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Monday, 2 January 2006
Union League Predictions - Updated by Poulas
I have division winners staying the same.

In the Atlantic, Newark should run away with the division by at least 6 games and probably more. Looking for 93 or so wins from the Eagles.

In the Continental it is all about Detroit, especially after the Ruth trade.

I think the only race will be in the Pacific where the division is not quite 'up for grabs', but there can be suprises. KC is still the best team, but all three other teams can really compete. I'll stick with KC, but I am not loving it!

Posted by dcnats at 1:19 PM EST
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Union League Predictions?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Prognostications
I've posted my predictions for the LL--anyone care to go on record about how the UL will finish?

Posted by atl-bucs at 12:21 PM EST
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Sunday, 1 January 2006
Exhibition Season 2006
Topic: Exhibition
The Pre-Season is over, controversy still rages on, but it's time to crown the best of pre-season, make prognostications of the pennant race, and start the Regular Season -- the games count now! Play Ball!

Newark Eagles and Houston Colt .45's Take Top Honours!



2006 ATL Exhibition

Legends League W L Pct RF RA
Houston Colt .45's 35 11 .761 265 189
Mudville Nine 28 18 .609 238 217
Oakland A's 26 20 .565 174 164
Cincinnati Reds 24 22 .522 259 230
Baltimore Orioles 24 22 .522 234 200
New York Giants 23 23 .500 231 263
Chicago Cubs 23 23 .500 188 208
Boston Red Sox 21 25 .457 211 220
Saint Louis Stars 21 25 .457 209 211
Toronto Blue Jays 20 26 .435 221 225
Pittsburgh Pirates 18 28 .391 184 232
Brooklyn Dodgers 14 32 .304 169 216

Union League W L Pct RF RA
Newark Eagles 35 11 .761 275 195
Chicago White Stockings 29 17 .630 251 184
Washington Nationals 24 22 .522 263 250
Cleveland Spiders 23 23 .500 213 214
Boston Braves 23 23 .500 196 195
Orix Blue Wave 23 23 .500 186 224
San Francisco Seals 22 24 .478 232 208
Saint Louis Cardinals 21 25 .457 205 232
Kansas City Monarchs 20 26 .435 178 215
Tokyo Giants* 19 27 .413 192 216
New York Yankees 18 28 .391 194 235
Detroit Tigers 18 28 .391 260 285

George Giles wins Exhibition Season Batting Crown and Boog Powell wins the Home Run Crown!


Giles,G 45L .378 Powell,B NYL 20
Hill,P NEU .374 Gonzalez,J NYL 16
Aaron SLU .366 Bonds,Ba 45L 15
Gwynn BJL .359 Robinson,F BOL 15
Gehrig WNU .358 Aaron SLU 15
Wells,W CRL .354 Gehrig WNU 14
Smith,C CCL .343 Allen,D WSU 13
Leonard,B NEU .342 McCovey DTU 12
Baker,F MNL .333 Matsui,H TGU 12
Charleston 45L .332 Keller WNU 12


While Buck Leonard wins the RBI Crown and Jelly Gardner wins the Stolen Base Crown!

Leonard,B NEU 54 Gardner,J 45L 27-12
Allen,D WSU 50 Poles WSU 22-5
Aaron SLU 48 Benjamin SFU 22-12
Charleston 45L 47 Bell,CP CRL 21-4
Gehrig WNU 43 Henderson BJL 19-7
Robinson,F BOL 42 Hill,P NEU 17-3
Powell,B NYL 41 Lyons,J KCU 17-6
Keller WNU 41 Vargas WSU 15-5
Gonzalez,J NYL 40 Lopes NYL 14-4
Bonds,Ba 45L 39 McGraw,J CRL 14-6

On the mound, Larry Jackson won the ERA Crown and Smokey Joe Williams was crowned the Strikeout King.

Jackson,L OAL 1.80 Williams,SJ SFU 84
Jenkins,Fe OAL 2.15 Paige, S NEU 77
Seaver BDL 2.20 Rogan SLL 74
Lopat BBU 2.25 Vance CRL 69
Marichal BBU 2.53 Ryan BJL 66
Hooton BDL 2.66 Bragana CCL 62
Donovan,D OAL 2.70 Schilling MNL 62
Chance,D BWU 2.72 Redding CRL 53
Young BWU 2.79 Clemens DTU 53
Williams,SJ SFU 2.81 McDonald,W NEU 52

Eppa Rixey wears the Wins Crown, and Tom Henke gets the Saves Crown.

Rixey MNL 7-2 Henke 45L 12
McDuffie NEU 6-0 Rivera NEU 11
Williams,SJ SFU 6-1 Eichhorn BWU 11
Clarkson 45L 6-1 Benitez BOL 10
Jenkins,Fe OAL 6-2 Quisenberry OAL 10
Paige, S NEU 6-3 Kaku,G CSU 9
Ward,M CRL 6-3 Face CCL 8
Rusie 45L 5-0 Olson SLU 7
Crawford, S NEU 5-0 Hoffman SLL 7
Blackwell MNL 5-1 Nen MNL 7

Please post all your Exhibition Season articles as comments here. Thank you.

Posted by dmbatl at 10:20 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006 10:26 AM EST
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Saturday, 31 December 2005
Controversy: What the League Veto of The Gehrig Trade Means
Topic: Trades
An important event is playing out right now in the ATL, and like all pivotal events in any organization it doesn't come without controversy. A lot has been said about the pros and cons of the trade that precipitated this event, and a lot has also been said about the motives of those involved with voting for or against the trade. I will try to cut through all that and assess why the League vetoed the trade, and what that means for the direction of the League.

I invite everyone to post comments to this thread, but I caution that this is an esoteric thread about Ideals, and not a political rant for or against the trade, nor is it a platform for statistical subterfuge. This is a thread about what the League Veto means to the League.

I think several other trades have a direct bearing on this one, three trades especially, and I will try to put them in a coherent light regarding this trade, and then come to a conclusion.


First, The Vetoed Gehrig Trade, for reference:

To StL Stars:
Lou Gehrig 1B
Mitsuhiro Adachi SP

To Washington:
Jim Whitney SP
Steve Reed CL
Edgar Martinez DH
Vic Harris LF
Norm Cash 1B
Gil Hodges 1B


The Other Trades:

TRADE 1:
To Boston:
Joe Morgan 2B
Ken Singleton RF

To NY Mets:
Larry Doyle 2B
Babe Ruth RF


The single worst trade in the short history of the ATL. However, even this trade had its vocal proponents which just highlights that consensus is always difficult to achieve. I think this trade has a lot of bearing on The Gehrig Trade for those who voted Nay. The argument here in favour of the trade was that Morgan and Singleton, batting first and second in the Boston lineup, would produce more Runs than Ruth batting 3rd or 4th, and Doyle batting 8th. Sim results were produced to substantiate this claim, and the Boston owner proclaimed himself very happy with Morgan & Singleton instead of Ruth & Doyle. However, most opinion on the fate of Boston before and after this trade took a 180 degree turn. The Ruth Trade was quickly labeled "The Curse," and the Boston owner was heard from a handful of times over the next few months before he disapeared completely. I think some of the owners took notice of the ultimate effect -- a Lost Owner. Whether that was good or bad for the League is a point open to debate, and will not be debated here. The point is, that perhaps this trade more than any other had influence on The Gehrig Trade. At the time, several owners expressed opinions offlist that I should intervene and nullify the trade. The WatchDog Clause had not yet been given the jurisdiction over all trades, and I was not yet ready to enact Landesian Laws for the fledgling league. However, the inaction on the part of the League at this juncture may have fueled the response to this year's Gehrig Trade. Joe Morgan is a hall of famer, and a great second baseman, but he is not a unique talent at second base. Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, and Martin Dihigo would all take exception to Morgan eclipsing them.

TRADE 2:
To Cincinnati:
Dan Brouthers 1B
John McGraw 3B

To Washington:
Lou Gehrig 1B
Reds 2nd Round Pick (Lip Pike)


As mentioned at the time, this appears to have more value for Washington than Cincinnati. However, McGraw is a unique third baseman -- a hall of famer with exceptional skills and large 'legend' factor. Baseball would not be the same if it were not for Muggsy McGraw. Brouthers is a superstar of his time, but so was Lip Pike on the other side of this equation. Lou Gehrig is alone as a unique talent at first base in Baseball history. Some players come close, Jimmy Foxx probably the closest, but Gehrig is alone on the top of the first base heap. Still, Brouthers is capable of putting up Gehrigian Numbers in a good year. Problem is, Gehrig puts up those numbers in an average year. It does seem that Gehrig's abilities are not being appreciated, and this trade lay the foundation for The Gehrig Trade.

TRADE 3:
To C.Cubs:
Ty Cobb CF

To Detroit:
Babe Ruth RF


Ruth for Cobb, again controversial but involving two unique talents. Cobb had been sought after in other trade talks in the first ATL season, but was "untouchable." This is the first time Cobb has been traded. Is Cobb as good as Ruth? Of course not: there is only one Bambino. However, just as McGraw is no Gehrig, Cobb is no Morgan. Cobb for Ruth is a swap of two unique talents, two unique individuals, two unique baseball legends. There is a lot of fantasy 'worth' backing up both players, not only stat lines.


Conclusion


I think the direction this points the League in is one of appreciation of unique players for the intangibles they bring to the league. I don't think the League Veto is a mark against either owner involved in the trade, or even a decision against the relative balance of the trade as compared to others. No. I think the League Veto declares that unique players, those that are integral to the greater glory of the history of baseball, should be treated with a bit more respect than your everyday run-of-the-mill star player. That big trades like Ruth-Cobb increase the prestige of the League, and hence owner enjoyment, while trades like Gehrig-for-Bunch-O'-Guys is somehow perceived as detracting from the shine on the League by dulling the value of one of its brightest stars.

Posted by dmbatl at 3:44 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 4:43 PM EST
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Monday, 26 December 2005
Back to Baseball
Mood:  not sure
There's been a lot of talk about just about everything other than games lately, and I, for one think we are the poorer for it. So lets bring the focus back to the games, where it belongs, shall we?

The first half of the exhibition schedule is in, and the second has begun. We are just a week away from the start of the season! My fearless predictions for the Legends league follow:

Legends League
-------------------
East--Boston Red Sox

This team has it all, from Shoeless Joe to the Beast to Greg Maddux. Adding SS Ross Barnes was a bold stroke, and a brilliant one. They'll win in a walk, but Baltimore might give them some "moments" along the way, and the Birds remain a serious Wild Card contender.

Central--Pittsburgh Pirates

OK, this is my own team, but the fact remains that they are defending Champs and remain well equipped to take on the season. They've lost the Batting Champ and that will hurt. His replacement, Nr. Turkey Stearnes, won't hit .349 as Jess Burkett did, but with Ed Delahanty in the lineup for a full year maybe the next batting champ will wear a Pirates uniform again. But regardless of batting championships or lack thereof, with the best staff in the league the Bucs will remain tough to beat in the Central. Any team that boasts Babe Ruth in its lineup cannot be discounted, and the Cubs may just be the surprise team of the league this year. They have a solid rotation and a good lineup. They are Wild card competitors at the least.

West--St. Louis Stars

The league's most controversial team is also the Best in the West. Whether or not the disputed Gehrig trade goes through in its current form, this team has still collected superstars like Steinbrenner on a meth binge. That should translate into winning this division handily. They have a big time lineup that is at least on a par with Boston's, and enough pitching to get the job done. Houston and Mudville should win their share of games however, and it's quite possible the Wild Card will come from this division.

Posted by atl-bucs at 10:18 AM EST
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Tuesday, 20 December 2005
I Do have Projections John!
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: http://www.angelfire.com/blog/atb/Poulas_Projections.htm
Just not sure how/where to post them!

Posted by dcnats at 4:35 PM EST
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Sunday, 18 December 2005
It's Time To Play Ball!!!
Mood:  cool
Topic: Exhibition
The exhibition season is finally upon us! We had the usual mass movement of players from the draft and pre-season trading, all of which made things very interesting. All sorts of players, from HOFers to reserves, switched teams. Of course, even more trades are on tap-- Orix and the Cubbies just pulled one off as a matter of fact. Now we'll start to see how things will play out. Any predictions out there?

In any case, this looks to be another great season with a full slate of 24 owners, so I just want to wish everyone good luck--except when they play against the Bucs, of course!

Posted by atl-bucs at 6:55 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 5:08 PM EST
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Thursday, 15 December 2005
Pitching?
Topic: Exhibition
The second game of this Tuneup Tournement was held in the stormy confines of Korakuen Kyujo. Rain delays of 12 & 75 minutes prolonged the contest. Mudville put their Japanese ace, Kazuhizu Inao (that's him over here), on the mound against Tokyo's Jiro Noguchi. It was a scoreless duel until the 6th when the Nine broke out for 3 runs in 3 batters. Lenny Dykstra singled, Bill Monroe doubled him home, and then Larry Walker sent one into the rainclouds. In the 8th the Giants* manufactured a run on a pinch-hit single by switch-hitter Yoshinori Hirose. The speedy Hirose challenged the arm of Ivan Rodriguez, and won second base. Hisanori Karita then bunted him over to third, where Tetsuharu Kawakami brought him in with a flyball to Joe Kelley in left. But that was all the scoring for either club, as Inao pitched 8 strong innings - 2K, 2W, 7H, 1ER. Tokyo sent 4 pitchers to the mound, they allowed 8 hits, struck out 3 and didn't allow a walk.

Perhaps all is not lost.

Posted by dmbatl at 9:34 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 5:09 PM EST
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WJ Trade
Topic: Trades
How bad was it?

I honestly had Kinder as my #1 coveted pitcher, and Adams has been a stud in all my sims.

Posted by dcnats at 11:22 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 5:12 PM EST
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Pitching, Pitching, Pitching
Topic: Exhibition
Tokyo played a couple games against Mudville last night. Mama mia! The pitchers on both teams got tagged, but Tokyo's hurlers were hurlin', if'n ya catch my drift. 15-5 I think the first game's score was. Masaichi Kaneda pitched for Tokyo -- he of the most career wins in Nippon history. That's him over there. I think there was close to 35 hits in the game. I hope that was just pre-pre-season stiffness 'cause it'll be a loooong season if it's double-digit scores against my best pitchers.

Walter Johnson . . . hmmm . . .

Posted by dmbatl at 8:56 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 5:09 PM EST
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