Saturday, April 12, 2008

Season 8 Preview - Chicago Mayhem

The Chicago Mayem took their league leading 113-49 record into Season 7's playoffs . They met up with the New Orleans Cardsharks in the ALCS. This was the fourth straight post season meeting between the two clubs. This has become the biggest rivalry in the American League. The defending World Series Champions were out pitched, made costly fielding mistakes, and the offense never exploded. This was not how the Mayhem expected to end their season.

Season 8 Roster

Pitching Staff: This starting rotation is deeper than any previous year, and probably the deepest rotation in the world. All five pitchers have been the top pitcher in their organization at some point in their career.

SP1: Wayne Christensen went 19-4 last season with 2.92 ERA. Season 6 Cy Young and 4 time All-Star.
SP2: Pablo Pena went 18-10 with an ERA of 3.48 last season. This will be the third season pitching for the Mayhem for this former All-Star.
SP3: Stan Musial had a career season last season. 19-7 with an ERA of 3.47. He has been solid in the playoffs, usually in relief, the past two seasons.
SP4: Juan Encarncion was acquired in the offseason. Sub 4.00 career ERA to go along with a Cy Young and 4 All-Star selections.
SP5: Vladimir Guillen anchored the Mayhem staff for several seasons. His Cy Young season in season 4 where he went 27-1 with a 2.87 ERA is arguably the best season of any pitcher in Edmonds. He had 16 straight playoff appearances without a loss before he lost a game last postseason.

SUa: Pascual Pena brings his high velocity and splits to the mound for another season. He has been very effective in this role, earning him an All-Star appearance in season 4.
CLa: Desi Henriquez has been developing nicely as a true shutdown closer. At 24 years old he the control, splits, and velocity to be the best closer in Edmonds for years to come.

Batting Lineup: This offense has been providing huge run support for several seasons. Opposing managers know that no lead is safe when facing this lineup. This offense has a reputation for scoring 6+ runs late in games to steal a win. The offense is built around "The Four Horsemen" of Plunk, Mullin, Woodward, and O'Brien.

1) Kordell Randolph CF: His baserunning skills have made him a great leadoff hitter since the Edmond's inception. The Mayhem are excited to have this former All-Star lead this lineup.
2) Storm Matthews 2B: He is trying to forget his error in LF in the ALCS that cost the Mayhem the game. He is a great power hitter against righties, which has given him a .300 avg. and an All-Star appearance.
3) Mitchell Plunk 1B: Last season he won his second AL MVP. 5-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger, 2-time Gold Glove that leads the world with a career .351 avg. His post-season numbers are staggering: 57 G, 232 AB, 15 HR, 63 RBI, .422 Avg, 1.203 OPS over six post-seasons.
4) Brad Mullin C: He is coming off his worst season. This former AL MVP, 4-time All-Star, 3-time Silver Slugger has done a great job for the Mayhem over the years.
5) Rudy Woodward DH: He trails only Plunk in career avg. in Edmonds with .337. 5-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger has been a finalist for AL MVP the past 4 season, 3 times being beat out by teammates.
6) Kenneth O'Brien RF: He gets no respect for what he does. Only one All-Star appearance, yet every season he leads the Mayhem in HRs and RBIs. He is one of the top Home Run hitters in the history of Edmonds.
7) Don Spoljaric 3B: He is coming off an All-Star season, but will have to compete with Santiago Soto for playing time.
8) Jon Won SS: Offseason acquisition which will move Donald Zhang to backup SS. Won should provide more offense.
9) Bobby Ray McCartney LF: He will make his rookie debut this season. Good splits and good baserunning have managment optimistic he can have a successful long term career here.

The bench has depth with power hitting Ernest Mitchell, contact hitting Davey Pulido, former lead off man Ralph Henley, and pinch runner Kory Lowe. These players, along with Soto and Zhang, should give Sparky plenty of options late in games.

Season 8 prediction: This team is built to win it all. Anything else will be a disappointment. The Mayhem should be able to win 100+ games and get a first round bye. Mayhem welcome their fifth straight playoff series against Price, Tatis, and the New Orleans Card Sharks. Chicago fans schedule that parade!

Friday, February 22, 2008

All Star Weekend Power Rankings

The Title Contenders
1 (+1) Pittsburg 63-28: Last season's NL champion looks for a repeat. They have the pitching, batting, and fielding to go all the way.
2 (+1) Chicago 62-29: The current champions have the same pitching rotation and batting line up as last season. Solid pitching and an explosive offensive make the Mayhem an overwhelming challenge for any team facing them in the playoffs.
3 (+1) Scottsdale 59-32: Scottsdale won Season 1 World series, and are looking for their seventh straight division title. They have been an elite team from the beginning and show no signs of slowing down.
4 (+1) New Orleans 59-32: With two World Series appearances behind them, the Card Sharks have possibly their best team yet. Look for them to make their fourth ALCS in seven seasons, and see if they can bring home the title to the big NO.
5 (+1) Philadelphia 59-32: World Series winners in season 4 and five straight playoff appearances. They are on pace to win 100+ games and be a serious challenger in the National League
6 (-5) Boston 59-32: They have been the class of the National League up until their current 9 game losing streak. They have the pieces to come out of the NL and face the AL champion.

Playoff Contenders - Title Pretenders
7 (+2) Charleston 54-37: Unfortunately they play in the NL East where Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Boston are positioned to take the Division Title and the two Wild Card spots. I have a feeling that the Chiefs won't go down without a fight.
8 (unranked) Helena 52-39: The hottest team in the league right now. Helena is looking for their first winning season and playoff appearance. They are headed in the right direction.
9 (+1) Memphis 52-39: Memphis appears to be headed for their fourth Wild Card in five seasons. They probably can't catch New Orleans, but are sure to be around come playoff time.
10 (-3) Las Vegas 52-39: It will be hard for them to catch Scottsdale or either Wild Card spot without an extraordinary surge.
11 Tampa Bay 50-41: If the season ended right now, Tampa Bay would be a Wild Card team, giving the club their first ever playoff berth. Good things are happening in Tampa Bay.
12 Houston 49-42: Winners of season 5 World Series, they are headed for their seventh straight NL South division title.
13 San Juan 48-43: Winners of season 2 World Series, they are headed for their seventh straight AL East division title. They picked up Del Lopez in the International market.
14 Arizona 47-44: Leading the AL West right now over Sacremento and LA. This would be their second Division Title in three years. They signed International prospect Jesus Ortiz this season.

"Just a bit outside" of contending for playoffs
15 Florida 45-46: They have changed their strategy a bit this year and have been active with several trades. It is too early to tell how this strategy will work for Florida.
16 Sacramento 44-47: They won the World Series in season 3, and are three games away from Arizona in the AL West. They had 5 of the first 50 picks in this year's amateur draft. Time will tell if Richard Robertson, Stan Diaz, Sticky Weathers, Lyle Munoz, and Damaso Valdes help get them back to an elite ML club.
17 Nasheville 44-47: Nasheville got off to a great start this season and are currently 5 games away from Houston in the NL South.
18 Texas 44-47: They are still alive in the NL South. It is going to take a great run to knock off Houston and win the division. They signed Don Chen, an International signing.
19 Los Angeles 43-48: Four games out of the division lead in the AL West. Can they beat out Arizona and Sacramento for the Division title?

Rebuilding & NL North Division Champion
20 Ottawa 41-50: They finished 2 games under .500 last season, and will need to play a little better ball if they are to break .500 this season.
21 Tacoma 40-51: If playoffs started today, they would win the NL North. If they were in the NL East, they would be 23 games out of the lead and 19 games out of Wild Card race. They won the biggest International Prospect prize so far this season in Timo Martin, as well as Keith Sosa in the amateur draft.
22 Honululu 40-51: They should improve from last season's 71 wins. Look for them to be +.500 next season as they continue to rebuild.
23 Atlanta 39-52: They have spent over 20M this season on prospects to help them improve, including Felipe Jose and Otis Lansing.
24 San Jose 38-53: San Jose has been +.500 five of the past six seasons. All of their farm system has winning records, and they should be back to +.500 in the ML next season.
25 Cleveland 38-53: Two games out of first place in the NL North. They won the divison last season with a 83-79 record.
26 Louisville 38-53: They have spent 27.0 M on prospects this season to help get them out of the cellar. These prospects include Bart Purcell, David De La Vega, and Ivan Sosa.
27 Omaha 36-55: camp is in the second year of the rebuilding project in Omaha. Look for Omaha to be a strong team in the next couple of seasons. They signed international prospect Tony Rojas and picked up Tracy Wilkins in the amateur draft.
28 Baltimore 37-54: They have a strong offense. If they can get some solid pitching to go with their bats, they can get things turned around in Baltimore.
29 Seattle 33-58: They are in the rare spot of competing for the Divisional title and #1 draft choice next season. They drafted Antonio Satou and signed International prospect William Whang.
30 Minnesota 33-58: Like Seattle, they are competing for the NL North title and #1 draft choice.
31 Toledo 31-60: They are retooling for next season to chase down Chicago and Helena in the NL North. They picked up Eddie Whitaker in this season's draft.
32 Iowa City 27-64: It appears they are headed for another 100 loss season. They took McKay Rizzo with the first pick of this season's draft. They will get another top pick in the draft next season to get things turned around.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Power Rankings: Feb 16

This week the NL East dominates the rankings. The NL East is easily the best division up to this point of the season.

#1) (+1) Boston Pelicans 55-20: Winners of eight straight, the Pelicans regain the top spot in the rankings. Boston's only has three series losses through 23 series to Scottsdale, Tacoma, and Baltimore.

#2) (+1) Pittsburg Pirates 54-21: The red hot Pirates have won 9 straight games. The Pirates only have three series losses out of 23. They have series losses to Scottsdale, Cleveland, and Houston.

#3) (+4) Chicago Mayhem 51-24: The Mayhem have won 5 straight and are 9-1 in last 10. The Mayhem have four series losses this season to Tampa Bay twice, Florida, and Toledo.

#4) (-3) Scottsdale Poltroons 50-25: Going 4-6 in last ten games including a 0-3 series to Sacremento drops them out of the top spot this week. They have four series losses out of 23 this season. Those series losses are to Texas, Houston, Pittsburg, and Sacremento.

#5) (-1) New Orleans Card Sharks 49-26: Winners of 5 straight, the Card Sharks are starting to pull away in the AL South. The Card Sharks have 6 series losses this season to Memphis, Sacremento, Chicago, Arizona, Baltimore, and Houston.

#6) (same) Philadelphia Panthers 49-26: The Panthers have seven series losses this season. Losses include Pittsburg, Scottsdale, Boston, Tacoma, Houston, Minnesota, and San Juan.

#7) (+1) Las Vegas Pit Bosses 44-31: They have gone 7-3 in last ten to move up a spot in this week's rankings. Can they close the gap with the top teams?

#8) (-3) Arizona Cowboys 43-32: Arizona drops in the rankings having recently gone 3-7 in last 10. Recent series losses to Scottsdale, Memphis, and Las Vegas.

#9) (unranked) Charleston Chiefs 42-33: The NL East gets all teams represented this week. This is the toughest division by far, and somebody will be left out come playoff time. Can the Chiefs make it to the playoffs?

#10) (same) Memphis Bulls 42-33: Memphis stays in the rankings with a 3-1 series win over Arizona, and with series losses to Louisville and Texas.

Falling out of the rankings is San Juan. They had a brutal schedule this past week that included games against Boston, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Charleston. They went a combined 3-9 against the NL East.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

All World Team - Season 7 Position Players

Offensively we will need 14 players, and let's use the DH when building the roster.

We will need 9 starters and 5 bench players. For the bench players, we will have the best defensive SS and C. We should have the best base runner in Edmonds for a pinch runner. The final two spots will go to one huge bat vs. lefties, and one huge bat vs. righties.

Let the discussion begin!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

All World Team - Season 7 Pitching Staff

Lets build the best 25 man roster available in Edmonds.

We will start with pitching. We need the five best starting pitchers in Edmonds, then we need to give Sparky the best options for relievers.

SP1: Adrian Price has a career best 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP after 16 starts. He is the most dominant pitcher in Edmonds.

SP2: Ismael Torcato is Edmonds best International Prospect ever. At 24 years old, he is having the best year of his five year career. 1.60 ERA and 1.00 WHIP after 16 starts.

SP3 :Bucky Poole has been one of the world's best pitchers since the beginning. This year he has an ERA of 2.79 and 0.95 WHIP after 15 starts.

SP4: Wayne Christenson is following up his Cy Young season with another solid run. He has an ERA of 2.55 and 1.08 WHIP in 13 starts.

SP5: Glenn Anderson is having a great season with an ERA of 2.31 and a WHIP of 0.99 after 14 starts.

Starting pitchers still under consideration:

Buddy Murray is a former Cy Young winner with a career ERA of 2.93 and 1.12 WHIP. This season he as an ERA of 3.42 with a WHIIP of 1.32

Willie Guzman has recently thrown a no-hitter. He has an ERA of 4.01 and 1.44 WHIP in 14 starts.

Relievers coming out to seal the victory include:

Antonio Hasegawa has an ERA of 1.24 in 21 appearances this season.
Pasqual Sanchez is 16 for 16 in save opportunities with an ERA of 2.89.
Glenn Schmidt has an ERA of 1.35 in 34 appearances this season.
Enrique Rodriguez has an ERA of 2.57 in 33 appearances.
Desi Henriquez has an ERA of 3.16 in 19 appearances.
Felipe James has an ERA of 1.69 in 25 appearances.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Power Rankings: Feb 9

Another week is in the books in Edmonds World. As teams prepare for the (weak) amateur draft, we take a look at the current top 10 teams in the Major League. Once again, the National League leads the way.

#1) (+2) Scottsdale Poltroons (mfkidd): 40-16. How do you become the top team? Beat the top team. Scottsdale swept Boston 3-0 to take over this week's top ranking. Throw in a current 10 game winning streak, and all appears well in Scottsdale. Is Scottsdale really the team to beat in the National League?

#2) (-1) Boston Pelicans (DodgerBlue13): 40-16. Winners of seven straight games and tied for the best record in the Major Leagues. Bosotn has scored 338 runs making them the highest scoring team in the ML. Will Boston be back on top next week?

#3) (+1) Pittsburg Pirates (axtell): 38-18. The Pirates are a solid playoff team. Do they have what it takes to represent the National League again this season? Can they beat Scottsdale or Boston come playoff time?

#4) (+2) New Orleans Card Sharks (gator993): 37-19. The Card Sharks continue to move up the rankings. They have allowed the fewest runs in the Major Leagues with 195. They will be a beast come playoff time with their amazing starting rotation. Will they have enough offense to finally get them over the hump and bring New Orleans a World Series title?

#5) (+5) Arizona Cowboys (gogomez1): 36-20. Winners of 8 straight games, the "Cowgirls" are making a solid run at becoming the American League's top team. Can they overtake Adrian Price and the boys from New Orleans?

#6) (+1) Philadelphia Panthers (Phillies26): 35-21. The Panthers are having a good season. The question is - are they having a strong enough season to compete with the top teams in the National League. Can they compete with Boston, Scottsdale, and Pittsburg?

#7) (-5) Chicago Mayhem (blitziscomin): 35-21. The Mayhem lost another series to Tampa Bay this week. That is two series losses to them this season. They didn't lose two series to one team all of last season. Is their dominance coming to an end?

#8) (same) Las Vegas Pit Bosses (yonerandred): 32-24. Las Vegas takes the 8th spot for the third straight week. They lost a series to Philadelphia this week. Are they better than Boston, Scottsdale, Pittsburg, and Philadelphia?

#9) (unranked) San Juan Cucarachas (spudley): 32-24. San Juan fights their way back into the rankings. They lead the AL East, but that shouldn't make them feel too special. Are they a serious threat this come out of the American League this season?

#10) (unranked) Memphis Bulls (HuskyBoy): 31-25. Winners of seven straight. These guys drop kicked the Sacremento Salty Dogs to eight games under .500, going 7-0 last week versus them. Will this be a turning point for them to start playing more consistant?

Houston and Nashville both get knocked out of the rankings. Can they follow the lead from San Juan and Memphis and climb back into the rankings? Maybe they can schedule a series or two in Sacramento (sorry rojorider - I just couldn't resist).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Power Rankings: Feb 2

#1) (+1) Boston Pelicans (DodgerBlue13): 26-10. Best record in the Major Leagues. Key series wins over Philadelphia 3-0 and Houston 2-1. Upcoming series with Las Vegas, Nashville, and Scottsdale will put Boston's hold on the #1 ranking to the test.

#2) (+7) Chicago Mayhem (blitziscomin): 24-12. Best record in American League. 225 runs scored is most in the Major Leagues, and +80 in run differential is best in the majors. Key series wins over New Orleans 2-1, Memphis 2-1, San Juan 2-1, and Los Angeles 2-1.

#3) (same) Scottsdale Poltroons (mfkidd): 24-12. Is 5-2 versus Pittsburg, 2-1 against Philadelphia, 1-2 versus Houston, and 1-3 against Texas.

#4) (+1) Pittsburg Pirates (axtell): 23-13. Has allowed fewest runs scored in Major Leage at 132. Key series win 3-0 against Nasheville.

#5) (unranked) Nashville Fighting Costanzas (chas_costanz) 22-14. Has been swept 0-3 by Pittsburg and Philadelphia, but maintains 4th best record in the National League. Can they keep up this momentum?

#6) (unranked) New Orleans Card Sharks (gator993) 21-15. Card Sharks took it personal that they weren't in the first ever Edmonds world power rankings. They went 3-0 vs. Los Angeles, 2-1 vs. San Juan, 2-2 vs. Sacremento, 1-3 against Arizona, and 1-2 against Chicago. They have allowed the fewest runs scored in the AL with 136.

#7) (10) Philadelphia Panthers (Phillies26) 21-15. They have gone 0-3 vs. Boston, 1-2 vs. Scottsdale, 1-2 vs. Houston, 2-1 vs. Las Vegas, and 3-0 vs. Nashville. Philadelphia has had one of the most difficult schedules of any team so far this season.

#8) (same) Las Vegas Pit Bosses (yonerandred) 21-15. Las Vegas has series wins over Houston 3-1, and series losses to Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Scottsdale 1-2.

#9) (7) Houston Hamers (darrenpv) 20-16. Key series victories over Scottsdale and Nashville 2-1, and series losses to Boston and Las Vegas.

#10) (8) Arizona Cowboys (gogomez1) 20-16. The Cowboys take the 10th spot beating out Memphis and San Juan. All three teams have the same record. Cowboys have series victories over New Orleans 3-1, Los Angeles 3-0, but was swept by San Juan 0-3.

Bulletin Board material:

Memphis- last week's #1 gets no love this week. Series losses to Los Angeles, San Juan, and Chicago have Memphis on the outside looking in. Will they be back next week?

San Juan- last week's #6 falls out of the rankings. Series losses to New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Chicago keep them out, even though they have series wins against Arizono, Memphis, and Sacremento.

Tell us who you think is overrated, and who should be ranked higher! Let the smack begin.