Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2nd APBA Vegas Looking for More Contenders

The Vegas APBA 2019 Tournament is still looking for some participants in its upcoming tournament, which takes place from August 8th - August 11th, at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The tourney criteria will be any MLB team between 1969 through 2009 with 2-Man rotations. 

Last year, the Vegas tourney had a guest appearance that featured four-time batting champ, Bill Madlock, who played from 1973-1987. The team that won that tournament happened to be the 1987 Detroit Tigers, which featured Madlock in his final MLB season.

Who will win it this season?! Maybe you, if you sign up for this exciting tournament... Chris did an amazing job, making a huge splash with last year's debut.

Contact Chris White via email at cwhitesports@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 9, 2019

1978 Brothers in Dice: Out of the Gate

As I mentioned in previous post, my brother Chris Baier and I, are replaying the 1978 MLB Season together, with him playing the National League, and with me playing the American League. I have already rolled 47 games since Easter, and that involves about 38 games logged in the team-by-team statistics & write-ups for about 33 of those games (27 of those games reported on APBA's Between the Lines Delphi Forums.

So if you are following me on "Brothers in Dice: 1978 MLB Replay, A.L." on the Delphi Forums, don't read below -- Spoiler Alert!

Here is some of the action so far..

The American League East is already playing out as advertised with 6 teams all within 2 games from one another. At the moment, the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers lead the division with a 4-2 record.

The Tigers have just won their 3rd straight (winning their series finale against Texas, plus two straight against Toronto). The Tigers' Rusty Staub took a little bit to get going, but has been on fire during this streak, batting 7-for-13 (.538) with 3 HR & 10 RBI (He was 0-for-11 during the previous three games). The Tigers consistent leader has been Ron LeFlore, batting .444 with 12 hits, a HR & 4 stolen bases. 

The Brewers' lineup is just sick, it's pretty scary when Gorman Thomas is your 7th hitter in the batting order. The Brew Crew's Larry Hisle is currently tied for the American League with 4 home runs, while being tied with Oakland's Gary Alexander. Personally, I believe this Brewers team is the team to beat in the A.L. East, plus they have yet to plug Mike Caldwell into the rotation, who went on to win 22 games in 1978 with a 2.36 ERA while leading the league with 23 complete games. Caldwell did already win a game through 3 innings of relief in a big 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees.

Caldwell of course, did not win the A.L. Cy Young in 1978, any other year he may have, but he was against a man named Ron Guidry. The Yankees' Guidry (Grade A&C-KZ) for the most part has been spectacular his first two outings, he allowed only 2 hits & 1 earned run, striking out 9 in 9 innings against the Rangers in his season debut, while he was in cruise-control during his 2nd outing, until he stayed in a inning too long & got rocked for 4 runs in the 9th... 

Even so, his season totals are as follows -- 1-0, 3.06 ERA, 21 K & 11 BB (17.2 innings)... The walks are high, but he has only allowed 7 hits, which gives him an excellent 1.019 WHIP still. If you take away the 4-run 9th inning against the White Sox, he has a 1.08 ERA (2 ER) through 16.2 innings. 

The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals kicked off the season in back-to-back games that went to extras. During the first game, Cleveland pitchers walked 11 Royals, but Kansas City kept stranding their men, leading to extras, but Al Cowens' RBI double in the top of the 11th helped the Royals defeat Cleveland. The next game went 15 innings, the Royals would be triumphant again, but once again K.C. should have put the game away earlier, as they had 16 hits, while Cleveland only had 5 hits!

If things couldn't get worse, both teams would go on to play someone else for their 3rd games, and both would still go to extras... again! This time K.C. losing to Baltimore through 10 innings, while Cleveland lost again, this time to Boston, 2-1. Cleveland lost all three of their first three games in extras, losing by no more than one run. 

Cleveland was only batting .180 through the first 4 games, while their pitching has actually been stellar in the ERA department, with a 1.76 ERA (particularly their starting pitching, 1.09 ERA).

The Boston Red Sox like the Milwaukee Brewers have a monster lineup, and although they are 3-3 and in excellent shape to compete for the division, it so far has not come by the hands of stars such as Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk & Fred Lynn -- who were a combined 8-for-51 (.157), while it has been the two men at the top of their order in Rick Burleson & Jerry Remy, who were a combined 15-for-28 (.536). Remy started the season with three consecutive games with 3 hits each, while he is still batting .423 through 5 games.

Over in the A.L. West, the California Angels were on 7th Heaven with their 7-0 start to the season, until getting blanked by Oakland, 6-0. Through their first 6 games, the Angels were batting .290, while their pitching was lights out with a 1.77 team ERA. They outscored their opponents, 40-11 (+29 Run Differential), even though they only hit 4 home runs. The team has already had three innings of 5+ runs, their biggest being an 8-run outburst in the 4th inning during their 3rd victory of the season, in a 11-0 shutout against Oakland. Bobby Grich has been heating up at the plate, which included a 4-for-5 performance that included a HR, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 4 runs & a walk.

The Kansas City Royals have been trying to keep pace, and are currently in 2nd place with a 4-1 record. The Angels and Rangers in real-life finished 1978 in second place, and I believe that at the moment, the Royals and Angels should definitely be in the mix. The Texas Rangers in the meantime are not looking like a division contender one bit. They are worst off than the Indians, with a .151 batting average & lousy 5.87 team ERA. Jon Matlack (Grade A-YZ) is the only Rangers pitcher worth talking about, who is currently 0-2 with a 2.55 ERA & 11 strikeouts. 

Two players off to really hot starts, are Seattle's Bruce Bochte is batting .410 (16-for-39) with 2 HR & 13 RBI through 10 games, while Minnesota's Dan Ford is batting .429 (18-for-42) with no HR, but 15 RBI through 10 games. 

Quick Glance at the National League (through 23 games): On Chris's side, I do know that the St.Louis Cardinals opened the season by sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies. The New York Mets won a double-header against the Montreal Expos, to split series 2-2. The Atlanta Braves are off to a surprise 3-1 start, with Gary Matthews hitting his 2nd HR recently.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Brothers In Dice: 1978 Season Replay (Collaboration)

As I have mentioned in one of the prior blog posts, my brother Chris and I will be partaking in a APBA season replay of the 1978 MLB Season. Chris will be playing the National League, I will be playing the American League. 

We decided to do this project shortly after the New Year. 

We have went to a APBA Tournament together before... Chris was runner-up in the 1st Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament in Jackson, Michigan.

Four teams won 90+ games in the American League, all within 9 games or less of each other... even the 5th place Tigers won 86 games that season.

You can follow both of our projects regularly through the Delphi Forums at APBA Between the Lines.My topic is labeled "Brothers in Dice, 1978 Replay, A.L." and Chris' topic is labeled "Brothers in Dice, 1978 MLB Replay, N.L."... or just go to Advance Search, and type brothers in dice.

Highlights, coming soon...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Bits & Pieces

1981 Tigers Season Replay

The Detroit Tigers took 3 of 4 from the New York Yankees, like they did in real-life that series.

The first two games both went into extras with Jack Morris (Grade B-Y) and Milt Wilcox (Grade B-Z) each going 10 innings, while the Yankees also had a pair of 10-inning pitchers in Ron Guidry (Grade B-XZ) and Rudy May (Grade D-Z). The Tigers would prevail in both, winning 2-1 due to a Alan Trammell sac fly in the 12th of Game 1 & by the same score, 2-1, in Game 2 with a RBI single by Steve Kemp.

Morris only allowed 3 hits, 0 ER & 1 run, with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks, while Wilcox allowed only 2 hits & 1 ER, to go along with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Kevin Saucier logged 3 more saves to bring his season total to 18.

The Yankees won the 3rd game, but should have won the 4th game possibly, stranding 14 men on base, while the Tigers only needed 7 hits all game to pull off the 3-1 victory -- Thanks to RBI doubles by Al Cowens and Steve Kemp.

1916 Tigers Fall Short (Once Again to the Athletics)

The Detroit Tigers who were favored to win the A.L. West before the season, barely did, over the Chicago White Sox, while suffering two untimely injuries in Ty Cobb and Jack Barry. The Tigers would once again fall short to the eventual 1916 Back-to-Back World Champion Philadelphia Athletics, who defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in another all-Philly fall classic. The poor Phillies have now lost three consecutive World Series.

The Tigers didn't waste no time by making changes. Former owner Rocky McQueary sold the Tigers to Jacob Piasecki. I am not going to lie, I was pretty thrilled with this move, McQuery hounded and hounded me to trade Ty Cobb, but I stuck to my guns.

Cobb would reward me with his 5th career batting title (.353).

Last season was the first season that I stepped down from managing the Tigers, while transitioning to full-time General Manager. I signed the great John McGraw to take over the managing duties, who led the Tigers (83-57) to division title, winning by a game.

We made the most trades in one off-season that we can remember, it may be a new rebuilt lineup, but we still have the best rotation in baseball in Walter Johnson, Hugh Bedient, Claude Hendrix & Guy Morton.

  • Traded RP-Babe Adams, RP-Dustin Mails & P-Alex Main to reacquire pitcher Carl Mays.
  • Traded RF-Sherry Magee to the St.Louis Browns in exchange for RP-Bullet Joe Bush, catching prospect C-John W Peters, RP-Harry Harper & OF-Beals Becker.
  • Traded C-Les Nunamaker straight-up to the St.Louis Cardinals in exchange for closer Eddie Cicotte; Cicotte pitched for my Tigers from 1905-to-midway 1910 & has developed into a closer.
  • Traded 1B-Fred Merkle and C-Otto Miller to the New York Giants in exchange for 2B-Heinie Groh and catching prospect Muddy Ruel.
  • Traded 2B-Jack Barry and 3B-Hans Lobert to the New York Yankees in exchange for 1B-Ossie Vitt, 3B-Tillie Shafer & 2B-Manuel Cueto.
  • Traded LF-Greasy Neale, 1B/RF-High Pockets Kelly, LHP-Harry Harper & $3,000 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for LF-Ken Williams (pictured above).
  • Traded RP-Leon Cadore to the St.Louis Cardinals in exchange for C-Pinch Thomas and RP-Elmer Brown.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Leveling the Field: 1916 Tigers with High Expectations

Ty Cobb decked out in the 1916 Detroit Tigers home uniform.
It's been a little while since we have talked about the Detroit Tigers in my "Leveling the Field" project for Out of the Park Baseball 19.

The 1916 Detroit Tigers are coming off a 78-62 season in 1915, as the Detroit Tigers won the A.L. West, but would lose to the A.L. East & eventual World Champion Philadelphia Athletics, 4-1 in the 1915 American League Championship Series.

The Tigers made a few changes over the off-season...
  • Traded pitcher Hippo Vaughn to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for RP-Harry Albes.
  • Drafted (Dec 15th) & Signed LF-Greasy Neale, who will be on the 1916 opening day roster for the Tigers.
  • Traded long-time starting pitcher Jack Quinn and prospect RP-Stan Baumgartner to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for starting pitcher Claude Hendrix. Quinn ranks 3rd in Wins (113), 4th in ERA (2.68) & 2nd in WAR (23.7) among all-time Tigers pitchers.
  • Signed RP-Burt Keeley to a 1-year deal worth $1,900.
  • Signed 3B-Jimmy Austin to a 1-year deal worth $1,800.
  • Traded SS-Tom Downey to the Boston Braves in exchange for 3B-Walter Barbare.
  • Traded OF-Jim Thorpe to the New York Giants for RP-Slow Joe Doyle.
  • Traded (recently acquired) 3B-Walter Barbare to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for RP-Babe Adams and prospect RP-Oscar Harstad.
  • Traded OF-Ted Cather to the Pittsburgh Pirates in for RP-Alex Main and RP-King Lear.


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