Friday, April 29, 2016

Hal Glover is the New Hit King

April 20, 2016

Hal Glover passed Pete Rose on the all time hit list with number 4257 in New York's 9-2 win over the Denver Rabbits.

In the third inning Glover's check swing off Darin Sanchez bounced down the third base line.  Glover's 43 year old legs were able to beat the throw to first, and move him ahead on the all time list.

The previous record holder, Pete Rose, watched helplessly from behind the Denver dugout, in seats provided by his good friend, Rabbits manager Bewis "Big Cheese" Skywalker.  Rose flew into a rage after the hit and berated the umpire for making a close call that replays would show to be correct.

After the game, Rose was asked about his reaction.  "First of all, I want to congratulate Hal Glover.  I alone can appreciate just how much work and determination it takes to break a record like that.  Hal is a fierce competitor and deserves, like myself, to be enshrined in baseball's hall of fame.  To be clear, my reaction after the play was not in any way a reflection of my feelings for Hal. I fully appreciate that records are meant to be broken.  If anyone is worthy to break my record, it's him.  I was just upset because I had bet that the record would fall in the fifth."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fourth Generation Jawa Player?

He's only 5 years old, but Brett Solo's son Theodore has made the OOTP news.

"Today was a big day for Theodore Solo, son of the Hawaii Hounddogs' Brett Solo.  It was his first day of kindergarten at the touted Hawaii private academy, Winthrop Acres.  Theodore passed multiple aptitude exams in order to be accepted into the school, which has only 400 children over all 13 grades."

"Today is such a special moment for Theo and I am just so proud" said Solo.  "When I became a parent I never imagined the love and joy that he could bring me and I'm just so delighted to see Theo go to a school that can cultivate his academic desires"  This experience, coupled with the Solo family's recent purchase of a luxury penthouse, show just how committed a shortstop the Hounddogs have in Brett Solo.

Get to know Roberto Ruiz

Roberto Ruiz is currently a 27 year old free agent who has not played any OOTP professional baseball. A star in Cuba, Ruiz tried to defect by stealing a spaceship belonging to the Castro brothers.  Unfortunately his escape didn't go as smoothly as planned, as he was intercepted by a First Order cruiser, taken prisoner, and transported to Starkiller base.

There he made his own escape, finding a stash of baseballs and using his 80 grade arm (clocked over 100 MPH on throws from the outfield) to take out the first order troopers.  Ruiz managed to escape from the detention level and hitch a ride on the Millenium Falcon just before the base was destroyed.  Chewbacca was kind enough to drop him off in the Domincan Republic, so he was able to establish residency and prepare to enter OOTP as a free agent.

In addition to the cannon arm, Ruiz is a physical specimen with well above average speed and tremendous power.  The only questions on him are whether he will make enough contact.  Ruiz is currently fielding offers, and it is believed that he can land a 3 year contract for about 21 million dollars.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crawford to Seagulls

Center fielder Kermit Crawford has agreed to a 2 year contract with Toronto for 16.9 million.  Last year Kermit hit .254 with 7 homers and stole 19 bases.  He was also 25 runs above average defensively.  Crawford will turn 33 in spring training.

Contracts signed 12-2-2015

Miami signs catcher Cal Mathis to a 2 year deal for 3 million.  Mathis hit .234 for Phoenix last year, with OBP and SLG each under .300.  He threw out 40% of opposing runners.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

League Calibrations

In the first year using OOTP baseball to replace the APBA software, The Major and Superior Leagues overall had a successful season.  Attendance and revenue records were shattered, and the wealth is obviously flowing to the players after the recent contracts given to Hamburg, Lewis, and Salbacca.  We had another exciting playoff rounds that culminated with the Bay Area Bandits winning their first ever championship.  The addition of extended minor leagues ensures the talent pipeline will continue to flow, while providing real statistics for minor league players and entertainment for the imaginary fans in smaller cities.

But not all is perfect.  Among the chief complaints for the season was a rash of injuries and an extremely low success rate on stolen base attempts.  Commissioner Manfred undertook an investigation as his first order of business since beginning his term in office.

Manfred set out to measure the distance between first and second base, and found that in each of the 30 OOTP stadiums, it was incorrectly set to 91 feet.  For 2016, Manfred will return the basepaths to their historical distance of 90 feet each.

As for the injuries, all teams are urged to look into their medical teams and adopt best practices from each other.  In addition, a switch was found in the league settings page, where injuries had been set to standard (3rd option out of 5).  For 2016, injuries will be set to option 2, reduced injuries.  However this change may only be effective for one year.  A study will be done to determine whether the 2015 injury experience or the 2016 is more realistic, and consistent with the injury frequency in another baseball league, MLB.

After a season where only 33 homeruns lead both leagues, the league's Ewok slaves on the manufacturing planet of Endor will be whipped and beaten until they learn to wind the balls a bit more tightly.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Draft Pick Compensation

The following teams will gain extra draft picks between the first and second round:

Green Day

And these teams will lose picks for signing the top free agents.  Picks in the top 10 are protected:

Hawaii (2nd rounder)
Louisville (second rounder)
New York Cobra (1st)
Boston (1st)

Top Free Agents Sign

Once again, the New York Cobra brought in the biggest free agent and set a new contract record in the process.  Stephen Hamburg will join the fearsome NY staff after agreeing to a 10 year contract for 400 million dollars.  This breaks the record for largest contract by 100 million over the amount Denver paid to Mark Crawford 4 years ago.

Hamburg will make 30 million in each of the first two years, then 35 million in 2018.  He will make 43 million in the next 3 years, and 44 million in the final 4 seasons.  He also receives a no trade clause, although it is likely a moot point as no other team could afford such a deal.  The Toronto Seagulls will receive a compensation draft pick.

The Hawaii Hounddogs signed Clayton Lewis to a 7 year, 215 million dollar deal.  With the price of ace pitching quickly escalating, Boston gave CC Salbacca a 7 year deal for 224 million.

Jaret Benser, 37 years old, resigned with the Utes for 2 years and 19 million.  He received a few other offers, but did not seriously consider leaving Utah.

Kal Chillingworth will head to Louisville Sluggers on a 7 year deal for 154 million deal.  The Portland Decepticons did not make him an offer.

Miami resigns closer Dwight Schrute for 5 years, 75 million.  This contract sets a new record for relief pitchers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fernandez forced to retire

Joey Fernandez of the New York Knights retired at age 30 after he was unable to recover from a torn rotator cuff.  Last season Fernandez pitched in an extreme lefty specialist role, appearing in 30 games but only recording 9 1/3 innings, facing 38 batters.  For his career Fernandez pitched 335 innings for the Knights over 8 seasons.

Managers of the Year

Miami's RJ Duke was named manager of the year, and Florida's Wally Calhoun took the award in the Major League, edging out Skip Yoder of the World Champion Bandits.

Conan Award

The Conan award for most valuable player went to the first basemen on the World Series teams.  Miguel Cruz hit .325 with a league best 33 homers and 104 RBI.  He also scored 112 runs and hit 42 doubles.  Cruz played 162 games at first base, where he made 14 errors but graded out as average in zone rating.  Cruz also won the award in 2014.

Joe Young won the Superior League award for the 7th time in his career.  The 39 year old hit .352 with 31 homers, 105 RBI, and scored 128 times.  He led the league with a .447 OBP and .599 slugging percentage.  Young played only one game at first during the season, spending another 146 as Miami's DH.  Young is happy to play only half the game as it helps his old body survive the rigors of the season.

Young now has 640 career homeruns and 2896 hits.  He is under contract for one more season in Miami.

Roger Chillingworth Award

The Roger Chillingworth award for best pitcher went to Miami's Jered DeMario and Toronto's Stephen Hamburg.

DeMario won 21 games against 7 losses, pitching 258 innings with a 2.68 ERA.  He walked 57 while striking out 188, and was 5.4 wins above replacement level.  

Hamburg, in his free agent walk season, won 17 games with a 2.69 ERA.  He struck out 269 against only 29 walks, and was 9.7 wins above replacement.

Jaret Benser finished second in the Superior League, and George White finished second in the major league.  The major league finish may be a bit controversial, as White had one more win (18) and a lower ERA (2.38).  Hamburg's advantage was in the strikeout to walk ratio, White's was an excellent 209-54, but not as otherworldly as Hamburg's.

Canzler signs

The Hawaii Hounddogs have reached an agreement with outfielder Shane Canzler on a 3 year, 24 million dollar contract.  Canzler hit .311 last year in 88 games.  He appeared to lose a step in center field, finishing with a -8.7 zone rating.  He would be a well above average defender in the corners however.  Canzler also provides a threat on the bases, stealing 9 bags in 10 attempts.

Reynolds to Manage Sox

The Alaska Snow Sox, who recently fired Ryne "El Jawa" Solo Jr., signed Todd Reynolds to a 3 year deal.  Reynolds most recently served as RJ Duke's bench coach for the Superior League champion Miami Stars.

Jeffrey Lamar Lewis Rookie of the Year

Utah's Erick Reinfelder won the Superior League rookie of the year award, edging out Miami's Devan Arceneaux.  Reinfelder hit .293 with a .396 OBP, hit 22 homers and stole 16 bases.  He became a fan favorite in Utah for his defensive efforts in left field, saving 13.5 runs by the league's new zone rating metric, and throwing out 13 runners on the bases.

In the Major league Detroit's Larry Brooks won the award by hitting .330 with 12 homers and 34 doubles.  Brooks is the rare slugger who can make contact in today's game, striking out only 51 times.  Portland's Ethan Howell finished second after a season of watching the ball go by for 113 walks and a .416 OBP.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

World Series Game 6

Miami had a threat going against Larry Reynolds in the first but Joe Young bounced into a double play to end it.  In the bottom of the inning Bay Area scored 3 times on Roman Matos, first on a Miguel Cruz double and later on a pair of bases loaded walks.  In the bottom 3rd back to back 2 out doubles stretched the lead to 4-0.

Prince Ferreira made it close with a 2 run triple in the 5th.  In the bottom of the inning, Corey McGarvey tripled and came home on an error by Joe Young, one of 2 errors on Young and 4 by Miami on the day.  Bay Area stretched the lead to 8-2 with a 3 run 6th, capped by a Miguel Cruz homer.

They scored once more in the 8th, as Larry Reynolds pitched 7 strong innings, allowing 2 runs, no walks, and 6 strikeouts.  In the top of the 9th Miami had a bit of fight left in them.  With 2 out and a runner on first, Oswipe Cabrera singled, and Jim Gwosdz walked to load the bases.  Omar Gomez pinch hit a single to bring in 2.  Justin Warriax came on in relief, and Miami was hoping for just 2 more base runners - if they had done that Joe Young would come up representing the tying run.

Prince Ferreira hit a routing grounder to second, Leon Mercado threw to Miguel Cruz, and the Bandits celebrate their first ever championship.  Skip Yoder relaxes next to the championship trophy.

World Series Game 5

George White made his second start of the series, and Tim Sullivan took the mound for Miami in what would turn into a fine pitcher's duel.

Bay Area scored in the first on a Jared Fulton single, and again in the 6th as McGarvey reached on an error and scored on a Ryan Harris double.  That's all Sullivan would allow, as he struck out 4 through 5.1 innings, with an efficient count of 67 pitches.

Oswipe Cabrera homered in the 6th off White, but that's all he would give up, pitching 8 innings of 5 hit ball and one run.  With 2 out in the 6th, Brian Kaat tripled but was stranded on third

In the 9th Payro shut down the heart of Miami's order, Kaat, Young, and Bass, to complete the 2-1 win and go up 3-2 in the series.

World Series Game 4

Bay Area lit up Jered DeMario, who allowed 8 hits and 5 runs in 3.1 innings.    Miami managed 10 hits off Delvis Winchester but only one run in 5 innings, and Bay Area went on to an 11-2 blowout win.

Josh Austin had four hits including a homer, and Corey McGarvey knocked in 3.  Bay Area played without Robert Zoffinger, who was injured in game 3.  His oblique strain would knock him out of the rest of the series.

World Series Game 3

Bay Area took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Jason Rosario homer, and went up 2-0 an inning later as Ryan Harris drove in Miguel Cruz.

Miami got one back in the bottom 3rd as Brian Kaat scored on an Arceneaux double.  Oswipe Cabrera and Peter Rabbitt scored in a 6th inning rally.  Miguel Cruz tied it in the 7th with a sac fly.

In the bottom 8th Miami loaded the bases with no out against Justin Warriax, but Cabrera and Gwosdz struck out, and Ferreira flew out to end the inning with the game still tied.  Dwight Schrute came on in the top of the 9th, striking out Miguel Cruz to end the inning.  

Brian Kaat singled to start the bottom 9th.  Joe Young reached on catcher's intereference.  Billy Bass then grounded into a double play, leaving Kaat at third with 2 down.  Kaat tried to get in the head of closer Rafael Payro, creeping down the line and looking like he was preparing to steal home.  Devan Arceneaux hit a dribbler up the 3rd base line, catcher Rosario went to grab it as Kaat sped past him for the plate.  He tried an off balance throw to first, but Arceneaux beat it out for a game winning infield single.

Miami leads the series 2-1