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Old 06-17-2019, 08:41 PM   #1
Bluellama44
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Restoring the Legendary Chicago Bruins - ULB

League: Union League of Baseball. Subleagues: Futures League and Veterans League. 4 divisions (VL East, VL West, FL East, FL West). 16 Teams.


It was 1930. With baseball on the rise once again, a group of businessmen came together with an idea. They were huge baseball fans, and men who wouldn’t let an opportunity go to waste. They would offer free entries into the teams in their league, and would allow anyone and everyone to play. The men first thought of this project as something to make a little bit of money from and have a little fun with, but it grew to something much, much more exciting. The owner of Chicago’s club, Ryan Robblestock, was the biggest baseball fanatic of them all, and would put it all on the line to have his team win. He didn’t care about what anyone on his team looked like or acted like, neither did he care about age or wealth. Unlike the rest of the businessmen, he would manage the team. Ryan wanted the hardest working, best baseball players he could find, and he would do anything to get them on his team. Robblestock decided to call his team the Bruins. He thought a bear would make a great mascot. A new ballpark was built for each team, most were average, clean, small ballparks, but that wasn’t Robblestock’s style. He didn’t care about how clean or modern the park was, so he just decided to make it huge. It was sure to be popular for years to come. The businessmen weren’t going to waste the opportunity of making big money off a huge ballpark, so they approved and advertised it all around Chicago.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
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A young man named Steve Fleming saw this advertisement of a new club with a grand stadium, so he went to check it out. Fleming immediately fell in love with the ballpark. Noticing a young man with baseball gear as a potential player, a guard directed Fleming to a batting cage, where he could show off his skills to the owner himself. Most people trying out for the team in those batting cages were slightly older, clean cut men, and they were hitting better than anyone Steve had ever seen. The pitching was also the fastest Fleming had seen in his life. He took a look at Robblestock and noticed he was looking down at his watch. He seemed to be concerned. As Steve stepped in the cage, Robblestock adjusted his glasses and looked closely. He saw that Fleming was young, and probably poor based on the way he dressed. These were the kind of people Robblestock paid extra attention to. Although he wouldn’t ever admit it, Robblestock favored guys like this. People who needed the money. Fleming looked overmatched. He was clearly in his own head. This was his opportunity to make some money and maybe even… get famous or something., 3 heaters flew by him. He took a hefty cut at the 4th, which turned out to be a curveball, and then stepped out of the cage. Someone cut to the side of Fleming as he was walking away and confronted him. It was the pitcher. He wasn’t much taller than Fleming at about 5’10”, but was big and muscular. Fleming had never heard of a black man playing baseball, but here was one chewing him out about watching the pitches. “How do you expect to hit me by watching pitches? I don’t got too much left in the tank. Get back in the cages and swing your bat. I better be seeing you again soon. Fleming left for the cages wearily, but his lack of confidence changed quick. He murdered every single pitch the BP pitcher grooved down the middle, taken aback by his own power. After 4 whole hours of hitting, Fleming wandered back to the tryout cages in the dark. It was now 10 PM. The pitcher, whose name was Demetrius Graves as Fleming had learned, woke up Robblestock, and was pleased to see he was willing to watch them play. He would give Fleming 5 more at bats against a tired Demetrius Graves. Fleming struck out the first two ABs, but quickly rebounding and crushed the next 3, noticeably harder than the guys he saw walking in. Moments later, Robblestock rose and gave Fleming the opportunity of a lifetime the next day. Both were eager to take it. Studly Steve Fleming would go down as the best player in ULB history. He was the only man to hit over 600 home runs, and would inspire many kids to play baseball and join the ABL. Demetrius Graves was an outstanding pitcher and later joined Fleming in the ULB Hall of Fame with 367 wins and 3130 strikeouts.

Dan Robblestock was a huge baseball fan as a kid. Unlike other kids his age, Dan always knew his favorite player’s stats and personalities. His dad Johnny was the longtime GM of the Chicago Bruins and New Orleans Gators, and his great grandpa created the Bruins and was one of the founding members of the league. Dan was born in 1975, so he grew up watching some of the Gator’s best players of all time. Dan still owns many signed Gators jerseys, including one signed by the great Naldo Sainz. His most cherished jersey however, is one signed by the legendary Steve Fleming, the best player in ULB history, one who was said to have been close friends with Babe Ruth. Dan dreamed of playing with the Gators, but soon realized he didn’t have what it takes to make a college team and get drafted. Dan was perfectly fine with this. He enjoyed playing, but never planned to go pro. He wanted to follow the footsteps of his dad. Johnny always talked to Dan about the team at the dinner table, thinking it would bore the kid to death, but also help Dan learn about the game. The truth is, he always intently listened and would later apply what his dad had taught him at the dinner table with his first managing job with the Chicago Bruins’ Rookie League affiliate. He immediately fell in love with the Bruins’ culture and the way the fans would get behind his team. Dan quickly climbed up through the minors and landed an Assistant GM spot in 2008. The Bruins fans were thrilled to hear that the son of the beloved Johnny Robblestock was appointed a job with the major league team. Dan adored the atmosphere in Bruins Park. They had some of the most loving and rowdiest fans in the league. Bruins Park was a very old styled stadium. It looked like an old minor league park, but it was much bigger and had a big bear statue in centerfield that would roar when a Bruin hit a home run. The #1 starter would make grand entrances onto the field including fireworks, pyro, and whatever else the stadium could spew into the air. Although the Bruins fans were coming to the park, the team had been mediocre for years, but the ownership seemed to be alright with it. The Bruins fell into an uncharacteristic stretch of losing seasons starting with 2007, going 76-78. They followed the subpar year with another at 74-80, and then fell to 67-87. In 2010, the team slightly improved, but not enough to make anyone content, as the team went 69-85. It was time to do something about it.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:16 PM   #3
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2010

Joey Hilton was a huge baseball fan as a kid. Joey was born in Chicago, Illinois. Growing up, he would always cheer for his beloved Bruins, and had some of the best season ticket seats in the packed, rowdy Bruins Park of the 80s, with his dad being the manager. His grandpa was one of the founders of the ULB and served as Ryan Robblestock’s assistant for many years, earning good money off of the league. The money was passed down to Joey’s father, Mike Hilton. Mike attempted to play in the ULB, but didn’t make it passed AA in the Miami Flamingos organization. Mike later managed the Bruins in the early 80s, winning the Bruins’ 9th and 10th world series in 1982 and ‘83, and managed the team until 1995, when he was ordered to be fired by longtime owner Willis Smith. Joey bought a small store space and started a business of his own, “Hilton Sports”, a sports equipment/gear company that quickly blew up into one of the biggest sports companies in the world. Joey was still an avid Bruins fan all throughout tenure as owner of Hilton Sports. Once he had enough money piled up, Joey looked towards owning something else. A sports team. More specifically, a Chicago team. It didn’t take long for Hilton to place the winning bid on the Chicago Bruins, his favorite team in the world, in 2010, following the selling of Hilton Sports. Everyone had had enough of the team being ‘just alright’, a term used by ablsnewsandrumors.com to describe the Bruins almost every year during Willis Smith’s ownership of the team, but he was sure that that was soon to change. It was time to start a new era. The age of the Bruins always being mediocre was out, and so was the GM. “I think I know the man who I want to be the new GM of Bruins baseball.”
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:09 PM   #4
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Hilton Selects member of legendary ULB family to control Chicago’s Team Operations.

I made it. I’ve done it. This has always been my dream, and now I’m finally here. Looks like I have some work to do!

First of all, I believe that the group and philosophy of the team’s staff needs to be rethought. Our current manager is Wilson Molina. He has a few years with the team and likes playing prospects, but I feel his system of slow hooks with relief pitchers won’t fit with our teams in the future, and I’d like someone with a lot more experience. The top candidate for the job is former Liberty manager Manuel Castro. He has an excellent reputation around the league, and also has the tendency to play his young players over older ones. Castro will also give me permission to make suggestions on the lineups and pitching staff, something that I require in a manager.

In his first year as an ULB major league manager, Castro’s Philadelphia Liberty won the ULB World Series. That year was followed by an outstanding 97-57 season. In 2009, the team declined to 86-69, and then fell to 70-84 with a dry roster. Castro’s emphasis on patience also sticks out, because that’s something that our young players will need to learn about and improve on. He also has a great sense of humor, and is known to play a prank or two on his new players, which should keep morale high in the clubhouse. I offered Manuel a 3 year contract worth 750K per year. He’s an elite manager, so I’ll have to pay a premium for him.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:59 PM   #5
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Pitching coach is the second position that needs to be addressed. Cody Watson is the current pitching coach, and has very little ULB experience, with last season (2010) being his first. There is a limited amount of viable pitching coaches out there, but Hoshi Kawai seems to be the right man for the job. He coached the Carolina Flyers in 2008 and 2009. The Flyers pitching staff had a rocky 4.31 ERA in 2008, and a 4.24 ERA in 2009, which isn’t good, but Kawai works very well with power pitchers, something I plan to specialize in. Kawai asked for a team friendly contract worth approximately 300K for 2 years.

The next position to fill is hitting coach. Steve Lewis has 3 years of experience as a hitting coach (1988, 1989, 1990) with the St. Louis Steamers, and 20 more years as a bench coach. Overall, Lewis has a lot of experience and a very good reputation. He works well with everyone, so I’m going to go ahead and field him an offer. The deal I proposed was a 2 year contract worth 222K.

I also offered a 4 year contract to the best trainer on the market - Jeff Foard.

I feel confident about Rich Bond’s ability to assist me with team operations as Assistant GM, as he has a great reputation around the league, so he will be staying here in Chicago.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:00 PM   #6
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The following major players have expiring contracts:

3B Oscar Martinez - 35 y.o. Being paid 6.9M (4.1 WAR, 110 OPS+)
SP Jeremy Petersen - 35 y.o. Being paid 7.9M (1.8 WAR, 112 ERA+)
C Antonio Padilla - 40 y.o. Being paid 7.1M (2.4 WAR, 96 OPS+)
RP Ryan Taylor - 33 y.o. Being paid 1.44M (-0.2, 100 ERA+)

I don’t plan on resigning any of them except for Ryan Taylor. His agent asked for a 2 year deal worth 3.8M, which I don’t love, but I gave him the deal anyway. The remaining players absences alone should clear up $21M for free agent spending! Especially with a limited budget, our free agent cash situation isn’t looking too bad.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:04 PM   #7
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ablnewsandrumors.com
1/02/10 Bruins-Peaches Trade Announced: 36-year-old RHP Cameron Byrne, 25-year-old minor league C Eric Wade, 19-year-old minor league SS Jesus Rodriguez, 21-year-old minor league RF Juan Medina and a 5th round draft pick will now be playing for the Atlanta Peaches and 24-year-old 2B Bobby Rittmeyer, 23-year-old 1B Robbie Sandoval, 26-year-old RHP Mark Ready and a 2nd round draft pick will be suiting up for the Chicago Bruins. The trade was announced today at a press conference by club officials.


Byrne has appeared in 935 games in his career, picked up 253 saves, tossed 1004.1 innings and posted a 89-76 record. He has a lifetime ERA of 4.10.

Positives for Atlanta: They gained a good reliever and veteran presence in Cameron Byrne, and can easily pay his contract. They also added two longshot prospects, but you never know if they become great. Finally, they acquired a decent enough backup catcher/trade piece in Eric Wade.

Positives for Chicago: They gained a very young and cheap replacement for Oscar Martinez with the addition of speed (Bobby Rittmeyer). They also gained someone who could possibly blossom into a star in Robbie Sandoval. Mark Ready is a decent reliever that will be used frequently in Chicago due to their absence of adequate relievers. They didn’t have to give away top notch prospects in return for a 2nd round pick.

Well, this one came out of nowhere! I saw the opportunity to get some young players and a nice pick while also gaining money, so I had to jump on it. My scout, Tim Maruca, projects Cam Byrnes to enter a steep decline next year at 37 years old. I’d rather not pay someone 4.68M to barely be viable in the bullpen. Tim obsesses over Bobby Rittmeyer’s speed, as well as his ability to drive the ball into the gaps. With Oscar Martinez leaving in free agency, I was happy to grab a young replacement with a similar skill level. I’m very glad I was able to grab that 2nd round pick, because prospects are at the top of our priorities at the moment. Maruca spoke highly on Mark Ready’s stuff and potential as a relief pitcher, and also on his outstanding mustache. And finally, Tim absolutely loves the addition of Robbie Sandoval. He wouldn’t stop nagging me during negotiations about how this guy never strikes out and his great character. I guess Tim is right, as the stats speak for themselves… Sandoval struck out 4 times in 16 games/59 at bats. This gave him quite a low K rate during his cup of coffee last year, especially for a 22 year old. To go along with his ability to avoid strikeouts, Sandoval has a beautiful, level swing that gave him 8 homers and a .339 BA during his 16 game stint, but I've seen plenty of guys like this fizzle out. Only time will tell who wins this trade.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:30 AM   #8
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11/03/10

To: Dan Robblestock
CC: Wilson Molina, Rich Bond
From: Tim Maruca
Hey Dan, I wrote up a quick scouting report on Robbie Sandoval. His current ability is rated as 2.5 stars, relative to the ULB. His potential, again relative to the ULB, is 3.5 stars. Here is the complete scouting report:
Dominican first baseman Robbie Sandoval was born in Higüey. He has the potential to be a .310 hitter. He has significant upside once he tops his raw power potential. He has excellent instincts with the glove as a first baseman. Sandoval can be a second division starter at first baseman.
Go Bruins,
Tim Maruca


To: Tim Maruca
CC: Wilson Molina, Rich Bond
From: Dan Robblestock

Thanks for the report Tim. I took what you said about Sandoval and his abilities as great news, considering we didn’t give up a heavy amount to obtain him. Along with you all, I believe he could very well be a big part of the team’s future, but I want to ease him into his new role with us here in Chicago.

The current plan is to play him over Pedro Centeno at First Base. He seems to be an upgrade over Pedro in all respects, but I have no intention to force Sandoval into the full time job. As I said before, we should ease our new players into their roles. Pedro is still a solid player and is pretty much always healthy. He’s also a clutch player and a role model, so I feel it would be best to give him a decent amount of playing time at First Base. I would suggest that he is started over Robbie Sandoval once every 4 games. This should still let Centeno see the field a decent amount, as well as help him get used to his new role as a pinch hitter a little easier. Sandoval will be starting the majority of the games, but will also be on the bench at times to ensure he is not forced into the starting role.

If both players perform well, I would suggest we keep things just as they previously were, since Sandoval takes priority as the young player. If Sandoval blossoms into the hitter you think he could become, we should start to give him more of a full time role, rather than having him sit every 4 games. If Centeno performs well while Sandoval struggles, I will not hesitate to bench Robbie and have the veteran take over for a while. I don’t want to ruin Robbie’s morale by sending him down to AAA San Bernardino, so I will refrain from doing so. My #1 hope is that we don’t ask too much from Sandoval, which takes the pressure off of him and allows him to blossom at First Base.

Go Bruins,
Dan Robblestock.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:50 PM   #9
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Now, time to evaluate the roster before free agency. I understand that with a limited budget, I won’t be able to find replacements and upgrades in every position needed. I won’t be mentioning the players who are leaving in FA.

Outfielders

LF - Carlos Pirelli - Good contact hitter and should avoid striking out well, still has some speed left in him at 34, but his left field range is limited. Former star player, so he won’t be going anywhere for now.
CF - Steve Brockway - Average contact hitter with a lot of speed, won’t be striking out much.
RF - T.J. Keough - Good contact hitter no speed but decent power. His speed limits his range in right field, but I am satisfied enough with his hitting ability. Eventually, I’d like a better player at RF. He’s on a very big contract ($14.5M per year until 2012 offseason), so he’s a prime trade candidate.
LF - Erick Avila - Amazing fielder in left field with great character and a lot of speed. Likely to be the 4th outfielder, but things will change in the offseason.
RF - Scott Marchand - below average fielder that makes good contact with the ball. Definitely our 5th outfielder.
RF - Alvaro Santana - 5 time Fleming award winner whose huge $18M contract expires next year. Has a little bit of skill left, and is still an alright player. Has 336 home runs and 2576 hits.

Infielders

3B - Bobby Rittmeyer - Good contact with very nice speed, but still needs to get used to 3B.
SS - Carlos Vasquez - Can’t really hit, but his fielding ability is undeniable.
2B - Francisco Serna - Upper .290 hitter with some pop and a good glove.
1B - Robbie Sandoval - 6’7” 240 lbs hitter with good contact and a lot of pop. Even with the big strike zone, you won’t see him striking out often
2B/3B/SS - Ryan Martin - Good fielder with little to no hitting ability. Only a slight downgrade from Vasquez, so he’ll fill in if something happens. For now, he’s a bench player.
1B - Pedro Centeno - Decent hitter with great durability. He’s also a great role model for younger players.

Catchers
With the absence of Antonio Padilla, this is definitely a position that we need to look for in free agency.
Colin Coy - Can’t hit a lick, but decent enough fielding-wise.
Alvaro Lopez - Same as Coy with less defense, but also less strikeouts.

Starting Pitchers
Although I’m not looking to contend next year, I am looking for improvement. Pitching is a place where we need definite improvement soon. I’ll need to get another starter in FA, since I don’t feel comfortable with any of my long relievers starting.

Noah Hampton - Good movement and control, good for a high 3’s ERA. 34 years old, so we need to find a replacement soon.
Soudai Tomita - Workhorse that used to be a great pitcher with us. Also 34, so he’s only going to be here for a couple more years.
Jayden Anderson - Decent 27 year old acquired from the Carolina Flyers.

Relief Pitchers

MR - Mark Ready - Acquired from Atlanta, also has the ability to set up and possible close out games, can start if needed.
MR - Alex Ramirez - Decent 32 year old fireballer who didn’t make it as a starter.
MR - Jason Goodman - Arrogant lefty 22 year old with a lot of stamina and a great curveball, just gives up a lot of home runs.
MR - Scott Fitzhugh - 6’5” pitcher that’s okay at everything. Should log a lot of innings.
LR - Alex Morales - Crappy long reliever. Nothing too special.
ST - Ryan Taylor - Groundball setup man with movement but not much control.
CP - Jesus Balderrama - Very talented 24 year old that needs some work on his composure and control. He has a good head on his shoulders, but just needs to put it all together for a good season.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:13 AM   #10
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And now, our prospects that show up in the ABL Top 100 Prospect List. I hope that with our multiple draft picks, we acquire more talent that shows up on this list.

#54 - 20 y.o. SS Thomas Thacker - Last year in A Orlando, he hit .289 with above average fielding. Thacker was good for a 3.2 WAR in 134 games. He has the potential to have elite contact, but nothing in the power department. Thacker is a very good fielder at shortstop, and has the added bonus of a low strikeout rate. Maruca told me all about his range at shortstop, and should match the fielding skill of Vasquez in no time. He will be the starting shortstop at AA Deweyville next year.

#56 - 22 y.o. CF Orlando Sanchez - Tim gives Orlando a lot of praise, and for good reason. I’ve seen his amazing speed and range in centerfield down in Deweyville, and it’s a sight to behold. He was one of the league’s premier players at AA last year, hitting 25 triples with a .392 OBP. Sanchez is also a positive influence in the clubhouse, as well as a durable player, which helped him amass a 5.4 WAR. Orlando hits the ball to all fields, and smacks a lot of line drives all around the diamond.

#67 - 20 y.o. SP Bobby Rios - Tim isn’t as high on Rios as he is on our other top 100 prospects, but his stats suggest that he could be a decent pitcher. He has good stamina and a fastball that has reached 97 MPH, but staying healthy has been an issue. After 7 starts between Short A Montague and A Orlando, he ruptured his UCL, an injury that spelled the end of his season. Out of those 7 games, he won 5 and lost 2, putting up a 3.59 ERA. The stat that stuck out to me was the amount of home runs he gave up. In 52.2 innings, Rios let a total of 1 ball fly over the outfield fence.


At the moment, the team’s biggest needs are:
Starting Pitching
Relief Pitching
Catchers
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:02 PM   #11
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11/06/10
Dear Sir,
Your offer was just what I was looking for. I’ve just signed the contract and look forward to a productive relationship in the future!

Regards,
Steve Lewis

Lewis’s signing takes us one step closer to my ideal group of staff. He should do well with the young players, and I hope to see Thomas Thacker and Orlando Sanchez thriving under Lewis one day.

11/07/10
Dear Sir,
I was thrilled to see your offer and can’t wait to come back to Bruins park. I went ahead and signed after some thought, but your deal was my favorite all along.

Go Bruins,
Jeff Foard

Jeff seems to be thrilled to be on the team, and I’m happy he chose us, as he was the best trainer available.

11/09/10
ablnewsandrumors.com
Few players in the Chicago Bruins organization seemed upset to learn about Wilson Molina’s dismissal as manager, a move announced today in a team press release.

While no player would speak on the record, one disgruntled reliever complained about Molina’s confrontational style, saying “He’s the kind of guy who thinks the best leader is the guy who yells the most.”

Another added, “Wilson wanted to win, but he just didn’t have the respect of the clubhouse.”
Molina’s replacement has not yet been named, though an official announcement is expected soon.

11/09/10
ablnewsandrumors.com
Manuel Castro hired as Chicago’s new manager following former Bruins manager Wilson Molina’s firing.

Castro has managed for 9 years (including the minors) and won the ULB World Series as a rookie manager with the Philadelphia Liberty in 2007. He’s known for his exceptional player development abilities. Castro is a calm manager, but will speak up when a player talks back or doesn’t hustle. He likes to play his young players over veterans. Castro also uses a lot of sabermetrics and statistics which matches the style of rookie Chicago GM Dan Robblestock. Overall, the is big news for Chicago fans, as they hope to turn a new page in Bruins history.

I could not be more excited about Manuel’s arrival in Bruins Park today. A meeting was held with the players, and he said the following “We aren’t a championship team this year. Hey, we probably won’t make the playoffs this year, but all I ask is an improvement over whatever the hell the last 4 years have been.”
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:59 AM   #12
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11/10/10
Dear Sir,
I look forward to being the pitching coach for the Bruins for a few years. I hope for success soon.
Regards,
Hoshi Kawai

Now, I have my ideal coaching staff here in Chicago.

11/11/10
Dear Sir,
I am honored to be resigning with Chicago after the past few months of uncertainty. The rumors really get to a guy, particularly a guy who lets things bother him like I can do from time to time. Your $3,800,000 offer is exactly what I’m looking for in a deal, and I’ll gladly sign with you again.

Ryan Taylor

I am pleased to see this, as Taylor should be a solid reliever for a while.

11/15/10

No Bruins are going through arbitration this year, but multiple players are entering free agency. The following players have expiring contracts and will enter free agency as compensation FAs:

RP Eduardo Carrion $290K (-0.8 WAR)
3B Oscar Martinez $6.9M (4.1 WAR)
SS Julio Ogata $6.7M (-0.6 WAR)
C Antonio Padilla $7.1M (2.4 WAR)
SP Jeremy Petersen $7.9M (1.8 WAR)
SP Kyle Seale $420K (0.9 WAR)
RP Troy White $13.2M (-1.0 WAR)

I don’t have an issue with Carrion’s absence, as he is going to be out for a while and isn’t a top tier reliever. Oscar Martinez is definitely a tough loss after being the star of this team for years, but I’m happy about the money we’re clearing up by losing him. Antonio Padilla is a decent catcher, but there’s no way I keep paying him big money at 40 years old. Julio Ogata is someone else who I’m not willing to pay based on age, but his performance doesn’t help either. Jeremy Petersen was a pretty good starter, but eats up too much salary for a 35 year old that can’t stay healthy. Kyle Saele is in the same boat as Julio Ogata. He doesn’t have the skill that he needs to get paid by me anymore. I don’t know what the thought process behind Troy White’s contract is. He’s way past his prime and provides us with a negative WAR. Clearing up that money will be very nice. Overall, with these player’s departures, a (approximate) grand total amount of $42M is being cleared up, which leaves us a nice amount ($24M) to grab a new catcher and some pitchers.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:53 PM   #13
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11/18/10
The opening day of ABL free agency arrives today with a flurry of activity as players file their paperwork to become free agents.

For the next several months, players and their prospective suitors will be locked in fierce negotiations. Deals will come together, fall apart, and be resurrected again. Teams will fight to meet their needs while staying within their budget. Throughout the process, there will be second-guessing from fans and media alike. Even players who remain under contract will keep an eye on things, curious as to who will be sharing their locker room in the coming season and whether that bodes well or ill for their own careers.

Months from now, when the free agency period has settled down, fans will finally get a glimpse of the latest version of their team.

A number of quality players have filed for free agency and could generate a lot of interest. Most notable among them are:

Jeremy Walko, 38 year old LH SP
John Prest, 31 year old RH SP
Jeff Lowe, 28 year old CF
Johnny Oviedo, 28 year old LF
Juan Garcia, 29 year old RH SP
Julio Martinez, 34 year old LH SP
Pat Walker, 31 year old 2B
Kyle Gonzalez, 37 year old 2B
Bill Catania, 25 year old RH SP
Mike Fragoso, 36 year old LH SP
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:54 PM   #14
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At the catcher position, our best FA option seems to be 33 year old Sean Mata. His first year playing over 70 games was 2006 at age 29. He hit .274 with 6 home runs, but had a very low OBP, at .312. Last year, Mata put up a 2.4 WAR while hitting .262 with 10 longballs and 30 doubles. He provides above average defense with a strong arm, but is asking for more than what I’d ideally give him. Mata’s agent suggested a 1 year deal worth $6M. I’m happy with giving him a one year deal, but $6M is a lot for a decent catcher, and also takes a big chunk out of our free agent money.

The next option at the catcher position is the 29 year old Israel Cabrera, the starting catcher on the Portland Moose. He’s a durable player, and put up the same WAR as Sean Mata (2.4). Like Mata, he’s a very good defender, but Tim grades Cabrera as a slightly better defender. The catch is Cabrera’s contract. He will make $8.9M next year, and then $12.3M in 2012 and 2013, which takes him right through his prime and allows us to let him go when his decline begins. However, he would account for a big part of our payroll for not being a star player. The Moose aren’t asking for too much, as I would have to give up Jayden Anderson, a decent starter.

The top SP in the free agent pool seems to be Bill Catania. He’s getting up there in age at 35 years old, but posted a 2.53 ERA with an 11-6 record last year. Catania won the Whip Award after an outstanding 2008, and then followed that up with a 7 WAR in 2009. The only problem is, He demands a 5 year contract worth $117M ($23.4M annually), which would sap up all of our FA money.

The next player in line is 36 year old Mike Fragoso. He has 185 wins, 2 Whip Awards, and 2765 career strikeouts. The future hall of famer has a reputation for never getting injured, which is a huge plus for a starter. He went 11-8 with a 3.53 ERA last year, and has told me that he is not interested in becoming a Bruin. He’ll just have to watch us win on TV.

Juan Garcia is someone that I am seriously considering making an offer to. Garcia is 29, and went 12-8 with a 2.50 ERA in 172.2 innings. He draws a lot of ground balls and is great at holding runners on base. Add on his good control, and you have a pitcher that people won’t be stealing on much, presuming we get ourselves a catcher. Garcia’s agent has expressed interest in joining the club, but has steep demands. Garcia would want a 9 year contract with a player opt out in year #5. The deal would be worth $8M in year 1, and then $9M for the next 8 years. This would lock up Garcia until he’s 38. I’m not sure if I’m willing to give that to a pitcher.

Jim Mizner is a cheap reliever for one of his skill level. Tim Maruca describes him as a 3 star pitcher, someone I’m willing to give a 3 year deal worth $9M to.

In conclusion: Mata, Garcia, and Mizner will be offered contracts. We’ll have to work out a deal with a new catcher next year, or find our next one in a trade, or in the draft. Garcia’s offer will be worth $10M per year in order to get the money he wants, but will be offered a 5 year deal with a player option, rather than the full 9 years he was asking for. I doubt any team gives him that many years.

Last edited by Bluellama44; 06-27-2019 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:03 PM   #15
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So, away from the story for a minute. How is everyone enjoying this so far? I'd love to hear that people are actually reading this. Even if no one was, I'd still write this dynasty report, this stuff is fun!
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Old 06-29-2019, 12:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluellama44 View Post
So, away from the story for a minute. How is everyone enjoying this so far? I'd love to hear that people are actually reading this. Even if no one was, I'd still write this dynasty report, this stuff is fun!
I'm following. I like all the little "notes" that you've included and I'm excited to see what you do during the regular season.
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Old 06-29-2019, 01:08 PM   #17
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11/24/10
It was midnight when I got a phone call from Mastodons GM John Sanders. He suggested a trade that would require me to part with Erick Avila. In return, Sanders would fix my catching issue, and not hand me a financial burden.

Our return would be Ed Olloqui, a hard working 30 year old catcher with very good defensive ability, but not much in the hitting department. Olloqui is known to be a very durable player, and will be going through arbitration next offseason. At the moment, Olloqui is making $1.26M, a lot less than Mata. Ed’s arbitration estimate is $1.4M, which is also a much cheaper alternative to Mata. Accepting this deal would give me a catcher with better defense than Mata, but worse offense. Olloqui is younger, and also under contract for a while. I don’t like the idea of parting with Avila, but I may have already found his replacement.

Billy Busch is a 26 year old LF for the Atlanta Peaches, a team I’ve traded with before. Busch did absolutely nothing in his cup of coffee last year, but Tim likes his contact, personality, and his defense in left field, which is “almost equal to Avila’s”. As I was pondering, I told John that i’d think about it. Once that phone call was done, I immediately called Atlanta’s GM, Brian Banning. I asked about Billy Busch. Banning wanted Chris Bernsdorf, a player Tim says has speed and nothing else at 24. According to Tim, Bernsdorf “isn’t going to be anything but outfield depth”, something I already have enough of, and was about to get back. I called Sanders… “John, I think we have a deal.”

11/25/10
ablnewsandrumors.com
Chicago Bruins Ship Bernsdorf to Atlanta: You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you find a deal anyway. The Baseball News Network is reporting that Chicago and Atlanta have made a swap with 21-year-old minor league RF Chris Bernsdorf being shipped to the Peaches and in return the Bruins would get 26-year-old LF Billy Busch.

Atlanta general manager Brian Banning said the two sides were close to a blockbuster trade before agreeing upon a smaller scale transaction.

"This is just a bit of housekeeping compared to what we wanted to do," he said. "I won't name names, but the potential deal we were close to making would have certainly grabbed some headlines."

A source inside the Atlanta organization said the two sides might not be done dealing, and another transaction could be in the works.

Positives for Atlanta: They added young outfield depth.

Positives for Chicago: They got another decent outfielder… Likely gearing up for a pending trade.
11/25/10
ablnewsandrumors.com
Los Angeles Mastodons, Bruins Agree to Trade: Today at a press conference the Chicago Bruins announced a trade has been completed with the Los Angeles Mastodons. The Mastodons have shipped 30-year-old C Ed Olloqui to the Bruins for 26-year-old CF Erik Avila.


In his 375-game career, Olloqui has hit at a .258 clip and collected 320 hits with 60 doubles, 2 triples, 38 homers, and 148 RBIs.

Avila's career batting average stands at .239, and he has 2 home runs.

Positives for Chicago: They got a cheap catcher to cover up the hole they have in that position.

Positives for LA: They got a decent hitting outfielder with elite defense.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:58 AM   #18
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I will withdraw Sean Mata’s offer, saving $4.8M. I’m glad I was able to find a solid replacement for Avila, let’s hope he becomes as popular in Chicago as Avila was. Also, Brian must not remember the negotiations from last night, because I don’t recall having a blockbuster deal in place.

(11/26/10) Atlanta’s 25 year old Closer has suffered a setback, will be out for another 9 months.
(11/26/10) Boston Doves sign Jeremy Walko to a 3 year $36.9M deal. I think they overpaid.

11/30/10
Contract Negotiation Update: I was very impressed by your latest offer. I'm starting to think I could see myself playing starting pitcher for the Bruins next season. Let me think it over, but so far your offer is the best.

Juan Garcia

Garcia would probably be our #1 starter. I’m glad he’s happy with a 5 year deal, rather than a 9 year contract. He’ll be paid until he’s 34, rather than 38, but we’re also paying him $10M per year, rather than the previously suggested $9M.

(12/3/10) Antonio Padilla signs with Boston for a 1 year deal worth $5.1M. He isn’t the catcher he used to be, but he’s still pretty good.
(12/410) The Miami Flamingos signed Sean Mata to a 1 year deal worth $4.6M. I’d rather have Olloqui for $1.26M.
12/5/10
Contract Negotiation Update: I've been in the big leagues for several years now, and I'm liking what I'm seeing out of Los Angeles. Your offer sucks! It could be so much better. If you want to have a chance at signing me, offer me something more than minimum wage.

Juan Garcia

Excuse me!? Minimum wage?

I’m not the type of person to get bullied around by players about contracts, but I really would like to get Garcia. Boston’s GM Robby “The Poet” Aguilar assures me that Garcia is a likeable human, and that his agent Scott Borass wrote the message, and I’m pretty sure he’s correct. I’m going to up the offer to a 5 year deal worth $60.575M with a player option in year 4, and another in year 5. He better sign.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:03 PM   #19
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11/5/10
ULB News: Winter Meetings Begin: With the winter meetings beginning today, American Baseball League clubs embark on a three-day, trade-laced, rumor-saturated marathon of meet-and-greet frivolity in Phoenix, Arizona. The light atmosphere, almost mocking in its falseness, is a stark reminder of the importance of these meetings. Show your hand and you will be burned by sparks from the inferno known as hot stove baseball. Keep too tight-lipped and you could be left out in the cold. Be wise, for championships might not be won in the offseason, but they are surely lost then!

This is also a reminder for teams to set their ticket prices for next season. Prices cannot change after season tickets go on sale at the end of the Winter Meetings.

I flew over to Phoenix late last night. I enjoyed my dinner with my fellow Veterans League West GMs. Portland Moose GM Ruben Lopez wouldn’t stop talking about his 2 straight World Series victories, but I let that slide. I wonder what he’ll be saying once it’s my turn. I left the dinner along with my fellow GMs, but Ruben stayed behind to talk with Brooklyn Robins GM Jose Duran, who he ended up having a busy first day of winter meetings.

Brooklyn send 34 year old 2 star RP Alex Perez and 22 year old 2.5 star potential shortstop Luis Leon to Portland for 19 year old 2.5 star potential CF Manny Nieves and 18 year old 2 star potential RF Melvin Blancas.
Brooklyn sends 31 year old 4 star 3B Joel Stephens to Carolina for 18 year old 2.5 star potential LF Antonio Ramirez, 21 year old 2.5 star potential CF Flip Moreno, and 1.5 star potential 3B Oscar Barrios.
After their 70-84 season, Brooklyn looks to be going into a rebuild, sending away one of their best players. Last year, Stephens hit .286 with 16 home runs.

(11/6/10) Francisco Lola signs with the Los Angeles Mastodons for a 1 year $4.48M deal. Lola went 8-10 with a 3.09 ERA last year.
(11/610) Atlanta remains one of the most active teams in the offseason, trading away 27 year old 2 star SP Dave Barrera and 22 year old 2 star potential LF Erick Castillo. In return, Atlanta acquired the #93 prospect in the ABL, a 22 year old 3.5 star potential 2B named Derrick Santana. Santana is definitely a prized prospect, and a great addition to Atlanta’s farm system. They definitely won this trade.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:37 AM   #20
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At about 7PM, I was looking at Tim Maruca’s top rated starters below the age of 26, as I’d love a nice young starter, and the winter meetings are definitely a good time to grab one. On the top of the list were 2 obvious stars. Wayne Alcala, the 24 year old Whip Award winner in 2010 and ROTY winner in 2009, and Jon Tavera, another one of the league’s premier pitchers. Next on the list was the fragile and highly touted Roberto Pinon, who has the intangibles and skill but just needs to stay healthy to string together some good years. These are all great players, but I don’t have a chance at trading for any of them.

The next pitcher was one that really caught my attention. Tim may have found a hidden gem in Frank Santana, a 25 year old righty born in San Victor. Santana was once the #20 prospect in the ULB for the Miami Flamingos, but has fallen off the map because of his 29-56 record and high ERAs.

Obviously, we must look deeper.

First of all, Miami has had a terrible defense over the years, which hugely contributes to his .332 BABIP. Santana went 8-16 last year, and lead the league in losses. He also lead in losses in 2008 as a 23 year old, and was 2nd in losses in 2009, with 15. Santana’s ERA was 3.90, which is decent considering the terrible defense that surrounded him, and the low home run total (13) against him among 214.2 innings. Santana has been consistent with his strikeouts and has been a lock for about 160 Ks for the past 3 years.

To go along with those, Frank walked an average of 2.6 hitters per every 9 innings, a very respectable rate. Although Frank has never been an all star, his 5.2 WAR suggests that the ability is there, as Tim states that anyone with a WAR over 5 is an all star quality player. I love Santana’s stats and durability, but the thing I like about him most is how he refuses to become discouraged after all of the losses. He never stops playing at full throttle, no matter the circumstances. You may overlook Santana because of his terrible winning% and mediocre ERAs, but he has potential to be a very nice starter.

I dialed GM Todd Bailey’s phone number and told him to meet at a seafood place near my hotel.

Todd greeted me, but got right down to business after that, discussing both of our rosters. Once I mentioned Santana’s name, he read out a list of my guys he’d be interested in obtaining… “Balderrama, Jayden Anderson, Orlando Sanchez, Chris Edwards…” We had worked out a deal including Travis Symank, Chris Edwards, and Jake Hernandez, all minor league prospects, for Frank Santana and Josiah Haywood, an infielder that would be used primarily as a bench bat. “You know, I’m not sure if I’m ready to part with Santana, I think I might have to ask for more. Maybe Jayden Anderson? I want to get back someone who is guaranteed a roster spot. “Well, Todd… I can do that.” Could he supposedly be a replacement for Santana? “If you gave me Anderson, I’d believe we’d have a deal.”

I had one more thing to propose to Todd. “Todd, 3 prospects and a major league starter is a steep price for one player who’s never been an all star and some depth… So I have one more thing to ask from you. I want you to retain 40% of Frank’s $4.4M before he hits arbitration.” “I… I could do that Dan. I know you have a great crop of draft picks, so I’d think you would be able to spare me another prospect. I’m not talking about someone like Sanchez or Thacker, but I’d need another prospect for this deal to fall through.” “What if I add Chris Gammon? “We’d have a deal.”

11/7/10
ablnewsandrumors.com
Bruins, Flamingos Trade Players: After prolonged negotiations Chicago agreed to ship 27-year-old LHP Jayden Anderson, 22-year-old minor league SS Travis Symank, 20-year-old minor league LF Chris Edwards, 20-year-old minor league CF Jake Hernandez and 23-year-old minor league RHP Chris Gammon to Miami for 25-year-old RHP Frank Santana and 24-year-old minor league SS Josiah Haywood. The deal is awaiting confirmation from the league office but neither team expects any hang-ups.

"It took longer than expected," said one GM, "but we knew that the deal was going to happen."

Miami will retain a portion of Santana's remaining contract.

In his career-to-date, the 27-year-old Anderson has fashioned a 17-22 mark, 4.39 ERA and thrown 392 innings. Opposing clubs are batting .295 lifetime against him and he has logged 232 total strikeouts.

Lifetime Santana has 29 ULB victories and 56 defeats with a 4.14 ERA.

From Chicago’s perspective: They gained a possibly solid starter for a reduced price and some more depth, but is Santana really going to become a good pitcher, or will he keep up with the disaster his career has been so far?

From Miami’s perspective: They gained a bunch of young prospects and an established lefty in Jayden Anderson.
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