Friday, May 23, 2008

Power Rankings through 136 Games

Here are the Jaha Power Rankings through 136 games:

1. Chicago Cubs (94-42) - The best record in the World by nine games. A 22-11 record in one-run games shows that they have had their share of luck, but even a .500 record in 1-run games would have them at 88 wins.
2. Colorado Lumber Company (85-51) - With the best record in the AL, they look primed to make another run to the World Series. They have managed to avoid most of the Coors Field perils and seem to be enjoying the perks.
3. Syracuse Silencers (85-51) - Nine games back in their division but owners of the top run differential in Jaha. Leads the NL in both runs scored and allowed.
4. New York Comics (80-56) - An excellent offense, led by 25-year old Ralph Randall, has propelled the Comics to the top of the AL East. They will have their work cut out for them holding off the next team in our rankings.
5. Florida Swamp Grass (78-58) - The top pitching staff in Jaha is led by Norberto Saenz (17-9). With a 22-10 record in 1-run games, their luck will need to hold for a few more weeks to retake the AL East lead.
6. El Paso Coyotes (76-60) - A well-rounded team with above average pitching and hitting. An NL-leading 157 GIDPs helps explain why the large difference between their actual (.559) and expected (.605) winning percentage.
7. Helena Cow Pies (79-57) - A balanced offense with no lineup holes has the Cow Pies in position to return to the postseason for the first time since Season 3. Mo Yarnall (15-4) has stood out on an otherwise average pitching staff.
8. New York Amazins (77-59) - Currently trailing in the wild card race by two games, the Amazins sport one of the best run differentials in Jaha. Dave O'Brien and Brady Hackman have already combined for 90 HR and 264 RBI.

Honorable Menntion:

The Santa Cruz Jacks (69-67) and Las Vegas Aces (68-68) are battling it out for the NL West, with the loser likely missing out on the playoffs. Similarly, the Charlotte Pea Pods (71-65) and Austin Stinky Peas (71-65) are deadlocked in a tight division race. The loser will likely watch the playoffs from home. The Detroit Wolves (73-63) have a 4 game lead in the AL North, but are fortunate to have that record after being outscored on the season.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Perils and perks of playing at Coors.

Coors field is maybe the most extreme park in HBD. It requires players with different skills then other parks and even affects the composition of your roster. Without giving away my whole strategy here are some of the best and worst things about having Coors Field as your home.

The Perils

Tires out your pitching staff – Pitchers have to throw quite a few more pitches in Coors to complete a game then you would at a normal ball park. Starters tire out sooner and don’t work as deep into games. Relievers max out at one inning. Coors forces you to carry extra starters in your bullpen to get through the middle innings. This year I’ve thrown about 11% more pitches at home per inning than on the road.

Tires out your positional players – Players with high durability ratings still need to rest because they get so many more plate appearances at Coors then in other spots. Rest early in the season becomes very important. And because you can come back from large deficits at Coors you can’t rest your players as early in the game as you might like to.

Hard to find pitchers who will succeed – Pitchers with average fly ball to ground ball ratios are killers at Coors. Certain pitchers just don’t seem to do well at Coors and the stats are so skewed it can be tough to pick out who is actually pitching well. Any pitcher with an ERA under 5.50 with half his games pitched at Coors is doing pretty well.

The Perks

You can build around sluggers – Always fun and fairly cheap. Guys that would normally be average at sea level become very playable at Coors. Neil Lukasiewicz is a classic example of a Coors player.

Visiting teams without power tend to struggle – A successful lineup that is not built around power will not do as well at Coors.

Domination of All Star lineup – Your positional players will have a pretty good shot at making the All Star team.

Every game is an adventure – It’s such a rollercoaster ride to look at box scores from home games. Seven run comebacks are fairly common and you get a few 20-12 games. Your hitters never slump.

Friday, May 2, 2008

10 questions with Iceman67

Today in the NL we are interviewing iceman67 owner of the Richmond River Pirates. He has also been with us from season 1.

1.How did you get into whatifsports?

1. I've been a member of WiS since 2002...I was looking for a different kind of fantasy baseball to play besides Yahoo and I came across WiS..been hooked ever since (much to the dismay of the wife)

2.Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Keep in mind that every manager will be asked this. Things like Age, Work, location, family things, hobbies/interests, personality quirks.

2. I'm 40 years old, married and living in Carrollton, TX, which is about 20 miles north of Dallas. I was born in Minnesota and moved to Texas when I was about 10. WiS keeps me occupied most of the time considering I have 4 HBD, 2 HD, 2 GD and 2 sim league progressive baseball teams (that's probably nothing to some, but enough for me). When I'm not tweaking my teams, I'm playing softball, playing "Guitar Hero" with my nephew or watching/going to the movies with my wife.

3.In your opinion, what minor league player, in your franchise, has the most potential to be a ML star and why?

3. I think I have done a fairly decent job in stocking my minor league system, so there is not just one player that stands out. There are for sure 3 players that have ML star potential - 1B Joe Bell and pitchers Giomar Chavez and Edgardo Bonilla..all three will be on my big league roster sooner than later.

4.Would you change anything about your budget this season?

4. Probably my scouting department could use more funds; kind of defeats the purpose of having a large prospect budget if the scouts don't have the money to give true enough scouting reports.

5.How did you come up with your team name?

5. Believe it or not, I actually did some research on the city of Richmond. Since its nickname is "The River City" and I'm a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I put the two together and the River Pirates were born.

6.In real life, what teams/sports do you like? Also did you play sports as a kid and what was that like?

6. Growing up I played baseball and soccer, dabbled in some hockey (kinda seemed the thing to do living in Minnesota). I also ran track and cross country when I got to high school. Now its softball a couple of nights a week. Even though I now live in Texas, I am still a huge fan of the Twins and Vikings...cannot stand the Cowboys whatsoever (and that's a big no-no living in the area). Love the Mavericks and the Stars as well.

7.Who is your team MVP thus far in the ML’s

7. Right now I'd have to say Einar Almonte. He is leading the team in hitting (.327) and RBIs (46)...not bad for a rookie!

8. You have made only one playoff appearance. What do you think is the reason behind this?

8. I can't really explain why I have had one playoff appearance in 5 seasons. The team has averaged 86 wins over that time, but I think they tend to slump at the wrong time and by the time they snap out of it, it is too late. Of course, the way the team has stumbled out of the gate this season, I'll still be stuck at one.

9. You have promoted 4 players from the minors this season. Which player do you think will have the most positive impact on your big league club?

9. Actually I have promoted 3 players to the big leagues, Almonte, 1B Khoury Hewson and RF Benji Delgado. Hewson & Almonte are playing up to expectations; Delgado has been a disappointment so far. Right now I would have to say that Almonte will have the most impact on the team.

10. Are you happy with the two trades you made this season?

10. I am happy with the trades I have made...I'm usually not very active on the trade front, but I had Almonte waiting in the wings at AAA with long time favorite Hector Becker standing in his way at the hot only made sense to shop Becker and call up far so good!

Thanks for 6 great seasons! I hope you make a run for it soon! Your team looks a lot better than it is performing!!!

1o Questions with Wafrost

Hello back with 10 questions. This time up from the Al we are interviewing Wafrost, owner of the Philadeplphia Hams He has been with JAHA since season 1.

1.How did you get into whatifsports?

1) I don't remember. I think I read about it from a Sports Guy column on Started out doing SimLeague baseball, which I've totally lost interest in since I tried HBD.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Keep in mind that every manager will be asked this. Things like Age, Work, location, family things, hobbies/interests, personality quirks.

2) I'm 32 years old, live in San Jose, CA with my wife and daughter. I grew up in Minnesota (go Twins), but moved out to CA for grad school 8 years ago. I am currently working for Lockheed Martin building a weather satellite for NOAA/NASA, to be launched next year.

3.In your opinion, what minor league player, in your franchise, has the most potential to be a ML star and why?

3) Well my first season number 1 draft pick just made the majors last year and my number 1 pick from season 2 just got promoted this year. Other than that, I have high hopes for my season 4 first rounder, Harry Acevedo. He is an incredible hitter, but is a slug in the field (good thing I am in the AL). My DH of the future.

4.Would you change anything about your budget this season?

4) Yeah, I'm a little cash strapped this season. I dropped my player payroll from previous seasons and upped my scouting/prospect budget. I had some players with team options that I bought out and some high priced sucky free agents that left, but it looks like i may not have enough budget left to make it through the season. I only have like $100k free for promotions/signing draft picks/etc. Looks like I may need to make a trade with someone who can take on salary... or there is always the dreaded budget transfer.

5.How did you come up with your team name?

5) Well I picked Philadelphia for its park (Citizens bank). The nickname I borrowed from a Japanese baseball team (Nippon Ham Fighters?). I've always thought the Ham Fighters was the most ridiculous name in professional sports.

6.In real life, what teams/sports do you like? Also did you play sports as a kid and what was that like?

6) I'm a Minnesota fan (Twins/Vikings/Timberwolves). (The Wild, not so much, they didn't exist yet when I left MN.) Times are tough right now, losing Garnett and Santana, but at least I have Adrian Peterson to look forward to in the fall. I didn't play much sports as a kid, I do DH for a Beer-league softball team now though.

7.Who is your team MVP thus far in the ML’s

7) My hitting for the most part has been awful so far, luckily my pitchers are keeping me in games. No one really stands out though. Stevie Rollins is my ace, but he is so consistent that he's boring (think Tim Duncan). Doug Vosberg has been my only consistently good hitter this year, but Clarence Barrett has started to come out of his slump and I will be looking for him to finish the year strong.

8. The first two seasons you won your Division, but in all past three seasons you have come in second, not making the playoffs since the second season. When can we expect another playoff appearance from you?

8) I would love to make the playoffs again. If only the teams in my division would suck more. I can't explain it. Every year I think I am putting together a winner, but they can't seem to win games. I did some house-cleaning in the off season, so this was going to be a semi-rebuilding year, but we'll see how it goes.

9. You have made two trades this season. Both seem to have worked out good for you. Last year you made no trades. Do you think your lack of trades last season had a negative impact on your franchise?

9) I like the guys I've picked up in trades this year. I took on a bunch of salary to get Barrett, and that is the cause of my financial woes, but he looks like he's going to be worth it. I swapped some Rule 5 pick-ups, and they have been pitching way over their heads.... In the past, I have been less active than most making trades, and that has probably hurt me. The problem is I don't think I have a terribly deep minor league system, so I need to hang on to the few prospects I have. It makes it tough to trade for talent, if you don't have any to give up.

10. Out of the six free agent signings you made this year, which player do you think has worked out the best, thus far?

10) Alan Dunham and Enrique Sosa were my two high priced FAs signees. Neither has worked out incredibly well for me. There's always next year....

Thanks Wafrost for your time! Best of luck the rest of the way. I guess not too good of luck since you are in my division!

Bonham shatters single season SB record.

Walter Bonham
Age: 26B/T: S/R
Born: New Castle, DE
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
is at 99 SBs with 84 games left to play shattering the previous single season record by former Whaler
Ben Rapp
Cow Pies
Age: 27B/T: R/R
Born: Stamford, CT
Position(s): 2B/1B/LF/CF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
. The Whalers GM knucklebones says that Bonham will continue to get the green light and test the arms of the catchers in the league. He's only been caught once in 100 trys. Why not send him everytime?