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Old 02-14-2015, 03:01 PM   #1
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TheShow - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by TheShow team representative.

TheShow has been going for more than 5 real-life years in which they sim four seasons per year. Currently, our league is in it's third reboot with fresh real-world rosters. We have an Incentive Point program and a very active forum. Many GMs submit articles throughout the season, sometimes even posing as anonymous reporters. There's an active chat room and some excellent forum features such as in-page player cards. At last check, we have had only four Gms replaced in the past 18 months, with most of the other GMs having participated for several years.

League Website: http://theshow.ootpleagues.com/

You can check out TheShow team by visiting: Home Page

I've grown up mostly in the Seattle area, so choosing Safeco Field was easy for me. I even got married on home plate! I just love it there. As a kid, I always loved pitching. I wasn't very good at it, but I loved it. Couldn't hit well either. You can see where I'm going. A pitcher-friendly park with above averate defense and pitchers that can take advantage of it. On top of that, no big money stars. I believe we topped out at $9 million in our roster, and we strove to put a lot of minimum salary guys in our lineup so that we had the option of picking up those solid guys as often as possible.

In addition to my personal preferences, there were some no-brainer choices to make. In a league where it is possible for everyone to have the same players, and where injuries are turned off, some things you are compelled to do.

Top of the list was signing 3B Michael Cook and 3B Rubén Solís. Both are elite bats at $550k salaries and I expect to see them on nearly every team. Looking around showed that the bullpen could be easily filled with solid guys at near-minimum salaries as well. We may not have a squad of elite closers, but we have a squad of very solid relievers who are all capable at all times.

Through our lineup you'll see guys who generally bring a good OBP as well as play solid defense. There are power bats where we could afford them, but in general our team is more about run-suppression than run-production.

Vs R
1 L Keith Cramer LF
2 L Rubén Solís 3B
3 R James King CF
4 L Michael Cook 2B
5 L Alfonso Valverde RF
6 R Jerry Aaron DH
7 R Clancy Thomas 1B
8 R Carlos Serrano SS
9 R Bob Johnston C

Vs L
1 R Clancy Thomas LF
2 L Alfonso Valverde RF
3 R James King CF
4 R Leroy Smith 1B
5 L Michael Cook 2B
6 R Jerry Aaron DH
7 L Rubén Solís 3B
8 R Carlos Serrano SS
9 R Bob Johnston C

The Other Bats
C Miguel López backs up Bob Johnston and might see time at DH if I need to shuffle things.

CF Cole Smith is much like Keith Cramer, and can play all around the outfield. I'm just not certain when/how I'll use him, but he'll be in fairly regularly, especially because Miranda will be sitting against LHP.


R Andy Foster
R Daniel Davis
R Fernando Farías/Marcos Sánchez
R Héctor García
R Jake Edgerton

100% RHP, and I don't care. They all pitch effectively to both sides of the plate. The only question is whether Farias or Sanchez goes to the long relief position in the pen. When playoffs roll around, we're almost certain to go to a 4-man rotation.

Middle Relief:
R Fred Harris
R António Lucero
R Bryan Adams
R Jason Pruitt

Mop Up

Set Up
L Alex McDonald - our only LHP
R Cisco Sánchez

R Mac Faulkner

5 Keys to Winning: If these 5 things happen, this team will contend for the title or to reverse it – if these things don’t happen the way you expect – you won’t be in the mix.

1. Pitchers gotta keep the ball down. We spent on Starters that have above average control, movement and reasonably high K rates. Generally speaking they feed grounders to the defense. The only exceptions are Fred Harris, Fernando Farías and Marcos Sánchez who are fairly neutral. The pitching has to keep the ball down and the defense has to catch it. If we are in slugfests, we might be in trouble.

2. The Defense has to live up to expectations. We went all in on grounder-oriented pitching and found the best bats we could while holding a high level of defense. James King is a question mark. I would have liked better defense but couldn't pass up his bat, especially when we face lefties.

3. Splits Might Kill Us. We know we're going to face Rubén Solís and Michael Cook on nearly every team and they are elite lefty bats. We have only one LHP in our entire bullpen, so our attempt at having RHP that don't split badly against LHBs has to work or the many clones of those two guys will tear us up. If we run up against teams that stacked heavily against RHP (something I personally do quite often) it will be a real test!

4. Our Achilles Heel might be First Base. We're going to platoon two guys that are not primarily 1bs but have experience there. Against LHP, Leroy Smith needs to bring the power to offset his Ks and the boat anchors he wears for cleats...or we'll be turning to Clancy Thomas full-time.

5. We are Slooow. Keith Cramer and James Kingare well above average. Clancy Thomas and Cole Smith are mid-pack speedwise. The rest of the team have two left feet. We would have much preferred to pair more speed with getting on base, but as it stands we might be a bit like those old Oakland "boop and a bomb" squads.

Last edited by coljesep; 02-14-2015 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:20 PM   #2
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We were asked about our impending matchup...here's the question and our full reply:

You built a team with a formidable pitching staff and a just-good-enough offense. However, your pitchers’ Achilles heel is in giving up walks, and OTBA’s batters are 10th in the GCL in that department. Any concerns that bases on balls could be a deciding factor in a first round upset? Why or why not?
As a team manager, I hate giving up walks. I flat out hate it. However, I built my rotation around two primary things. #1 was a high groundball rate. #2 was control. As it turned out, we walked a lot more guys in the regular season than I wanted...but we converted double-plays at a huge rate. We lead the league with 65 twin-killings, thanks in large part to choosing a super glove man at Short and surrounding him with more-than-capable teammates. We were 7th in the league in fewest errors committed (29), and certainly jealous of OTBA and their #1 rank there (19). Overall, our defensive effeciency was second at .705, and that was a key component of our team build.

So, am I concerned with walks? Absolutely. I have to be. We were average in that regard. However, our mitigation is above-par glovework, and we count on that continuing. With the second best ERA in the league, I think our plan worked pretty well to get us this far. The other thing to note, is that we were 2nd in drawing walks and 7th in strikeouts. The Squirrels did an amazing job of limiting walks, ending up 2nd in the league, but they didn't strike anyone out (30th), and I think that's going to tilt our way come game time.

I'll tell you what really concerns me though. We were only 16-15 at home. 12-13 in one run games and 5-6 in extras. To be perfectly frank, we screwed up. We built a roster with a plan, but then we picked a stadium based on emotion and not the team we put together. Safeco Field favors our defense + pitching orientation, but then it also favores lefty bats and we have an all righty rotation and pen (Alex McDonaled being the sole exception in the pen). A better selection of ballparks could have given us a strong home field advantage. As it stands, we're 20-11 on the road and we have to continue that to get far in the postseason.

Now that I look at it, this is an odd series. The Squirrles were 12-19 at home, and 15-16 on the road. Their split being the mirror opposite of ours...could make this one of those odd series where the road team has the advantage all the time.

The Commish predicted us as 5-3 winners in this best of 9, but I wonder if he noticed that The Royal Squirrels have to hold their 1&2 starters for games 3&4? One thing we did during the season was stick with a strict 5-man until the final two sims. We weren't sure how our back of the rotation would work out, and when we needed to shuffle a couple of guys we finally did that. In the final two sims we went to a "highest rested" mode, which is basically a 4+ rotation, and we caught fire. We scheduled our appearances in the final week to have Andy Foster (2.50 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) and Fernando Farias (2.14 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) ready to go 1-2. It may take 8 games, but if our offense shows up I think it might only take 6. Speaking of which...There are many teams with a James King clone, and ours ended up the worst I believe. Hitting .202 with a .290 OBP is NOT what you expect out of that guy, and if he wakes up and starts hitting like his clones did for everyone else...we're going to be very hot indeed.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:16 PM   #3
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Good writeup and looking forward to the series!

I had to travel for work and didn't have access to the game for the last sim. The plan was indeed to rest my #1 and #2 guys. We'll have to make due. And yeah, I feel your pain on some of the cloned guys, I think that's the reason we placed so low in the standings, we had some elite talent seriously unperform on offense.
OTBA - Stockholm Royal Squirrels of Sweden

OOTP Grand League Champion 2015
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