Archive for June, 2004

Sometimes you just know

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Coming into this game I was feeling good. Every now and then you just have a gut feeling that your team is going to win. I thought my feeling was wrong when the Cubs went down 3 after a horrible job in LF by Alou. The Cubs just kept clawing away at a less than effective Andy Pettite. Then, thanks to a gift from Biggio, my gut proved correct. Cubs win.

For some reason, the Cubs have had the Astros number to this point. I am going on record right now with yet another Beltran prediction. Here goes!! Carlos Beltran will be traded yet again before the July 31st deadline. The reason for this is because Houston is falling farther and farther out of the race. They won’t be able to sign Beltran next year without difficulty, so you may see him going to another team and in return, the Astros getting some prospects and pen help.

tomorrows game is another matchup of Clemens and Clement. This reminds me of a post Dave did the last time these two hooked up this year. I feel like it would one of his best. If you do not know which I am referring to, check it out here. It’s a must read.

Final Round of World Series of Blogs

Due to a computer problem of late, I was unable to get the final round of the World Series up and running. It is now time to see which blog is going to be the 2004 champion. Voting has begun. Vote early and vote often for the blog you feel should win it all. Polls close on July 14th. The winner will be announced, and an interview with the winning writer will be posted within a few weeks if all goes well. Good luck to both blogs, and thanks to everyone who has campaigned, linked, and voted. It has been a great success. Hopefully it has served the purpose of making people aware of some really good non Cubs blogs out there.


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The All Low Payroll Team

Monday, June 28th, 2004

With the All-Star game quickly approaching, I look at the voting and see potential lineups that if assembled on a real team would feature a payroll higher than even the Yankees. That got me thinking about who would be on an all star team of players making next to nothing. I decided to do some research and came up with an All-Star team of players whose salaries do not exceed 1 Million for this season. My team features a starting lineup with players who play those positions and a bench featuring three OF, two IF, and a back up C. The pitching staff is made up of five SP, and a bullpen of six. So, without further delay, I present the ALL-Low Salary team. All stats are current as of games played on 6/27/2004.

Catcher (2)

Name: Victor Martinez
Team: Cleveland Indians
2004 Salary: $304,500
Avg: .306
HR: 10
RBI: 54
Runs: 43

Name: Rod Barajas
Team: Texas Rangers
2004 Salary: $500,000
Avg: .285
HR: 12
RBI: 30
Runs: 27

First Base (2)

Name: Lyle Overbay
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
2004 Salary: $326,000
Avg: .336
HR: 9
RBI: 55
Runs: 35

Name: Ken Harvey
Team: Kansas City Royals
2004 Salary: $317,500
Avg: .335
HR: 8
RBI: 32
Runs: 26

Second Base (1)

Name: Orlando Hudson
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
2004 Salary: $322,000
Avg: .284
HR: 7
RBI: 31
Runs: 32

Shortstop (2)

Name: Michael Young
Team: Texas Rangers
2004 Salary: $450,000
Avg: .327
HR: 10
RBI: 45
Runs: 51

Name: Bobby Crosby
Team: Oakland A’s
2004 Salary: $300,000
Avg: .276
HR: 10
RBI: 33
Runs: 30

Third Base (1)

Name: Hank Blalock
Team: Texas Rangers
2004 Salary: $550,000
Avg: .310
HR: 18
RBI: 52
Runs: 48

Left Field (1)

Name: Adam Dunn
Team: Cincinnati Reds
2004 Salary: $445,000
Avg: .264
HR: 22
RBI: 48
Runs: 49

Center Field (4)

Name: Scott Podsednik
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
2004 Salary: $400,000
Avg: .259
HR: 9
RBI: 26
Runs: 49 / SB: 31

Name: Vernon Wells
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
2004 Salary: $870,000
Avg: .300
HR: 9
RBI: 30
Runs: 41 / SB: 6

Name: Rocco Baldelli
Team: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2004 Salary: $320,000
Avg: .291
HR: 6
RBI: 34
Runs: 43 / SB: 6

Name: Corey Patterson
Team: Chicago Cubs
2004 Salary: $480,000
Avg: .281
HR: 9
RBI: 31
Runs: 40 / SB: 9

Right Field (1)

Name: Miguel Cabrera
Team: Florida Marlins
2004 Salary: $320,000
Avg: .289
HR: 17
RBI: 50
Runs: 50

Starting Pitcher (5)

Name: Carlos Zambrano
Team: Chicago Cubs
2004 Salary: $450,000
Record: 8-3
IP: 102.0
ERA: 2.56
K’s: 95

Name: Dontrell Willis
Team: Florida Marlins
2004 Salary: $353,500
Record: 6-5
IP: 87.0
ERA: 4.03
K’s: 61

Name: Brandon Webb
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
2004 Salary: $335,000
Record: 3-8
IP: 95.0
ERA: 3.88
K’s: 69

Name: Horacio Ramirez
Team: Atlanta Braves
2004 Salary: $330,000
Record: 2-4
IP: 59.1
ERA: 2.28
K’s: 31

Name: Cliff Lee
Team: Cleveland Indians
2004 Salary: $303,200
Record: 7-1
IP: 88.2
ERA: 3.86
K’s: 72

Bullpen (6)

Name: Brad Lidge
Team: Houston Astros
2004 Salary: $360,000
Record: 1-3 / Saves: 4
IP: 43.1
ERA: 2.49
K’s: 67

Name: Joe Nathan
Team: Minnesota
2004 Salary: $440,000
Record: 1-0 / Saves: 22
IP: 35.2
ERA: 1.26
K’s: 42

Name: Francisco Rodriquez
Team: Anaheim Angels
2004 Salary: $375,000
Record: 1-1 / Saves: 7
IP: 40.2
ERA: 1.11
K’s: 63

Name: Shingo Takatsu
Team: Chicago White Sox
2004 Salary: $750,000
Record: 4-0 / Saves: 3
IP: 28.1
ERA: 0.95
K’s: 19

Name: Akinori Otsuka
Team: San Diego Padres
2004 Salary: $700,000
Record: 5-2 / Saves: 2
IP: 36.2
ERA: 1.47
K’s: 42

Name: Juan Rincon
Team: Minnesota Twins
2004 Salary: $330,000
Record: 8-3 / Saves: 1
IP: 38.2
ERA: 2.09
K’s: 47

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2004 Payroll friendly All-Star Team. Looking at this list, there is a lot of good young talent on it. In case you’re wondering about the payroll, let me save you the trouble of getting out the calculator to add it up. The total payroll for the ballclub is 10,186,500. Even teams like Milwaukee and Montreal could afford to field this team. I would love to see what this team could do in a season. Maybe one day when I am bored I will try to assemble it on Out of the Park Baseball and see what they can do. All I know is I would take them anyday.


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Why It Stinks To Have a Great Pitching Staff

Saturday, June 26th, 2004

As I was at work today, unable to watch game 2 of the Cubs/Sox series, I turned on ESPN 2 to get a score update. I was reduced to scanning the bottom line scores scrolling by to see how the team was doing. I fully expected the Cubs to win this game. We had Zambrano on the mound, and the Sox were featuring a kid who had just been called up from the minors. I felt pretty confident it would be a low scoring game for the Sox and that the Cubs would get the job done. However, when I first caught the score, it was 3-0 in the third inning. I was very confused. How could the Cubs be down 3-0 with Big Z on the mound? Eventually I saw that the final was 6-3 in favor of the Sox. I was very disappointed, and it got me to thinking about why it stinks to have a great starting 5. Here are a few reasons that I came up with.

1) When the Starters give up more than 3 runs, I get angry – I actually expect every starter we march out there to be spotless every game. Our staff is that good, that it is entirely possible for any one of them to pitch a shutout on any given day. As a result, when the staff gives up a bunch of homers as Zambrano did today, or walks a bunch as Prior did yesterday, I get frustrated to the point that it is painful to even watch when they are winning. I expect so much from these guys that when they fail just a little, it hurts. I am really going to need to just not expect as much from these guys. After all, is it possible that one year we could have four 20 game winners? Its definitely a possibility, but I don’t want to get my hopes up.

2) With a great pitching staff, the offense seems to be too relaxed at times – To me, it seems that our offense over-relys on a great pitching performance at times. They come out sluggish and fail to play good, fundamental, run scoring baseball. They get leadoff hitters on, but don’t seem to score. They have bases loaded and no outs or one out, and somehow only come away with 1. I think that if our team knew that the only way we were going to win was out slugging the other team, we’d be putting up a lot more runs. Our offense needs to play with a little more urgency. Last year, down the stretch, it seemed like we were jumping in front every game. We were always putting a run or two on the board in the first inning or two. This is something that gave our pitchers some breathing room and comfort. If we can start doing that a little more, the second half of the year will be very enjoyable.

3) People seem of overestimate our guys – We have such a great staff, that they are noticed in the league. People talk about them day in and day out. As a result, they are so hyped up that they can’t possibly live up to ALL of it. As a result, people get disappointed with above average years.

In closing, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE our staff, but I just wanted to show you a different perspective.


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Video Game Reccomendation

Saturday, June 26th, 2004

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned it on here or not, but I really enjoy video games. Usually I play a certain game for an ungodly amount of time for about a month or two. Then, the game gets boring and I move on to another game. One of my favorite types of games are baseball games. I enjoy them for a different reason than most people do. I enjoy baseball games in which I can wear a lot of different hats. I can manage, be an owner, and be a GM. I don’t generally go for all the fancy graphics and things of that sort. As long as it is a hard core statistical game with great managing and GM modes, I’m hooked.

Some of the games I have enjoyed in the past are Tony Larussa Baseball II, Front Page Sports Baseball ’98, Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball, and Baseball Mogul. Those games had me hooked for hours.

Those games, while good in there day, pale in comparison to my new baseball game love. This game is so in depth and deep that I am hooked. The game I am referring to is Out of the Park Baseball 6. This game has so many cool features. Don’t believe me? Read about them here. Some of the features include a rule 5 draft, amateur draft, and manager personal life feature in which you date, get married, have kids and may some day see one get drafted.

While this game does not focus on high quality graphics, it more than makes up for it with a small learning curve, while keeping the challenging factor. It will test your ability to draft, trade, and manage your way to the top. I highly recommend this game if you are a fan of managing the Cubs or any other team.

Note – This game when purchased does not come with real players. However, if you would like information on how to get them, drop me a line and I will assist. If you have this game already, please let me know what you like and dislike about it. Also, if you have any other good baseball recommendations that are not the cliche MVP Baseball, or All Star Baseball 2004, please let me know.


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I believe I had that one

Friday, June 25th, 2004

Crystal BallEvery now and then, you make a prediction using your crystal ball that people ridicule and laugh at, and something strange happens. It actually happens. Well, I hate to tell you naysayers “I told ya so”, but I did. I Predicted that not only would the Cubs not get Beltran, but that the Astros would to replace Biggio in CF. So far that is the first of what looks to be all my predictions that come true.

I am not too disappointed about this trade for one reason. The fact of the matter is, one player does not all of a sudden make a team win the World Series. If that was the case, we may as well hand the title to the Yankees now, because they have an All-Star team in NY. This is why we play the games. Anyone can get hot or hurt at anytime. Houston has a lot of work to do to catch up to the Cards. Beltran will help, but they still have to get hits. It is going to be a great race down the stretch.


Over on Brian Hipp’s Site I predicted that over this next stretch, the Cubs would do the following.

1-2 vs. St. Louis
5-1 vs Chicago White Sox
2-1 vs Houston

Watch and see my psychic powers!!!!!


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