Friday, December 26, 2008

Decade of Dominance - End of Season 10 Rankings

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

The Decade of Dominance has been updated to include the results of season 10. Omaha solidified their lead and put a sizable gap between them and 2nd place Anaheim. Fargo moved up a spot to #3, Cleveland leapfrogged Huntington for the #6 spot, and Scranton jumped two spots to #8. There was also some movement in spots 11-20, but the final 12 remained relatively unchanged.
  1. Omaha Sluggers - 148
  2. Anaheim Sharks - 109
  3. Fargo Fug Nuts - 103.5
  4. New York Titans - 102
  5. Pawtucket G-Maniacs - 98.5
  6. Cleveland Steamers - 81
  7. Huntington Hillbillies - 77
  8. Scranton Dragons - 74.5
  9. Louisville Tysons - 68.5
  10. Jackson Pollocks - 67
  11. St. Louis HoundDogs - 60
  12. Helena Hellraisers - 59
  13. Sioux Falls Corn Cleats - 49.5
  14. Syracuse Beagles - 47.5
  15. Vancouver Grizzlies - 46
  16. Nashville Rebel Riders - 41
  17. Mexico City Diablos Rojos - 39
  18. Wichita Wankers - 39
  19. Pittsburgh SSP - 37.5
  20. Richmond Cohibas - 31
  21. Iowa City Corn Dogs - 29
  22. Chicago Sabercats - 28.5
  23. Honolulu Islanders - 27.5
  24. New York Pick Pockets - 27.5
  25. Atlanta Pitbulls - 27
  26. Kansas City Express - 25.5
  27. Toronto Blue Jays - 25
  28. Charlotte Dogs - 23
  29. Augusta Angry Armadillo's - 20.5
  30. Tacoma Jerry Gang - 20
  31. Seattle Bitches - 20
  32. Toledo Tsunamis - 18.5

Monday, December 22, 2008

Kip Zeile Green With Envy, Goes on Path of Rage

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Kip Zeile
Age: 29B/T: S/R
Born: Poteau, OK
Position(s): 1B
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

In another show of classic Kip Zeile personality, the surly Sabercats slugger vented in a major way when it was announced that he had finished second yet again in the AL MVP race. Zeile, who hit 63 HR's, batted .300, knocked in 156 RBI's, and posted a 1.060 OPS, was absolutely outraged when it was announced that he finished second in the voting to Anaheim 1B and former Sabercat Kory Arnold. Zeile said of Arnold, who posted 60 HR's, 164 RBI's, a .322 BA, and a 1.087 OPS, "I spent several spring trainings teaching him every thing he knows. The voters should be aware that Arnold would be nothing without me."

What followed that statement was a truly surreal scene in the Chicago clubhouse where the press conference was held. Zeile started a rant, venting, "What more do I have to do, really? Just because I don't play on a prima donna team of 'winners' doesn't mean that I shouldn't get consideration for MVP. Do you know how hard it is get 156 RBI's in Chicago? Do you? It's ****in impossible for anyone but me dammit! I owned the league, put them in their place, crushed the ball and all I get is 10 ****in votes!? Bull****! Bull****! I can't take this **** anymore, the media, the coaches, all the bastards who vote for this **** need to get a ****in clue, this is ****!" At that point in the rant, Zeile started panting heavily, and twitching his face into weird contortions, and flexing his herculean muscles uncontrollably, as the crowd watched on in horror. He yelled out in a primal voice, "I'm... so... ANGRY!!!" At which point he started turning green, ripped open his shirt with both hands to reveal massive pectorals and a six pack worthy of the gods, and cast his shredded jersey aside with a sneer. "Must... make... voters... PAY!!!" he screamed into the microphone, and then punched a giant hole in the wall, jumped through it into the hall, and ran away from a stunned crowd of team officials and reporters.

In the chaos that ensued the Sabercats PR representative Schmid Twitherbee took the podium and encouraged everyone to stay calm, and that with the help of Zeile's agent Guido Giacoletti and a team of military snipers armed with tranquilzers, they would soon have the situation under control. Giacoletti chided the crowd, "You should be ashamed of yourselves! Look what your ill thought voting has done to this man! Kip is a kind hearted soul who just wants to bring glory to the game of baseball and to the Sabercats organization, and you, the media and the owners, have turned him into some kind of monster! Shame on you!" When asked by a reporter if the green rage might be a byproduct of Zeile's rumored steriod usage, Giacoletti told him to "Shut the **** up!" and left the podium to look for his client.

As of the writing of this article, Zeile is still on the loose and there is no word yet as to if he is still overcome by the green rage. It is recommended that all owners who didn't vote for him for the ALMVP take extra precautions until his location has been confirmed and he is back under control.

Season 10 Playoff Preview - World Series

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

Omaha Sluggers (NL) vs. Cleveland Steamers (AL)

Overview: This is a matchup of the defending champion and king of the hill Sluggers vs. the upstart and nearly universally reviled Steamers. Both teams are talented at all positions, otherwise they wouldn't be where they are currently sitting, four wins away from a world title. Sluggers owner yanks21 is shooting for his 3rd Cobb World title in 4 seasons, while Steamers owner pieo is looking for his first. The Sluggers are a veteran team at all positions, while the Steamers lineup and rotation is filled with rental veterans and promising young players.

Position by Position Analysis:

Catcher: The Sluggers C is Ralph Bradshaw, a defensive catcher and fine pitch caller who is also well rounded with the stick. He hasn't been hitting too well in the playoffs, only .231, but is masterfully directing the Sluggers rotation. The Steamers regular C is Mule Parker, a very talented defensive catcher, but completely anemic with the bat, as evidenced by his .158 average in the playoffs. Lars likes the C who can hit and field.
Advantage: Sluggers

1B: Playing 1B for the Sluggers is hitting and OBP machine Josh Price. Price, who was injured for much of last seasons playoffs, is back with a vengeance, hitting .324 with 11 RBIs in the playoffs. For the Steamers big time slugger Brace Davey mans the bag, and has 4 HR's thus far in the playoffs, although he hasn't hit for much average. Lars thinks Price is the more complete player of the two, and more dangerous at the plate.
Advantage: Sluggers

2B: Bill Norton is the regular 2B for the Sluggers, and has proved himself in the post season many times over, and is right up there again with a .304 average and some solid fielding to boot. Cory Gardner is capable for the Steamers, but isn't an all star like Norton.
Advantage: Sluggers

SS: John Simpson is a defensive whiz for the Sluggers, who is a huge suprise at the plate this year with a .412 average in the playoffs, way beyond what anyone reasonably expected of him. Steamers SS Paul Roth is a player cut from the same mold as Simpson, and judging by their ratings and regular season stats, are virtually clones. Simpson's hot stick is what gives him the edge though.
Advantage: Sluggers

3B: Veteran Ken Daniels moved from SS to 3B, and is a capable defensive player at the position. His usually acceptable bat has abandoned him in the playoffs however, as Daniels has only mustered a .208 batting average. Former Slugger Sammy Maduro is the 3B for the Steamers, and he is only having a slightly better time at the plate, hitting .214 in the post season. Their gloves are the same, and both of them are brutal at the plate currently, but Maduro's more of a threat to hit a homer and make the most of his one hit a game.
Advantage: Steamers

LF: For the Sluggers, it's triple crown winner Jose Barrios, and nothing more needs to be said. For the Steamers promising youngster Nick Weaver is the man, and is learning that the playoffs are different then the regular season, with a .234 BA in the post season. He'll get there, but he's no Barrios.
Advantage: Sluggers

CF: Tomas Diaz is a fine CF for the Sluggers, he has great range, and hits well with some pop. His post season has been pretty decent thus far. For the Steamers Jose Gandarillas is as quality a player as Diaz, younger with better legs, and has been dynamite as a leadoff man for Cleveland this playoffs. Gandarillas' monster playoffs thus far gives him the edge.
Advantage: Steamers

RF: Albert Burnett is a solid RF for the Sluggers, but has been a disappointment this playoffs, only managing a .226 BA, 1HR, and 3 RBI in 40 ABs, not what Omaha expected of the young slugger. For the Steamers Al Rosario has been better, but not much, hitting .250 with 2 HR's and 6 RBI's. Both players are young and could turn it around, but Rosario seems to be adjusting a little better this post season.
Advantage: Steamers

Bench: Ryan Saberhagen is the main player off the bench for the Sluggers, and can capably fill in at most positions. The big strength is pinch hitter Fred McConnell, who even though he is in the twilight of a great career, can still get a hit when it counts the most. For the Steamers, not a single person off their bench has played a game in the playoffs, which tells Lars all he needs to know.
Advantage: Sluggers

Rotation: For the Sluggers, it's Kazuhiro Ong, Ivan Canseco, Juan Moreno, and Clyde Ford. Ong could be renamed Cy Young, everyone is aware of that, but Canseco is very good, and Ford and Moreno fly under the radar of the top two pitchers but are very good as well. Truly this is one of the elite rotations in the game today, but you wouldn't know it by looking at their playoff numbers, which haven't been at all good. For the Steamers it's a 3 man rotation in the playoffs, elder statesman Flip Heathcott has gotten the most starts, but Ruben Gonzalez has been unhittable this post season, going 4-0 with a .95 WHIP. Former NL Cy Young David Rosado is the 3rd man in the rotation, but is having a playoffs to forget with a 0-3 record this post season. If Lars were going by the numbers he would choose the Sluggers, but Gonzalez and Heathcott are clearly the best performing pitchers of the post season in this bunch.
Advantage: Steamers

Bullpen: The Sluggers have been carried by their bullpen, and closer Bobby Flores has been unhittable, going 6 for 6 in saves with a 0.00 ERA and a .45 WHIP. The rest of the Sluggers bullpen hasn't been far behind and is having a memorable playoffs. For the Steamers Trevor Seelbach has carried the team, with a 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings of playoff baseball. Russell Lewis and Larry Gross have also had very good postseasons. The rest of the bullpen is capable, but closer Tony Coomer is kind of scary, despite his 0.00 ERA thus far. Lars really can't find a clear edge in this one.
Advantage: Even

Conclusion: The Sluggers are a deeper team top to bottom, and despite the iffy nature of their starting rotation have more talent on thier team than do the Steamers. That being said the Steamers have taken out three straight 100 win division title teams to make the World Series, and should absolutely not be underestimated. Lars thinks that Ruben Gonzalez will carry the Steamers to a few wins, but ultimately the depth and hitting of the Sluggers will carry them through, especially if their rotation pitches like it is capable of.
Prediction: Sluggers in 6

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Omaha Sluggers

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - King of the Hill
After a year in Salem, the Omaha Sluggers were bought by owner yanks21, who steadily increased the talent in the farm system through smart drafting, international signings, and trades until they all reached the majors in season 4 and came out with a 102 win notice to the league that they had arrived. After 3 straight NLCS defeats and a first round flameout, fans were beginning to doubt the team had the makeup to go all the way. But in season 7 the Sluggers won their first World Series, beginning a run of playoff excellence that is without equal in Cobb World. The numbers back it up, the Omaha Sluggers have been the best team to play in Cobb World for the past 10 seasons. Congratulations go out to the top team in the Decade of Dominance!

#1 - Omaha Sluggers
Franchise Power Ranking: 120
Best Year: 113-49-45, s7 & 8 - Worst Year: 72-90, s2
Postseason Achievements: 7 Division Titles, 6 DCS Titles, 3 NLCS Titles, 2 World Series Titles.
Best Player: Jose Barrios - The minute he was traded to the Sluggers Barrios was the best player on the team. He hasn't disappointed, winning 2 MVP's, multiple All Star awards, and became the first ever Triple Crown winner in Cobb history in season 10.
Best Pitcher: Kazuhiro Ong - There have been many other great pitchers who have plied their trade in Omaha, but none come even close to 3 time Cy Young winner Ong.
Best International Prospect:
Emmanuel Castillo
Best Draft Pick: Kenny Blair
Franchise Theme Song: We are the Champions by Queen - The Sluggers did pay their dues, time after time, but there's no time for losers in Omaha, and they are the champions of the world!
Franchise Highlights:Franchise won the World Series in seasons 7 and 9, and made it to the World Series in season8, becoming the first Cobb World team to make it to 3 consecutive championships. Franchise has won the NL West 7 consecutive seasons, a run of divisional dominance only bettered by Fargo and Pawtucket. Franchise has made it to the NLCS an astounding 7 times as of season 10, more than any other Cobb World team. Franchise has only signed six international prospects, but four of them are all star quality, including Emmanuel Castillo, Mac Xaio, and Juan Moreno. Franchise has also drafted very well, including players such as Kenny Blair, Bill Norton, Ivan Canseco, Bo Rhodes, Ralph Bradshaw, and many others. Franchise has had numerous Cy Youngs, MVP's, and all star players.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise had losing seasons it's first two years, including a 72-90 season 2.
Franchise Outlook: Get used to them. The Sluggers boast a lineup and rotation that is young or in their prime, and projects to be as good as they are now for at least 4 more seasons. The only thing that could derail this train is a salary bomb, but the team is so well managed it's hard to imagine that getting in the way. The Times Herald feels bad for the rest of the NL West, it's going to be a while before they can compete for the division title again.

Decade of Dominance - Anaheim Sharks

Gord Muckvichuk - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Real American League Heroes
One of 8 original teams, the Anaheim Sharks have been the most successful team in American League history under the management of brianfurnish. While the New York Titans boast 2 World Series titles, the Sharks have one of their own and have made it to two more World Series, and have generally been one of the hardest outs in the playoffs every season. The franchise boasts an incredible array of Division Titles, MVP's, Cy Youngs, and All Star appearances and players, and without a doubt are deserving of the #2 spot in the Decade of Dominance rankings.

#2 - Anaheim Sharks
Franchise Power Ranking: 101
Best Year: 117-45, s8 - Worst Year: 81-81, s1
Postseason Achievements: 6 Division Titles, 1 Wild Card Berth, 3 DCS Titles, 3 ALCS Titles, 1 World Series Title.
Best Player: Kory Arnold - Mendy Strong and Alan Peterson put up a strong argument for best player in franchise history, but Arnold has 2 MVP's to Strong and Peterson's one in half the seasons played. Case closed.
Best Pitcher: Olmedo Contreras - Contreras gets the pick over Darryl Adams from the three headed pitching monster that also includes J.T. Kydd because in addition to his Cy Young, he has two more all star appearances than Adams.
Best International Prospect:
Diego Villa
Best Draft Pick: Alan Peterson
Franchise Theme Song: I Want it All by Queen - This is a team that has it all, a World Series championship, 3 ALCS titles, 3 different players holding 4 MVP trophies, and more success than any other AL team in Cobb history.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won the World Series in season 4, and made it to the World Series in seasons 6 and 7. Franchise has had 3 different players with MVP's, and 3 different players who have won Cy Young Awards. Franchise has won the AL West 5 times. Franchise has been successful in both the international market and the draft, signing players such as Diego Villa and MVP Alan Peterson. Franchise has won 100 games or more 7 times, and has never had a losing season.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise finished .500 with a 81-81 season 1.
Franchise Outlook: Good for one more year, at least. The lineup of the Sharks boasts very talented players who are all in their primes save for the aging former MVP Mendy Strong. The same cannot be said about the rotation, where all five starters are 32 or older, and in the beginning stages of decline. If those old bones can hold it together then the Sharks will continue to be a 100 win team, but once those arms start to fall off they might follow Louisville and Jackson down the road of rebuilding instead of dominating. The Times Herald thinks that will probably start in season 12 or 13.

Season 10 Playoff Preview - League Championships

National League

#2 Omaha Sluggers (112-50) vs.#1 Fargo Fug Nuts (113-49)
Overview: The two best teams of the regular season from the NL face off for the right to represent the league in the World Series. From Lars point of view Omaha has the edge in the starting rotation, Fargo in the bullpen, with the lineups being evenly matched. What will probably come down to is which pitcher is the most dominating, or which one has a bad day at the wrong time. Omaha is also shooting for an unprecedented 4th consecutive World Series appearance, while the previous NL entrant Fargo is trying to make it back to the World Series for the second time. Lasr thinks that behind the arm of playoff maestro Kazuhiro Ong the Sluggers will prevail.
Prediction: Omaha in 6.

American League

#1 Scranton Dragons (107-55) vs. #6 Cleveland Steamers (90-72)
Overview: On paper this appears to be a mismatch, as Scranton bested the Steamers in the AL East by 17 games during the regular season. But the playoffs are tricky, and both teams are talented. The AL East is good playoff preparation for any team, and Cleveland has some very good veteran performers who could capitalize on it. But won the AL East, and boasts more depth and could outlast the Steamers if the series goes long. Lars thinks that the Steamers will get a few games behind Ruben Gonzalez, who is having a dynamite playoffs thus far, but that in the end Scranton will be too deep for the Steamers to handle. The only concern is that Scranton doesn't have a dominating arm who can stop a losing streak and turn the series around should it be required.
Prediction: Scranton in 7.

Decade of Dominance - New York Titans

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Playoff Beast of the AL East
One of 8 original teams, the New York Titans have brought their winning brand of baseball to Cincinnati, Boston, Jacksonville, and now New York over 9 seasons. Under the management of furniss13, the Titans have won two World Series, and have never had a losing season, one of only three teams to achieve the feat. Playoff overachievers, the Titans have always managed to outperform their regular season record, which has always been tempered by the difficult AL East.

#3 - New York Titans
Franchise Power Ranking: 96
Best Year: 108-54, s3 - Worst Year: 86-76, s1
Postseason Achievements: 4 Division Titles, 4 Wild Card Berths, 2 DCS Titles, 2 ALCS Titles, 2 World Series Titles.
Best Player: Rico Estrada - The King of Cool is also pretty good with the bat, racking up 3 Silver Sluggers, 3 All Star appearances, and a staggering 1,743 hits thus far in his career.
Best Pitcher: Matthew Pryce - The Pryce was right in New York for the nine seasons he spent with the team, racking up 103 wins and 968 K's for the Titans.
Best International Prospect:
Rico Estrada
Best Draft Pick: Brian Lyon
Franchise Theme Song: Victorious March by Amon Amarth - The Titans have had more victory parades than any franchise in the American League, and are adept at crushing their enemies.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise was the first two time world champion in Cobb history. Franchise won the difficult AL East 4 times, and made the playoffs as a Wild Card 4 times. Franchise has never had a losing record. Franchise has signed several elite internationals, including future HOF'er Rico Estrada, James Gao, and Javier Alvarez. Franchise has always performed very well in the playoffs, unseating many higher seeded teams. Franchise was the first American League team to win the World Series.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise has been unable to consistently be successful in the draft, with several flop seasons. Franchise was unable to sign their first round pick in season 1.
Franchise Outlook: Hanging tough. As the AL East continues to be an extremely difficult division to win in, the Titans keep on performing and making the playoffs. Their roster is stacked enough to keep them in the mix, but it will be harder now that the AL Beast is a 4 team division again. There isn't a whole lot to write home about on the farm, but the lineup is still young enough to last for two to three seasons at least. But there is one thing the Times Herald has learned through the years, and that is never bet against the Titans.

Decade of Dominance - Fargo Fug Nuts

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Paging mrploppie... Trade Call on Line One.
One of 8 original teams, the Fargo Fug Nuts are one of the most successful teams in league history with a past of regular season dominance that is unequaled. Unfortunately for Fargo regular season success hasn't translated into postseason victories that often, with the team breaking through thier rut of first round flameouts in season 6 with a World Series championship. Known for the wheeling and dealing of owner mrploppie as much as their winning ways, the Fug Nuts show no signs of letting up.

#4 - Fargo Fug Nuts
Franchise Power Ranking: 90.5
Best Year: 121-41, s8 - Worst Year: 78-84, s1
Postseason Achievements: 8 Division Titles, 2 DCS Titles, 1 NLCS Title, 1 World Series Title.
Best Player: Diego Nieto - Fargo has had numerous talented players from Jose Barrios to Corey Green, but Nieto is the only one who has stuck around long enough to be the career leader in hits and RBI's for the Fug Nuts.
Best Pitcher: John Chang - Chang has been the one constant through all of the lineup changes in Fargo, and it's because he is very good. He leads the team with 126 wins, 1,341 K's, and 4 All Star appearances.
Best International Prospect:
Victor Johnson
Best Draft Pick: Jim Green
Franchise Theme Song: My, My, Hey, Hey by Neil Young - "It's better to burn out, than to fade away..." which is more often than not what the Fug Nuts do in the playoffs.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise has won the NL North every season except season 1. Franchise has only had one losing season. Franchise posted the best regular season record in Cobb World history with a 121-41 season 8. Franchise won the World Series in season 6. Franchise has been involved in more trades than any other team in Cobb World history, more often than not coming out on top of the deal. Franchise has signed several elite internationals, including Victor Johnson, Joseph Funaki, and others. Franchise has been the home to all time greats suchs as Jose Barrios, Kazuhiro Ong, Corey Green, and many others through the years.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise had a losing season 1, the only time in team history. Franchise has made several bad trades in it's history, most notably the deal of Vernon Jones and Marc Anderson to the Corn Cleats for Lonnie Shumpert and Russell Pall. Franchise has essentially given up on drafting players in recent seasons, including the failing to sign any of their picks in season 10.
Franchise Outlook: More of the same. The more things change in the Fug Nuts lineup, the more things stay the same in the standings, as Fargo continues to have a lock hold on the NL North. Through constant smart dealing and development of young talent, the Fug Nuts should continue to throw 100+ win teams on the field for the next 2-3 seasons. But as fewer teams become willing to deal away young talent to Fargo, and as their recent history of horrible drafts catches up with the team, they might eventually start to decline. The Cobb Times Herald doubts that will happen any time soon though.

Wichita Willis's Team Win Projections

Wichita Willis - Special to the Cobb Times Herald

Wichita Willis has put together a spreadsheet that takes the franchise rankings and uses those team averages to evaluate each teams ability to score and prevent runs. Total team ratings were calculated with extra weight on the starting lineups over the bench and the starting rotation over the bullpen. Then, each rating attribute was given a weight with respect to its contribution to either run scoring or prevention. The weighted average for offensive categories of the position players was used to come up with a run scoring rating. And the weighted averages for defensive/fielding categories of the position players and the pitching categories of the pitchers were combined to come up with the run prevention rating. By adding those two values together, I come up with an overall team rating. That team rating had a 0.91 correlation with the actual expected win percentages of the teams. I took that overall team rating and used it to calculate a projected win total for each team.

Here are the ratings (based on the current rosters) and the projected wins for each team.

Team Run
Syracuse 65.6 67.7 133.3 113
Omaha 65.9 67.4 133.2 113
Pawtucket 61.3 71.8 133.1 112
Fargo 62.1 69.2 131.3 107
Wichita 63.8 65.9 129.7 103
Sioux Falls 63.5 66.0 129.5 102
Scranton 63.6 64.5 128.2 98
St. Louis 62.0 65.2 127.2 95
New York (AL) 62.9 63.6 126.5 94
Anaheim 61.3 65.2 126.4 93
Cleveland 61.5 63.3 124.8 89
Atlanta 62.0 62.7 124.8 89
Nashville 58.5 65.9 124.4 87
Helena 59.4 64.1 123.6 85
Louisville 61.1 62.4 123.5 85
Huntington 61.2 60.8 122.1 81
Pittsburgh 59.2 62.4 121.6 80
Chicago 58.6 61.6 120.2 75
Richmond 58.5 61.3 119.8 74
New York (NL) 57.5 62.0 119.5 73
Augusta 60.0 59.2 119.2 72
Mexico City 53.9 65.2 119.0 72
Vancouver 53.1 65.0 118.1 70
Charlotte 56.2 61.5 117.7 68
Toledo 56.7 60.5 117.2 67
Tacoma 53.9 62.9 116.8 66
Salem 57.7 59.1 116.8 66
Kansas City 54.3 60.9 115.2 61
Jackson 56.3 58.2 114.5 59
Iowa City 54.5 59.2 113.7 57
Toronto 56.2 55.9 112.1 52
Honolulu 56.2 53.8 110.1 46

There are two items that are not considered in these ratings and, therefore, may cause the results to be slightly skewed. The Pitch Calling rating is not used in the calculations. I would expect that this would have a moderate impact on the run prevention numbers. Also, I believe the DH is weighted equally for NL teams versus AL teams. That will skew the projections a bit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rico Estrada - I'm the Coolest of the Cool!

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

Rico Estrada
New York
Age: 28B/T: R/R
Born: Santa Teresa, VE
Position(s): SS
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

New York Titans Shortstop Rico Estrada was named the "Coolest Player in Cobb World" in a recent Times Herald poll. Estrada won by a very large margin, doubling the vote total of the nearest competitors, Jose Barrios and Kazuhiro Ong. "Now nobody can doubt my cool," said the suave Titan, continuing, "Put the league on notice, if you want to get with the ladies, you have to get behind Rico." Fellow NY Titans were pleased with the result, and attested to his coolness. "Rico is so damn cool, just being near him allows people to overlook my hideous soul patch," said Titans IF P.T. Turner. Other players around the league were also in awe of Rico's coolness. "If we had Rico on our team, I have no doubt we would win in the playoffs, he's just too cool to lose!" exclaimed perrenial playoff loser Vance Weaver of the Sioux Falls Corn Cleats.

Many people around the league theorize that Rico's shades are the secret to his coolness. "Maybe if I had his shades in addition to my Snidely Whiplash mustache, I would be cooler," mused Mexico City ace Eric Collins. But not all players were thrilled with the coronation of Estrada as the King of Cool. "What the hell? I wasn't even on that damn ballot! It's a sham vote," griped Chicago Sabercats 1B Kip Zeile. Also unpleased was Kaz Ong, who finished behind Estrada in the voting, who explained, "Just because I am capable of applying advanced physics and particle theory to my overwhelming pitching force doesn't mean that the derivitives of said applications deter from my coolness. I'm hip!"

Seizing on his coolness victory, Estrada is rumored to be creating a signature line of shades to market along with his signature glove, bat, shoes, gloves, beans and rice, power strips, highlighter markers, and teddy bears.

Decade of Dominance - Pawtucket G-Maniacs

Bip Booth - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - There Once was a Team From Pawtucket...
The G-Maniacs started life in Cobb in the city of Helena, then moved to Boise, and are now in Pawtucket. No matter where they have been, they have held an ironclad grip on the AL North, winning it an astounding 8 consecutive times, not including their win in season 10. They have one of the premier pitchers in the game in Dean Hernandez, a very talented team top to bottom, and are major contenders for the World Series championship.

#5 - Pawtucket G-Maniacs
Franchise Power Ranking: 90.5
Best Year: 108-54, s8 - Worst Year: 71-91, s1
Postseason Achievements: 8 Division Titles, 6 DCS Titles, 1 ALCS Title.
Best Player: Tom Petitte - Petitte gets the nod over Carl Sarturria and O.T. Jarvis because he is still with the team, all three players were equally good, and have similar stats.
Best Pitcher: Dean Hernandez - The Dean of Pawtucket may not be the teams career leader in wins or strikeouts, but he already is the leader in complete games with 33, and will in all likelihood be the teams career leader in everything by the time he retires.
Best International Prospect:
Esteban Leon
Best Draft Pick: Randall Rodgers
Franchise Theme Song: O.G. Original Gangsta by Ice-T - The Times Herald is sure that someone on the G's has this as their theme song when they come into the game.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise has won the AL North every season since season 2. Franchise has only had one losing season. Franchise has won 6 DCS titles, tied for the most in league history. Franchise made the World Series in season 9. Franchise traded for Dean Hernandez in season 7, landing the ace pitcher that has been the face of the franchise ever since. Franchise has drafted strongly, landing many major league prospects.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise has never been a very big player in the international market. Franchise had a losing record in season 1.
Franchise Outlook: Rock of Ages. The G-Maniacs have been winning the AL North for as long as anyone can remember, and it doesn't look as if that will change any time soon. With Dean Hernandez leading a rotation of very skilled pitchers, and a potent offense to match, Pawtucket is and will be a legitimate World Series contender for at least 2-3 more seasons. Life is good in Pawtucket, that's for sure.

Decade of Dominance - Huntington Hillbillies

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Banjos, Buds, and Baseball
Another one of the original 8 franchises, the Huntington Hillbillies hold the honor of winning the first ever World Series in Cobb history. Their early teams were dominated with fearsome hitters that hold up as one of the all time great lineups of all time, including Jose Barrios, Francisco Tavarez, Vitas Newman, Fred McConnell, and P.T. Henderson all in their primes. Pitching has never been a strong suit of this franchise, but more often then not they have had the bats and the ballpark to overcome that weakness. After a brief bout of rebuilding, the Hillbillies are back in playoff contention, and Budweisers are being thrown down all over West Virginia in celebration.

#6 - Huntington Hillbillies
Franchise Power Ranking: 71
Best Year: 112-50, s2 - Worst Year: 68-94, s5
Postseason Achievements: 3 Division Titles, 1 Wild Card Berths, 2 DCS Titles, 2 NLCS Titles, 1 World Series Title.
Best Player: Jose Barrios - Barrios is the best player for any team he is on, and he began his career in Huntington with a bang, a MVP, ROY, and All Star season 1.
Best Pitcher: Bernie Lopez - It's been all about the offense in Huntington, but the young SP Lopez is the Hillbillies career leader in wins, and has potential for a long and productive career.
Best International Prospect:
Quilvio Suarez
Best Draft Pick: Sam Lockwood
Franchise Theme Song: Dueling Banjos - If anyone has ever been to a Hillbillies game, then this is a no-brainer, crowd watching is like living a scene from 'Deliverance.'
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won the first World Series in Cobb history, triumphing over the Las Vegas High Rollers. Franchise made the World Series in season 2, but fell short of victory. Franchise won the NL South in season 3, and made the playoffs as a Wild Card berth in season 8. Franchise has signed more high profile international prospects than any other, a list that includes Quilvio Suarez, Jung Lee, Pedro Franco, Josias Lopez, Geronimo Lugo, Tony Cruz, David Kwon, Vladmir Segui, and many others. Franchise has also drafted very well, especially hitting prospects. Franchise owner krs96 guaranteed a playoff berth in season 8, and was correct.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise traded away Jose Barrios in a fair deal in season 4. Franchise suffered losing seasons in seasons 4, 5, and 7. The rest of the league had to endure the sights of Hillbillie country during a tour of Eble Park.
Franchise Outlook: King of the hill once again. The Hillbillies have finished their rebuilding, and Jackson and Louisville have just started theirs. So it looks like unless Richmond shows a phenomenal improvement over the next season or two, the Hillbillies should have the NL South locked up for a while. They still don't have the pitching to make it very far in the playoffs, but they have the farm system depth to get it through trades. The forecast is pretty good in Huntington.

Decade of Dominance - Cleaveland Steamers

Chuck Biscuits - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game
After a very successful run under original owner bengalkev, the Cleveland franchise was moved to Kansas City by new owner pieo, and an era of futility at the ML level ensued. The team used this time to earn many high draft picks, sign big time internationals, and build for the future, which is now arriving after the team moved back to Cleveland. One of the most controversial teams in the history of Cobb World, they have been publicly accused of tanking, cheating, and the owner was even put to an expulsion vote. But that is in the past and what is left is a team that is looking like it will be hated at the top of the standings for some time to come.

#7 - Cleveland Steamers
Franchise Power Ranking: 70
Best Year: 113-49, s7 - Worst Year: 35-127, s9
Postseason Achievements: 3 Division Titles, 2 Wild Card Berths, 3 DCS Titles, 1 ALCS Title, 1 World Series Title.
Best Player: Bob Sears - Two time AL MVP Sears was the driving force behind the Cleveland offense for years, and was an elite player for many seasons.
Best Pitcher: Doug Jenkins - Jenkins was the ace on the staff for the first four seasons in Cleveland, and is the teams career leader in wins.
Best International Prospect:
Junior Lee
Best Draft Pick: Gary Ferguson
Franchise Theme Song: Used to Love Her by Guns N' Roses - Really, does this need any explanation?
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won the AL East 3 of the first 4 seasons, and won the World Series in season 3. Franchise was a wild card playoff entrant twice. Bob Sears won the AL MVP in Seasons 3 and 4. Franchise has signed many elite internationals, including Paul Jung, Junior Lee, and Edgardo Romero. Franchise had the #1 overall pick in Season 10, choosing SP Gary Ferguson. Franchise has also drafted future studs Vinny Jang, Bill Palmer, Steve Kerr, and Kent Upshaw.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise endured a management switch in season 7 that saw a string of 3 straight seasons with win totals below 50, including a team low 37 win season 9. Franchise failed to sign #3 overall pick and future MVP candidate Hades Booker in season 1. Franchise's minor leagues were a wasteland for several seasons, seeing pitchers play positions, many injuries, and 12 win seasons. Current owner pieo was put to a league expulsion vote in season 9. Brace Davey was demoted to AAA in season 9 after hitting 41 HR's and posting a .926 OPS the previous season.
Franchise Outlook: Happy days are here again, maybe. The "Young Stud Core" has finally reached the majors, the team has invested heavily in free agents, and with those moves have followed the wins, with Cleveland looking like a playoff contender for many years to come. How the team reached this point is still a bone of contention for many owners, but no one can deny that the team is talented enough to be a World Series contender for the next decade.

Decade of Dominance - Louisville Tysons

Chick Magee - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Southern Fried Slugging
One of eight remaining original teams, under the guidance of mhoffa1382 the Louisville Tysons had one of the best teams in the National League for many seasons, but were never able to capitalize on their talent in the playoffs. Boasting a fearsome lineup that was always among the league leaders in home runs, RBI's, runs, and virtually any other offensive category, and also featuring a pitching staff to match, the Tysons were a force. Unfortunately father time caught up with many of their sluggers, and the window of opportunity has passed for now for Louisville.

#8 - Louisville Tysons
Franchise Power Ranking: 67
Best Year: 115-47, s7 - Worst Year: 87-75, s3
Postseason Achievements: 5 Division Titles, 3 Wild Card Berths, 2 DCS Titles.
Best Player: Dallas Kline - Can there be anyone else? Kline won 2 MVP's, Gold Gloves at SS and 3B, picked up multiple Silver Sluggers and All Star appearances, and is among the top 5 in Cobb History in Home Runs and RBI's.
Best Pitcher: David Rosado - Rosado won 126 games with the Tysons, had 4 All Star apperances, and won a Cy Young in season 6, truly one of the filthiest pitchers in the game.
Best International Prospect:
Alfonso Vega
Best Draft Pick: Randy Rose
Franchise Theme Song: Theme Song for Dallas - There were many great players in Louisville's heyday, but Dallas Kline was the king of them all, and the centerpiece for the team.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise never recorded a losing record through the first nine seasons in Cobb World. Franchise won the NL South 5 times, made the playoffs as a wildcard 3 times, and advanced to the NLCS twice. Franchise had many individual honors, including Dallas Kline's 2 MVPs and David Rosado's Cy Young. Franchise boasted a frightening lineup of players in the NL South's preak, including sluggers Kline, Rob Quinn, Pat Barber, Vitas Newman, and Roosevelt Lowell. Franchise has made some very good international signings.
Franchise Lowlights: Due to it's constant winning, the Tysons have always drafted late and have only had 1-3 ML star quality picks in team history. Franchise has aged poorly and suffered the consequences in season 10.
Franchise Outlook: It was good while it lasted. For years the Tysons were a force to be reckoned with, and how the team never made the World Series is anybodies guess. But now they are looking at a lengthy rebuilding process as their aging sluggers leave via trade or free agency. They still have some solid pitchers to build around, but it will take some time to retool the lineup to resemble anything close to what they had. Still, there are some good prospects in the farm system, and good young talent on the ML squad, but it will be 2-3 seasons at best before they are back in the game again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Jackson Pollocks

Cleatus McDowell - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Action Jackson
One of eight remaining original teams, the Jackson Pollocks were a heavyweight during the glory days of the NL South, seasons 1-5. A division winner once, they made the World Series twice, but were unable to capitalize on their chances, and have been in a slow but steady decline since. Under the adept management of squidvicious, the Pollocks are a team that has always been known for being much more than the sum of their parts. The overachieving Pollocks have in recent seasons cast out the old in favor of a rebuilding project from the ground up. Still a team capable of winning on any given day, it will be a few seasons before they are back in contention for the playoffs.

#9 - Jackson Pollocks
Franchise Power Ranking: 64.5
Best Year: 98-64, s4 - Worst Year: 78-84, s9
Postseason Achievements: 1 Division Title, 5 Wild Card Berths, 2 DCS Title, 2 NLCS Titles.
Best Player: Domingo Montana - In addition to playing the demanding SS position, Montana is the career leader in hits, home runs, and RBI's for the Pollocks.
Best Pitcher: Eddie Rivers - Rivers racked up 99 wins and three all star appearances during his years in Jackson.
Best International Prospect:
Esteban Mieses
Best Draft Pick: Anthony Tabaka
Franchise Theme Song: Painting My Horror by Arcturus - An avant garde metal masterpiece about painting perfectly compliments the abstract baseball art of the Pollocks. Although in it's defense the Times Herald couldn't find a song about Pork Rinds.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise made the World Series twice, losing to Anaheim in season 4, and Columbus (now Scranton) in Season 5. Franchise won the NL South in season 4, when the division was the toughest in Cobb World. Franchise has 5 Wild Card berths in the playoffs. Franchise has been known for many oddball promotions, including Squidvicious presents Sid Vicious night. Franchise has been an active player in the international market, with many recent high profile signings.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise has never drafted particularly well, with forgettable 1st round picks the last few seasons. Franchise was the first team to lose back to back World Series, a feat later equaled by brianfurnish and Anaheim. Franchise suffered it's first losing season in season 9, posting a 78-84 record.
Franchise Outlook: 14th floor, going down. The Pollocks had been living the high life for some time, producing playoff teams and winning records for years. But that has changed as a rebuilding program has been put into full effect and the team restocks through the draft and international signings. The quality of thier recent draft picks will delay their rise back to prominance, but with division rivals Huntington and Richmond looking like their teams will be top notch for several years to come, it doesn't look as if they would have a reasonable chance of competing anyways. Look for a renaissance around season 13.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Season 10 Playoff Preview - Divisional Round

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

National League

#1 Fargo Fug Nuts (113-49) vs. #4 Huntington Hillbillies (82-80)
Overview: On paper this looks like it should be a lock for the Fug Nuts, the best team in the regular season and the #1 seed in the NL, playing against the weakest team in the playoffs, who managed to win their division despite being only 2 games above .500. But looks are deceiving as the Hillbillies dispatched a very talented Wichita squad that made the NLCS last season in the first round, and Fargo has a well known history of flaming out when it counts the most. Huntington's big strength is their powerful lineup, which is talented top to bottom and can overcome the occasional meltdown by the pitching staff. Fargo is once again a team without a real weak spot, with all stars at most positions and three Cy Young candidates in the rotation. But Lars has learned his lesson about picking the Fug Nuts in the playoffs, and figures they will find a way to blow it somehow.
Prediction: Huntington in 4.

#2 Omaha Sluggers (112-50) vs. #3 Syracuse Beagles (109-53)
Overview: This is a matchup of two very evenly matched teams, both with excellent lineups and pitching staffs. The Sluggers had the first round bye, while the Beagles came from behind to take out a 101 win Sioux Falls team in the opening round. The defending champion Sluggers have made it to the last three World Series behind the awesome arm of Kaz Ong and the massive bat of triple crown winning Jose Barrios. The Beagles don't have a player that is as clearly dominating as Barrios or Ong, but boast many all stars and young players who could reach that status within a season or two. The big question will be if Syracuse can get the pitching to match Omaha's rotation, this is the first season for ace Ron Reilly, and only the second for Phil Hinch. In Lar's mind, this is a toss-up.
Prediction: Syracuse in 5.

American League

#1 Scranton Dragons (107-55) vs. #5 New York Titans (92-70)
Overview: This battle of AL Beast rivals pits two former World Champions together fighting for the right to make the ALCS. The Dragons were the class of the AL East in the regular season, but the Titans have always been exceptional in the playoffs. The Dragons seem to have a better rotation than the Titans, but New York is battle tested after elmininating AL west champion Anaheim in the first round, and the Sharks rotation is nothing to sneeze at. The teams are evenly matched and there is no clear cut favorite. This is also a playoff rematch of last season, where Scranton had the edge and dispatched the Titans from the playoffs. Lars thinks it's time for a little payback and is taking the upset.
Prediction: New York in 5.

#2 Nashville Rebel Riders (104-58) vs. #6 Cleveland Steamers (90-72)
Overview: The Rebel Riders put together their best regular season in team history, and are looking to make a deep run in the playoffs for the first time in team history. The Steamers are back from the dead after finishing at the bottom of the heap in season 9, making the playoffs as the #6 seed. There is a lot of bad blood in this series as the reviled manager of the Steamers, pieo, has put his team in a position to win, especially after disposing of the AL North champion Pawtucket G-Maniacs and playoff monster Dean Hernandez in the first round. Will the Rebel Riders be able to cool off the Steamers? They certainly have the lineup to do it, but whether their pitching staff can handle the pressure is the question. Eddie Rivers was acquired from Jackson just for this purpose, and Lars thinks that will be enough to put Nashville in the the next round, but it won't be easy.
Prediction: Nashville in 5.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Scranton Dragons

Chuck Biscuits - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Through Wrack and Ruin to Greatness.
The Scranton Dragons were at one time owned by cbwriter, of the NY Empire debacle fame. His ownership of the team in season 1 was actually pretty productive, and despite the team being abandoned in season two, under the competent management of gccoach, steelforge, and now jiml60, the Scranton Dragons are a force to be reckoned with in the American Leauge. Winners of the World Series in season 5, they have been a threat to get back to the championship every year since with no signs of dropping off.

#10 - Scranton Dragons
Franchise Power Ranking: 62.5
Best Year: 101-61, s8 - Worst Year: 30-132, s2
Postseason Achievements: 2 Division Titles, 3 Wild Card Berths, 1 DCS Title, 1 ALCS Title, 1 World Series Championship.
Best Player: Ken Puffer - Puffer has been rock solid from the moment he was called up, and is the biggest offensive threat the Dragons have had year in and year out.
Best Pitcher: Ralph Hill - Had Dean Hernandez stayed in Scranton for more than two seasons, it would have been him. But Hill is a worthy replacement, with 60 wins for the franchise, including a 24-6 season 8.
Best International Prospect:
Bernie Almonte
Best Draft Pick: Dean Hernandez
Franchise Theme Song: Where Dragons Rule by Dragonforce - Having won one World Series, and always in the playoff picture, these Dragons definitely rule.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won the World Series in Season 5. Franchise has won the tough AL East 2 times, and made the playoffs as a Wild Card 3 times. Franchise has drafted exceptionally well, including Cy Young SP Dean Hernandez and All Stars Ken Puffer and Ralph Hill. Franchise has has been an active participant in the international market, signing players like Bernie Almonte and Luis Aguilar. Franchise signed perhaps the best contract in Cobb World history with the inking of 88 OV Scooter Stevenson to a league minimum 327K deal in season 1, in what might be the only laudable management move by cbwriter.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise was abandoned in season 2, finishing with a 30-132 record. Franchise traded perennial Cy Young contender Dean Hernandez to Pawtucket in season 7 in a fair trade, but one that is still regretted in Scranton.
Franchise Outlook: Winning in the AL East is never easy, but Scranton is so young and deep that it is hard to picture them not continuing their current run of success. The outlook for the Dragons is very bright, as the team has World Series potential for at least the next two to three seasons, likely beyond.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Decade of Dominance - St. Louis HoundDogs

Mortimer Phillpotts - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Highway to Helena
In seaon one of Cobb World, the St. Louis HoundDogs were known as the Toledo Toodleedoos. There was nothing remarkable about that team, but when they moved to Rochester the following season they built the foundation for a winning team that still stands today. The franchise made it to the World Series in season 2, and has commanded the NL East for most of the time since.

#11 - St. Louis HoundDogs
Franchise Power Ranking: 57
Best Year: 99-63, s8 - Worst Year: 68-94, s1
Postseason Achievements: 5 Division Titles, 1 Wild Card Berth, 1 DCS Title, 1 NLCS Title.
Best Player: Rico Romero - Although he isn't as famous as the shades donning Rico Estrada, Rico Romero has been the rock in the HoundDogs lineup and in the field, racking up 1,563 hits, 4 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, and 1 Gold Glove.
Best Pitcher: Banana MacBride - Lights out closer Banana was a 5 time All Star, a Fireman of the Year, and is the HoundDogs career leader in saves with 215.
Best International Prospect:
Jimmie Julio
Best Draft Pick: Chipper Harper
Franchise Theme Song: I Wanna Be Adored by the Stone Roses - As many owners in Cobb World know, HoundDogs owner rbf4 isn't shy about promoting his players, or his love of Brit Pop. This song combines both!
Franchise Highlights: Franchise made the World Series in Season 2, losing to furniss13's squad. Franchise has 5 division titles, and 1 Wild Card appearance. Outside of season 1, the franchise has never had a losing season. Franchise has drafted many fine players, including stud 1B Chipper Harper. Franchise has has been an active participant in the international market, signing players like 14.8 million dollar C Jimmie Julio. Franchise has maintained a winning record over many seasons with payrolls exceeding 110 million dollars.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise was the first to have a losing season in the city of Toledo, posting a 68-94 record in season 1. Outside of season 3, franchise has never advanced out of the opening round of the playoffs. Franchise publicly bucked Lars the Greeks predictions in season 10, but none the less fell victim to the prognosticator's uncanny accuracy.
Franchise Outlook: The NL East has taken over the mantle of toughest division in Cobb World from it's AL counterpart, and the HoundDogs don't have an easy path to success with Syracuse and Wichita having young and very good squads, and Boston rapidly improving. Still, St. Louis will be in the playoff picture for the next few seasons at least, and with a good break here or there could challenge for the division title and beyond.

Decade of Dominance - Helena Hellraisers

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Highway to Helena
Back in season 1, the Sacramento Squids placed second in the AL West, starting off a successful run of winning seasons that has yet to end. Now in the capable hands of cosmicblob, the Hellraisers have challenged for the ALCS twice, and are always in the playoff mix at the end of the season. Many talented players have made their way through Helena over the years, but the town belongs to Orber Olivo, and everyone in the clubhouse knows it.

#12 - Helena Hellraisers
Franchise Power Ranking: 56
Best Year: 101-61, s3 - Worst Year: 82-80, s5 & s8
Postseason Achievements: 1 Division Title, 4 Wild Card Berths, 2 DCS Titles.
Best Player: Orber Olivo - It is a disgrace that Olivo was only an All Star 4 times, as he his career boasts 504 HR's. 1,361 RBI's, and 1,599 hits, making him one of the premier sluggers in Cobb history.
Best Pitcher: Richard Aoki - Aoki may have never made an All Star team, but he has racked up 111 wins in his career with Helena, and has been consistently solid.
Best International Prospect:
Javier Romero
Best Draft Pick: Alex Presley
Franchise Theme Song: Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden - The Times Herald is willing to bet that Orber Olivo's jersey number is 666, as he is an absolute beast on the field. Also, who better to raise hell for the Hellraisers than the Beast himself?
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won the division with a team record 101 wins in season 3, where they then advanced to the ALCS. Franchise also made the ALCS in season 9. Franchise has made the playoffs 5 of 9 seasons in Cobb World, and never finished with a losing record. Franchise has drafted stars such as Alex Presley, Trenidad Pelaez, Barney Johnson, and Rich Rose. Franchise has been a solid performer in the trade market. Orber Olivo teamed up with Lil' John in a publicity campaign to raise his MVP credibility around the league.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise has finished behind Anaheim in the division and in the playoffs nearly every season. Olivo has only 4 All Star appearances, and has been shut out of MVP voting nearly every season, including his 73 HR, 176 RBI season 6. Franchise has never signed an international worth much of anything.
Franchise Outlook: The AL West is on a highway to Helena, as the Sharks age and the Hellraisers get younger, especially in their pitching. The Hellraisers have a vast well of talent in their minor league pitching, and they are just about ready to break free of their minor league chains and wreak havoc on the AL next season. If Helena can find a replacement for the production of Orber Olivo as he rides off into the sunset, there is no reason why the Hellraisers can't continue their streak of winning seasons, and possibly take the division title away from Anaheim.

Burke's All-American Power Rankings

Burke the American - special to Cobb Times Herald

Burke is back with a brand new invention, his All-American Power Rankings! Read it and weep or jump with joy as you see who has the power to be called real American heroes.

Franchise Fielding Hitting Pitching Total
1. Omaha Sluggers 112 124.5 144.5 381
2. Scranton Dragons 95.5 149.5 126 371
3. Anaheim Sharks 102 138.5 128 368.5
4. Nashville Rebel Riders 112 118.5 134.5 365
5. Fargo Fug Nuts 73 133 147.5 353.5
6. Syracuse Beagles 117.5 122.5 112 352
7. Pawtucket G-Maniacs 110 73 152 335
8. Sioux Falls Corn Cleats 95.5 95 132 322.5
9. Wichita Wankers 79 117 117 313
10. Saint Louis HoundDogs 110 83.5 101 294.5
11. New York Titans 59.5 126.5 104 290
12. Helena Hellsraisers 63.5 118.5 101.5 283.5
13. Atlanta Pitbulls 102 89.5 74.5 266
14. Chicago Sabercats 49 124 85 258
15. Huntington Hillbilles 49 97 95 241
16. Cleveland Steamers 58 72 105 235
17. Pittsburgh SSP 65 82 62.5 209.5
18. Vancouver Grizzlies 79 59 65.5 203.5
19. New York Pick Pockets 43 83.5 75.5 202
20. Tacoma Jerry Gang 117.5 33.5 47.5 198.5
21. Mex. City Diablos Rojos 43 44 105 192
22. Aug. Angry Armadillo's 73 75 39.5 187.5
23. Jackson Pollocks 63.5 67.5 43 174
24. Salem Bitches 65 73 34.5 172.5
25. Richmond Cohibas 59.5 55.5 46 161
26. Lousiville Tysons 84 60.5 14.5 159
27. Charlotte Dogs 37.5 61 52.5 151
28. Kansas City Express 84 47 15 146
29. Toronto Blue Jays 57.5 38.5 40.5 136.5
30. Iowa City Corn Dogs 58 11 62.5 131.5
31. Toledo Tsunamis 57.5 18 44.5 120
32. Honolulu Islanders 37.5 48.5 32 118

Burke the American's Power Rankings

Burke the American - special to the Cobb Times Herald

The debate has been raging for some time now, which came first, the chicken or the egg, or in Cobb World's case, the American League or the National League? Doing his patriotic best to determine once and for all which league is the most gun toting, flag waving, apple pie baking league in the game, Burke the American has crunched the numbers and shared his results with the Times Herald readership. So who's on first? Read on and find out.

Fielding Rankings - AL vs. NL

National League
Field. % DP Plus - Neg CS % Total
Atlanta Pitbulls 25 23 23 2 29 102
Fargo Fug Nuts 26 26 1 19 1 73
Honolulu Islanders 1 1 11.5 2 22 37.5
Huntington Hillbilles 2 2 14 1 30 49
Iowa City Corn Dogs 5 5.5 20 18 9.5 58
Jackson Pollocks 7.5 10 11.5 16 18.5 63.5
Lousiville Tysons 18 17 10 8 31 84
New York Pick Pockets 7 5.5 5.5 4 21 43
Omaha Sluggers 28.5 29.5 3.5 25.5 25 112
Richmond Cohibas 9.5 10 3.5 20.5 16 59.5
Saint Louis HoundDogs 21 21 32 32 4 110
Salem Bitches 14 14 18 11 8 65
Sioux Falls Corn Cleats 17 19 29 27.5 3 95.5
Syracuse Beagles 21 23 21 25 27.5 117.5
Toledo Tsunamis 15.5 17 15 8 2 57.5
Wichita Wankers 28.5 29.5 1 8 12 79


American League

Anaheim Sharks 30 29.5 8.5 30 9.5 102
Augusta Angry Armadillo's 15.5 17 22 16 6.5 73
Charlotte Dogs 12 14 16 5 13 37.5
Chicago Sabercats 4 5.5 31 6 26 49
Cleveland Steamers 11 10 2 13.5 32 58
Helena Hellsraisers 24 23 17 11 11 63.5
Kansas City Express 6 10 28 3 14 84
Mexico City Diablos Rojos 27 29.5 25 27.5 17 43
Nashville Rebel Riders 32 29.5 27 13.5 24 112
New York Titans 31 29.5 5.5 25.5 23 59.5
Pawtucket G-Maniacs 21 21 19 31 5 110
Pittsburgh SSP 19 21 24 16 15 65
Scranton Dragons 9.5 10 8.5 22.5 18.5 95.5
Tacoma Jerry Gang 3
26 11 27.5 117.5
Toronto Blue Jays 7.5 5.5 13 22.5 6.5 57.5
Vancouver Grizzlies 13 14 30 20.5 20 79


Batting Rankings - Al vs. NL

National League AVG OBP X BH R SB Total
Atlanta Pitbulls 8.5 11 21 19 30 89.5
Fargo Fug Nuts 29.5 25.5 32 30 16 133
Honolulu Islanders 7 8.5 5 10 18 48.5
Huntington Hillbilles 22 25.5 24.5 21 4 97
Iowa City Corn Dogs 1 1 2 1 6 11
Jackson Pollocks 11.5 15.5 3 5.5 32 67.5
Lousiville Tysons 18.5 11 7 11 13 60.5
New York Pick Pockets 10 8.5 17 20 28 83.5
Omaha Sluggers 29.5 32 28 28 7 124.5
Richmond Cohibas 8.5 13.5 6 5.5 22 55.5
Saint Louis HoundDogs 17 21.5 10 16 19 83.5
Salem Bitches 18.5 17 14 12 11.5 73
Sioux Falls Corn Cleats 23 30 18 22 2 95
Syracuse Beagles 26 28.5 26 32 10 122.5
Toledo Tsunamis 4 6 1 2 5 18
Wichita Wankers 21 24 20 27 25 117


American League

Anaheim Sharks 31 28.5 30 29 20 138.5
Augusta Angry Armadillo's 6 2 22 14 31 75
Charlotte Dogs 13.5 18 12 9 8.5 61
Chicago Sabercats 25 19 27 24 29 124
Cleveland Steamers 11.5 13.5 11 13 23 72
Helena Hellsraisers 27 23 19 23 26.5 118.5
Kansas City Express 13.5 7 8 7 11.5 47
Mexico City Diablos Rojos 3 5 13 8 15 44
Nashville Rebel Riders 28 27 24.5 25 14 118.5
New York Titans 24 21.5 31 26 24 126.5
Pawtucket G-Maniacs 16 15.5 16 17 8.5 73
Pittsburgh SSP 20 20 23 18 1 82
Scranton Dragons 32 31 29 31 26.5 149.5
Tacoma Jerry Gang 2 3.5 4 3 21 33.5
Toronto Blue Jays 5 3.5 9 4 17 38.5
Vancouver Grizzlies 15 11 15 15 3 59


Pitching Rankings - AL vs. NL

National League ERA WHIP Wins SOBB SV / SVO Total
Atlanta Pitbulls 12 11.5 13 11 27 74.5
Fargo Fug Nuts 30 30.5 32 30 25 147.5
Honolulu Islanders 6 5 7.5 5 8.5 32
Huntington Hillbilles 16 8.5 19 27.5 24 95
Iowa City Corn Dogs 11 13.5 2.5 3.5 32 62.5
Jackson Pollocks 13 8.5 12 3.5 6 43
Lousiville Tysons 1 2 2.5 6 3 14.5
New York Pick Pockets 17 17 15.5 15 11 75.5
Omaha Sluggers 31 30.5 31 29 23 144.5
Richmond Cohibas 9 17 9.5 9.5 1 46
Saint Louis HoundDogs 25 20 22 16 18 101
Salem Bitches 4 3.5 11 12 4 34.5
Sioux Falls Corn Cleats 28 24.5 26 24.5 29 132
Syracuse Beagles 29 28 29.5 17 8.5 112
Toledo Tsunamis 19 8.5 5 2 10 44.5
Wichita Wankers 23.5 24.5 27.5 19.5 22 117


American League

Anaheim Sharks 21 27 24 26 30 128
Augusta Angry Armadillo's 7 6 7.5 7 12 39.5
Charlotte Dogs 5 8.5 9.5 9.5 20 52.5
Chicago Sabercats 15 17 17.5 19.5 16 85
Cleveland Steamers 23.5 24.5 21 22 14 105
Helena Hellsraisers 18 19 20 27.5 17 101.5
Kansas City Express 3 1 5 1 5 15
Mexico City Diablos Rojos 27 24.5 17.5 23 13 105
Nashville Rebel Riders 26 29 27.5 31 21 134.5
New York Titans 20 21 23 21 19 104
Pawtucket G-Maniacs 32 32 25 32 31 152
Pittsburgh SSP 8 11.5 14 14 15 62.5
Scranton Dragons 22 22 29.5 24.5 28 126
Tacoma Jerry Gang 14 13.5 5 13 2 47.5
Toronto Blue Jays 2 3.5 1 8 26 40.5
Vancouver Grizzlies 10 15 15.5 18 7 65.5


In summation, the totals look like this:
  • The American League and National League both have equally good (or bad) fielding with matching totals of 1206.
  • The American League is the superior hitting league, by a margin of 81, 1360.5 to 1279.5.
  • The American League is the superior pitching league, by a margin of 88, 1364 to 1276
The Grand total puts the American League on top by 161 points over the National League, thus claiming Cobb World superiority at the close of season 10.

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