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Old 12-22-2019, 02:15 PM   #861
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Week 19, August 17-23, 1975

Brewers record: 5-2 (week), 75-45, 1st place, MGL (season).

A nice bounce back week for the Brewers, though L.A. stays tough and is right on their tail.

August 17, versus San Francisco: 8-3.

After dropping the first two games at home against the Velocity, the Brewers avoid being swept with a solid win in game 3. Steve Green pitched well- giving up 2 runs (only 1 earned) on 5 hits in 7 1/3rd inning, while striking out 8 batters and walking none. Green improves to 11-4 with a 3.33 ERA. Bobby Erbakan led the way offensively, going 3 for 3 with 3 RBI and his 9th HR of the season. RodRod was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and hit his team-leading 28th double.

August 18-20, at Portland: 11-5, 5-4, 2-3.

The Brewers head up to the Pacific Northwest to play the Wild Things. In game 1 Josh Schaeffer comes up big, going 3 for 6 with 2 runs and 2 RBI and hitting his 15th HR of the season. RodRod also is 3 for 6 in the game and with Schaeffer and RodRod hitting 1-2 in the order, they really set the stage for a high scoring Brewer attack. Zacarias Martell was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, though he also committed his 8th error of the season. Matt Helm (9-4, 2.29) gets the victory, allowing 4 runs, but only 1 earned, on 6 hits in 6 2/3rds innings. Jaden Francis gave up 5 hits and 1 run in his 2 1/3rd innings, but holds on to get his 6th save (4.50 ERA.)

Harry Lyerly was named the Player of the Game in game 2, but was denied a win as his offense came alive after he left the game and the bullpen let him down. After Lyerly took a 2-hit shutout into the 7th inning, he got into a bit of trouble against some tremendous hitters (Chris Tobin, Cody Kane) and gave way to left-hander Eric Marino out of the 'pen. Marino gave up a 2-run HR to the first batter he faced. The Brewers came back though, thanks to Joe McPhillips' 14th HR of the season, which gave them the 5-4 lead they did not relinquish. Bobby Erbakan hit HR #10 in the game. Eric Marino vultured his way to a win, improving to 4-1 with a 3.74 ERA and Jason Gottula got his 3rd save as a Brewer (3.75.) Ryan Rodgers was 3 for 5 in the game but his batting average remains uncharacteristically low at .268.

In a pitching duel in the third game of the series, the Brewers score a run in the top of the 9th to tie the game at 2-2 and then lose in the 11th when Jeremy Walker (0-4, 5.55) allowed the walk-off single after having given up a lead-off double and seeing the runner advance to third on a sac fly. (It was revealed recently that the Brewers had attempted to trade Walker for a relief pitching prospect but that neither player cleared waivers and the trade was a no-go. It is unlikely that the control challenged lefty will be in a Brewers uniform in 1976.) Erik Sloan lasted 8 1/3rd innings in this one, giving up just 2 runs on 6 hits. (Post to follow about the wonderful under-the-radar season Sloan is having.) Joe McPhillips went 2 for 5 in the game and hit his 15th HR to tie Josh Schaeffer for the team lead.

August 21-23, versus Charlotte: 3-2, 8-1, 1-9.

The Brewers come home to take on the Charlotte Sting.
The home club gets a narrow victory in game 1, getting off to an early 3-0 lead and then just narrowly escaping the 9th without losing the lead. Sadahige Kawasaki (13-5, 2.59) earns the victory, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in 8 2/3rds innings. Jason Gottula gets the final out (after allowing a hit) for his 4th save. And Little Joe Willemse goes 3 for 4 in the game while also being in the middle of 2 big double plays.

Game 2 is an easy victory thanks in large part to Joe McPhillips, who went 2 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI, his two hits both being homers, to give him the team lead now with 17. Bobby Erbakan homered again too (in fact, he and McPhillips went back-to-back in the 2nd inning) and he is up to 11 on the season. And Cheol-han Lee (13-4, 3.25) pitched a fine game- giving up 1 run on 6 hits in 8 innings.

The Sting flipped the script in game 3 to deny the Brewers a sweep. Rough start for Steve Green (11-5, 3.53) who gave up 6 runs on 10 hits in 7 innings pitched. Bobby Erbakan was 2 for 4 in the game and stole 2 bases to get to 11 on the year. Meanwhile, RodRod, who is still leading the league in batting average and is on pace for a solid 3.8 WAR season, committed his league-leading (for his position, and by far) 22nd error. Ah well, you take the bad with the good.

Notes from around the league: Columbus remains atop the SJL standings with a 78-41 record, 5 1/2 games ahead of Boston (73-47). No other team is within single digits of the leader and this certainly looks like it will be a 2-team race. Boston's Justin Vargas (6.9) and Curtis Horah (6.3) are atop the WAR leader board.
The Brewers had a good week but the L.A. Spinners have been even better lately and only trail Denver by 1 game. The Brooklyn Aces (71-49), in spite of having the best run differential in the WPK (Denver is 2nd), now trail by 4 games. And nobody else is within 10 games of the Brewers. This looks like a 3-team race that could come down to the final week, or even day, of the season. RodRod and Andrew Kennedy are 1-2 in the batting title race in the MGL and Cheol-han Lee (4.7) and Sadahige Kawasaki (4.6) are 1-2 (Kawasaki is tied with L.A.'s Mike Stagner) in the pitching WAR race.
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:32 PM   #862
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Erik Sloan's deceptively good 1975 season.

Denver veteran left-handed starting pitcher, Erik Sloan, the MGL's Pitcher of the Year in 1972, has a record of 8-4 with a 3.03 ERA thus far in 1975.
Those are nice numbers. On the surface one would say that Sloan is having a fine year.
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Actually, though, he's having a tremendous year.
If you dig a bit deeper, you see that Sloan's WAR of 4.6 is tied with teammate Sadahige Kawasaki and L.A.'s Matt Stagner for 2nd best in the MGL, his 3 shutouts also place him in a tie for 2nd, he leads in K/BB rate- by a good margin- at 5.4, his BB/9 being 1st at 1.1 and his K/9 ranking 6th at 5.7. His WHIP of 0.98 is the only one below 1 in the league (with teammate Kawasaki second at 1.07), his FIP of 2.62 is also easily best (2nd is Kawasaki at 2.89, 3rd is Lee at 2.94, 4th is Steve Green at 3.12- in other words, the Brewers own this category), and his opponent BA is .233, 5th best in the league. And this with a BABIP against of .269, which might seem a bit low, but is exactly his career average. With his FIP- of 63 and his rWAR of 4.0, don't be fooled by his traditional stats.
Erik Sloan isn't a good pitcher in 1975- he's one of the best!

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Old 12-22-2019, 02:37 PM   #863
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

Question for you. Who was drafted #1 ahead of Aaron McNally? Thanks my man.

Have a Great day!

Palaaemon
That would be the great knuckleballer Lienhart Brown of the Charlotte Sting.
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The problem for Brown has been his propensity for injury. And while he is having a good 1975 season, the perception is that his once future HOF-looking talent has fallen to more mortal levels.
McNally, meanwhile, is durable and looks destined for great glory over the course of his career.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:48 PM   #864
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Holiday Wishes

I just want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas! Here is to you and yours being safe and sound this holiday season. May St. Nick bring everyone what they want and need. Spread happiness and love to those you care about.

Cheers to everyone!

Palaaemon
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:25 PM   #865
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
I just want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas! Here is to you and yours being safe and sound this holiday season. May St. Nick bring everyone what they want and need. Spread happiness and love to those you care about.

Cheers to everyone!

Palaaemon
Merry Christmas to you as well, my friend.
St. Nick is bringing me a day off to play OOTP, which is exactly the gift I was hoping for (and always hope for.)
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:00 PM   #866
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Week 20, August 24-30, 1975

Brewers record: 4-2 (week), 79-47, 1st place, MGL (season).

August 24-26, at Baltimore: 10-0, 4-3, 1-10.

The Brewers got the week off to a good start with an easy victory behind Matt Helm (10-4, 2.11). Helm, who was a 1st round draft pick in the 1966 draft, picked 6th overall by the Charlotte Sting, is having a career year. In this one he picked up his 3rd complete game shutout of 1975, allowing just 5 hits while striking out 2 and walking 1. RodRod went 4 for 4 with 4 RBI and hit his 7th HR. Josh Schaeffer went 2 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 3 walks in the lead off slot.

In game 2 the Brewers jumped out to an early lead and then held on to get the narrow 4-3 win. Sekein Hamasaki was given his 4th start of the season and, having given up 3 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings, improved to 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA. Tim Shore earned his 11th save by pitching a not really flawless but ultimately successful 9th inning. Bobby Erbakan hit his 12th HR and stole his 12th base in this one. And Zacarias Martell committed his 12th error. In an otherwise tremendous year for the second year catcher this is one troubling sign- he committed just 4 errors in 111 games in 1974. And while his range rating is essentially unchanged, his Zone Rating has dropped from +3.9 in '74 to -0.6 this season.

And then the Brewers got clobbered in game 3. Harry Lyerly started and didn't pitch that bad- giving up 4 runs, but only 2 of them earned, on 5 hits and 4 walks in his 6 innings pitched. He didn't get any run support and then the bullpen just completed imploded- again- and Lyerly drops to 8-6 with a 3.49 ERA. Jaden Francis gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in his inning pitched, seeing his ERA rise to 5.26 and his chances of being a Brewer in 1976 diminish to nearly nothing. On the plus side, RodRod went 2 for 5 and hit his 29th double.

August 28-30, at Phoenix: 6-9, 6-0, 17-7.

The Brewers head down to the dessert and lose another as the Speed Devils score 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th to break open a close game. Having recently lavished praise on Erik Sloan, he has perhaps his worst start of the season, giving up 6 runs on 12 hits in 6 innings pitched. He drops to 8-5 with a 3.28 ERA. RodRod, Josh Schaeffer, and Zacarias Martell all had 3 hits in the game, with Martell's 15th double of the season the only extra base hit for the Brewers in this one.

Sadahige Kawasaki (14-5, 2.46) helps get the Brewers on the right track again by giving up no runs on 8 hits in 8 innings pitched and Jaden Francis, in spite of giving up a pair of hits, holds the shutout in the 9th. Zacarias Martell hits his 7th HR of the season and Joe McPhillips picks up homer number 18. McPhillips also swipes his 6th base while Josh Schaeffer gets stolen base number 10.

But the best way to beat the power hitting Speed Devils in their hitter's paradise ballpark is to score a crap load of runs. And that's exactly what the Brewers did in the final game of the series and the week. Big games all around for the Brewers lineup, but special note for Oscar Vargas and his 2 for 4, 6 RBI game including a Grand Slam HR in the 8 run 9th inning. Bobby Erbakan went 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI, hitting his 13th HR. And RodRod picked up his 30th double as part of a 2 for 4, 3 RBI game. Cheol-han Lee (14-4, 3.35) gets the win, although he did allow 4 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings pitched. The Brewers also swipe 4 bases (Vargas' 1st, McPhillips' 7th, Schaeffer's 11th, Erbakan's 14th.)

Notes from around the league: The Columbus Whalers look like they will be the prohibitive favorite to win the SJL heading into September as they have stretched their lead to 8 1/2 games over the slumping Boston Berserkers. Philadelphia is in 3rd place at 11 games back.
The Brewers are playing pretty well but so are the L.A. Spinners, who at one point mid-week had taken over 1st place from Denver and at week's end trail by only 1 game. The Brooklyn Aces, the Brewers next opponents, are 5 games back in 3rd place. RodRod is in good position to get his first batting title as he leads the MGL with his .361 mark, nearly 20 points higher than nearest challenger, L.A. catcher Greg Foster at .342. (Andrew Kennedy, who has been cold for awhile, sits in 3rd at .341.) Sadahige Kawasaki is looking like Aaron McNally's most serious contender for MGL Pitcher of the Year. Sadahige is 2nd in ERA to McNally, tied for 2nd in wins (McNally is up to 17 now), and 2nd in pitcher WAR to McNally (5.0 to 4.9).
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:34 PM   #867
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August Batters of the Month

Taiwanese star Xiao-mei Mah was named the SJL Batter of the Month for August of 1975.
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In the MGL, Phoenix veteran slugging first baseman Devin Schwisow took those honors.
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:42 PM   #868
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August Pitchers of the Month

Veteran Washington Night Train righty, Jose Casillas, one of the more popular players in the game, took the August 1975 Pitcher of the Month honors in the SJL. This is the 3rd time in his career he has earned this distinction.
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And in the MGL, surprise, surprise, Aaron McNally, the current best pitcher in baseball, won the award for the 3rd time in his still young career. It certainly appears that he is on his way to a second straight MGL Pitcher of the Year award.
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:46 PM   #869
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August Rookies of the Month

Having also won the Batter of the Month honors, Xiao-mei Mah earns his 4th Rookie of the Month award of 1975. There should be little question about who the SJL ROY this season will be. (And he should get some MVP votes as well.)
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The Brewers own RodRod gets MGL Rookie of the Month honors as he heads toward a possible batting title in his first full WPK season. (It should be noted that the WAS listed in his stats line in this image is Washington College, not the Washington Night Train.) The Brewers have never had a ROY and that may well end this year, though whether it will be RodRod or Sadahige Kawasaki is in doubt.
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:50 PM   #870
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Houston eliminated: September 1st standings update

Not that it is any kind of shocker, but the expansion Houston Cavaliers become the first team in the WPK eliminated from contention this year.
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Here are the standings as we start the last month of the season:
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:03 PM   #871
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Brewers September call-ups

The Brewers don't have another scheduled day off until next Tuesday (September 9th) so it is good that they were able to bring up some reinforcements today with the September 1st roster expansion.

Ben Flynn returns to the bullpen and is expected to be one of the survivors from this years 'pen in 1976.
And Jorge Gonzalez brings his potent right-handed bat back to the club again, and with a stretch coming up where the Brewers expect to face some tough left-handed starters.

The Brewers front office is being respectful of the fact that the AAA Chester Big Stick are once again in a pennant race (sometime soon I really need to talk about how good this team perennially is while the rest of our minor league clubs usually are disastrous). The Big Stick currently have a 5 game lead over the Newton Classics (Charlotte) with 11 games to play so they should be in good shape.
But due to this the two very successful starting pitchers at Chester this year- Damien Hahn (16-3, 2.81) and John Weaver (11-3, 2.82)- will not be joining the big league club yet (though Hahn is furious about this).

The Brewers did call up first baseman Brad McManus, giving the club another pretty good left-handed power bat, as well as second basemen David Bennett and Brett Taranto (the Big Stick are deep in the middle infield and second baseman Aaron Allen gets a promotion from AA Nashville to help out as well.)
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There will certainly be some more call-ups mid-September but for now we will get a preview of what second base might look like next season and get some good hitting added to the bench in the form of Gonzalez and McManus.
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:37 PM   #872
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Week 21, July 31-August 6th, 1975

EDIT: Whoops. Just realized I mis-labeled this one. That should read, above, August 31-September 6th, 1975.

Brewers record: 3-3 (week), 82-50, 2nd place, MGL, 1 gb (season).

August 31-September 2, versus Brooklyn: 3-2, 4-8, 7-8.

The Brewers win the first of three versus the 3rd place Aces to wrap up the month of August, getting another strong performance from Steve Green. Green (11-5, 3.47) doesn't get the win in this one but allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits over 8 innings pitched, striking out 8 batters and walking none. Reliever Tim Shore blew the save opportunity, his 4th blown save to go along with a 4.01 ERA. But Jason Gottula (1-1, 3.00) earned the win with a perfect 10th inning and the Brewers won on a walk off passed ball, which scored Ryan Rodgers from third base. Rodgers had worked a 9-pitch at bat before hitting a single and then, surprisingly for the veteran who hasn't been a threat on the base paths for some time, stole second base and moved to third on a fielder's choice off the bat of Joe Willemse before scoring the winning run on the passed ball. It was just Rodgers second stolen base of the season, though it was also only his second attempt. Rich White hit his 3rd HR as a Brewer in the game and RodRod went 2 for 4, hitting his 31st double.

Matt Helm got blasted in game 2, surrendering 7 runs (all earned) on 11 hits in 6 1/3rd innings. He drops to 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA. Rich White was 3 for 5 in the game, driving in 2 runs and hitting his 2nd HR in 2 days to get to 4 on the season. RodRod hit his 32nd double. And young Brett Taranto was not only 2 for 4 with 2 RBI but was also in the middle of all 4 of the double plays turned by the Brewers infield in this game.

The Brewers score 5 runs in the final 2 innings of the rubber match but fall short and lose the series. Erik Sloan (8-6, 3.59) has his second bad outing in a row, giving up 7 runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3rd. The Brewers waste some great offensive efforts: Joe McPhillips went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored, 2 walks, and his 19th HR of the season, RodRod was 3 for 5 and hit his 3rd triple, and Chad Brown went 3 for 5 with 1 run scored and 2 RBI and hit his 15th double. (And that doesn't even include Joe Willemse or Zacarias Martell's 3-hit game.)

September 3-5, at Detroit: 8-3, 9-4, 0-5.

The Brewers travel to Detroit to take on the Falcons and get a strong start from Harry Lyerly (I don't think he wants his time with the team to end anytime soon)- Harry hurls a complete game, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits, and improves to 9-6 with a 3.46 ERA. Jorge Gonzalez was great at the plate, going 2 for 3 with 2 runs and 4 RBI, hitting a pair of HR's to get to 4 as a Brewer this season. Rich White went 2 for 4 and hit 2 doubles, his 1st two as a Brewer.

It was the Joe McPhillips show in game 2 as the reigning MGL MVP went 3 for 5 with 5 RBI and hit 2 doubles to get to 20 on the season. He also threw out a runner at third base, his 10th OF assist of the season. Sadahige Kawasaki improved to 15-5 in spite of giving up a pair of homers. He gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits over 8 2/3rds innings. Bobby Erbakan was 2 for 4 in the game, scored twice, drove in 2, and hit double number 17. And Kirk Patnode's great season at the plate continued with a 3 for 5 performance. On a negative note, the RodRod conundrum continues as he is one of the better hitters in the league (and will likely win a batting title) but he committed 2 errors in this one to get to 26 on the season. He went 2 for 4 in the game and has a slash line of .362/.409/.509 so it's hard to take him out of the lineup.

Veteran Detroit lefty Colby Muir, quietly having a very good career (40.2 WAR), shutout the Brewers in the final game of the series. Sekien Hamasaki (3-2, 4.17) took the loss, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 1/3rd. Ryan Rodgers (.268/.414/.297) was 2 for 4 in the loss.

Notes from around the league: The Columbus Whalers have extended their lead in the SJL to 7 1/2 games. Boston, in second place, is really the only team with any chance of catching them as the third place Philadelphia Mud Hens are 12 games back.
In the MGL, the L.A. Spinners are winners of 5 straight and now lead the Brewers by 1 game. The Brewers start a 3-game series against L.A. in Denver with a double-header tomorrow, the scheduled first game having been rained out. Brooklyn remains in 3rd place, 5 games off the pace.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:24 PM   #873
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More WPK Hall of Fame talk

I realize that I left a thread about possible future WPK Hall-of-Famers dangling a bit.
And apologies, but I'm not going to tie that up here, or probably at all. Not exactly anyway.

But I do want to share just a bit of information about my evolving approach to eyeballing HOF potential in the league and a process to help me make educated voting decisions when the time comes.

Basically, I have created a spreadsheet (of course) where I track potential HOF'ers in six categories: WAR (career), JAWS, HOF Monitor, HOF Standards, Black Ink, and Gray Ink.

Then, using MLB as my guide post, I identify what an average HOF'er score might be in each of these categories (varying, of course, by position for some categories (WAR, JAWS) and by batter or pitcher for others (Black Ink, Gray Ink). Now don't get me wrong, I don't consider the MLB Hall of Fame to be ideal in it's makeup. But given the long history and number of inductees, I think it's a fair enough sample to smooth out some of the irregularities. And I should say that I am not philosophically either a Big Hall or Small Hall kind of guy. I think the numbers in Cooperstown are fine, even if some of the individual choices are poor. (Both players in the Hall and players left out of the Hall.)

Anyway, having found the middle ground, I have then identified 5 classifications within each category in terms of how players numbers match-up. These range from Very Weak (well below MLB HOF average) to Very Strong (well above MLB HOF average) with the obvious classifications between those extremes. Now I apply points to these classifications, with the middle category (in the average MLB HOF range) getting a small plus point total and anything below this getting negative points and anything above getting increasing positive points. That's where I started but after applying this to my current potential HOF list in the WPK, I realized it needed a bit of tweaking.
So what I did was take my uniform plus/minus numbers (-5, -3, +1, +3, +5) which went across categories and tweaked it to give greatest weight to higher JAWS totals, and somewhat greater weight to positive career WAR and HOF Monitor scores, while keeping HOF Standards, Black Ink, and Gray Ink where I started. Below average to poor numbers maintain their uniform negative points score across categories.

(Why do positive HOF Monitor scores get more weight than positive HOF Standards scores? I couldn't really tell you, other than this just felt right. It might feel less right when the league has been up and running longer and potential HOF players have on average longer careers than this first batch of superstars. And this is certainly a work in progress and tweaks will almost surely be made.)

Okay, let me get to the meat here:
Using this methodology and applying it to our list of potential HOF'ers so far in the WPK these were the results (leaving off those who didn't come close yet.)
(Note: Best possible score is 41, worst possible score is -30.)
Jake Harris, +21
Cheol-han Lee, +19
Felix Lopez, +17
Jamel McNeil, +14
Jesus Casiano, +13
Jesus Hernandez, +9
Travis Johnson, +5
Nate Bennett, +5
Brad Tesh, +2
Ryan Rodgers, +2

Those are all the players with positive scores. Now my feeling is that the way I have this set up, pretty much any player with a positive score is a probable HOF'er. But those in the single digits are likely not first ballot guys and the closer to zero the better the chance that a player might not make it, especially when other factors- like Bill James' Keltner List- might drag them lower than the raw numbers. The more I look at this list the more I think this method is off to a pretty good start. These look like WPK HOF'ers to me. With the possible exception being Brad Tesh, whose raw numbers are pretty darn good but who is a bit low in HOF Standards and quite low in Black Ink. He's one of those fly under the radar stars.

The next layer:
Andy Wilson, -2
Jose Santos, -8
Josh Jenkins, -8
Jamison Bash, -10
Chris Hernandez, -12
Ju-ao Ju, -12
Pat Brooks, -12
Curtis Horah, -14
Jaime Schardein, -16
Lazaro Lowndes, -16
Benni Heregger, -16
Danny Sanchez, -20
Antonio Sosa, -22
Jesse Cibula, -22
Cody Kane, -22

I should probably say here that this is set up so that the worst player in the game would score the same as a quite good player who just happened to score at the top of the lowest HOF category ranking in each of the 6 categories. But the worst player in baseball will never even be subjected to this test. It requires a certain minimum level of quality even to make the list (generally a JAWS minimum or at least one very high score in another category).

So while Andy Wilson scores slightly negative that basically means he lines up pretty well with an average MLB HOF'er, and my sense is that if you apply the Keltner List to Wilson he is probably a WPK HOF'er. Josh Jenkins is still young and talented enough that his -8 score is probably a good sign for him. Not as good a sign for veteran starting pitcher Jose Santos, but the Keltner intangibles might push him over.
I'm not surprised to see Bash at -10. Given his age and minimal current talent, I doubt he makes it. Although the same could be said for Chris Hernandez, who is -12, yet I've always thought of him as at least a borderline HOF'er. Hernandez definitely wins over Bash in the reputation area. Curtis Horah and Lazaro Lowndes are two of the youngest players here and will likely make it into positive territory eventually. Cibula is young and was once upon a time one of the most exciting and talented players in the league. He is a shell of his former self at age 28. He could still make it. My guess is he won't. Cody Kane is 29 and still a great player and a solid citizen. He has a chance.

I don't see this as a predictive tool. I don't know what algorithm the program uses for HOF votes but I assume that things like JAWS, HOF Monitor, Standards, Black Ink and Gray Ink are factors, especially given where they live in former and current player records in league history. But I do think it can be very helpful for me in evaluating players post-career and in making my own voting decisions.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:02 PM   #874
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How did Mei-Mah enter the system? Free Agent? International?
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:39 PM   #875
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How did Mei-Mah enter the system? Free Agent? International?
Xiao-mei Mah and the Brewers own Sadahige Kawasaki were the extremely talented international free agents that entered the market last off-season. I believe they are the best duo to enter the league together that way in the league's short history thus far.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:41 PM   #876
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Jamel McNeil and Mariano Rivera

Just reading an article on The Athletic about Mariano Rivera and struck by the fact that his career WAR was 56.3.
Then looked at my WPK potential HOF'er spreadsheet and saw that Jamel McNeil, towards the end of just his 11th big league season, has a career WAR of 60.1.
Rivera's JAWS score was 42.5. McNeil's? 46.1.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Rivera and do believe he was the most dominant reliever in the history of MLB. And McNeil is nothing like Rivera in terms of character, or post-season credentials, etc. And partly due to the era he is playing in and the style pitcher he is, he is a multi-inning guy who racks up a ton of innings for a reliever.

Still, I'd never actually looked at these numbers before.
And even more than ever now I realize just what a sure thing WPK Hall-of-Famer McNeil is. And he's not done yet. He could have several great seasons still in his future. It will be interesting to see just what sort of crazy good WAR and JAWS numbers he ends up with.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:16 PM   #877
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Week 22, September 7-13, 1975

Brewers record: 5-2 (week), 87-52, 2nd place, MGL, 2 gb (season).

September 7-8, versus L.A.: 11-3, 2-6, 0-1.

After having the Saturday series opener rained out, to prolong the suspense a bit, the Brewers come out of the gate strong with a 5 run 3rd inning in the opener of the Sunday doubleheader and get an easy victory in the first game of this pivotal series. Another fine outing from Steve Green (12-5, 3.41), who gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 8 innings pitched. Bobby Erbakan went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and picked up his 15th stolen base of the year. Josh Schaeffer was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI, and hit his 16th double and 16th HR. And Joe McPhillips only collected one hit, but it was his 20th HR of the season and produced 2 runs.

In the night-cap the Spinners prevailed as Cheol-han Lee (14-5, 3.53) gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in just 4 innings pitched. Ryan Rodgers had a 3 for 5 game in the loss.

With the series hanging in the balance, and a share of 1st place on the line for the home club, the Spinners and Brewers fought to a scoreless tie for 9 innings before the Spinners broke through with a pinch-hit homer off the bat of Edwin Ayala, which helped make Jaden Francis (1-5, 5.10) bad season all that much worse. The Brewers squander a gutsy performance by Erik Sloan, who held the Spinners scoreless for the first 7 innings in spite of allowing 9 hits and 3 walks, and a fine 2-inning outing by Tim Shore to keep the game knotted at zeroes. This was one of the most frustrating losses in recent history for the Brewers, as they blew a great chance for the walk-off win in the bottom of the 9th. Zacarias Martell led off the inning with a single and was moved to second base by a Rich White sacrifice bunt. In a pinch-hit at-bat Brad McManus followed by working a walk. Josh Schaeffer then singled to load the bases. With one out and the bases juiced, the Brewers had two of their best hitters coming up in RodRod and Andrew Kennedy. RodRod hit a fly ball into center that wasn't deep enough to score Martell (would a swifter runner been able to score had the Brewers manager opted for a pinch-runner? we will never know) and Andrew Kennedy followed by hitting a harmless grounder to second base for the force out that ended the rally and took the game to extras where the Brewers would fall short.

September 10-12, versus Oklahoma City: 5-1, 10-3, 7-3.

The Brewers then played host to the 7th place Diamond Kings.
Another great start for Sadahige Kawasaki (16-5, 2.45) in game 1. Sadahige gave up just 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings pitched. Josh Schaeffer went 2 for 3 and hit his 17th double in the win. RodRod hit double number 33 for the season. Bobby Erbakan walked twice and stole his 17th base of 1975.

Game 2 was another big day at the plate for RodRod, who went 2 for 5 with 2 runs and 4 RBI, hitting his 8th homer of the season, a 6th inning Grand Slam. The much maligned Harry Lyerly (10-6, 3.44), about whom rumors have been circling all season regarding his days as a Brewer being numbered, just went out and pitched another solid game, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7 over 6 innings pitched (he wasn't terribly efficient, throwing 124 pitches, but he got the job done).

And in the final game of the series, just another win for the Captain, Matt Helm. Matty (11-5, 2.60) gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 1/3rd innings for the victory. Youngster Jorge Gonzalez, continuing to make his case for inclusion on the roster in 1976, went 2 for 5 and hit his 5th HR of the season (a screaming liner that went out in a flash, clearing the fence in left-center). Joe McPhillips was 2 for 3 and hit his 21st HR of the season. He was also hit by a pitch for the 7th time.

September 13, at San Francisco: 9-4.

The Brewers broke a 4-4 tie by plating 5 9th inning runs to win the first game against the 8th place Velocity. Cheol-han Lee got a no-decision but pitched well enough for a win in this one, giving up 3 runs (only 1 earned) on just 3 hits over 7 innings. Jason Gottula gets both the blown save and the victory in this one and improves to 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA. The big hit? A Joe McPhillips 9th inning Grand Slam, his 22nd HR of the season. The Brewers survived this one in spite of committing 5 errors. One was by a predictable source: RodRod with his 27th of 1975. Another was less predictable: Joe Willemse committing his 8th. And the other three were crazy in that they all came from the normally defensively strong shortstop Rich White. With the 3 miscues he now has 9 on the season.

Notes from around the league: The Columbus Whalers (92-46) appear to be on their way to a 4th SJL pennant, as they now lead the league by 8 1/2 games. Boston is second at 84-55. Philadelphia is in a distant third, with a record of 79-59, 13 games off the pace.
The Brewers had a good week in spite of 2 losses to L.A.. The Spinners had a better week. And therefore L.A., with an 89-50 record, is in 1st place, 2 games ahead of Denver. The Brooklyn Aces, who almost the entire season have led the WPK in run differential, are now a disappointing 80-59, 9 games out. They have fallen behind only the Brewers now in run differential (+200 for Denver, +198 for Brooklyn), and are under-achieving their pythagorean win expectancy by 10 games. (L.A. at +155, are over-achieving by 4 games, while the Brewers are -2 in that category.) RodRod continues to lead the MGL in batting average at .353, 10 points better than his nearest opponent, L.A.'s Greg Foster.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:58 PM   #878
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Gottula signed for 1976 season

At least one of the faces that will be in the 1976 Denver Brewers bullpen seems to have been identified, as it was announced today that the Brewers and lefty reliever Jason Gottula had agreed on terms for a contract for next season. Gottula was in his last year of arbitration eligibility and has pitched pretty well since joining the Brewers, at least in the relative terms of this disastrous 'pen.
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The team decided to take a chance on him for at least one more season with the probability being that at least 2-3 of the current members of the bullpen will not be in Brewer purple next season. Jaden Francis (1-5, 6 svs, 5 BS, 4.98), Jordan Stephens (2-0, 1 save, 0 BS, 5.87), and Jeremy Walker (0-4, 7 svs, 2 BS, 4.82) all have suffered through horrible seasons and could be on the chopping block. Rumor is that Stephens, due to his relatively cheap contract and two more years of team control, along with his hitting ability, might be the one to survive. But left-hander Walker is even cheaper, slightly younger (26, a year younger than Stephens) and has 5 more years of team control, but with his very poor control there are concerns about whether he will ever be a useful bullpen piece. The 29-year old Jaden Francis, likely to get at least 100K for 1976 in this his last year of arbitration eligibility, is almost surely gone.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:32 PM   #879
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Another fine outing from Steve Green (12-5, 3.41), who gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 8 innings pitched.
Bird - keep your eye on this guy... he may be stealing signs from the future. Also, I love that my boy, Matty Helm, is on that, "another day, another win", form, let's give him the reigns and allow Him to lead us to the promised land.

I'm looking for LA to come back down to earth and fall in line with the Pythagorean soon so that the Brew Crew can pop the top on one of those 12oz Yellow Dogs with a pennant in hand before this thing is all sorted.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:23 AM   #880
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Some thoughts on the MGL pennant race and beyond.

We have reached mid-September and the Brewers and L.A. Spinners each have 21 games remaining on their schedule with the regular season ending with a 3-game series between the two in L.A.

After having led the MGL much of the way this season, the Brewers find themselves trailing the red-hot Spinners by 2 games and know they have their work cut out for them if they are to repeat as MGL and WPK champions.

This seems like a good time to pause for a moment and review how the 1975 season has gone and even look forward a bit to 1976.

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Let's start with:
The Starting rotation.
If there is a surprise strength of the team this year this would be it. Earlier in the season we discussed how Harry Lyerly was now the weak link in the rotation. And in fact the 1970 MGL Pitcher of the Year had his weakest season as a big leaguer in 1974. And arguably he is the weak link of the staff this year as well, but if so, well, that's just a sign of how good this rotation truly is. His 10-6 record and 3.44 ERA are supported by a FIP of 3.77, a FIP- of 91 and a BABIP of .278, which is slightly higher than his career average.
The rest of the staff pretty much speaks for itself. The rotation is just below Brooklyn in starter ERA in all of the WPK. It is a deep and talented rotation that should be the same in 1976. It is still likely that Lyerly will not be on the team next season, in spite of his solid '75. But Sekien Hamasaki should be ready to join the rotation full time and 22-year old John Weaver isn't far behind.

The Bullpen:
It must be said the the bullpen has improved a bit in the past month or so, and are now 7th in the MGL in ERA. Mid-season acquisitions Tim Shore and Jason Gottula have stabilized the 'pen a bit and will be back in '76. The Brewers scouting staff is high on youngsters Ben Flynn (2-1-2, 4.92) and Eric Marino (4-1-3, 3.06) and they will return as well. This gives the 'pen two left-handers and two right-handers. Likely one of the these three will be back: lefty Jeremy Walker, or righties Jordan Stephens and Jaden Francis. All three of these pitchers have BABIP's against of .330 or higher. So almost surely there has been some bad luck involved in their failures. So there is a decent chance that at least one of them will bounce back in 1976. Will the Brewers keep the right one? And there is also a very good chance that the team might be targeting a top reliever as a free agent in the off-season if they don't get one in trade before that.

Catchers:
Let's look at the slash lines for our current catching duo:
Zacarias Martell: .327/.403/.454, and Kirk Patnode: .393/.457/.459.
Martell, the starter, has not has a good a defensive season as he did in 1974, but his WAR of 3.1 is 5th best among Brewer position players. Patnode, the back up, is a supremely gifted defender and has a 62.1% caught stealing rate this year. His 2.6 WAR is next among position players behind Martell.
We are covered here. And the only question is what to do about 23-year old AAA catcher Chris Moon, who is big league ready and possibly a better hitter than either Martell or Patnode (though a somewhat lesser fielder.)

The Infield:
Bobby Erbakan lost time earlier in the season to injury. But the numbers he has put up since returning are pretty comparable to his tremendous 1974 season. His slash line is .331/.391/.512, he has hit 17 doubles, 5 triples, and 13 HR's, and has stolen 17 bases while being caught just 4 times. In his 90 games he has 3.9 WAR. The only question regarding Erbakan next season is whether he will remain primarily a first baseman (where he has won 6 Gold Gloves) or whether he will be transitioning to second base.
On the other corner, Rodrigo "RodRod" Rodriguez has turned into one of the most dynamic hitters in the league. His slash line is .350/.396/.498. His 34 doubles lead the team, and he also has hit 3 triples and 8 homers. He has walked 32 times and struck out just 9 times. And it's a good thing he can hit because he has also committed 27 errors. He's not a horrible defender overall, but those errors. They are painful. But as long as can hit like this (and he's also a fine base runner) he's our starting third baseman.

Since joining the Brewers shortstop Rich White has hit .280/.351/.407, much better than the numbers he put up in the first half of the season with El Paso. And, other than his 3 error game recently, his defense has been very fine. He is our shortstop for 1976.

So, second base? The good news is we have plenty of options. Joe Willemse is a great defensive second baseman and has been getting plenty of starts there this season, putting up a slash line of .289/.316/.366. But Willemse is not destined to be a starter but as a plus defender at short and third as well, Willemse will replace Oscar Vargas- who will be a free agent at the end of the season, as the primary utility infielder. The Brewers out-going starting shortstop, Chad Brown, has lost a step and his job at short. But his bat has remained pretty consistent and his slash line of .295/.332/.362 is pretty much in line with his career numbers. He is under contract through 1979. So will he be traded at the end of the season or should be be moved to second? Brett Taranto is a hitter. Since joining the Brewers at the beginning of the month he has a slash line of .385/.438/.423. Yes, very small sample size, but if our scouts are to be trusted, the bat should be for real. But he's not a great defender at second. Good enough? Probably. But also quite good as a first baseman which increases the chances of a switch with Erbakan.

The Outfield:
Joe McPhillips and Josh Schaeffer were the Brewers 1st and 2nd round draft picks in 1967. They came up through the minor league system together, both mostly dominating, especially at the plate, along the way. And now they are starring in the Brewers outfield together. McPhillips, the reigning MGL MVP, missed time early in the season, but his .317/.404/.581 slash line with a 4.6 WAR in just 92 games shows he is once again a premiere player in the league. He has hit 20 doubles, 4 triples, and 22 HR's while driving in 84 runs. He is the MVP of the team and should be for years to come. He is also a gifted fielder and increasingly considered one of the strongest armed center fielders in the game. He has 12 outfield assists after recording 16 last season.
Josh Schaeffer has a slash line of .309/.399/.494, is 2nd to McPhillips on the team in HR's with 16, has 17 doubles, has stolen 12 bases while being caught 5 times, and has 13 outfield assists. There are questions about his work ethic, but at this point there can be no questions about his talent.
So that's center and right? What of left field?
Andrew Kennedy got off to a great start at the plate this season but has been tailing off in the second half. His slash line is fine: .330/.358/.401 and he has hit 25 doubles. But his defense is mediocre at best, he's not a good runner and hits into a lot of double plays, a career high 20 this season. He can play first base well enough. He's a good guy and highly durable (Iron Man) but with a WAR of 1.3 there are questions about whether he should be traded or not.
Particularly in light of the performance of 22-year old Jorge Gonzalez. In several stints with the big league club this season he has a slash line of .346/.366/.481 and a WAR of 1.6 in 244 plate appearances. He's a well above average defensive left fielder though with the weakest arm of any Brewer outfielder. He has good speed and is a fine base stealer and above average base runner. He has a reputation for selfishness, but if he can keep playing like this, that will be forgiven. Is he the future starting left fielder for the Brewers? It is quite possible.
If the scouts are to be believed (and this is both the OSA and the Brewers scouts), 36-year old Ryan Rodgers is still a force to be reckoned with. And surely his defense, on both corners of the outfield, is still very good. And he still draws bases on balls with the best of them. But his slash line this year is .269/.419/.304. This for a man with a career slash line of .331/.442/.418. Granted his BABIP of .283 (career BABIP: 344) might indicate he's just been unlucky this season. But he also has only 6 doubles and 2 triples. He is an extremely popular player and a likely future HOF'er. But the team has an option to buy him out at the end of this season for just $58,500 and if they don't exercise it he's guaranteed 390K for next year and 1977. Is now the time to cut ties with one of the biggest stars in team history? Perhaps.

So what does the off-season hold? Trades of Harry Lyerly, Chad Brown, Jaden Francis, even Andrew Kennedy? Very possibly, but with few holes on the team it is hard to see how we could trade them all and somehow fit the players received into the mix, unless we only get prospects, which is unlikely for well-paid veteran players perhaps on the decline. (Lyerly and Francis are both arbitration eligible, so another option is non-tendering them and letting them walk as free agents. It might seem like losing quality for nothing, but sometimes it is the move that makes most sense.)
The buyout of Ryan Rodgers contract? Maybe.
A restructuring at first and second bases? Very possibly.
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