Saturday, July 26, 2008

10 Questions with Aginor

Hello Everyone! Welcome back to 10 questions. Sorry for the Delay. Now lets get started.

This time around we are featuring Aginor, manager of the Salem Warlocks , originally the San Jose Squeakables He has been with us from season one and is a core member of our league. Its always fun to check the world board and see what he has to say! now lets get to it...

1.How did you get into WhatIfSports?

A friend mentioned he found this website and said I should check it out. I started with an exhibition season of hockey. Yes I’m a Canadian and YES hockey is THE game!! Got hooked, plain & simple. My second full season of hockey lost in finals – it went the full 7. One the original HBD leagues (World 55 – Riley) was mainly owners from the Hockey side of the sim. Most of us are still there 9 seasons later and it’s only world I’ve seen where ALL 32 owners signed up for next season BEFORE the rollover (twice now). I mainly play hockey theme league – progressive or regressive type. I like the idea of ”building” a team. That’s why HBD appeals to me. We “puck heads” would love a hockey version of 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.
Age 46 and live in Calgary, Alberta (home of the ’88 Winter Olympics - which I was a volunteer for). Work as what my company (insurance) calls a Commercial Field Risk Analyst – a mix of an underwriter and inspector. It’s fun cause I get to see a lot of businesses, it’s interesting to see how people run their business etc. Everyone is different. Single and some family here, most in the U.S. Ski in the winter, play slo-pitch in summer and train in the marital arts year around. A quirk… hmm, I hate being late for something. So much so, I’m often a fair bit early.

3. In your opinion, what minor league player, in your franchise, has the most potential to be a ML star and why?
My organization has a LOT of solid pitching prospects. Solid, but the majority is not what you’d call ACE material (mainly solid SP 3-5 type guys). If you’re going on STAR potential, it isn’t a pitcher; it’s John Hume. A Catcher that is presently in Hi-A. This 1st rounder from last year was a “HAVE TO HAVE” when I saw him on the draft board! A catcher who will have great PC rating AND will hit for decent power & average, how could I resist? The only 2 drawbacks are his durability and arm, still a future star! Oh and he’s from my home town too (added bonus!).

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

Other than the fact I’ll like more $ to spend. Not really, I’ve decided in most of my leagues to stay out of the IFA bidding wars. While some great talent there, the price tag can be too much sometimes. Have enough in Prospect Payroll to sign my draft picks and spend the money on scouting those picks and T & M budgets. You can’t have everything, so I’ve decided to try this approach.
5. How did you come up with your team name?

Well San Jose Squeables… I was camping with my slo-pitch team during a tourney in Vernon B.C. (great fun). At the campsite, there were a lot of marmots. Well somebody noted that they look like a beaver mixed with a squirrel, so we called them Squeavers. BUT my nephew couldn’t pronounce the “v” etc & it came out Squeables. I’m thinking next season I’ll change the team name to Salem Squeavers or Squeables. I kinda miss that nickname.

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

I play on a mixed slo-pitch team and a +40 men’s team. Both are just a bunch of people who enjoy playing. Sure winning is nice but at the end of the day… we all have jobs to go to in the morning. Nobody is making money playing, actually the exact opposite!! So, why get all worked up about it??? I’ve played on some top caliber teams in high level leagues etc. Sure it was fun – to a point. But my first tourney with this +40 group of guys showed me the “light” as it were. A group of very experienced and skilled guys, but no egos to feed etc. Just a “put me in coach” attitude!! Nobody cared about position or spot in the batting order…just whatever so long as I'm playing it's all good kinda thing. Nobody jumped on anybody for a mistake etc. I had NEVER enjoyed playing that much before!!! We didn’t win anything, but we were competitive with EVERY team we played – won a few games & lost a few. The last team we played (2nd time we'd played them that weekend - each winning one); a couple of their players actually came over to our bench as we were leaving and complemented us. Saying it was great to play against a bunch of guys who clearly just love playing the game for the sake of playing it. WOW, you don't hear that one often!!! I did play little league as kid and tried hockey, though it wasn’t my sport (couldn’t skate to save my life). Played volleyball and badminton in school etc. The overriding issue was winning at school or in little league. Guess that I took that basic attitude with me into adulthood. Took two decades BUT finally have come to realize… fun is the key, being with people who are in it for the same reason AND whose company you really enjoy is the MOST important thing. Is that enough Soap Box time?? Seriously, it was an eye opener and I hope others don't take as long as I did to realize this.
7. Who is your team MVP thus far in the ML’s?

Easy one!! Diego Balboa, though honorable mentions go to Clark Magnante & Tony Manuel. Guess getting out of the pitcher’s pit in San Jose agrees with Diego.

8. After not making the playoffs the last two seasons what have you done to try and turn your team around?
Firstly got out of that pitcher’s park. I know a fair number of owners are against movement of teams etc. But I’ve noticed that leagues that ban those “extreme” parks (hitter’s or pitcher’s) don't seem to have the wild swings in performance or at least it is far least frequent. I’ve come to the basic conclusion that the HBD engine doesn’t handle them well. So I dumped the extreme park for a more neutral park. Considering that this team last season was a .500 home team and horrible road team, I would’ve thought DISASTER this season. But instead the solid pitching staff that I’ve always stated I’ve got has shown its stuff. No longer in the top 5 of the league, still in the top 1/3 – that isn’t bad. The offence is now allowed to support them at home, result a few more wins. I’ve always thought this offence is better than it was showing (even when in San Jose). I also, moved a solid defensive player to 3B and brought up a solid glove at 2B. So my defense is much better. Finally, hope that a couple of guys who had an "off" year last season would rebound this season.

9. This is the only season you have yet to make a trade. Can we expect any from you and if so what will you be looking for?

Came really close to pulling off a blockbuster but the other owner changed his mind at the last minute. That’s cool; sometimes the best trades are the ones you DON’T make. I’m in the market for stud 3B. As I mentioned this organization has a lot of solid ML pitching prospect (too many to fit in the ML team). Heck my SP5 guy may be on block soon!

10. Out of the three players you promoted to the ml's this season which has worked out the best for you?
Again an easy one, it’s early in the season still. Paxton McConnell – in 8 starts he’s 3-1 with a WHiP of 1.17 & ERA under 3. The 2B guy has played great defense but has struggled at the plate. The other pitcher Ryan McConnell has had limited time so far but if my present SP5 continues to struggle, he’ll get his shot. Its funny these pitchers named McConnell have come through the system together (now promoted to ML at the same time). Note, they ain't brothers, though maybe 1/2 brothers?? ;-)

Aginor as a tribute to you i offer you this fine picture of Theo Fluery : )
I also agree with you, there should be a hockey HBD like game! Best of luck the rest of the way

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

NL Power Rankings 33 games in

1. Syracuse silencers
Comment: Not only leads the NL in Wins but they have one of the most potent Offenses and Pitching in the League.

2. Tacoma Engineers
Comment: Pitching is the name of the game in any other division they are champs, Here they fight

3. El Paso Coyotes
Fleet footed team who is solid, but not dominating in almost ever area.

4. Houston Effin Yam Bags
Comment: CL Donaldo Cortes's efforts 10/11 in saves is one of the reasons this team ranks so high

5. Huntington KYCATS01
Comment: once they get their bats going this team might be tough to beat

6. Richmond River Pirates
SS Tony Espinoza leads the league in errors with 16.

7. Tampa Bay Red Tide
Comment: They have proven they can hit, but the pitching is no where to be seen

8. Seattle Dragonflys
Comment: Quinn Johnson leads the league in stolen bases and helps propel this teams mediocre offense

9. Helena Cow Pies
SP Lorenzo Estrada is one reason this team has been able to win what they have. Now the hitting needs to wake up.

10. New York Amazins
Best team in New York, but thats not saying much right now

11. Washington D.C. Clones
Comment: middle of the pack in everything else so why not the power rankings

12. Los Angeles Dodgers
Comment: fielding is above average and they have shown both speed and power, but also have the worst Batting Average in the league.

13. Charleston Pee Wees
Comment: Top 3 batters in SO does not sound so good.

14. Las Vegas Aces
Comment: Fielding what fielding?

15. Santa Cruz Jacks
Comment: near the bottom in HRs and stolen bases, and the pitching is only slightly brighter

16. Rochester Fuzzy Dishes
Comment: Bottom of the barrell in almost every statistic, they need help to compete, some AAA teams might destroy Rochester

AL POWER RANKING 33 games in

Haven't seen an update in awhile and I had sometime, so I thought I would compile our first Power Rankings of Season 7. I have done Power Rankings for the past several seasons in Ryan. I can be controversial!

1. Scottsdale Minotaurs
Comment: Most lethal combination of Hitting and Pitching near the top in almost all categories

2. Salem Warlocks
Comment: 3rd best record in the AL lead by Diego Balboa's ridicules .392 Batting average

3. Detroit Wolves
Comment: SP Larry Davis has a 1.68 ERA. Tough start for an elite team they are much better than their record indicates

4. Little Rock Primetimers
Worst fielding team in the AL makes up the difference with SO and solid hitting

5. Austin Stinky Peas
Rule 5 Pick and Long Reliever Luis Julio leads the AL in wins with 6. That stat does not bode well for the Peas.

6. Florida Swamp Grass
Comment: Could be higher but struggles at the plate have kept Florida out of the top 5.

7. Fargo Fire Crackers
Comment: Overall the best fielding and running team in the AL, but struggling to score those men

8. Charlotte Silverbacks
Comment: Now I'm not saying Wayne Paulson should play SS, but 15 "-" Plays and 5 errors is a bit telling would you say?

9. Tucson Boilermaker Express
Comment: DH B.C. Villa has put together a fine season leading the league in walks while batting .315 with 9 HR

10. Baltimore Big Sticks
Comment: 4th best record in the league and they get no respect. The team has done nothing to impress me besides their current record. Maybe next week.

11. Hartford Whalers
Comment: CF Darrin Jackson is tied for the league lead with 3 + plays

12. Atlanta Elite Senators III
Comment: Where's the Beef? Teams hitting and pitching have both struggled at times

13. Boston Red Sox
Comment: SS Walker Corey is batting .235 and leading the league in error, Hello Edgar Renteria!

14. Vancouver Vikings
Ratingwise the Vikings are the 3rd best team on paper, it's a shame they can't just show someone that paper and collect a win.

15. Madison Ham Fighters
Comment: Aaron Houston leads the AL in saves and is 2nd in losses, not the best combination

16. New York Comics
Comment: on the Positive Fred Hill is on a pace for 88 dingers this season

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Season 7: Relocation, relocation, relocation

As season 7 starts in Williamson, we will take a look at the franchises that relocated in the offseason. Many of the new parks should have a noticeable effect on the statistical leaderboards as well as the league standings.

Tacoma Engineers - Formerly the Chicago Cubs, playing at Wrigley Field. The move to an extreme pitcher's park (-4, -4, -4, -4, -4) should make the Engineers' pitching look even better than it does already. With EIGHT pitchers rated at 80 or above overall, Tacoma could potentially post the best team ERA in Williamson history.

Seattle Dragonflys - Formerly the Honolulu Sensamillas, playing at Aloha Stadium. One of the founding owners in the World, Jay Louttit has returned to the league and moved the Dragonflys to another pitcher's park (-2, -3, -2, -2, -2). The franchise won the World Series in season 2, but has recently fallen on hard times due to low scouting budgets in the early seasons. As they say, flags fly forever.

Madison Ham Fighters - Formerly the Philadelphia Ham Fighters, playing at Citizens Bank Park. An original owner, wafrost has moved from a decent hitter's park to a hitter's heaven (2, 3, 2, 3, 4). After trading for Tony Castro he looks to be tailoring his team to the new ballpark.

Baltimore Big Sticks - Formerly the Wichita Wings, playing at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. boyk10, a new owner, has moved his team from a pitcher's park to a fairly neutral park (1, -3, -2, 1, 1). He will try to return the franchise to it's former glory days when the team resided in Cleveland.

Atlanta Elite Senators III
- Formerly the Texas Titans, playing at Ameriquest Field. foxspor54, who has been out of Williamson since Season 3, has returned and moved his new franchise to a neutral field (1, 0, 0, -1, -1). He will attempt to make the first playoff appearance in franchise history.

Tucson Boilermaker Express - Formerly the Oakland On-base Percentage Obsessives, playing at Network Associates Coliseum. roba1930 has made a bold move, moving the team to an extreme hitter's park (3, 3, 4, 3, 3). He will hope to ride his high-power offense to his 4th playoff appearance in the past five years.

Salem Warlocks
- Formerly the San Jose Squeables, playing at Municipal Stadium. An original owner, aginor has decided to move the franchise after 6 up and down seasons in San Jose. He has moved from one of the biggest pitcher's parks in the league to a neutral park (0, 0, 0, 1, 1), which should help the offense, but might make his notoriously inconsistent pitching even more frustrating.

Scottsdale Minotaurs - Formerly the Colorado Lumber Company, playing at Coors Field. Fresh off his fourth World Series appearance in five seasons, WiredTiger has decided to take a chance and move the team. His new park (2, 2, 2, 2, 2) is not nearly the bandbox that Coors is, which will hopefully allow some non-Colorado position players to make the All-Star team this season.