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Old 04-27-2012, 08:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Worst to First - The Sequel

After running the previous dynasty from 1906-1971, and taking 11 of the 30 teams from last place to World Champions I ran in to some problems with moving files between laptop to external hard drive and back to the laptop. (It's always good practice to not delete your backup files accidentally after you reformat your hard drive)

So after losing that league and my other favorite leagues I was frustrated enough to walk away from OOTP for a while, especially after the delay of last year's version. But after reading the reviews for 13, I couldn't resist coming back to an old favorite. So after getting up to speed on the latest version I can't help but keep thinking about how leaving the first attempt undone has really bothered me.

So it's time to try and right that wrong.

Unfortunately there isn't a good way to pick up where I left off, so it's time for a reboot with a twist. We'll start round 2 in 1902, after the 1901 season has been played and take the team with the worst record. I'll plan on continuing until all 30 teams get their rings. Next up, a recap of 1901 and an introduction to my new team who lost 86 games, finished 28 games back, and had a last place OBP of .296 and a second to worst ERA of 3.23. Let the games begin...
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a really interesting concept.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1901

What do Kid Elberfeld, Heinie Mueller, and Jim Leyritz have in common?

If you guessed they were members of the 1901 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals you would be correct. The Cardinals won the inaugural World Series by defeating the Detroit Tigers 4 games to none as the Cardinal hurlers kept Dustin Pedroia and the Tigers bats silent.

If you haven't figured it out by now I'll be using the random debut feature to really change things up and hopefully take away some of the predictability of knowing when players will appear. And to make things even more interesting I'll be turning off automatic recalc and we'll be letting OOTP decide how players progress. I figure that I should try to get every advantage I can to win 30 World Series titles, but that should make things tougher. If I end up going to Baltimore with the Browns I'll know I'm really in trouble.

But before we get into the St. Louis Browns, a few notes about 1901 -

- 23 year old Rogers Hornsby led the majors with a .349 batting average
- 32 year old Mike Schmidt led the majors in home runs (11) and WAR (6.0)
- 24 year old Bobby Mitchell led the league with 27 wins, 7 more than he collected in real life from 1877-1882
- 39 year old Orel Hershiser announced his retirement after finishing his one year career with a 8-16 record

And the Browns lost 86 games.

Our offense is led by catcher Yogi Berra, who is 27 years old, but hit .240 and 23 year old Nate Colbert, who hit .260 with 10 home runs. On the mound 'The Only' Nolan won 14 games for us. We'll get more into our stengths and weaknesses shortly, but now it's time to get ready for the amateur draft, which will take place after the season.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Woot, love these!!
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Getting ready for the season

The worst part about starting with a new team is getting to know your new team. It seems a little bit more difficult with cross-era players as well. I do have to say that I'm not the biggest fan of the deadball era, but the settings will progress year by year as they would in real life. That should make for an interesting history of baseball I believe though. On to the Browns -

Starting Pitching -

The aforementioned Only Nolan led our staff last year with a 14-19 record and 2.88 ERA. Joining him in the rotation was 31 year old Roger Wolff who went 9-23 with a 3.31 ERA. Both Felipe Lira and Wes Ferrell spent considerable time on the disabled list, and of the two Ferrell looks the most promising, but pitching wins games, so heading in to the amateur draft the focus was pitching, pitching, and more pitching for the early round. My strategy was pretty simple, letting my scout tell me who to pick, and we ended up with the hopefully promising trio of Jim McCormick, Tom Browning, and Mule Watson in the first three rounds.

Catcher -

None other than Yogi Berra will set up behind the plate, which I'm excited about. Of course Yogi won't be hitting 30 homers a year for us, but should be solid behind the plate.

Infield -

21 year old Max West hit a very pedestrian .209 last season and we drafted a more seasoned 24 year old Greg Brock in the fourth round of the amateur draft. I'm leaning towards Brock as the starter at first. Second base is manned by Tadahito Iguchi, who hit .296 last season which would have led the team if he was on the team the whole year, and wasn't injured to end the season.

His double play partner, 34 year old Russ Wrightstone is past his prime, but a leader in the clubhouse. I'm not sure that says a lot about a team that won 54 games last season, but I don't have any other options currently. Rounding out the infield is avid hunter Jim Ray Hart. Looking at his ratings and his stats I'd say he should spend less time hunting and more time getting ready for baseball.

Outfield -

Defensively a weak group of Nate Colbert, Gary Thomasson, and Curt Blefary make up my outfield. What they lack in defense they don't make up for in offense, so outfield is a real weak spot. We've got Mike Aldrete on the bench, and his .364 batting average jumps out at me, despite a very small sample size. Mike Marshall, Mike Donlin, and the 'defensive wiz' Raul Ibanez finished the season on the disabled list, but could add some value. I've also noticed that our only offensive prospect among my top prospects is 25 year old Gene Larkin. I don't see much in way of potential though.

It doesn't look like much, but I donít feel too bad about my team overall. It seems that injuries could have played a part in the team's struggles, I hope. And I should note that despite calling my outfield weak defensively Nate Colbert did win the gold glove in left field.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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4/17/1902 - Opening Day

It was a relatively quiet offseason, with two things of note -

1) We found out that 23 year old starting pitcher Felipe Lira's career was over. After going 9-15 with a 3.25 ERA a shoulder injury ended his season, and later his career
2) We received (and accepted) a trade proposal from the Giants, receiving 33 year old shortstop George Strickland and giving up 26 year old centerfielder Steve Brye and 21 year old catcher Butch Benton. Based on WAR we won the trade, giving up -.4 WAR and getting back -.1. Of course we got the older of the three players, but hopefully the best of the bunch.

The preseason predictions are in, and it looks like we are heading in the right direction. We are projected to finish 67-73 - one game ahead of the last place Tigers!

The positives are the Browns have the top prospect in the game with recently drafted Jim McCormick, along with the top rated minor league system in baseball. Let's hope they all pan out for us.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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5/1/1902 - One month in

All in all a pretty respectable start to the 1902 season for the St. Louis Browns, as we finished the month with a 7-2 record. Yes it's early, but both The Only Nolan (3-0, 1.33 ERA) and Wes Ferrell (2-0, 0.50 ERA) have been great on the mound. The Browns have scored more runs than any other team in the league, led by Mike Dolan and his .389 average. The recently drafted Greg Brock is off to a fast start as well, collecting 5 hits in 14 at-bats, and driving in 7 runs.

We did lose Tadahito Iguchi to an injury though, but he should be back in two weeks.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.

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Old 04-30-2012, 08:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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6/1/1902 - Continuing our success

I'd love to say that I was responsible, or at least partially responsible for our early season success, sitting just one game out of first place after finishing well out last season. But as I've tried to get to know my team I've really tried to not do too much in the beginning. While we did make one trade, it wasn't exactly a smashing success, and the only other move was to complete the amateur draft, but I relied strictly on my scout's recommendations, so this team would look pretty close to what it does look like without me running it.


Our success really has to do with our pitching though, so if our pitching can keep pitching as well as they have I feel that my time in St Louis could be short.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYY #23 View Post
I'd love to say that I was responsible, or at least partially responsible for our early season success, sitting just one game out of first place after finishing well out last season. But as I've tried to get to know my team I've really tried to not do too much in the beginning. While we did make one trade, it wasn't exactly a smashing success, and the only other move was to complete the amateur draft, but I relied strictly on my scout's recommendations, so this team would look pretty close to what it does look like without me running it.


Our success really has to do with our pitching though, so if our pitching can keep pitching as well as they have I feel that my time in St Louis could be short.
same photo.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandean1998 View Post
same photo.
Oops.

Looks like I overwrote the previous month's so I'll have to remove it. Thanks for catching that!
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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6/4/1902 - Tasting first place

Worst to first - complete. Of course it's still early, and we didnít reach our World Series goal, but I figured that I'd take a minute to enjoy our success because of two reasons.

Injuries, and more injuries. While Wes Ferrell was injured previously we've been waiting for his diagnosis to come in. The verdict - lost for the season with a torn rotator cuff. I thought we may be able to handle it, but the other shoe dropped, as we lost Jim McCormick (6-2, 1.59 ERA) to injury as well. While his diagnosis is still pending, losing both for an extended period of time would in effect end our chances this season.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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7/1/1902 - Reality sets in

An 11-15 month brought my hopes and the Browns crashing back down to earth. We got the big news when Jim McCormick was lost for 10 months with elbow ligament reconstruction surgery, and hopefully the randomized universe that is known as 1902 has a doctor capable of successfully performing the surgery.

There isn't much I can do to solve our problems though, as our problems go beyond pitching, as our offense is fifth in runs scored. Our defense is also quite bad as well. Which is where things start to get a little tough.

Looking at things a little bit deeper, one of our worst defenders is 37 year old centerfielder Mike Donlin, who also happens to be our best offensive player, and most popular player. It's pretty hard to bench him given the circumstances, but we will change his position to right field to try and minimize the damage he is doing, and recall 25 year old Shawn Abner and insert him as our starting centerfielder. Hopefully his shortcomings with the bat can be made up for with his strong glove.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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8/1/1902 - Breaking even

July wasn't an absolute disaster, as we managed to break even for the month, going 13-13. We made one move during the month, shipping off 35 year old shortstop Russ Wrightstone from the reserve roster to the Chicago Orphans for 32 year old centerfielder Rick Miller, along with 31 year old shortstop Gil Garrido.

That should help stabilize things in center field, without giving up too much value. While there are certainly better options than Miller, he does provide an upgrade over what we had, and the trade managed to stop the twice daily proposals trying to ship a centerfielder to us.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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9/1/1902 - An end to a brief career with the Browns

In my short time at the helm of the Browns I've really gotten to dread those messages - player x suffered an injury and the diagnosis is pending. With my third message of the season I've become accustomed to those messages meaning that the diagnosis won't be good news. But it's great to be able to wait for a few days in anticipation of whether it is bad news, or really bad news.

The latest injury came to Rick Miller, just 32 games into his Browns' career, when we found out his career is now over. He didn't exactly light the world on fire, but it still was disappointing news.

While our season is effectively over being 16 games out of first place, we'll use the last month to try a couple of things out, and hopefully not lose anybody else to injury.

On the positive side, we've already won 3 more games than last year, and need 10 more to meet the preseason projections.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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10/1/1902 - Finishing year 1 with a losing month

Despite finishing the season with two straight losing months I feel pretty good about the progress that has been made in St. Louis with the Browns. I'm very satisfied with a 15 game improvement, and I feel like if we had a little bit of luck in the injury department we may have done a little better.

We still have some holes to fill, but I'm looking forward to the offseason for a chance to improve our team, and at a minimum finish with a winning record next season.

St Louis Browns - 54-86 (.386) 28 GB
1902 - St. Louis Browns 69-71 (.493) 20 GB (Season Score - 35)
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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11/1/1902 - Draft Update

The Baltimore Orioles, soon to be New York Highlanders captured the 1902 World Series by knocking off the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1. (I'm not sure why I kept experiencing a crash immediately following the World Series, but the third time was the charm, but the Orioles won the first matchup 4-3, then 4-2, and finally 4-1.)

The Orioles Dick Allen captured the Outstanding Hitter Award hitting .351 with 8 home runs and 90 RBI. Jair Jurrjens of the Orioles captured the Outstanding Pitcher Award going 24-11 with a 2.54 ERA. Rounding out the AL Awards was manager John McGraw. With the best pitching, hitting, and defense in the league the Highlanders look like a tough team to beat, especially with their oldest starter 30 years old.

But the most important news to Brown fans was the amateur draft. (I should note that the advanced drafting options were enabled by default. I was going to turn them off because how realistic are they to happen in 1902, but then again how realistic is it to players from different generations playing together. I honestly forgot, but in evaluating my picks I noticed that one of my targets was drafted last year, and failed to sign. So I'll keep them on.)

I'm a big believer in drafting pitching, because you can't have enough good pitching, unless there is someone with superstar talent that I can't resist. But I really need a decent centerfielder, and the choice came down to SP - Ed Willett, who was my scout's choice, and Solly Hofman, who was rated slightly better in centerfield, and Jerry Mumphrey. Defensively Mumphrey and Hoffman were fairly equal, but after much debate I decided to select Mumphrey with our first pick.

With our second pick we selected starting pitcher Speed Martin, followed by David Dellucci in the third round, then relievers Jake Mooty and William Brennan.

It's funny that all of our picks were considered very hard to sign except Dellucci, who was considered easy and all except Dellucci accepted slot, while he required three rounds of negotiations.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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5/1/1903 - Year 2 begins

It was a quiet offseason for the Browns, where I explored a couple potential deals, but ultimately I just decided to stand pat. I was excited to see what my team could do, especially with the return of Wes Ferrell and the addition of Jerry Mumphrey in center. It's just been 7 games, but the early returns have been positive. I did get the dreaded Wes Ferrell suffered an injury - diagnosis pending message just a few days into the season, and I immediately thought the worst. Luckily it is just a day to day injury this time, so I guess the mystery diagnosis isn't a kiss of death.

On a side note, the random debut's are growing on me. Jon Lester was named pitcher of the month for the Philadelphia A's, and Jim Leyritz was named batter of the month in the NL for the St. Louis Cardinals. There is just something pretty cool about looking at the best pitchers in the league and being able to debate between Bobby Mitchell, who pitched in the 1870's, and a current pitcher like Jon Lester.

I was a little skeptical at first, but this concept is definitely growing on me. Here is a quick peak at the top top pitchers in career wins:

Bobby Mitchell - 54
Sam Weaver - 52
Win Mercer - 43
Camilo Pascual - 43
Dizzy Trout - 43
Ben Sheets - 41
Cliff Lee - 40
Jon Lester - 40
Syl Johnson - 39
Clayton Kershaw - 39
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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6/1/1903 - Hot start continues

A 21-10 month leaves the Browns in first place with a 1/2 game lead. Despite the hot start I can't help but wonder if we are going to come crashing down to earth. I hope not, going from worst to first in year 2 would be nice, but a little unexpected.

My gut tells me we are playing better than we really are though unfortunately.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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7/1/1903 - Looking at options

June was a rough month, finishing 11-15 which left us in second place 4 1/2 games out of first. We did welcome back Jim McCormick this month, and he has had a rough 3 starts, getting shelled in the first two, but pitching a little better the third game.

One thing that I did notice is the dismal Cleveland Naps, who have gone 16-48. They just fired their manager and with a record that bad I'm tempted to take them over. With a lot of luck maybe we can make a run in the second half...
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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8/1/1903 - Exploring the trade market

I really wanted to make a bold trade this month to try and put the Brown's over the edge, but I just couldn't find anything that I liked. My period of inactivity in St. Louis continues, but not for a lack of trying.

Honestly my biggest weakness appears to be at the catcher position, but I just can't find it in me to replace Yogi Berra. I know I shouldn't get attached to a name, but I can't help it sometimes.

With a lot of games against the three teams ahead of us this will be an important month, but I guess they all are.
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My current dynasties:
Any Given Saturday - Replaying baseball's history using fictional teams, players, and a one game per week schedule
Worst to First - The Sequel - A journey from last place to World Series championship with each MLB team.
The Evil Empire - A Yankees History - Replaying the history of the Yankees from 1903 on.
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