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Old 08-10-2019, 08:21 PM   #421
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Silver Slugger winners named

The 1973 Silver Slugger awards were announced today.
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In the SJL, among the first timers are Jacksonville starting pitcher Sam Pichardo and young Pittsburgh right fielder Bill Winchester, but oddly also Pittsburgh veteran third baseman Trevor Leach, who is a 6-time All-Star and one of the more consistently fine hitters in the league.
It was the second time winning the award for San Antonio second baseman Jared Hancock, Seattle shortstop Mike Silveira, and the league's breakout star of 1973, San Antonio left fielder Joe Brodeur.
Washington's center fielder Lazaro Lowndes has now won the award 3 times.
San Antonio's young superstar catcher Erik Buonopane has already won 4 at the tender age of 26.
And veteran Jacksonville superstar Jesus Casiano captures his 6th Silver Slugger.

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There were also 3 first timers in the MGL: Charlotte starting pitcher Jalen Cotton, Brooklyn catcher Greg Boni, and L.A.'s veteran second baseman William Lara.
Baltimore first baseman Drew Johnson and Charlotte left fielder Cody Kane both won for the 2nd time.
Portland's dynamic 27-year old shortstop Chris Tobin won his 3rd.
Denver's veteran superstar outfielder Ryan Rodgers captured his 4th Silver Slugger.
And finally Phoenix' 31-year old slugging right fielder Ju-ao Ju and 37-year old Charlotte third baseman Jamison Bash both pick up their 5th Silver Slugger award.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:32 PM   #422
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1973 ROY's announced

Denver's Josh Schaeffer came in a strong second in the MGL Rookie of the Year voting but that honor went instead to Phoenix' third baseman Kyle Larsen. (Many in the Denver baseball community felt that Schaeffer was robbed as his WAR of 3.3 exceeded Larsen's 2.8 by a good margin in just a little over 20 fewer plate appearances. Likely the difference, in terms of national recognition, was Larsen hitting 16 homers to Schaeffer's 6.) Former Brewer Jose Careaga finished third.
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No surprises in the SJL. In spite of playing on a 110 loss team, Pittsburgh right fielder Bill Winchester had a rookie campaign for the ages.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:48 PM   #423
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Jose Santos wins MGL Pitcher of the Year award!

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L.A.'s veteran ace, Jose Santos, won his 2nd career Pitcher of the Year award, his first since 1965, at the age of 35. Santos finished the season with an excellent 18-8 record and led not just the MGL but all of the WPK with a 2.47 ERA. He finished 2nd in WAR and FIP to Denver's Cheol-han Lee, but easily finished 1st in rWAR with an impressive 9.3. Lee, for comparison, finished tied for 2nd in rWAR at 6.9.
Cheol-han had a bit of late season cold streak which may have ruined his chances to collect his 4th Pitcher of the Year award but he did at least finish 2nd in the voting.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:58 PM   #424
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Mike Stagner SJL Pitcher of the Year!

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In spite of playing on a 9th place club, Milwaukee's 29-year old ace Mike Stagner captured his 1st Pitcher of the Year award today. It was a tremendous season for the durable righty, his 1st 20-win season (he fell just short in 1970 when he posted a 19-5 record.)
Stagner led the SJL in wins, innings pitched, while finishing 2nd in strikeouts, 3rd in ERA (until pretty late in the season it looked like Stagner might get the pitching triple crown), 2nd in WAR and FIP, and tied for 3rd in rWAR.
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He edged out veteran Jake Harris, a 3-time Pitcher of the Year award winner and one of the greatest starting pitchers in WPK history.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:08 PM   #425
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Joe Brodeur SJL MVP, naturally.

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Was there ever any question who the SJL MVP would be?
San Antonio left fielder Joe Brodeur, at the tender age of 23 (he was 22 most of the 1973 season), won the Triple Crown, led the SJL in nearly every offensive category (and in those he didn't lead he was generally in the top 5), had a slash line of .361/.420/.626 for an OPS of 1.044, 4th best in WPK history, and put up 10.1 WAR, 12th best in WPK history.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:21 PM   #426
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Chris Tobin MGL MVP for 1973

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It isn't easy to win an MVP while playing for a last place club but that is exactly what Portland shortstop Chris Tobin did today.
It was a close race as Tobin narrowly edged out Charlotte left fielder Cody Kane.
Tobin had a good all-around season playing a very important defensive position. He finished 2nd in hits and doubles in the MGL and tied for 2nd in OPS+, 4th in total bases, 6th in batting average and extra base hits, 7th in OPS and wOBA. His WAR of 6.5 was 2nd best in the MGL.
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Denver's Ryan Rodgers garnered 35 points in the voting while Bobby Erbakan and Andrew Kennedy finished at the bottom of the voting list with 3 and 2 points respectively.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:42 AM   #427
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A few off-season Brewers notes thus far

When the off-season began veteran superstar left fielder Ryan Rodgers had the option to void the remainder of his contract with the Brewers and become a free agent once again. He chose to remain with the team.
Likewise, the Brewers had a buy out option to void the rest of his contract. The team also chose to maintain the relationship.
This means Rodgers is under contract with the Brewers for at least 2 more seasons with the team having a buy out option again for the 1976 season.

On the other hand, the team had an option to buy out the rest of veteran reliever Jose de los Santos contract, and in spite of rumors that team owner Steve Lester wanted the front office to prioritize signing de los Santos to an extension, they instead bought out his contract. Since de los Santos is a Type B free agency compensation player the Brewers did offer him arbitration but he declined and instead filed for free agency. (Which was precisely what the club hoped would happen.)

Pat Rondeau, in spite of his break out season in 1973, is a non-compensation free agent.

Other recent Brewers now on the free agency market: reliever Antonio Rojas and third baseman Billy Turner.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:23 AM   #428
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Some classic games to the Kinsella fall classic this year. Fun to see those SP's work deep into the game, extra innings, too.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:13 AM   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem810 View Post
Some classic games to the Kinsella fall classic this year. Fun to see those SP's work deep into the game, extra innings, too.
Yes, it is becoming a hallmark of Wolf Pack-Spinners World Series that they go the distance and contain plenty of drama.

And this time around the starting rotations were particularly good, even in a season where offense was more dominant in the WPK.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:00 PM   #430
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Brewers trade Spencer Wilson to El Paso Dawgs

The Denver Brewers completed their first trade of this off-season when they sent backup catcher Spencer Wilson, along with 24-year old minor league outfielder Chris Kim, to the El Paso Dawgs for infield prospect Rodrigo Rodriguez (RodRod- going to go in and fix it so that is his official nickname), who was on the market as a second baseman but whom the Brewers are planning to play mostly at third base, and 24-year old defensive specialist catcher Kirk Patnode.
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Denver fans weren't thrilled with the news of Wilson's trade but the reality was that he had grown out of the backup job and with the slightly younger Zacarias Martell seemingly ready for a role on the big league club it was felt that both players would benefit from this move.
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Another factor was that the Brewers owner wishes the front office to concentrate on upgrading at third base this coming season. Should Mike Foster not take another step forward, as it is hoped he will, RodRod provides a quality and largely WPK ready option at that position. What the Brewers brain trust most likes about RodRod is that he profiles as an infield version of Andrew Kennedy, with his superior contact potential (including an extreme ability to avoid being struck out) and great gap power, and propensity to spray line drives around the field. He might even hit with a bit more power than Kennedy. Although Rodriguez is error prone his overall defensive skills are strong and his has the arm to man third base.
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Patnode is considered a strong leader and has such extreme defensive skills that even should he not prove to have the bat for the big leagues it is felt that he could be a valuable backup on the Brewers in the near future.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:26 PM   #431
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L.A. Spinners acquire veteran shortstop Alvin Delgado

There have been some pretty interesting trades already in the off season and this is certainly one of the most interesting.

The L.A. Spinners, coming off their recent 7-game World Series loss to Jacksonville, trade away two young players to get veteran shortstop Alvin Delgado from the rebuilding Milwaukee Cadets.
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This move has many around the WPK scratching their heads.
First of all, the Spinners already have a talented young shortstop in Jeremy Jones, the MVP of the recently concluded World Series. They also have another youngster, Bill Street, who may not have the hit tool to be a WPK starter but who provides them with a tremendous defensive backup at the position.
Secondly, the Spinners are old and getting older. The starting pitching rotation, as good as it is, has only one player under 30 (Kerry Krieg) with ace Jose Santos turning 36 in the upcoming season, and #2 guy Jason Wilson turning 35. Their #5 starter, Juan Soto, will turn 42 this off season. Among their position players, their 2 biggest stars, Travis Johnson and Jesus Hernandez, are 35 and 32 respectively. Second baseman William Lara will turn 30 mid-season. Bench player Rigby Muckenfuss is 30 and backup infielder Shigetsugo Nakasone is 34 (and fragile.) The 37-year old Delgado is a 4-time All-Star and 1-time Silver Slugger and is still a decent player who put up 2.9 WAR in 1973. But that is down from 5.1 in 1972 and 5.3 in 1973 and clearly things are not trending well for the aging player.
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In addition, one of the players traded to the Milwaukee Cadets for Delgado is a young reliever- Antonio Gonzalez- who has the potential to become one of the finest closers in the game. The Spinners bullpen was not a strength this season, though they do have a few other young relievers (Yu-bao Tong and Shouta Hori) who also have the potential for future dominance but many feel at least that the Spinners could have, and should have, gotten a younger player back in any trade of Gonzalez.
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It is certainly possible that the Spinners see their window of opportunity to win a championship with their current roster as closing quickly and they hope that Delgado has enough left in the tank to help them reach the summit this coming season.

Whether the trade ends up being worth it for L.A. or not, it certainly seems like a good deal for the rebuilding Cadets.
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Last edited by BirdWatcher; 08-13-2019 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:49 PM   #432
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Brewers send Mackins to Oklahoma City

In a move that saw the Brewers trading from a strength- an abundance of outfield prospects- Denver traded away 26-year old Paul Mackins, who played part of the season with the Brewers in 1972 but is well blocked at the big league level and spent all of 1973 playing at AAA Chester (having a pretty fine season on a championship club), and 25-year old minor league center fielder Ryan Hiett to the Diamond Kings for another reliever who could have an impact in the not too distant future working out of the Brewers bullpen.
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Mackins and Hiett are not likely to become big league stars but both should be able to play at the WPK level and should have value for a struggling and economizing team like the Diamond Kings. Mackins is a speedy, hard working player who can play both left field and first base with an above average defensive value. He has decent contact skills and won't strike out much but very little power. He is also thought to be injury prone though up to now his injuries have mostly been fairly insignificant.
Hiett likely has a bit more potential and possesses even greater speed and base running skills than Mackins. He profiles as an above average defender and should have decent gap power skills at the plate, though on the whole his bat profiles as pretty average at best.
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23-year old Jesse Horn, who the Brewers got in return for these two outfielders, has a great cutter and a still developing changeup. He is a durable ground ball pitcher with above average movement, fairly average control and decent stuff with room for growth.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:18 PM   #433
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Portland signs star FA left fielder Cody Kane to 8-year deal!

The rebuilding Portland Wild Things made what will probably be the biggest move of the off-season today when they signed 27-year old star left fielder Cody Kane to an 8-year deal.
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Kane, who came up with Baltimore in 1965 and played the past 2 season with Charlotte prior to becoming a free agent at the end of this most recent WPK season, is an elite hitter who led the league in 1973 in hits, RBI, SLG, and OPS, while hitting a career high 38 home runs and finishing 5th in the MGL (behind 4 Denver Brewers) in batting average at .341. He is a 6-time All-Star and 2-time Silver Slugger award winner.
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While Kane will never be more than an adequate defensive outfielder in spite of a strong throwing arm, he is the consummate leader and instantly should step into the role of captain on a team that desperately needed that kind of leadership. While Kane might not have been the most talented player on the market this year (that would likely be closer Jamel McNeil) the combination of his relatively young age, his overall bat skills, and his great character traits made him by far the most sought after player on the market.

And now there is a very good chance that he plays the rest of his career in a Wild Things uniform.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:35 PM   #434
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Interesting trade offer from S.F.

The San Francisco Velocity pitch us a fascinating trade offer to open up the Winter Meetings today.
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They propose to send us their star third baseman, 26-year old Jesse Cibula, in exchange for merely 5 of our prospects, including our best relief pitching prospect and our best position player prospect.

And of course we will decline. But what is fascinating about this is that a mere 3 years ago this would have been a very tempting offer indeed. Cibula looked like he was developing into a sure Hall-of-Famer when he won the MVP award at the age of 23, having broken into the WPK at the tender age of 18 (and putting up a 5.3 WAR in his age 18 season.) Sadly, the Cortez, Colorado native has seen his stock fall the past few years and while he remains an above average player with great power, his 4.3 and 4.0 WAR campaigns in 1972 and 1973 respectively are the two lowest of his career.
He is still young- he turns 27 eight days from now- but things certainly don't seem to be trending in the right direction for Cibula and his defense at this point is sub-par.
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It is certainly possible that he could help push the Brewers to the top in 1974 and we are in the financial position to take on his contract at this time (which expires at the end of the 1975 season) but it doesn't fit the organizational philosophy to compromise long-term potential for possible, but by no means guaranteed, short-term gain.

Still, if this was the 1970 version of Jesse Cibula, well, it might be a different story.

Last edited by BirdWatcher; 08-13-2019 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:53 PM   #435
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I've been paying a bit more attention to A.I. off season moves, too. Interesting to see that unfold. As you probably noticed, for the first time, I have Asst. GM. in charge. It's his job to lose. : - )

What are Newsome's responsibilities for the Crew?
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:07 PM   #436
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I've been paying a bit more attention to A.I. off season moves, too. Interesting to see that unfold. As you probably noticed, for the first time, I have Asst. GM. in charge. It's his job to lose. : - )

What are Newsome's responsibilities for the Crew?
Newsome's responsibilities? Oh, mostly just to tell me I'm an idiot and don't know what the heck I'm doing.

But honestly, that's a great question. The way I play this there is really very little need for him. But I always find it interesting and slightly helpful to get his feedback when working on trades. It often pushes me to keep haggling with a trade until it gets to a place that I consider reasonably optimal (i.e. good for our team but not taking great advantage of the AI), even if the trade I land on still doesn't satisfy the Assistant G.M. (And really, it almost never does.)

Oh, and I should say that I've noticed some really solid AI team to AI team trades this off-season that I haven't reported on here. I really do feel like the AI algorithm is getting better and better all the time.

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Old 08-14-2019, 11:42 PM   #437
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Jose de los Santos signs with Philly

Closer Jose de los Santos, who became a free agent when the Brewers opted to buy out the last year of his contract, was signed today by the Philadelphia Mud Hens. Coming off the worst season of his otherwise storied career, the 36-year old de los Santos was signed to a modest 1-year, 66K deal.
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With the signing the Brewers will now get a supplemental 1st round draft pick in the next year's amateur draft as compensation.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:08 AM   #438
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Phoenix signs veteran reliever Jason Bowman

As they do every off-season the Phoenix Speed Devils sign a big-name free agent veteran reliever. In the past several off-seasons they have become known for stockpiling star relievers.
And yet clearly this strategy has not proven successful as the Speed Devils have underachieved pre-season expectations the past three seasons.
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One thing that is different this year is that the long-time anchor of the Phoenix bullpen, Pat Brooks, himself was a free agent and ended up signing with the Brooklyn Aces. The 36-year old Brooks had pitched his entire career with the Speed Devils and is a 6-time All-Star and 2-time MGL Reliever of the Year.

So the Speed Devils first big off-season signing is 35-year old Jason Bowman, himself the winner of the 1969 MGL Reliever of the Year award and a 2-time All-Star. In fact, the Speed Devils signed Bowman last off-season as well, to a hefty contract which they were able to void with a 13K buyout at the end of this most recently completed season. It was not a very successful 1973 for Bowman. But they chose to sign him again, though this time to a more modest 2-year contract.
The problem with Bowman though, other than his advanced age, is his personality. He is not well liked or well respected. He has the reputation of being a disruptive force on a team.
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There is still a lot of off-season left for the Speed Devils to improve their team. But this does not seem like an auspicious start for a perennially disappointing ball club.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:06 PM   #439
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Phoenix signs veteran reliever Seth Landry (again)

Here we go again with the Phoenix Speed Devils.
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You can pretty much just read the post above but insert the name Seth Landry in the place of Jason Bowman.

Landry at least is a much less destructive player in terms of clubhouse chemistry. And at age 35 he has retained quite a bit of his skills, putting up fairly consistent numbers the past 5 seasons (prior to that he was something special, one of the best in the game).
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Still, thus far the Speed Devils, who finished just 2 games above .500 in 1973, don't seem to be employing any new ideas to be more competitive in 1974.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:21 PM   #440
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Veteran outfielder Eric Canova to Oklahoma City

Eric Canova was one of the brighter stars in the WPK firmament in the mid-to-late 1960's and the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings, who signed him to a 1-year 170K deal as a free agent today, hope that the soon to be 39-year old (his birthday is next week) has one more productive year ahead of him.
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It's a bit of a risk as after averaging nearly 6 WAR per season his 1st 8 seasons he fell to an abysmal 0.9 WAR playing in his fourth and final season as a member of the Washington NIght Train.
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Canova is a likable teammate and still has good power at the plate and a cannon of an arm in right field but beyond that his overall value is much diminished and it seems like the Diamond Kings likely overpaid for a big name and past performance that is unlikely to ever be duplicated again.

Last edited by BirdWatcher; 08-15-2019 at 11:22 PM.
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