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OOTP 19 - Historical Simulations Discuss historical simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 02-24-2019, 10:25 PM   #1
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Keeping it in the Franchise

This idea popped into my head where I thought it would be cool to try an historical league for a change. An historical league where the teams are randomly seeded with their own players from throughout history. But, not an all-time best type of deal. After a good deal of work invested, the inaugural draft is done and the league is ready to go.

My settings are a little bit eclectic, I think, but there is some method to the madness. I decided to start in 1979 mainly for the 26-team MLB after expansion to Seattle and Toronto (plus, very solid Smashing Pumpkins song). I felt that starting in the 1990s would be tough because I'm not sure I could maintain viable rosters for teams like Colorado, Florida/Miami, Arizona, and Tampa Bay. I figured that 40 years of team history was about the functional minimum for roster viability as players are being pulled randomly from 1930-present. I'd estimate that in 98%+ of cases, players that played for >1 team have been placed on the team for which they were longest tenured and most productive, but some adjustments were made to help younger franchises (Mariners, Brewers, Mets, Angels, Blue Jays, Expos, Astros, Padres) with roster depth.

League history is a blank slate because it seems odd to have a player debut in a league where he already holds some prestigious record.

I am using modern day financials, but no minor leagues. Reserve clause rules. Again, I didn't want to try to maintain 100+ player rosters and thought a 25-man roster and a ~30-man reserve roster would give a large enough player pool for each team. The focus in this league is not on minor leagues, rebuilding, and development; it's strictly about pitting teams against one another for 162 games at the MLB level. Which is good, because I've turned AI roster moves off so the teams maintain their roster purity. There will be no trades or waivers, no free agency. Just teams building through the draft each year, selecting their own players as per the luck of the draw. And getting after it the next year with hopefully a better team than before.

As for my POV, I've decided to jump in and control my favorite real life team, the Chicago Cubs. General Manager Harry Caray is at the reigns. After the inaugural draft, the Cubs' 25-man roster breaks down like this:

1 - LF - Chris Coghlan (L)
2 - RF - Bill Buckner (L)
3 - CF - Adolfo Phillips (R)
4 - 1B - Jim Marshall (L)
5 - 3B - Steve Ontiveros (S)
6 - C - Sammy Taylor (L)
7 - 2B - Manny Trillo (R)
8 - SS - Rey Sanchez (R)

Bench - C - Dick Bertell (R)
Bench - 1B - Heinz Becker (S)
Bench - UTIL - Javier Baez (R)
Bench - LF - Johnny Ostrowski (R)
Bench - CF - Ellis Burton (S)

SP1 - Matt Clement (R)
SP2 - Jim Bullinger (R)
SP3 - Bob Schultz (L)
SP4 - Hy Vandenburg (R)

CL - Bruce Sutter (R)
SU - Paul Assenmacher (L)
SU - Juan Cruz (R)
MR - Bob Scanlan (R)
MR - Ed Mayer (L)
MR - Rob Zastryzny (L)
MR - Emil Kush (R)
LR - Dave Dowling (L)

A couple of comments about this "1979" Cubs squad...

1. It feels weird having Javy Baez on the bench. I want him to be in the starting lineup, but he's debuting at 22 years old and doesn't have ratings like anything close to what he did in real life last season. I will groom him best as I can, but he'll initially be backing up Manny Trillo (my highest paid player), Rey Sanchez, and Steve Ontiveros--all in their prime.

2. The starting pitching depth leaves a lot to be desired. Matt Clement is nice to have, but the inaugural draft was really stingy about producing Cubs pitchers with any degree of high stamina. The game gave a 24-year-old Juan Cruz a stamina rating of 3 (out of 100), which is unfortunate because he was more of a swing man early on. Jim Bullinger has a stamina of 27 and that's the 2nd highest rating on the team. Something tells me this bullpen is going to be worked very hard...

3. ...which is good because the game produced both the legendary Bruce Sutter and lefty-killer Paul Assenmacher. Along with the aforementioned 3-stamina'd Juan Cruz. Zastryzny and Scanlan aren't horrible either. The bullpen will play a pivotal role in holding this team together.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:36 PM   #2
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If anyone is curious about any of the other teams/rosters, go ahead and ask. I'd be happy to post it, but I didn't want to do that for all 26 teams unless there was some sort of interest in doing so.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:39 AM   #3
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This is interesting. What's the Reds roster look like?
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:08 AM   #4
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How about those Cardinals? Going to follow because I love a good Cards/Cub rivalry.

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Old 02-25-2019, 07:50 PM   #5
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
This is interesting. What's the Reds roster look like?
Ah, yes the original Major League Baseball club...

Your "1979" Cincinnati Reds are set up thusly:

1 - LF - Mike McCormick
2 - SS - Woody Williams (the other Woody Williams)
3 - RF - Pete Rose (28 yrs old)
4 - 1B - Lee May (could've placed him comfortably on about 3 different teams)
5 - 3B - Luis Quinones
6 - CF - Gus Bell
7 - C - Jimmie Coker
8 - 2B - Drew Sutton

Bench - C - David Ross (another journeyman with many options to play for)
Bench - 1B - Deron Johnson
Bench - OF - Stan Palys
Bench - OF - Chuck Harmon
Bench - UTIL - Felipe Lopez

SP1 - Gene Schott
SP2 - Don Gullett
SP3 - Mario Soto
SP4 - Brett Tomko
SP5 - Ken Raffensberger

CL - Chris Reitsma
SU - Fred Baczewski
SU - Logan Ondrusek
MR - Paul Gehrman
MR - Jon Coutlangus
MR - Mike Anderson
MR - Alejandro Chacin

Other items of note...

A 34-year-old Hal Morris is buried behind Lee May and Deron Johnson on the depth chart. Cincy is pretty deep at catcher with Corky Miller and Jason LaRue not even making it off the reserve roster. As you might expect, Pete Rose is the highest paid Red with a salary of $24,133,200. Charlie Hustle will need to carry this club to some degree, but he's got the ratings to help with that [94/100 contact, 72/100 gap, 52/100 power, 57/100 eye, 77/100 avoid k's, 62/100 of range, 86/100 of error, 90/100 of arm].

Will this club add any other Big Red Machine pieces to go with Rose and Gullett?

Originally Posted by pgjocki View Post
How about those Cardinals? Going to follow because I love a good Cards/Cub rivalry.
Your "1979" St. Louis Cardinals:

1 - 2B - Jose Oquendo
2 - 1B - Ray Sanders
3 - CF - Jim Edmonds (was an easy choice to give him to STL over CAL)
4 - 3B - Tommy Glaviano
5 - RF - Rick Ankiel (cpu is using him as a 2-way player)
6 - LF - Matt Carpenter (gotta get that bat in the lineup somewhere)
7 - SS - Dal Maxvill
8 - C - Johnny Schulte

Bench - 1B - Nippy Jones
Bench - SS - Bob Stephenson
Bench - INF - Ken Oberkfell
Bench - OF - Vern Benson
Bench - 4C - Craig Paquette

SP1 - Dizzy Dean (25 yrs old)
SP2 - Omar Olivares
SP3 - Bob Forsch
SP4 - Rick Ankiel
SP5 - Bob Stuper

CL - Mike Crudale
SU - Dennis Aust
SU - John Frascatore
MR - Gary Blaylock
MR - Dan O'Brien
MR - Jeff Lahti
MR - Jason Isringhausen
MR - Jason Motte

Other items of note...

In a bit of a statistical anomaly, there was only 1 STL catcher generated in the inaugural draft out of ~1100 players (or, more accurately, one that I noticed and didn't end up placing on another roster). Poor Johnny Schulte will be busy back there and the Cards will hope to draft a catcher. A catcher shortage is almost sacrilege in the era we're used to Yadier Molina back there. How will Rick Ankiel fare as a pitcher and batter in an era where you can do both? Even on an NL team, I guess.

Highest paid: Jim Edmonds $29,355,600 and Dizzy Dean $27,785,100. Dizzy Dean is an absolute monster [109/100 stuff, 48/100 movement, 90/100 control, 108 stamina]

Originally Posted by gskweres9 View Post
I must say that Houston was a bit of a tough one because their "slice of the pie" with players going back to 1930 is a bit small as you might imagine. So the 'Stros will have a tough road ahead of them.

Here's the "1979" squad...

1 - 2B - Joe Pittman
2 - LF - Ray Montgomery
3 - CF - George Springer
4 - C - Evan Gattis
5 - 3B - Morgan Ensberg
6 - 1B - Daryle Ward
7 - RF - Eric Anthony
8 - SS - Bert Pena

Bench - C - Luis Pujols
Bench - 3B - Chris Truby
Bench - INF - Matt Dominguez
Bench - UTIL - Art Howe

SP1 - Tim Redding
SP2 - Tom Griffin
SP3 - Brandon Backe
SP4 - Jared Fernandez
SP5 - Frank Dipino (a bold strategy--lefty reliever with 3 stamina)

CL - Tom Edens
SU - James Hoyt
SU - Mark McLemore (the other Mark McLemore)
MR - Fernando Nieve
MR - Chris Donnels (they are toying with the idea of him as a 2-way player...)
MR - Hector Ambriz
MR - Henry Sosa
LR - Dave Roberts (the other Dave Roberts)

Other items of note...

There are 4 guys on this roster who have any built-up skill playing the outfield. One of those guys is starting 1B Daryle Ward. It looks like Collin McHugh will be the first man off the reserve roster although I'm not sure why the AI is starting Dipino over McHugh. Dipino does have some pretty phenomenal ratings for a relief pitcher [96/100 stuff, 76/100 movement, 53/100 control] and 3 plus pitches. In the upcoming draft, the Astros will be looking for starting pitching and outfielders. Jeff Bagwell or Jose Altuve wouldn't hurt either.

If ever there's a candidate for player manager (other than Pete Rose listed above), it would be Art Howe.

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Old 02-25-2019, 10:35 PM   #7
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It's not Bob Stuper, it's John Stuper. He won game 6 of the 1982 World Series, if memory serves. Just so you know. CD out.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:03 AM   #8
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1979 in Review

1979 Season

Well, that was fast. After a painstaking inaugural draft process with a pen and pad, plus thousands of clicks on Baseball Reference dot com, the first season zipped by in a flash. That tends to happen when your setup has one league with 26 teams and no minor leagues.

The very first World Series trophy belongs to...the Minnesota Twins! The Twinkies (a mashup of Twins and old Washington Senators NL players) went 105-57, topping the AL West's 2nd place club (Oakland) by a whopping 15 games. Minnesota then defeated the Red Sox in a wild 7-game ALCS after coming back from a 3-games-to-2 deficit. Pinch hitter Alexi Casilla drove in Gary Gaetti on a sac fly to CF in the 13th inning of Game 7 at Fenway Park, then Steve Renko closed the door on Boston to provide a 4-3 margin of victory. Renko would come up big again for Minnesota in the World Series as he out-dueled Pittsburgh's Cy Blanton 3-1 in the clinching Game 6.

While it was a true team effort (like you'd expect for a team with the Twins' particular idiom), some team members were even more valued than others...

First among equals was ace starting pitcher Johan Santana. The 27-year-old lefty logged 245.1 IP and 6.7 WAR [19-6, 3.26 ERA, 220:44 K:BB] while leading the junior circuit with a 1.07 WHIP. In addition, Santana won Game 2 of the 1979 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 5-2 fashion. He was as good as a 1-hit shutout (93 game score) against Cleveland on May 11th. He was as bad as giving up 8 runs on 14 hits (23 game score) against...uhh...Cleveland on July 7th. He went the distance 10 times in 33 regular season starts. Not bad.

Santana's main supporting crew consisted of 22-year-old relief ace Jim Hayes who took "effectively wild" into a whole new universe with this stat line: [77.2 IP, 1.51 ERA, 20 SV, 35:50 K:BB]. The pitching rotation was also very deep with both Lloyd Brown [241 IP, 17-9, 3.62 ERA] and Mark Redman [220.1 IP, 16-10, 3.72 ERA] topping 4 WAR. Playoff hero Steve Renko was 14-9 with a 4.61 ERA as the #5 starter.

Minnesota's offense was anchored by "The Rat" [.317/.354/.538, 38 HR, 123 RBI, 6.2 WAR] and CF Jimmie Hall [.322/.397/.580, 38 HR, 133 RBI, 6.0 WAR]. In addition to Gaetti and Hall, the Twins' everyday lineup consisted of five other .300 hitters: Danny Santana, Jorge Polanco, Bobby Darwin, Bud Stewart, and Todd Walker. Yes, that's correct, seven out of Minnesota's every day nine batted over .300; the team's .296 average was good for 2nd in the AL. Only Oakland's (Oakland/KC/Philly) .302 team mark was better. And, uh, the AL's pitching depth apparently needs some work.

1979 Chicago Cubs

Chicago tended to hover around .500, starting a bit hotter than that and finishing a bit colder. Center fielder Adolfo Phillips lived up to his billing and lofty contract ($28,552,050) as the All-Star posted a gaudy 7.8 WAR [.315/.403/.547, 27 HR, 90 RBI, 31 SB, +13.1 ZR] and was among those getting MVP votes. That's pretty close to a Mike Trout season, huh?

Rookie catcher Sammy Taylor was also selected to the NL All-Star team and actually won All-Star Game MVP honors. Taylor contributed 3.5 WAR [.265/.328/.400, 17 HR, 69 RBI] due in no small part to a rock solid defensive campaign in a yeoman-like (bordering on insane) 152 starts behind the plate.

Steve Ontiveros and Javier Baez were also noteworthy in 1979. Ontiveros [.338/.443/.497, 10 HR, 65 RBI, 6.1 WAR] paced the team in batting average and Baez finished 2nd with 25 homers after taking over for a slumping Rey Sanchez at SS. An oblique strain suffered by Manny Trillo in August further solidified Baez's status as a starter. But, Baez has plenty of work to do. Despite starting 159 games somehow, and hitting 25 home runs, the final analysis was a disappointing -0.8 WAR and negative ZR values at 6 different positions (2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF). Maybe Javy needs to stick to the infield.

As expected, the pitching wasn't that great. Matt Clement did okay as the de facto ace with a 4.4 WAR campaign [10-11, 3.03 ERA, 179:112 K:BB]. It was a heavy, heavy workload for the exhausted right-hander, though, because Chicago was one of the few teams to roll thru the season entirely with a 4-man starting rotation. Clement made 50 starts, tossed a grueling 263.1 IP and also led the NL in BB's (hard to blame the guy). Remembering how deliberate that Clement could be on the mound made more than a few Cubs fans yearn for a pitch clock during those 263-plus innings.

Cubs #3 starter Bob Schultz also got 50 starts to tie Clement for the league lead. But, Schultz logged only 163 IP. Not too shocking for a pitcher with a 16/100 stamina rating. Gotta work on that rotation depth.

Awards and Anomalies

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw won both the NL MVP and the NL Cy Young awards. And the NL pitching Triple Crown. Can you really blame the voters when Kershaw compiled 12.7 WAR (13.7 rWAR) this season? Kershaw led the league in W (27), ERA (1.84), IP (264.2), K (265), WHIP (0.82), and BABIP (.252). He also pitched 16.1 scoreless innings against the Pirates in the NLCS even though the Dodgers would ultimately fall in 7 games. Kershaw made 33 regular season starts and was player of the game 25 times, recording double-digit strikeouts 10 times. He was pretty ok. Maybe he was just mad at being denied his trademark #21 jersey and having to wear #44 all season for some reason.

Kershaw's Dodger running mate Jim Lefebvre bagged the NL ROY with a monster 9.3 WAR season of his own [.343/.412/.561, 31 HR, 136 RBI] and likely would've won MVP if not for his teammate. With the seasons posted by Kershaw and Lefebvre, it's not hard to see how the Dodgers won an MLB-best 113 games in 1979.

NL Silver Sluggers:

P - Rick Ankiel (STL)
C - Evan Gattis (HOU)
1B - Lee May (CIN)
2B - Jim Lefebvre (LAD)
3B - Tommy Glaviano (STL)
SS - Gene Alley (PIT)
LF - Gene Richards (SDP)
CF - Pete Reiser (LAD)
RF - Mike Marshall (LAD)

NL Gold Gloves:

P - Carl Hubbell (SFG)
C - Carlos Hernandez (SDP)
1B - Lefty O'Doul (LAD)
2B - Jose Oquendo (STL)
3B - Luis Quinones (CIN)
SS - Brandon Crawford (SFG)
LF - Shane Victorino (PHI)
CF - Ted Martinez (NYM)
RF - Mike Marshall (LAD)

Rounding out the major NL awards was Cardinals RP Mike Crudale. Crudale took reliever of the year with his 2.1 WAR showing [2.79 ERA, 21 SV]. Crudale allowed just a lone long ball in 67.2 IP. Interestingly, Joe Panik homered off of Crudale in walk-off fashion after a 3-3 tie game that was started by Dizzy Dean of the Cardinals and Juan Marichal of the Giants. I would've bought a ticket for that one.

As for the junior circuit...

It was a near sweep of the board for the 108-win Boston Red Sox. MVP-winning center fielder Reggie Smith reached 11.6 on the WAR-o-meter [.351/.417/.610, 34 HR, 140 RBI, 20 SB, +19.9 ZR] in one the greatest all-around seasons ever (I guess it's technically the only season ever, but still...). What will be in store for this 24-year-old, switch-hitting superstar in the future?

On the pitching side, it was rookie sensation Clay Buchholz making off with both the Cy Young and the ROY. Buchholz's WAR (5.9 WAR, but 10.5 rWAR) wasn't in the same area code as Kershaw's, but it was still a mighty impressive season being the beneficiary of a relentless Boston offensive attack [24-2, 2.02 ERA, 245.1 IP, 147:85 K:BB]. When you are giving up 2.02 runs per game and getting 5.35 runs per game scored for you, that's some math there, as CNN's John King might say. Buchholz led the American League in both wins and ERA. He also tossed a 4-hit shutout against the Minnesota Twins in Game 1 of the ALCS for good measure.

AL Silver Sluggers:

DH - Nomar Garciaparra (BOS)
C - Rudy York (DET)
1B - Champ Summers (DET)
2B - Don Buford (BAL)
3B - Buddy Bell (TEX)
SS - Rico Petrocelli (BOS)
LF - Charlie Keller (NYY)
CF - Reggie Smith (BOS)
RF - Ken Harrelson (BOS)

AL Gold Gloves:

P - Steven Wright (BOS)
C - Darrell Porter (KCR...would've helped the Cards' catching situation)
1B - Jack Baker (BOS)
2B - Christian Colon (KCR)
3B - Bill Pecota (KCR...wonder what his PECOTA projection is?)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)
LF - Frank Catalanotto (TEX)
CF - Kenny Lofton (CLE)
RF - Bobby Brown (SEA)

Rounding out the major AL awards was Blue Jays RP Mark Eichhorn. Eichhorn had a 3.2 WAR season in 88 IP of work [1.53 ERA, 21 SV, 0.2 HR/9]. He led the AL in saves (sidebar: I had the settings about half 1979 and half 2017 for this season so there was some back and forth between teams using stoppers or closers). He also held lefty batters to a .195 batting average, which is cool because Eichhorn is a right-handed pitcher. Eichhorn was one of the main factors in an undermanned Blue Jays squad turning in an impressive 81-81 season and even finishing a few games up on the Yankees.

One final anomaly worth mentioning in a pretty eventful first season of doing this...there was one no-hitter this season. Cy Moore, the Phillies #4 SP, blanked the Dodgers on July 15th. Except it was a weather-shortened game that was called in the middle of the 8th inning. D'oh. The game considers it a "no-hitter," but something makes me think the Philly fans would've reacted poorly to those umpires when leaving the field...

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Old 02-26-2019, 04:12 AM   #9
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How did you setup the league? How did you get random players going to each team? Do you have a quickstart?
Setting up my All time White Sox franchise of 12 teams took me 4 days, i was fed up with it after that.
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I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

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Old 02-26-2019, 08:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Game View Post
How did you setup the league? How did you get random players going to each team? Do you have a quickstart?
Setting up my All time White Sox franchise of 12 teams took me 4 days, i was fed up with it after that.
Random players don't go to each team. I make sure that doesn't happen. I did the inaugural draft for all 26 teams, then turned on reserve clause rules/no trades/no randoms appearing. Then I do the amateur draft for all 26 teams each season--this is the only avenue teams have to change their rosters. No on the quickstart.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:27 AM   #11
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1979-1980 Offseason

1979-1980 Offseason

This is pretty weird. In recent times, the MLB offseason has become a full-on season in its own right. Roster decisions are made. Free agent signings are rumored. Winter meetings are congregated at. Arbitration hearings...oh to be a fly on the wall.

But, the present league will feature none of that. Zero. Zip. Zilch. A pretty sleepy few months between seasons that exist mainly for building lower back muscles through shoveling snow.

The only "happening" of note between seasons is the amateur draft. Yes, that's right. The draft is in December instead of June. December 15th to be exact, right around when the Winter Meetings would occur in a normal league.

In this game, the draft consists of only 5 rounds (with enough players generated for 10) with all 26 teams picking once in each round. The remainder players are summarily deleted. Each team came into the draft carrying about 35 players total spread between an active roster (25-man) and a reserve roster (35-man). At a pace of 5 new players per year (minus retirements) it will take a little while yet before teams really have to think hard about who to keep and who to...delete.

Draft results are sorted by team rather than by round. Comments follow for each team...

Seattle Mariners

1 - Floyd Bannister - LHP
2 - Kenji Johjima - C
3 - Roger Salkeld - RHP
4 - Kevin Pasley - C
5 - Yoervis Medina - RHP

No Junior. No Edgar. No Units of any size, let alone big ones. It's a shame this proud expansion franchise has just about zero of its squad from the mid-1990s extant. Alas, maybe a dynasty is in the distant future. Wherefore art thou Jay Buhner? In the present, Seattle acquired some meat-and-potatoes types here with starting pitchers and catchers. Having Johjima and Pasley in the fold doubles the number of catchers in the organization. The M's will be a bit deeper, but no doubt favored to reprise its role as worst team in the AL.

Houston Astros

1 - Carlos Lee - OF
2 - Wade Miller - RHP
3 - Terry Puhl - OF
4 - Bob Knepper - LHP
5 - Chad Qualls - RHP

A pretty exciting draft for Houston actually, albeit one that was devoid of Bagwells, Biggios, and Altuves. That said, this crop of players will really help the outfield--which was woefully thin aside from George Springer--and the starting staff. A starting staff that literally watched Tim Redding take the ball on Opening Day last year. The new look outfield will feature El Caballo in LF, Puhl in CF, and Springer in RF. Sprinkle in Morgan Ensberg, Evan Gattis, and Daryle Ward and you have the beginnings of...something. Qualls will be setting up for Frank Dipino, who has been bumped from the starting rotation.

California Angels

1 - Chuck Finley - LHP
2 - Scot Shields - RHP
3 - Nick Tropeano - RHP
4 - JB Shuck - OF
5 - Gene Leek - 3B

Eh, Chuck Finley is a nice get for sure. Arguably the best California Angels pitcher this side of Nolan Ryan. Some familiar names in the pile for Angels fandom here, but not really a draft class that's going to help them Tim Salmon their way to the top of the American League. Prediction: California challenges Seattle for last place. Luis Polonia and Jim Fregosi are gonna need more help than this.

Milwaukee Brewers

1 - Valerio de los Santos - LHP
2 - Shaun Marcum - RHP
3 - Wes Obermueller - RHP
4 - Randy Veres - RHP
5 - Kevin Brown - LHP

It was all pitchers and all sadness for this Milwaukee draft class. If anything, this team is now worse due to other teams finding actual functional pieces in the draft. These mostly nondescript pitchers are young if nothing else. That we're giving Shaun Marcum to the Brewers over the Blue Jays tells you just how dire this draft class was for the Brew Crew. At least they can look forward to catcher George Kottaras batting cleanup in 1980 as ace Jaime Navarro starts games and closer Mike Fetters finishes 'em.

Kansas City Royals

1 - Mike Moustakas - 3B
2 - Buck Martinez - C
3 - Gary Thurman - OF
4 - Mike Sweeney - C/1B
5 - Danny Duffy - LHP

This KC draft class is more akin to Houston's haul than Milwaukee's tough sledding. You can squint a little bit and possibly see a team on the rise. Moustakas, Sweeney, and Thurman could all be mainstays for quite a long time in a supporting role to an aging Carlos Beltran (he's 34). Duffy will help add depth to a rotation that already includes Steve Busby and Danny Jackson. It was a tough choice whether to give Buck Martinez to KC or TOR, but the Jays were already Gregg Zaun-ed out at catcher.

New York Mets

1 - Dave Magadan - 3B
2 - Jacob deGrom - RHP
3 - Josh Satin - 1B
4 - Ron Taylor - RHP
5 - John Stearns - C

Magdan and deGrom give the Amazins a little bit of positive momentum. Magadan becomes the clear starter at 3B and deGrom unseats Pete Schourek as the team's #1 starter. That Schourek was actually given to the Mets rather than the Reds in the first place tells you the state of the team's pitching. Along with Zack Wheeler, Addison Reed, and Jose Reyes, deGrom adds a little more modern day flavor to this team. John Stearns is probably overlooked a bit here, but Anthony Recker was the lone ranger behind the plate in 1979, so getting an additional (and better) catcher is a big plus.

Atlanta Braves

1 - Greg Olson - C
2 - Eddie Perez - C
3 - Alex Wood - LHP
4 - Mallex Smith - OF
5 - Del Crandall - C

The Braves were the first non-expansion team to pick in the draft. That means they were pretty bad last season. Weird, considering the rich history in Boston-->Milwaukee-->Atlanta. None of their all-timers are on the team yet, unless you consider Javy Lopez and Pascual Perez to be among those. One thing is for sure, they should have plenty of catchers to get through the 1980 campaign.

Montreal Expos

1 - Brendan Harris - UTIL
2 - Gio Gonzalez - LHP
3 - Sean Berry - 3B
4 - Pepe Frias - SS
5 - Ron Woods - OF

The Expos are not winning anything anytime soon. And maybe they never will. But, at least adding Gio Gonzalez to the mix gives them another capable starter to slot in with Livan Hernandez, Brian Barnes, and Dennis Blair. Sean Berry will back up an entrenched Bob Bailey at 3B. Woods is a nice get, if only because the Expos were one of those teams with zero outfield depth. Otherwise, Harris and Frias are reserve roster stashes for a rainy day.

Chicago Cubs

1 - Billy Williams - OF
2 - Kyle Hendricks - RHP
3 - Rich Nye - LHP
4 - Ted Lilly - LHP
5 - Lee Walls - OF

It's too bad the Cubs were the 9th worst team in baseball in 1979, hence their draft position here (draft position is totally meaningless given the setup of this particular game). On the bright side, adding a 19-year-old HoF talent in Billy Williams is among the better outcomes possible for this draft class. Add in three very solid mid-rotation types in Hendricks, Nye, and Lilly to back up Matt Clement, and this team gets substantially more interesting. Lee Walls likely cracks the starting outfield as an 18-year-old so it's a really solid 1-5 here. Among the better drafts in the league, but the sad part was not having a 6th round pick to splurge on Heathcliff Slocumb.

New York Yankees

1 - Aaron Judge - OF
2 - Clay Bellinger - 3B
3 - Jerry Coleman - 2B
4 - Clint Frazier - OF
5 - Joe Glenn - C

The Cubs had themselves some company amongst storied franchises that had a tough beginning. The Yankees were undoubtedly a disappointment in 1979. This is not a fantastic draft class either considering the universe of Yankee greats that could've materialized here instead. Judge will be a key building block for this team. Judge'll bat cleanup between Charlie Keller and Joe Collins. This is a team on the rise perhaps, with a teenage Babe Ruth marinating on the reserve roster last year. A team that saw Red Ruffing get a massive ratings boost to compliment Lefty Gomez and A.J. Burnett atop a scary good starting rotation.

San Diego Padres

1 - Austin Hedges - C
2 - Chase Headley - 4C
3 - Hunter Renfroe- OF
4 - Luis Salazar - UTIL
5 - Cameron Maybin - OF

The Padres are off to a nice little start here. They finished 79-83 which is very respectable given the disadvantages of an expansion team. This draft class had a pretty modern vibe with Hedges, Headley, Renfroe, and Maybin in it. Hedges is an especially nice get for a team that was suffering from not-enough-catchers-itis. A disease that affects many although there is no cure. Interestingly, Headley/Renfroe/Maybin are headed to the reserve roster as San Diego likes having Gene Richards (who led MLB with a .380 batting average), Larry Stahl, Steve Finley, Luis Salazar, and Al Ferrara in the outfield a bit more. Salazar was tough to cede to San Diego because of his Cubs ties and his 104/100 contact rating, but it was the right thing to do.

Texas Rangers

1 - Rod Barajas - C
2 - Mike Munoz - LHP
3 - Neftali Feliz- RHP
4 - John Koronka - LHP
5 - Jake Smolinski - OF

Uh oh. This isn't going to do much to improve Texas' lot in the American League. At the same time, both Barajas and Smolinski crack the starting 9; Feliz becomes the closer; and Koronka is the new #3 starter. So, maybe it's not as bad as it looks. The core of Buddy Bell, Ruben Sierra (35-year-old version), Hank Blalock, and Frank Catalanotto isn't really giving anyone nightmares, but we'll see how it goes for Texas/Washington Senators (AL).

Toronto Blue Jays

1 - Kelvim Escobar - RHP
2 - Drew Hutchison - RHP
3 - Alex S Gonzalez - SS
4 - Dwight Smith Jr - OF
5 - Chad Mottola - OF

The hardest working expansion team in show business. The Jays had absolutely no business going 81-81 and finishing ahead of the Yankees in this type of setup. Yet, they did. Although Kelvim Escobar is a pretty nice addition (new closer), the starting rotation still features both Tanyon Sturtze and P.J. Walters. So...maybe 1980 goes worse for the Blue Jays. An in-his-prime Troy Tulowitzki will do his best to not let that happen.

St. Louis Cardinals

1 - Stan Musial - OF
2 - Mike Difelice - C
3 - Magneuris Sierra - OF
4 - Stephen Piscotty - OF
5 - Ted Sizemore - 2B

This is the best timeline for The Best Fans In Baseball (TM). Pulling the all-timeiest of the all-timers in St. Louis history is acceptable. Adding a catcher is not far behind because the Cards played the entirely of 1979 with a single catcher in the organization. We have a new spokesmodel for Ben-Gay. Sizemore and Piscotty are nice pieces as well and Sierra is the type to hang out on the reserve roster until maybe being needed as a pinch runner in a key spot some day. I am a bit ticked at myself that I didn't plan these picks better--David Freese was the odd man left out. Didn't realize he was in the draft pool until there were 2 rounds remaining and Freese, Piscotty, and Sizemore as strong candidates. Let's not focus on that, though. Let's focus on an outfield that consists of Stan Musial, Jim Edmonds, and Stephen Piscotty. Matt Carpenter, Ken Oberkfell, and Ted Sizemore would've made playing time hard to come by for Freese anyhow.

Cincinnati Reds

1 - Donald Lutz - OF
2 - Ed Taubensee - C
3 - Sammy Ellis - RHP
4 - Jackie Collum - LHP
5 - Lew Riggs - 3B

With the 15th overall pick in the 1979 draft, the longest-tenured team in MLB selects... .... ...Donald Lutz. The Philadelphia Phillies are now on the clock. This is tough to explain, but the Reds must've really pissed off the RNG gods. I mean throw us a frickin' Chris Sabo or a Sean Casey here. I'd even settle for stealing a Kevin Mitchell (who would more properly belong on the Giants). Jose Rijo or Norm Charlton, anyone? Aaron Harang and it's a deal!

Philadelphia Phillies

1 - Bobby Abreu - OF
2 - Rico Brogna - 1B
3 - Ron Northey - OF
4 - John Denny - RHP
5 - Robert Person - RHP

Nothing really too remarkable one way or another. Certainly, Bobby Abreu will come in handy. A couple of useful pitchers, of which it was tough deciding whether Denny should go to Philly or St. Louis. Denny actually did a little more for the Cards, but his Cy Young in Philly coupled with St. Louis' strong draft class tilted it this way. Denny will be the #2 for Philly because Curt Schilling is in town.

Chicago White Sox

1 - Adrian Nieto - C
2 - Ron Karkovice - C
3 - Jorge Orta - 2B
4 - Vern Kennedy - RHP
5 - Gavin Floyd - RHP

This was sort of a sneaky-good draft for the ChiSox. Not gonna 'wow' anyone with star power, but the crime rate in Chicago will immediately go down with Officer Kark back in town. Vern Kennedy (106 stamina) and Gavin Floyd provide a pair of really useful righties that add a little more oomph to a rotation fronted by a 35-year-old Tommy John (he's practically a rookie at that age). Jorge Orta has some nice ratings and will bump Juan Uribe from 2B over to SS and Chico Carrasquel to a bench role.

Oakland Athletics

1 - Frankie Montas - RHP
2 - Franklin Barreto - SS
3 - Izzy Molina - C
4 - Cliff Pennington - INF
5 - Ryan Sweeney - OF

Some versatility was added here? Not good, Bob. Not good that only Cliff Pennington makes the active roster out of this five-some. The flip side is this club is already pretty doggone good--they batted an MLB-best .302 last season. It'll be scary if they actually start adding real Philly/KC/Oakland legends like Canseco, Henderson, Jackson, Giambi, Foxx, Cochrane, or Simmons. Because zero of those players are on the team currently.

Cleveland Indians

1 - Carlos Baerga - INF
2 - Steve Olin - RHP
3 - Mike Garcia - RHP
4 - Alan Bannister - SS/OF
5 - Tony Bernazard - 2B

This was likely a top 5 draft class. Not quite up there with St. Louis or Chicago (NL) but commensurate with Houston or Chicago (AL). Solidly above average. Baerga is obviously quite the get and joins a 26-year-old Kenny Lofton as members of those 1990s power teams. Olin and Garcia give them a new closer and #3 starter respectively. And that's a really nice #3 starter--would be higher if this club didn't already have Herb Score and Cliff Lee. Steve Olin and Doug Jones give Cleveland one of the more interesting bullpens around. Bannister and Bernazard will be the new starting double play combo as well. Very productive draft class.

Detroit Tigers

1 - Karim Garcia - OF
2 - Roxie Lawson - RHP
3 - Austin Jackson - OF
4 - Pete Fox - OF
5 - Brian Dubois - LHP

This is up there with the Cincinnati Reds as co-most disappointing draft classes. Of all the rich history in Motown baseball, this is tremendously weak. Roxie Lawson will start the 1980 season as the Detroit closer. Garcia and Fox will man corner outfield spots so it's not a total loss. Just feels like one. I have a feeling the next draft class will be more helpful for Detroit.

Baltimore Orioles

1 - Mike Mussina - RHP
2 - Rodrigo Lopez - RHP
3 - Scott McGregor - LHP
4 - Wes Stock - RHP
5 - Mike Wright - RHP

At 92-70, Baltimore was the winningest team in the AL to not make the playoffs last season. Sure, they were way way way behind Boston, but loading up with some nice pitchers might help narrow the gap. Mike Mussina is obviously one of the better players in this draft class overall. McGregor and Stock are also likely useful pieces. Both will join an interesting bullpen that already includes closer B.J. Ryan, Storm Davis, and Ivy Andrews. The reason some of these guys are in the pen is because the Baltimore rotation projects to be one of the better outfits in the AL: Johnny Niggeling/Mike Mussina/Steve Barber/Mike Flanagan/Mike Cuellar. Just missing Jim Palmer at this point.

San Francisco Giants

1 - Dan Runzler - LHP
2 - Jeff Kent - 2B
3 - Mike LaCoss - RHP
4 - Yusmeiro Petit - RHP
5 - Jerry Johnson - RHP

The Giants are the Orioles of the National League in that they finished 1979 as the best non-playoff team. They also had a pitcher-laden draft class. You see Dan Runzler there and are probably thinking, really? Then, I borrow from Lee Corso and say not so fast! See, Runzler has the ratings of a true ace closer. We're talking 100/100 stuff, 69/100 movement, and 38/100 control with 86/100 FB and 96/100 CB. He slots in easily as the new closer. Jeff Kent slots in as the new 2B/cleanup hitter. Right between old-timers Sid Gordon and Babe Young. LaCoss joins a very interesting rotation that consists of Carl Hubbell, Mike Krukow, and Juan Marichal.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1 - Starling Marte - OF
2 - Doug Drabek - RHP
3 - Gus Suhr - 1B
4 - John Jaso - C
5 - Ramon Hernandez - LHP

Not great. Not terrible. Starling Marte becomes the leadoff batter and will start in LF opposite of Dave Parker in RF. Jaso is the new starting catcher. Doug Drabek is just 22 and will likely be a part of the future, but he doesn't appear to make the active roster as of Opening Day 1980. The most interesting part of the Pirates is their bullpen. Kent Tekulve is in there to go with Mark Melancon and a bevy of lefties: closer Mike Gonzalez, Tony Watson, Jason Christiansen, and Felipe Rivero. Pittsburgh will be looking for a repeat playoff appearance and a likely NLCS rematch with the Dodgers.

Minnesota Twins

1 - Alex Burnett - RHP
2 - Aaron Slegers - RHP
3 - Buddy Lewis - 3B
4 - Joe Kuhel - 1B
5 - Alex Meyer - RHP

Good thing Minneapolis still has World Series fever because this draft class ended with a thud. Some very mediocre right-handers to go with a pair of pretty useful corner infielders. Kuhel will be the starting first baseman. Meyer will help with setup duties in the bullpen. The others are afterthoughts. To maintain their hold on the AL West, the Twinkies will rely on Jose Berrios, who just graduated from the bullpen to the rotation with a little bit of developmental help.

Boston Red Sox

1 - Junichi Tazawa - RHP
2 - Mike Lowell - 3B
3 - Johnny Pesky - INF
4 - Rafael Devers - 3B
5 - Mike Ryba - RHP

Solid class. Two useful relief pitchers (Ryba will set up for Jonathan Papelbon) and more pieces added to their already enviable infield depth. Pesky becomes the new starting 3B and leadoff batter--an upgrade over Urbane Pickering there. This active roster has Rico Petrocelli starting at SS, which means Nomar Garciaparra has to DH, which means that Xander Bogaerts and Mike Lowell aren't even in the starting lineup, which means Devers doesn't make the active roster. The starting rotation isn't great, but the Red Sox have to be the favorites to win the pennant once again (OSA agrees with this assessment).

Los Angeles Dodgers

1 - A.J. Ellis - C
2 - Andrew Toles - OF
3 - Hanley Ramirez - SS
4 - Jay Howell - RHP
5 - Joe Hatten - LHP

The Dodgers would welcome that NLCS rematch against Pittsburgh. They feel like they're the better club despite losing 4-games-to-3 last season. OSA likes the Dodgers' chances for sure. Hatten will be inserted as the new #5 starter, behind the uber talented group of: Clayton Kershaw, Don Sutton, Orel Hershiser, and Curt Davis. A 20-year-old Hanley Ramirez is the biggest addition from LA's draft class. He'll add some panache atop the order and be a rather large upgrade at SS over new reserve roster resident Dave Anderson. Not a bad upgrade for a team that won 113 games last year. Hanley was one of the more difficult guys to place. In light of the insane infield depth in Boston and that the Marlins do not exist, the Dodgers seemed like the best choice.

Last edited by waittilnextyear; 02-27-2019 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:14 AM   #12
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I do hope there will be multiple versions of the same player periodically present in this dynasty, for multiple players. But if there aren't going to be any, so be it. CD out.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:04 AM   #13
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Modifiers Changed!

I simmed the 1980 season...but I noticed that the statistical modifiers needed a little bit of love (potentially from yo yo'ing between 1979 and modern day last season). How did I notice this? Well, Rico Petrocelli had a 15.6 WAR season in which he batted .377 with 82 HR and 211 RBI. So I selected 2017 modifiers and auto-calc'd. Then I toodled on over to FanGraphs and entered the yearly values for 2018 and auto-calc'd again to get the batting stats slightly more up to date. The triple slash line shown was something like .248/.320/.409 which I think is reasonable for a modern day type of deal. We'll be doing 1980 over again with most sincere apologies to Mr. Petrocelli...
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:57 AM   #14
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1980 in Review

1980 Season

After an interesting 1979 season, there was much anticipation by this author to play thru the sophomore campaign in 1980. Seeing Rico Petrocelli top 80 homers and 200 RBI while batting .377 led to a bit of mental anguish, but the modifiers were adjusted and the season was replayed. Mr. Petrocelli still had a massive campaign for the best team in baseball history--the 1980 Boston Red Sox--but his numbers were a bit more tropospheric than stratospheric the second time around.

A 126-win Red Sox club came up a bit short once again in 1980. The BoSox continue to practice the lost art of rampaging through the regular season and then coughing up 3-2 ALCS leads; they reprised the feat this year against Oakland. Despite winning the AL East by 28 games and playing .722 ball (234-90) over their first couple of years, the Red Sox have yet to taste World Series baseball. With an offense like this, though, it probably won't be long for the nucleus of Rico Petrocelli, Reggie Smith, Ken 'Hawk' Harrelson (who crushed 6 homers in the ALCS), and Mike Stanley--a quartet that amassed 36.9 WAR between them in 1980. If only 1979 Cy Young winner Clay Buchholz hadn't missed all but his first start in 1980 with an injury...If only.

For Oakland's part, they had much less sizzle than Boston, but won the AL pennant anyway. Oakland edged out the defending champeen Minnesota Twins by 4 games in the AL West. Catcher Dave Duncan bashed 47 homers and DH Carney Lansford won a Silver Slugger, but one can't help but feel Oakland got a little bit lucky. Playing in a division laden with the expansion Angels, the expansion Rangers, the expansion Royals, and the expansion Mariners doesn't hurt either.

On the NL side of the ledger, the Los Angeles Dodgers avenged a heartbreaking 7-game NLCS loss to the Pirates en route to the franchise's first championship trophy. LA dumped Pittsburgh and NL MVP and Triple Crown Winner Dave Parker in 6 games and did the same with Oakland in the World Series. The Dodgers won 103 games and were challenged a bit more heartily during the regular season by the 100-win Giants.

1980 Chicago Cubs

Chicago got off to a slow start and there was much consternation in Wrigleyville because phenom corner outfielders Lee Walls and Billy Williams were not starting games despite clearly being atop the depth chart. GM Harry Caray finally figured out that he forgot to turn off the 7-day lineups after Spring Training...lay off the Budweiser, Harry. More Cub Fan, less Bud Man. After making the fix, the Cubs launched a serious bid to take the NL East division, but came up a little bit short after nipping at the heels of the Pirates.

Center fielder Adolfo Phillips was once again squarely in the MVP conversation as he had an even better year than the last. Phillips batted .312/.412/.632 with 43 HR, 130 RBI, 117 R, 29 SB, and a pleasing 10.0 WAR. Too bad the OOTP progression engine recalc'ed Phillips into oblivion after the season. He'll probably not come anywhere close to this level of production in the future...

...which isn't necessarily a catastrophic thing for the Cubs because a 20-year-old Billy Williams is now on the scene. In 78 starts as a rookie, Williams batted .295/.350/.478 with 15 HR and 49 RBI. And he still has some more progressing to do. Another rookie corner outfielder, the 18-year-old Lee Walls, had a slightly better season: .300/.378/.536 with 21 HR and 75 RBI.

The Cubs were a team of more than just outfielders in 1980, however. Bill Buckner fought Dave Parker tooth and nail for the NL batting crown before succumbing in the final weeks (.331 vs .336). Buckner was batting well over .400 deep into the month of June. Billy Buck split his time about 50:50 between 1B and RF after playing RF exclusively last year. Buckner's final line: .331/.356/.481, 14 HR 75 RBI 21 SB. Playing all of the 1980 season at 23 years old, Buckner figures to be around for quite some time.

Another ray of hope for the ascendant Cubbies was 23-year-old Javier Baez. After some hard knocks during his rookie year in 1979, Baez made some leaps and bounds in 1980, starting 156 games and compiling 3.0 WAR. Baez played mostly shortstop, slashed .273/.325/.435, and once again finished 2nd on the team in homers--this time with 22.

On the pitching side of things, #1 starter Matt Clement was worked hard for a second year in a row. He only made 43 starts this year, though, and saw his innings pitched relax from 263.1 to 187. Clement struck out 209 against 73 BBs and ended up with a team-best 3.22 ERA.

Clement had a lot more help in 1980 in the form of rookies Kyle Hendricks [9-6, 3.40 ERA, 4.2 WAR] and Rich Nye the baseball guy [10-6, 3.33 ERA, 4.0 WAR], but it was actually 30-year-old reliever Bruce Sutter [11-5, 4.45 ERA, 30/38 SV] that paced the team in wins. Sutter had to be 'locked' in as the closer to keep the bench coach from putting his guy Paul Assenmacher in that role--Assenmacher led the league with 92 appearances so it's not clear if the coaches actually like him or hate him.

After 96 wins and with a strong core really starting to materialize, the Cubs could be positioned for a very successful 1980s.

Awards and Anomalies

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw missed out on the NL MVP this time, but won the Cy Young and pitching Triple Crown once again. The guy is amazing. He led the league in W (22), ERA (1.92), IP (211.1), K (314), WHIP (0.78), HR/9 (0.8), BB/9 (0.8), K/9 (13.4), and WAR (10.4). He's now 49-8 with 23 WAR in the first 2 years of his career. He had a 5-start streak where he K'd double digits in each outing: from July 27th to August 19th. He walked zero batters in 20 of his 34 starts. An ERA+ of 223 and a K:BB of 17.44. The guy is an absolute alien. The Dodgers still won't let him don his preferred #21 jersey though.

Despite all that, the NL MVP went to Dave Parker. Parker won the NL Triple Crown, edging out Chicago's Billy Buckner by 5 points and Cincinnati's Lee May by a single home run. Parker didn't just stop at a lowly Triple Crown, but he also paced the Senior Circuit in hits (213), runs (131), SLG (.683), and OPS (1.080). The Cubs might want to hide Ted Lilly when Parker comes to town because Cobra has 2 HR in 2 AB against the young Cubbie southpaw. Parker also batted .411 in August and bashed 16 homers--including 5 games in a row--in September to help hold off the hard-charging Cubs. He also enjoys simple pleasures.

Rounding out the rest of the major NL awards--it was Stan Musial winning Rookie of the Year and SF lefty Dan Runzler taking the award for Best Relief Pitcher with an NL-best 38 saves. Musial was hampered by injuries so he only played in 119 games, but St. Louis fans are stoked about a guy they've started calling Stan 'The Man'. Batting .331/.415/.568 with 19 HR 82 RBI and more BBs than Ks as a 20-year-old tends to earn you nice nicknames. Still love the fact that somehow Musial and Ken Griffey Jr. (who hasn't yet made an appearance in this game) are both from Donora, PA--a town that boasts about 4,500 residents in present day. Must be something in the air...

NL Silver Sluggers:

P - Don Sutton (LAD)
C - Javy Lopez (ATL): [.270/.318/.542, 37 HR 114 RBI]
1B - Lee May (CIN): [.286/.329/.608, 55 HR 128 RBI]
2B - Jim Lefebvre (LAD): [.310/.402/.504, 25 HR 109 RBI]
3B - Sid Gordon (SFN): [.331/.409/.669, 50 HR 107 RBI]
SS - Jose Reyes (NYN): [.300/.354/.491, 17 HR 91 RBI]
LF - Chuck Klein (PHI): [.291/.360/.582, 44 HR 105 RBI]
CF - Adolfo Phillips (CHN): [.312/.412/.632, 43 HR 130 RBI]
RF - Dave Parker (PIT): [.336/.397/.683, 56 HR 147 RBI]

NL Gold Gloves:

P - Pascual Perez (ATL)
C - Carlos Hernandez (SDN, back-2-back)
1B - Lefty O'Doul (LAD, back-2-back)
2B - Jim Lefebvre (LAD)
3B - Ken Oberkfell (STL)
SS - Brandon Crawford (SFN, back-2-back)
LF - Jim Fairey (MON)
CF - Emilio Bonifacio (ATL)
RF - Mike Baxter (NYN)

As for the junior circuit...

The 108-win Red Sox produced the MVP winner last year and it was no different for the 126-win Red Sox this year. Rico Petrocelli was a total stud. He boasted 12.4 WAR [.315/.394/.688, 57 HR, 155 RBI, 45 2B, 135 R, +20.2 ZR at SS] and the Boston faithful just loves him to pieces. This fan favorite is like a really slow 5-tool player, but man he can hit, hit for power, play defense, and fling it.

The Red Sox are definitely good at this award-winning thing. They won the Cy Young again in 1980 also. This time it was...32-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright? Is that a question or a statement? Much like Buchholz last year, Wright's job was to be an above average body on the mound that would try to stay limber as his offense bludgeoned the opposing team into submission. That's not to take away from what was a fine season [20-5, 2.45 ERA, 223.2 IP, 209:66 K:BB, 5.5 WAR, 8.5 rWAR]. Wright did come up small in the postseason, though. He got pasted for 6 runs on 9 hits in 5.2 IP in Game 1 of the ALCS.

AL Silver Sluggers:

DH - Carney Lansford (OAK): [.296/.339/.523, 21 HR 80 RBI]
C - Rudy York (DET): [.292/.369/.667, 56 HR 134 RBI]
1B - Dave Revering (TOR): [.298/.358/.603, 46 HR 108 RBI]
2B - Jorge Orta (CHA): [.320/.397/.581, 27 HR 97 RBI]
3B - Gary Gaetti (MIN): [.269/.318/.570, 52 HR 137 RBI]
SS - Rico Petrocelli (BOS): [.315/.394/.699, 57 HR 155 RBI]
LF - Pat Seerey (CLE): [.262/.344/.586, 51 HR 124 RBI]
CF - Reggie Smith (BOS): [.330/.406/.597, 36 HR 116 RBI]
RF - Ken Harrelson (BOS): [.316/.410/.605, 49 HR 117 RBI]

AL Gold Gloves:

P - James Paxton (SEA)
C - Darrell Porter (KCA, back-2-back)
1B - Harry Simpson (OAK)
2B - Deivi Cruz (DET)
3B - Buddy Bell (TEX)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki (TOR, back-2-back)
LF - Mike McCoy (TOR)
CF - Paul Blair (BAL)
RF - Russ Snyder (BAL)

Rounding out the major AL awards were Red Sox RP Jonathan Papelbon and Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge. Papelbon saved 48 games with a sub-1 ERA (0.88). A 4.0 WAR season is super duper impressive for a 1-inning reliever, and Papelbon's 109 K against 14 BB and 2 HR got him there. Judge gave the Yankees a jolt as they continue to wait for Babe Ruth to become BABE RUTH. Judge batted .280/.402/.586 with 45 HR and 102 RBI (7.4 WAR) for the Bronx Bombers.

The most anomalous anomaly in 1980 was the Curious Case of Lefty Gomez and the Lone Ranger. In 1980, Gomez led all of baseball with 330 K and a gaudy 15.5 K/9, unheard of for a starting pitcher. All of that is well and good: phenomenal pitcher for the Yankees. But, a particularly interesting start came on August 5th, 1980 at Yankee Stadium against the Texas Rangers.

Texas was 46-58 at the time and going nowhere fast. The Yanks were 69-36 and still falling way behind a superhuman Boston team in the AL East. Texas sent out: (1) Bump Wills, 2B; (2) Frank Catalanotto, RF; (3) Jake Smolinski, LF; (4) Pat Putnam, 1B; (5) Bob Saverine, SS; (6) Hank Blalock, DH; (7) Tom Grieve, CF, (8) Mark McLemore, 3B; and (9) Rod Barajas, C. LHP John Koronka started the game for Texas, but that is of no interest.

In the top of the 1st, Gomez gets Wills to fly out. Catalanotto and Smolinski both strike out swinging.

In the 2nd inning, Gomez freezes Putnam, induces a fly out from Saverine, and sits Blalock down on 3 pitches.

3rd inning--Gomez strikes out the side on 11 pitches. The Yankees push ahead 1-0.

In the 4th inning, Gomez once again gets the Rangers, all flailing on 11 pitches. A homer from Joe Collins in the bottom half has the Yankees at 3-0.

Gomez needs 13 pitches in the 5th, but gets Putnam, Saverine, and Blalock--all swinging. 13 K for Gomez so far.

6th inning: Grieve down looking in a 2-2 count, McLemore swinging in a 2-2 count, Barajas grounds out. Barajas is the first Ranger to put the ball in play since the 2nd inning. 15 strikeouts for Gomez. Collins goes deep again to stretch the Yankee lead to 5-0. Clay Bellinger triples home Bob Geren to make it 6-0.

In the 7th inning, Gomez gets Wills looking after 4 foul balls. Catalanotto is thrown out at 1st by Geren on a dropped 3rd strike. Smolinski goes down hacking. That's now 18 for Gomez. Geren comes through again with a bases loaded RBI single in the bottom half. Yanks are up 7-0.

Now the 8th inning. Gomez gets Putnam looking again. This time on a full count. Saverine goes down looking. Blalock once again swinging. Gomez is up to 21 K. The Rangers have yet to reach base.

9th inning. Perfecto/21 K-game in progress. No one has ever seen anything like this before. Gomez comes back out to thunderous applause.

Grieve...that could be trouble...lines out. Hard. A rocket to center--the best contact all game. McLemore goes down swinging on a full count. Gomez has 22 punch-outs and Yankee Stadium is in full throat with one voice.

Barajas comes up once again. Strike one called. Strike two, swinging. Ball! Count is 1-2. Gomez is now at 127 pitches.

57,145 are on their feet and the stadium is literally shaking.

The 1-2 delivery...home...

...Barajas bloops a Texas leaguer over the head of Bellinger at 3rd...Bob Meachem is on a dead sprint coming over from SS...Greg Golson on a furious charge coming in from his left field position...they're covering huge chunks of ground, but the ball is dying like a shot quail...

...the ball is...no one is going to catch it! The ball falls in front of Golson! Noooooooooooooooooo!!! There goes the perfect game!

That base knock raises Barajas' batting average to .196. Barajas is the Lone Ranger. He now leads off from 1st as Gomez stalks around the pitching mound throwing the baseball frenetically into his glove and removing it.

And the Yankee manager heads out...

BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The manager gets hit in the head with a cigarette lighter! Oh, doctor! And now an unruly fan in a Yankees ballcap is being ushered off the premises. Pandemonium here in the Bronx!

Righty Joe Cowley comes out of the pen...and gets Wills to fly out meekly to end the game. Yankees win 7-0.

Gomez's final line: 128 pitches, 8.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 BB, 22 K. But somehow it feels disappointing. That's baseball sometimes.

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Old 03-02-2019, 01:01 AM   #15
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1980-1981 Offseason

1980-1981 Offseason

Draft results are sorted by team. Comments follow for each team...

Seattle Mariners

1 - Carter Capps - RHP
2 - Jamie Moyer - LHP
3 - Taylor Motter - UTIL
4 - Jeff Harris - RHP
5 - Joel Pineiro - RHP

The Mariners still have nada from their offensive juggernaut 1990s teams. But, an influx of serviceable arms and a utility player is better pickings that what they got out of the 1979 draft last year. Jamie Moyer is only 22 years old now, so explorers should be landing on Plymouth Rock any day now...

Montreal Expos

1 - Andy McGaffigan - RHP
2 - Brett Campbell - RHP
3 - Tom Nieto - C
4 - Luis Atilano - RHP
5 - Pete Young - RHP

The Expos were pretty terrible in 1980 and this isn't going to help with that. But, it's nothing Larry Walker and Pedro Martinez both appearing in next year's draft class can't fix. And Marquis Grissom. And Delino DeShields Sr. And Tim Wallach. Hey, an Expos fan can dream...

Milwaukee Brewers

1 - Paul Molitor - 2B
2 - Jeromy Burnitz - OF
3 - Manny Parra - LHP
4 - Wayne Comer - OF
5 - John Jaha - 1B

After a truly abysmal draft class last year, things are looking up in Milwaukee. Paul Molitor is a nice building block of course--he should be fun to watch bat .330 with 40+ doubles and 40+ stolen bases.

Cincinnati Reds

1 - Frank Robinson - OF
2 - Lonny Frey - SS
3 - Ron Oester - SS
4 - Willy Mo Pena - OF
5 - John Riedling - RHP

Like the Brewers and Tigers in last year's draft, the Reds had a truly horrible time of it. What a difference a year makes. Here's to you Mister Robinson. Cincinnati loves you more than you will know...whoa whoa whoa...A new 3-4-5 of Pete Rose-Frank Robinson-Lee May is the milk shake that will bring the fans to the yard.

California Angels

1 - Brendan Donnelly - RHP
2 - Jack Howell - 3B
3 - Andrew Heaney - LHP
4 - Jason Dickson - RHP
5 - John Harris - 1B

After pulling Chuck Finley in last year's draft, the Angels continue to build out a respectable pitching staff. Donnelly is already 29 years old, but has the ratings to be one of the more dominant closers in the game. Heaney and Dickson provide adequate back-end guys with the stamina to absorb some body punches.

Atlanta Braves

1 - Dan Uggla - 3B
2 - Walt Dropo - 1B
3 - Derek Lilliquist - LHP
4 - Jim Turner - RHP
5 - Frank Torre - 1B

What sad times are these when passing ruffians can say 'ni' at will to old ladies...and proud franchises like the Braves are picking in the top 6. Uggla and Dropo will add some punch; Lilliquist and Turner some rotation depth. Frank Torre could be in the mix for batting titles as his 77/100 contact and 103/100 avoid K's suggests.

Houston Astros

1 - Mark Small - RHP
2 - Dwayne Henry - RHP
3 - Scott Loucks - OF
4 - Chris Holt - RHP
5 - Donnie Wall - RHP

A little bit more pitching depth here after solving their OF depth problem in last year's draft. No sizzle and very little steak though.

Toronto Blue Jays

1 - David Wells - LHP
2 - Russ Adams - INF
3 - Chris Latham - OF
4 - Seung-hwan Oh - RHP

This draft was a little bit interesting and a little bit sad for Toronto. On the one hand, adding a 22-year-old David Wells (though he projects to the bullpen at first) and Seung-hwan Oh is good. On the other, being the only team that couldn't scavenge up 5 players out of this draft class is a bummerooski. And Oh could've very easily been diverted to the Cardinals if the Toronto draft class hadn't been so shallow.

Kansas City Royals

1 - Jeff Austin - RHP
2 - Rich Gale - RHP
3 - Steve Jones - LHP
4 - Mike Hedlund - LHP
5 - Jerry Don Gleaton - LHP

A lot of arms. None of which were Bret Saberhagen or Kevin Appier. Or Yordano Ventura (R.I.P). Where you at, George Brett?

Texas Rangers

1 - Kevin Brown - RHP
2 - Ian Kinsler - 2B
3 - Delino DeShields Jr - OF
4 - Ed Vosberg - LHP
5 - Tomas Telis - C

Yes, this is acceptable.

Philadelphia Phillies

1 - Odubel Herrera - OF
2 - Granny Hamner - SS
3 - Kevin Jordan - 1B
4 - Emil Verban - 2B
5 - Yorkis Perez - LHP

Eh, a little bit light here for a Philly club that finished in 5th place. But, some real strong names like Granny Hamner. Emil Verban could be a nice find--he's got ratings to be a Gold Glove 2B and bat north of .300. This class will fill in around the existing core of Curt Schilling/John Denny/Chuck Klein/Bobby Abreu.

Chicago White Sox

1 - Jose Abreu - 1B
2 - Adam Eaton - OF
3 - Billy Pierce - LHP
4 - Greg Walker - 1B
5 - Les Tietje - RHP

This looks to be a very versatile draft class for the South Siders. Some speed and defense. Some grit. Some thonk. A lefty pitcher. A righty pitcher. The White Sox finished 1980 with an 81-81 record and in 3rd place. But, Oakland and Minnesota might start hearing some footsteps soon.

New York Mets

1 - John Maine - RHP
2 - Charley Smith - 3B
3 - Bobby Jones - LHP
4 - Mike Howard - OF
5 - Chris Aguila - OF


St. Louis Cardinals

1 - Bernard Gilkey - OF
2 - Yadier Molina - C
3 - Travis Tartamella - C
4 - Howie Pollet - LHP
5 - Gene Stechschulte - RHP

Picking in the same draft position as last year, the uber consistent Cardinals once again find an all-timer. This time it's catcher Yadier Molina after hitting on Stan Musial last year. Bernard Gilkey really makes you want Ray Lankford as well, but maybe that's just me.

Minnesota Twins

1 - Michael Cuddyer - OF
2 - Scott Baker - RHP
3 - Corey Koskie - 3B
4 - Ken Chase - LHP
5 - Howard Maple - C

The Twinkies took a slight step back in 1980 after winning it all in 1979. This is a useful crop of players that will help them compete for the AL West once again. Baker and Chase are going directly into the starting rotation to complement Johan Santana, Mark Redman, and Jose Berrios.

San Diego Padres

1 - Jedd Gyorko - INF
2 - Brian Boehringer - RHP
3 - Scott Livingstone - 3B
4 - Kevin Quackenbush - RHP
5 - Tommy Medica - 1B

This team will go as far as a loaded outfield (that does not include Tony Gwynn) and Jake Peavy will take it. Gyorko and Quackenbush figure to make the active roster here.

Detroit Tigers

1 - Cecil Fielder - 1B
2 - Scott Aldred - LHP
3 - Bill Slayback - RHP
4 - Dick Wakefield - OF
5 - Juan Encarnacion - OF

It's a better class than last year. Big Daddy and Dick Wakefield gives the Tigs an intriguing combo of power and contact. Juan Encarnacion gets a second shot at playing big league ball.

Oakland Athletics

1 - Bobby Kielty - OF
2 - Don Wengert - RHP
3 - Dale Willis - RHP
4 - Moe Burtschy - RHP
5 - Rene Lachemann - C

The A's are one of the few teams to maintain the exact same draft position 2 years in a row. Oakland won the AL pennant, but it's extremely doubtful that happens again after this dud of a draft class. There are still so many untapped legends in this franchise's pipeline.

Baltimore Orioles

1 - Erik Bedard - LHP
2 - Sammy Stewart - RHP
3 - Tom Fisher - RHP
4 - Jerry Walker - RHP
5 - Earl Jones - LHP

A full boat of pitchers. Erik Bedard coming back is nice and he should add to a pitching staff that allowed the 2nd fewest runs in the American League. A bit of a gut punch to see Frank Robinson materialize only for him to be spirited off to the Queen City.

Chicago Cubs

1 - Bill Lee - RHP
2 - Rich Hill - LHP
3 - Charlie Wiedemeyer - LHP
4 - Bud Tinning - RHP
5 - Leo Burke - 3B

The most glaring flaw the Cubs had after the inaugural draft was their rotation consisted of Matt Clement plus 3 bums. Now, 2 years later, the rotation is really becoming a strength. Bill Lee likely supplants Clement as the staff ace. After Lee and Clement, then Kyle Hendricks, Rich Hill, Rich Nye, and Bud Tinning fills out the rotation, in some order or other. There's no Billy Williams in this draft, but it's a helpful class.

New York Yankees

1 - Ed Yarnall - LHP
2 - Stefan Wever - RHP
3 - Irv Noren - OF
4 - Miguel Cairo - UTIL
5 - Tom Morgan - RHP

Another year and another pretty lackluster draft class for the New York Yankees. Tom Morgan will be added to the starting rotation and Irv Noren gives the Yanks an improved 4th outfielder situation. But, sort of like with the Oakland franchise, you're just kind of waiting for a crop of all-timers to show up in the draft at some point soon...

Cleveland Indians

1 - Kyle Denney - RHP
2 - Mike York - RHP
3 - Adam Plutko - RHP
4 - Carlos Martinez - 3B
5 - Russ Lyon - C

Worst. Draft. Class. Ever. And things were going so well for Cleveland (other than being in the same division as Boston). The Tribe won 98 games last year and had a draft that saw all 5 players immediately become starting contributors. And, now, we have a class where none of them will even make the active roster.

San Francisco Giants

1 - Josh Osich - LHP
2 - Keiichi Yabu - RHP
3 - John Bowker - 1B
4 - Ryan Jensen - RHP
5 - Osvaldo Fernandez - RHP

Pitchers Ryan Jensen and Osvaldo Fernandez are both likely to make some starts for the Giants this year. Otherwise, it was a pretty poor collection of talent here. It would appear that the 100-win Giants lost some ground against the 103-win Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers

1 - Gil Hodges - 1B
2 - Steve Yeager - C
3 - Johnny Podres - LHP
4 - Paul Lo Duca - C
5 - Hal Gregg - RHP

An embarrassment of riches, adding this to a World Series champion team is. The 1981 Dodgers are going to be clear favorites to repeat as NL pennant winners when OSA gets around to looking into it. Their top 2 bench players are Eric Karros and a 17-year-old Gil Hodges, so...

Pittsburgh Pirates

1 - Josh Harrison - UTIL
2 - Chris Stewart - C
3 - Clem Koshorek - SS
4 - Cole Figueroa - OF
5 - Shane Youman - LHP

Not a good draft for the NL East champs. The Dodgers, Cubs, and Cardinals all gain some ground in the NL.

Boston Red Sox

1 - Dustin Pedroia - 2B
2 - Marty Barrett - INF
3 - Oscar Judd - LHP
4 - Lou Merloni - INF
5 - Phil Seibel - LHP

A couple of lefties and some more middle infielders. Boston has crazy depth up the middle--their roster now includes: Rico Petrocelli, Nomar Garciaparra, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Johnny Pesky, Don Buddin, and Jody Reed plus a half-dozen other lesser names. The most significant addition, though, might be Judd as he figures to join a Boston rotation that hasn't quite kept pace with the offense when it matters most.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:28 AM   #16
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Can you explain how the draft works.
How do you get 5 players for each team in every draft?
The above question refers to the exact team they played for in real life.
This idea sounds very interesting.

Thank you.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Pirates View Post
Can you explain how the draft works.
How do you get 5 players for each team in every draft?
The above question refers to the exact team they played for in real life.
This idea sounds very interesting.

Thank you.
I have the game generate 10 rounds worth of players (that's 260 total) and then look up their careers to find a way to get 5 players that played on each team. It's sheer force of excess that allows me to find 5 players that fit neatly on each team. Only 130 of the 260 get drafted and the rest are deleted to appear in subsequent draft classes.

Where I can, I assign the player to the team he played the fattest part of his career with, but sometimes I have to be a little more generous to teams like the Mets/Blue Jays/Mariners etc because they have fewer players generated statistically speaking. Fewer than teams like the Yankees, Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers etc because players are being drawn from the time period 1930-present--not all of the franchises have history dating back to 1930.
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by waittilnextyear View Post
I have the game generate 10 rounds worth of players (that's 260 total) and then look up their careers to find a way to get 5 players that played on each team. It's sheer force of excess that allows me to find 5 players that fit neatly on each team. Only 130 of the 260 get drafted and the rest are deleted to appear in subsequent draft classes.

Where I can, I assign the player to the team he played the fattest part of his career with, but sometimes I have to be a little more generous to teams like the Mets/Blue Jays/Mariners etc because they have fewer players generated statistically speaking. Fewer than teams like the Yankees, Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers etc because players are being drawn from the time period 1930-present--not all of the franchises have history dating back to 1930.
It's a concept I may try. How tough was it to start and get each team a full roster? I noticed you mentioned you had a catcher shortage in one post. I assume you don't draft and in commissioner mode just go down the player list and assign players to the appropriate team. The biggest hurdle to me seems to be the inaugural season to insure each team has a 25 man roster and enough reserves to cover injuries.

One more question: When you mention above you delete 130 players I assume that has to be prior to draft day for them to reappear? I didn't know that a player could reappear.

Whether I give this a go or not enjoying following here.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Edster007 View Post
It's a concept I may try. How tough was it to start and get each team a full roster? I noticed you mentioned you had a catcher shortage in one post. I assume you don't draft and in commissioner mode just go down the player list and assign players to the appropriate team. The biggest hurdle to me seems to be the inaugural season to insure each team has a 25 man roster and enough reserves to cover injuries.

One more question: When you mention above you delete 130 players I assume that has to be prior to draft day for them to reappear? I didn't know that a player could reappear.

Whether I give this a go or not enjoying following here.
The inaugural draft was a lot of work, mainly researching the histories of many players I'd barely (or never) heard of before. When you consider there having been ~20k players in MLB history, there are a lot of obscure cuppa coffee types.

There were something like 1100-1200 players in the inaugural draft and I didn't have that much trouble getting at least 30 players on each franchise (30 x 26 teams = 780). The positional depth did leave a little to be desired. Catching depth can be an issue but you can most likely get at least 2-3 on each team if you plan better than I did.

I have established, I think, that deleted players (I actually delete them after they go undrafted and become free agents) do seem to reappear in subsequent drafts. Which is kind of cool. If a player didn't fit one year, he's not gone forever.

Knowing what I now know...I'd probably beef up the inaugural draft a few rounds to produce maybe 1500 players to give a little more cushion. I'd also do as you say and use the editor to place players instead of drafting them (which is what I did).

Another thing you touched on was injuries. I thought about this and decided to handle it by turning the injuries down to low in the first year and I decreased the fatigue level as well. As teams have gained more depth I have been returning those toggles back to where I like them.
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:24 AM   #20
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1981 in Review

1981 Season

Now we're really starting to collect some history. Three years in the books in this "what if" type of experiment.

The Red Sox couldn't sustain their 126-win pace from the previous season and actually fell short of the playoffs altogether with a lackluster 103-win season in 1981. All of New England is in a tizzy. The upstart New York Yankees upended the Red Sox by posting 111 wins to take the AL East and advance to the World Series. Babe Ruth, now 21 years old, still hasn't quite burst onto the scene for New York. Ruth saw his ratings get a nice bump in preseason but is still just scratching the surface (.238/.322/.439, 10 HR, 41 RBI in 63 starts, mostly in LF). The engine that propelled the Yankees was a ruthless, malevolent pitching staff that allowed an AL-low 586 runs. OK, so they also scored the 2nd most runs in the AL and had the 3rd most efficient defense. A pretty decent squad if you ask me. Aaron Judge [.310/.429/.612, 44 HR, 124 RBI] led the league in bases on balls (120) and runs scored (129). He scored so many runs because Charlie Keller [.278/.390/.628, 54 HR, 151 RBI] and Joe Collins [.277/.371/.563, 46 HR, 134 RBI] were incessantly driving him in.

The Yankees' foe in the ALCS was the Minnesota Twins. The Twins won the 1979 World Series, but missed the playoffs last year. Minnesota was a much weaker team this time and posed little resistance to the more powerful Yankees. Third baseman Gary Gaetti had another boffo season [.269/.314/.517, 42 HR, 103 RBI], but the pitching staff was just ok--a 30-year-old Johan Santana [10-9, 4.86 ERA, 197:38 K:BB] is showing signs of breaking down as he allowed an AL-most 37 homers in 181.1 IP. Second baseman Jorge Polanco was arguably the team's MVP with a 6.7 WAR campaign [.309/.385/.534, 27 HR, 95 RBI, 28 SB].

In the National League, it was the Cubs' time to shine. The NL East champs turned in a 106-win season and then wiped out the Dodgers in the NLCS four games to two. Rookie right-hander Bill Lee [17-7, 3.00 ERA, 230:42 K:BB, 203.2 IP] was the ace of a staff that allowed an NL-low 593 runs. Lee was joined by two other double digit-winners in Matt Clement [15-5, 3.81 ERA, 226:58 K:BB, 172.1 IP] and Kyle Hendricks [14-6, 4.20 ERA, 191:37 K:BB, 182.0 IP]. In Clement's case, the 1981 season was like a beach vacation after making a combined 93 starts in the two years prior. Clement's 125 career games started (in 3 years) is baseball's all-time mark to date. The Cubbie offense was also quite potent, pacing the NL with 887 runs scored. The club's run differential (887-593 = +294) actually predicted them to be a 110-win team. Room for improvement.

The Dodgers won the NL West for the 3rd straight year, but couldn't make the World Series let alone repeat as champions. They were better than the Giants by 11 games, sucking a lot of juice out of that erstwhile rivalry. LA's stars of the 1981 season consisted of Clayton Kershaw [17-11, 2.66 ERA, 255:36 K:BB, 223.0 IP], who was merely excellent instead of otherworldly, Jim Lefebvre [.317/.395/.590, 39 HR, 126 RBI], and a 21-year-old Hanley Ramirez [.309/.388/.592, 38 HR, 107 RBI, 33 SB]. Even though he bagged a third consecutive Cy Young award, Kershaw's ratings have begun to slip at the ripe old age of 29. Very ominous. They might have to get by with only Johnny Podres, Don Sutton, Orel Hershiser, Hal Gregg, Curt Davis, Ramon Martinez, and Walker Buehler somehow. Poor franchise.

In the 3rd World Series ever played, the Yankees were just too much for the Chicago Cubs. New York prevailed in 5 games. It was a pretty classic affair, though, for being so short.

In Game 1, Ronald Torreyes hit a walk-off homer against Bruce Sutter to make it a 3-2 Yankee win. The Cubs actually held a 2-1 lead entering the 8th inning. Billy Williams homered and doubled for the North Siders.

Game 2 was a most heartbreaking reminder of Game 1 for Cubdom, as this time Yankee outfielder Ben Chapman hit a 2-run walk-off homer against Paul Assenmacher in the 12th inning of a 3-3 tie game.

Game 3 almost razed Wrigley Field to the ground after the Cubs came back from a 3-1 9th inning deficit to win 4-3. Lefty Gomez shut the Cubs down for 6.1 IP (as he is wont to do). But, Javier Baez smacked a 1-out single that was followed by a Sammy Taylor double. Manny Trillo subsequently reached on an E5 on Gil McDougald that scored both base runners to tie the game at 3. Pinch-hitter Heinz Becker hit a walk-off line drive against Myles Thomas to score Trillo. Pandemonium ensued.

The Yankees took a decisive 3-1 series lead in Game 4 when Aaron Judge and Charlie Keller hit back-to-back solo homers off of Bruce Sutter (yikes) in the 9th inning to win the game 2-1. Cub lefty Rich Hill pitched 6.2 IP of 2-hit ball that was ultimately wasted.

Game 5 was the only one in which there was no doubt how it would end. New York took a 10-1 lead and won 10-5. Ben Chapman bolstered his bid for World Series MVP by homering twice. Ronald Torreyes also homered again (go figure) and A.J. Burnett stymied the Cubs into the 7th inning. Chicago got a little bit of traction against the 44-year-old Mariano Rivera in the 8th inning before Billy Williams hit a 3-run dong off of Fred Beene. Wasn't nearly enough. Williams followed up his NL MVP season with some serious postseason fireworks--he batted .366 with 6 homers and 15 rib eye steaks in the playoffs.

1981 Chicago Cubs

Didn't quite get to the mountain top, but this is turning into a nice little team for the denizens of Chicago. GM Harry Caray must be doing something right. The club has gone from 77 wins in 1979 to 96 wins in 1980 to 106 wins this past season. Caray, who owns a 279-207 lifetime mark, also won GM of the year in 1981.

Center fielder Adolfo Phillips was written off in the preseason after the ratings boogeyman got to him, but he shook it off like nothing happened. One could hardly tell a difference in performance [.309/.402/.571, 36 HR, 95 RBI, 15 SB, 7.9 WAR].

First baseman Bill Buckner set a bunch of new career highs: .337 batting average, 19 HR, 93 RBI, 26 SB, and 118 runs scored to name a few. Buckner led the National League in at bats (688) and hits (232). He also holds the longest hitting streak ever at 31 games--a mark that will likely never be broken. Javier Baez continued to blossom as well [.289/.331/.522, 34 HR, 117 RBI].

But, the 1981 Cub season will be forever remembered for the Billy Williams show. Williams was an All-Star, won the silver slugger, and the NL MVP award. He led the NL in batting average (.359), RBI (157), OPS (1.112), and WAR (10.1). Williams also had a pretty decent game on October 2nd where he went 4-4 with 3 BBs, hit 3 homers, scored 6 times, and drove in 10 runs as the Cubs thrashed the Phillies 27-2.

Billy L Williams sets the CHC regular season game record for RBI with 7. Billy L Williams ties the NL regular season game record for RBI with 8. Billy L Williams ties the CHC regular season game record for runs with 4. Billy L Williams ties the NL regular season game record for runs with 5. Billy L Williams ties the NL regular season game record for home runs with 3. Billy L Williams sets the NL regular season game record for runs with 6. Billy L Williams sets the NL regular season game record for RBI with 10.

Awards and Anomalies

NL MVP: Billy Williams (CHN) [.359/.446/.666, 46 HR, 157 RBI]

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (LAN) [17-11, 2.66 ERA, 223.0 IP]

NL Reliever of the Year: Jonny Venters (ATL) [2-5, 2.41 ERA, 26 SV]

NL Rookie of the Year: Frank Robinson (CIN) [.339/.424/.679, 40 HR, 110 RBI]

NL Silver Sluggers:

P - Alex Wood (ATL), 1st
C - Javy Lopez (ATL), 2nd
1B - Bill Buckner (CHN), 1st
2B - Jeff Kent (SFN), 1st
3B - Jim Lefebvre (LAN), 3rd
SS - Hanley Ramirez (LAN), 1st
LF - Billy Williams (CHN), 1st
CF - Jim Edmonds (STL), 1st
RF - Chuck Klein (PHI), 2nd

NL Gold Gloves:

P - Matt Clement (CHN), 1st
C - Austin Hedges (SDN), 1st
1B - Mark Sweeney (SDN), 1st
2B - Ken Oberkfell (STL), 2nd
3B - Jeff Branson (CIN), 1st
SS - Brandon Crawford (SFN), 3rd
LF - Emilio Bonifacio (ATL), 2nd
CF - Bake McBride (PHI), 1st
RF - Dave Parker (PIT), 1st

As for the junior circuit...

AL MVP: Reggie Smith (BOS) [.333/.427/.635, 46 HR, 121 RBI]

AL Cy Young: Lefty Gomez (NYA) [19-6, 1.94 ERA, 213.0 IP]

AL Reliever of the Year: Ed Vosberg (TEX) [3-2, 1.62 ERA, 28 SV]

AL Rookie of the Year: John Jaha (MIL) [.288/.382/.562, 44 HR, 120 RBI]

AL Silver Sluggers:

DH - Charlie Keller (NYA), 2nd
C - Darrell Porter (KCA), 1st
1B - John Jaha (MIL), 1st
2B - Jorge Orta (CHA), 2nd
3B - Ed Charles (OAK), 1st
SS - Carlos Baerga (CLE), 1st
LF - Pat Seerey (CLE), 2nd
CF - Reggie Smith (BOS), 3rd
RF - Aaron Judge (NYA), 1st

AL Gold Gloves:

P - Mike Mussina (BAL), 1st
C - Darrell Porter (KCA), 3rd
1B - John Jaha (MIL), 1st
2B - Aaron Hill (TOR), 1st
3B - Buddy Bell (TEX), 2nd
SS - Chico Carrasquel (CHA), 1st
LF - Mike McCoy (TOR), 2nd
CF - Paul Blair (BAL), 2nd
RF - Russ Snyder (BAL), 2nd

The most anomalous anomaly in 1981 was once again Lefty Gomez. After last year's 22-K game where he spun a perfect game thru 26 outs and Rod Barajas broke it up with 2 outs in the 9th inning, Gomez went out and got his this season. He didn't throw a perfecto, but he did spin a pair of no-hitters for the 2nd and 3rd such outings in league history (that is, if you count the rain-shortened Cy Moore affair in 1979). On April 27th, Gomez no-hit the Tigers in Detroit by striking out 15 and walking 3. A month and a half later, Gomez got the Twins to go without a base knock in Minneapolis. "Goofy" went on to win the AL pitching Triple Crown (19 wins, 1.94 ERA, 316 K) as he led the Yanks to their first World Series title. For his career so far, Gomez has struck out 900 batters and given up 424 hits in 636.2 IP.

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