bases, and proceeds to get an inside the park homer. With Romano's second homer on the day, Charlotte jumps to a 7-3 lead and ends the day for the Crabbers pitcher Bailey. Bailey's stat line shows 7 runs given up (6 earned) in 5 1/3 innings. Alex Yamaguchi is now the new pitcher. 

In the bottom of the 7th the Castoffs pitcher Trevino gets himself into a jam by sandwiching two walks around a single, to load up the bases and end the day for him. His stat line shows 6 innings pitched and ultimately 6 runs scored. Tony Mendez comes in to pitch, and promptly walks in a run to make it 7-4. Pedro Perez grounds a single to score two, followed by a RBI groundout by Sammy Mercedes and the score is now tied at 7. Mendez is yanked after blowing that save chance, and Al Mendez gets the call and retires the side. 

The Castoffs continue to show their grit and determination as Beltran leads off the 8th with a single, and after Barker gets a fielder's choice, Julio Santana steps to the plate and crushes Yamaguchi's first pitch well over the left field wall for his 6th playoff homer and a 9-7 lead for Charlotte. As we enter the bottom of the ninth, the fans at Bithorn Stadium are on their feet trying to get a rally from their beloved Crabbers. The Castoffs manager makes an interesting pitching choice, and bring in Horacio Rijo to start the ninth, rather than their closer Tony Chong who appears to have fallen out of favor after having a down year. Mickey Ohlendorf is first up as a pinch hitter, and proceeds to deliver a lead off double. Mercedes then draws a walk, and after a flyout Sean Manning hits a single to left field but they decide not to test Barker's weaker arm, and being two runs down, hold Ohlendorf at third to load the bases with one out. With the stadium rocking, up comes leadoff hitter Harry Johnson, who proceeds to strike out swinging to a calm Rijo. The last hope for the Crabbers is Hawk Carlson. In a peculiar move in the seventh, while down by four, the Crabbers decided to rest their star player and all star game MVP, Omar Gonzalez (95 durability), and brought in Carlson. Rijo ends up bearing down, and Carlson does a baseball sin by leaving the bat on his shoulders for a called third over. Charlotte grabs back home field advantage and takes a 2-1 series lead.

Player of the Game: Julio Santana

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

World Series Game Two

Game Two is a crucial game for the Charlotte Castoffs as they gave up home field advantage and could not afford to drop a second game at home to start the series.

San Juan Starter: Robert Wells - 18-5 record, 3.21 era, 2-2 postseason record
Charlotte Castoffs Starter: Deivi Almanzar - 12-12 record, 4.64 era, 0-0 postseason

San Juan continues to put some early pressure on Charlotte with a run in the second inning. Sean Mercedes once again does what he has been doing throughout these playoffs by going yard with his 10th postseason homerun to give the Crabbers a 1-0 lead. However, one inning later Charlotte gets a huge boost from their two-time MVP Neifi Belliard as he comes up with a grand slam home run to give Charlotte their first lead in the series, 4-1. In the 4th, Robert Wells hangs a breaking ball and Julio Santana promptly takes advantage to chalk up his 5th postseason homer, giving the Castoffs a 5-1 lead. 

San Juan continued to battle back with the long ball once again, as Dean Ramirez jumps on an Almanzar offering to smack a two run homer, thus bringing the Crabbers within two. San Juan starts the sixth inning with a pitching change, bringing in Jeromy MacDougal to try and keep them close. Unfortunately for the Crabbers, MacDougal does the opposite and gives up 4 runs to push the lead up to 9-3. This score ends up holding up as the Castoffs get a big win to even the series at 1-1. Almanzar goes 8 innings while giving up 3 runs, earning his first postseason victory. Robert Wells drops to 2-3 in the playoffs. 

Player of the Game: Neifi Belliard

Season 15 World Series: Game One


San Juan Crabbers (104-58) vs. Charlotte Castoffs (93-69)

The World Series is here with the San Juan Crabbers facing off against the Charlotte Castoffs. The Crabbers are in the World Series for the first time while their owner, szekrenyi, has 2 titles in his history. The Castoffs were Season 9 champions and their owner, bwb53, has 3 titles to his name. Game One pitching matchups have the Crabbers putting Matty Johnson on the mound with his 13-3 season record, 2.37 era and 2-0 postseason record. The Castoffs though go with a surprise choice for game one of the championship series, a rookie who has done extremely well since being brought up midseason, John Champion. His stats are a 6-0 record, 1.96 era, and a 2-0 postseason record.

What a way to start the world series with a leadoff solo home run by Omar Gonzalez to give San Juan an early 1-0 lead. In the third inning, once again Gonzalez shows what a weapon he has with his bat as he hits a lead off home run to make it 2-0. Also in the 3rd, Sammy Mercedes smacks his 9th postseason home run with a 2 run blast which makes it 4-0. San Juan continued to get to the nervous rookie Champion by tacking on another run in the 4th to make it 5-0 San Juan. In the 6th, Champion was taken out but that did not stop the Crabbers from getting another run with a single by Gonzalez (third hit) and then a double by Ramirez. The Crabbers starter Matty Johnson finished up his outing with 5 innings of shutout ball. It took only one inning for the Castoffs to take advantage of the Crabbers bullpen to break the shutout with a single run in the 7th. In the 8th, they pushed across 2 more runs to narrow the gap to 6-3. Unfortunately for the Castoffs their pen could not hold down San Juan as Sean Manning smokes a grand slam home run to push the lead back up to 10-3. With some subs and defensive replacements in for San Juan, Charlotte managed to put a four spot on the board highlighted by Julio Santana's 3 run homer, which made San Juan the winner by a score of 10-7.

Player of the Game: Omar Gonzalez
 Winning Pitcher: Matty Johnson (3-0)
Losing Pitcher: John Champion (2-1)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tips For New Owners

I know there are probably a hundred other tips I could have published here that don’t come to mind but I at least wanted to cover some common ground, issues I have seen that come up early in every new season as rookie owners join our league.  Please do read this and also listen to the other veterans in the chat forum, who will be more than glad to help you.  I know it’s easy to say “hey, I’ll just manage my team as I would a real team and I know a lot about baseball so let’s get going” but take a moment to pause and consider how this game might be different than the real game.  Above all, have fun and be friendly to all and you’ll get the most out of this game.

A few tips for new players:


Player Payroll: 
The amount in this area is used to pay the player's salaries. Research is required to help figure out how much is needed. You will need to know how much is needed to resign your ML Free Agents you want to keep, Player arbitration costs, current payroll and several other costs that are paid from this area. As a rule you could use this formula: Current payroll + Free Agent keepers + Arbitration keepers + $5M at a minimum. If you plan to enter the free agent market you might add some money  depending on how many ML players you want to go after. The open free agent market can be a hit or miss proposition for ML players. You will also need to resign minor league free agents and open market minor league free agents to fill out your minors. One thing to note is some of your minor league free agents may want a ML contract and for the most part they are not worth it.

Prospect Payroll:
This area is used to pay signing bonuses for international free agents and amateur draft picks. Their salary comes from the Player Payroll. Internationals can cost a fortune for a blue chip player but if you do not have high draft picks this might be the best way to get a future star.

Coaches Payroll:
Coaches allow your players to get better at all levels. ML coaches are expensive to replace. You will need to find out which coaches want to return and their cost and how much it might cost to replace others. The Hitting Coach and Pitching Coach are the costliest to replace. Next is the Fielding Instructor. 1B, 3B and Bullpen Coach are not as costly. Although most Bench Coaches are expensive, their function is disputable at the ML level and might be more important with a young team. Most minor league coaches can be found for around the minimum costs, with the HC and PC at the upper minor levels possibly being more expensive.

Domestic College Scouting Dept:
How much money spent here determines how well and how many college players are scouted and that you see in the Amateur Draft.

Domestic High School Scouting Dept:
How much money spent here determines how well and how many high school players are scouted and that you see in the Amateur Draft.

International Scouting Dept:
How much money spent here determines how well and how many international players are scouted.

Advance Scouting Dept:
How much money spent here determines how well you see any player that is or has been on a roster. All players current ratings are seen by everyone the same. Their projected ratings however are not, the more spent here the truer the projections become. In your first few seasons with a team you may want a higher advance scouting budget, since you are not familiar with your players. After a few seasons, you have a better idea as to how your players are and you might not need a higher budget here. If you do a lot of trading, you may want this higher too.

Money spent here helps prevent injuries as the guide says, but it is more than that also. Think of it as bulking up in the weight room and thus helps being physically prepared to play on the field. With good training and coaches a players ratings improve.

If a player gets injured, the more spent in this area lessens the injury and allows him to rehab better and faster. If you have players who get hurt a lot, you want more money in this area so that they can get back on the field quicker. If many of your players have health ratings of 90+, then you can skimp in this area a bit.


While it’s entirely the right of a player to “go for it now” or choose to build a team slowly and methodically over many seasons, the single-greatest source of arguments in any league can be lopsided trades.  Please understand that if a trade is vetoed by a large number of players, it’s not simply a parental activity, protecting you from the bad deal.  Vetoes are often done to protect the long-term good of the league in that it is possible for one team to aggressively pursue the best players of a newly-assigned team (with a rookie owner) while others are more patient, courteous and respectful, offering only fair and balanced deals that have the potential to help both teams.  A new owner might realize within months that one or two deals weren’t a quick fix for the rebuilding situation he/she faces and then abandons that team at the end of the year while the rest of the league has to continue battling another team that built itself through lopsided trades with rookie owners who end up being long gone.  Fortunately, it’s not as common in this league as in others and some of the biggest offenders have departed, perhaps because the league did use its voting power to veto trades in the past.

Also, vetoing is not necessarily a league-wide question of whether a trade helps the new owner’s team.  Many times, a new owner argues that the trade is beneficial and says to the other owners ’please don’t protect me just because I’m a rookie’ and this is because they really want the deal because they need a certain commodity X.  What they fail to realize is that they could have achieved even more, likely much more, than just X for the players they are trading away if they had let the entire league know that a certain player was available in a trade.  The more offers you have to choose from, the more often you will find the best possible deal.  To do this, if a star or potential star is being asked about in a deal, new players are encouraged to post in the chat forum that “I am being asked about Joe Smith and so I ask everyone to send official offers my way so I can choose the one I think helps my team the most.”  It’s much more difficult for owners in the league to argue that a new owner is being exploited if the new owner openly said a player was available and had access to many offers, from which they chose the one that they felt was the best deal.

On that note, be wary of trades that offer several mediocre players for one star or potential star.  Mediocre players, by definition, are often available easily through the waiver wire or free agency.  Thus, if you are offered three players rated 70 for one player rated 80+, that can be a trade where you can often do better simply by asking in the forum if anyone would like to make offers for your 80+ rated player.  It doesn’t mean that this is necessarily a bad deal but it can be worthy of further exploration to see what’s out there.
Also, always be sure to check a player’s contract.  Sometimes, a player may look like a top talent but has extremely high contract amounts locked into their future.  These sorts of acquisitions can weigh a club down to eliminate financial flexibility in future seasons.

Finally, until the annual schedule is set and you’ve also set your team budget, there’s no way for a new owner to know what the projected ratings of players are.  Therefore, be VERY hesitant before discussing possible trade deals with veterans asking about players even before budgets are set.  Remember, owners who are returning may remember what sort of potential such players had shown previously and they could be interested in your player for that very reason.