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And So It Begins… 2018 Starts With a BANG!!

Wow… wow… So we all know that the Marlins are bad. I mean Jeter cleaned house down there (Brewers fans rejoice!). He not only let go of all of his talent, he fired the Mascot, and he let the Marlins biggest fan, Marlins Man, go to Free Agency to find a new team.

But did we ever expect Ian Happ to open the season with a monster Home Run on the FIRST pitch of the season. Obviously, a lot of you think Ian Happ is going to do great things in the Home Run department this season at the top of the Cubs lineup (more on the group selections later). But no way, you all thought the first pitch of the season was going to go over the wall. That was the first time since like 1986 when Dwight Evans did it.

Opening days other major story line, which also ties to Miami, wasn’t a let down either. Stanton’s first AB as a Yankee also saw the ball leave the yard. And then he did it a 2nd time later in the game. He’s on pace for 324 HR this season. And he may be the only player that can actually maintain that pace.

However, Stanton’s two homer game wasn’t the most impressive display of Homers on Opening Day. The Chicago WhiteSox, yes that isn’t a typo, the Chicago WhiteSox had a home run derby of their own on opening day with 6 homers. 6! And those 6 were hit between only 3 guys. Matt Davidson hit 3 of those homers. No one chose Matt Davidson… and yes, I actually put him in Group D. So he was actually a choice I gave you…

Derby News:
Thank you for putting up with a couple hours without the standings on Opening Day. It’s like a holiday for me, so I was out watching all the games with a group of guys and didn’t want to risk breaking the standings until I was sitting behind a computer to debug the inevitable problems.

Surprisingly, after about 4hrs of execution (real robust validation over here…), the standings look to be fully functional and it only took me 2hrs of debugging this year (2hrs is a HUGE success in my mind). The standings should be updating roughly every 15 minutes. If stats don’t look correct, give it a few minutes and refresh. If they still look wrong, the stats should get corrected by noon the next day. Just a reminder that the official stats are kept offline and are triple verified for accuracy. The online stats are just for convenience and my sanity of not having to manually update them.

If you are new, here’s a reminder on how the standings page works and how you can use the standings to see a bunch of different information (yes, the capabilities of the standings is much, much more than just finding your name).

As for the entries, we have succeeded in having more entries again for the 8th straight season (pending a few payments) and I’ve only been doing this for 8 seasons. It still impresses me how much excellent feedback you guys give me on wanting me to continue do this competition. Even with a year off, we still managed to have 107 contestants (this ties 2016 entries but we had a few forfeit their teams in April due to missing payment deadlines). So kudos to you for spreading the word on our fun little contest. I’m still debating on how to award the prizes this season, but I will continue to payout prizes through the entire standings, similar to what we did in 2016, and not just rewarding the very top teams.

I thought this season was the easiest for me to group players in a long time. It seemed like there were obvious tiers of power hitters.
But apparently, you all tend to like the same player in a lot of the groups (I’m guilty too this season in gravitating to player names versus the statistics). And for the first time in 8 seasons of the contest, we finally have a duplicate team selection. And not just 1, we have at least 2 duplicate team selections. And there may even a few more that I haven’t noticed but will become apparent as more and more ABs are taking this season.

Stanton, Trout, Hoskins, Ozuna was a very popular combination this year. 4 teams had some form of this combination. That may not sound like a lot but with over 9million+ combinations, that’s probably the most similar picks in 4 groups we have ever had. And if you did have this combination, you duplicated a team. Yes, of those 4 teams, there were only 2 group E selections… Ian Happ and Yasiel Puig.

The most popular selections in each group were: Giancarlo Stanton (51 teams), Mike Trout (34), Freddie Freeman (20), Marcell Ozuna (27), and Ian Happ (19). Let’s take a look at the selection breakdown per group:

Group A
What happens when you are the most powerful swinger and you have a full, healthy season? You hit 59 homers and then get traded to a home run friendly ball park and hit 2 homers on Opening Day. You also get chosen by almost 50% of the HR Derby contestants. Yes, Stanton leads group A by a long shot. The second most is no surprise either, his own teammate, Aaron Judge. We could see almost 120 home runs just between these two guys this season. The Yankees are going to be fun to watch (Whoa, did I just actually say that…). Every player in Group A got some love this season with no player getting snubbed by all team selections.

  • Stanton – 51
  • Judge – 24
  • Arenado – 17
  • Encarnacion – 4
  • Bellinger – 3
  • K.Davis/Gallo/Martinez – 2
  • Cruz/Donaldson – 1

Group B
I finally caved and put Trout and Harper down in Group B. Just looking at their past statistics and performances, they didn’t deserve to be in the top tier with the true power swingers from last season and seasons past. In doing so, almost 50% of the teams chose one of those 2 players. 1 in 3 teams choosing Trout. Goldy got the 3rd most selections. Apparently, 10 of you aren’t worried about the humidor in Arizona this season (is baseball really going to mandate humidors in all stadiums next season?!). And, much to my surprise, the Cubs fans prefer Bryant over Rizzo… 9 to 7. Jay Bruce get 0 selections from Group B… no love for a guy who has hit over 30 homers in 5 seasons in his career.

  • Trout – 34
  • Harper – 14
  • Goldschmidt – 10
  • Bryant – 9
  • Rizzo – 7
  • Sano – 6
  • Schwarber – 5
  • Dozier/Machado/Votto – 3
  • Cespedes/Duda/Sanchez/Springer/Abreu – 2
  • C.Davis/Frazier/Upton – 1
  • Bruce – 0

Group C
Half of the teams chose one of the following 3 players: Blackmon (23), Freeman (20), Hoskins (18). Hoskins put on a display of power late last season and people took notice. But some of you may have forgotten of the even more impressive display of power late in 2017 by Matt Olson, as only 3 gambled on that youngster. Youth powers Group C choices as we see a lot of our aging stars not getting many selections (Granderson/Jones/Morales/Napoli/Pujols/HanRam/Seager/Trumbo).

  • Blackmon – 23
  • Freeman – 20
  • Hoskins – 18
  • Correa – 11
  • Lamb – 7
  • Morrison – 6
  • Jones/Olson/Smoak/Thames – 3
  • Dickerson/Myers – 2
  • Bour/Morales/Pujols/Ramirez/D.Santana/K.Seager – 1
  • Bautista/Conforto/Napoli/Trumbo – 0

Group D
As the groups keep expanding with more and more selections, the choices should start to distribute more and more. Group D isn’t an exception except there is a major distribution between only 3 guys before the field becomes much more selective. Ozuna got a whopping 27 picks in Group D. Did I screw up in his grouping? Am I biased because he plays for the Cardinals? Am I skeptical of his 37 homer season last year after never topping 23 previously? I don’t know, but after watching his ABs yesterday, he did not look very good… at all. Hopefully he and the 27 teams that chose him proves me wrong.

Moose coming back to KC, after failing at free agency, got 16 of you excited. And 7 of you like the odds of Mookie Betts repeating his success in Boston this season. We are all probably very lucky that we didn’t play in 2017, because most of us would have probably gotten burned on Trevor Story’s elite 2016. Only 5 managers were even willing to risk their selections on him in Group D this season.

  • Ozuna – 27
  • Moustakas – 16
  • Betts – 7
  • DeJong/Lindor/Shaw/Story – 5
  • Braun/McCutchen/Odor/Schoop/C.Seager – 4
  • Baez/Zimmerman – 3
  • Gattis/Grichuk – 2
  • Beltre/Cano/Cargo/Moreland/J.Ramirez/Souza – 1
  • Bell/Belt/Cabrera/Davidson/Franco/Kemp/McCann/Mesoraco/Pearce/Renfroe/Reynolds/C.Santana – 0

Group E
Ah, the write-in group. This is my favorite group. Why?! Because I really enjoy seeing the people who write-in a guy that I decided to not include on the list. It makes me have to research the guy and understand what you may see in that player that I didn’t see. We had a few people write-in Ohtani, which I would love to see the Japanese Babe Ruth succeed from both sides of the plate. But after a disastrous Spring Training, those few teams rightfully backed out of the selection.

We did have 16 teams go off script and choose players that weren’t originally listed: Acuna, T.Beckham, Bird, Broxton, Buxton, Carpenter, Chapman, Devers (2), Kipnis, Mazara, McMahon, Pham, Pollock, Soler, Yelich.

Otherwise, the Cubs fans really dominated by coming through with an alarming 20 picks for Ian Happ. I’ll be honest, I hope I’m the one that is right by putting him in Group E. But after yesterday and all the hype the media is giving him, I think I may have been wrong for including him this low. Jose Altuve was popular with 13 after he lit up the scoreboard last season. How does a guy that is so small have so much pop?! Castellanos (8), Sir Didi (8), and Puig were also popular picks in Group E when you could have chosen almost anyone in the MB player universe.

  • Happ – 20
  • Altuve – 13
  • Castellanos/Gregorious – 8
  • Puig – 7
  • Contreras/Rosario – 5
  • Rendon – 4
  • Longoria/Schebler – 3
  • Devers/Gyorko/Hosmer/Pham/Zunino – 2
  • Alonso/Calhoun/Choo/Grandal/Healy/Murphy/Suarez/J.Turner – 1

Acuna/T.Beckham/Bird/Broxton/Buxton/Carpenter/Chapman – 1
Kipnis/Mazara/McMahon/Pollock/Doler/Yelich – 1

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Kings of Cork Standings Upgrade

Updated April 10, 2014: The standings have been improved further by allowing detailed team expansion in the main standings view.

Here at Kings of Cork, The Commish is always trying to make the competition better as well as user experience.

So what did I improve in 2014??? Well, I obviously didn’t change any of the rules. But I will say that picking the teams this season has been the most difficult out of the 5 years I have hosted this competition and most have agreed with that statement. This lead to A LOT of teams gambling on the young stars this season (watch for a later post about pick distribution). But this is still not what I changed.

Nope, it’s another overhaul to the standings page. I got real sick of trying to find my team in among all the data I like to share with everyone. So this season, the standings are user interactive. That’s right, you get a say in how the standings are displayed. Less data is visible up front, so you won’t be overwhelmed by numbers. This allows you to sort the standings by any column header you choose (except daily performance).

Here’s a quick look:

    The standings sort by the current positions by default (the first column from the left).

    But by simply clicking on a column header, say ‘Team’ or ‘Manager’, and then the standings will sort alphabetically making your team easy to find (assuming you haven’t forgotten your last name).

    Or you can click on one of the Month Column headers and the standings will automatically show you who won or is leading that month. You will even notice that the AB/HR column changes to that month’s stats.

    What’s that? You want to know who each team picked as players. Don’t worry, I got you covered. Simply click on the team that you want to see. And voila. You can hide expanded teams by selecting them again or sorting a column header. Scroll to the bottom of the standings after selecting teams and there are the selected team’s players compared to the best team possible. Oh, you want to compare more teams… don’t worry, by holding the ‘Ctrl’ key while selecting teams in the standings allows you to compare up to 5 teams in the ‘Detailed Team View’ at the bottom of the page.

    Scroll Down Below to the ‘Detailed Team View’ Heading

I hope these updates make the standings a bit easier to use and understand. But I will apologize. I already know that some of the more severe firewalls and antivirus programs block the standings, but you will need to change some settings and allow the website to show the standings until I figure out a solution.

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Standings Help

Ever wondered what all those numbers and empty columns are in the Kings of Cork Standings Page?

Here’s the answer.


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Happy Days – Home Run Derby is Back

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So please take this photo in exchange for the lack of posts over the past 5-6 months.


With only 1 day remaining until pitchers and catchers report to camp, baseball is definitely in the air and the 2013 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby has officially begun. So mark your calendars for the registration deadline of March 24th. You can submit your entry anytime via the HR Derby Entry Form. Any team submissions made before the deadline can be modified up until the deadline.

If you are too indecisive and aren’t already on the Kings of Cork mailing list, sign up for email reminders at the email registration page.

So tell your friends, your roommates, your parents, and even your grandma. We want to reach 100+ contestants this season and it’s up to you to spread the word.

To help you get ready for another great baseball season and even greater Home Run Derby season, here is a montage of amazing Japanese bat flips to put you in a home run mood.

Technical Difficulties

FYI… the 2013 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby is about to begin. The last loose ends are being tied up and an official launch will occur shortly.

But we are experiencing some technical difficulties here at the office. So if you see the website showing older dates, don’t be alarmed. We are working to fix this.

Baseball season is just around the corner…

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Kings of Cork Visits Dr. Andrews

Just a friendly heads-up that the site will be going through a Tommy John surgery this weekend and may be experiencing some technical difficulties over the next few days. We are updating our servers to enhance the site’s experience and it may cause you to not find or distort certain pages.

Think of the next few days as a rehab stint. It shouldn’t last nearly as long as the usual Tommy John rehab stint (Strasburg should be back in August/September). Hopefully, the site doesn’t turn out to be a Justin Morneau.

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April 2011 – HR Derby month in review

I know, I know… It’s May 9th, which means May is already a quarter over and I haven’t posted any sort of April review or even a new story in a few weeks. I’ve been too busy living in heaven.

(you will even see appearances from Brewer greats Rollie Fingers, Brett Wurst, and Cinco)

But several interesting site news: First, I’ve been spending my time not completing house renovations getting the site up and running as a mobile site. Yes, you will soon be able to check the HR Derby standings anytime possible on your mobile devices without having to download all the content and zoom in on the tiny font. Be on the look out for this new feature shortly (who knows, there may be an Android App to follow shortly as well). Second, the month of April took the site’s traffic to over 10,000 views in less than a year. That’s pretty impressive, so thanks to the people who keep coming back. Third, our current owner of the Derby basement, Pick Me A Winner, Bobby, wanted to be better than one other team in the HR Derby at something. So, he suggested I calculate the average home run distance for each team. With some more of my scripting genious, I was able to calculate every teams average home run that updates live at the end of each day and is posted next to your team’s name in the standings. Bad news is that Pick Me A Winner Bobby also has the shortest home run average. Lastly, I got sick of calculating my team’s daily change of position. Thus, I added an additional calculation next to every teams’ current position which shows how many positions your team has moved in the standings lately. Red means you are headed the wrong direction; green signals your team is headed for paydirt.

On to the HomeRun Derby month in review: Forget You

At the beginning of the first month of baseball is great. Every team is back to a clean slate, every break out player gets to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke, every disappointing player gets to prove that last year was indeed a fluke, every fan gets the chance to say “This is the year, the year that…” my favorite team wins the pennant, my fantasy team takes home the trophy, or my Kings of Cork team finishes in the top-5.

At the end of the first month of baseball, most fans get the chance to say (in their best Cee Lo Green voice) “Forget you…” to the break out player of last season who was suppose to be a top fantasy pick but hasn’t lived up to their hype (I’m looking at you Car-go). Or, “Forget you…” to the power bat that moved to a more hitter friendly ball-park (I’m looking at you Adam Dunn, A-Gon, and Carlos Pena). Or, “Forget you…” to the player who once again could not prove himself worthy of baseball stardom (There’s too many to list here but let’s go with Han-Ram, Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton, and Joe Mauer). Most likely, if you have one of these players on a fantasy baseball team or in the Kings of Cork home run derby, your team isn’t doing the greatest and you’ve already exclaimed “Forget you!!!” more than once to your team.

But with every player’s or team’s struggles (what the heck is wrong with the Brew Crew, Mets, Cubs, Twins, Chi-sox, and Bo-sox), there is another player or team living in their moment of glory (please see the Indians, Royals, and Cardinals waving their hands).

Let us pay respect to the month of April by recapping the April Kings Of Cork HomeRun Derby standings:

  • Ryan Braun – Odds are that if you had the Brew Crew’s Hebrew Hammer, your Kings Of Cork Derby team was not in the bottom half. His 10 home runs were the tops in the Majors at the end of April, and those 10 are already 1/3 of his season total last season. It seems like he is back in 2009 mashing form and half of the top 20 teams at the end of April would have to agree since they are sitting on Braun’s hot bat including the 3rd and 5th place teams of April, Devil Dogs and Behold the Power of Cheese. Will Braun continue his hot streak? A week into May and he has yet to hit a home run since April.
  • Alfonso Soriano & Lance Berkman – What do these two guys have in common? They are both turning 35 years of age which is the back half of most MLB players’ careers. What else do they both have in common? They both struggled mightily at the plate in 2010. What else do they have in common? They both have figured out that they were getting overpaid for their under achieving performance. At the end of April, Soriano had 1 less HR than Braun (Soriano now leads the Majors with 11) and Berkman had 2 less than Braun but is leading the Majors in Runs Batted In. Four Derby teams started the season with Alfonso and of those four teams, three of them were in the top 10 at the end of April including our month of April leader, Geez. More impressive is that of the 58 teams in 2011, ONE team actually chose the Big Puma… Fat Elvis… Lance Berkman. That team was in 4th at the end of April and was the first official entry into the 2011 Derby (even submitted before mine), The Test Icicles.
  • Jose Bautista – How dare ye doubt the 2010 home run champ! I know I sure did. I expected him to be a bigger one hit wonder than Los Del Rio. But once again, he is swinging the big stick. And despite being on the bench the first 6 days in May due to injury, Bautista is currently sitting at 10 HR and an amazing 0.524 OBP. Seven Derby teams enlisted the services of Joey Bats and our April Derby leader is, again, one of these teams: The Geez.
  • Big Poppe Pill Poppers – This Derby team gets his own line for one simple reason… his team is currently the most well rounded team in the derby. He doesn’t have one stand out bat, he has 5 of them. Fielder, Big Tex, Tulo, Quentin, and Chris Young all had 6 or more homers. No other derby team can say that even a week into May. This team may be the team to beat in the first half of the derby.

Remember, the season is long so don’t fret about the month of April or your players who haven’t figured out how to hit the long ball (Aaron Hill, Encarnacion, Alvarez, Aramis Ramirez, Han-Ram, Hart, Longoria, and McGehee, just to name a few). I promise to get more baseball related content posted soon. Until then, enjoy the heat in the Midwest.

Check It Out!!! – Standings Update Automatically

You read that correctly. The standings page now automatically updates. Now there is no need for you to have to wait for me to manually post the updated standings.

Every time you visit the standings page, the standings should be up to date… well almost. The data refreshes every 5 minutes on the server, but you still need to refresh the page manually to see the changes.

This should keep the Home Run Derby more entertaining and more addicting.

If for some reason the standings don’t look right, drop me an email via the contact page so I can update the website asap. So you guys don’t become an angry mob and chase me with torches and pitchforks.

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Breaking News: New Website Look

This just in… the website has a new look and feel. Now that the website has been updated, get ready for more and new baseball related posts.

New and Improved

  • Posts are now tagged and categorized, so if you like the post you are reading, click the tag or category links to find posts similar to the one you just enjoyed.
  • Follow us on Twitter. See that little birdy in the menu header. He will take you to the Kings of Cork tweets.
  • RSS Feeds. If you don’t recognize the symbol on the far right of the menu header, that’s the rss feed for the website. You can subscribe to the blog RSS feed if you want automatic updates to the blog. I hope to have a RSS feed for the Home Run Derby Standings shortly.
  • Comments. Feel free to post comments on any of the posts to let me know what you think, or to create a stir among other readers. I hope to have commenting available for the standings page shortly to allow trash talk.

Enjoy the added content.

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Welcome To The Launching Pad

Welcome. We are now Live with the Kings of Cork Home Run Derby. Please check back often as I try to post more content and better content.

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