Archive for » June, 2014 «

Pack Your Bags, It’s Moving Day: Week 12 Derby Review

If you still find your team near the bottom of the standings, you may want to look into hiring Bobby Henry, Seminole Medicine Man, like the Tampa Bay Rays did to turn their season around.

I know it seems like I’ve been absent this month, and I’ll agree with you. Sometimes due to my schedule (it’s bachelor party and wedding season ya know), and sometimes due to Mother Nature (it sounded like a bomb went off on my block but it was only my internet providers main junction box). No promises in an increase in posts to read, but I’ll at least try to keep up on weeks in review.

Moving On Up:

    If your team has over 20 homers in June, you probably noticed you are in the top-10 for the month and that you stand a great chance at taking home the third monthly crown. But another observation is that 8 of the top-10 teams in the month of June are also in the top-20 overall standings, which is pretty impressive that the leaders are maintaining such a high pace of home runs. Typically, someone near the middle or bottom of the pack makes a charge each month. But Kettle Poppers finds themselves in a similar situation in June as they found them in May (top-10 for the month) and April (top-5 for the month). This month, they are trying to stop taking home top-10’s and top-5’s and just take home the top spot. They own Abreu and Donaldson whom are the top sluggers in groups D and E (that’s how you win, not with your selections in groups A and B). Not to be outdone, Yeah, and he scrambled the son of a bitch also has 23 home runs this month and also owns Donaldson. But he also owns the recently awakened sleeping giant, Andrew McCutchen (who is not Scottish), and has hit 7 of his 11 total homers in this month alone. There are still 8 days left in the month, so there are still 10-15 teams that have a chance of overtaking the lead from these two teams.

    Claim Crushers

    Claim Crushers

    This last week there were 6 MLB players (that were selected in the HR derby) that hit 3 home runs: Ryan Howard, E-Squared, Adam Jones, Carlos Santana, Trout, and LUUUUUUUCROY. And if you own any one of them, odds are you made some movement to the top of this standings this past week. Only one team managed to jump 20+ spots and that was Claim Crushers jumping 28 places to 37th. Their team ditched the crippled Prince Fielder and added E-Squared on June 5th. This move gave him 3-homers this week and everyone but Freeman (who hit 1) pitched in another 2 homers from his team this past week for a total of 10 homers this week. That double digit HR mark was also the highest in week 12. Another pair of teams that made it into the top-20 this week were the father/son Bombers duo (Darrel’s Bombers and Bronx Bombers). They had 8 and 9 total homeruns in the past week which were 2nd and 3rd best.

Moving On Out:

    The bottom of the standings in the month of June don’t need to be called out (one of them is a previous HR derby winner). Thankfully, every team has at least hit more than 5 homeruns this month but not by much. Only one team managed to drop 20+ spots, Chicks Dig The Long Ball (-21 places to 67th), and they have been playing with 4 players for 20+ days thanks to Wil Myers. Their team did get one ball to leave the yard the last week but one other team couldn’t even accomplish that. Let’s Do Better This Year! owns the only goose egg in week 12 which dropped them to 84th place. They have had a lot of bad luck this season by owning JP Arencibia (who is now in the minors but did get married to a country superstar) and also owning injured Justin Smoak and Car-Go. So their team is really playing with only 3 healthy players at the moment.

Kicked To The Curb – Trades In June:

      Team – Arrango’s Draft Picks
      Owner – The Commish
      Player Dropped – Prince Fielder (June 5th)
      Player Picked Up – Chris Davis

      Team – Let’s Do Better This Year!
      Owner – K. Wilderman
      Player Dropped – JP Arencibia (June 5th)
      Player Picked Up – Carlos Gomez

      Team – Powerbombers
      Owner – K. Schultz
      Player Dropped – JP Arencibia (June 5th)
      Player Picked Up – Jose Abreu

      Team – Claim Crushers
      Owner – B. Mindock
      Player Dropped – Prince Fielder (June 9th)
      Player Picked Up – Edwin Encarnacion

      Team – What’s 5 Bucks?
      Owner – A. Staudinger
      Player Dropped – Prince Fielder (June 10th)
      Player Picked Up – Jose Bautista

      Team – Big City Walk Offs
      Owner – B. Elmquist
      Player Dropped – Wil Myers (June 20th)
      Player Picked Up – Jhonny Peralta

      Team – Because I Win!
      Owner – A. Hakes
      Player Dropped – Bryce Harper (June 21th)
      Player Picked Up – Brandon Moss

    Lock In Luc

    A line has just been drawn into the diamond. I have no idea how this hasn’t gone viral yet so I decided to upload the Milwaukee advertisement myself (hence the poor sound quality)… until the copyright police come knocking.

    Edit: Thanks to the video below, the baseball blogosphere has blown up and the video advertising has gone viral. MLB has finally published the actual video. (There is also a great video advertising for Carlos Gomez.)

    The Milwaukee Brewers have announced their battle cry. When will the Cardinals rebut (they probably won’t because it’s not the “Cardinal Way“)?

    Seriously, this is one of my pet peeves about All-Star voting by the fans. All it is is a popularity contest. Take almost any position and the “best” player at that position in 2014 probably isn’t leading it. The AL is far worse than the NL which makes me again think that NL fans are smarter than AL fans. Wieters leads catchers in the AL and he is on the DL. Cano and Cabrera are great right side of the infield guys but what about Encarnacion and Dozier? They are the elite in that category so far this season. In the NL, Puig will always make the All-Star game from here on out (same with Trout in the AL). So guys like Carlos Gomez and Charlie Blackmon will miss out on deserving All-Star game starts. David Wright is having a down year and Aramis Ramirez hasn’t been healthy enough to prove himself. But both of them are in the top-4 and the best 3B is the NL in 2014 (Todd Fraizer) isn’t even worth mentioning in the latest poll totals.

    But back to the video above, Lucroy isn’t in the lead in All-Star balloting for NL catchers. He isn’t even second. Molina owns the top spot followed by Posey. Don’t get me wrong, both are amazing catchers. But are they the best in 2014? Lucroy is at least 60 points higher than both in OBP and more than 160 points higher than both in OPS. Offense isn’t everything, but Lucroy also has the highest Defensive Wins Above Replacement (DWAR) among the three by 0.6 according to ESPN stats.

    Let’s end the madness of fans voting in the starters. Let the players and managers take care of that. The fans can vote for the backup and bench players. That’s where the popularity winners belong when compared to the season’s best.

    AA: June’s Fan Bribes

    It’s time for some AA (Audience Augmenter) posts in 2014 thanks to a lead from The Golden Trouts. They sent me a great link to a promotion the Indian’s Class A affiliate, the Lake County Captains, are running August 1st. The first 1500 fans get an AWESOME Jobu bobblehead. I think one of our teams, Jobu Needs ANOTHER Refill, needs this on their desk as a team mascot.

    I love these types of fan enticing gimmicks. What better way to persuade fans to come to a sporting event than bribing them with crap that people love (I’m one of those guys that love bobbleheads and I don’t know why). But this link got me thinking… what other head scratching fan giveaways are going on in the Minor Leagues that will definitely attract some sort of fans. Well, after a little research, I found the ones in June that made me do just that, scratch my head. So mark your calendars for these upcoming dates:

    • Starling Marte Oven Mitt – Altoona Curve June 1st – Unfortunately, you missed out on owning this one of a kind oven mitt. I mean who wouldn’t want to remember a struggling CF every time they pulled their casseroles out of the oven?
    • Door Mat – Colorado Springs Sky Sox June 1st – Again, you may have missed this giveaway and what better way for a fan to remember that their team is in last place in the standings and being walked all over. Thus making them the division’s door mat.
    • Mystery Star Wars Bobblehead – Lancaster JetHawks June 14th – What’s better than useless crap? Mystery useless crap. I will feel very bad for the fan that receives a bobblehead of Jar-Jar Binks.
    • Bible Bobblehead of First Wise Man – Nashvillle Sounds June 29th – For a team affiliated to beer drinkers, I’m a little surprised by this giveaway. Don’t worry, you have the chance to own all the wise men in bobblehead form. Just don’t miss one of the other two games because I’m sure you won’t be able to find these cheap on Ebay. Your best bet may be to steal them from someone’s Nativity Scene this December.
    • Free Beer and Hot Wings Bobblehead – West Michigan Whitecaps June 19th – Uh? Why didn’t they just stop after the word ‘Wings’?! Why did they have to add the word bobblehead to the end? Imagine how many fans (and college students from across the country) they could have had in attendance if Free Beer and Hot Wings were on the menu that night. It would probably go over worse than the Cleveland Indians’ 10cent Beer Night.
    • Kayla Miller Vendor Bobblhead and Cowboy Monkey Rodeo Bobblehead – Wilmington Blue Rocks June 10th and 26th – I’m pretty sure this organization is giving away gifts at every game this season, whether it’s salt and pepper shakers or umbrellas or dog bowls. But two unique ones are the bobbleheads for their local stadium Kayla Miller and another bobblehead of the cowboy rodeo monkey. First, the Kayla Miller bobblehead is interesting and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a collectible bobblehead of themselves. But having 1000 other people having a mini statue of you on their mantle is a little creepy (or even creepier, in their bathroom). The cowboy rodeo monkey bobblehead is crazy awesome if Whiplash (the Monkey) actually makes an appearance. This isn’t the first time we have highlighted Whiplash in an AA post, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

    Keep sending me those interesting links. I only have so much time to find them myself.

    Pack Your Bags, It’s Moving Day: Week 9 Derby Review

    I’ve heard of broken bat singles but never broken bat swinging strikes…

    This is a special installment of ‘Pack Your Bags’ as you get your usually weekly dose but also a monthly recap as an added bonus.
    Moving On Up:

      Month of May:
      The second month is behind us and what a month it was. Someone needs to call 911 in Toronto (or whatever their emergency number is) because E-squared, aka Edwin Encarnacion, is on fire!!! He swatted 16 homers in May including 12 in the last 16 days of the month. Nelson Cruz wasn’t far behind with 13 homers in May. There are only 6 teams that benefited from one of these players and 0 teams that had both. So it’s a pretty safe bet on which teams finished with the most homers in May. Of the 6 teams that chose one of these guys, 5 of them finished in the top-10 of May (the only one to miss out on top-to finished in 11th). And in fact, the top-3 in the month of May have Cruz.
      What started as a Big Stinky vs Cuba Libre swing off, ended with neither of them wearing the crown in May. No they didn’t choke a big lead or stall out, they finished 2nd and 4th, respectively. But instead they were overtaken by a manager that is well past her due date (Upton Girl amazingly has JJ Hardy who has 0 home runs this season but she’s in 5th overall) and by a manager (The something clevers) that scrambled together to hit 4 home runs on the final day of May to take the win in the month. Even more impressive than their last day’s performance in May is the fact that The something clevers was in 90th overall place after April. 90TH!!!! Their team had a total of 9 home runs in the first 30+ days of the season, but then managed to hit 33 in the next 31 days of baseball and jumped all the way to 23rd. A jump of 67 spots. This has me feeling a bit of deja vu from the 2012 season when the team finishing last in April won the whole shebang.
      Who else moved a bunch of spots in May??? The Philly Phanatic jumped almost 59 spots (49) from 65th to the top-20 (16th) with a consistent all-around performance from their team. The last two teams to jump at least 40 spots in the last month were Shin-Soo-Who? and Don’t Plouffe on your Hanley. They both jumped to the top-20 line (21st and 18th) and hit 28 and 26 home runs with also well rounded teams.
      Week 9:
      Want a week 9 recap? Sure you do. I have to acknowledge The something clevers yet again as they may have had the most impressive weekly performance yet. Capped off by that 4-hr last day in May, their team hit 14 homers last week. That catapulted them 43 spots to the top spot in the month and 23rd overall. They almost had double the home runs of the next highest weekly movers. That feat belongs to Little Easy’s who was the next closest to topping 20 spots moved in the week at 19. Their team managed to hit 8 homers led by Rizzo and Cabrera last week. Upton Girl was the only other team to hit double digit homers with 10. There were 5 teams that hit 9 homers and 3 of them already resided in the top-10 (Erickson, Flying Aces, and Kettle Poppers). The other two, Dangling Minnow and Philly Phanatic, now reside in the top-15.

    Moving On Out:

      Month of May:
      Not everyone can be a winner. In order to have winners, we need some losers. And in May there were 3 teams that struggled to get off the bench. LIL R went from almost the very top (2nd overall in April) to falling 40 spots to 42nd overall with only 7 home runs in May. The 7 home run total also earned LIL R the fewest home runs in the month. However, two Brewer fan based teams were the biggest movers in reverse for May. BrewCrew fell 51 spots to 68th place and Nana and Me fell 53 spots to 76th. Both teams had Braun and Gomez, both of whom sat on the disabled list for half the month. One of them had Ugly Uggla and the other has the no-power Cano. Both of those players need to find their power stroke if these two teams wan’t to compete in any of the future months (or they need to hope they get injured).
      Week 9:
      Again I have to highlight a monthly leader in the weekly review. LIL R was one of three teams to lay the golden goose egg for week 9. Suppansticious and one of our previous winners, What’s 5 bucks?, were the other two teams. Unfortunately, both of those teams were already low enough in the overall standings that LIL R also took home the biggest mover award dropping 21 spots. There were 4 other teams that moved more than 15 spots in reverse: Jo Boo Needs ANOTHER Refill (18), Big City Walk Offs (18), HomeRunKings (17), and BeerFlies (16). Probably the biggest disappointment among that group goes to BeerFlies. Their team was contending for the overall lead in the month of May and they managed to only hit 2 homers in the final week which left them barely in the top-20 for the month.

    Kicked to the Curb

      Something new I am going to start reporting about are team trades. They are all captured in the standings but because they all happen behind the scenes via contact from and to The Commish, I figured that everyone might want a weekly recap of who’s cheating trading in their dirty jocks for fresh ones. Now there were no trades this week but get ready for a plethora of transactions in Week 10 because Beltran, Votto, and Fielder are all coming up on their trade date. I will be cashing in Fielder for someone that has a neck in one piece.