Friday, July 19, 2019

Early Breakdown of Each Franchise in 1978 A.L. Replay



Here is a early report on each franchise's early 1978 storylines through April 21st / 22nd of the season.



Baltimore Orioles (6-7 / A.L. East)

The Orioles have yet to string together two consecutive victories at any point in the season, while their biggest losing streak has only been two straight losses. The O's are only batting .212 as a collective. Their pitching strength is their starting pitching, while their bullpen has been horrendous.

  • Eddie Murray had a good start to the season, but cooled off for a good stretch, but recently has gone 3-for-9 to lift his average up to .269 with 2 HR & 9 RBI (.771 OPS). 
  • Lee May has been the O's better hitter of late, after a sluggish start (6-for-29 with no HR), in which a double header got May jump-started. May hit a walk-off homer in Game 1 of the double-header, while hitting another home run in the 2nd game; May has batted 6-for-18 (.333 with 2 HR) since sluggish start, lifting his batting average (to .255) & his OPS (to .753).
  • Mike Flanagan, coming off a shutout, leads the Orioles with a 2.05 ERA, sporting a 2-0 record, while not allowing a home run through 26.1 innings. Flanagan has allowed 14 walks though.
  • Other starting pitchers over 16 IP: Jim Palmer (2.16 ERA), Scott McGregor (3.18 ERA, plus 2 saves) & Dennis Martinez (2-1, 3.47 ERA & 19 K).
  • Bullpen trio of Don Stanhouse, Tippy Martinez & Joe Kerrigan: Combined for 2-3 record, 2 blown saves & 1 SV through 16 ER (8.31 ERA) allowed through 17.1 innings.


Boston Red Sox (8-5 / A.L. East)

For all the offense loaded into Boston's lineup, the team has under-performed for the majority of the month, but has been starting to wake up. The Red Sox' good timely pitching has been the major reason for the team's success so far (2.59 Team ERA), with 3 complete games & 2 shutouts.
  • Mike Torrez (Grade C-Y) has been pitching like a solid Grade A&C, with a 3-0 record, microscopic 0.88 ERA, 2 shutouts & 12 K through 30.2 innings.
  • Jim Rice was quiet through Boston's first 10 games, with no home runs. Rice woke up with a 3 home runs, 6 hits & 8 RBI during a two-game period (Apr 20th-21st) -- Now sporting .289, 3 HR & 13 RBI (.780 OPS) numbers for the season.
  • Jerry Remy was Boston's top hitter, leading the league in hitting (.448) through April 15th, while still leading the team with a .333 batting average, while getting on base at a .407 clip.
  • Dennis Eckersley (Grade A-YZ) has been victim of the bad luck bug, with a 0-3 record & 4.91 ERA through 22 innings of work.


California Angels (9-4 / A.L. West)

The Halos were the talk of all of baseball during the first week of the season, jumping off to a 7-0 record, but has cooled off since, losing 4 of 6 games, which included a 2-1 series loss to the 2nd year Mariners. The batters have cooled off of late, while the pitchers have been dinged up of late, but their overall numbers (.262 batting average & 2.84 team ERA) have been overall good.
  • Don Baylor (1.121 OPS) has been solid, hitting .404, 3 HR & 14 RBI with 21 hits & 6 BB, which have contributed to his exceptional .467 on-base percentage.
  • Bobby Grich, another Angel with an 1.000 OPS, has been quiet of late, but still is batting .360 with 1 HR & 9 RBI, with 13 bases on balls.
  • Nolan Ryan (2-0) is everything you expect from Nolan -- Leading the team with 30 strikeouts, while sporting a 2.31 ERA and not allowing a HR as of yet through 23.1 innings.
  • Frank Tanana (2-1) is 2nd on the team in ERA (2.38), and is one of three starters who each have a shutout (Ryan & Knapp are the other two).
  • Chris Knapp (1-1) has 21 strikeouts, while only allowing 1 walk through 21.1 innings, while leading Angels starting pitchers with a .891 WHIP. 


Cleveland Indians (1-9 / A.L. East)

The Tribe's hitters (.188 AVG) have not showed up at any point during the first three weeks of this season, while the pitching showed up early in the season has faltered since -- faltering to a 5.12 ERA. 
  • Don Hood has a 2.40 ERA through 3 games, 2 GS & 15 innings, with 9 strikeouts and a 1.000 WHIP for the season. Hood had a no-hitter broken up by Jim Rice on his April 10th outing, in which he allowed 1 hit in 9 innings of work, while striking out 7 Red Sox & walking 1 -- while the Indians' bullpen couldn't prevent Boston from winning in extras, 2-1.
  • Mike Paxton has pitched 2 games of long relief, posting a 1.13 ERA with 5 K through 8 IP.


Chicago White Sox (3-7 / A.L. West)

The White Sox are currently in the midst of a 5-game losing streak, and have had very little to cheer about. Their highlight of the young season would be the team rallying from a 5-1, 7th inning deficit, in which the team scored 5 runs during the last three innings, as Bobby Bonds delivered a walk-off 9th inning home run to defeat the Blue Jays. 

The White Sox, three days later, showed what their offense is capable of again, with a 4-run 9th inning late rally in a game that the Yankees' Ron Guidry dominated in (the previous 8 innings), only to fall short in a 6-5 loss. 

The White Sox are only batting .198 for the season.
  • Lamar Johnson leads the Chisox in hits (11) & batting average (.297). The team's next best hitters are Soderholm (.250) and Chet Lemon (.231).
  • Bobby Bonds and Eric Soderholm each lead the team with 3 HR, while Lemon has the team's other 2 HR. The rest of the team has yet to hit a long ball.


Detroit Tigers (7-3 / A.L. East)

The Tigers sit tied in first with the Milwaukee Brewers (9-5), in which the real-life 1978 Tigers were in first place the majority of the time in the A.L. East from the beginning of the season through May 21st. Many people probably don't remember that, while they would go on to finish in 5th place, but with a 86-76 record.

Their APBA counterparts are doing it at both ends of the baseball spectrum in batting and pitching. They are currently leading the league, batting .294 with a .762 OPS, while also leading the league in ERA (2.30), although they are not whiffing many opponents with their arms (22 K in 10 games, with more walks allowed at 29).


  • Ron LeFlore leads the team in hits (19), batting average (.422) & stolen bases (7), while ranking 3rd in RBI (7).
  • Rusty Staub "Le Grand Orange" had 4 consecutive games with a home run, between April 11th-15th. 
  • Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, done for the season, pitched incredibly during his three 1978 Replay starts: 3-0, 1.64 ERA, 22 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 8 K & 0.682 WHIP.
  • John Hiller has been a perfect 4-for-4 in Save opportunities, allowing only 1 hit & no runs through 5 innings.
  • Rookies Alan Trammell (.455) and Lou Whitaker (.375) are batting a combined .407 this season (22-for-54), with 15 RBI & 15 runs scored.


Kansas City Royals (9-2 / A.L. West) 

The Royals just had their 7-game winning streak snapped, while they are doing it on both sides of the ball. A well-rounded team that is so good, that you can see exactly why they went to a third straight American League Championship Series during 1978.

The team is currently batting .261, while their pitching has a 2.51 team ERA.
  • George Brett is batting .360 with 8 RBI, 18 hits, 10 runs, 3 SB & .867 OPS -- Doing really great for what was a bit of a down-year for Brett in 78' (.294 AVG, 9 HR & .806 OPS).
  • Amos Otis was the team's offensive MVP in 78', and his APBA card is definitely illustrating that success, with a hot start: .412 AVG, 2 HR, 14 RBI & 11 BB (1.212 OPS & .565 OBP). 
  • The workhorse Dennis Leonard is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA & 27 strikeouts through 34 innings & 4 starts this season.



Milwaukee Brewers (9-5 / A.L. East)

1978 was the season that the Milwaukee Brewers finally broke through to the winning side, with their franchise's 1st winning season at 93-69. The Brewers finished 3rd, but their Pythagorean Record has them as a 97-win team. I expect Brewers to definitely be in the mix for the division title by the end of the season, if not, it would be a huge disappointment to their fans.

The Brewers' lineup is strong from top to bottom, although they may be underachieving at the moment (their .721 OPS definitely could be higher). Milwaukee also has a strong bench. Their pitching (2.62 ERA) has allowed the 5th fewest runs (39) in the American League, at 2.8 runs per game.
  • Mike Caldwell pitched a no-hitter against the New York Yankees (Game #88 / April 22nd), which followed a three-inning relief win against New York about 10 days before that. Caldwell, in real-life was a bit of a Yankees killer, with a 3.05 career ERA against Yankees (3.81 Career ERA) & 2.54 ERA at Yankee Stadium.
  • Larry Hisle is batting .327 with 5 HR & 12 RBI, while drawing 7 walks & scoring 11 times; Season's OPS sits at 1.021, while he has a .403 On-Base Percentage.
  • Moose Haas has been outstanding considering his Grade D-KZ card. Haas has a 3.24 ERA & 1.160 WHIP with 29 strikeouts through 25 innings & 4 starts. Haas has been unlikely though when it comes down to his win-loss record, which sits at 1-3.
  • Paul Molitor has struggled big time early on, batting only .152 (7-for-46) with only 2 RBI -- while he sports a lousy .496 OPS.


Minnesota Twins (8-9 / A.L. West)

The Twins were nothing special in 1978. Their pitching ranked 10th in the A.L., while they had a few brights spots such as Dave Goltz, Geoff Zahn & Mike Marshall. The team's batting was 4th that season, although I would never consider their lineup anywhere near the top four.

The team only won 73 games in 1978, but their Pythagorean says they dropped the ball, and should have been more of a 80-82 team. I have the Twins playing better at this part of the schedule at 8-9, when they were 6-11 at this point.


  • Dan Ford has been playing really well (then again this also involves 9 games against the Mariners) . Ford is batting .352 with 16 RBI, and leads the team in hits (25), which is even more than Carew's 23. 
  • Although Rod Carew is batting .315, it has been a quiet .315, with an underachieving .729 OPS (compared to his real-life .853 OPS)... so it's good to know that he can only improve from here on out.
  • Dave Goltz has been excellent, showing off a 3-0 record and 1.39 ERA to boot. Goltz also has a outstanding 0.742 WHIP, despite 10 walks. Goltz' ERA has not been effected too much by the 4 long balls he has allowed in 4 starts. Goltz has 2 complete games & a shutout, while logging 32.1 innings.


New York Yankees (7-6 / A.L. East)

During 1978, the Yankees won their first back-to-back World Series in 16 years (their last being 1961-1962). The Yankees would go on to win 100 games, catching the Boston Red Sox for the A.L. East Division Title (thanks to Bucky Dent). 

The Yankees may only be 7-6 at the moment, while just coming off a performance where they were no-hit by Milwaukee's Caldwell... but they are at least 1 game better than where their MLB counterparts sat at this point. 

Although the team has lost 3 of their last 5 games, the Yankees should be a championship contending team all year around, even without Billy [Martin], who will be fired by the end of July 27th.

The team's offense (.247 BA & .647 OPS) has been subdued, and will likely break out of its shell soon, while the team's ERA (3.18) is equaled to it's real-life season total. 
  • Graig Nettles is the only offensive star even worth reporting at this moment -- batting .325 (which leads the team), with 13 hits, 4 RBI & a team-best .828 OPS.
  • Ron Guidry (Grade A&C-KZ) was amazing in 1978, and his APBA card has been showing that as well. Guidry is currently 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA, 30 K, 13 BB & 0.825 WHIP through 26.2 innings.
  • Not to be outdone by Guidry is Ed Figueroa (Grade A-Z), who is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA & a 0.826 WHIP through 23 innings.
  • The Yankees bullpen (1.95 ERA) has allowed only 6 earned runs through 27.2 innings. Rich Gossage is 0-1, 1.13 ERA, with 7 K, 7 BB & a Save through 8 innings.


Oakland Athletics (6-7 / A.L. West)

The Athletics jumped out to a surprise 14-3 start in the real deal 1978 season. I have the team with 4 more losses through 13 games, which is more accurate in repeating the team's season fate.

The A's have been hitting really well (.289 AVG, 2nd only to Detroit), but will likely fall back to earth, since their .245 batting average in 1978 was an American League worst.


  • Gary Alexander has 8 HR already this season through 13 games. He only hit 10 for the Athletics, until being traded to the Cleveland Indians, in which he would end the season with 27 home runs. Alexander also happens to be hitting .372 with 16 RBI & 1.438 OPS for the 78' A.L. Replay.
  • Gary Thomasson's card is also outplaying his MLB counterpart -- batting .373 with 2 HR & 7 ribbies.
  • The theme of overachieving continues... Miguel Dilone leads the team in hitting (.417), hits (20) and stolen bases (10).
  • The Athletics' rotation combination of Rick Langford, Matt Keough, John Henry Johnson & Alan Wirth, are 6-3 with a 3.13 ERA & 42 strikeouts through 72 innings.


Seattle Mariners (7-11 / A.L. West)

The Mariners entered their 2nd season of existence during the 78' season, while they will go on to only two winning seasons (1991 & 1993) prior to 1995. The 1995 MLB Season would prove to be pivotal in the fate of the Mariners franchise in Seattle, as they won the A.L. West in a one-game playoff vs. California, then went on to win the ALDS against the Yankees -- which would save baseball in Seattle.

The Mariners have won 4 of their last 6 games during the replay.
  • Bruce Bochte has been the M's offensive MVP, batting .366 with 3 HR, 18 RBI, 26 hits, 10 runs & 9 doubles to go along with a 1.038 OPS (.418 OBP).
  • Rupert Jones is batting .324 (22 hits) with 1 HR, 10 RBI & 10 BB (.410 OBP).
  • Dick Pole (Grade D) has been a surprise so far -- 2-1, 2.38 ERA, 14 K / 6 BB & 1.235 WHIP through 22.2 innings & 4 starts.


Texas Rangers (4-6 / A.L. West)

The Rangers are not currently playing like a Rangers team that is coming off a 94-win season in 1977 or the 1978 season, in which they would go on to finish in 2nd place (tied with California, 5 games back) at 87-75. 

The Rangers' bats have struggled so far, as the team's .185 batting average hangs below the Mendoza Line. Things may get better, once they start playing weaker competition, they have had challenging opponents so far in the Yankees, Red Sox & Tigers.
  • Richie Zisk has overall been their lone star, leading the team in hitting (.314), hits (11), home runs (4), while tied with Al Oliver for team lead in RBI with 7.
  • Bert Campaneris has been playing above par, batting .276 with a HR, 6 steals, while tied for 2nd in hits (8).
  • Jon Matlack (Grade A-YZ) has been solid as expected: 1-2, 2.03 ERA, 20 K / 7 BB, 0.713 WHIP & complete game in 3 starts / 26.2 innings.


Toronto Blue Jays (5-8 / A.L. East)

The 2nd year Blue Jays would finish 7th in 1978, 10 games behind Cleveland, and would not experience a postseason berth until 1985 -- although 10 years ahead of Seattle, their 1977 expansion brother.

The Jays are not doing much on either side of the ball, batting only .218, while posting an American League worst 4.71.
  • Roy Howell currently leads the Jays in hitting (.320), hits (16), while tied with 3 other teammates in home runs (2). Howell also has a team-leading .882 OPS & .382 OBP.
  • John Mayberry trails just behind Howell in overall production -- batting .273 with 2 HR & 6 RBI, which includes a .873 OPS & .373 OBP.
  • Reliever Tom Murphy (Grade C*-Z) has been a tough match-up for opposing batters so far. Murphy is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA & 0.943 WHIP through 11.2 innings / 8 game appearances.


Monday, July 15, 2019

A Fighting Chance for the Future (Latest on T.C. Fighting Tigers / UAL)

It's the UAL Offseason, and we are in the middle of the 2019 UAL Draft, which involves 2018 MLB Season APBA cards.

There is plenty of changes coming my way for the Traverse City Fighting Tigers. We entered the off-season knowing we had to shred about $40 million off our payroll.

This draft started off really well for me, I drafted Cardinals' starting pitcher Jack Flaherty 16th overall, I was hoping for either him or Shane Bieber, but was nervous that I would not get a chance at either, but it all worked out. Flaherty at 16th overall was a steal.

I love my APBA bud, Ken Schulz (who I happened to acquire this team from), he made the deals possible that would result in my playoff berth and 102 win season, but the deals meant a lot of draft picks from the 2018 UAL Draft (I didn't pick until 8th Rd in that draft), while lacking a 2nd Rd & 4th Rd pick in this draft.

So after Flaherty, came my 3rd Rd pick, I was on the fence in picking between a few players ranging from 1B-Rowdy Tellez to some high end relievers, but wasn't comfortable with any of my choices. The Ohio Cougars came a calling for the pick, and in return I got a 2020 2nd Rd pick, a 5th Rd 2019 pick (#99 overall) and scrap-heap utility player Kelby Tomlinson (for position coverage). He got his reliever in the Angels' Felix Pena, who by the way, was just recently was part of that emotional combined no-hitter for the Angels, on the day they happened to be honoring the late Tyler Skaggs.

I put shortstop Freddy Galvis and reliever Bud Norris up on the trade block, and started getting hit with offers for each or them, and for both of them together. I got two good offers, and was worried for a little bit that I would lose out on both. I made an offer to the Sumner County Sounds for IF-Yairo Munoz, offering both Galvis and Norris. I missed out on drafting Munoz, hoping that he would to fall to the late 3rd Rd for me, but he was taken in the late 2nd round instead -- So I thought maybe, I could acquire him still.

Meanwhile, another team the Seven Cities Yard Goats, made an offer for Freddy Galvis, a 2nd Rd 2020 pick. The league has 24 teams, and we don't cut players prior to the draft, so a 2nd round in normal drafts may seem to be a lot for Galvis... but not in the UAL Draft. I have found that after two UAL Drafts, that the talent drops off significantly after the 2nd Round. So the chance of getting a 2nd Rd for Galvis would be a great chance towards improving the future. Galvis is currently having a career year in the Majors, but has no place at shortstop with Jean Segura owning the starting job.

It should be noted that my offer for Munoz was actually a counter-offer on my part, his offer was a good one which involved a 2020 3rd Rd & 6th Rd picks with either Chris Owings or Lucas Duda -- Owings and Duda, obviously throw-ins. Owings would have definitely helped in position coverage, but definitely not in the production area. Munoz didn't fall through though, and I don't blame him, especially since the Sumner County owner also happens to be a Cardinals fan.

The next morning, I acquired the 2nd Rd 2020 pick from Seven Cities, not wanting to hesitate another moment and lose the possibility of owning three 2nd Rd 2020 picks.

This still left Norris seeking a team. Once again, Sumner County offered a 2020 5th Rd pick for Norris, but I already had two previous 5th Rd offers by two other teams in acquiring him as well, and both teams would likely do worse than his team, so they had the advantage there.

I eventually traded Norris (Grade B*-X) to the Ephrata Diamond Dogs, my division rival, who is likely to compete for the postseason again. Norris would serve good for a contending now team, because Norris has yet to appear during the 2019 MLB Season. Along with the acquired 2020 5th Rd pick, I acquired NC' [No-Card 2018] starting pitcher Aaron Brooks.

I now own three 2020 2nd Rd picks, along with my 1st Rd 2020 pick, which will likely fall in place of being a top 5 pick, since my team should be among the worse. The team could see a 50-win decrease, with most of my 2018 roster having down years.

Two of my starting pitchers, Jimmy Nelson and Taijuan Walker were lost for the season, due to arm injuries, while Jeff Samardzija and Josh Tomlin fall to Grade D status. Rich Hill decreases from a Grade B-XY to a C-XZ.

The pitching is not the only area that got hit...

Marwin Gonzalez falls back down to earth from his outlier 2017 season to his career on-par 2018 -- Although I never benefited from his 2017 MLB Season, with Marwin batting around his career averages in most categories for me.

Domingo Santana will suffer a power outage as well, with a down year in 2018, to go along with reduced playing time. Santana was clutch for me last season, plus he out-homered his card with 35 home runs (leading the team) last season. Domingo is having a solid bounce-back in 2019, but I could do without his league-leading 121 strikeouts.

I was never a huge fan of Justin Bour, but he happened to have a good card for my UAL team last season, after hitting .289 with 25 HR for the Marlins in 2017. Then came a dramatic drop off in 2018, with a career-low .227 batting average, while playing for both Miami and the Phillies. I questioned Bour signing with the Angels, despite the fact that they had Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales already taking up the DH and 1B slots along with another teammate -- crowded players at positions, which of course resulted in limited & unsuccessful playing time (currently hitting .183 over 45 games). So first base is quickly becoming a team need, I thankfully can plug Buster Posey and Marwin for now, but that need will have to be addressed. I will likely be in the Pete Alonso sweepstakes... just saying.

Third Base is also a place of concern, considering the future.

Next year's draft will be the telling point, and I feel I am in control of my team's destiny more by that team. Having 4 draft picks inside the top 48 picks, gives the team much flexibility. I can have the option of trading 2 of those 3 2nd Round picks up for another 1st round pick, I can use all three picks on players, or be able to package those picks in a trade or two as well.

Only time will tell how it all plays out.


Friday, July 12, 2019

2018-19 UAL Fighting Tigers Stats Breakdown

My Traverse City Fighting Tigers finished 101-59. The Fighting Tigers lost their 1st Round UAL Playoff Series to the Crooked River Carp. We were playing the 2017 MLB Season cards via APBA for the Ultimate APBA League (UAL), as the season goes from October to March, playoffs in April.
We are currently drafting for the 2018 MLB Season APBA cards in the 2019 UAL Draft.

My team will definitely be much different in performance this upcoming next season, since many of my up-players from 2017, will take a downward turn in 2018 (2019-2020 UAL Season). We use a salary system with the real players' salaries, and I will also need to cut an additional $30 million of its payroll from my calculations.

Here is the player by player comparison of their UAL stats compared to their real-life MLB stats.

Position Players










Pitchers


More to come, on player moves, with the UAL Draft currently taking place.

Friday, July 5, 2019

3 Weeks Later



I have been very busy of late, but things are finally starting to slow down. It was probably the first time in a long time (or first time ever), that I only put out two posts for a single month. I still have many of the posts that I plan to do, as mentioned in my June 7th post.

I have not rolled any games via APBA in some time, I actually had a great jump start on the 1978 A.L. Replay, in which I got so far ahead that I was using a Microsoft Word file as a write-up queue. I was trying not to get ahead of my brother Chris on the National League side of the 78' MLB Replay. Now I only have a few write-ups in the queue, while he has passed me on games played, while he is almost two days ahead of me. It should be noted that the National League have two fewer teams, and that will mean less games overall for him to play.

My pace has slowed down incredibly from the rate I was playing at. As noted in my May 9th post (1978 Brothers In Dice: Out of the Gate), I rolled 47 games, including write-ups and stat-keeping between Easter (4/20) and May 9th. I have since rolled 41 games, have all the stats caught up, while needing to write about 5 write-ups. I have probably not rolled any games in almost three weeks, as well as not writing any blog pieces in that time as well.

The reason was the wear-and-tear of regular life, working 6 day weeks (which just got cut back down to 5 day weeks).

Also the fact that summer is starting to feel like summer, which means going out with the wife a little more to take advantage of the weather.

I have not been able to do anything with my Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League site (Wix site) since the season basically started, while just going through the motions by sending out C-Files and receiving F-Files -- without any special write-ups or sprucing up the league. I really hit the wall with that league, and had the commissioner keys dropped back into my lap, with no time on my hands.

Plenty to come, but it definitely should not be another three weeks until you hear from me again.


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