Monday, April 29, 2013

Hall of Fame Voting

Hall of Fame voting is upon us and it is time to look at serious candidates. I have looked over the contingency and have chosen already. That doesn't mean I can't change my vote to make sure we get in at least three or more if the congregation is acceptable. No I am not stumping for votes for anyone. But here is my preliminary choices so far.

Position players - I only found two I would vote for.

Roger Butler - Why? 1664 stolen bases is why. 2103 hits was a little over 1 per game played.

Joaquin Segui - Why? 2609 hits with 669 home runs and a .294 life time average.

Pitchers - I actually found several to vote for but this was the top of my list.

Vin Kerr - Why? 675 saves is hard to come by. 10 time All-Star and 4 time Fireman is not to shabby either.

Reid Monroe - Why? Hard to find a consistent pitcher year in and year out. 223 wins is good and 2 Cy Youngs  go along way at capturing my vote.

Albie Marrero - Why? 8 time All-Star, 2 Cy Youngs and 225 wins. Seems good enough to me.

Pitchers on the cusp:

McKay Cassidy - It was hard not voting for him, 256 wins is nothing to shake a stick at. Only 1 Cy Young though was the sticking point.

Pedro Arroyo - It was really tough comparing him to Kerr. Only 512 Saves and one Fireman award but still had a winning record plus an ERA well under 3.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rule 5 Analysis

A wondrous  thing the Rule 5 draft is. The ability to raid other teams to find talent. Of course that talent is usually flawed in some shape way or form. A few teams actually make money off the deal, how cool is that. So lets take a look at the fractured fairy tale of a first round.

1. John Magee - Durham: Ability to play LF is in question and I would say the best place is 1B.  Has a good eye and a little power but his plate taste is pretty raw in all reality. He is over projected because of his great general abilities.

2. Dave Crain - Memphis: They say he can play 2B, I don't buy it myself.  He can hit some with power but nothing all that consistent.

3. Cristobal Andujar - El Paso: I actually had three I was interested in and went with the youngster. So if ya want a cheap seasoned defensive veteran catcher, go look on the waiver wire. Has some very good catching skills which I like. Hitting isn't the greatest but should actually be an improvement.

4. Jose Lima - Ok City: Really looks like a nice pitcher until you see his stamina and realize he is a specialist.  They don't have much staying power on a 25 man roster. Best thing to do is throw this fish back into the sea.

5. Asdrubal Montana - Fargo:  He isn't great but very serviceable. Has very low durability for a pen pitcher however.

6. J.T. Brand- Atlanta:  Not exactly what I call a SS but does have the acumen to play several highly regarded positions well enough. Can hit some so sticking with the team may seem rather likely.

7. Edgar Duran - Las Vegas: This guy made it out of AA how? His ML stats from last year should provide a little inkling.

8. Jeanmar Ibarra - Jackson: A very serviceable pen pitcher with a durability a tad low maybe.

9. Danys Servet - Albq: Has a few things going for him like he can play most positions well enough to be a backup though SS is his worst but 2B looks like a great idea.  Average eye and high contact allows him to avoid strikeouts but not a real threat at the plate.

10. Robin Rusch - Seattle: Has some growing ability but not enough to play 2B. Could turn into a bit of a hitter but nothing great.

11. Elston Briggs - Omaha: Really a quandary with this guy as he isn't all that great at 2B and arm really isn't all that great for RF. Can hit against lefties though. His health isn't all that good either.

12. Victor Aramboles - Louisville: Maybe the best backup on the board as he can play all positions. Hitting isn't great but can bunt. By the way, his contract excludes him from playing hacky sack even.

Other players of interest:

Tino Friend - Durham: I find he is good pickup because he is a starter though I wouldn't consider him for rotation duty unless absolutely necessary. Out of the pen he could do a fine job most of the time in limited action.

Jim Roth - Ok City: A better selection than the first round dud.

Dan Priest - Atlanta: Don't know why but I just like this guy.

Javier Escuela - Albq: I am still scratching my head over this pick.  Are they in the AL? I have a hard time classifying him anything other than a DH.

Isaac Watkins - Durham: Pulling off another stunner in all reality. Nothing fancy but serviceable for a season or two.

Clarence Bieser - Ok City: This guy makes the list because I quickly noticed he was a PED user (Diamond in the Rough). Will he advance enough to actually become a ML pitcher is questionable. Will he stay healthy enough is another.

George Grissom - Jackson: I think he could actually be a 5th starter if needed.

O.T. Culver - Ok City: Only because it took them 4 rounds to actually find a pitcher that can help them.

Naoki Matsui - Seattle: I think he can play second, hit well and run. His health might be a drawback but overall his general appearance is one of the strangest I have seen. No temper or patience, must mean a laid back DIY kind of guy.

How Much Budget to Leave in Payroll

A good question for most. You must have enough available for the draft, Internationals, player advancement and possibly getting some spare players due to injury or fatigue problems. An experienced owner can get away with $1M to $1.5M or less rather easily.  $2M to $5M pad is good for the inexperienced because they don't know the pitfalls that may come their way.

For the Draft and Internationals, bonus money comes from the Prospect Payroll while their actual salary comes from Player Payroll, something to keep in mind.

If you go to the previous Draft history you can get an idea of how much Bonus money it will take to sign a first round pick. Normally, the first pick asks for $4M and it slowly drops from there. However, a selected player may have signing issues where they may need to be enticed with much more money. Some even refuse to sign.

Internationals is a little different as several teams may be bidding for his services and the price can get rather outrageous at times. However the Bonus money comes from the Prospect Payroll while his salary comes from Player Payroll.

There are many times where players get injured and is a big sore spot with owners most of the time. Having your best player go down with an injury can cause serious problems if your a frontrunner and don't have a qualified replacement in the minors. Money could be an issue if a trade is in order to solve the problem.

Players suffer from fatigue also and need to rest throughout the season.  This happens in the minors as well as the majors. In the minors you can have extra players on the inactive roster to solve the problem. It is not uncommon to have 2 or 3 pitchers and a couple position players on that roster at each level. The reason you need to worry about fatigue is a player is more susceptible to injury as he tires. Pitchers especially need to be at 100% before they pitch as a tired pitching staff can give up lots of runs and recovery can be near impossible.   The majors you just have to use what is available and the reason for viable backups for each position.

Another thing you might want to consider is picking up a player after the trade deadline, you might be surprised the number and type of players that hit the waiver wire when that occurs.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

News that is the News

Time is running out to hire coaches so put your bids in now or have them picked for you. Some say having them picked for you isn't all that bad, I have never done it though.

If you haven't checked your players to protect them from the Rule V draft, now is the time as it is also running out. I know you can't protect them all, but what you really need to look at is their value to the ML team. Some things are relatively easy to figure out in this arena. If a player is above 50 in each area of his hitting ratings is pretty given he should probably be protected, though it does depend on capable positions. Owners like to find a backup SS or CF, so watch those defensive players. Catchers are also heavily sought after, especially the ones with a high PC rating that have some success at the plate. Players with a power rating above 80 are looked at also especially if they have a good eye and contact or one of those with good splits. Pitchers are extremely looked at including me as I could take one with the 5th pick. Not sure what everyone else looks at but I have three or so I could easily upgrade thru the draft. What I look for is high control and the first 2 pitches then I look at the splits. So if you have a 90 control pitcher with a 90-80 pitch he hits my radar even if the splits are in the 40's.

Looks like the FA market got highly heated late yesterday as a few whoppers went by the wayside.

The Silent One heard the call of the wild and offered a moose a contract and it wasn't Bullwinkle. Did you know the Silent One graduated with honors from Wossamotta U? Anyway, Moose Brown signed his life away with a contract in Columbus to a tune of $20M per year for 5 years and a $10M signing bonus on top of that. The negotiations must have taken a toll as he lost a point of health after he signed away or maybe he got crabs from Natasha.

Meanwhile Durham signed Alving Gonzales to play somewhere for 2 years as he inked a $5.7M contract. They will find a place as his best position playing days are behind him but is still cocky with a bat.

Since the moose had left the house, Salt Lake decided they should spend their small fortune on Bernie Guzman. Another 5 year $20M deal but only a $2.5M signing bonus.

Salem hit the market up for two setup men in Erubiel Martin and Emilio Feliz, each with a cheap 2 year deal.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Just got to love the enthusiasm of mcandrews. Just one word of advice, don't fall in love with the game so much that you get 7 or 8 teams right away, you can get burnt out pretty quickly believe it or not. If you want more teams, wait until this season is almost fully over before getting a second. An AL, NL and an experimental team is the way to go. I enjoyed Hoops Dynasty also, but liked Div II the most.

After a while you will get the timing synchronization down to a fine art. It is rather easy for this world, AM cycle 1 occurs around 4AM, AM cycle 2 about 7:30, PM cycle 1 about 12PM, PM cycle 2 about 3:30 PM, PM2 cycle 1 about 8 PM and PM2 cycle 2 about 11:30 PM..all times are EDT. Other worlds can be much earlier or later than this one,  like Erffdogg Memorial is a half hour earlier.

Rolando James became the first big FA to sign and only a Type B. Seems to me a SS with his qualifications would garner a much higher salary but not bad at $6.5M. Salem is very happy with the 5 year deal.

The Memphis Redbirds snagged Alfonso Rios with a 4 year $5M deal. Not sure it was such a great deal with his declining nature.

Alcides Nunez signed by Seattle with a $3.6M 1 year deal. Not the greatest defensive backstops in the game,  but does have the penchant for hitting that could fit right in.

Burke Dickson was the first Type A to sign not sure he should have been myself but... Atlanta seemed to need a short reliever to closer and seems happy with the 4 year deal at $5M plus.

Adrian Brunette landed a 2 year deal at $6M per with Las Vegas. The question on everyones mind is whether he will have one of his glory seasons or just another so-so to apathetic years.

Las Vegas not being done with starting pitching offered Cristobal Lima a 3 year deal at basically $7M per. He couldn't get out of Memphis fast enough after the rough treatment received the last two years.

Kirk Ryan signed with Pawtucket with a promising $5.6M 1 year deal. He just wanted to get back to where it all started.

Andy Cota took the money and ran to Toledo with a $5.4M 3 year deal. Not sure but it looks like he may have been an undocumented minor injury case at the end of last season, either that or he was over worked and under paid.

Las Vegas made another splash while signing Esmailyn Santos with a $4M 2 year deal. Another poor defensive backstop solution with good hitting.

In a surprising deal, Las Vegas also inked Javy Castro to a 2 year $4.4M deal. Not sure I would return to a club that ostracized me once before.

Victor Manzanillo signed to play for the Fighting Pheasants with a $6.4M 4 year deal. Serviceable in CF but would make a much better 2B.

Las Vegas strikes again with the signing of Tony Nunez with a 4 year deal that totals $22M. If nothing else Las Vegas has added some crafty aging vets to go with the youngsters.

Howie Donovan inked a deal that sent shock waves through the party. A 5 year deal at $8.3M and an $8M signing bonus to go with it. A CF with the most is always a big deal, the ladies will flock to the park to see his beefsteak for sure.

Lee James wanted a closers role but is really unsure at how he fits in with the Fighting Pheasants but at $4M for 3 years beggars can't be choosey.

John Trammell may have had the best resume of any pitcher available but whoa Nellie! $71M over 5 years for a pitcher that could hit the DL walking to the mound?

Meanwhile back in Memphis the Redbirds signed Edgar Barcelo to a 4 year $4.7M deal. His CF days look over and could still play a decent 2B but 3B is where he should be.

The Scranton Yankees decided they would find a home for aging veteran Enrique Lucano.  A $3.7M contract for the year seemed appropriate for a player that can still leg out the hits but finding a place to play is another story.

The pitching prize goes to the Fighting Pheasants with the signing of Fausto Sanchez who I though was the best starter available and it was slim pickins.   A nicely put together contract for 5 years will put him in the $7M range for sure.

Scranton got their prize in the form of Pedro Montanez. He had a dreadful part season in Buffalo last year who decided to go a different route. The Yankees are happy spending $9M this year and $13M more for the remainder of his 5 year deal.

That is it in the FA market so far as there is some heavy duty fighting going on over a few solid  vets still remaining on the boards.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Maximizing AB's

It isn't easy sometimes figuring out how to maximize AB's with low durability players. With catchers it is probably the easiest to figure out. Players with durability below 75, I don't think about AB's, more in the terms of games started or played and innings. I know I can get 110 starts from a catcher with a 65 durability if I rest him at intervals and put him in the line up in the 8 spot. That is one of the reasons I like PC catchers so much because they are not an integral part of my line up but I do like them to be interchangeable.

However there are always those great players that have a low durability in the mid to low 70's that are considered an integral part of the line up. It is possible to start them for 130 games and get over 500 AB's out of them but it can take some effort on your part without taxing them. Maximizing them can be difficult to say the least. Having the flexibility at putting them in the 5th thru 7th spot in the line up is always helpful. Being able to rest them against a certain type of pitcher is very helpful, like lefties. Most generally I would say they need to be rested (completely out of the line up) at least 3 and maybe 4 games in every 20. They don't need to be consecutive games either. That does not include being replaced late in games which also helps. Another thing to consider is the stadium you are playing in or a series in the near future, always look ahead. If your low durability guy is a power hitter, rest him in the heavy pitchers parks.

One of the things I try to do is have a good serviceable bench hitter that can play the positions of my troublesome durability guys. This year I don't exactly have that luxury but I can juggle the lineup enough to accommodate my best bench hitter and get the most out of him also.

Injuries while not a good thing can also help out, that player is resting at least whether he is a low durability guy or it allows you to call up a player from AAA that can help with the situation. I have several at AAA with options that I can call up and wouldn't be afraid to use heavily for a short time.

There is no hard fast rule that I can actually quote or come up with as most generally I play it by ear. Of course I have had a lot of practice and know how to do it and it is never simple or the same. What I can tell you, if you leave him in the game from the start of the season, he will hit his fatigue level by about game 50 where you will be forced to rest him. After that it can be real tough to keep him rested. One thing I try to do and keep in mind is that the position players should be around or just over 300 AB's at All-Star break. If I have done that then I know I have done it right plus a three day rest period.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Budgeting is the first part of the season and can have a big impact on the entire season. First you need to look over your entire organization and devise a plan of what you want to accomplish for the season. Then after careful considerations and possible alternate solutions to meet your goals implement a budget that meets those needs. Some things you need to keep a close eye and make decisions about follows. Remember you only have $185M to work with.

1. Check your Free Agent report especially at the Major league level. Are they asking too much, do they fit into your plans, are they ML worthy. Looking at mine, I have a position player asking for a $4M contract, he has never played at the ML level, isn't a candidate for the hard to fill defensive positions of 2B, SS or CF and isn't much of a hitter either. He isn't in my plans for now or the future so he will be let go. I also have two pitchers wanting about the same amount each.  Neither are Type A or Type B and won't garner a compensation pick in the draft. One is over the hill at 37 and the other is borderline at being a ML pitcher in all reality. So both of those will be let go. As for the minors, I normally keep their sorry asses to fill out the rosters and everyone should as long as they are asking the minimum salary.

2. Next you need to look at the Arbitration report. These players have more than 3 years of ML service time and are asking for a raise, huge ones.  The new owners need a little guidance here. A player has two money considerations, the first one you see is for a one year arbitration contract, or you can go long term. To get the one year deal you need to go through arbitration, you have to offer at least 70% of that salary but normally I offer the amount requested, doing this can save problems down the road. You can arbitrate up to three times with a player but after that he can become a Free Agent and may not want to sign with you (normally he won't). Most arbitrate twice then offer a long term contract if they are going to keep him. I usually arbitrate once then offer a long term contract. Since you don't know his arbitration status, call up the players card and check the ML Years on the right side of the card. You can get an accurate count by rolling the mouse over the years. Under 4 means first time, under 5 means second time.

3. Then it is on to checking out the coaches. Egads most people hate this part! This is over in the Admin Office. Check out the Rehires, coaches either want to stay, want a new job within the organization or want to fly the coop. ML coaches can be expensive and hiring new coaches can be a pain in the ass at any level because it takes so long and everyone else may be bidding on them also. I have never budgeted more than $12M and normally budget $11M here.

4. Last but not least, check the Franchise Payroll. At the bottom it will give you the Player Payroll Budget for the season (last years actually) and Payroll Used for this season already (entire organization).

Now that we have an idea for the payroll for players and coaches, don't forget that you might need to get some Free Agents and that can be costly.

Now we can go to the Set Budget screen over in Admin and decide what else we might want to do. The Prospect Payroll is actually used for bonus money paid to draftees and International prospects. This can be set between $6M and $20M.

The next four are for scouting purposes, the first three equates to how well you see prospects projected ratings in the International market and the draft. The Advance Scouting Department lets you see players projected ratings on all rosters. Words of advice for the newbies here, everybody sees current ratings the same, projected ratings is what the player can become but can be very fuzzy. Say a player has a projected rating of 90 in Range, he is currently at 65 and he is 18 years old. His first three years is when he will grow the most but has until the age of 27 to make 90. Chances are he might make it to 85 and no higher and that is a guess. You can only raise or lower these areas by $4M and as a newbie it starts at $10M. For High School and College, you will want to see where you are drafting. If you are drafting in the first 16 picks I might suggest that you budget $14M. If you have a high payroll, you might want to pick one or the other. Internationals can cost lots of money for the great prospects as bidding can go way over the top at times.

Training and Medical allows players to avoid injury and recovery if they do. Most try to get this as high as possible, but newbies start out at $10M and can only go up by $4M.

The bottom of the screen will give you insight of how the previous owners budgeted for previous seasons. 

By now you should have a handle on how to set the Budget for the season.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Player positional defense is something that plays an important part of the game that actually gets the least recognition. If you click on GM's Office, Roster Management, Edit Rosters, your team will be displayed by position. If you click on a players position here it will bring up the editable defensive chart. Please take note of the top of the pop up as it shows the Big League Defensive Averages for each position. Actually I call them the minimums myself if you want good things to happen.

I will use SS as an example. Range is categorized as an 80. I myself won't go below 80 as I prefer above this number. Going down a few points is not all that harmful but will cause a rise in minus plays for the player.  I cheat more in glove but wouldn't go no more than 5 points below the advertised 85, going lower causes more booted balls. Dropping down on the arm actually cause more strain on the 1B more than the SS itself as errors abound.

One big thing to note in the defensive realm, only 1B's can throw LEFT HANDED! in the infield. That means 2B, 3B and SS must throw right handed.

In the center of the pop up is the players current/projected ratings so you can compare to the chart. At the bottom is where you can change his position settings the way you desire. The buttons allow for quick settings which most of us use when they are first acquired by the organization. Most generally it is the Show Recs (proj) and then save. Normally it isn't all that concerting until the player gets to the majors. At least you will have a record at the positions that he played and see how good/bad he played at some of them.


Pitchers can be a funny lot as you don't know what they are going to do from one start to another. One outing they can look like Cy Young and the next a little leaguer. I have had pitchers that should be Cy Young candidates with their ratings but the offense never produces. Never figured that one out and was always frustrated with the 2-1 wins or losses then the next day put up 10 or more runs. I have had an emergency pitcher with bad ratings generate a 16 win season, never figured that one out either.

Starting pitchers are usually defined by being able to get to the seventh inning at least for the most part anyway. They need a stamina of 70 or more and a durability rating of at least 25 to pitch in a normal rotation. Over 60 but under 70 will get you through the fifth if they are good but can tax the bull pen. To explain more fully, the stamina rating is the number of pitches a pitcher can throw before becoming fatigued then add on another 15 before he really needs to come out. The durability rating for a pitcher is his recovery time from fatigue after pitching, normally a one for one item.  Most games takes approximately 120 to 140 pitches to complete.

Long Relievers are usually the ones that have the 55 to 65 stamina and can give you 2 to 3 quality innings. I like to call them middle relievers myself as an overall general term, most generally unsung heros. I don't set my rotation with long relievers myself as I use them all as Setup A. Lot of times you will have an extra stater on the staff in the pen which is a widely excepted idea.

Setup B relievers normally have low pitch counts with a high durability and are used to get out of an inning or pitch one inning before the Closer comes in. No more than two on a roster normally.

A Closers job is to finish the game off for the win. They also have a low stamina and high durability and normally the cream of the crop.

There are also some specialist settings you will find though the game doesn't use them correctly if at all. The game likes the Mop Up position but I rarely use it unless I have to call up a pitcher and I don't want him in if the game is on the line.

Now for the nuts and bolts. Control, splits, and pitches need to be as high as possible. Hard to come by and cost lots of money. I myself like high control, 80's or better. Splits can be a little give and take. Lefties generally have a lower right split but that doesn't make them a bad pitcher as many don't like them as there are more power right handed hitters. Most generally the right split needs to be in the 70's or better, lefties in the 60's. I have actually had better luck with lefties in the high 50's which is common. Lefties with a right split in the 70's or higher is uncommon but do exist. I like the first two pitches to be high, upper 80's and 70's  with pitch 3 and 4 in the 50's and 60's.

To go with that is FB/GB, GB is the high end of the spectrum while FB is the low end. Does it really matter? Most say not really, me, well I like the GB as power hitters aren't going to put it over the fence as much. Last but not least is Velo, Most like it high as these are the high strike out pitchers.  I wouldn't have a stable of just FB pitchers nor would I have a staff of low Velo pitchers either.

Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean a pitcher with below 50 control with very good splits and pitches isn't viable at the ML level. They can be useful in very extreme pitcher parks and have success elsewhere also. I just wouldn't have more than one on my ML roster at a time.  If my pitchers are weak, they are normally weak in the split realm where I tend to like high control and pitches over splits.

Line Ups

What do most managers look at when setting up their line ups? Basically they are looking at getting players that combines overall efficiency of hitting and fielding.

Lead off hitters can be hard to come by. What is needed: a real good eye, contact and splits with base running speed. One guy may not be able to handle the entire responsibility, maybe one for right handed pitchers and one for lefties. Power is not a requisite and should be lacking as a matter of fact as a good range is 0 to 60.

The two spot should mirror the lead off hitter in all reality just not as good maybe. A little more power is desirable but nothing outlandish, like 55 to 65. Basically your looking for a hitter that can move the runner along and hit doubles.

The hole hitter is kind of unique and may depend on the type of stadium you have. A severe pitchers park would be better served with another lead off hitter type that maybe doesn't have the all out speed and a little more power. On the road or in a hitters park you want the flexibility to put one of your best power hitters in this slot.

The clean up spot should be designated as the player with the best batting average and power numbers. If the bases are loaded which really doesn't happen all that often, you need some one to bring them home. Most like the idea of doing it with one mighty blast.

The fifth and sixth slots should actually mirror the clean up spot as best as possible. Just remember this rule, eye, power and splits before contact from here on out.

The seventh slot is usually reserved for the best remaining hitter with power. Normally the guy with a bad eye with good splits and contact.

The eighth slot is for the guy you just can't seem to find a good hitter for but need his defense. Like SS or CF.

The AL gets the use of a DH, usually in the form a big power hitter.  They might help you get to the WS, but can be more of a hindrance in the WS unless they can play another position. Many try to find a DH that can play another position somewhat well, like catcher or 1B.

If you let WIS suggest your line up, some screwball things will happen. They will put the player with the best speed in the lead off spot and the most powerful hitter in the hole slot.