Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Forecast: Less Fight, More Losses (UAL Update)

The Traverse City Fighting Tigers are coming off a 101-59 record, finishing in 2nd place of the National League West. As a #4 seeded playoff team, we lost to the Crooked River Carp, 3-1, in a best-of-five series.

Jose Altuve
With so many down years (in the Majors) on my roster, two big injuries to my starting rotation, plus other subtractions, we may be looking down the barrel of a 100 loss season by season's end. The team is also getting no younger, with Jose Altuve and Buster Posey being the team's two best players, and co-captains of a team that's reshuffling the deck.

We should be in the hunt for the top 5-to-top 10 overall pick, plus we have three 2nd round draft picks to play with as well (acquiring two of those in trades during the 2019 UAL Draft).

Here is a list of the off-season action below...


Now you may have noticed that besides my 1st round selection of SP-Jack Flaherty at 16th overall (which is already looking like the steal of the UAL Draft), my draft choices kind of suck. Let me explain myself. Entering the 2019 UAL Draft, I had my 1st, 3rd & 5th Rd picks, but my 2nd & 4th round picks were already traded awhile back.

Buster Posey
I drafted Flaherty in the 1st round, but didn't have another pick until 3rd round. With 24 teams and 32 keepers, the talent really drops off after the 2nd round. By the time it got to my 3rd round pick, I was not feeling too good about my choices. The Ohio Cougars would make it easy on me, and would acquire my 2019 3rd Rd pick in exchange for his 2019 5th Rd pick, 2020 2nd Rd pick & utility player Kelby Tomlinson (for position coverage). The Cougars would select P-Felix Pena with that pick by the way.

I also acquired another 2nd round pick from the Seven Cities Yard Goats in exchange for shortstop Freddy Galvis. I already have a shortstop in Jean Segura, so Galvis was expendable, plus he's having a career year in the Majors, I can profit off that while his stock is up. It's funny, because prior to the draft no one wanted to take him for a 3rd round draft pick, but once the draft started, people came a callin'.

I also traded RP-Bud Norris for a 2020 5th Rd pick and no-card P-Aaron Brooks.

I released Yoenis Cespedes and his huge contract in the Waiver Draft and picked up Gorkys Hernandez for some 2019 UAL outfield coverage. I was within one pick from acquiring RP-Cody Allen, but someone took him, and with that I decided to pass on the remainder of the waiver draft.

Here is a list of our pitchers...


Now our hitters...



Next off-season will be my 1st real off-season, having all my 10 round picks, plus two 2nd round picks & a 5th round pick. Plus the fact, I should have early picks each round. The team will get younger and better in no time. I could see some success as early as two years from now, but I am banking more on the 2022 UAL Season.

We definitely got a lot of work ahead of us.





Thursday, September 5, 2019

Boston Bullpen Stellar for Red Sox in 1978 A.L. Replay


During my 1978 A.L. Replay (which coincides with my brother Chris' 1978 N.L. Replay / Brothers in Dice), the Boston Red Sox are on top of the American League East with a 13-6 record, while winning 8 of their last 9 games. The big reason for this, is their lights out bullpen, led by closer Bob Stanley.

The Red Sox' bullpen have logged 46 innings of relief already, which is due to some of the starting pitchers (particularly Dennis Eckersley) have been under-performing.

Here is the bullpen, by the numbers...

  • 46 innings of work.
  • 26 hits allowed.
  • Only 8 earned runs allowed.
  • 18 K / 12 BB
  • 3-1 record
  • 5 for 7 in Save Opportunities.
  • .826 WHIP [Walks + Hits / Per 9 Innings]
  • 1.57 ERA
Stanley (2-0, 0.50 ERA & 3 Saves) has been incredible through 18 innings, while some of his teammates have not been too shabby as well...
  • Bill Campbell: 2 SV, 0.00 ERA in 6 IP.
  • Tom Burgmeier: 1.04 ERA in 8.2 IP.
  • Dick Drago: 1-0, 2.79 ERA in 9.6 IP.

The team's lineup started off slow during the season, especially Jim Rice, who was batting .224 (11-for-49) with no home runs & 8 RBI through his first 10 games, and has since been batting .475 (19-for-40) with 5 HR & 14 RBI.

With the lineup coming around, Boston appears to be the team to beat at this moment in the East, and possibly the American League. Even though Eckersley (Grade A-YZ) has had nothing but bad luck so far (0-4, 4.58 ERA), it has all balanced out with Mike Torrez (Grade C-Y) overachieving with perfect 4-0 record & 0.97 ERA through 37 innings, including 2 shutouts.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Raise Your Glasses to the Glass City (GCABT V)


I finally made it to my friend Ron Emch's Glass City APBA Baseball Tournament, down in friendly Maumee, Ohio (Toledo area), and let me tell you there was no regrets whatsoever! We had so much fun (my wife and I), that we plan to make it an annual trip.

Before I dive into all the tournament fun, I want the readers to know that I plan to break this up into two different blog pieces. First one about the tournament, and the second one about the weekend, the wife and I had, down in Maumee.

The tournament itself took place at the wonderful BG Elks Lodge, which gave 38 contestants plenty of room to compete and have fun, without feeling stuffed together or being rushed on time. The food was great as well, I had myself a grilled chicken sandwich with fries. There was coffee and donuts there as well, which fueled our athletic APBA bodies for the battles that laid ahead.

I got to meet a lot of new faces at Glass City, and see some old faces in Ron, Mel Wegman, Randy Egan, Dick Butler, Darren Schulz & the Silvis family, while meeting an old APBA friend Jeff Boeding finally in person (after plenty of Facebook interaction) at the tourney, plus at the dinner, the night before.

The tournament ran smoothly, while we were provided dice by the host, which as you all may know from reading my blog, is a huge plus to me. We should all be playing on a leveled playing field. Sure, we all come to do well with our teams, but the most important thing at these tournaments, is the fact that it's all about having fun and having good sportsmanship in the process.





Before diving into results, everyone tip your hats to Ron, who was a gracious host, while he did an excellent job monitoring the action, taking video, while making sure our games were moving along. Another thing I noticed about this tournament, that everyone was having fun, while groups of people didn't come off cliquey.

Another thing that I love is the fact that a few months back, we had a draft, in which we had a fair chance to make our team selections. The divisions were announced with plenty of heads up, helping managers think up a pre-draft strategy for their teams against their opponents. Plus it's always cool to see who you get to play.

Here is a picture of the divisions entering August 24th (Saturday)...
































I received these division setups via email, and I will admit that I did like my team's chances entering the tournament. My original first choice was the 1961 Tigers, but someone drafted them ahead of me at the time, once that guy dropped out, I never thought twice about changing teams, I really liked what the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers had to offer. I thought success in division play was probable... but all of us (that has been to numerous tournaments), know that you could take a team that you feel is a sure thing, and fall flat on your face -- I can certainly attest to that with the 1917 Chicago White Sox or the 1912 New York Giants.

Not to toot my own horn, I will keep my team's success a bit limited in this post, because it was really about the whole picture. My team actually had to endure two extra-inning games to start the tournament off. The first game was a real pleasure for me, because it was against Steve Smith, a fellow member of the Ultimate APBA League (UAL), a mail-in league that we are both apart of, this will be his first season, as the North Georgia Bravos, while it will be my 2nd season as the Traverse City Fighting Tigers. Steve is a great guy, very friendly, and I hope to see him at more APBA tournaments in the future, while I will be rooting for his Bravos team, with him being in opposite in the opposite league from me.



The 2nd extra-inning affair went 15 innings, against eventual Glass City champion Bob McCurdy and his 1982 Philadelphia Phillies, which I lost 10-9. I would not lose another game until the last game of division play, finishing 7-2. (I will go into much more of that in a different post, with my game-by-game breakdown of my team's run).

I wish I had the power to give away a good attitude award, because that award would have went to David Dawn, who brought the 1969 Oakland Athletics. Unfortunately, the A's would go 0-9 during the tournament, but you would never have known it with David smiling the entire time. That's what it is all about, to have fun at these things regardless how your team does. I was really rooting for him to pull out a victory in our bracket, but he would come up short.

I also heard of two games that the winner each scored 20+ runs, I also know that other people in my division also had multiple extra-inning games as well.

The Playoffs

My 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers earned the 1st seed of the playoffs, followed by Darren Schulz's 1963 Minnesota Twins (#2), Zack Zavela's 1995 Colorado Rockies (#3) & Jeremy Smith's 1931 New York Giants. The top four seeded teams that I just mentioned (all hosting the visiting teams) all would go on to lose in the opening round... that is just one of many amazing things that can happen in the APBA world.






























Michael Coon's 1994 Cleveland Indians took it to my Dodgers in the playoffs, 12-8. Brooklyn led 2-1 after two innings, but in the 3rd inning the Indians started to rake. Albert Belle and Sandy Alomar, Jr each hit two-run homers in the 3rd, to make it 6-2 Cleveland. The 4th inning the flood gates have been opened, and Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of poor Don Newcombe. Thome would later hit a home run in this game, plus the next game against the 1934 Yankees. My Bums would score 5 runs during the last two innings, stranding runners on 1st & 3rd in the 9th, in a late rally, which did nothing but save a little face.

Coon happened to be at the dinner the night before, but I didn't get a chance to speak to him much, with him being at the far end of the table, but I was fortunate to talk to him at the tournament. Another good guy, that definitely loves the game of APBA and the game of baseball. 



Micheal Hernandez's 1973 Atlanta Braves edged Darren Schulz and his Twins, 2-1. By the way, a shout out to brother Ken Schulz... we missed you, man! Division mate Bob McCurdy and his 1982 Philadelphia Phillies edged the Zack's 95' Rockies, 10-9 in a high-affair in Coors (go figure!). Jeremy's 1931 Giants were no match for Jeff Boeding's 1934 New York Yankees.

The 2nd Round featured Coon's 1994 Indians at the 1934 Yankees, while McCurdy's Phillies hosted Hernandez's 1973 Braves. The Yankees would go to the Glass City Championship Series by winning 5-1, as Coon's bats cooled off, while Bob and his Phils defeated the 73' Bravos, 6-3... but don't you all worry, this is not the end of Hernandez's 2019 Glass City story, as he would go on to fill in for McCurdy in the championship series. 



Jeff Boeding's 1934 Yankees won the first game at home (3-1), but the 2nd game changed the tone of the championship series with Pete Rose playing a big part in the Phillies' 3-2 13-inning victory over the Bombers. Game 3, the Phillies set the tone early, and would go on to win the game, 8-4.





I jokingly called Hernandez "The Closer", but for those who have read about other APBA Tournaments, it would not be the first or only time another manager took over a team. Craig Christian came in to relieve for Jim Welch's 1968 St. Louis Cardinals, and helped win the 2014 Chicagoland Tournament (Summer Edition), while at the Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament II, host Rich Zawadzki took over Wendell Watkins' 1969 Baltimore Orioles during the playoffs. Everyone has places to be and sometimes people have to leave early or catch their rides even.

Hernandez was pretty modest about the accomplishment, mentioning it was McCurdy's championship, and that he was happy to have helped.


We decided to take Bob's picture with Ron's camera, just in case his team won it... The good thing is that we didn't jinx him.

Bob McCurdy is one of the good guys (among many good guys in the APBA community) and certainly deserved it... Way to go, Bob!

Once again, kudos to my friend Ron Emch on a job well done, can't wait until next year!



Monday, August 19, 2019

The Final Four Standing in 1985 Debut League


I simulated the 1985 Debut League tonight, and one remarkable result is that 3 of the 4 real-life playoff teams made the postseason in the Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The only difference is that the Seattle Mariners won the A.L. West over the Kansas City Royals. The Royals finished in 2nd place, 6 games back.

I know what you are thinking, the Mariners?! I know, right!

The key to the Mariners' success was that they had 6 strong bats in Dave Henderson, Phil Bradley, Alvin Davis, Ruppert Jones, Jim Presley & rookie Danny Tartabull. They also had a good 1-4 rotation in Rick Honeycutt, Shane Rawley, Bud Black & Mike Moore, plus their bullpen's top half was solid in closer Ed Nunez, Ed Vande Berg & Matt Young. Mark Langston (4-7, 5.02 ERA) struggled and was relegated to bullpen duties.

Bradley was the offensive star for the M's, finishing 3rd in the American League with a .349 batting average & 3rd in WAR (8.9), while smacking 30 home runs & 112 RBI. Bradley also showed some speed on the base paths with 25 steals.

The Blue Jays were a beast, winning 109 games, thanks largely to Jesse Barfield (.304, 42 HR & 131 RBI) and Dave Stieb (22-8, 3.11 ERA, 194 K & 1.16 WHIP in 263.1 IP) on the mound. George Bell and Lloyd Moseby were no slouches as well. Bell led the A.L. with 132 RBI (just one more than Barfield), while batting .300 and hitting 27 bombs. Moseby batted .298 with 28 HR & 89 RBI, while stealing 44 bases and leading the A.L. in runs (138).

One of the Jays that came into the season quietly, but exited with a huge season was lead-off man Mitch Webster, who has a solid all-around season, batting .273 with 19 HR & 109 RBI, plus 35 steals & 19 triples, to go along with 32 doubles, 182 hits & 104 runs (70 extra-base hits), while compiling 309 total bases.

Another Jay that shouldn't go overlooked was Mark Eichhorn who converted 31 of 34 save opportunities, posted a microscopic 1.03 ERA, while posting 9.8 K/9 & 0.84 WHIP through 68.1 innings.

Before moving on to the National League. The Batting title winners were your two usual suspects in the 1980's in Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn. Boggs nearly batted .400, batting .393 for the season, topping George Brett's 1980 run of .390, while being the highest batting average for a single-season since Ted Williams batted .406 back in 1941. Gwynn edged Lee Lacy's .341 batting average, by hitting .346 for the Padres.

By the way, Boggs' Boston finished with 103 wins, but still 6 games back.

The National League batting statistics were significantly lower than the American League's, as evident of Eric Davis's league-leading .890 OPS, compared to where the A.L. had at least 7 players with over a .940 OPS for the season. Davis also led the N.L. with 40 HR, while Andy Van Slyke (of the Cardinals) won the N.L. RBI title (114).

I think its worth mentioning that Atlanta's Brook Jacoby was 2nd in the N.L. in OPS (.890) and Slugging (.521). Jacoby was one of the more productive A.L. third basemen during those days, from about 1985-1987, but you wouldn't have known it, because he was playing with Cleveland. He was named to 2 All-Star Games in his day.

The St. Louis Cardinals won the N.L. East with a 101-61 record, while the New York Mets with their high-profile rotation finished 9 games back in 2nd place. You may remember that the Mets' rotation was stacked with Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Tom Seaver & Ron Darling. Entering the season, Jerry Koosman made the rotation over Darling, but Seaver struggled badly and was demoted to relief duties, while the Mets would plug Rick Aguilera in the 4th slot of the rotation by the end of the season.



Gooden (17-9, 2.60 ERA), Scott (16-10, 2.26 ERA) & Ryan (17-9, 3.08 ERA) were as good as expected, but their lineup was nowhere as talented as the Cards' lineup.

The Cardinals' lineup was excellent from top-to-bottom, not to mention plenty of Gold Glove talent in the fielding department as well. The lineup boasted Willie McGee, Keith Hernandez, Andy Van Slyke, Terry Pendleton, Tom Herr, Jose Cruz, Garry Templeton & Terry Kennedy.

Their rotation was also talented in Steve Carlton (16-10, 3.32 ERA), Danny Cox (17-6, 2.73 ERA), Jerry Reuss (12-4, 3.18 ERA), and John Denny (17-14, 3.86 ERA).

The Dodgers won the N.L. West as expected, winning 101 games. Bob Welch (15-7) won the N.L. ERA title (1.76), while teammate Rick Rhoden finished 5th in ERA (2.59) while winning over 20 games (21-7 record). Fernando Valezuela (17-10, 3.45 ERA), Alejandro Pena (11-5, 2.30 ERA) and Rick Sutcliffe (5-1, 3.01 ERA) all contributed to their starting pitching.

L.A.'s lineup lacked production, led by Pedro Guerrero (.290, 20 HR & 102 RBI), Jeffrey Leonard (.330, 15 HR & 67 RBI) & Mike Scioscia (.291, 10 HR & 61 RBI).

Dodgers will have to lean on their rotation and hope that they can shut down the Cards' bats in the National League Championship Series.

Over in the American League Championship Series, it will be a battle between the two 1977 Expansion Teams.



Other Interesting Stats from the season...

  • The worst two MLB teams were the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros at 56-106, with the San Francisco Giants (59 wins) and the Detroit Tigers (64 wins) not far behind.
  • The real-life champion Royals may not have moved on towards the promised land, but George Brett had a excellent season regardless, leading the A.L. in WAR (10.9), Slugging (.620),  OPS (1.056), OPS+ (185), Total Bases (380), Extra-Base Hits (84) & WOBA (.454). Brett finished 2nd in the A.L. with a .372 batting average while hitting 30 HR & 110 RBI. In many ways, he may be the front runner for the A.L. Most Valuable Player Award.
  • Tom Brunasky hit 41 HR & 120 RBI for the California Angels.
  • The Twins' Kirby Puckett finished 2nd in hits (237), 3rd in Batting Avg (.342), while hitting 89 RBI, scoring 111 runs & stealing 34 bases.
  • Not a surprise, Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics, led the A.L. with 75 stolen bases. Willie Wilson (64) and Gary Pettis (60) were not too far behind, the big surprise may have been Kirk Gibson stealing 54 bases for Detroit.
  • The Royals' Ken Phelps hit 37 HR & 105 RBI, but only batted .211 for the season.
  • The Angels' Mike Witt led all A.L. pitchers in WAR (7.2), ERA (2.72), Innings Pitched (287.1), complete games (14), WHIP (1.09) & Quality Starts (27) -- all while striking out 212 batters (ranked 2nd) & winning 15 games.
  • Roger Clemens won the strikeout title (241), while sporting a 20-5 record.
  • The Phillies' Ryne Sandberg may not have led in any major categories, but had a well-rounded season: .321 BA, 21 HR, 95 RBI, 208 hits, 98 runs & 39 stolen bases, all while sporting a .853 OPS & .372 OBP.
  • Sandberg's teammate Mike Schmidt hit 35 HR & 104 RBI with a .841 OPS.
  • Andre Dawson (.297, 28 HR, 107 RBI & 26 SB / .853 OPS) and Tim Raines (.323 BA, 131 runs, 198 hits & league-leading 98 steals) were the Expos' studs.
  • Mike Scott (16-10, 2.26 ERA & 204 K) for the Mets. Scott was 2nd in both ERA & strikeouts.
  • Dwight Gooden led all N.L. pitchers in WAR (9.5) & strikeouts (277), while going 17-9. 
  • Reds' closer Jay Howell led N.L. with 37 saves, while posting a 2.95 ERA.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Debut League 1985



I know that I mentioned it before, but the great thing about Out of the Park Baseball (which I am playing OOTP 20) is that you can do simulations very quick, slow, or any rate you feel comfortable with.

For some of my readers, you will remember my idea of doing season simulations based on where Major League players made their MLB debuts with. 

For example, Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey, Johnny Bench & Hal McRae will play for the Cincinnati Reds for their entire careers, because that is the team they made their debuts with. While other Big Red Machine staples like Joe Morgan (Astros) and George Foster (Giants) will play elsewhere. 

I have done a couple seasons with the 1920's (which I do plan to go back to), but wanted to do the era that inspired me to do it in the first place. Since I was a teen, I remember thinking the debut idea with my early edition of APBA cards in the 1990's. I thought then, "Wow! Could you imagine the New York Mets' pitching staff in the mid 1980's with Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Mike Scott & Ron Darling"?!

Of course, with expansion, players like Ruppert Jones will play entire careers with the Seattle Mariners, and not their actual MLB debuts, any player that was on those initial expansion years will be playing their careers for those expansion teams. Ruppert made his actual debut with the Royals in 1976. The reason for this is pretty obvious... Otherwise the expansion teams would have a difficult time fielding a team, which they already have a hard time doing (even with this rule in place) in the early years of those franchises' existence.


Here is a list of each franchise's interesting players and combinations, thanks to their MLB debuts for 1985...

ATLANTA BRAVES
  • Lead-off man RF - Brett Butler.
  • Veteran outfielder Dusty Baker.
  • Slugger Darrell Evans, who led the A.L. with 40 home runs in 1985 -- Now add him in the middle of the lineup with Dale Murphy and Bob Horner.
  • The old knuckle-baller Phil Niekro is back with the Braves.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
  • Bobby Grich and Doug DeCinces are with the O's, instead of the Halos.
  • Don Baylor, skills diminishing, still hit 23 HR & 91 RBI in 1985.
  • Orioles rotation: Storm Davis, Mike Boddicker, Mike Flanagan, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez
BOSTON RED SOX
  • Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn are back with their original team.
  • Pretty solid rotation in Roger Clemens, John Tudor, Bob Ojeda, Oil Can Boyd & Bruce Hurst.
  • Team closer Don Aase, who had 14 saves in 85' & 34 saves in 86'.
CALIFORNIA ANGELS
  • Veteran star Carney Lansford.
  • The Angels have Tom Brunasky during the middle of his power production years.
  • Top 3 in rotation: Mike Witt, Kirk McCaskill & Frank Tanana.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
  • Chet Lemon and Brian Downing, two players who became bigger names elsewhere.
  • Hall of Fame Closer Goose Gossage leads a bullpen featuring Terry Forster, Tim Stoddard & Juan Agosto.
CHICAGO CUBS
  • Joe Carter takes his 10 years of 100+ RBI's to Wrigley Field.
  • Andre Thornton is at tail-end of career, while Mel Hall is just beginning.
  • Killer bullpen includes Willie Hernandez, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, Donnie Moore & Dennis Lamp.
CINCINNATI REDS
  • Veterans Dave Conception, Hal McRae, Ken Griffey & Dan Driessen join youngster Eric Davis in the lineup.
  • Charlie Leibrandt, Mario Soto, Tom Browning and two decent years in Jay Tibbs (85' & 86') are slated 1-4 in the rotation.
  • Stellar bullpen in Jay Howell, John Franco, Tom Hume, Jeff Russell & Ron Robinson.
CLEVELAND INDIANS
  • Buddy Bell, Von Hayes & Chris Chambliss all checker the lineup.
  • Dennis Eckersley and Tommy John head the rotation.
  • Consistent reliever Steve Farr is at the dawn of his career.
DETROIT TIGERS
  • The usual suspects Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson & Lance Parrish are all in Motown, while joined by Tiger originals Steve Kemp, Jason Thompson & future star Howard Johnson.
HOUSTON ASTROS
  • Veterans Mike Easler and Cliff Johnson are the pop in a relatively weak lineup.
  • Joaquin Andujar and Floyd Bannister head the Stros' rotation.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
  • Ken Phelps bats cleanup, who hit 108 home runs in between 1985 and 1988 -- while he averaged 34 HR & 81 RBI per 162 games, during this period.
  • Solid rotation in Bret Saberhagen, Danny Jackson, Mark Gubicza, Atlee Hammaker, and Dennis Leonard
  • Pretty good bullpen arms in Dan Quisenberry, Aurelio Lopez, Mark Huismann & Bob McClure.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  • The Dodgers' rotation is so good in Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Bob Welch, Rick Rhoden & Rick Sutcliffe, that pitchers Doyle Alexander, Don Sutton, Charlie Hough & Sid Fernandez have been relegated to the bullpen.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
  • Kevin Bass and Darrell Porter joins a productive lineup that features Paul Molitor, Robin Yount & old 1970's names such as Gorman Thomas and Sixto Lezcano.
MINNESOTA TWINS
  • Hall of Famer Rod Carew enters last season of career.
  • Outfielder Gary Ward will be part of a lineup that hosts plenty of dependable Twinkies in Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Greg Gagne, Graig Nettles & Tim Teufel.
  • Rotation is headed by Bert Blyleven, Frank Viola and Mark Portugal.
MONTREAL EXPOS
  • Prospect Andres Galarraga joins Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Larry Parrish & Tim Wallach.
  • Pitcher Bryn Smith is in 2nd year of a underrated, good 8-year run that witnessed Smith winning 81 games, earning a 3.51 ERA & 1.172 WHIP during that span.
NEW YORK YANKEES
  • Lineup doesn't feature much after Don Mattingly, Steve Balboni & Mike Pagliarulo.
  • Ron Guidry is the ace, followed by pitchers-on-the-rise in Jose Rijo & Jim Deshaies.
  • Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, Gene Nelson & Tippy Martinez sport a pretty good pen.
NEW YORK METS
  • Best rotation in the game: Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Tom Seaver & Jerry Koosman. Emergency starter Tim Leary sits in bullpen.
  • Excellent bullpen in Jeff Reardon, Jesse Orosco, Greg A. Harris, Juan Berenguer & Calvin Schiraldi.
  • Hubie Brooks is in early stage of his strong production years, which spanned from 1984-1991.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  • Lineup features Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson
  • Dwayne Murphy (20 HR) has last decent year, while Mike Davis breaks out in 1985, batting .287 with 24 HR & 82 RBI for year 1 of a good three-year run.
  • Future Star Jose Canseco makes MLB debut.
  • Rollie Fingers enters last season of his HOF career.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
  • Strong infield bats in Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Julio Franco & Keith Moreland.
  • Other supporting veteran bats include: Bob Dernier, Ozzie Virgil & Lonnie Smith.
  • Reliever Mark Davis is just emerging.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
  • Pretty good all-around team in all areas.
  • Lineup features Dave Parker, Tony Armas, Willie Randolph, Tony Pena & Al Oliver (final year).
  • John Candelaria, Jose DeLeon, Ed Whitson, Pascual Perez & Bruce Kison rounds out the rotation. 
  • Pretty good pen in Kent Tekulve, Gene Garber, Rod Scurry, Don Robinson & Al Holland.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
  • Excellent top 4 to the lineup in Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn, Kevin McReynolds & Dave Winfield -- with 3 of them going to the Hall of Fame.
  • Durable & decent rotation in Dave Dravecky, Dennis Rasmussen, Eric Show, Mark Thurmond & Andy Hawkins.
  • Gary Lucas & Bob Shirley are strong bullpen arms, but the rest of the pen is a wash.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
  • Chili Davis and Jack Clark are the meat of the lineup. Davis has many big years ahead, while Clark's huge 1987 season (.286, 35 HR, 106 RBI & 1.055 OPS) is approaching.
  • One good year left in George Frazier (21 HR & .792 OPS), while Dan Gladden is just getting started.
  • Bob Knepper and Dave LaPoint are the only decent starting pitchers for San Fran.
  • Bullpen stars the trio of Scott Garrelts, Greg Minton & Gary Lavelle.
SEATTLE MARINERS
  • Youngsters Mark Langston and Mike Moore head a rotation that features veterans Rick Honeycutt, Bud Black & Shane Rawley.
  • Rising stars Danny Tartabull and Jim Presley joins Alvin Davis, 85' breakout Phil Bradley, Dave Henderson & Ruppert Jones in the lineup.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  • Solid rotation headed by Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, which features 1983 N.L. Cy Young Award winner John Denny, Danny Cox, Bob Forsch & Jerry Reuss
  • Lineup is full of talent in Willie McGee, Keith Hernandez, Andy Van Slyke, Tom Herr, Terry Pendleton, Jose Cruz, Terry Kennedy and Garry Templeton.
  • The pen is not good, with rookie Todd Worrell emerging onto scene.
TEXAS RANGERS
  • Pete O'Brien and Oddibe McDowell were stars.
  • Bill Madlock, Roy Smalley & Jeff Burroughs are at the twilight of their careers.
  • Tom Henke is the Rangers' closer.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
  • The lineup features Blue Jays originals that were staples in the Jays' 1980's lineups -- starring Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Tony Fernandez, Willie Upshaw & Ernie Whitt.
  • Dave Stieb and Jim Clancy are 1-2 in the rotation, while Jim Acker will get a shot as the closer.
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