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2006 Season

October 4, 2006

The season has ended and the AL races went down to the wire with the Yanks falling out after a dismal August and September (19-32).  The Tigers snuck in after a terrible start and the White Sox won the wildcard with the Yanks falling one game behind both.  The Rockies won their division by only one game also.  The Cubs and Twins both clinched early and had the best records in both leagues with 100 and 103 wins.  The Cubs had the second most worst drop in wins though as they won 118 last year.  The top gainers from last year in wins:  Cleveland +19, Seattle, Houston +17, Dodgers +15 and Arizona +12.  The worst were:  Boston –22, Cubs, St. Louis –17, Colorado –14.  All teams in the NL West except the Rockies improved from last season.  The play-off matchups are:  Arizona/Colorado, Houston/Cubs, White Sox/Twins and Seattle/Detroit.  Polanco won the Batting Title of A-Rod but Rodriquez led in runs scored, hits, HR and was 2nd in RBIs.  Pitching was dominated by Santana (Cubs) with 26 wins, 4th in ERA at 2.93 (Carpenter 2.71 was leader).  Carlos Zambrano won 21 and Clemens and Martinez won 20.  Wagner gave up 16 HRs in 66 IP.  He only had 26 saves and blew a ton more.  Needless to say, A-Rod and Santana won the MVP and Cy Young awards.  Another disappointing pitchers was Oswalt as he went 17-14, 3.95 with 289 hits in 257 ip.  The Cubs and Twins had the best pitching staffs with a 3.40 and 3.63 ERA respectively.  Santana, Zambrano and Prior had BA against of .196, .198 and .210 to lead in that department.  Pedro Martinez had a run support of 7.23 on his way to 20 wins.  The Rockies had the most powerful offense with a .295 average and 278 HR.  The Cubs were next at .277.  The Rockies scored 990 runs, followed by the Mariners (892), D-backs (885) and White Sox (841).  The Twins were the best fielding team-.989.  Turnbow won the Rolaids Fireman award, edging Nathan, Rivera and Timlin.  Harlan was the manager of the year with two division winners and the top two teams-recordwise.  The ALL-Star team was:  I-Rod, Teixeira, Roberts, A-Rod, Follins, M.Cabrera, A.Jones, Sheffield, Santan, Zambrano, Clems and Turnbow.  The Gold Glove winners were:  Carpenter, Varitek, Teixeira, Roberts, Chaves, Everett, Jones, Suzuki and Edmonds.  The Silver Bat selections:  I-Rod, Sexson, Kent, A-Rod, Tejada, Cabrera, Jones, Sheffield.

 

Sept 7, 2006

Now is the time to get a look at your prospects.  KC dumped Sweeney and Derrick Lee to pick up future players-Jacobs and Gathright.  Delmond Young is finally in the majors and is hitting .400 as of this morning.  The Rockies are excited about Tulowitzki and their pitchers coming around next year (humidor help?).  Who are these Sanchez guys  (Pittsburgh SS and the no-hit guy on the Marlins)?  Ryan Howard-53 HRs and not on steroids?    Lidge with 30 saves and ERA of over 5!  Must be a friend of Todd Jones.  Speaking of the Tigers, when I was in Florida for spring training of course I had to see my beloved Tigers.  The game we saw had a middle infield combination of Kelly (6’6) and Hooper (5’4).  We laughed at how small this guy was and he made an error and probably struck out twice in 3 Abs.  We wondered when he was going to graduate from  HS.  Well, Sunday he was called up by the Tigers from Toledo, so that shows how much I can judge talent.  He’ll probably start in the WS at 2B for Polanco.

 

July 7, 2006

Mid-season.  Division leaders-Yanks (2 games over .500), Twins, Cubs and Rockies.  The NL won the All-star game, 6-0, having a no-hitter until the 7th (Almost unheard of in an All-Star Game).  Always interesting to look at players available for the draft next year.  The Dodgers are loaded so it looks like the GBA Dodgers will use their #1 to protect one player.  Takashi Saito, Matt Kemp and Russ Martin are the candidates.  Others who warrant a good look:  Dan Uggla,  Mike Napoli, Ronny Paulino, Miner, Ray, Broxton, Feliciano among the rookies and comebacks by Park, Oliver, Hendrickson, Mesa and Putz.  Some last minute pickups in April have really panned out- Rios, and Red Sox trade of Soriano, Freddie Garcia and Luis Gonzalez(Col-if) to Angels for Iguchi, Papelbon, Blake and Haren has helped both teams.

Who is the best rookie pitcher in the AL at midseason- Liriano, Verlander or Paplebon?  I think 3 other rookies deserve consideration:   Kinsler and Uggla and Barfield in the NL.  Look at the Yankees roster, they have 3 HOF pitchers-Clemens, Maddux and Glavine and has to be the oldest rotation ever.  What other teams have future HOFs- Griffey, Bonds, A-Rod, The Big Unit, Pujols, Hoffman, Ramirez, Rivera, Ichiro, Jeter (?), I-Rod…

Players who are surprising at mid-season:  Freddie Sanchez, Garciaparra, De Rosa, Rios, Matthews, Jacque Jones, Brandon Phillips, Arroyo, Park, Ethier, Chris Young.  Disappoints:  Teixeira, Sexson, Beltre, Francoeur, Gomes, Lane, Barmes, Files, Peralta, Wilkerson, Varitek, Crosby, Glaus, Peavy, Hudson, Duke, Pettitte, Garland and Beckett.

 

May 4, 2006

After the first month of the season there are of course a lot of surprises.  All the ownerless teams have a winning record except Arizona.  Cleveland had the worst record in the GBA last year but are leading the AL East.  The Cubs and Rockies both won over 110 games last year but have started off slowly.  One big trade has already been made with Soriano going to the Angels from the Bosox.   Just like MLB, Sosa and Bonds hasn’t hit a HR yet.   For the first time I can remember, both the Tigers and Rockies have winning records thru April in the bigs.  Pujols is a freak!  Maddox continues like Clemens.

March 31, 2006

The GBA has had quite a few owners changes since last season.  We’ve had 4 new members with one quitting before the season begins.  A lot of player movement too with 28 trades and an interesting set of drafts.  Looking over top 100 prospect lists, our owners are right on with at least 90 of most of these lists already drafted or protected by our teams.  It makes it hard to find those players for next year but I’m sure we’ll find them.  For example Felix Hernandez was drafted last year before he ever pitched in AAA.

March 22, 2006

The Drafts are completed, rosters are close to being finalized as we get ready for our 15th season.  New blood has brought trades, although a valued members has left the league.  After many replays it looks like the Yankees, Twins, Cubs and Rockies are the strongest teams.

Personal stuff:  Went to spring training in Florida for a week with my buddy from junior high days.  What a blast!  Went to a game everyday, saw Tigers, Indians, Phillies, Braves-twice, Devil Rays-twice, Pirates, Reds, Cards, BlueJays and Australia vs Italy (I think).  Didn’t see Ryan Howard hit a HR though.  Neat lady in front of us one game, got her husband and herself a beer, every other inning-what a woman.

 

December 27, 2005

We’ve added 2 new owners to fill 3 teams.  The draft will start after the first of the year and already we have our first trade.  After looking over the trades last year, you can see how players like Soriano and Carlos Lee helped the Bosox get to the World Series of the GBA. 

 

2005 Season

December 14, 2005

The Rockies swept the Red Sox in the World Series after winning a 7 game battle with the high rolling Cubs.  The NL Championship Series included 2 grandslam walkoff homers by Larry Walker and Jason Bay (Canucks!).  The Red Sox also had a great AL Championship Series with the Blue Jays.

 

AWARDS VOTING FOR 2005 Global Baseball Playoff                    Date: 10/30/2005

 

MVP AWARD                               CY YOUNG AWARD

I.Rodriguez(CON) 391                    J.Santana(CHN) 138

T.Helton(CON) 366                       P.Martinez(CON) 94

A.Rodriguez(CON) 205                    A.Otsuka(TOA) 36

C.Lee(BOA) 136                          S.Takatsu(BOA) 14

L.Berkman(CHN) 99                       O.Perez(CON) 5

 

ALL-STAR SELECTIONS BY POSITION

C  I.Rodriguez(CON) 241,238             J.Varitek(CHN) 47,214

1B T.Helton(CON) 199,601                P.Feliz(CIN) 37,908

2B L.Castillo(CON) 89,427               A.Soriano(BOA) 74,484

3B A.Rodriguez(CON) 169,293             A.Ramirez(CHN) 79,506

SS K.Greene(CON) 133,593                C.Izturis(BOA) 55,398

LF C.Lee(BOA) 176,132                   A.Dunn(CON) 129,437

CF J.Pierre(BOA) 90,918                 M.Kotsay(TOA) 74,282

RF L.Berkman(CHN) 161,659               J.Drew(BOA) 108,896

Pi J.Santana(CHN) 231,589               P.Martinez(CON) 137,256

   A.Otsuka(TOA) 86,227                 S.Takatsu(BOA) 79,865

   O.Perez(CON) 60,715                  C.Cordero(CON) 48,975

   R.Johnson(CHN) 45,343                J.Rincon(CHN) 38,141

   M.Buehrle(BOA) 33,956                T.Glavine(NYA) 29,102

   B.Wagner(CON) 26,742                 J.Marquis(CIN) 26,158

 

GOLD GLOVE SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

P  P.Martinez(CON)                      J.Frasor(MNA)

C  I.Rodriguez(CON)                     J.Varitek(CHN)

1B T.Helton(CON)                        M.Teixeira(MNA)

2B L.Castillo(CON)                      B.Roberts(ATN)

3B H.Blalock(BOA)                       A.Beltre(TOA)

SS C.Izturis(BOA)                       C.Guzman(MNA)

OF I.Suzuki(CHN)                        G.Jenkins(CIN)

OF A.Jones(NYA)                         C.Beltran(MNA)

OF R.Hidalgo(ATN)                       M.Bradley(ATN)

 

SILVER SLUGGER SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

C  I.Rodriguez(CON)                     J.Varitek(CHN)

1B T.Helton(CON)                        P.Feliz(CIN)

2B A.Soriano(BOA)                       R.Belliard(CHN)

3B A.Rodriguez(CON)                     A.Ramirez(CHN)

SS K.Greene(CON)                        C.Izturis(BOA)

LF C.Lee(BOA)                           A.Dunn(CON)

CF M.Kotsay(TOA)                        J.Pierre(BOA)

RF L.Berkman(CHN)                       J.Drew(BOA)

 

ROLAIDS FIREMAN RELIEF AWARD

S.Takatsu(BOA) 11

A.Otsuka(TOA) 7

E.Gagne(CON) 7

J.Nathan(CHN) 5

C.Cordero(CON) 4

 

 

 

October 4, 2005

The Chicago Cubs fell 8 short of tying the record for most wins (Cincinnati-1999).  Two ownerless teams will make the play-offs-Cincinnati and Oakland.  The most improved team was the Yanks with 26 more wins than last year.  The Indians had the largest decline with 33 less wins.  The Cubs (+19), Cardinals (+17) and A’s (+14) had most gain in wins, the Phillies with -24 and the Braves had -22 wins.  Only 3 teams in the NL had winning record.  Cleveland will get the first pick in the draft.  The draft is loaded with veterans including Tony Clark, Mark Ellis, Scott Podsednik, Ryan Dempster, Brian Fuentes, and Aaron Heilman, along with youngsters like Derrick Turnbow, Hector Carrasco, Zack Duke, Clay Hensley, Tadahito Iguchi, Jonny Gomes, Robinson Cano and Ryan Church.

Individual highlights include 62 HRs by Pujols, 7 KOs by Belliard, 4 HRs in a game by Phelps and Griffey, 11 RBI by Griffey in 7 Abs, NO-hitters by Randy Johnson and Luke Hudson, 17 KOs by the Rocket,28 runs scored by the Rockies, 10 Abs by Andrew Jones and 6 hits by Furcal.  Barry Bonds only had 26 INT but still lead the league and had 180 total walks.  Crawford had 92 SBs and 25 triples, Bonds lead in all the hitting categories like SLG, OBP, Runs created, total average.  Five pitchers won 20 games or more. (Randy Johnson-25, Radke and Schilling-24, Sheets and L.Hernandez-20.  The Unit won the ERA title and Foulke was the save leader.  Schmidt had the most Ks.  The Big Unit won the MVP and Cy Young. 

 

AWARDS VOTING FOR 2005 Global Baseball                         Date: 10/2/2005

 

MVP AWARD                               CY YOUNG AWARD

R.Johnson(CHN) 424                      R.Johnson(CHN) 136

T.Helton(CON) 341                       C.Schilling(OAA) 84

A.Dunn(CON) 203                         J.Santana(CHN) 44

I.Rodriguez(CON) 132                    K.Foulke(TOA) 16

A.Rodriguez(CON) 98                     J.Schmidt(MNA) 8

 

ALL-STAR SELECTIONS BY POSITION

C  I.Rodriguez(CON) 2,967,631           J.Posada(NYA) 1,311,314

1B A.Pujols(SLN) 4,603,405              T.Helton(CON) 3,186,108

2B J.Kent(TOA) 2,100,178                B.Boone(ANA) 1,952,912

3B A.Beltre(TOA) 3,757,153              A.Rodriguez(CON) 2,916,110

SS M.Tejada(CHN) 2,333,304              D.Jeter(NYA) 2,007,567

LF B.Bonds(ATN) 3,784,541               A.Dunn(CON) 3,121,377

CF C.Beltran(MNA) 2,839,447             S.Finley(HON) 2,051,807

RF V.Guerrero(NYA) 3,176,898            G.Sheffield(CIN) 2,681,315

Pi R.Johnson(CHN) 4,419,269             C.Schilling(OAA) 2,909,739

   K.Foulke(TOA) 2,333,119              B.Sheets(CIN) 2,270,462

   J.Santana(CHN) 2,167,575             J.Schmidt(MNA) 2,092,217

   B.Radke(MNA) 1,935,337               C.Zambrano(CHN) 1,894,525

   T.Lilly(DEA) 1,839,710               L.Hernandez(ATN) 1,797,431

   O.Perez(CON) 1,789,400               A.Benitez(DEA) 1,718,918

 

GOLD GLOVE SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

P  O.Perez(FLN)                         F.Garcia(BOA)

C  J.Posada(NYA)                        V.Martinez(DEA)

1B B.Wilkerson(BAA)                     D.Lee(OAA)

2B L.Castillo(CON)                      B.Boone(ANA)

3B A.Rodriguez(CON)                     E.Chavez(AZA)

SS C.Izturis(BOA)                       K.Greene(CON)

OF S.Finley(HON)                        C.Beltran(MNA)

OF J.Edmonds(DEA)                       C.Crawford(NYN)

OF A.Jones(NYA)                         V.Wells(CON)

 

SILVER SLUGGER SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

C  I.Rodriguez(CON)                     J.Posada(NYA)

1B A.Pujols(SLN)                        D.Ortiz(CLA)

2B J.Kent(TOA)                          B.Boone(ANA)

3B A.Beltre(TOA)                        A.Rodriguez(CON)

SS M.Tejada(CHN)                        D.Jeter(NYA)

LF B.Bonds(ATN)                         A.Dunn(CON)

CF C.Beltran(MNA)                       S.Finley(HON)

RF V.Guerrero(NYA)                      G.Sheffield(CIN)

 

ROLAIDS FIREMAN RELIEF AWARD

K.Foulke(TOA) 146

J.Nathan(CHN) 106

A.Benitez(DEA) 105

E.Gagne(CON) 104

M.Rivera(MNA) 80

 

 

 

July 7, 2005

Mid-season is upon us.  The Rockies and Cubs are both in the same division and have winning pct over .700.  The division leaders are:  Toronto, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Colorado.  The Cubs, SF and Atlanta (tied) in NL and Oakland and Boston in the AL.  It is amazing that Scott Podsednik is a free agent as he had to be cut after nobody was interested in trading for him.  Tony Clark has been also amazing with 12 HRs in 156 Abs.  What about Frank Thomas with 7 HRs out of 11 hits (slg of .767)?  Back to the GBA, the Reds and A’s are ownerless and in the play-offs at mid-season.  Even Arizona has a +.500 record.  Cleveland and Houston will battle for the #1 draft choice.  Even though the Indians have the worst record, Polanco (.359) and Ortiz (.323, 23 HRs) are in the top hitters list.  Bonds has only 12 INT as they are pitching to him, although he does have 95 walks..  He only has 23 HRs, a .340 Ba and not even in the top RBI leaders.  He does lead the league in SLG, OBP, Total Avg and Runs created/27 out.  He has been put out on the trading block but probably won’t be traded unless the Braves fall out of the play-off picture.  We might not have a 20 game winner this year as Schilling is the leader with 12.  Juan Cruz has a pertect winning %.  The Big Unit leads in ERA a 1.86 and another amazing feat is that Foulker has 19 of 19 saves.  Garland has given up 26 HRs but wait until next year…  Roy Halladay has been given 8.5 runs per game support.so he should be 11-2.  The Cubs have the best road record (games they play) and the Indians have the worst.  The Rockies have the best record in games they don’t play and the Astros have the worst.  Here are the mid-season GBA all-stars:

 

 

AWARDS VOTING FOR 2005 American League                         Date: 7/3/2005

 

MVP AWARD                               CY YOUNG AWARD

A.Beltre(TOA) 401                       J.Schmidt(MNA) 128

M.Ramirez(MNA) 359                      C.Schilling(OAA) 100

C.Beltran(MNA) 210                      A.Benitez(DEA) 38

P.Konerko(AZA) 133                      K.Foulke(TOA) 15

V.Guerrero(NYA) 94                      M.Rivera(MNA) 7

 

ALL-STAR SELECTIONS BY POSITION

C  J.Posada(NYA) 629,255                J.Lopez(DEA) 475,833

1B P.Konerko(AZA) 1,474,213             D.Ortiz(CLA) 1,124,747

2B M.Loretta(OAA) 848,688               J.Kent(TOA) 827,742

3B A.Beltre(TOA) 2,191,016              M.Mora(OAA) 920,176

SS C.Guillen(AZA) 739,839               D.Jeter(NYA) 709,876

LF M.Ramirez(MNA) 1,459,556             E.Byrnes(OAA) 879,784

CF C.Beltran(MNA) 1,385,514             M.Kotsay(TOA) 865,930

RF V.Guerrero(NYA) 1,260,991            B.Abreu(ANA) 1,191,046

Pi J.Schmidt(MNA) 2,103,376             C.Schilling(OAA) 1,750,053

   A.Benitez(DEA) 1,000,548             K.Foulke(TOA) 922,710

   M.Rivera(MNA) 811,560                D.Bush(TOA) 786,695

   B.Webb(AZA) 770,666                  M.Morris(TOA) 691,338

   R.Clemens(NYA) 638,279               J.Weaver(DEA) 634,870

   F.Garcia(BOA) 628,077                B.Madritsch(OAA) 619,634

 

GOLD GLOVE SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

P  R.Clemens(NYA)                       F.Garcia(BOA)

C  J.Posada(NYA)                        R.Hernandez(OAA)

1B D.Lee(OAA)                           P.Konerko(AZA)

2B B.Boone(ANA)                         M.Loretta(OAA)

3B E.Chavez(AZA)                        J.Randa(BAA)

SS C.Izturis(BOA)                       D.Jeter(NYA)

OF A.Jones(NYA)                         E.Byrnes(OAA)

OF C.Beltran(MNA)                       M.Kotsay(TOA)

OF J.Edmonds(DEA)                       J.Drew(BOA)

 

SILVER SLUGGER SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

C  J.Posada(NYA)                        J.Lopez(DEA)

1B P.Konerko(AZA)                       D.Ortiz(CLA)

2B J.Kent(TOA)                          M.Loretta(OAA)

3B A.Beltre(TOA)                        M.Mora(OAA)

SS C.Guillen(AZA)                       D.Jeter(NYA)

LF M.Ramirez(MNA)                       E.Byrnes(OAA)

CF C.Beltran(MNA)                       M.Kotsay(TOA)

RF S.Sosa(AZA)                          V.Guerrero(NYA)

 

ROLAIDS FIREMAN RELIEF AWARD

K.Foulke(TOA) 57

A.Benitez(DEA) 54

M.Rivera(MNA) 48

B.Looper(BAA) 40

D.Graves(OAA) 32

 

AWARDS VOTING FOR 2005 National League                         Date: 7/3/2005

 

MVP AWARD                               CY YOUNG AWARD

A.Pujols(SLN) [4]386                       R.Johnson(CHN) [4]125

T.Helton(CON) [4]361                       O.Perez(CON) [4]93

I.Rodriguez(CON) [4]210                    J.Peavy(CON) [4]45

A.Dunn(CON) [4]139                         C.Zambrano(CHN) [4]17

L.Berkman(CHN) [4]101                      P.Martinez(CON) [4]8

 

ALL-STAR SELECTIONS BY POSITION

C  I.Rodriguez(CON) [4]1,156,585           J.Estrada(PHN) [4]430,825

1B A.Pujols(SLN) [4]2,191,016              T.Helton(CON) [4]1,232,408

2B R.Belliard(CHN) [4]744,063              L.Castillo(CON) [4]703,257

3B S.Rolen(PHN) [4]1,383,236               A.Rodriguez(CON) [4]1,068,001

SS M.Tejada(CHN) [4]1,053,438              K.Greene(CON) [4]987,622

LF B.Bonds(ATN) [4]1,397,448               A.Dunn(CON) [4]1,135,494

CF S.Finley(HON) [4]951,491                J.Damon(FLN) [4]843,780

RF L.Berkman(CHN) [4]1,135,740             M.Cabrera(CHN) [4]1,098,204

Pi R.Johnson(CHN) [4]2,103,376             O.Perez(CON) [4]1,399,717

   J.Peavy(CON) [4]1,124,508               B.Sheets(CIN) [4]1,117,003

   C.Zambrano(CHN) [4]1,115,934            L.Hernandez(ATN) [4]1,051,003

   P.Martinez(CON) [4]1,029,600            J.Santana(CHN) [4]1,017,500

   R.Halladay(CON) [4]1,016,496            C.Carpenter(FLN) [4]896,798

   C.Lidle(SFN) [4]885,700                 J.Cruz(CON) [4]767,978

 

GOLD GLOVE SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

P  O.Perez(FLN)                         P.Wilson(SFN)

C  J.Estrada(PHN)                       I.Rodriguez(CON)

1B T.Helton(CON)                        C.Pena(FLN)

2B L.Castillo(CON)                      R.Belliard(CHN)

3B A.Rodriguez(CON)                     S.Rolen(PHN)

SS K.Greene(CON)                        O.Vizquel(CIN)

OF V.Wells(CON)                         I.Suzuki(CHN)

OF S.Finley(HON)                        M.Bradley(ATN)

OF C.Crawford(NYN)                      R.Hidalgo(ATN)

 

SILVER SLUGGER SELECTIONS BY POSITION

WINNER                                  RUNNER UP

C  I.Rodriguez(CON)                     J.Buck(HON)

1B A.Pujols(SLN)                        T.Helton(CON)

2B R.Belliard(CHN)                      R.Durham(SFN)

3B S.Rolen(PHN)                         C.Jones(CIN)

SS M.Tejada(CHN)                        K.Greene(CON)

LF A.Dunn(CON)                          B.Bonds(ATN)

CF S.Finley(HON)                        V.Wells(CON)

RF M.Cabrera(CHN)                       L.Berkman(CHN)

 

ROLAIDS FIREMAN RELIEF AWARD

E.Gagne(CON) [4]48

J.Nathan(CHN) [4]43

D.Kolb(CIN) [4]37

J.Isringhause(SLN) [4]37

B.Lidge(HON) [4]30

 

 

June 7, 2005

The GBA season is off to a great start (I say that every year, don’t I?).  Anyway the surprise teams are mostly the ownerless teams as Cincinnati is leading their division by 3.5 games and Arizona and Oakland are 2nd and 3rd in the AL West.  Detroit is probably the most disappointing teams as they lost 20 of 31 in May.  Cleveland has the best shot at the #1 pick as they started off the season with a 3-19 April.  The other division leaders are Toronto, Minnesota and Colorado.  The Rockies are the hottest team in the league as they had a 25-6 May.  Bonds hasn’t appeared in the top 10 in HR yet but is hitting .353 and has 72 walks already (11 int).  Hafner (Cin) is having an outstanding season with a .386 league leading average and .807 SLG (also league top).  Bonds Total Average of 1.926 is out of sight along with his .576 OBP.   Pitching is headed by Jason Schmidt (MNA) with a 7-0 record and 97 Ks.  Levon Hernandez (ATN) had 8 wins, and Foulke (TOA) has 14 saves.  Tim Wakefield has given up 18 HRs.

 

Here is the first round of the MLB draft as well as a history of top draft choices. 

1. Diamondbacks: Justin Upton, ss, Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake, Va.

Upton demonstrates excellent patience at the plate and a quick stroke. His well-defined and muscular upper body give a hint to his plus power potential, which he accompanies with equal amounts of speed. His 6.23-second time in the 60-yard dash at a Perfect Game showcase last year rates as the quickest in the scouting service's history. Upton moves well defensively and shows clean actions at shortstop, but again follows in his brother's footsteps because he has trouble harnessing the plus arm strength that has allowed him to hit 94 mph off the mound.

2. Royals: Alex Gordon, 3b, U. of Nebraska

Gordon should hit for power and average because he has a sweet lefthanded swing, strength, exceptional strike-zone discipline and the ability to make adjustments. He uses the entire field and can drive the ball where it's pitched after getting pull-conscious as a sophomore. When Gordon first arrived at Nebraska, some thought he might have to move to first base or an outfield corner. But he has worked hard on his defense, where his strong arm, instincts and quickness are assets.

3. Mariners: Jeff Clement, c, U. of Southern California

Clement generates light-tower power with a short, compact lefthanded swing. He stays inside the ball well and gets excellent backspin. As a major league hitter, he projects to hit .270-.280 with 30-35 home runs. Clement has outstanding makeup and has worked hard to shore up his weaknesses. He has shown his biggest improvement behind the plate. His set-up, mechanics, blocking and arm quickness are all much improved. He still has only a 40-50 arm on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, but threw out almost 50 percent of basestealers this year.

4. Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman, 3b, U. of Virginia

Niemann hasn't been at 100 percent this season. He had arthroscopic surgery last fall to clean out inflamed tissue in his elbow. His fastball registers 92-97 mph, and his 6-foot-9, 260-pound frame allows him to drive the ball down in the zone and make it that much more difficult to hit. His slider, the best breaking pitch in the draft, hits 87 mph. He also has a spike curveball and a changeup but hasn't needed them very often in college.

5. Brewers: Ryan Braun, 3b, U. of Miami

Braun has a hitch in his swing and a high, unconventional finish, but his hands are quick enough to make it work, and he’s athletic enough to repeat his stroke and drive pitches to all parts of the field. His future position will be the main source of concern for pro teams. He came to college as a shortstop and now plays third, but he has struggled with errors at both spots. Some scouts doubt his infield actions and footwork and say he'll have to move to an outfield corner, where his plus arm and speed could allow him to be an above-average defender in time.

6. Blue Jays: Ricky Romero, lhp, Cal State Fullerton

Romero has three solid, major league-ready pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94. He also has an excellent curveball and a better feel for a changeup this year after he reduced his reliance on his curve. But Romero gets his highest grades for his makeup, temperament and competitive zeal. He is an excellent student of the game who understands the science of pitching, and is a master at controlling the tempo of a game.

7. Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki, ss, Long Beach State U.

Tulowitzki compares favorably to Oakland's Bobby Crosby, his predecessor as shortstop at Long Beach State. They're about the same size and have similar speed and bat speed at the same stage, but scouts say Tulowitzki is a better athlete and should be a better player. He has more arm strength and range, and more power to all parts of the park, while Crosby was more automatic on routine plays and had more pull power. Tulowitzki has also won over scouts with his approach to the game. He plays with exceptional intensity and an unrivaled passion for the game.

8. Devil Rays: Wade Townsend, rhp, Dripping Springs, Texas

Townsend didn't sign as the eighth overall pick last year, deciding to return to Rice to complete his degree after negotiations with the Orioles broke down. Townsend spent April and May working out for clubs, and for the most part showed the same stuff he had in 2004. He wasn't in game shape, so he didn't maintain his velocity past three simulated innings, but he pitched at 90-92 mph with his trademark spike curveball and an effective changeup. Though he has the repertoire to start, most teams project Townsend as a big league reliever because they say his intensity fits best in that role.

9. Mets: Mike Pelfrey, rhp, Wichita State U.

Pelfrey has blown away hitters consistently with a 92-97 mph fastball that's as notable for its sink as for its velocity. He's adept at getting grounders or strikeouts, depending on the situation. He has refined a straight changeup that will be a plus pitch and keeps lefthanders in check. He also has tightened his curveball and become more consistent with it. Add in a perfect pitcher's frame, good control and a competitive makeup, and the only thing that really bothers scouts about Pelfrey is agent Scott Boras.

10. Tigers: Cameron Maybin, of, T.C. Roberson HS, Arden, N.C.

Maybin has a rare combination of premium athletic ability, bloodlines and baseball savvy. He has broad shoulders and long limbs and fingers, and physically evokes comparisons on the low end to Preston Wilson and on the high end to Vladimir Guerrero. He should be a premium defender in center field with experience, with long, graceful strides gobbling up turf and an average arm. Some scouts think his bat might take time to develop once he starts seeing good breaking balls consistently. His makeup—including good work habits, maturity and love for the game--endears him to scouts.

11. Pirates: Andrew McCutchen, of, Fort Meade (Fla.) HS

McCutchen’s game isn’t all about tools, though his tools are plus across the board. That starts with the most important tool: the bat. McCutchen has quick hands and a compact swing, producing surprising raw power for his size and giving him the bat speed to lash line drives to all fields. His athletic ability, speed and frame earn comparisons to Mets prospect Lastings Milledge, but he’s more polished at the plate, earning 60 and 70 grades from scouts (on the 20-80 scouting scale) with 50 raw power.

12. Reds: Jay Bruce, of, West Brook HS, Beaumont, Texas

Bruce has been compared by scouts to Larry Walker. Though he has average to plus tools across the board and enough athleticism to play center field, Bruce profiles better in right field. His swing can get a little long at times, but Bruce is a polished high school hitter. He centers the ball well and already understands the importance of using the entire field. He also has the strength and skill to eventually hit 30-plus homers annually in the majors. His average speed is probably his worst tool, but he plays quicker than his stopwatch readings on the bases and in the outfield. He has more than enough arm to handle the move to right field in pro ball.

13. Orioles: Brandon Snyder, c, Westfield HS, Centreville, Va.

Snyder is tough mentally, jumping back and forth between shortstop and catcher, though he moved behind the plate for good late in his senior season. He plays the game hard with a dirt-rat mentality in spite of his premium prospect status. Snyder's mature approach, line-drive swing and ability to pull the ball with authority remind scouts of Justin Upton at the plate. His athleticism and arm strength would play at shortstop or third base, and some teams would start him out as an infielder to make sure his offensive development doesn't get stunted.

14. Indians: Trevor Crowe, of, U. of Arizona

Crowe is an ideal leadoff man with a .500 on-base percentage, above-average speed and the kind of fiery personality that can light a fire under a team. He can be undisciplined at times at the plate and lacks raw power, but has juice in his bat and can hit almost anything thrown at him. A switch-hitter, he tends to be a slightly better hitter from the left side while displaying more power from the right. Crowe arrived at Arizona as a second baseman and may end up back there, though he has spent most of his college career in left field.

15. White Sox: Lance Broadway, rhp, Texas Christian

Broadway succeeds more with polish than overwhelming stuff. His fastball is just average, but he has a plus curveball that he can locate in and out of the strike zone. His delivery and command are solid, and his makeup is a huge asset. He's developing a changeup and is gaining more confidence in the pitch. He has a strong, lean frame and there may be a little more velocity in him.

16. Marlins: Chris Volstad, rhp, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) HS

Volstad is a long, lanky pitcher with good stuff now and plenty of projection for down the road. He pitches consistently in the 88-92 range, but repeats his delivery well enough that scouts see him sitting at 94 regularly as he gains strength and experience. He throws strikes with the fastball and has done so right out of the gate this spring. He uses his height well to get a good downward angle to the plate, giving his fastball late life. His secondary pitches are solid for a prep pitcher, particularly his changeup. Volstad’s breaking ball is his third pitch, though it’s serviceable, and scouts consider his makeup a plus.

17. Yankees: C.J. Henry, ss, Putnam City HS, Oklahoma City

Henry has one of the highest ceilings in the draft. He's an exceptional athlete with a tantalizing combination of power and speed. One crosschecker calls him a potential Gary Sheffield and also compares him to Vernon Wells. Henry's swing isn't as pure as Wells' and it will take him time to adjust to professional pitching. Henry also will have to polish his defensive game. He plays shortstop now but may not have quite enough arm to play there in the majors. That's not a concern, however, because Henry's tools would play well either in center field or at third base.

18. Padres: Cesar Carrillo, rhp, U. of Miami

Carrillo throws his fastball anywhere from 90-95 mph (touching 96-97), depending on the need, and he has shown scouts the ability to maintain his velocity deep into games. His fastball has excellent sink and life down in the zone from a three-quarters arm slot, and he went more than 80 innings between home runs allowed this spring. His curveball and changeup both can be plus pitches, though he pitches off his fastball so much that he tends to lose the feel for them at times. He’s athletic and quick-armed and should always have good command. Carrillo’s stuff won’t get much better, but it’s plenty good now, making him a candidate to move quickly through the minors.

19. Rangers: John Mayberry, 1b, Stanford

At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Mayberry has considerable power potential but launches a tape-measure home run only occasionally in games. He shows excellent power in batting practice, but generally has been handled by quality college pitching. Scouts say he needs to shorten his swing because he can be busted inside--something he has worked to correct in the last year. All his hitting flaws are correctable, but it may take him 1,500 at-bats in the minor leagues. Mayberry has the athletic ability and arm strength to be an average corner outfielder, but he is a superior defensive first baseman—not to mention an inviting target for infielders.

20. Cubs: Mark Pawelek, lhp, Springville (Utah) HS

Pawelek topped out at 94-95 mph this year with an effortless delivery. Scouts say his feel for pitching, presence and composure are so advanced for his age that he’s the equivalent of a college sophomore. He has command of four pitches and knows how and when to use his curveball and changeup. Pawelek is the only high school player in this year’s draft who is being advised by Scott Boras and that could have a profound impact on where he is picked.

21. Athletics: Cliff Pennington, ss, Texas A&M

Pennington's best attribute is his makeup. Scouts have loved Pennington's grit and energy since he was in high school, and he won the Cape Cod League's 10th player award for his spirited play last summer. Pennington is more than just a gamer, however, offering tools across the board. He can bat at the top of a lineup, making consistent contact and providing gap power from both sides of the plate. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he runs well and his instincts make him a threat on the bases. Pennington's savvy also enhances his range at shortstop, where he can make both the routine and acrobatic plays. He has an above-average arm, a quick release and the ability to make throws from any angle.

22. Marlins: Aaron Thompson, lhp, Second Baptist HS, Houston

Thompson is the most polished high school pitcher in the draft, and he's lefthanded to boot. Thompson has an 88-91 mph fastball and a good curveball. He throws from a high arm slot, which allows him to drive the ball down in the strike zone. He's athletic, repeating a smooth delivery with ease, and scores high in the makeup department. When dozens of scouts attended his April matchup with Josh Wall, Thompson responded with 15 strikeouts and a 2-0 shutout—handing Wall's team its only loss this spring.

23. Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury, of, Oregon State U.

Ellsbury has few holes in his game and is capable of beating teams in a lot of ways. He has excellent makeup and instincts. His best tool is his speed, and it’s evident both on the bases and in center field, where he catches everything hit his way. He has been clocked in 6.55 seconds over 60 yards. He has become more patient, rarely swings and misses and is comfortable hitting with two strikes. His style of play and physical appearance have drawn comparisons to Johnny Damon at a similar age, but scouts say Ellsbury has a better swing. They question whether he’ll grow into the same power, though.

24. Astros: Brian Bogusevic, lhp, Tulane U.

Though more teams prefer him as a three-pitch lefthander, he also has five-tool potential as a right fielder. On the mound, Bogusevic shows an 89-93 mph fastball along with a solid slider and changeup. He has good command, though his velocity and location slipped when he strained a hamstring early in the season. Bogusevic's size, swing and bat speed give him tremendous power potential from the left side of the plate. That power is still more raw and not as evident in games—but it's there. He's also Tulane's fastest player, running the 60-yard-dash in 6.6 seconds during the team's scout day last fall. His arm obviously is an asset on defense as well.

25. Twins: Matt Garza, rhp, Fresno State

Garza had only a four-seam fastball and a slow, lazy curveball when he enrolled at Fresno State, but he now has plus stuff with a four-pitch repertoire. His fastball ranges from 90-94 mph and touches 95, and a hard 82-84 mph slider is an effective second pitch. A 72-78 mph curve has the makings of a solid third pitch, while his changeup has been slower to develop. He’s projected to be a starter in pro ball but could move into relief if his curve and changeup don’t progress or he lacks the stamina to be a starter.

26. Red Sox: Craig Hansen, rhp, St. John's U.

Hansen pounds the strike zone with a fastball that has been clocked consistently in the mid-90s and tops out at 97 mph. The velocity on his slider has been even more impressive, sitting at 85-86 mph with a high of 90. Though his fastball command wavers, he has an excellent approach to pitching and isn’t afraid to go right at hitters. He should be even more effective against wood bats. He’s suited to be a closer because of his temperament, short arm stroke and full-effort delivery.

27. Braves: Joey Devine, rhp, North Carolina State U.

Devine has dominated this season and is one of the closest players to the majors in this year's draft. He has plenty of stuff, starting with a mid-90s fastball that touches 97, and throws it from a funky arm angle--not quite sidearm but lower than three-quarters. His frisbee slider, thrown in the mid-80s, is death to righthanded hitters, whom he dominates. Scouts like Devine’s competitiveness, makeup and athletic ability, which allows him to repeat his unorthodox delivery. He may need a changeup or split-finger pitch, though, to better attack lefthanded hitters in pro ball.

28. Cardinals: Colby Rasmus, of, Russell County HS, Phenix City, Ala.

Rasmus’ tools grade out average or above across the board. He covers 60 yards in 6.7 seconds and has a plus arm, throwing fastballs up to 91 mph off the mound. Besides his tools, scouts love his maturity and savvy for the game. Some compare Rasmus to Steve Finley, while others believe he evokes Shawn Green; it depends on whether the scout believes Rasmus can stay in center field. He has a short, simple lefthanded swing that he repeats, and the barrel of the bat stays in the hitting zone a long time. While he could use a better load to his swing, he at times produces good leverage, leading scouts to believe he'll hit for at least average power.

29. Marlins: Jacob Marceaux, rhp, McNeese State

Marceaux's fastball has taken a step forward this spring, as he has pitched at 93-95 mph with good sinking life while also featuring a mid-80s slider and a mid-70s spike curveball. His changeup is a solid-average pitch that he can locate on both sides of the plate. There are minor concerns about his durability—he missed two starts after pulling a ribcage muscle in mid-March—so some scouts project him as a reliever. But Marceaux has a deep enough repertoire to warrant the opportunity to make it as a starter first.

30. Cardinals: Tyler Greene, ss, Georgia Tech

Green is a 60 runner (some say 70 under way) on the 20-80 scouting scale, with good instincts on the basepaths and elsewhere. A plus arm and good range make him at least an averages defender at short. The question is offense. His hands are just OK both at the plate and in the field. Greene’s swing has evolved to a metal-bat, inside-out style that doesn't incorporate his hands, short-circuiting his power and leaving him with several holes. His aptitude with wood, however, reminds scouts of Cubs prospect Matt Murton, who also hit better in summers on the Cape than with Georgia Tech.

 

 

 

 

 

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No. 1 Draft Picks, 1965-2004

Year

Club, Player, Pos.

School

Hometown

Highest Level (#)

2004 Team

Bonus

1965

A's. Rick Monday, of

Arizona State U.

Santa Monica, Calif.

Majors (1,996)

Out of Baseball

$104,000

1966

Mets. Steve Chilcott, c

Antelope Valley HS

Lancaster, Calif.

Triple-A (2)

Out of Baseball

75,000

1967

Yankees. Ron Blomberg, 1b

Druid Hills HS

Atlanta

Majors (461)

Out of Baseball

75,000

1968

Mets. Tim Foli, ss

Notre Dame HS

Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Majors (1,696)

Out of Baseball

75,000

1969

Senators. Jeff Burroughs, of

Wilson HS

Long Beach, Calif.

Majors (1,689)

Out of Baseball

88,000

1970

Padres. Mike Ivie, c

Walker HS

Decatur, Ga.

Majors (857)

Out of Baseball

80,000

1971

White Sox. Danny Goodwin, c

Central HS

Peoria, Ill.

Majors (252)

Out of Baseball

DNS

1972

Padres. Dave Roberts, 3b

U. of Oregon

Corvallis, Ore.

Majors (709)

Out of Baseball

60,000

1973

Rangers. David Clyde, lhp

Westchester, HS

Houston

Majors (84)

Out of Baseball

125,000

1974

Padres. Bill Almon, ss

Brown U.

Warwick, R.I.

Majors (1,236)

Out of Baseball

90,000

1975

Angels. Danny Goodwin, c

Southern U.

Peoria, Ill.

Majors (252)

Out of Baseball

125,000

1976

Astros. Floyd Bannister, lhp

Arizona State U.

Seattle

Majors (431)

Out of Baseball

100,000

1977

White Sox. Harold Baines, of

St. Michaels HS

St. Michaels, Md.

Majors (2,830)

Out of Baseball

40,000

1978

Braves. Bob Horner, 3b

Arizona State U.

Glendale, Ariz.

Majors (1,020)

Out of Baseball

175,000

1979

Mariners. Al Chambers, of

Harris HS

Harrisburg, Pa.

Majors (57)

Out of Baseball

60,000

1980

Mets. Darryl Strawberry, of

Crenshaw HS

Los Angeles

Majors (1,583)

Out of Baseball

152,500

1981

Mariners. Mike Moore, rhp

Oral Roberts U.

Eakly, Okla.

Majors (450)

Out of Baseball

100,000

1982

Cubs. Shawon Dunston, ss

Jefferson HS

New York

Majors (1,750)

Out of Baseball

100,000

1983

Twins. Tim Belcher, rhp

Mt. Vernon Naz. Coll.

Sparta, Ohio

Majors (362)

Out of Baseball

DNS

1984

Mets. Shawn Abner, of

Mechanicsburg HS

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Majors (392)

Out of Baseball

150,000

1985

Brewers. B.J. Surhoff, c

U. of North Carolina

Rye, N.Y.

Majors (2,222)

Orioles

150,000

1986

Pirates. Jeff King, 3b

U. of Arkansas

Colorado Springs

Majors (1,201)

Out of Baseball

160,000

1987

Mariners. Ken Griffey Jr., of

Moeller HS

Cincinnati

Majors (2,007)

Reds

169,000

1988

Padres. Andy Benes, rhp

U. of Evansville

Evansville, Ind.

Majors (403)

Out of Baseball

235,000

1989

Orioles. Ben McDonald, rhp

Louisiana State U.

Denham Springs, La.

Majors (211)

Out of Baseball

*350,000

1990

Braves. Chipper Jones, ss

The Bolles School

Jacksonville

Majors (1,542)

Braves

275,000

1991

Yankees. Brien Taylor, lhp

East Carteret HS

Beaufort, N.C.

Double-A (27)

Out of Baseball

1,550,000

1992

Astros. Phil Nevin, 3b

Cal State Fullerton

Placentia, Calif.

Majors (985)

Padres

700,000

1993

Mariners. Alex Rodriguez, ss

West. Christian HS

Miami

Majors (1,430)

Yankees

*1,000,000

1994

Mets. Paul Wilson, rhp

Florida State U.

Orlando, Fla.

Majors (161)

Reds

1,550,000

1995

Angels. Darin Erstad, of

U. of Nebraska

Jamestown, N.D.

Majors (1,127)

Angels

1,575,000

1996

Pirates. Kris Benson, rhp

Clemson U.

Kennesaw, Ga.

Majors (137)

Pirates

2,000,000

1997

Tigers. Matt Anderson, rhp

Rice U.

Louisville, Ky.

Majors (245)

Tigers (AAA)

2,505,000

1998

Phillies. Pat Burrell, 3b

U. of Miami

Boulder Creek, Calif.

Majors (696)

Phillies

*3,150,000

1999

Devil Rays. Josh Hamilton, of

Athens Drive HS

Raleigh, N.C.

Double-A (23)

Did not play

3,960,000

2000

Marlins. Adrian Gonzalez, 1b

Eastside HS

Chula Vista, Calif.

Majors (16)

Rangers

3,000,000

2001

Twins. Joe Mauer, c

Cretin-Derham Hall

St. Paul, Minn.

Majors (35)

Twins

5,150,000

2002

Pirates. Bryan Bullington, rhp

Ball State U.

Fishers, Ind.

Class AA (26)

Pirates (AA)

4,000,000

2003

Devil Rays. Delmon Young, of

Camarillo HS

Camarillo, Calif.

Class A (131)

Devil Rays (A)

*3,700,000

2004

Padres. Matt Bush, ss

Mission Bay HS

El Cajon, Calif.

Class A (8)

Padres (A)

3,150,000

*Received major league contract with guaranteed incentives.
#Number of games at that level.
DNS--Did not sign

 

 

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2004 Season

 

October 25, 2004

The Twins lost their first game of the play-offs and then lost the Series to the Rockies.  The Twins had swept their other two series before the finals.   Detroit lost their last 12 games of the season, getting swept by the Blue Jays in 2 4-game series before squeaking into the play-offs against Minnesota.  In the Toronto-KC series, both teams won their home games but Toronto had the extra game.  In the NL, Atlanta won a dramatic series over the Cubs with a walk-off homer by Mackowiak.  The Rockies won the series against the Phillies, 4-1.  Next year looks like the Cubs year as Prior and Wood are probably only the 4th and 5th starters in their deep pitching staff of The Big Unit, Santana, Zambrano with Nathan, Guardado and Rincon in the pen, not to mention their lineup of Ichiro, Berkman, Tejada, Ramirez among others.

 

The draft starts in a couple of weeks so the off season looks interesting.

 

October 5, 2004

The 13th regular season has come to an end with the Twins, Braves, Rockies and either the Tigers or Blue Jays winning their divisions.  The wildcards are the Royals, Phillies and Cubs.  A-Rod won the HR and RBI titles with 61 and 191 (new league record).  The batting champ was Sheffield at .357.  In pitching, there were 5-20 game winners-Halladay (25), Ortiz (22), Schmidt and Schilling (21) and Mussina (20).  Schmidt won the ERA title over Schilling 1.80-1.92.

 

Florida will have the first pick in the draft.  The Braves (+28) and Royals (+26) had the largest win improvement from last year.  The Marlins (-37), Yanks (-29) and Giants (-22) had the largest drop.

 

 

September 2, 2004

This is probably the closest races ever this late in the season.  Detroit has a 2.5 game lead over the Blue Jays but Minnesota has a 13.5 game lead and a magic number of 7.  The AL Wildcard is a dogfight between Cleveland, KC and Anaheim with Baltimore only 5.5 games out.  In the NL, Atlanta has a 3 game lead over Philadelphia and the Rockies have a 6.5 game lead over the Cubs.  All four of these teams look to advance to the postseason.  Florida looks like they have rapped up the top draft choice in the fall.

 

Sheffield, A-Rod, Helton, Pujols, Brett Boone and Edmonds dominate the individual batting stats and Schilling, Mussina, Halladay, Russ Ortiz, Smoltz, Schmidt and Rivera the pitching.  Besides the 2 no-hitters (Wakerfiled and Prior), there have been 7 one-hitters (Ishii, Clement, Gonzalez, Colon, Penny, Redman, Sheets).  Howard (Toa) allowed 8 HRs in 9 innings against the Angels (do you think the CM left him in too long?). 

 

Looking to 2005, the Cubs look to be head and shoulders above the rest of the league as they have the best pitching and hitting (based on my formula).  Other top teams include:  Colorado, Minnesota, Toronto and Detroit.  Maybe a team will make a big trade to mortgage their future or get lucky in the draft to put them in this class. 

 

 

 

August 18, 2004 

These might be early draft picks next fall.

castilla,vinny

lawton,matt

hatteberg,scott

biggio,craig

bautista,danny

bell,david

lugo,julio

 

freel,ryan

holliday,matt

womack,tony

infante,omar

pena,wily_mo

miles,aaron

newhan,david

dellucci,david

cora,alex

quinlan,robb

scutaro,marco

gomez,chris

valent,eric

green,nick

thomas,charles

grabowski,jason

jacobsen,bucky

graves,danny

mesa,jose

drese,ryan

wright,jaret

frasor,jason

takatsu,shingo

cabrera,daniel

otsuka,akinori

silva,carlos

lima,jose

torres,salomon

robertson,nate

white,rick

wilson,paul

hermanson,dusti

alfonseca,anton

carrara,giovann

cerda,jaime

miller,trever

 

August 7, 2004

 

Three of the four divisions are separated by 2 or less games.  Toronto and Detroit in the AL East, Philadelphia and Atlanta in the NL East and Colorado and Chicago in the NL West have been battling all year.  Minnesota has a comfortable 11 game advantage in the AL West.  Seven teams have better records than last year (Toronto, Cleveland, KC in the AL, Philadelphis, Atlanta, Colorado and Chicago in the NL).  Sheffield and A-Rod are neck and neck in the batting and HR races, although Helton leads the league.  A-Rod has 136 RBIs to lead by a landslide.  Barry Bonds is pitched to in the GBA (only 11 IW).  Gagne has pitched 33 innings without giving up a run and batters are hitting .105 against him.  He almost gave up a run last night as he had a runner on 3rd with 1 out but got out unscored upon.

 

The All-Star team:

C:  J.Lopez-Det, J.Posada-NYA

1B: Helton-Col, Thome-KC

2B: Boone-Ana, Giles-Cin

3B: Rolen-Phil, Chavez-Az

SS: A-Rod-Col, Tejada-Cubs

LF: Pujols-St.L, L.Gonzalez-Phila

CF: Edmonds-Det, Wells-Col

RF: Sheffield-Cin, Huff-StL

P: Schmidt-Min, Webb-Az, Colon-Mets, Ortiz-Atl, Borowski-KC, Zambrano-Cubs

 

Power rankings

2004 Minnesota

2004 Philadelphia

2004 Colorado

2004 Chicago (NL)

2004 Atlanta

2004 Toronto

2004 New York (NL)

2004 Detroit

2004 Cincinnati

2004 Baltimore

2004 Anaheim

2004 New York (AL )

2004 San Francisco

2004 Cleveland

2004 Houston

2004 Arizona

2004 Kansas City

2004 St. Louis

2004 Oakland

2004 Florida

 

The Tigers look like they gave up too much future to try and overtake Toronto this season (which they haven’t done either).  Hafner is on a terror and Alfonzo has been hitting pretty well (seeing more pitches, because they don’t want to pitch to Barry).  Catalanotto has been hurt, joining Lee and Boone.  Aaron Miles now looks like a steal for Uribe even though Juan has hit about 13 homers. 

 

Notes from Colorado:  The ML Rockies (and I) can’t wait for Jeff Francis to be called up.  He is only 15-2 in the minors with 1.4 K/Ipp and an ERA under 2.  The Mets have to be excited about Dave Wright and Jack Wilson of the Pirates has to be the surprise player of the year.  Almost everyone thought he would fall back under .300 after the All-Star game but he hitting about .330 last time I looked.  Speaking of falling, what has happened to last year’s AL batting champ-Bill Mueller?  He’s hitting about 100 under last year.  Of course he was never that great of a hitter before that anyway (Brady Anderson).   The Rockies wanted to get rid of one of the most talented and smart players- Larry Walker and I hope he wins a Championship in St. Louis.  He gets hurt a lot and probably doesn’t play with a lot of pain but he can hit and has “ducked” more than a few players with his baserunning and fielding.  I’ve seen him throw out runners at first and third from RF and saw him fake runners out by looking like he was going to catch a flyball that actually hit off the wall and then throwing them out.  I’ve never seem such a versatile player.  dot

 

May 25,2004

Not too many surprises yet after one month of the GBA.  The most interesting race looks like the NL West with the Rockies and Cubs battling it out for the best record in the league.  Cleveland looks like the most improved team in the league. Javy Lopez looks like Babe Ruth with .424, 15, 35 stats.  Pat Burrell looks like last year was a mistake.  Young studs like Prior and Beckett are showing what all the hype was all about.

 

Some interesting trades made before and during the draft.  Beltre was traded for Belliard and both were leading their league in hitting for a while in the majors this spring.

The Rockies had to dump Uribe and he is hitting about .350 with the CWS in the ML this spring, so the Indians got a steal in the GBA.  Burnitz was traded for Nix.  Both are having great seasons so far.  The Giants decided to rebuild so they traded Sosa and Sexton and a lot of HRs.  The Yankees have hung on to a few oldies and Clemens and Glavine have been two of the best pitchers in the NL in the early part of the season.

 

2003 Season

 

World Series highlights

The Detroit Tigers ended the 4 year reign of the Colorado Rockies with a stunning upset in game 7 of the GBA World Series.  The Tigers only got 3 hits (all home runs) in 11 innings, with Pat Burrell’s homer in the top of the 11th, being the winner.  With the Tigers ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th and Smoltz on the hill, the Rockies scored on a WP.  In the 9th, they also rallied with 2 outs on two singles, an error, but Erstad lined out with 2 runners on.  In the bottom of the 10th, again the Rockies threatened to win it but Larry Walker hit into a DP with the based loaded an no one out (Purge grounded out for the last out).  After Burrell’s homer in the 11th, the Rox got 2 on after 2 outs and A-Rod at the plate, only to see him PO to end the game.  The Rockies had 15 hits and the Tigers struckout 16 times.  Oliver Perez struck out 17 in 8 innings in 8 play-off games, which is probably a GBA World Series record.  Burrell was named MVP of the World Series and the play-offs with 3 HRs in the Championship series and 9 in the play-offs. 

 

October 16th

The Play-offs have started and the Tigers have won the AL play-offs and await the winner of the Rockies-Cubs series.  The Tigers reached the World Series after winning two 7th games against the Twins and the Rangers.  The Rangers beat the Red Sox 4 games to 1.  In the NL, the Cubs took the Marlins in 7 and the Rockies disposed of the Giants in 5.

I predict a Cubs-Red Sox GBA World Series next year.

 

 

September 3, 2003

Even though the SF Giants are 31 games behind the Rockies in the NL West, they lead the wildcard chase.  They hold a 3 game lead over the surprising Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds are surprising because they were build from a pool of 4 teams at the beginning of the season.  The players from  4 defunct teams (Oakland, Arizona, L.A. and Cincinnati) were put into a pool and 4 of our owners drafted these teams to be played automatically.  Harlan drafted the Reds, Gary the Dodgers, Ken the A’s and Rick the D-backs.  The A’s are also above .500 but because the AL has 3 teams in the West with a better W-L record, the A’s probably won’t make the play-offs.

The Yankees had a great August to make a push for the play-offs.  They only trail the Red Sox by 6 games.  Texas also has made the AL West a close race as the Twins slumped to fall 10 games back and are now in a race with Oakland and the Yankees for the wildcard.  The Cubs, which added Tejeda, are pulling away in the NL Central.  Florida and Philadelphia remain in a fight for the NL East. 

The race for the #1 pick has gained some prospects as the Mets have joined the Indians for the worst record with prizes like Loaiza, Guillen, Podsednik out there.

Barry Bonds took over the batting lead as A-Rod dropped to 13 points off the pace, although he still has a big lead in HRs (59) and RBIs (150).  Quite a few pitchers have a shot at 20 wins (Schilling 19, Mulder18, Jennings 17 and 8 with 16).

In a rare triple, the Rockies lead the league in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage. They have to go 27-5 though in September to tie the Reds all-time W-L record.

 

August 7th

The AL West continues to be a dogfight with the Tigers leading the Twins by 2 games and the Rangers by 4.5.  Philadelphia and Florida are tied in the NL East although only 2 games over .500.  Boston has an 11 game lead over the Yanks and O’s.  The Cubs lost a half game lead to the Reds who are only 4 back.  The Rockies hold a 23.5 game lead in the West. 

Again Mike B was active in the trading market this month by making three trades, one giving up Tejeda to the Cubs. 

A-Rod continues on pace for the triple crown (a first in the 11 year history of the GBA, I think). 

There are some weird selections for the All-Star team, David Bell is the top 3b (according to SOM).  Damon is the CF and Julio (Florida) and Acevedo (Tex) lead in the Rolaids Fireman Relief Award.

The Indians are no longer on pace to erase the record for most loses.  Colorado can beat the wins record if it continues to win at a .755 clip.  The Rockies still lead the league in both batting average and ERA.  Cleveland has the worst pitching staff this season (6.08 era) but will have one of the best next year.

The Cubs look to have the best pitching staff next season as it has the best ERA and WHIP, Cleveland is 2nd.  Boston is the offensive jugunot next season and is 3rd in pitching so watch out for a Cubs-Red Sox World Series next year (won’t that be ironic?). 

Who will be the first pick of the draft next year?  Loisza or Guillen?  Both have been journeymen in previous GBA seasons but now look hot.

Speaking of hot, is anybody hotter than Dontrell Willis?  How can anyone have an ERA under 1.00 (Smoltz and Donnelly)?

 

 

July 7th

Two teams going in the opposite directions made a major trade this weekend.    The Blue Jays sent A.J. Burkett and Hinske to Florida for Dontrell Willis and Joel Pineiro.  Mike B, who hardly ever keeps his draft choices, now has added futures like Willis, Biddle, Overbay, Blalock and Hudson to his team.  Florida wants to keep it’s lead in the NL East to make the play-offs. 

 

Just noticed in latest USA notes/stats that three guys who were drafted about 4-5 years ago and got big bonus after they were declared free agents, haven’t done much, remember Travis Lee, John Patterson and Bobby Sealy? 

 

 

 

July 2nd

The Tigers/Twins/Rangers are all within a half game of each other starting the second half of the season.  The Marlins lead the Phillies by 1.5 games in a division where they are only 3 games over .500.  The Red Sox hold an 8.5 lead in the AL East and the Cubs lead by 4.5 in the NL Central (will they have the same luck as their ML counterparts?)  The Rockies are running away with the NL West.  Cleveland is now out of woods in breaking the Mets/Tigers record for least wins.

 

A-Rod is leading the triple crown race with a .387 BA, 41 HRs and 102 RBIs.  Bonds is second in each category at .367, 37, 82. 

 

The All-Star team at mid-season:

C-Piazza

1b-Palmeiro

2b-Kent

3b-Chavez

ss- A-Rod

lf-Bonds

cf-Cameron

rf-Walker

P- Pedro, Schilling, Mulder, Nen, Haladay, Batista

 

MVP-Alex Rodriquez    Cy Young-Pedro Martinez

 

Although the Rockies have the best record this season, next year outlook isn’t as good.  The pitching staff, although anchored by studs, Pedro, Halladay, Gagne and Wagner, hasn’t got the production from the younger prospects-Beckett, Peavy, Oliver Perez and Jennings.  The C’s, Cleveland, Cubs and Cincinnati should be the most improved teams next year, based on mid-season 2003 stats.

 

HISTORY- Three teams reach 1000 wins

 

The Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox all reached 1000 wins during the first 2 months of the 12th year of the GBA.  The Rockies were the first team to achieve this feat on April 9 by defeating the Diamondbacks 4-3.  The Red Sox were next to 1000 on May 18th, hammering the O’s 12-3.  Tigers won their 1000th on May 30, beating Houston 9-4.  Other teams on pace to 1000 wins this seasons are Houston (13), Cubs (32) and Phillies (52).

 

The Cincinnati Reds were on pace to a 1000 wins also but the team was disbanded two years ago and resurfaced this season.  The Reds hold the record for most wins in a season (126 in 1999) but the Rockies are on pace to win 125.

 

2004

Looking to next season (already?), a big surprise is that Cleveland (Nomo, Kevin Brown, Washburn, Sabathia), Cubs (Prior, Wood, Zambrano) and the Reds (Zito and Wolf) have the best pitching staffs and Red Sox (Nomar, Kent, Glaus, Bagwell, Hidalgo), Rockies (Helton, A-Rod), Cubs (Delgado, Suzuki, Berkman, Patterson, Alex Gonzalez, Baldelli) and Reds (Sheffield, Jenkins, Aaron Boone, Marcus Giles, Grissom) are the offensive leaders.

 

There are a few rookies that teams might use their #1 pick to protect include:

Eric Byrnes-Oakland

Morgan Ensberg-Houston

Jeff Davanon-Anaheim

Casey Blake-Cleveland

Alex Cintron-Arizona

Bo Hart-St. Louis

 

Bonds is 510/301 guy in the GBA.  A lot has been written lately about Barry Bonds getting his 500th SB in the majors and being the first player to get that mark.  Well in the GBA he has 510 HR and 301 SB in 11 years!  Speaking of Bonds, did you know he went to Arizona State University (my favorite U, although I didn’t graduate from there).  I went there when ASU had Rick Monday and then Reggie Jackson the next year.  (I thought I was a basketball player and went to a small NAIA college in Tennessee after that).  I moved back to Arizona after graduation and had season tickets to the Sun Devils football team until we moved to Colorado.  Reggie even played DB a year.  They also had a great track team that included Henry Carr (also a football player) among others.  Anyway ASU has always been a force in the College World Series in Omaha and if you even get the chance to go to it, do so, it is a great time.  I went for a weekend in 1998 and sat in LF.  The first time Pat Burrell came up, I told the people around me what a great hitter he was (around .200 this season?) and he immediately made me a guru by hitting a blast over our heads and bleachers.  I also had a chance to catch a grandslam HR by Lane (then of USC and now the Astros).  He guy in front of me stood up to catch it and at the last moment, ducked.  I didn’t have a glove and was kind of fooled by his movement, although I got my hands on it, I dropped it and it fell through to a kid under the bleachers.  USC, ASU and Texas have been the big names at the CWS but it was great to see Rice and their old coach win it this year.  It’s it amazing that two real academic intuitions like Stanford and Rice would be in the Championship?