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Old 12-08-2019, 02:59 PM   #801
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Brewers swap Flores, Sprague for Boston closer Gottula

In a continuing effort to fix their broken bullpen, the Brewers today traded away left fielder John Flores and minor league prospect Josh Sprague to Boston for left-handed closer Jason Gottula. The 24-year old Gottula is a groundball pitcher who possesses and excellent curve ball and should rarely give up the long ball while having plus stuff and above average control.
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He gives the Brewers bullpen a good 50-50 split in terms of handedness again and allows the team to send down righty Antonio Nieves, who clearly wasn't ready for the bigs.

With the trade of right-handed outfielder Flores, who has been slumping for some time since getting off to a terrific start this season, a spot was freed up on the roster for top prospect Jorge Gonzalez, who it was felt deserved the promotion.
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:22 PM   #802
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Obana to Houston

And sure enough, the Detroit Falcons ship out veteran second baseman Takeyuki Obana to Houston for a pair of moderate relief pitching prospects.

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Old 12-08-2019, 04:25 PM   #803
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Week 13- July 6-12, 1975

Brewers record: 3-3 (week), 52-29, 1st place, MGL (season).

This week was a tale of two series- one very good, the other horrible!

July 7-9, at Detroit: 3-1, 5-0, 5-1.

The Brewers return from the All-Star break to face the Falcons in Detroit.
And in game 1, Cheol-han Lee (10-2, 3.18) pitches a great game, working 8 innings and giving up just a single run (unearned) on 6 hits. Eric Marino (4.40) pitches a flawless 9th for his 3rd save. RodRod leads the offense with a 2 for 3, 2 run, 1 RBI game and hits double #19.
Game 2, more of the same in terms of great starting pitching. This time it is Erik Sloan (5-3, 3.19) who gives up nary a run in 8 innings of work, striking out 7 and walking 2 while giving up only 2 hits. Joe McPhillips was the hitting hero, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI, hitting his 14th double and 10th HR.
Game 3, see games 1 and 2. This time Steve Green (8-2, 3.43) went the distance, giving up 1 run on 6 hits. Kirk Patnode (.374/.443/.458) continues his great year, going 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored. Chad Brown (.295/.331/.358) has been hitting well of late and went 3 for 4 in this one, picking up his 9th double of the season.

July 10-12, versus Los Angeles: 3-12, 1-3, 3-4.

After sweeping the Falcons on the road the Brewers return home to face the L.A. Spinners with a feeling of confidence. Nevermind that the Spinners were on a bit of a roll of their own, coming into town winners of 6 straight. And when the Brewers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st they were feeling pretty good about themselves. And then Harry Lyerly (5-4, 3.89) gave up 5 runs, including walking in a run and giving up a Grand Slam to veteran superstar Jesus Hernandez, on the way to a disastrous outing and a humiliating loss for the home team. Lyerly gave up 9 runs on 8 hits in his 5 2/3rds innings. This game was a pretty good example of the three true things nature of Mr. Lyerly. He struck out 8 batters, walked 4, and gave up 3 HR's (2 to Hernandez.) Sepi Koller (.375/.436/.656) hit his 2nd HR as a Brewer in a 2 for 4 game but by then it was far too late, the bullpen having added to the problem, and the rout being a fait accompli.
Game 2 was at least closer, but the Brewers could never get anything started against veteran lefty Jose Santos. It was another fine start for Matt Helm (7-2, 2.37) but a tough luck loss. Helm gave up just 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings pitched but as the Brewers has scored none he left with a deficit that would not be erased. Jaden Francis rough season continues as he gives up 2 runs in his 1 inning pitched and sees his ERA rise to 4.71. Another good game for Kirk Patnode though, as he went 2 for 2 with 2 walks.
The Brewers waited until the 9th inning to blow game 3. Even though starter Sadahige Kawasaki (9-4, 2.94) gave up 3 first inning runs to the Spinners, he settled down after that and lasted 7 1/3rd with no further damage and the Brewers managed to plate 3 in the bottom of the 5th to even things. But then, even though the recently acquired Jason Gottula pitched pretty well, getting the final 2 outs in the 8th, in his first outing as a Brewer, he gave up a lead-off single in the 9th and then was lifted for Tim Shore, who could not keep the inherited runner from scoring. Gottula takes the loss but Shore should claim his share too. Since joining the Brewers Tim Shore sports a fun little 10.00 ERA. Yeah, that's going well. Little Joe Willemse (.306/.329/.419) at least did his part in this one, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles, his first 2 of the season (though he does have 5 triples.)

Notes from around the league: Columbus (55-26) continues to come back to the pack and now leads the SJL by just 4 games over Boston (51-30). The Philadelphia Mud Hens are on fire, having won 6 straight, and are in 3rd place with 46-35 record, 9 games off the pace.
The Brewers are lucky in that the Brooklyn Aces are also looking a bit flat right now, and therefore the Brewers still hold onto a 3 game lead (after having extended it to 5 games after the sweep of Detroit.) The red hot L.A. Spinners are now 5 games back in 3rd place.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:39 PM   #804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
It was another fine start for Matt Helm (7-2, 2.37) but a tough luck loss. Helm gave up just 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings pitched.
I need the bats to back up my boy, Matt Helm! He was out there throwing daggers while our offense was lollygagging.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:08 PM   #805
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1975 Mid-season Brewer report card

We officially reached the mid-way point of the 1975 season this week and it seems like a good time to take a closer look at how things have gone for the team so far this year.

Working our way down from the best aspects of the season so far down to the worst, with a mixture of grades for individual players and some larger aspects of the team's performance.

A: The highest grade goes to the catching tandem of Zacarias Martell and Kirk Patnode, not only for the basic stats of their performance and their intangible value, but also for the extent to which they have exceeded any expectations.
Let's look at it this way first: if you combine the offensive stats of these two catchers the numbers look like this- 289 AB, 49 R, 98 H, 18 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 37 BB, 34 K, .339 batting average, 3.1 WAR. That's a pretty darn good half season.
And they are both great defensively, with Martell ranking 1st in Range in the MGL and 5th in CERA, and Patnode ranking 2nd in Zone Rating and having an impressive 69.1% caught stealing rate, which would easily lead the league if he had enough chances to qualify. (Martell's 34.8% is tied for 7th in the league.)
And Martell is one of the hardest working, smartest, and most well liked players on the team while Patnode is a born leader.

A-: The starting rotation. The Brewers are 2nd in runs against in the league, 2nd in starting pitcher ERA, 1st in FIP, pitching WAR, and pitching strikeouts. And with the bullpen ERA ranked at 9th in the league, most of the positive numbers here are courtesy of the rotation. Also, given that the Brewers pitch their home games in one of the league's best hitting parks while the #1 ranked rotation- Brooklyn's- has the advantage of a pretty good pitcher's park for their home games, it is certainly arguable that the Brewers have had the most impressive, and almost surely deepest, rotation in the MGL. The weak link has been Harry Lyerly, but he will get his own grade below.

Also A-: Rodrigo "RodRod" Rodriguez and Andrew Kennedy. The only reason that these two don't get straight A's is that they are not great defenders. RodRod is actually a pretty decent third baseman, with decent range, a strong arm, and is great at turning the double play (not a talent that get's a lot of play at third, of course) but he will hurt you with the errors. He pretty easily leads the league in that category at his position with 13. And Andrew is just a steady but unspectacular left fielder and first baseman. But they have also been among the best hitters on the team and currently Kennedy leads the league in batting average while RodRod is third. Andrew's slash line of .376/.403/.457 puts him on pace for his best season yet and the 4.0 WAR he is on pace for is just below the 4.2 of his fine 1973 campaign. And RodRod has a slash line of .362/.410/.520 and is on pace for a WAR of 4.6, which is not too shabby for a rookie.

A-: Joe McPhillips. The only thing keeping Joe from an A or even A+ is the injury he sustained earlier in the season that kept him off the field for a month. He's caught up quick since coming back and leads the team in WAR (among position players) at 2.5. His OPS of 1.014 is easily the best on the team. And he's been looking more and more impressive in the field. Which leads to :

A-/B+: Outfield defense. When Ryan Rodgers is in left field, Joe McPhillips in center, and Josh Schaeffer in right this is more like an A, but on most nights the outfield combination is at least well above average if not outstanding.

B+: Josh Schaeffer. After getting off to an impressive start, Schaeffer has cooled off a bit. But with a slash line of .290/.385/.505 and still a team leading 11 HR's, and with signs of improved defense (which was pretty darn good to begin with), it's been a darn good season for Schaeffer, and he was at his best when the team needed him the most (while both McPhillips and Ryan Rodgers were on the IL.) Schaeffer leads the team in ISO (not counting Sepi Koller, who only has 43 PA), is 2nd to McPhillips in RBI at 41, and is 2nd in WPA to McPhillips.

B: Joe Willemse, Jorge Gonzalez, Sepi Koller. These three part-time players have all played better than expected when called upon. Willemse is making himself indispensable as the Brewers primary utility infielder. Jorge Gonzalez has earned a shot at a role in the outfield sooner rather than later. And while Koller likely doesn't have a future as a Brewer, he has proved he likely deserves a shot at the bigs, which he will probably get elsewhere before long.

B-: Bobby Erbakan, Ben Flynn. Erbakan hasn't been bad this year, but he hasn't been nearly as good as he was in his breakout 1974 season, or even really quite as good as he was the two seasons prior to that. And now he sits on the IL with a fractured finger. There is still time for him to have an impact down the stretch, but expectations were high and he hasn't met them thus far.
Ben Flynn has at times looked like one of the more stable members of the very poor bullpen (more about that below) and he's a good hitter who has been getting some playing time at first base also with Erbakan on the IL. This grade is mostly still about lower expectations mixed with signs of promise for the future, but he's been mostly a plus.

C+: Chad Brown, the infield defense. These two are related as shortstop Chad Brown is showing some declines in range and therefore defensive value. After another slow start the plate, Brown is hitting more or less at his career numbers (.294/.331/.355, this year, .278/.306/.363, career). But he is only on pace for a 2 WAR season and likely needs a change of position (to second base) or a change of scenery. The infield as a whole is suffering from his diminished skills, the absence of Bobby Erbakan's steadying presence at first, Jonathan Koch's increased propensity to commit errors (11 errors this season, career high of 12 last season) though he does remain a very good defender otherwise, and RodRod's error issues. It's not a horrible infield defense, but it isn't up to previous Brewer standards.

C: Harry Lyerly, and Ryan Rodgers.
As the weak link of an otherwise tremendous starting rotation Harry get's his own grade. And this is where one of the biggest conundrums of the Brewer front office lies. Harry is arbitration eligible at the end of the season, his last year before he can file to be a free agent. In a purely pragmatic sense, the thing that would make most sense for the Brewers front office is to either try to trade Harry now or non-tender him at the end of this season and let him got to free agency early. We have at least 2 (and maybe 3) pitchers at AAA right now who could probably give us comparable, if not more, production than Harry is and at a greater economic value. (Sekien Hamasaki really needs to come up soon and John Weaver could use a bit more seasoning but will likely be ready next year.) But he's Harry Lyerly, one of the most interesting stories and compelling characters in Brewer history so far, so this is a tough decision to make.
Veteran superstar outfielder Ryan Rodgers had a great 1974, one of his best seasons in years. And he came into this season with all indications being that he had lost little skill, if any. And yet, after suffering an injury earlier in the year, he currently has a slash line of .258/.431/.288. This from a man with a career batting average of .333 who has never hit below .300 in any of his 10 seasons prior to this one. He can still draw a walk and he still plays a solid outfield, but he's on pace for just a 1.9 WAR, this for a man with a 162 game average WAR of 8.0. Granted his BABIP is a very low .272 so there is probably a lot bad luck involved here. But still, at age 36 one has to wonder if our scout (and the OSA, for that matter) just haven't yet registered some significant declines in his game.

D: Jonathan Koch. Koch has a slash line of .241/.287/.328. He's on pace for a WAR of 0.8. He's theoretically our starting second baseman. This isn't cutting it. We have some solid options at AAA in David Bennett and Brett Taranto (Bennett the better defender, Taranto the better hitter) and Joe Willemse could certainly be an adequate option at this stage too. (In almost 100 fewer plate appearances than Koch, Willemse has more than double the WAR so far.) Rumor has it that Koch was originally part of the negotiations in the trade that brought closer Jason Gottula to the team. It seems the Brewers front office has been hanging on due to Koch's solid defensive skills (increased errors notwithstanding) and the belief that he will inevitably start to hit again (his BABIP is a very low .255) but given that there are plenty of other options, his time could be running out.

F: Bullpen, and team base-stealing and base-running.

The bullpen=dumpster fire. 'Nuff said.
As for base-stealing, please just stop trying guys. One of the requests from the owner this year was to improve our league ranking in stolen bases. We were 9th last season (out of 10) and are a solid 10 this year. But worse than that, our paltry 30 stolen bases have come at the cost of being thrown out attempting to steal 27 times. I really am getting to the point where I want to tell the guys, just don't try. It's not worth it.
Earlier in the season we were near the top though in base-running stats. Now we sit at 8th in the league. Not good.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:35 PM   #806
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Matt Helm signs 4-year extension with Brewers

Team captain and starting pitcher Matt Helm was due to be eligible for free agency at the end of the 1975 season but he and the Brewers front office have come to agreement on a contract extension that should keep him in Denver through the 1979 season.
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Although there are some concerns about his propensity for injury, he has avoided any extended time on the IL since he missed nearly two months with a strained shoulder as a minor leaguer in the Charlotte Sting system. In addition to being the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse, Helm has given the Brewers very good performance on the mound for the past season and a half.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:10 PM   #807
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The Best of the Best in the WPK- 1975 Edition

Some of you may remember this feature which began at the All-Star break of the 1974 season but for those who don't or just as a refresher, this is the gist:
One of the things I like to track is what I consider the reputation ratings in the WPK. Basically, I look at the overall ratings and find all of the players currently considered 5-star players by both our scouting staff and the OSA. As I mentioned when I last did this, the idea isn't that these overall ratings are necessarily the best indicator of a player's value and certainly doesn't mean that these are the players who are currently playing the best. But my theory is that these ratings are useful as a gauge of the reputation the player currently has around the WPK, especially when lining up our scout and the OSA's rating.
(I monitor this at the All-Star break every year and on Opening Day. And I keep track of this the very old fashioned way- in a notebook.)

So who are the current Superstar players, by reputation, in the WPK?
Last season at this time there were 6 players who fit this category. This year there are 7.
And they are:
Greg Alwardt, 2b/3b, Brooklyn Aces, 26 years old
Joe Brodeur, RF, San Antonio Keys, 24 years old
Jared Hancock, 2b, San Antonio Keys, 28 years old
Bud Lindsay, SS, San Antonio Keys, 24 years old
Xiao-mei Mah, 2b, Philadelphia Mud Hens, 28 years old
Jamel McNeil, RP, Boston Berserkers, 34 years old
Joe McPhillips, CF, Denver Brewers, 26 years old
Kasey O'Neil, 3b, Boston Berserkers, 27 years old.

The new names on this list are Xiao-mei Mah, who joined the league from Taiwan in the off-season, two third basemen- Greg Alwardt and Kasey O'Neil, and the Brewers center fielder Joe McPhillips. Players who made the list last year but have now dropped off of it are Portland's 27-year old shortstop Chris Tobin and Denver's 36-year old right fielder Ryan Rodgers.

Now, as we did last year, let's also look at the top rated players by position, as seen by the OSA and the Brewers scouting staff.

Starting Pitcher: Sadahige Kawasaki, Denver Brewers, 27 years old.

Relief Pitchers: Jamel McNeil, Boston Berserkers, 34 years old, and Kee Han (OSA only), Milwaukee Cadets, 32 years old.

Catchers: Both OSA and Denver scouts: Erik Buonopane, San Antonio Keys, 28 years old, Greg Foster, Los Angeles Spinners, 26 years old, Elvis Iniguez, Boston Berserkers, 22 years old, Lupe Ramirez, Baltimore Lords, 28 years old. Denver scouts only: Dan Reaves, Washington Night Train, 28 years old, and Spencer Wilson, El Paso Dawgs, 26 years old.

First basemen: Bobby Erbakan (both), Denver Brewers, 28 years old, Danny Salvador (DEN only), Brooklyn Aces, 27 years old.

Second basemen: Jared Hancock, San Antonio Keys, 28 years old, Xiao-mei Mah, Philadelphia Mud Hens, 28 years old.

Third basemen: (Both): Greg Alwardt, Brooklyn Aces, 26 years old, Kasey O'Neil, Boston Berserkers, 27 years old. (DEN only): Jesus Hernandez, Los Angeles Spinners, 34 years old.

Shortstops: Bud Lindsay, San Antonio Keys, 24 years old.

Left fielders: Joe Brodeur, San Antonio Keys, 24 years old.

Center fielders: Joe McPhillips, Denver Brewers, 26 years old.

Right fielders: (Both): Ryan Rodgers, Denver Brewers, 36 years old. (OSA only): Justin Vargas, Boston Berserkers, 27 years old.

So while it is pretty clear that the best current starting pitcher in the game is Aaron McNally, the Brewers Sadahige Kawasaki, who came to the WPK from Japan in the off-season, has the biggest reputation in the WPK among starting pitchers at this point.
The catching position is fascinating. For at least the past several years Erik Buonopane has been the consensus best catcher in the WPK, easily. But that has changed now. Partly because the 28-year old Buonopane has declined a bit, but also because a good number of good catchers have emerged in the WPK. After this being a position of great weakness for many years it must be said that while there are no true superstars at catcher, there are a great many good catchers in the league currently. And this list doesn't even include MGL All-Star starter Zacarias Martell of the Brewers.
Bobby Erbakan continues to be the first baseman generally thought of as the best in the league.
Jared Hancock was considered the best second baseman in the game last year also but now he has some competition from Xiao-mei Mah.
In 1974 two veterans were clearly the most heralded third basemen- Jesus Hernandez and Trevor Leach. But 1975 has seen the rise of two younger players at the hot corner as Greg Alwardt and Kasey O'Neil have emerged as bonafide superstars.
Shortstop Bud Lindsay, not only a great player but the team captain for the Keys, just needs to prove he can stay healthy. If he can, he is clearly the best at his position and potentially a future HOF'er. Last year Chris Tobin joined him at the top of the list at short but while Tobin is still highly regarded, he has slipped just a bit.
Left fielder Joe Brodeur has only recently returned to action, having served an extended suspension for a violation of the league's drug policy. And in his first 6 games he isn't off to a great start. But he's still considered the best at his position in the game. For now, anyway.
Once again, Joe McPhillips of the Brewers is considered the best center fielder in the game.
And while he has lost his superstar status, the Brewers Ryan Rodgers remains in the mix as the best right fielder.

So what is the point of all of this? What does it matter?
I think for me it is mostly a way of monitoring the shifting talent in the WPK. But also it is something that can be referred to much later, when these players have retired and may be up for possible Hall-of-Fame election. There are many metrics that factor into who gets into the Hall but certainly among those factors are these questions: Were they ever considered the best player in the game? Were they ever considered the best player at their position in the game?
This is a way to monitor that.
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:41 PM   #808
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WPK Hall of Fame watch

So, speaking of the Hall-of-Fame.......

(Note: when I head off on tangents like this it is usually a pretty good sign that the Brewers aren't playing that well right now and I need the distraction of focusing away from the present and my team and instead looking at the bigger WPK picture.)

No Hall of Fame has yet been established for the WPK but rumor has it that the league powers that be have been spending a good deal of time working out the details for a future Hall to honor the WPK greats.

In the meantime, it might be fun to take a look again at what players currently playing, or recently retired, might end up with plaques in that future establishment.

I found myself thinking about this yesterday and started to make three lists, just off the top of my head, not in front of the game.
They were:
1) Probable Hall-of-Famers.
2) Possible Hall-of-Famers.
3) Dark horse candidates for enshrinement.

And then last night I studied several of the metrics that will play a role in HOF voting- JAWS, HOF monitor scores, HOF standards scores, Black Ink scores, and Gray Ink scores- and compared those to my lists. (And identified a few players who should have been on one of my lists but weren't.

So let's start by looking at the three lists:
1) Probable HOF'ers: SP- Cheol-han Lee and Jake Harris, RP- Jamel McNeil, 3b/1b- Jesus Casiano, 3b- Jesus Hernandez, LF/1b- Travis Johnson, CF- Felix Lopez, OF- Ryan Rodgers, RF- Nate Bennett.
All of these are current WPK players nearing the end of their careers.
The two starting pitchers are basically locks. Cheol-han has the 2nd highest JAWS in the WPK at 68.0, his HOF Monitor score is 149 (5th), HOF Standards, 48 (4th), he is 5th in Black Ink (40) and 3rd in Gray Ink (183). Harris is pretty much the same, with a slightly lower JAWS (65.7), the highest HOF Monitor score (172), the 2nd highest HOF Standards (52), 3rd in Black Ink (45) and 1st in Gray Ink (196.)
And this season both are putting up great numbers at age 34 and 36 respectively. If they retired today they would be HOF'ers. At this point the only question is how much the rest of their careers pushes them closer to unanimous enshrinement.

Jamel McNeil is the greatest reliever of his generation and his all-time best HOF Standards score of 65 reflects that. His HOF Monitor score is a bit low for a future HOF'er at 96, but he is showing no signs of slowing down at age 34 and there is really no other reliever in the league close to his credentials.

Casiano's JAWS score ranks 12th (55.9), but his HOF Monitor score is 4th best at 155, and he is 2nd in Black Ink at 47. He is 33, still playing well, and likely a lock.
The other Jesus- Hernandez- has the highest JAWS so far at 70.4. His HOF monitor is 107 but he's not done yet so that should climb. He's 17 in HOF Standards, 28th in Black Ink, and 12th in Gray Ink. He might not be a 1st ballot HOF'er, but he should get there on the 2nd or 3rd try at worst.

Outfielder/first baseman Travis Johnson has put up great offensive numbers over his career while being just an average fielder at best. He has the 8th best JAWS (65.7), is 2nd in HOF Monitor at 167, 6th in HOF Standards, 8th in Black Ink but 2nd in Gray Ink. No way he's not a HOF'er.
Felix Lopez saw his numbers tail off a bit the past 2 seasons after suffering a pretty significant injury and he certainly isn't the Gold Glove center fielder he used to be. But 1975 is certainly looking like a resurgent year for him at the plate. With his 3rd best JAWS (67.6), 3rd best HOF Monitor (162), 5th best HOF Standards (45), 1st place Black Ink total of 54, and 10th best Gray Ink, he should be a 1st ballot HOF'er.
The Brewers Ryan Rodgers is still considered one of the greatest players in the game, but he's struggling this season since returning from an injury that cost him about a month of action. His JAWS of 66.3 (6th best), HOF Monitor score of 115 (tied for 8th best), HOF Standards score of 42 (tied for 9th best), and Black Ink and Gray Ink scores that rank 12th and 26th, he is a likely HOF'er but a few more good years would help to really put him over the edge.

Nate Bennett is the HR king (thus far) of the WPK. His JAWS of 49.4 ranks him at 20th best in the WPK history (brief as that is), but he has a solid HOF Monitor score of 138 (6th best), and HOF Standards score of 43 (7th best). He's also 9th in Black Ink and 4th in Gray Ink. He's 35 and having another fine season. He should make it.

Now- here is one that didn't make my original list of Probable HOF'ers but upon further review probably should have. He is 32 year old center fielder Brad Tesh. Tesh was the 1965 ROY and won the SJL MVP award in 1967 (I think it was '67, if not '68, not in front of game right now) but has been quietly putting up good numbers since then, without the fanfare many of these other players receive. And yet, as one of the youngest on this list (Felix Lopez is also 32), he has the 5th best JAWS score (66.5), a strong 112 HOF Monitor score, is 21st in HOF Standards, and while he doesn't rank in the top 30 in Black Ink, he is 9th in Gray Ink. With several years likely left in his career and still playing well, he has a great chance.

2) Possible HOF'ers: We'll take Tesh off this list as we've moved him up.
The others are: SP- Chris Hernandez, Jaime Schardein, Jose Santos, RP- Pat Brooks, C- Erik Buonopane, SS/2b- Andy Wilson, 2b- Josh Jenkins and Jared Hancock, 3b- Jamison Bash and Trevor Leach, OF- Cody Kane and Lazaro Lowndes.

Chris Hernandez, as reported on earlier here, is likely toast and should retire soon. He was struggling at AAA this year at age 39 and then suffered a serious arm injury that has him out well into his age 40 season. His JAWS of 49.6 ranks 19th but 5th among starting pitchers (after Lee, Harris, Santos, and Schardein). His HOF Monitor score is 108. Not great, but maybe good enough. He's not in the top 30 in HOF Standards, but he is 7th in Black Ink (32) and 11th in Gray Ink (140). He has been a fan favorite his entire career and he had the disadvantage of getting a late start as the league wasn't formed until he was already pushing 30. Almost surely not a 1st ballot guy, but he has a strong chance to get in eventually.

Jaime Schardein is a similar case with a twist. At age 39, after a slow decline the last several years, Schardein seems to have found the fountain of youth this season. His JAWS score of 50.4 is 17th best, he has a HOF Monitor score of 104, just behind Hernandez, and HOF Standards of 38 (15th). And he is 4th in Black Ink at 41 and 5th in Gray Ink at 167. He hurled the first Perfect Game in WPK history. But until this season I would have said he might be on the outside looking in. Now he looks like a likely HOF'er.

Jose Santos is one of the great gentleman and leaders of the game. At age 36 he is still a valuable member of the L.A. Spinners rotation. But unlike Lee, Harris, and Schardein, Santos is not having a great 1975. He's okay, but not up to his usual standards. His JAWS ranks 10th at 58.5, his HOF Monitor is an acceptable but unspectacular 103 (15th), he is 20th in HOF Standards (36), does not show up in the top 30 in Black Ink, and is 8th in Gray Ink (148). He might have a few more season to increase his credentials and is a borderline candidate at this point. But with his great reputation he has a good chance to make it eventually.

After McNeil, Pat Brooks has often been the most feared reliever in the WPK. And in fact he is 3rd in HOF Standards at 48. But he doesn't rank among the best in any of these other metrics. Probably only McNeil goes in from the relievers of this generation as the clear best of the lot. (Benni Heregger is 9th in HOF Standards at 42, but like Brooks doesn't rate highly elsewhere and though he currently holds the best career ERA in the WPK, he is probably not a HOF'er.)

Erik Buonopane probably should have been left off this list as he is still pretty young and should have quite a bit of career left, even though as a catcher he is starting to show some signs of decline. He shows up at 29th in HOF Standards at 32. Only time will tell.

Andy Wilson is the first former player on this list. He played the requisite 10 season and was the pre-eminent superstar of the early years of the WPK. His JAWS ranks 4th (66.6), he has a HOF Monitor score of 115 (tied with Ryan Rodgers), his HOF Standards of 43 is tied with Nate Bennett, and he's 17th in Gray Ink with 128. He can't add to these numbers of course- they are what they are. But he had a short career and was the consensus best of the game for at least part of it. He's probably a HOF'er.

Jenkins and Hancock are current stars in their prime, more or less (Hancock is only 28 while Jenkins is 32). Jenkins is 16th in JAWS (50.5), 11th in HOF Monitor at 111, 12th in HOF Standards at 39, 11th in Black Ink (23) and 18th in Gray Ink (122). He probably should have been on the Probable HOF'er list. He's not done yet and it's unlikely that he won't make it.
I might have jumped the gun a bit with Hancock, though he is 23rd in HOF Standards (35). He's young still and given time will likely put up credentials to resemble Jenkins. Too soon to tell, though.


Okay, I've run out of time right now and gone on too long anyway. So I'll pick this up later and hopefully one or two of you are still with me and not bored to tears by this exercise.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:55 PM   #809
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Hall of Fame and other thoughts

Bird,

Great job on the HOF projection post. Something to consider before the inaugural inductions is the host city and name for the hall ala Cooperstown. Btw, did you ever come up with names for the majors and minors sub-leagues?

I really love how the league is coming together. There are villians (Jamel McNeil, Joe Brodeur, others?), Heroes (Joe McPhillips, others), many other archetypes that I cannot think of the type right now. Like Bud Lindsey, maybe tragic hero? Anyway, things are shaping up nicely beyond just the numbers.

A thought on Jamel McNeil, he is a scary individual. His stats are incredible. Could you please post them for us? One thing that stands out (really how can anything stand out with this guy when everything does ) is the sheer amount of wins that he has accumulated over the years. Of course this has a lot to do with his dominance, durability, stamina and opportunities. For a reliever/closer he will end up retiring with more wins than most STARTING pitchers! Say what you will about him, but don't ever say he didn't give everything he had to each team he was on, even though he was only on some teams for a short time.

I could give so many kudos for individual play but you have done that in your evaluation so I will skip that. What I want to focus on now is 4 players, Chad Brown, Harry Lyerly, Jonathan Koch and Ryan Rodgers. You had identified concerns about their recent history and future.

Let's start with Chad Brown. You mentioned that he has shown a decline in range (he has always had a tin glove, some years 30 or more errors if I am not mistaken) and therefore in defensive value. He likely needs a change of position (to second base) or a change of scenery. The infield as a whole is suffering because of his diminished skills. Those all were of course your evaluation paraphrased except my thought in parentheses. Perhaps a position change might do him some good, but I do not believe it should be with the Brewers. You have possible replacements if you choose or you could trade for a quality shortstop. Either way I believe the best choice is a change of scenery for Chad.

Now to "Happy" Harry Lyerly. I agree with you, he is the weak link in the starting rotation. His decline has been coming and has been noticeable. Harry was an oddity that the stars and moons aligned, not perfect but well enough for him to have a good career. I realize that his name has been on the billboard ever since Ruben "Streak" Souffront moved on from Denver and he became the posterboy for the organization (I imagine that Joe McPhillips will become the next one). He isn't and shouldn't be an easy player to lose, speaking in terms of importance to the organization. I agree that his days are numbered in Denver (that sounded harsh I didn't intend it to). Speaking from between the outside and inside I think his trade value is higher than his playing value and never give away resources (non-tendering him) unless there is no choice. A change of scenery may even help "Happy" Harry.

Jonathan Koch I am not sure about. Would you please post his info and stats history also? I suspect that he may bounce back. If not this second half then next year. I would love to take a look at all his info before making a judgement.

Ryan Rodgers is an interesting case. First question. Do you still intend for him to retire in a Brewer uniform? If so I will go no further. I will make further comment if you have changed intent.

So, overall my suggestion is to utilize Chad Browns' and "Happy" Harry Lyerlys' trade value and trade for perhaps (just a suggestion) a quality shortstop and a reliever if possible (Jamel McNeil perhaps? ). Jonathan Koch and Ryan Rodgers need the info.

Have a Great day my man!

Palaaemon
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:56 PM   #810
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So apparently I have forgotten how to multi-quote or whatever it takes to respond point by point to a post. Let's see if this works. I had to copy and paste into a Word document and then copy and paste into here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

Great job on the HOF projection post. Something to consider before the inaugural inductions is the host city and name for the hall ala Cooperstown. Btw, did you ever come up with names for the majors and minors sub-leagues?"

Hmm. This is a great question. Hadn't even thought about where the Hall would be located. But I'm thinking now somewhere in Iowa, given that this is a league named after W.P. Kinsella. And I keep forgetting to go back and track down the names I had selected for the minor leagues and need to do that soon. I also have been thinking again about the re-naming of the World Series. Just keep getting caught up in other things and putting this off.
Oh, and I'll get to the rest of the HOF post soon, hopefully tonight. (Forgot to bring that information with me today.)


"I really love how the league is coming together. There are villians (Jamel McNeil, Joe Brodeur, others?), Heroes (Joe McPhillips, others), many other archetypes that I cannot think of the type right now. Like Bud Lindsey, maybe tragic hero? Anyway, things are shaping up nicely beyond just the numbers. "

Bud Lindsay certainly has the potential to be a what could have been story unless he can conquer this injury proneness issue. Great player, great leader, good guy, but just so brittle. Another guy to watch for in the hero department is Charlotte center fielder Jose Gutierrez. He is another one of those young stars who is also a team captain, like Lindsay, but without the fragility. And I really see things shaping up so that the big debate in the WPK for the next decade or so will be, who is the best center fielder? McPhillips or Gutierrez? (A few others coming up might get in the debate too.)

"A thought on Jamel McNeil, he is a scary individual. His stats are incredible. Could you please post them for us? One thing that stands out (really how can anything stand out with this guy when everything does ) is the sheer amount of wins that he has accumulated over the years. Of course this has a lot to do with his dominance, durability, stamina and opportunities. For a reliever/closer he will end up retiring with more wins than most STARTING pitchers! Say what you will about him, but don't ever say he didn't give everything he had to each team he was on, even though he was only on some teams for a short time."

He's a beast. I'll post details later when I am in front of the game.

"I could give so many kudos for individual play but you have done that in your evaluation so I will skip that. What I want to focus on now is 4 players, Chad Brown, Harry Lyerly, Jonathan Koch and Ryan Rodgers. You had identified concerns about their recent history and future.

Let's start with Chad Brown. You mentioned that he has shown a decline in range (he has always had a tin glove, some years 30 or more errors if I am not mistaken) and therefore in defensive value. He likely needs a change of position (to second base) or a change of scenery. The infield as a whole is suffering because of his diminished skills. Those all were of course your evaluation paraphrased except my thought in parentheses. Perhaps a position change might do him some good, but I do not believe it should be with the Brewers. You have possible replacements if you choose or you could trade for a quality shortstop. Either way I believe the best choice is a change of scenery for Chad."

So about Chad- yes he has always been error prone and remains so but he also has been known to range far and make incredible plays during his career and he's very good at turning the double play. Oddly, his error rating has never been that low (7 out of 10) but of course as a shortstop with great range he also gets plenty of opportunities to mess up. The real challenge is that we aren't deep at shortstop. We have a few guys who could take over as good field, no hit types. Our top shortstop prospect, currently at AAA, is Kevin Flieder but while he is a solid defender I just don't see him ever hitting enough to be a WPK starter. If Chad is done, we likely need to trade for a replacement. (More about that soon.) Chad does provide some of the best skills on the base paths for the Brewers still, though his base speed is somewhat diminished.

"Now to "Happy" Harry Lyerly. I agree with you, he is the weak link in the starting rotation. His decline has been coming and has been noticeable. Harry was an oddity that the stars and moons aligned, not perfect but well enough for him to have a good career. I realize that his name has been on the billboard ever since Ruben "Streak" Souffront moved on from Denver and he became the posterboy for the organization (I imagine that Joe McPhillips will become the next one). He isn't and shouldn't be an easy player to lose, speaking in terms of importance to the organization. I agree that his days are numbered in Denver (that sounded harsh I didn't intend it to). Speaking from between the outside and inside I think his trade value is higher than his playing value and never give away resources (non-tendering him) unless there is no choice. A change of scenery may even help "Happy" Harry."

Yeah, as much as it pains me, this is probably Harry's last season with us. Though every time he seems to be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation he comes back with a strong game (haven't yet reported on the latest.) He is once again leading the league in K/9 but he also is walking more batter than previously. His HR/9 is pretty steady actually and not as bad as one might imagine it would be, but his FIP this year is very poor and his mediocre performance is likely more a product of good luck than bad luck. With the trade deadline approaching I probably will, as you suggest, look into the possibility of dealing him.


"Jonathan Koch I am not sure about. Would you please post his info and stats history also? I suspect that he may bounce back. If not this second half then next year. I would love to take a look at all his info before making a judgement."

I'll post more about Koch later. Suffice it to say that as a contact hitter his current numbers would indicate a measure of bad luck that should see his numbers rebound at some point. He still has decent power. But he'll never be an OBP guy so he really needs to hit for a decent average AND hit a good number of doubles and HR's to be an offensive plus. He is still a very good defensive second baseman and lately especially he has made a number of spectacular plays. His errors of high this year, and I'm not sure what that is about. But the other thing about Koch is that he seems to have a pretty high trade value at this point. If we are going to get an impact shortstop it is more likely going to happen by trading Koch than Brown.

"Ryan Rodgers is an interesting case. First question. Do you still intend for him to retire in a Brewer uniform? If so I will go no further. I will make further comment if you have changed intent."

Ryan is a bit of a conundrum. Both the OSA and the Brewers scouting staff shows very little decline in his game. He's slowed down a bit and is only an adequate center fielder at this point, but he's still very much a plus defender on the corners with a great arm. Recent indications are that his contact skills at the plate are a bit less than they were- but we are talking about a 9 overall instead of a 10 (on a 10 scale, of course.) And he's still one of the best OBP machines in the WPK. He has 2 more years on his contract, both with team options if we want to buy him out. My guess is that he is going to bounce back at the plate in the second half and we will keep him for 1976 at least. (He can also start transitioning to first base part of the time.) But if he doesn't bounce back and if we get news from our scouting staff that a more significant decline is in progress, well, that could certainly change.

"So, overall my suggestion is to utilize Chad Browns' and "Happy" Harry Lyerlys' trade value and trade for perhaps (just a suggestion) a quality shortstop and a reliever if possible (Jamel McNeil perhaps? ). Jonathan Koch and Ryan Rodgers need the info."

A trade involving some combination of Brown, Lyerly, and Koch is pretty likely. Just not sure what combination yet. And this might involve some more shopping around of these players in combinations to see how other teams value them.
I'm not sure what to do about the bullpen- whether I should add another arm or not. There are indications that some of our guys have just been very unlucky (Jaden Francis and the two new guys), with very high BABIP's. And Ben Flynn is showing good promise even if he is not yet consistent. The two quality arms we already added this season, one righty (Shore) and one lefty (Gottula) are about as talented as anyone else we could get (okay, not McNeil, but we aren't getting him ) and I think we just need to give them some more innings and they will right themselves. (Though yes, better infield defense is also a key.) I did also recently promote Sekien Hamasaki to pitch out of the 'pen for now and maybe get the occasional start and might even promote youngster John Weaver before long. Perhaps adding a few starters/future starters to round out the 'pen might not hurt. But mostly I think I need to give it some time and trust in the talent of these arms. It's got to get better (I hope.)
We are also very deep in our system at first base so if we need to send Sepi Koller elsewhere to sweeten the pot in a deal to get a quality shortstop, that is a strong possibility.




Palaaemon
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:58 PM   #811
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Oh, and a couple of other things, mostly to Palaaemon, but with a request to others following here as well.

First- I should have said a big thank you again, Palaaemon, for your very thoughtful and engaged posts regarding the WPK and all the wonderful questions you ask. Often your questions touch on things that I have been meaning to talk about or give me an opportunity to expand on things I have said in a way that I really wanted to. The fact is that I could write a lot more about this league here than I do, and I'm already pretty prolific, but I'm never sure how far down a rabbit hole I can go before I just lose everyone. But at least if there is one person wanting to know more, I am ecstatic to share. (stevem810 and pauwoo, you've been great about engaging too- thank you!)

So here is my request to anyone else who comes here regularly: please ask away, anything you want to know, any questions you want answered, or any feedback you want to give, suggestions, complaints, etc. I mean it's totally cool if you just want to check it out now and then and stay quiet- I have no desire to drive you away. But never be shy to comment or ask a question. It makes this thing so much more rewarding for me when I do get feedback.
EDIT: Okay, let me float a question out there to try to get things started. What would you name the Championship series in the WPK? It has been discussed that it should be something other than the World Series, something more befitting this alternate baseball reality and universe. stevem810 mentioned the possibility of calling it the Kinsella Championship Series (KCS) but also, much earlier in this thread, casually referred to it as the Kinsella Autumn Classic or Kinsella Fall Classic, or something like that (sorry, couldn't find it again right now) and I really liked the sound of that. Any other ideas out there? If I gather 5-7 strong contenders perhaps I could initiate a vote on it before we get to the end of the 1975 WPK season.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:19 PM   #812
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WPK Player Spotlight: Jamel McNeil

As requested, let's take a closer look at Jamel McNeil, the most feared reliever in the history of the WPK thus far and one of the most hated players also.

McNeil was originally selected in the third round of the WPK Inaugural Draft by the Los Angeles Spinners (58th overall.) At age 24, in his first season, he hurled 152.1 innings over 87 games (1 start, the lone start of his career) with a record of 17-3 and 21 saves. His 8.0 WAR was the best among pitchers in the MGL. While it may have been his most impressive season, there have been many more to follow.

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His reputation as a disruptive influence in the clubhouse, the fact that he is universally disliked, has made him well-traveled. He has pitched for 5 teams in his now 10+ year career, including the Denver Brewers briefly in 1968, but 2 of those teams- Jacksonville and Charlotte- let him go at one point only to bring him back after he had a stint elsewhere. And those are the two teams with whom he has won championships- in 1972 with Charlotte and 1973 with the Wolf Pack.

This year is his first with the Boston Berserkers and currently they sit in 2nd place in the SJL, 5 games behind Columbus. McNeil is on pace for a 13-4, 11 save season with a 2.23 ERA and 3.8 WAR. In other words, a weak season for him and a great season for any mere mortal.

With his 6 Reliever of the Year awards, 11 All-Star game selections, and all of his statistical distinctions, Jamel McNeil is Hall of Fame bound. If this Iron Man force of nature ever stops pitching, that is.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:26 PM   #813
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Jonathan Koch

As requested, a closer look at Jonathan Koch:
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:33 PM   #814
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...and Ryan Rodgers

Ryan Rodgers:
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:44 AM   #815
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Week 14, July 13-19, 1975

Brewers record: 2-4 (week), 54-33, 1st place (tie), MGL

July 13-15, versus Oklahoma City: 2-5, 5-7, 9-1.

After losing 3 straight to L.A. to start the home stand, the Brewers drop the first game against the Diamond Kings as the offense only gets 2 runs in spite of collecting 13 hits and 4 walks. Cheol-han Lee (10-3, 3.28) takes the loss, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits in 7 2/3rds innings. Rodrigo Rodriguez had a fine game, going 4 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base (4) in the loss.

Game 2 is a back-and-forth affair with the visitors prevailing. Denver starter Erik Sloan had to leave after recording 1 out in the 2nd inning (fortunately it was some minor back pain that he was soon recovered from fully) and after Jaden Francis and Jeremy Walker combined for a solid 4 2/3rds, young Ben Flynn gave up 3 runs in his 2 innings. Flynn takes the loss to drop to 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA. Jorge Gonzalez, in his first game after being recalled from AAA Chester, went 2 for 4.

Josh Schaeffer (.305/.396/.532) helped lead the team to an easy 9-1 win in the final game of the series, going 3 for 4 with 4 runs scored and 3 RBI, hitting his 8th double and 12th HR of the season. Steve Green (9-2, 3.26), in the midst of perhaps the best season of his career thus far, lasted 8 innings, giving up just the 1 run on 9 hits. Ryan Rodgers went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI in the game.

July 16-18, at San Francisco: 4-5, 1-3, 12-0.

Heading west to San Francisco's Bank of the West Ballpark, the best pitching park in the MGL, the Brewers bats went silent again.
In game 1, Harry Lyerly (5-4, 3.70) deserved a better fate, as he allowed just a single run on 7 hits (with 7 K and 2 BB) over his 6 2/3rds innings pitched but got a no-decision as his team failed to give him run support and the bullpen gave up 3 runs (well, Jason Gottula gave up 3 runs, to be more precise.) Josh Schaeffer stayed hot, going 2 for 5, once again hitting a double (9) and HR (13) in the game. He also threw out a runner at home plate, his 8th OF assist of the season. (RodRod committed 2 errors in the game and is now up to 16 on the season.)

The Denver offense was even more stymied in game 2, leading to a loss for Matt Helm (7-3, 2.51) in spite of another solid start. Helm gave up 3 runs on 9 hits in 7 innings pitched, striking out 6 and walking just 1. Joe Willemse (.302/.324/.413) went 2 for 4 in the loss.

The final score of game 3 couldn't be more misleading. (Well, I guess it could. I mean we won 12-0, and there's no denying that.) This was a scoreless tie going into the 9th inning. The Brewers had squandered a number of good scoring opportunities, including when Jorge Gonzalez tripled with only 1 out in the 1st inning. But then in the top of the 9th the Brewers got things started innocently enough with an Andrew Kennedy lead-off single. Kirk Patnode sent him to second with a sacrifice bunt, because clearly even a single run in this series was significant. RodRod then doubled to score Kennedy. (RodRod was injured on the play and Joe Willemse took his place at second base.) Sadahige Kawasaki, in the midst of a masterful shutout was up next. The Denver manager thought hard about keeping Kawasaki in to try to finish it out, even if that meant protecting a 1-0 lead, especially given how poor the bullpen has been. But in the end, he decided we needed a few more runs. In came the recently hot Josh Schaeffer to pinch-hit. And to be intentionally walked. Chad Brown dropped a little fly ball into shallow center to load the bases. Jorge Gonzalez hit into a force play at home. Bases still loaded, 2 outs. But what the heck, at least the Brewers now had the lead, however narrow. Ryan Rodgers then walked so hey, 2-0. That's a bit better. And hey, Joe McPhillips, up next, singles home 2 runs. Okay, now we're talking. And then all heck broke loose. I suspect the Brewers batters were taking out some frustrations in this inning. Because they proceeded to plate 8 more runs, scoring 12 in all, 11 of them with 2 outs. This included 2 doubles (Jonathan Koch, Chad Brown), another Kennedy single and another Jorge Gonzalez single, and Joe Willemse reaching base on an error. 12 runs, 10 hits, 1 error, 1 man left of base.
Sadahige Kawasaki (10-4, 2.75) gave up no runs on only 2 hits (4 K, 2 BB) in his 8 innings pitched. Ben Flynn pitched a perfect 9th to preserve the shutout. The Brewers hit 5 doubles and a triple in the game, with Jorge Gonzalez (.319/.331/.397) going 3 for 6 with a run and an RBI and hitting the triple for his 2nd of the season as a Brewer.

Notes from around the league: Columbus gets hot again, having won 6 straight, and with a 61-26 record they lead the SJL by 5 games over the Boston Berserkers (56-31). The Milwaukee Cadets are now in 3rd, 11 1/2 games out.
At one point this week the Brewers dropped out of 1st place for the first time since mid-May, but they finish the week tied with Brooklyn at 54-33. The red hot L.A. Spinners are just 3 games back in 3rd place (51-36.)
RodRod suffered a back strain during that 12-run 9th in the last game of the week for the Brewers and isn't expected to be ready to play for at least a week so he was placed on the 10-day IL. Veteran infielder Oscar Vargas, on his second rehab stint at AAA Chester, was recalled to replace him on the roster.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:18 AM   #816
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Bird, stevem810, pauwoo and everyone else,

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Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
Oh, and a couple of other things, mostly to Palaaemon, but with a request to others following here as well.

First- I should have said a big thank you again, Palaaemon, for your very thoughtful and engaged posts regarding the WPK and all the wonderful questions you ask. Often your questions touch on things that I have been meaning to talk about or give me an opportunity to expand on things I have said in a way that I really wanted to. The fact is that I could write a lot more about this league here than I do, and I'm already pretty prolific, but I'm never sure how far down a rabbit hole I can go before I just lose everyone. But at least if there is one person wanting to know more, I am ecstatic to share. (stevem810 and pauwoo, you've been great about engaging too- thank you!)

I think I have said this before. It's YOUR dynasty, do what makes YOU happy. Of course you want your readers to enjoy reading along and interacting. Why are you questioning though? Your up front readers so far steven810, pauwoo and myself (am I missing anyone) have been here enjoying the ride with no complaints and as far as I know have no plans to leave. Now if there are any lurkers out there (and there most assuredly are some) you won't know their thoughts unless they speak up. So lurkers say hello if you are there and comment about your thoughts if you wish . As far as my view on it, I love to get involved and create. Make the WPK world more "real" than it is. Bring the league and it's players to life. Your worried about going down the rabbit hole to far? You could end up in the Mad Hatter's tea party and only just be getting started as far as I am concerned. I am along for the ride and this is about more than just games, stats and names.

So here is my request to anyone else who comes here regularly: please ask away, anything you want to know, any questions you want answered, or any feedback you want to give, suggestions, complaints, etc. I mean it's totally cool if you just want to check it out now and then and stay quiet- I have no desire to drive you away. But never be shy to comment or ask a question. It makes this thing so much more rewarding for me when I do get feedback.
EDIT: Okay, let me float a question out there to try to get things started. What would you name the Championship series in the WPK? It has been discussed that it should be something other than the World Series, something more befitting this alternate baseball reality and universe. stevem810 mentioned the possibility of calling it the Kinsella Championship Series (KCS) but also, much earlier in this thread, casually referred to it as the Kinsella Autumn Classic or Kinsella Fall Classic, or something like that (sorry, couldn't find it again right now) and I really liked the sound of that. Any other ideas out there? If I gather 5-7 strong contenders perhaps I could initiate a vote on it before we get to the end of the 1975 WPK season.
Off the top of my head I do not have a suggestion but I would rank those above as (1) Kinsela Fall Classic (I really like this one. It just sounds good ) (2) Kinsella Championship Series (little more generic sounding) (3) Kinsella Autumn Classic (Kinsella Fall Classic just sounds better). As far as giving you an idea of how far apart each one is in ranking for me, on a scale of 100-1 100 being tops (1) 100 points, (2) 50 points and (3) 5 points.

Hope this all helps. Have a Great night!

Palaaemon
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Old 12-13-2019, 03:08 AM   #817
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Continuing thoughts on players conversations

Bird,

After looking over the player info you posted and reading your thoughts I have considered a few things. I am still solid on Chad Brown and Harry Lyerly, they should be traded. After scouting Jonathan Koch I feel that even if he does "bounce" back this year like I had hoped he would in the second half, he may not have his power. He looks to be declining in the power department and with his increase in errors (may not be all his fault) you may want to sell high as it were. Jonathan is not unique and could be replaced fairly easily. Ryan Rodgers is a similar story (not referring to whether unique or not). I think he will "bounce" here and there the rest of the season, maybe even get back to a respectable Ryan season. It appears that perhaps he also may be declining in the gap power department. I noticed that in 42 GP he has 4 doubles, 0 triples and 0 home runs (not that he really hits home runs). This year he has become a singles hitting, power walking, never K-ing, $390,000/year, nearly 37 year old, 5 star, very good defensive corner outfielder. I believe that perhaps the play here is continue to play him hoping he will catch fire and improve thereby increasing his trade value before he REALLY begins to decline, which I believe will be next season if not sooner.

This next subject is near and dear to your heart. RodRod. I am concerned about him being a full-time third baseman. Offensively he is good, but defensively his glove has a hole in it. I am suggesting perhaps using him off the bench where his glove will not harm the team as much (does he play other positions?) All these errors have to be costing you games (not just his, everyones). I truly believe if you shore up the infield and with Bobby coming back everything will improve. Now if you can get a top-of-the-line shortstop with elite defense, good or better speed and hitting and who is hopefully durable. He really needs to be reliable then perhaps he can cover for RodRod.

The next subject is near and dear to MY heart. Bobby Erkaban. When does he come off the IL? How long are you sending him for rehab? I have this feeling that when he gets back he is going to start putting it together. I know that he is NOT happy that he is injured and cannot help his teammates through this rough time. He is pissed that he has not performed the way he expected too coming into this year after his previous exceptional campaign. He cannot wait to get back out on the diamond with his boys and put a hurting on the ball, but he knows patience is the key in this situation. Heal the injury, rehab, THEN back to the action!

So my suggestion, trade Chad Brown, Harry Lyerly and Jonathan Koch. Work to improve Ryan Rodgers and trade him before the deadline. Forget about the trading for relief pitcher unless you find one that will work. Trade needs: Top-of-the-line Shortstop, very good Second Baseman great-elite defense and good+ hitting. Perhaps a corner outfielder if you need one. Not sure where you stand now and where you will stand after Ryan would be traded.

Keep in mind all this is thoughts and suggestions for you. A "what would I do if I were in your shoes"? experiment. Hopefully it all makes sense. I know that we agree on some of it already, but there is more fat to chew here as it were. Let me know what you think.

Have a Great night!

Palaaemon
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Old 12-13-2019, 11:31 AM   #818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

After looking over the player info you posted and reading your thoughts I have considered a few things. I am still solid on Chad Brown and Harry Lyerly, they should be traded. After scouting Jonathan Koch I feel that even if he does "bounce" back this year like I had hoped he would in the second half, he may not have his power. He looks to be declining in the power department and with his increase in errors (may not be all his fault) you may want to sell high as it were. Jonathan is not unique and could be replaced fairly easily. Ryan Rodgers is a similar story (not referring to whether unique or not). I think he will "bounce" here and there the rest of the season, maybe even get back to a respectable Ryan season. It appears that perhaps he also may be declining in the gap power department. I noticed that in 42 GP he has 4 doubles, 0 triples and 0 home runs (not that he really hits home runs). This year he has become a singles hitting, power walking, never K-ing, $390,000/year, nearly 37 year old, 5 star, very good defensive corner outfielder. I believe that perhaps the play here is continue to play him hoping he will catch fire and improve thereby increasing his trade value before he REALLY begins to decline, which I believe will be next season if not sooner.

This next subject is near and dear to your heart. RodRod. I am concerned about him being a full-time third baseman. Offensively he is good, but defensively his glove has a hole in it. I am suggesting perhaps using him off the bench where his glove will not harm the team as much (does he play other positions?) All these errors have to be costing you games (not just his, everyones). I truly believe if you shore up the infield and with Bobby coming back everything will improve. Now if you can get a top-of-the-line shortstop with elite defense, good or better speed and hitting and who is hopefully durable. He really needs to be reliable then perhaps he can cover for RodRod.

The next subject is near and dear to MY heart. Bobby Erkaban. When does he come off the IL? How long are you sending him for rehab? I have this feeling that when he gets back he is going to start putting it together. I know that he is NOT happy that he is injured and cannot help his teammates through this rough time. He is pissed that he has not performed the way he expected too coming into this year after his previous exceptional campaign. He cannot wait to get back out on the diamond with his boys and put a hurting on the ball, but he knows patience is the key in this situation. Heal the injury, rehab, THEN back to the action!

So my suggestion, trade Chad Brown, Harry Lyerly and Jonathan Koch. Work to improve Ryan Rodgers and trade him before the deadline. Forget about the trading for relief pitcher unless you find one that will work. Trade needs: Top-of-the-line Shortstop, very good Second Baseman great-elite defense and good+ hitting. Perhaps a corner outfielder if you need one. Not sure where you stand now and where you will stand after Ryan would be traded.

Keep in mind all this is thoughts and suggestions for you. A "what would I do if I were in your shoes"? experiment. Hopefully it all makes sense. I know that we agree on some of it already, but there is more fat to chew here as it were. Let me know what you think.

Have a Great night!

Palaaemon
As always, thanks for the feedback and for following so closely Palaaemon!

So, I certainly am leaning heavily towards trading Jonathan Koch as he is still not showing signs of snapping out of it and has the highest trade value of the three (including Brown and Lyerly in this.) My guess is that Lyerly is the other one most likely to go since we have a deep rotation at this point and a few solid prospects who are basically ready, or very soon to be ready, for promotion.
Brown could certainly be traded also if trade negotiations indicate that we can get good value for him. Otherwise, I don't mind keeping him but more as a bench player with his good base-running skills. He could certainly learn to play second base and even could be an okay third baseman so he might end up in a utility role. Not that he will be happy about this, but indications about his personality thus far are that he isn't one to get too bent out of shape about anything. I will say this about Brown too- with his contact first approach at the plate (rarely striking out) he has often come through this year in situations with runners in scoring position. I can usually at least count on him putting the ball in play even if he doesn't get a hit and often good things can happen as a result. (His speed, while not what it once was, does still get him a fair share of leg hits.)

Rodgers though I don't see trading this year. As you suggest, he should bounce back at the plate soon, is still a great fielder on the outfield corners, and gets on base at tremendous rates. Okay, he's not great once on base, but with our potent offense there is still a good chance someone drives him home. The trading deadline is only a bit over a week away and I just don't see him getting traded this year. Now, at the end of the season, I'll have to re-assess.

As for RodRod. Yeah, I know, this is a tough one. And I know you and I value him a bit differently. I will admit that he has gone through a stretch recently where that fumble-itis has shown up big after being pretty steady the first half of the season. But his bat is so good and the rest of his game is solid enough that he still has one of the highest WAR on the team. Does it make up for the errors? Not entirely, but I think mostly it does. And while we have some potentially very good third basemen coming up through the system, at this point we don't have a worthy replacement. (Unless I give the job to Joe Willemse, but I think he is better suited to his current super-utility job or if he does start it should be at second base.) I did just bring Oscar Vargas back from his rehab assignment so it would make sense that late in close games he will take over at third for RodRod, but I still see RodRod getting most of the starts. RodRod's other position would be second base and he is very good at turning the double play but his strong arm would be wasted there and I suspect that this would just give him more opportunities for errors and hurt the team even more than keeping him at third.

Okay, on to happier news. Bobby is slated to be ready to return to action in 5 days, barring some unforeseen occurrence (Jordan Stephens, for instance, had a setback in his recovery and his timetable for return is currently unknown). Yes, he will get sent to AAA Chester for a rehab assignment. Which I assume won't be a long one unless he seems to be really struggling. He should be back soon and as you suggest, at the very least that should help strengthen the infield defense again. (I also realize I should point out that our team Zone Rating- IIRC- is 3rd best in the league, so I may have overplayed our defensive challenges a bit. I'd have to look at how we rate in terms of errors but I don't think we are near the bottom of the pack- more like middle.)

So, a few things I haven't said in the last few posts:
Two second basemen- David Bennett and Brett Taranto- are having fine seasons at AAA. They both could probably be playing at the WPK level right now. Now, are they ready to start? Maybe not. And while Bennett is a very fine fielder he likely won't hit a ton and with Taranto it's the other way around. But given the way Joe Willemse has played, my feeling is that if we are going to target one position it needs to be shortstop. Second base can probably hold it's own for now, even with a trade of Koch.
Oh, and the outfield? Still very good. Josh Schaeffer, after his tremendous start and then a bit of a slump mid-season, is back on form, hitting great and fielding very well in right with solid range, few mistakes, and a very strong arm. Andrew Kennedy doesn't really hurt us in left field even if he isn't going to win any Gold Gloves, but his bat remains one of the best (if not the best- I mean, he does lead the league in batting average) on the team. Young Jorge Gonzalez continues to impress in spite of the questions about his makeup and gives us a great backup in left and an adequate backup in center. I think we are set there for now.

So what I see most likely is that Koch and Lyerly are likely to be traded and Brown possibly also and we will target a great defensive shortstop with a bat that won't hurt us and see if we can't get a middle range prospect or two in the deal also (any position really, but with a likely focus on starting pitchers or a fairly advanced bullpen arm.)

EDIT: Ah, probably should have mentioned contracts for Koch, Lyerly, and Brown and how they might affect their trade value. Koch currently makes league minimum and then is arbitration eligible for the next 4 years. Lyerly has one last year of arbitration eligibility, is currently making 157K and likely to get somewhere around 200K in arbitration at the end of the season if not extended. Brown is signed through 1979 at 210K per year with a team option for the 1979 season. So, as you can see, Koch's trade value is higher if for no other reason than that he is a bit younger and cheaper than the other two with more years of team control ahead than Lyerly. Budget concerns aren't a focus for the Brewers at this point- we are in good shape- but very well might be for any potential trading partners.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:45 PM   #819
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Future site of the WPK Hall of Fame?

Rumors are swirling around the WPK that the small Iowa city of Dubuque, on the banks of the Mississippi, is the front runner to be the home of the future WPK Hall-of-Fame.

The city of roughly 62,000 inhabitants lies in the Tri-State area where Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin meet and is already something of a tourist destination not only for its views of the Mississippi but also for unique architecture, and as a hub of religious activity (in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the city experienced an influx of German and Irish Catholics and the majestic St. Mary's Church is one of the city's important landmarks) and academic pursuits (the city is home to five institutions of higher learning).

Perhaps most importantly, Dubuque is the nearest big city to the ball field considered the cradle of baseball- Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella's park built in the middle of his corn fields which would come to be known as the Field of Dreams. (Okay, taking some liberties here with timelines- let's just pretend that Shoeless Joe/Field of Dreams was set a bit earlier in history.)
Ray's son, the WPK's spiritual inspiration, baseball fabulist/writer W.P. Kinsella (again, taking some liberties), was rumored to have spent a good deal of time on his weekends while a student at the University of Iowa, an hour and a half southwest, in lovely Dubuque, growing especially fond of Eagle Point Park.
The feeling is that a site on Kerper Boulevard, on the way to Eagle Point Park from downtown Dubuque, will house the future WPK Hall of Fame, Museum, and Library.

In the future it might well be said of a great player nearing the end of his career that he has punched his ticket to Dubuque.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:12 PM   #820
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Thought

Bird,

You know something just occurred to me. You had mentioned sometime previously that Oscar Vargas' future was not certain with the Brewers. You might start to be on the lookout for his replacement (an elite defense super sub) either in trade or free agency. Easier said than done finding a player like that most likely, depending on the WPK. Maybe you are already doing this, if so please disregard this message.

Have a Great Day!

Palaaemon
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