Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Season 19 Playoff Predictions

Since it got mentioned on the boards, I figured I'd take a stab. Before I get into this, I'd like to mention how little research I've done here. I mean, almost nothing. So, you know, don't feel slighted.

NL Playoff Teams

NL North: Iowa City Bees
NL East: Toledo Muddy Webfoots
NL South: Monterrey Victorious Secrets
NL West: Wichita Wastrels
Wild Cards: Kansas City Kings, Portland Timbers

NL Champion: Monterrey Victorious Secrets

Additional Analysis: The NL East is the toughest to call, as Kansas City is still very good. If Toledo doesn't take the division this season, they will in the next few. Both teams are one or two stars away from competing with Monterrey right now (or, I should say, Monterrey once Vic Spehr comes back). Wichita dominated the NL West all last season before Portland (that's my team) barely overtook them at the end, but they're on the rise and the Timbers are fading, though still dangerous. The NL North is pretty wide open, but I think Iowa City and Pittsburgh have the best shots (though Pittsburgh is OLD).

AL Playoff Teams

AL North: Cleveland Cans of Corn
AL East: Washington D.C. Nationals
AL South: Charlotte Sturgeon
AL West: San Francisco Seals
Wild Cards: Columbus Clippers, Syracuse Excuse

AL Champion: Charlotte Sturgeon

Additional Analysis: The NL North is probably Feller's best division right now, with two WS contenders in Columbus and Cleveland, but Tacoma and Seattle aren't bad either, and would probably be playoff teams in the National League. Washington DC is as good as ever, and Syracuse doesn't have the offense to win the East right now, even if they're very good. Charlotte has started slow, but they're easily the best team in the South. San Francisco's young talent puts them on top of the weak AL West, but both LA and Helena stand a fair shot. I gave Charlotte the AL Champ nod because I think they're due, but there's too much talent in the AL to make a clear call.

Primary World Series Contenders: Charlotte, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Columbus
Longshot Contenders: Monterrey, Toledo, Syracuse, Kansas City
Best Pitching Staffs: Charlotte, Washington D.C., Monterrey
Best Lineups: Charlotte, Cleveland, Washington D.C. (I really just threw these out there.)
Up and Coming Teams: Toledo, Wichita, Philadelphia
Teams on the Decline: Pittsburgh, Portland, Columbus (sorry, job, they're aging.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Sort-Of Counterpoint: Hall of Famers

First, I should say MattFurjan has better access to stats (have you seen his Google database?) and he understands sabermetrics better than I do. Still, he left Harry Martinez off the list AND HE SHOULD BE INSTITUTIONALIZED FOR THAT.

So let's run through the top HoF candidates in my opinion:

Rock Moore (C) - He's a lock. I won't even get into the reasons, because I shouldn't have to explain why.

Harry Martinez (1B/DH) - Granted, no defensive dynamo, but the guy is the all-time leader in HRs. THE ALL-TIME LEADER IN HRS. He also won two MVPs. Everyone has their own opinion about what being a Hall of Famer means, but as much as I appreciate the value of the stat revolution in better determining player value, the "fame" part still has to mean something, and the most famous stat in baseball is home runs.

Matt Michaels (CF) - 2 MVPs, 8x AS, 6x SS, 1 GG in CF, and a couple rings. Probably the best CF through the first decade and a half of Feller, and the best player on some great teams. Also, he got derailed by injuries, so he would've been even better.

I think these guys should be unanimous, but I'll be using all five of my votes. For the last two, I'll have to choose between:

Russell Millwood (C) - See Matt's argument below. I didn't realize how valuable he was. Defensively, just mediocre, but not a liability.

Steve Daly (SP) - Rico Perez may have the longevity, but Daly has him beat in WHIP, ERA, AS appearances (granted, a sort of nebulous stat) and has a ring. The debate between the two comes down to what you value: the guy who lasts forever or the guy who shows more flashes of brilliance in a shorter career. It should be Daly spent a good part of his career in hitting parks (or at least Montreal was...I'm too lazy to look up Las Vegas.)

Rico Perez (SP) - See Matt's post.

I would vote for a number of other folks if I could. Either Bud Rodgers, Philip Wright or Miguel Samuel would be worth additions if you're not anti-closer. Hiram Huang, Hensley Lawson and Frank Barrett all had terrific careers, and should've been voted in last season if we weren't so apathetic. Please vote!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hall of Fame Voting Season 19

Here are some of the leading candidates for induction into the Hall of Fame:
Rock Moore - With 3 Most Valuable Player Awards, 10 All-Star appearances, 10 Silver Slugger Awards, 612 career HRs, .995 OPS, all while playing more innings than anyone else behind the plate.  Moore is a HALL OF FAMER.  In fact, he's one of the Hall of Famers that the other guys in the Hall want to get their picture taken with so they can show their grandkids that they knew Rock Moore.
Rico Perez - 2 Cy Young awards, 6th most innings pitched, 7th in quality starts.  For me, he gets the nod over Steve Daly.
Matt Michaels - 2 MVP awards, 8 All-Star appearances, 6 Silver Sluggers, 2 Championships fill up his awards page.  Michaels has the most innings played in CF thus far in the world.  His offensive numbers as a CF are outstanding.
Russell Millwood - In the "non Rock Moore" category of catchers, Millwood might be the best. His 630 homers are the most for a catcher, he is 2nd in Runs Created for catchers.
Philip Wright - Wright gets the nod in the reliever category.  He has four Fireman of the Year Awards and 6 All-Star appearances.
Harry Martinez - 2 MVP awards, retires as the all-time leader in HRs, second in runs batted in,fourth in runs created, fifth in walks, sixth in hits, only a total fool wouldn't list this guy as a hall of famer in his first season of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

These are my choices, but great arguments can be made for deserving candidates like Steve Daly, Harry Martinez Philip Wright, Bud Rodgers, Charles Perry, Hiram Huang, and Frank Barrett.