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Old 03-24-2019, 09:08 PM   #1
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Meet the Hawthorn Fighting Hawks

The Hawthorn Fighting Hawks are a real life Australian Rules Football team with a cool theme song. Tomorrow, they will open their doors for business as a Perfect Team franchise. The team will strive to win a Perfect League championship before PT21 is released without spending any real money. In order to achieve the goal the team needs to amass about 300-500K PP. The key to successfully raising this amount is patience and not blowing PP on packs, nor paying too much for players in the Auction House. Another key will be to strengthen the lineup first and ignore pitching and defense until the team is truly ready to move up. This is because I believe it is easier to gain PP through hitting and scoring lots of runs. The poor pitching and defense will give up just as many runs, but insures the team lingers long in the bowels of the PT universe where PP is more easily earned. So until tomorrow's pack opening, please listen to the theme song.


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Old 03-26-2019, 09:59 AM   #2
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Nothing exciting showed up in my starter packs, so the plan for the next several weeks is to chill, accumulate PP, and wait for the valuable bronze cards to come down in price. I am happy to report that my team has one of the top batting averages and run scoring lineups in the entry pool without me having to change anything!

One player I did buy was Mike McCormick, a LHP Hardware Hero from 1967 San Francisco Giants. A no risk buy for 25 PP, he promptly became my worst starting pitcher: 0-6 in 7 starts and an ERA north of twelve.

Dan Winkler is OVR 80 and one of the 2 golds I got in my starter packs. Being a "Live" player, he is subject to a downgrade based on real life performance. He is not valued highly in the AH, selling for just above face value of 1K. He was optioned to AAA, so likely no upside. He's not likely to go 1-2-3 strike out the side for 40 PP very often, so I'm trading him in for 1K.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:01 PM   #3
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I like your team building plan and I'll enjoy following along. My Ohio City team happens to be in the same entry pool as Hawthorn. I'm in the process of selling off all my starter pack cards and attempting to acquire the cheapest Indians team I can. I'm hoping I can earn enough pp in the entry pool while at the same time not end up in silver next season. I'd prefer to take small steps like being placed in iron.
Regardless, good luck to your Fighting Hawks!
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:14 PM   #4
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A tale of two silvers.

Amed Rosario, OVR 74, is my initial shortstop. In real life, he is having a great spring and this article speaks glowingly of his future. He is an obvious candidate for an upgrade to gold, so I'll hang onto him.

On the other hand, Byron Buxton, OVR 70 does not fit in my plans. This team is all about hitting and his great CF defense and stealing ability are not what I want. He has not lived up to the hype after being drafted #2 overall in 2012. I'm selling him high before a possible downgrade to bronze status, and with a BIN of 800PP, he sold within minutes. Edit: He is a "hardware hero" and this card will not be downgraded.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:27 AM   #5
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Who is Dustin Fowler?

I've heard of Dexter Fowler and, honestly, that is who I thought I had on the team. When I logged in for the last time tonight, I noticed a jump in PP. I thought maybe somebody had bought Winkler, but it was the end of Dustin Fowler's 11-game RBI streak. His ratings are nothing special, but he is killing entry pool: .399/.409/.612 and 140 +OPS. Coincidentally, on the same day Rich Gedman's 24-game hitting streak also ended.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:00 PM   #6
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Introducing the lineup.

I've been AFK since the end of March traveling overseas, but the team played on. It's time for a recap.
ENTRY POOL
This was a success as the team earned 16,290 PP. Two silvers and a gold from the starter packs were also sold: Byron Buxton and Paul Molitor for 720 PP (net) each. They sold quickly, most likely to a fan of the Minnesota Twins. Nobody bought Winkler, so he was sold back to the house for 1K. At 80 OVR, I didn't want to risk a downgrade to silver. I also spent 665 PP on players at or near the minimum price. Some I am using, others I bought to give me options for tournament play. Here is the team I set up for autoplay during the next 2 seasons while I was on the road.

Catcher:
88 OVR Rich Gedman. The guaranteed gold card from my starter packs that I could sell for around 3K, but I think this historical will hold it's value. His stats are about the same as Bob Boone in 19, a silver that sells for 5K, if you can find him. Decent hitting skills vs. RHP and excellent defense.
62 OVR Ronny Paulino. Purchased for 45 PP. Best cheap catcher available at the time. Decent contact vs LHP and adequate defense. I had bid on Willians Astudillo who was great for me in 19, but the winning bid of 528 PP was too pricey for me. He's now a gold level player, so a missed opportunity.
1st Base
LIVE Kendrys Morales. Average contact with some pop vs. RHP. He will leadoff vs. RHP in hopes of getting the PP for Leading off with style.
2nd Base
LIVE Dee Gordon. Somewhat better contact and a base stealing threat. At 68 OVR, an upgrade to silver is possible.
3rd base
67 OVR Richie Hebner. Contact like Gordon with extra gap and power, but well below average defense. At this point, poor defense is a plus.
Shortstop
62 OVR Maury Wills. Picked up for the minimum 25PP, so absolutely no risk. Decent contact and another base stealing threat.
Center Field
70 OVR Willie Davis. Paid just 1 PP over re-sale value! Great contact and gap vs RHP.
Left Field
77 OVR Michael Brantley Acquired in the gold bonus pack. Great contact and gap vs RHP and a strong arm for throwing out runners. Tempted to sell for around 1.2K and look for cheaper options.
Right Field
LIVE Alex Verdugo. Paid 31 PP for this real life top Dodger prospect. Already got the promotion to silver and strong potential for gold if he can keep up the hot start. In OOTP, not so hot ratings-wise. He gets the start vs RHP and platoons with 62 OVR Mike Devereaux.
DH.
LIVE Dustin Fowler – I mentioned this guy already in the thread and he did not disappoint.

Utility Players
LIVE Amed Rosario. High OVR silver player covers the infield backup. I'm hoping he gets upgraded to gold, but is going in the wrong direction in real life apparently. LIVE Willy Adames. High OVR bronze and highly touted prospect in Tampa Bay, but also going in the wrong direction. On my team, he is 2nd utility backup for all positions except catcher.

My goal for this lineup is lots of hits and most of the PP earned. The plan is to remain in iron until a 6 figure war chest of PP is accumulated. First in hitting, last in pitching is the key to long term success without investing real money.

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Old 04-15-2019, 09:27 PM   #7
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and about the pitching.

Pitching is not supposed to be this team's strength, nevertheless, I bought 5 new starters in the AH. Doyle Alexander, Dan August, R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough, and Mike McCormick. All 5 are bronze historicals rated OVR 60 and I paid a whopping 130 PP for all 5. I paid 5 PP premium for Hough, because I briefly toyed with an all knuckleball staff, but Hoyt Wilhelm unfairly has no stamina in this game. In real life, Hoyt Wilhelm pitched a no-hitter in his 9th start, so it is unfortunate you can't use Wilhelm as a starter. They are not expected to do well, but when the time comes, they can be sold for a profit to collectors. I've set the global strategy to extremely slow hook for starting pitchers. It's nice to fall 10 runs behind and then comeback for 4000 PP!

The bullpen is a different story. I do want solid relievers because it's no good coming back from 10 runs down and then blow it. In fact, my very first purchase in the AH was Moe Drabowsky for the princely sum of 30 PP to be my closer. He has 110 stuff (96 vs LHB and 122 vs RHB). Rounding out the bullpen are some LIVE guys: Gabriel Moya, Jake Newberry, Sandy Alcantara, Wily Peralta and purchases: Wayne Granger (25 PP), Blaine Hardy (6 PP). Obviously, I have some work to do if I want to save those 10-run comeback PPs.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:14 PM   #8
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I'd be very interested if you could post your PP earnings after each season to see how your unique strategy compares to all the average schmucks like me
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:47 AM   #9
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It's hard to know what happened in 2020 because I was AFK in the wilds of South America. From the limited info I can glean the following:

The very first achievement was fittingly, Leading Off In Style! The Fighting Hawks won 62 games while suffering 100 times for 5th place in the division, but this was good enough to earn 13,420 PP.
The team's first gold achievement occurred: 5000 PP for a natural cycle, but there is no way to know who got it. Weirdly there were also 2 other normal cycles hit. In 19, I have two teams totaling 40 seasons and can't recall even 1 cycle. Two players, Rich Gedman and Willie Davis, made the All-Star team and earned Great Bat awards. Maury Wills was the conference batting champion with .338. Kendrys Morales slugged 37 HR to lead the team, but not the conference. As a team, the Hawks batted .288 and scored 792 runs. The pitching staff ERA was 5.48 and they coughed up 947 runs. For this strategy to work, I need the team to bat over .300 and score at least 900 runs, but for that I'll need better hitters. Leading off in style occurred 8 times, so it pays to leadoff with a slugger. Pitching-wise, the staff was “in control” 5 times and tossed 5 shutouts (3 shared). Nobody painted the corner.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:55 PM   #10
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2021 season

The same cast of characters played out every game of 2021. On the field, they improved to 74-88, but a 6-game losing streak to close out the season allowed a 5th place finish once again. As a team, the batting average improved slightly to .290 and 853 runs were scored. Staff ERA was 5.28 allowing 911 runs. Unfortunately, there were no gold achievements to pad PP earnings, so the tally was a miserly 7,970 PP. After accounting for purchases and sales, the kitty stands at 40,355 PP. I'll be putting some of that to work soon.

Rich Gedman made the All-Star squad for the 2nd time and Dustin Fowler was the other Fighting Hawk selected. Fowler is the leading PP earner, by far with 780 PP which is almost 10% of the total earnings! If you are in iron, get this guy! Caveat emptor: as a LIVE player his ratings will fluctuate.
Edit: Forgot to mention Moe Drabowsky. He only got 28 saves, but 24 were consecutive so he got the Saves Streak award.

Here are some screenshots of basic stats. Most noteworthy is the info tab where you can see plainly the hitting first pitching last strategy is clearly working as designed. However, more work is needed as most of those on the batting side should be #1. I need better batters and a better bullpen.

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Last edited by bailey; 04-16-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:21 PM   #11
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2022 pre-season moves

I did go into the AH to buy 1 player: Mickey Vernon.

I spent a franchise record 150 PP (125 PP over face value) to acquire this contact and gap hitting beast. I expect to recoup my cost by the end of July. Vernon plays 1B, so this had a ripple effect on the lineup.

1B Kendrys Morales moves to DH
DH Dustin Fowler to CF
CF Willie Davis to LF
LF Michael Brantley to RF
RF Alex Verdugo to reserve.

In retrospect, as I post this screenshot, I see he is a defensive disaster at 1B and probably should have kept Morales at 1B. But I don't care about defense, so this was not a mistake.

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Sunday night draft.

Not really a draft per se but the free challenge mode pack provided by 1927 Yankees, Inc. This time it was even a gold pack! The key acquisition was Chris Archer who I can't really use because he doesn't fit the strategy and being 81 OVR LIVE is subject to a downgrade. I sold him to the house for 1000 PP. Perhaps, I reacted too conservatively, as he got a boost to 82 OVR the next day and in real life is suspended for 5 games. He would have made a great long arm in the bullpen. To avoid this issue in the future, I will do these “drafts” on Monday and Thursday mornings instead of the planned Sunday and Wednesday nights. Archer is having a fine season so far and blame this mistake on extreme tiredness.

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A word about the ballpark.

Bailey Park is designed to enhance the hitting, so averages and home runs for both sides are 1.1 and doubles and triples 1.5 which are the maximum values. It is an open ballpark and artificial turf is used to enhance the batting averages of the groundball hitters. The weather is always hot with 0 chances of rain and the wind is blowing out at 11 MPH to right field. This last effect is designed to aid my guys hit HR because coincidentally they are mostly lefties or switch hitters. They say weather is cosmetic, but I'm not so sure about that.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:30 PM   #12
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Mickey Vernon was a disaster for me. Just didn't work out. Hope he isn't for you.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magus978 View Post
Mickey Vernon was a disaster for me. Just didn't work out. Hope he isn't for you.
Vernon was a monster in the Entry Pool for me. I replaced him in my lineup by Wednesday in my Iron Pool league last week...

Love the card, and hope he can get a second run in an all-bronze tournament.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:28 PM   #14
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Early Season Update: Diamond Packs, Not! Celebration.

Mickey Vernon has embraced the Hawthorn team philosophy and has excelled wearing the brown and gold. His BA of .331 is among the leaders of the conference with teammate, Dustin Fowler, currently in the lead of that category.

The current rage in OOTP land is the temporary availability of Diamond Packs. Give me two! NOT! Even so, I greatly coveted a diamond player for my team. The natural remedy is a visit to the Auction House where I can have my choice. What I spotted immediately was an open ended auction for J.D. Martinez with a starting bid of 4000 PP. I placed my bid and about an hour later he was on the plane to Hawthorn. The winning bid was 4000 PP! Absolute zero over face value! Like the Detroit Tigers in 2014 who got him for free (after outright release by Houston), so did the Fighting Hawks. J.D. was a beast in PT19 who once hit 60 HR for me at bronze level. He never had a bad year, only good years and great years and was a PP generator par excellence. Folks probably shied away from bidding because he was recently upgraded from gold and his average selling price last 7 was 3000. I'll be closely monitoring his real life performance this week, in case I need my 4K PP back. To make room, Kendrys Morales, the franchise leader in career HR, was sent packing.

Martinez in on the left, Morales on the right.

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So how did he do? First of all, he was player of the week, followed by player of the month. For the month he slugged .368 with 9 HR and 27 RBI. Nevertheless, before you rush out to sign J.D. Martinez be aware that his doppelganger in I.234 is not so hot with .211 6 HR and 20 RBI in about the same number of plate appearances. Also, has a LIVE player his ratings are subject to change.

The team itself as of this writing is in 4th place 10.5 GB and 8.5 GB in the wild card. PP generation is on pace to beat the 2020 record. Ominously, however, run differential has turned positive which means my starting rotation may be due for a downgrade. I am actively buying the worst iron pitchers I can find, but not for more than 5P each, just in case.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:07 PM   #15
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2022 Thursday morning draft.

First of all, this is the last Thursday morning draft. It took 5 play-thrus of the 1927 Yankees to get this pack and besides being mind-numbingly boring, I don't want to risk getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Endlessly clicking 'next day', achievement popups, and message popups is sheer torture. In PT19, I rarely had to go to 2 play-thrus to get my pack. From now on, I will do one play-thru on Monday morning and if I don't get a pack, I will buy one. Nevertheless, it was worth the trouble today because I got another gold pack. Two in a row is probably unbelievably good luck. Dare I hope for even more luck with a diamond pull?

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The pack yielded 5 live irons and Cody Allen. Cody Allen is having a good season so far and I may yet get that diamond before the season is over. This segways nicely into the next topic because Cody Allen becomes the final piece in my bullpen makeover. Everyone who started 2022 in the pen is gone except for Moe Dabrowsky, but even he lost his closer role. Nick Burdi replaced him and after a rocky start (1 loss and 1 BS) reeled off a string of 16 saves before blowing another one—just as Cody Allen showed up. In his brief stint as closer, Burdi got two 1-2-3 strike out the side achievements, but Allen is looks better in every way.

Allen on the left, Burdi on the right.

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It is said that you want high stuff guys in the bullpen, so that is who I went after. In PT20, you have a boatload of choices for cheap, high stuff guys. Altogether I spent 102p on the new guys. The effect is quite remarkable—I'm at or near the bottom in most pitching categories, but I'm #3 in strikeouts!

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Old 04-20-2019, 02:15 PM   #16
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2022 Free Agent signing: Let's SCORE more.

One of the weaknesses of my strategy is that it completely ignores PP that you can earn from pitching. Through entry pool and nearly 3 seasons, no starting pitcher has “painted the corner” for 80p. I felt like I was leaving points on the table, and I began to think about getting 1 high stuff starter. I kept getting outbid for Lefty Gomez (89), so I settled for Jason Bere (cost 273p). The problem with Bere is his poor control, not very high stuff and insufficient stamina, not to mention the Hawk's porous defense. I almost pulled the trigger on perfect Bob Feller, but that would've been ending the F2P nature of this team. I had to keep the faith with my imaginary readers, so writing this dynasty thread saved me $100.

Just a few minutes ago, my patience was rewarded as I was able to pick up diamond Herb Score for the princely sum of 11Kp. By far the most expensive player on the squad, his 128 stuff is expected to pay back the cost within 5 seasons. Also, noteworthy was the all-time average price of 9,999p and 0p in the last 7 days. A rare card that I could probably flip right now for a profit. In PT19, Herb Score was also my first expensive acquistion: a gold card at 5Kp and he rewarded me then with 2480p in earnings in his first (bronze) season. To balance him out with the goal of remaining in iron for the foreseeable future is the motto: “Score and four days of downpour.” Starters like Dan Strailey (Mvt 17!) are likely to be in the mix next week.


Score on the left Bere on the right
Score's control is even worse than Bere, but higher movement, and super sweet stuff should be a difference maker. Score also has 98 hold runners to help keep him out of trouble and I will be sure to field my best possible defensive team when he pitches.

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BREAKING NEWS: P.O.T.G. Herb Score 'paints the corner'! I love it when a plan comes together.

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Old 04-22-2019, 11:03 AM   #17
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2022 Season Recap

2022 Season Recap – Successes and Failures

This was the first season that I was able to manage the team rather than rely on autoplay.

Successes:

1) Mickey Vernon – I predicted this player would recoup his cost of the end of July. It took him one extra week to do so because despite being 2nd in All-Star voting, he did not get selected. By September he had an unassailable lead for the conference batting championship and with enough plate appearances to qualify-- I shut him down. Result: conference batting champion at .345 for 400p and a Great Bat Award. Total PP for this player: 880p.

2) J.D. Martinez – I made no prediction for this player and it would have been lunacy to predict what actually happened:
1) All-Star selection
2) Player of the Week 2 times
3) Batter of the Month 2 times
4) conference HR champion (after missing all of April!)
5) Great Bat award.
6) MVP ---> Scratch that one, MVP went to teammate Dustin Fowler.
7) Grand total: 2,980p

3) Herb Score – he only got 5 starts, but 2 were good for corner painter achievements. Against the play-off bound Fargo team, he struck out 12 and gave up only 1 hit over 8 innings. He will be fun to watch in the iron league. Noteworthy is that this card has a history. In 2019, he had 31 starts going 12-10 4.88 ERA split between bronze and silver. Only 162 IP which is not even 5 innings per start. In the last two seasons, he was an expensive bullpen piece. No wonder the previous team dumped him. However, as a starter in the iron league, I expect 1500p minimum per season. 10 corner painter achievements, one of which should be a silver achievement worth 800p.

4) All-star selections: Four: J.D. Martinez, Dustin Fowler, Rich Gedman and relief pitcher Victor Alcantara. Oddly, the relief pitcher with the lowest stuff rating on the staff.

5) MVP Dustin Fowler 1,690p earned by this player

6) A respectable 4th place finish at 84-78 and another week in the iron league. Total PP income was also a respectable 11,260p without any gold achievements.

Failures:

The chief failure was the erratic behavior of your blogger. He went completely off the rails by trying no less than 48 different players and purchasing any player that looked remotely like a bargain. Most, of course, were not bargains and the lack of discipline will no doubt cost more than a few PP. The reserve roster has ballooned to over 150 players, too. 84 wins and a plus 35 run differential suggests a team threatening to promote long before the 6-figure PP war chest is assembled. The goal for the ensuing weeks in to examine the player card database, identify targeted players, and wait for the prices to come down some more. No more impulse buying and a lot less micromanaging. Let the players play, but the motto is “Respectable Mediocrity.” Kind of like real life sports franchises that emphasize profits rather than spend money to improve on-field results.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:09 AM   #18
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Key Acquisitions:

The forthcoming season will see a few new regulars on the team.

1) Hal Brown SP. This is an OVR 68 Record Breaker card that I got for 30p. I got him for his insane control rating, in hopes he can pick up several “In control” achievements worth 100p each. In 1 game in 2022 he went 8 innings and gave up 1 walk. So, I'm sure I can count on him for let's say 400p per season.

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2) Wes Parker, 1B. An impulse buy at 85p is a bronze Hardware Hero card. (Recently, a 40p minimum bid for this card went unsold). I got him because I saw on the all-time PT universe records page, his name pops up 3 times in the doubles category. As a left-hand throwing 1B, it will be impossible to give him full time play. He will play 1B against LHP while Mickey Vernon gets the nod against RHP. I could move one or the other to DH and force J.D. To LF, but that would cost J.D. At least 50 plate appearances—an unacceptable trade-off.

3) Ken Griffey. RF (Bronze card) I mentioned earlier that I thought I should sell silver card Brantley and look for cheaper options. This bronze, OVR 68 All-star card sold for 26p. I noticed that he was leading the other conference in batting average and in 33 starts for me put up nice numbers: .333/.390/.511.

4) Willans Contreras. C. This 2019 Live player is having a great season so far and is worth the 1250p gamble that I paid. An upgrade to diamond is a good bet and dare we hope for perfect by season's end? For a F2P player to win a perfect championship he has to gamble on some of these golds or lower turning into diamonds or more to have a chance. A real gambler should buy multiple copies for PP balance growth. He replaces Ronny Paulino. Note: I wrote this yesterday when Contreras was OVR 85 and he moved up to OVR 89 this week.

5) Bill Madlock 3B. Bronze OVR 69 All-star card replacing Hebner, this card has just as bad defense, but better hitting skills. I bought it now for 150p. (discipline lacking again, but OTOH, I haven't seen it any cheaper, yet) He was a key part of my PT19 F2P team, except I think that was a gold card.

Last edited by bailey; 04-22-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:12 PM   #19
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Breaking News: Brown Delivers!

I mentioned in the last post that I put Hal Brown in my starting rotation in hopes of getting 4 "in control" achievements this week. April is not even over and he already pitched 2 such games: complete game with no walks. For good measure, he threw a Maddux!

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Buying Brown was like buying Amazon at $5/share.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:19 PM   #20
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2023 All-Star break update (part 1)

At the break, the Fighting Hawks in 4th place 7.5 games behind with a record of 49-49. They would be further behind in any other division, but are only 3 games behind 2nd wild card. During the month of May, J.D. Martinez had a 3-game home run streak going, so the decision was made shut him down except against left handed starters. The strategy worked for 2 more games, but John Matlack, of the Townsend Gorillas ended the streak at 5 games. This strategy meant J.D. rode the bench for 19 games, but the chance to get the coveted 5Kp for a 7-game HR streak seemed worth the gamble.

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Management decided therefore to find a power bat to lead off against RHP and one was found for the reasonable price of 9Kp. Ralph Kiner, joined the team on June 2 and promptly went 2 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI. Both hits were homers. He would go on to capture the Batter of the Month award for June (and a monthly total of 505p for the coffers).

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