Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Sandlot League (Creating an Identity)

The great thing about Out of the Park 19 (and its previous editions) is that you can create many new and exciting projects. I decided to try my hand on a fictional creation with fictional players, I thought it would be difficult to fall into the imaginative world of fictional players compared to Major League players that you know.

It helped that I took my time on the inaugural draft, looked at the scouting reports on each player, while participating heavily on these first few seasons.

I have done many leagues recently starting off in 1901, and was frankly getting tired of the deadball era... I thought about starting in 1920, but thought it was still too far back, and I didn't want to wait 40 years until doing expansion.

I decided finally on 1945, coming off the heels of World War II. The 1940's and 1950's are heavily considered the golden age of baseball, and I would do expansion by 1960.

I named the league, The Sandlot League, because I really didn't have another name at the time, and it has slowly grown on me.

The league already consists of 24 teams, I based my team decisions on MLB's first 26 teams (1977 setup) and I am pretty satisfied with my choices. Here are the teams and divisions below...

A.L. East
Baltimore Terrapins
Boston Shamrocks
New York Titans
Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs' 1952 Road Jersey (Home Jerseys, above)
I have used the Baltimore Black Sox a lot recently & decided to switch it up with the Terrapins (The Baltimore Terrapins were a short-lived Federal League team). My go-to these days for Boston is the Shamrocks, I have used Pilgrims in an old APBA project in the early 2000's. Normally I have used the New York Knights for the American League New York-based team, and decided to use the Titans (which I usually base in the N.L,)... Another reason for that, is that this project will be featuring the Los Angeles Knights. I usually wait to add a Canadian team this early, due to the fact that Toronto, Montreal & Vancouver's populations were quite smaller in the early half of the century, but I really wanted to get the Maple Leafs in here.

For those that don't know, yes... Toronto had a Maple Leafs team for Baseball. In real life, the Maple Leafs were a minor league team (International League) that existed from 1896-1967, they had their best success in the 1950's as an unaffiliated team, and has 5 teams that are listed among the 100 greatest minor leagues of all-time.

I have also used the Baltimore Terrapins as a team using cards from the APBA Hall of Fame Set.

By the way, you can read about a Toronto fan's early memories of the Maple Leafs in the 50's in a very interesting blog named Mop Up Duty.

A.L. Central
Chicago Union
Detroit Motors
Milwaukee Braves
Ohio Buckeyes

In past projects, I have always had two Ohio teams, one in Cleveland and the other in Cincinnati. Both cities were in the top 10 U.S. populations during the first-half of the 20th Century, both have dramatically slid out of the Top 10 since. I have usually based many of my projects on the population in the past, the bigger the population, the most likeliness that they have a team, that's why I usually don't give Colorado a team, no earlier than 1960, when it started seeing a boom in its population.

I decide to go with one Ohio team, because I am trying to spread out the teams. I have used the Cincinnati Buckeyes in the past, while Cleveland featured the Cleveland Warriors.

This is the first time that I am using the Chicago Union logos, uniforms and franchise... they feature the black, red & gray elements associated with the Chicago White Sox of the 1950's & 1960's. I went with my go-to alternate of the Tigers, in the Detroit Motors, while also settling with the Milwaukee Braves. For the most part, I tried to avoid real team names, but how can you deny the Braves?

I am actually going with a 1940's/1950's edition of the Detroit Motors, instead of the ones pictured above... Here is the uniform get ups for them.

By the way, much of the uniforms that I have used should be credited towards TXRanger from the OOTP forums... His work is amazing.

A.L. West
Kansas City Athletics
Los Angeles Knights
Oil City Oilers
St Paul Saints

The Kansas City Athletics will not be using the kelly green colors often associated with those teams, but will be featuring the uniforms of the Kansas City Blues (of the 1950's). The Oil City Oilers will be team out of Dallas, which I only had one set of uniforms and logos for the Dallas Oilers, but found more in the Oil City department (created by a few OOTP players out there)... which featured a nice set of 70's & 80's uniforms that are reminiscent of the 1980's Mets.

The St. Paul / Minnesota team comes at the right time for 1945, considering that it was 1961 when the area was awarded the Minnesota Twins.

Now onto the National League...

N.L. East
Atlanta Generals
Brooklyn Atlantics
Philadelphia Veterans
Washington Capitols

I decided to use the Atlanta Generals, although I like the yellow color aspects of the Atlanta Thrashers' uniforms (I have used the Thrashers in the past). I have used the Philadelphia Patriots in numerous projects, and decided to go with the Veterans this time, their home 'V' uniform really sold me, plus their logo.

The Philadelphia Veterans' home 'V' alternate jersey that I use as their primary home jersey.

I had numerous options for Washington, but wanted to stay away from the usual Senators and Nationals due to trying to avoid real names, even if I am still use some names such as the Kansas City Athletics or the Los Angeles Angels (which will eventually switch to Dodger blue... more on that later in the post). I decided to go with the Capitols, the Washington Generals was an option, but obviously I decided to let Atlanta have the name instead.

The Atlanta Generals uniforms have a bit of 'shout out' element to the Atlanta Black Crackers' uniforms, I do love the fact that TX puts those element touches to his jerseys... which I do believe is not by mistake... you decide?

N.L. Central
Chicago Legends
Louisville Sluggers
Pittsburgh Arsenal
St Louis Terriers

The Chicago Legends came to be by accident, like most of these often do, the creation process itself takes on its own life or journey. You use a logo here, or a uniform there, a creation by someone else, while you add some of your own creation to the process. The league is forging its own identity, while you slowly put it together... it's a rather fun experience really.

The Legends uniforms came from someone's creation of the Cooperstown Legends, a team that they used as a minor league affiliate to one of their own projects. I have used the Chicago Nationals in the past, usually snagging the old Syracuse Nationals logo (right) from the old NBA days in basketball... while the team's look was always that of the Chicago Cubs.

The Legends reflect a look of their own, while I did borrow the Chicago White Sox' road jerseys from 1966, an often-overlooked beauty... without the caps, you would have thought they were intended for the Cubs.

They go well with the Legends' home jerseys above, seeing them in this format may not look like much, but with the caps and players sporting them, they have a simplistic, but straight-to-the-point look about them.

The Louisville Sluggers use a Cardinals approach with bird swinging bat, with the Cardinals colors featuring a bit of the Louisville Colonels' old uniforms.

Pittsburgh Arsenal features black and yellow.... with the Steelers, Pirates & Penguins... are you really surprised by this?

I had some cool uniforms for the St Louis Saints, but I really wanted to add Minnesota to the project, so I game them the St Paul Saints. I have numerous Browns uniforms and logos, but once again, I wanted something further from MLB history, so I went with the Federal League team.

N.L. West
California Seals
Denver Miners
Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Pilots

The California Seals will eventually evolve into darker colors to go along with their incarnation to become the San Francisco Seals (similar to Giants' color scheme), I have numerous colors for all, their 1945 look will feature 'sunshine' colors that are more equivalent to the Miami Dolphins. The Seals, of course, are one of the most popular Pacific Coast League teams of all-time, I do know that they are personal favorite of mine.

I have used the Denver Bears in previous projects, and was close to going with the Colorado Kings (which I love their look), but eventually I plan to add a Charlotte team named the Charlotte Imperials & the Monarchs or even Royals, so I thought there needed to be some balance, and not so much royalty early on. Plus I really loved the look of the Miners uniforms for Denver, while I also had numerous Miners uniforms for places like San Francisco, Pennsylvania, and even in smaller places like Scranton even.

Angels' home caps for the 1945 Sandlot League.

Check out the 'L' in Angeles, Angel wings, nice touch by TX.

The Los Angeles Angels (TX's creations above) will start off with a similar look to their expansion days, while they will evolve to more of a Dodgers-look, featuring the Dodgers' 'LA' look & Dodger blue to their uniforms, while sporting a halo. Once again, I can't take credit for the Dodger Blue look, these were inspired by SFGiants58 & his MLB: Project 32 series featured on Chris Creamer's Sports Logos.

I created the home version (like the one featured above, below) using my 3D Paint tool & by using my Jersey Maker template.

The Seattle Pilots will first feature their expansion look and will later evolve in a nice set of jerseys. I saw someone do a great job, using the moniker of the Metros (featured below), but have yet to find uniforms and logos alone out there.

The Seattle Metros were once a National Hockey Team, in fact they were the first American team to win a Stanley Cup back in 1917 & are often a very popular team name that fans keep hoping will be used in a possible future NHL team (a fan creation of their uniforms, below) and possible future NBA team, there are many, many cool logo designs along with other nicknames.

I believe I will have the eventual capability of putting together a Seattle Metros franchise, which could open the door for the Pilots or Aviators to come from another franchise location.

This concludes the creative concept scheme that became the Sandlot League.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Greatest Teams Debate (Vault #4)

Dave McNally & Jim Palmer of the Orioles.
From the BoS Blog Vault - Originally posted on June 14, 2015 - I decided to share this post in my 'Vault' series, due to a recent Facebook post that involved the 1961 New York Yankees. In this post, you will find very interesting debates, while you will find out exactly why the 61' Yankees are quite overrated. 

Now a few months back, I remember from time to time people bringing up best three-year period or five-year period from a MLB franchise. It had some of the usual suspects bouncing around there from the Baltimore Orioles (1969-1971), Oakland Athletics (1972-1974), The Chicago Cubs (early 20th Century), the two different Philadelphia A's franchises from Connie Mack, the WWII era St.Louis Cardinals, among others.

The wife and I went to the public library, in which I once again, rented out "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract" (by Bill James) -- Another book, I like to rent from there is "The Biographical Encyclopedia of Negro League Baseball" (by James A. Riley) -- Both great books! This time, it was just Bill James' books with a handful of Walking Dead Graphic Novels.

Now when it comes to Bill James, I will say this much the guy's formulas and his Win Shares that pretty much (or did, depending on who you ask) created the WAR stat concept (Wins After Replacement) -- and many of his formulas really do finish many debates on comparing players, teams and what-not. He may not be a guy that remembers watching that player back in the day, in fact he kind of approaches that aspect of the game with a half-glance approach, he's more of mad scientist who loves the game, will take the criteria, make strong cases -- while at the same time, he may not watch the game as the average die-hard baseball fan does... he's most likely not going to play in any fantasy baseball league, but he's partly responsible in many of the stats that we find helpful in choosing our fantasy baseball teams, plus his findings are also helpful to any APBA Managers out there, who are evaluating their rosters, making certain trades & drafting certain players.

Is he always right? No. Do I like reading his theories, and watching many of them make sense? Most definitely! By the way, my right arm is all oiled up with Tiger Balm, since my whole right arm is really sore from doing computer work for my APBA League & rolling some dice games -- but after reading one of his sections in this book, I had to share, and discuss this.

So back to Greatest Teams debate, he made a simplistic 6-point system to measure a team, of course this does not take in an effect if a team is a great base-stealing team, has a great pitching staff, or great lineup -- it's just a simple system, to start with.

The 6-point system is like this, for each accomplishment by the team, it will make a check by each statistical accomplishment, and the team gets one point each.
  • Finishing over .500
  • Winning over 90 games.
  • Winning over 100 games.
  • Winning the Division.
  • Winning the League.
  • Winning the World Series.
These qualifications are definitely not going to paint an over-all picture of a franchise, but when you use this system, for certain criteria, let's say for a 5-year period debate, this is how the very top franchises ranked using these accomplishments & six-point system presented by James.
  • New York Yankees (1935-1939)          25 pts
  • New York Yankees (1949-1953)          25 pts
  • Chicago Cubs (1906-1910)                   24 pts
  • St. Louis Cardinals (1942-1946)           24 pts
  • New York Yankees (1960-1964)          24 pts
  • Philadelphia Athletics (1910-1914)      23 pts
  • Oakland Athletics (1971-1975)             22 pts
  • Atlanta Braves (1995-1999)                  22 pts
  • Cincinnati Reds (1972-1976)                21 pts
  • Baltimore Orioles (1969-1973)             20 pts
  • Boston Red Sox (1912-1916)                20 pts
  • Brooklyn Dodgers (1952-1956)            20 pts
It's impressive, while at the same time it all makes sense, these are the teams we usually are chatting about, and debating over. For pre-1969 teams, he counted League Championships (with an extra point, for the division they would have won, which makes sense). 

Another point made, is that with this system, there has only been 6 teams to have had back-to-back six-point seasons, they are...
  • Philadelphia Athletics (1910-1911)
  • New York Yankees (1927-1928)
  • Philadelphia Athletics (1929-1930)
  • New York Yankees (1936-1937)
  • Cincinnati Reds (1975-1976)
Once again, uncanny, looking at this list, all makes sense, and these 5 teams are always in the thick of the discussion.

Now this book is copyrighted in 2001, not sure if he has any more updated books, which this book was an update as well. So he did not add any more recent teams, so I decided to go do some research myself.

Now we all know how much San Francisco Giants fans love bragging about their pesky Giants, not to mention all their "dynasty" talk, which I often have to point out their two missed playoff years, that are wedged in between their 3 recent World Championships. Taking in this system, this is how what we ended up with...
  • 2010 Giants: 5 pts     (only failed to win 100+ games)
  • 2011 Giants: 1 pt     (Missed playoffs, finished over .500)
  • 2012 Giants: 4 pts     (only failed to reach 90+ & 100+ wins)
  • 2013 Giants: 0 pts     (76-86, failed to reach post-season - 2nd time in period)
  • 2014 Giants: 3 pts     (Wild-Card, wins 3rd World Title, fails to reach 90 wins) 
That's a grand total of 13 pts -- Hardly great when comparing to these teams that had more points, during a five-year period...
  • Detroit Tigers (1907-1911)                     14 pts
  • Kansas City Royals (1976-1980)            15 pts
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (1962-1966)         17 pts
  • New York Mets (1984-1988)                  16 pts
  • Philadelphia Phillies (1976-1980)           17 pts
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (1901-1905)                16 pts
The Giants have won 3 World Series in the last 5 years, but where do they fit in history?

Some people may look at these teams and say, you know those are some good solid teams --Of course they are not better than some of those! Granted that the 2010-2014 Giants can spin the debate, and note that they have more titles than each of these (above six) teams. But to put it into perspective, they barely edge their 1962 counterparts, the 62' Giants who scored 12 points from 1962-1966 -- let it be known though, that I am NOT saying the 62'-66' bunch of Giants are better than the current group, no way!

In the book, he brings up the 1919 Chicago White Sox ("Black Sox") squad of 1916-1920; He mentions there is no foundation to consider the White Sox among the all-time greats. They managed to score only 12 points, their multi-year accomplishments rank them lower than the...
  • Detroit Tigers (1907-1911)
  • Boston Red Sox (1901-1905)
  • The Tigers of the 1930's.
  • The Indians of the 1950's.
  • Baltimore Orioles (1979-1983)
  • Kansas City Royals (1976-1980)
  • Detroit Tigers (1983-1987)
...and dozens of other teams, and suggests that no one would list these teams above among the all-time greats. We do know if the Chicago White Sox didn't throw the 1919 series (and won the World Championship) & didn't have 8 players banned from the game in a close 1920 pennant race, that they may have even won, giving them another shot at a title, that those would add only a few more points to the system, and still would fall short of all the teams listed above. Once again, I am not going to imply that the 1979-1983 Orioles are better than the 1919 White Sox, or the period of the 1983-1987 Tigers are better; I will say that the Tigers' 1984 World Championship season alone succeeds over any one year accomplishment by those White Sox teams though.

Say it ain't so? Not one of the best teams ever?

By the way, good news Giants fans -- You can say that your 2010-2014 teams are at least better than a historical team in the "Black Sox"; The White Sox were a good, strong team, but not among the all-time greats -- their reputation for the scandal makes people consider them great. But the 1916-1910 White Sox or the 2010-2014 Giants, are not anywhere close to be overrated than say...

... possibly the most over-rated team of all-time, when we are talking about greatest team debates...

The 1961 New York Yankees

I'm so glad when I read this book that Bill James hammers on many key points when discussing this team. I often have to bite my lip on the APBA Facebook Group, when people often bring this team into the greatest teams of all-time discussion -- they are nowhere close! The 1976-1980 Yankees may be a stronger group even. Now let me point out that the six-point system is the only thing that helps the 1960-1964 New York Yankees bunch, they are tied for second-most with the 1906-1910 Chicago Cubs & 1942-1946 St. Louis Cardinals with 24 pts.

But at this point, James just wants to point out the 1961 season -- before we head on to the 1961 season, I would like to note the 1960-1964 period for the Yankees was really their twilight period from their dominant 1950's -- The 1960's teams are a far cry from that bunch.

The Yankees ended up choking in the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates (even though they outscored the Pirates that series), they dominated a Cincinnati Reds team in the 1961 World Series, 4-1 -- a Reds team that really wasn't the best team from the National League, according to Pythagorean Records, the 93-win Reds were the equivalent of a 83-win team, and that the 3rd Place San Francisco Giants (a Pythagorean N.L. best 89 wins) would have been a much-better challenger to the somewhat declining Yankees. The Yankees would barely edge those Giants in 1962, 4-3 in the 1962 World Series. In 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers would sweep the Yankees & they would lose the 64' Series to St. Louis.

Now I am not saying that their 1960-1964 period was not impressive, they went to the World Series all five years -- winning two World Championships.

But once again, we are focusing on the 1961 World Series team, so back to James' points. Three points he would put detail into...

1) Their offense is completely one-dimensional (Lots of HR's).
2) No bench (besides Johnny Blanchard).
3) Whitey Ford - Only quality arm on the team.

In MLB history (as of 2001) there have been 40 teams to lead the league both in runs, and to lead in fewest runs allowed; Many teams that have done this, are among the best ever...
  • 1927 New York Yankees (213)
  • 1936-1939 Yankees (averaging at least 143 runs per year more)
  • 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (216)
  • "The Impossible Dream" - 1967 Boston Red Sox (123 runs)
The only thing Yankees did well in 1961 was hit many HR's, the only thing that they led their league in -- compare that to the 1976 Cincinnati Reds, who led nearly every offensive category; Reds had 212 more runs than the N.L. average.

The 61' Yankees pitchers, 6 out of their 11 pitchers on their staff, went on to win 35 games or fewer for the remainder of their careers. 

Another interesting note, their record was 7-2 at home against the expansion Washington Senators in their home run park; Against the Senators (in their pitching park), they went 4-5 against the Senators.

The M&M boys (Roger Maris & Mickey Mantle) paint this image of the 1961 Yankees as some great powerhouse of the past, when in reality we should be giving more credit to their 1962 team possibly, which beat a much tougher World Series contender.

Anyways, when you take much of the statistical proof provided by Bill James, it's easy to see that the 1961 team was indeed overrated & do not belong with the absolute greats; Good team, and a Yankee fan favorite for sure, but a little too much ticker-tape if you ask me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

1996 Off-Season in Full Swing

The Atlanta Braves have made numerous transactions after doing no major moves in 1995. The Braves just recently extended starting pitcher Greg Maddux' contract for another 10 years ($73.5 million), while acquiring OF Johnny Damon, OF Brian McRae, among others. The team also said goodbye to RF David Justice, 1B Fred McGriff and OF Tony Phillips.

Here are some of the other deals around the league...
  • Wade Boggs signs with the Minnesota Twins for two-year deal worth $8.4 million.
  • Kevin Brown signs 7-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds for a total of $44.8 million ($6.4 million per year). 
  • Barry Bonds shocked the baseball world by signing a 6-year deal with the Montreal Expos for $40.2 million ($6.7 million per year).
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers sign CF Devon White to a 5-year deal worth $21.2 million ($4.24 m per season).
  • Harold Baines announces retirement at age 36 (considerably earlier than his real-life counterpart which retired after the 2001 Season). He was last playing for the Houston Astros, and has only 370 at-bats combined during his last 3 seasons.
  • Orel Hershiser signed 2-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates ($1.88 million per year).
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired RP Doug Henry via trade with the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for OF Chris Singleton and minor league 3B Keith Johnson.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers signed RP Mark Guthrie to a 2-year deal worth $6 million.
  • The Kansas City Royals traded closer Tony Castillo to the New York Yankees in exchange for LF Carl Everett, 1B Tom L Wilson & $95,000 in cash.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers signed RP Lee Smith to a 2-year deal worth $2.24 million.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers kept busy & signed 1B John Olerud to a 6-year deal worth $39 million ($6.5 million per year).
  • The California Angels trade OF Garret Anderson and RHP Miguel Fermin to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for SP John Burkett.
  • The Cincinnati Reds sign closer John Wetteland to 2-year deal worth $5.0 million.
  • The Dodgers stay aggressive as they sign SP Bret Saberhagen with 4-year deal worth a total of $4.1 million. Saberhagen has won 77 games so far in the 90's compared to his real-life counterpart that won 62 through 1995 -- while also having 169 career wins at the moment compared to his real-life 167 win career.
  • Marquis Grissom signs 4-year deal with the Texas Rangers worth $7.36 million ($1.86 million per year).
  • Dennis Eckersley resigns with the Montreal Expos on a one-year deal worth $1.82 million.
  • Chuck Finley will join 1996 N.L. Cy Young Winner - Al Leiter on the St. Louis Cardinals after signing 4-year deal worth $18.44 million (making $4.68 million for first three seasons, with team option for 4th.
  • The Atlanta Braves sign RP Dan Pleasac to a 4-year deal worth $9.6 million ($2.4 million per year).
The Braves fell asleep in negotiations with Eric Plunk, as Plunk signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, that's when Braves switched gears and went for Pleasac. The Braves momentarily signed SS Greg Gagne as well, but he was swooped up in the Rule 5 Draft by the Texas Rangers.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The 'WHAT IF' 1984 World Series (Vault #3)

From the BoS Blog Vault - Originally posted on August 22, 2015 - I conducted a 'What if' World Series for 1984, involving the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers. The results were rather surprising, you can check out each game, just below the logo, and then continue on this post to see the end results.

Here is a recap on the WHAT IF 1984 World Series...
(Click on game links to get a synopsis of each game)

Game 1 (at Chicago) - Detroit 5, Chicago 4
Game 2 (at Chicago) - Detroit 3, Chicago 2 (10 Innings)
Game 3 (at Detroit) - Chicago 4, Detroit 0
Game 4 (at Detroit) - Chicago 3, Detroit 2
Game 5 (at Detroit) - Chicago 2, Detroit 1

The Detroit Tigers won the first two games, while the Chicago Cubs won the next three at Tiger Stadium -- In fact, every game so far during this series has been won by the visiting team. 

(at Wrigley Field, Chicago)

Petry was the right call for Game 6.
The Detroit Tigers saved Dan Petry for Game 6, and pitched Juan Berenguer instead for Game 5. While the Chicago Cubs send Dennis Eckersley, who last time pitched got the Cubs back into this series with a shutout of the Tigers in Game 3.

The Tigers started Rupert Jones once again in left field, he went 2-for-3 (2 singles) in Game 5 -- The move paid off again with a solo HR to get the Tigers started with a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. The Tigers' Lou Whitaker would add to the lead, with a RBI single in the 5th inning.

It was all Dan Petry in this one, allowing only two hits in 8 shutout innings, with 5 K's & 3 BB's. Dennis Eckersley was good again, but couldn't get the support from his lineup in this one, he went 6 innings, allowing 5 hits & 2 runs (1 earned), he did allow 3 walks though.

Tigers win 2-0, Series tied 3-3

(at Wrigley Field, Chicago)

Once again, it's Jack Morris vs Rick Sutcliffe. Morris has not done so well the previous two, while Sutcliffe has been excellent.

Both pitchers kept the other team off the board the first three innings, until Leon Durham got things going with a solo HR in the bottom of the 4th. The Tigers' Dave Bergman would get the Tigers' first hit in the top of the 5th, a two-out double. It would not be until the top of the 6th, that the Tigers would score, and that would be a game-tying RBI triple by Kirk Gibson; Scoring in Lou Whitaker from second (who had a double). The Tigers would strand Gibson.

The Tigers also would hit into many force plays or double plays in this series, or so it seems, because they happen to happen at the most crucial times of the ball games.

The game would remain a 1-1 tie for the next couple innings, entering the 9th. Jack Morris had his best game of the series, even though it was a short five inning outing -- allowing 4 hits & a run, while striking out five Cubs. The Tigers' Aurelio Lopez pitched two scoreless innings, and Dave Rozema & Doug Bair shared the 8th Inning. Willie Hernandez would come in for a non-save situation, with the Tigers hoping for him to last at least three innings, if this goes extras.

Meanwhile, Rick Sutcliffe has been keeping the Tigers at bay, allowing only 5 hits, a run & walk through 8 innings, while racking up 8 K's.

The top of the 9th, the Tigers had their #3, #4 & #5 hitters coming up in Kirk GibsonChet Lemon & Darrell Evans. They couldn't do anything with fly-outs by Gibson & Evans, and Lemon grounding out. Bottom of the 9th, the Cubs had Ron CeyJody Davis Larry Bowa coming up. Cey would strike out a third time, and is 0-for-4 for the night. Jody Davis (1-for 18) entering the game, was 0-for-3 in this one with 2 K's (making him 1-for-21), appeared to be no threat to Willie Hernandez, until Willie accidentally hung one over the plate, Jody sent it deep over the Ivy in right, a walk-off series winner for the Cubbies!

The Chicago Cubs down 2-0, win the series, 4-3! Leon Durham has been a beast, it's been awhile since I have seen stats such as these in a dice series, but here they are...


11 H / 25 AB
.440 BA
2 HR
7 Doubles
2 Triples
4 walks (1 Int Walk)
All 11 hits were Extra-Base Hits!

.517 On-Base Percentage
1.120 Slugging Percentage
1.637 OPS (On-Base + Slugging)

Easy call, he is the MVP of the series, despite Sutcliffe & Eckersley's excellent performances.

Jody Davis: The unlikely series hero, ending 76 years of frustration.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Sum of All Fears (2019 Hall of Fame Results OOTP)

The Hall of Fame Results came back during my 2019 MLB Season via Out of the Park 19, with two players being inducted into Cooperstown, those two players are Mariano Rivera (94.1%) and Roy Halladay (78.7%), accomplishing the goal on their very 1st ballot.

Just missing:
  • 1B Todd Helton (74%) on his first ballot, a bit of a surprise that he came that close on his first ballot, I put him on my ballot, but was not expecting the high percentage.
  • SP Mike Mussina (66.3%) - 6th year
  • OF Barry Bonds (64.8%) - 7th year
  • SP Roger Clemens (62.1%) - 7th year
10 ballots & your out...
  • DH Edgar Martinez (64.5%)
  • 1B Fred McGriff (19.8%)

This is one of my real-life fears, Edgar Martinez not reaching the Hall, that would just be sad. You can check out my views on Edgar & other deserving players like McGriff in the following posts...
Sure eventually, Edgar and McGriff could have to depend on the Expansion Era committee in the same way as Morris & Trammell, but it really should not have to come down to that.

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