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Old 02-11-2018, 01:49 AM   #61
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Boston Riders


The Eastern League's best pitching staff so far is backed by the league's worst offense. Which makes the season-ending injury to Mark Gubicza devastating for the Riders, who - unless something changes - are going to have to pitch themselves into the postseason. The Gubicza/Noodles Hahn/Brad Radke trio was stellar over the first half, and Larry Christenson and Bill Campbell has stabilized the pen. But somebody other than Jimmy Wynn and Todd Helton has to step up on offense if the Riders are going to have any chance at the postseason.

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Old 02-11-2018, 02:57 AM   #62
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Just my observations, influenced by my previous All-Time League from years ago... I judge a lot of your players by how they played in my old league.

EL North:

Just going by your original rosters, I would think the Louisville Thoroughbreds are the crème of the crop in the EL North... Arrieta, Feller, Phillippe and Blue are fine pitchers... Murray, Wagner, Otis and Dawson should give them good offense... they just might be my favorite to win the whole shebang... they should whip Denver or Los Angeles for the ABL crown.

Not impressed with Boston, New York or Chicago... all of them are just about equal.

New York has a few more talented players than Boston and Chicago... Kevin Brown, Howie Pollet and reliever Tom Henke are quality arms... but the bats are lackluster with Will Clark, Arky Vaughn, Dale Murphy and Willie Wilson... the Heroes may sneak into second place, but won't challenge Louisville.

Boston will hit a little bit better than Chicago... both really come up short on the mound... the Riders have Todd Helton, Robin Yount, Earl Averill and Ruben Sierra in their batting order with one one solid pitcher in Noodles Hahn... the Chicago Hitman have Charlie Gehringer, Cal Ripken and Mickey Mantle for offense... on the hill just Mickey Lolich.

EL South:

I thought the Alabama Slammers had fine pitching with Maddux, Parnell, Willis, Lary and Franco... some good bats, too, with Mize, Appling, Snider, Murcer and Walker... surprised they are doing so poorly... on paper, I thought Alabama was the best team in the EL South.

Orlando has three standout bats in Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones and Steve Braun, but not much else in the lineup... not much on the hill except for Hernandez, Reynolds and Perranoski... but they are my number-two choice in the division.

Like Memphis with Brett, Cuyler, Delahanty and Hodges... but Deleon, Tannehill, Friend and Dibble are just fair on the mound... the Sounds will come in third.

And finishing last in the EL South will be Carolina... the Cougars have no offense except for Doby, Donaldson and Nicholson... pitching only fair with Rowe, Viola, Chandler and Wilhelm.

Since I have spent a lot of my life in Alabama, I still stick with the Slammers... but I might have to wait until next year.

WL North:

Denver would be my favorite in the WL North... they have a fine staff with Carlton, Hamels, Messersmith, Morris and Chapman... offense is just so-so with Cobb, Clemente, Burks and Raines.

Portland is probably the second best club in the division... I like McGinnity, Score, Wood and Marberry on the hill... Foxx, Kemp, Clark and Posado are a fair group of hitters.

Sacramento can't compare to the first two clubs pitching-wise... Newhouser is the only good starter, along with Eckersley in the bullpen... but the Stingers have some quality players in Lowell, Boudreau, Bob Johnson, Bernie Williams and Giancarlo Stanton... should be a close third.

San Antonio looks like the weakest team in the ABL... Lackey, Oswalt and Donovan are good pitchers... but they just don't have much talent in the batting order... the best of the lot are Biggio and Berger.

WL South:
The LA Lightning appear to have some fine bats in MarkTeixeira, Hack Wilson, Willie Mays and Vladimir Guerrero... and some fairly good pitchers in Sabathia, Wilbur Wood and Burnett... the race will be close, but LA will win it.

New Orleans is my number-two choice in the division... and since I lived there many years... the Knights will be one of my favorite ABL teams... I like the staff headed up by Bunning, O'Toole, Smoltz, Glavine and Carl Mays... however, the only good bat belong to Harry Heilmann... don't see much past him.

Not impressed with Omaha or Phoenix... the Pioneers will probably be third in the race... Seaver, Herb Pennock and Lee Smith are good pitchers... but the bats are lacking... McCovey, David Wright and Roy Chapman are not enough offense.

Fourth place in the WL South goes to the Phoenix Scorpions... the only talent I see is Strasburg and Holtzman on the hill with Sam Crawford the only good bat.

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Old 02-11-2018, 08:24 AM   #63
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Wow, thanks for taking the time to write that EC! Much appreciated.

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:34 AM   #64
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Moving on to the Eastern League's South Division...

Memphis Sounds


A 21-4 start provided thoughts of a runaway, but it wasn't even two months later that Memphis had lost its hold on first place in the South. They've won 7 of 10, however, to pull even in the division again, so perhaps they have righted the ship. Memphis holds the most dramatic home/road split in the ABL: 30-12 at home, 15-31 on the road. They get on base, steal bases and have been productive offensively despite being last in the league in extra-base hits. George Brett's injury coincided with their cooling off, and while his return to form since returning has been slow, it's assumed he'll catch fire. Ed Delahanty and Josh Hamilton have led a balanced attack, but the Sounds need their pitching to settle in. Jesse Tannehill can't pitch every day!



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Old 02-11-2018, 10:47 AM   #65
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Orlando Orcas


Chipper Jones is an MVP candidate, and leads the way in Orlando. Jones, Ryan Braun and Jeff Bagwell have led a solid if unspectacular offense that could use a bit more contribution from someone else in the lineup. The pitching has been solid behind Felix Hernandez and Juan Guzman, whose ERA is elevated by a single bad start early on. The bullpen's 2.87 ERA is second best in the league, and while Troy Percival's tired arm is a concern, Al Downing, Bob Ewing and Red Lucashave been strong enough to withstand Percival's absence, at least short term. Orlando's kryptonite? Lefties, against whom they are only 7-23.

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:59 AM   #66
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Charlotte Cougars

The Cougars are an interesting team. They are last in the Eastern League in average, OBP and slugging, and yet 5th in runs scored. Their leader in average is defensive wiz Mark Belanger, whose .299 mark is well above what anyone figured. But Elmer Flick is the only other starter above .270. Their pitching and defense are solid across the board, with Frank Viola, Schoolboy Rowe and Denny LeMaster all pitching solidly. Closer Bryan Harvey has been terrific, as have bullpen castmates Hoyt Wilhelm, Jeff Reardon and Doug Jones. Charlotte seems a piece away from being formidable, and could be the team to watch in the Eastern League as the trade deadline approaches.

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Old 02-11-2018, 11:11 AM   #67
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Alabama Slammers

The talent is there, it just hasn't manifested itself yet. The league's worst rotation is a surprise, and the league's worst defense doesn't help matters any. Johnny Mize and Duke Snider have been fine, but not to expectations on offense, and the same holds to a lesser extent for Gred Maddux on the pitching side, who has pitched to a lot of tough luck. Alabama's 12-32 road mark is a killer. If they were even 10 games under .500 instead of 20, they'd be only 5 1/2 out despite their struggles. But they need to turn it on quickly, and they haven't shown a sign of a run at any point yet this season. A very solid early performance from catcher Earl Battey has gone largely unnoticed in Alabama's struggles.


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Old 02-11-2018, 03:53 PM   #68
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G-Force, I'm computer-challenged and don't know if you can adjust it, but it would be nice if your entire page was visible to the reader without the use of the bottom scroller.

It just makes it a little harder to navigate and read.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:13 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Church View Post
G-Force, I'm computer-challenged and don't know if you can adjust it, but it would be nice if your entire page was visible to the reader without the use of the bottom scroller.

It just makes it a little harder to navigate and read.
It depends on how you have your screen size set up. It fits without scrolling on mine. I'll see what I can do to make them a little smaller though.

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Old 02-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #70
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I shrunk the team profile pics by 25% and reuploaded them, so they're reduced but it's not reducing the text. I assume once I upload new ones at that size the text will follow suit. I'll keep them left justified also instead of centering them.

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Old 02-12-2018, 11:49 AM   #71
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Denver Pilots

The ABL's top pitching staff has carried Denver to the top of the division after a 19-9 June. Joe Maddon's team pitches, plays defense, steals bases and makes few mistakes. Ace Steve Carlton has been backed - and perhaps outshone - by Fritz Ostermuller and Andy Messersmith gives the Pilots a strong top 3. Aroldis Chapman, JJ Putz and Al Benton make up the league's best pen. On the offensive side, things have been sluggish, but Ty Cobb has been strong. Gary Carter finally woke up in June after a terrible first two months, and could give the Pilots a big boost in the second half.


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Old 02-12-2018, 06:34 PM   #72
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Portland Robins

If Portland is going to make a second-half run at Denver, something/someone is going to have to step up. The Robins pitching is so-so, their offense the same, and that's not going to be enough. Jimmie Foxx and Jack Clark have performed well, and they are getting support over the last month from Wally Post, who has hit 13 homers in 30 games and boasts an OPS+ over 200. But the number of black holes in the lineup can't continue: Jose Reyes, Art Devlin and Matt Kemp need to turn it around or find their way to the bench, soon! On the hill, Kevin Millwood and Herb Score have thrown well, but haven't gotten much help. In the pen, Dave Veres and Octavio Dotel are a formidable 1-2 if they can get more leads to protect. The recent season-ending injury to Jorge Posada will put a lot of pressure on the struggling Chris Iannetta to turn things around.

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Old 02-12-2018, 07:12 PM   #73
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Sacramento Stingers


Patience is a virtue, and one the Stingers possess. But there needs to be some urgency. The lack of production from the tandem of Giancarlo Stanton and Prince Fielder has killed the Stingers, who walk but don't hit and have an offense that lives on the long ball to produce runs. Manager Lum Harris is an even-keeled as they come, but he's started to tweak the lineup a bit, finding more at bats for Vic Saier and Wally Westlake to try and turn the offense around. Hal Newhouser's injury put the Stingers behind the 8-ball, and Nick Strincevich posted a 5.73 mark as his replacement before he, too, went down. Vinegar Bend Mizell has been stable, but the rest of the staff has been borderline adequate, and that's not enough with the offense as it has been.

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Old 02-12-2018, 07:36 PM   #74
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Omaha Pioneers



Good pitching may beat good hitting, but good pitching isn't always enough to carry poor hitting to victory. Such is the story in Omaha, where Tom Seaver is arguably the league's top pitcher, leading the league's top staff, but the offense is the least productive in the Western League. David Wright's OPS+ is 149. He's the only batter over 100. Needless to say, that's a problem. Willie McCovey's hit homers but little else, and the rest of the lineup is singles all over the place. Four players have 3 homers...which ties them for third on the team. Erik Bedard's surprising season makes him and Seaver the ABL's best 1-2 punch.

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Old 02-12-2018, 09:03 PM   #75
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Phoenix Scorpions


In discussing Omaha, the Western League's North's cellar dwellers, we noted top pitching can't support bottom-level hitting. The batting had to at least get to decent. Enter the Phoenix Scorpions, who boast the Western League's most potent lineup to support a middle-of-the-pack pitching staff. Frank Howard's 17 homers have gotten the most attention, but Sam Crawford and Frank Chance are both actually having better seasons and could be in the MVP race. The Scorpions attack is balanced, and with Boog Powell getting into the act lately, the Scorpions could make a run at a 900-run season. The pitching staff has benefited, with John Thomson and Jake Miller each in double-digit wins, and Stephen Strasburg is emerging into the ace they expected him to be. Los Angeles won't fade away meekly, but if Phoenix doesn't hit any bumps, they'll fade away regardless.

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Old 02-12-2018, 09:48 PM   #76
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Los Angeles Lightning


The Lightning boast the consensus best player in the game in Willie Mays, who leads the ABL in homers and RBI and is 5th in average, with a 5.8 WAR at the all-star break. Even with Vladimir Guerrero not playing to expectations, the lineup is solid, with Hank Gowdy, Eric Chavez and the recently inserted Alexei Ramirez all contributing, in addition to Hack Wilson who despite his low average has 15 homers. Four starters - CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Jose Rosado and Greg W Harris have sub-4 ERAs and have been the model of consistency. Los Angeles isn't doing much wrong, they just haven't been able to catch Phoenix...at least not yet.


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Old 02-12-2018, 11:11 PM   #77
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New Orleans Knights


The worst pitching and the worst defense lands you 12 1/2 games back at the break. That's what's befallen New Orleans, with two simply superior teams ahead of them. Yet their potent lineup gives them hope. They're 4 games below .500 and will have plenty of games left against their division opponents. But it's a tall order. Ten players with 100 ABs or more have a 100+ OPS+, led by Harry Heilmann and the surprising Matt Carpenter. Jim Bunning is the ace of a poor staff, with he and reliever Tug McGraw as the only pitchers on the roster with a sub 3.5 ERA.


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Old 02-12-2018, 11:13 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Force View Post
It depends on how you have your screen size set up. It fits without scrolling on mine. I'll see what I can do to make them a little smaller though.

GH
No big deal... wouldn't want you to change your settings just for me.

Don't worry about it.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:41 PM   #79
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San Antonio Stallions

When you're top draft choice hits the all-star break with an OPS of .604, your second-round pick was the subject of rumors of carousing taking away from his performance, and your third round pick was hitting .191 before going on the disabled list, it's a safe bet your team won't be fighting for a division crown. Dick Howser may be under fire, but the smart folks know he was dealt a poor hand in San Antonio. Kevin Mitchell and George Springer have been brutal, and Wally Berger has just now started to produce - after his manager fought the press over their reports of his off-field behavior. John Lackey is fourth in the ABL in ERA yet stands 4-7, and Roy Oswalt has battled to a solid if unspectacular season. But don't be surprised if San Antonio gets creative at the trade deadline just to shake things up, because what's going on at the moment isn't working.


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Old 02-12-2018, 11:50 PM   #80
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That concludes the team reports. Up next, the first ABL All-Star Game and the continuation of the inaugural season!

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