Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maddux Flirts with No-No (Games #57-#60)

We left off with the Traverse City Tigers winning their first three games of their series against the Cedar Park Bears, can the Bears rebound and make this a series?


John Cerutti (3-1, 2.13 ERA) on the mound for the Bears, against Jose Rijo (5-3, 3.70 ERA)

Cedar Park's pesky hitter: Claudell.
Top of the 2nd -- Jose Rijo serves up back-to-back walks to Dwight Evans & Ernie Whitt. Mickey Sasser hits a ball along the 3rd base line to Paul Molitor, Molitor doesn't quite set his feet as he air-mails it over Nick Esasky's head. Evans scores, as Whitt advances to third (no outs). Jerry Browne strikes out. Andres Thomas gets his pitch and sends this over Lance Johnson's head, for an RBI double, Sasser holds third (Bears up 2-0) -- Claudell Washington follows that up with a double of his own, scoring both Sasser & Thomas. Tigers would eventually get out of the chaotic inning, but trail 4-0 early.

Bottom of the 2nd -- Joe Carter draws a walk (moves to 2nd on a wild pitch by Cerutti). Bob Boone grounds out to second, as Carter advances to third. With two outs, Dwight Evans drops fly to right (error) as Carter scores, but the Tigers couldn't add more. Bears 4, Tigers 1

Bottom of the 3rd -- After a single by Rafael Ramirez, Mookie Wilson hits an RBI double. Wilson advances to third, as Molitor grounds out (1 out). Dave Winfield hits into a fielder's choice, as Wilson gets caught in a rundown (between 3rd & home) and called out. Joe Carter hits a two-run homer to center to tie the game, these Tigers are relentless!

Top of the 4th -- After back-to-back singles by Jerry Browne & Andres Thomas, the Tigers yank Rijo out after only 3 innings (6 hits & 3 walks allowed, with 4 K's). LHP Ken Dayley comes in, looking for a double-play, which the Tigers execute, but Browne scores from third on the play to make it a 5-4 Bears' lead.

The Tigers would bring in Juan Agosto in the top of the 6th.

Bottom of the 8th -- The Bears take out John Cerutti after 7 1/3 innings, 4 runs (3 ER), 7 hits & one walk allowed, while striking out three Tigers. The Bears bring in Portugal to face Dave Winfield with one out. First pitch, loud shot to right, near foul pole, FOUL! The next pitch, Winfield made sure he got this one sending it over the center-field wall past Kirby Puckett. Once again, it's tied up 5-5, what do the Bears got to do to shake these guys?

Top of the 9th -- Juan Agosto still in through 3 innings of relief, gives up a lead-off double to Claudell Washington. Jesse Barfield of T.C. steals a hit from Ron Gant with a diving catch. Kirby Puckett steps up, the Tigers contemplated walking him intentionally, but decide to pitch to him anyways, should have walked him... RBI single by Puckett. Agosto leaves the game for LHP Leiper to face Will Clark, and Leiper does his job by striking out Clark. Bears lead 6-5, Tigers will try to see if they still have some magic left.

Bottom of the 9th -- Bears' closer Alejandro Pena comes in to face the Tigers. Tigers counter by bringing in Pete O'Brien to face Pena, Pena strikes him out. Johnny Ray does the same & strikes out as well. The Tigers' skipper goes to the bench and calls on Tim Raines to pinch-hit for Jesse Barfield. Pena closes the door on Raines & the Tigers by getting him to fly out. The Bears hand the Tigers only their 3rd loss in their last 20 games!

FINAL SCORE: Cedar Park 6, Traverse City 5
Mad Dog flirts with no-no in 5th game.


This game was all Greg Maddux! He must have been peeved at all the press clippings & fallout over his decision to go with no logo on his Hall of Fame plaque (believe me, I don't understand it as well).

Bottom of the 2nd with 2 outs -- Nick Esasky hits a solo HR off Mike Boddicker.

Boddicker pitched a great game as well, going 7 2/3 innings, allowing only 5 hits (and the solo HR), with 4 K's & a walk. The only problem, Maddux pitched a better one -- Maddux tried to make it back-to-back weeks for a Traverse City Tiger to pitch a no-hitter. Scott Terry accomplished his in Mexico City last week. Maddux would have his broken up, one out into the top of the 7th by Claudell Washington -- right after a play where Rafael Ramirez made a great defensive play at short, then gunning down Polonia at first by an inch.

Top of the 8th -- The Bears get a lead-off double by Randy Bush, who would be replaced by pinch-runner Rex Hudler. John Moses pinch-hits for Gant & flies out to Joe Carter in right, Hudler decides to tag-up and go for third, and Carter ends up gunning him down at 3rd for a double-play! Dwight Evans comes in to pinch-hit for Ernie Whitt, Maddux wants nothing to do with Evans, and intentionally walks him to take his chances with Mackey Sasser -- in which he succeeds. The double-play would ruin the Bears' only shot at Maddux.

Maddux goes the distance for a 1-0 shutout, allowing only two hits, striking out eight & walking one.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 1, Cedar Park 0


Bobby Witt (Cedar Park) vs. John Candelaria (T.C.)

The Tigers get on the board first with an RBI single by Dave Winfield during the bottom of the first, but the Bears strike back during the top of the 2nd, as Mike Fitzgerald scores on a sac fly by Rick Schu. Tied 1-1.

Bob Boone singles, Rafael Ramirez with one out would double and advance Boone to third. Runners on 2nd & 3rd, Mookie Wilson grounds out, as Boone scores to give back the lead to T.C., 2-1.

Agosto: Playing a key role in Tigers' pen.
This game would quickly be defined as a see-saw battle, as Kirby Puckett hits a two-out RBI double (scoring in Ron Gant, after a Gant single). Puckett would score off a Mike Fitzgerald single, as the Bears cut ahead of the Tigers, 3-2.

Top of the 4th -- for the second time in the series, John Candelaria strikes out the side.

Bottom of the 4th -- Bases loaded for Pete O'Brien, after Joey Meyer got the inning started with a single. Pete O'Brien would smack a two-run single to right, for the Tigers to take the lead 4-3. Dave Winfield steps up and is walked; Bases loaded once again, this time for Paul Molitor, but Molitor strikes out.

Bottom of the 5th -- The Bears take out Bobby Witt after 4 1/3 innings, 8 hits allowed.

Top of the 6th -- Tigers notice that Brian Holton is tired, and Juan Agosto has been out there a lot lately, they are going to call on Jose Rijo, who only started just two days ago. Rijo, if you remember didn't do that great, and was yanked after three innings.

Top of the 8th -- Rijo is out after 2 1/3, and now the Tigers will go to Holton. Rijo intentionally walked Puckett, putting runners on 1st & 2nd (Hudler's on 2nd) to face Mike Fitzgerald. Bears pinch-run Polonia for Puckett, while pinch-hitting Moses against Holton. Rex Hudler steals third. Runners on 1st & 3rd, Polonia is off and running now, Hassey guns it towards 2nd, Hudler heads for home, the play cut back towards home, the throw, and Hudler steals home successfully to tie it up, 4-4.

Bottom of the 8th -- Mookie Wilson is walked by Chuck Crim, Johnny Ray on the next play executes the hit & run perfectly as Mookie scores all the way from 1st! Tigers lead 5-4.

Top of the 9th -- Tigers bring in their closer Doug Jones, capturing save #14, Tigers win again.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 5, Cedar Park 4

The Bears' Ron Gant (88' Topps Traded - RC)

Tigers enter the game 5 1/2 games up in first on the Bears, the Bears would like to trim their lead back one game, to end the series on a high note of sorts. Tigers send newly acquired Dave LaPoint (his 2nd Tiger outing) against the Bears' Greg Swindell.

This game was a story of a different Swindell, as Swindell bounces back strong in this one.

Ron Gant would hit a solo HR during the top of the 4th, to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Gant would continue his good game with an RBI single in the 5th.

It was certainly not a series for Will "The Thrill" Clark, who wasn't thrilled with the fact, who had three games this series, in which he struck out three times. This game was a different story for Clark, going 4-for-5, with a two-run HR in the 5th inning. Rick Schu would add as solo HR in the game later.

The Tigers had no answers for Greg Swindell, as Swindell cruised on to a 7-1 complete game victory. Swindell allowed only 5 hits, 1 run (no earned runs), while striking out 5 (allowing one walk). Dave LaPoint on the other hand in his two Tiger outings: 10 IP, 9 ER's.

The Bears had 14 hits in this one as Swindell improves to 6-3, with a 2.76 ERA.

FINAL SCORE: Cedar Park 7, Tigers 1

Tigers win series 5-2

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tigers Pad Division Lead (Games #54-56)

A battle between the top two teams in the American League West -- The (34-18) Traverse City Tigers host the (32-19) Cedar Park Bears. The Tigers enter play with a 14-2 record in their last 16 games -- we'll have to see if the month of June was as nice as the end of May was for T.C.


Greg Swindell (5-2) on the mound for Cedar Park, while John Candelaria enters with a 5-4 record.

Bottom of the 2nd, Pete O'Brien leads off with a double, the next play, slow Pete O'Brien tests Tony Armas's arm on a base hit by Joe Carter -- O'Brien is safe just under the tag. Carter advances to 2nd on a ground out by Jesse Barfield, and then tags up on a Ron Hassey fly to right. Runners on 1st & 3rd, and Swindell throws the ball over the catcher Mike Fitzgerald's head, Carter scores from 3rd. Tigers lead 2-0 after 2.

Mookie Wilson adds to the lead in the 3rd with a deep solo shot to dead center.

Top of the 4th, the Bears get their first hit by Ron Gant with two outs, the next play Kirby Puckett reaches first on a fielder's choice error by Johnny Ray, as he tosses the ball past shortstop Felix Fermin to second. But that's all the Bears could do that inning, as they failed to score.

John Candelaria strikes out the side in the top of the 5th, and he would make it through 5 2/3, allowing only 2 hits (both to Gant), with 6 K's & no runs allowed.

Bottom of the 6th - After a walk to Dave Winfield, Pete O'Brien singles to right (runners on 1st & 2nd), Joe Carter singles in Winfield, as O'Brien advances to 3rd. Bears make a change for Chuck Crim, Swindell didn't have his best stuff today (6 hits, 5 ER's & 3 walks allowed) through 5 innings. Ron Hassey adds insult to injury, with a RBI single.

With Traverse City leading 5-0, reliever Brian Holton would strike out the Cedar Park side during the top of the 7th.

The Bears would finally get on the board during the top of the 8th, with a solo HR by Rick Schu off of Holton. The Bears go to the bench to have pinch-hit specialist Randy Bush come in for Andres Thomas, Tigers decide to make a switch as well and have lefty vs. lefty in Juan Agosto vs. Bush. What appeared to be a routine fly, Winfield just flat-out drops Bush's fly to left, with Bush making it to 2nd (no outs). Agosto would momentarily recover from the error in left, with back-to-back K's to John Moses & Ron Gant. Dwight Evans would trim the lead to 5-2, with an RBI double. Agosto would intentionally walk Kirby Puckett. Tigers would follow that up by bringing in righty Doug Jones to get Mike Fitzgerald to fly to center.

Top of the 9th, lefty Ernie Whitt pinch-hitting for Tony Armas, would give the ball a long ride to deep center, but Barfield would chase it down. Todd Jones gets save #12.

The Tigers' pitchers racked up 12 K's.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 5, Cedar Park 2


Dave LaPoint in his Tiger debut against Cedar Park's Mike Moore.

Top of the 2nd, Tony Armas gets the Bears going early with a two-run blast to left. Bears lead 2-0.

Bottom of the 3rd, back-to-back singles for Rafael Ramirez & Mookie Wilson. Paul Molitor follows with an RBI single, as Wilson advances to 3rd. With runners on 1st & 3rd, Dave Winfield grounds out, but ties the game up 2-2 with Mookie crossing the plate.

Bottom of the 4th, with two quick outs, Mike Moore walks Bob Boone. Johnny Ray steps up to the plate and delivers a double, Boone holds third. Rafael Ramirez makes Moore pay with a two-run single into the left-center gap -- the Bears get out of the inning, but not before T.C. took the lead, 4-2.

Top of the 6th - Things get messy for the Tigers. Ron Gant smacks a one-out double to right-center, LaPoint turns around and walks Dwight Evans (LaPoint's 3rd walk of the game). Tigers go to the pen, and call on Brian Holton once again to face Kirby Puckett. Puckett flies to right, Gant tags up and advances to third safely. Runners now on 1st & 3rd, with 2 outs -- Mike Fitzgerald delivers a two-run, game-tying double off of Holton. Holton would go on to strike out Will Clark to end the inning.

Bottom of the 7th - Mike Moore once again strikes out two batters, like the inning before & appears to be heating up.

Top of the 8th, the Bears couldn't get Rex Hudler in from 2nd, as Puckett strikes out against Dave Leiper to end the inning.

Bottom of the 8th, the wheels come off for the Bears, as Molitor kicks off the half-inning with a single (following that up with a steal of 2nd Base). Dave Winfield hits a hot smash to Ron Gant, Gant knocks it down, dives for the ball, throws it to first, but not in time. Runners on 1st & 3rd, Tigers bring Lance Johnson off the bench to run for Winfield. Joe Carter steps up, and he's walked... no, it's a big strikeout for Mike Moore. Tim Raines steps up and executes the hit-and-run, Molitor scores, Johnson moves to 3rd. With the Tigers up 5-4, The Bears go to the pen for Rick Honeycutt. Pete O'Brien would ground out, moving Raines to 2nd. With runners on 2nd & 3rd, Bob Boone would add an insurance run with an RBI single, 6-4. Johnny Ray would pile on the lead with a two-run triple. Tigers would walk-out of the inning with a 8-4 lead.

Juan Agosto would come in to seal things up in the 9th, as Dave Leiper walks away with the win. Molitor finished the game, 3-for-4, with a run & ribbie.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 8, Cedar Park 4


It's Eric King against John Dopson. King is up while Bob Knepper tries to get healthy.

Top of the 1st -- One-out double for John Moses. Kirby Puckett follows with a single, runners on 1st & 3rd. Will Clark smacks an RBI single to right, Puckett will make it to 3rd base as Tim Raines makes an error in right. Eric King looking a little raddled walks Dwight Evans; Bases loaded for Rick Schu. Tigers luck out as Schu grounds into a inning-ending double-play. Bears walk out with only a 1-0 lead after all that noise.

Bottom of the 1st -- Tim Raines making up for his fielding miscue, draws a walk from Dopson. Johnny Ray executes the H&R, as Raines scores all the way from first! The game knotted up at 1-1, Pete O'Brien hits the ball sharp to left, the Tigers gamble by sending Ray around third for home, SAFE under the tag! A single by Paul Molitor, puts runners on 1st & 3rd with only one out. Joe Carter delivers a two-run double, to make it 4-1. The Bears eventually end the bleeding.

Bottom of the 2nd -- The Bears would avoid bases-loaded trouble, as Molitor grounds the ball to Ron Gant for a fielder's choice to end the inning, can the Bears take back the momentum? as the Tiger leave men on base.

Top of the 3rd -- Back-to-back doubles by John Moses (his 2nd of the game) and Kirby Puckett's RBI double would trim the Tigers' lead to 2 runs (4-2).

Bottom of the 3rd -- Tigers add an insurance run in a weird way. With one out, and Joe Carter on 3rd (single & steal of 2nd), Joey Meyer hits one to the mound, and Carter gets caught in a run-down, Schu & Sasser keep throwing the ball, back & forth until Schu throws the ball too high, and Carter slides under Sassers to tag the plate. Tigers up 5-2

Top of the 5th -- The Tigers are fortunate with all their fielding mistakes in this one, Molitor drops a pop-up for the Tigers' 3rd error, yet are up 5-2. Kirby Puckett gets his 3rd hit of the game, as Johnny Ray was unable to anything with the deep grounder behind second (runners on 1st & 2nd, one out). Will Clark hits a single to left-center, as John Moses scores, the throw home is cut-off by 1B-Pete O'Brien, who throws it to third to get Puckett out by inches. Runner on 1st, 2 outs, the Bears trailing 5-3, Dwight Evans steps up to the plate, only for Eric King to come up with a big K!

Eric King would go on to 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 ER's, 7 hits, while striking out 3 (walking one). Juan Agosto & Brian Holton hold the lead, while the Bears' Rick Honeycutt (entering the game with a stingy 0.89 ERA) holds off another Tigers' threat in the bottom of the 8th.

Doug Jones closes down shop with his 13th save.

The Bears' #2 thru #4 hitters had all seven of the team's hits, with Puckett's 3 hits leading the way.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 5, Cedar Park 3

The Tigers are now 17-2 in their last 19 games.

Friday, January 24, 2014



The Boys of Summer Blog now has an APBA Online League, we are checking out all applications to the league, and we still have teams slots to be filled for potential owners.

Do you think you are capable of being an owner/GM to lead your team to a World Championship? Must possess the hunger to scout & manage in-game situations as well.

Requirements are: APBA Baseball for Windows (BBW) 5.75 (Upgrade 10), which can be bought from the APBA Games site. It costs $20, and comes with the 1921, 1961, 2011 MLB Seasons (a great value).

The league is starting with the 2012 season (at the time of purchase for the league, the 2013 season wasn't available... but now is), and will be followed by a short off-season as we will then play the 2013 season.

A keeper's league
16-teams, 162 game-season
DH-Rule for both leagues.
Division winners + one wild card from each league go to the playoffs
Annual rookie drafts

Looking for committed owners who have a love for the wonderful game of baseball!

Contact me at: baierdork@yahoo.com


Monday, January 20, 2014

Trading Miggy

Bye, Bye Miggy - as Crusaders prepare for future.
So after I got hired to take over the franchise Severn Express, I renamed the team the Traverse City Crusaders. The Crusaders? Because I am a huge, die-hard Batman fan (as in the "Caped Crusader") and also because I am on my own crusade through life.

I got word that I was the owner of the greatest player in the game today in Miguel Cabrera, but as I looked at the rest of the roster, there really wasn't much else, or not a lot surrounding him. I checked out my fellow division rivals, and noticed two teams that were easily better than my team. The Express won 87 games last season somehow, but at the same time they finished 30 games behind the Hollywood Werewolves, and in 3rd place. The Southbend Lynx (2nd place) finished 19 games ahead of me as well, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. The Virginia Sluggers looks like they are ready to pass me, so it's time to rebuild & retool this franchise.

Unfortunately, that means trading Miguel Cabrera. Now I am a huge Detroit Tigers fan, who is also a big Braves fan as well. Why in the world would anyone trade a once-in-a-generation player such as Cabrera? Well, I can bring in some good pieces and draft picks to help build a foundation. I also happened to have Brian McCann, Matt Holliday, Joaquin Benoit, and a rotation that needs some work led by oldies Tim Hudson and Mark Buerhle.

The roster stood as this:
C - Brian McCann
C - Yan Gomes
C - Carlos Corporan
C - Ramon Hernandez
1B - Carlos Pena
1B/3B - Eric Chavez
2B - Tony Abreu
2B - Angel Sanchez
2B - Jemile Weeks
SS/2B - Pedro Ciriaco
SS - Aldaberto Mondesi*
3B - Miguel Cabrera
3B/IF - Donnie Murphy
OF - Matt Holliday
OF - Marlon Byrd
OF - Drew Stubbs
OF - Angel Pagan
OF/2B - Ryan Raburn
OF/1B - Tyler Moore
OF - Ronald Guzman*
OF - Elier Hernandez*

SP - Mark Buehrle
SP - Yovani Gallardo
SP - Tim Hudson
SP - Stephen Fife
SP - David Phelps
SP - Tyler Skaggs
SP - Jon Garland
SP - Roy Halladay
CL - Joaquin Benoit
RP - LaTroy Hawkins
RP - Scott Downs
RP - Dale Thayer
RP - Jonathan Broxton
RP - Evan Scribner
RP - Jose Mijares
RP - Mike Gonzalez
RP - Brayan Villarreal
RP - Ryan Mattheus

It was funny, because when I was introduced to the league as a new owner to the rest of the owners of the MWBL, I got a lot of emails saying "Welcome to the MWBL, and... hey, I noticed you have Miguel sitting over there, we'll be in touch." hahaha. My first thought was "thanks & you wish", and then I looked at the roster and the reality of the situation hit me, I need to move Miggy. Sure, I could have held on to Miguel, and continue to suffer 4th place finishes, while not bringing any youth and draft picks to better my situation. It would have been the equivalent of the most part to Barry Bonds with the San Francisco Giants, for the most part (not counting 2002 & 1997), Barry was surrounded by a team not going anywhere.

I felt I had to take the approach of that I NEVER owned Miguel Cabrera. Sure, I still sat there hanging over emails, hours on end debating possible trades. When I put the initial email out to the league that Miguel Cabrera is on the block, I ended up getting offers from about 8 to 10 teams, basically a third of the league -- I was in talks with two owners exclusively on the most part, one owner (the one that would get him eventually in the end) for about half-of-the emails. We traded emails at least 20 times, or close to that, tweaking & changing things. Did I get exactly what I wanted? No. Am I happy overall with the trade? Yes. The thing is this, I felt I couldn't truly move forward until I ripped the band-aid off of the situation -- so I went with the team that was going to give me the best options. I tried another owner to see if they would bite on giving me solid options at 2B, SS & 3B, but he wasn't willing to give me all those options and I felt I had bigger fish with the main option that I was working with.

I eventually traded....
3B/1B - Miguel Cabrera
SP-Tim Hudson (37) 
& my 11th Rd DP (298th overall)

.... to the Hollywood Werewolves, who won our division last year with a 117-45 record, and fell short in the American League Championship Series, for...

SP - Travis Wood
3B/OF - Todd Frazier
3B - Matt Davidson
RP - Luke Gregerson
P/RP - Jeanmar Gomez
# 3 DP (Hollywood) - #82 overall
RP - Heath Bell
RP - Cesar Ramos

Travis Wood, coming into his own at 26 for Cubs.
Todd Frazier would automatically start at 3B, play a little OF, with Eric Chavez backing him up. Matt Davidson is slated to start for the White Sox in 2014 (acquired in a trade with the Arizona). The most exciting part of the deal for me is Travis Wood, he really turned a corner in 2013, I think when he first came up, he came up to Cincinnati and they were a division/post-season contender, and maybe he was overwhelmed in that situation; with the Cubs, he was part of a huge media market, while the team went nowhere, allowing Travis Wood to develop into a tough big-league starter, who by the way is only 26. Plus I got a guy, who will be over 200+ innings year after year. Add him to Mark Buerhle & Yovani Gallardo, with their innings totals, I have at least a 1-2-3 with some bulk of innings, even if those two pitchers are declining. If I can get another starter in that rotation with some innings, I will at least have a pitching foundation of sorts, my bullpen is pretty good with the addition of Luke Gregerson (one of the best set-up men in the game, now with Oakland) and a young Jeanmar Gomez. Heath Bell & Cesar Ramos were basically toss-ins to the deal, so any plus from them would be bonus.

My Draft outlook looks good

  • 1st Rd pick (18th overall)
  • two 2nd Rd Picks (#46 & #49)
  • two 3rd Rd picks (#74 & #82 ) -- just traded one of my three 3rd Rd picks & a 12th Rd (#336) pick for two 5th Rd picks.
  • 4th Rd Pick (#102)
  • three 5th Rd Picks (# 122, #130 & #139)
  • 6th Rd Pick (#158)
  • Re-acquired a 7th Rd pick - #176 (I traded a 7th Rd pick for John McDonald & a 12th Rd pick (#336) -- that 12th rd pick would be traded in the deal above for the two 5th Rd picks, while my reaquired 7th Rd pick, was for Pedro Ciriaco. McDonald can play multiple positions, and is a defensive wiz, he'll give me versatility for this season at least). We do the 930 PR for some guys in this league, so that we can maintain positions in a league with 28 teams, it's good to do this... so we are all able to field a team. Basically think of it as a position placebo).
  • 8th Rd Pick (#214)
  • 9th Rd Pick (#242)
  • 10th Rd Pick (#270)
  • My normal 12th Rd Pick (#326)
The first five rounds, gives me 9 picks in the first 139 picks available. I also have 9 spots to draft uncarded players, which gives me an option to draft any player available that has yet to make their MLB debut. The league has 38 normal spots for Carded/non-carded players (players who already have made their MLB debuts at any point, and happened to be hurt, etc) & 12 spots for uncarded players (players yet to make their MLB debuts). The uncarded players can stay on their roster, but need to make their MLB debuts within 3 years or you lose them to free agency/re-drafting. My three un-carded players that I own are OF-Ronald Guzman, OF-Elier Hernandez & Raul Mondesi's son SS-Adalberto (Raul) Mondesi (Jr.).

It's obvious by my team roster that I am going to have to address the infield situation, I have options at catcher with Yan Gomes stepping up, which can make McCann a trade option with that of outfielder Holliday & closer Benoit. 

The scary thing is that I will have to deal with Miguel with his new team during the second series of the season, plus the fact that he will be making a great 1-2 punch with 1B-Paul Goldschmidt. Cabrera will likely play DH during the 2015 MWBL Season, since Miguel is moving back to first for the Tigers, now that Fielder is gone. With Cabrera's addition, the Hollywood Werewolves should be the favorites to represent the American League during the MWBL World Series in October 2014.

Draft day is February 22nd, I'm pretty excited to see who we can land, as we prepare for an interesting, first season in the Mid-West Baseball League.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

T.C. Tigers' First 3 Weeks

Winfield: Mr. May

I took over the team, shortly after the New Year, which according to my League Manager -- I took the team over on May 11th, 1988.

The newly named Traverse City Tigers were 20-16 in second place, behind the Cedar Park Bears. The Tigers would play the Stockton Wings, the team I was to substitute manage, I put the games on spectator (both computer), because I was still in transition from the one team to the other.

It was fun to watch the action unfold, Stockton won the first game, with a 12-0 shutout by Bobby Ojeda. The next game, history would be made, when Dave Winfield (Traverse City) tied a league record of 4 HR's in a game, he also had 11 RBI & 16 total bases -- helping the Tigers win 17-6. Winfield would go on to win A.L. Player of the Week, a second time this year (and a third time, the very next week against Montana). The Tigers would go on to win the next three games, winning the series against the Wings.

Between my series with Stockton and the Montana Cutthroats, the Steel City Sluggers were looking for shortstop help & a starter/reliever with innings, one of the players he had up on the trade block was Pete O'Brien. I only had Nick Esasky, and DH-Joey Meyer, with Sam Horn in the farm system; I also knew that after Esasky's big 1989 season, that I was going to be hurting for a first baseman -- so I jumped on it, in the Winter-League edition you have to trade even number of players to keep the rosters balanced. So I traded him Jim Corsi (who will be a decent reliever in the early 90's), Dave Schmidt who was basically nothing to me after this season, and shortstop Rey Quinones to Steel City for Pete O'Brien & Steel City's 10th round pick, he threw in Larry Herndon and Mike Young to make players even -- they are pretty much chop liver to me, since Herndon is done after 88', Mike Young after 89', who goes on to play in Japan or something.
A No-No for Scott Terry vs. Mexico City.

My series with Montana, was a series between two teams going in different directions, I won four straight, as Montana has lost 6 straight. Pete O'Brien would contribute with his new Tiger teammates, as Dave Winfield hit 4 HR's throughout the 5-game series; at this point, Winfield has 8 HR's in his last 10 games! Mr. May indeed! When I was playing the series, I realized I should have looked at my starting pitchers' innings usage for the season, before probably trading my insurance option in Dave Schmidt.

Jose Rijo would help the team win in the first game with six innings of shutout ball. Greg Maddux during the 2nd game, got only his 2nd win of the season on May 19th, improving his record to 2-4, and lowering his ERA to 4.05. The 3rd game would be won with a walk-off single by my Tigers' Joe Carter in the bottom of the 10th. My ace Bob Knepper walked into the fifth game (the finale), with a 6-2 record & 1.98 ERA, but came off the mound in the first inning hurt -- out for 22 days!

My team would go on to a 5-game sweep, but at a price -- sure, I won nine in a row, poor Montana now has lost eleven straight! But I lost Knepper, who has been superb, going to have to call up Eric King from the farm -- but I may have to get a starting pitcher down the stretch. My batters are achy & tired, so I am going to have to give plenty of breaks for some players.

My team went on the road this past week to face off against the Mexico City Chihuahuas, for a seven-game division match-up. Entering the series, I was tied in first with Cedar Park at 29-17, while Mexico City trailed by 3 games, at 26-20. With my team resting many guys, and having the lineup all shifty, I was hoping for at least 3-4 wins. News came back that I had to check my email files, it turns out Scott Terry for me, during the 4th game pitched a No-Hitter! One of the games also got rained out, and I won the series 5-1. The rain-out will be rescheduled for later. So now, I have won 14 of my 16 games, and is waiting to hear the Cedar Park results.

Yes, I was thrilled about Terry's no-no, but that's nine innings, and I'm already worried a bit on their usage as it is, and Terry doesn't have the innings to use.

LaPoint & the bad Air-brushing by Topps.

So when I saw that the Fort Worth Panthers had Dave LaPoint, who had a good 1988 season with a 13-14 record with the White Sox/Pirates and a 3.25 ERA in 213 innings, I was thrilled. The offer cost me a bit, but 1989 didn't really have that many good rookies, it kind of drops off after Ken Griffey, Jr & Larry Walker (where I am nowhere close to getting them, since I'm in the middle of a possible title run) -- it cost me my #2 DP, which will be in the 30+ overall pick range, plus pitcher Ken Patterson; I got a 7th Rd pick back from Fort Worth. Plus LaPoint has a rough 1989, and bounces back a bit with a 4.11 ERA in 157.2 innings in 1990 before retiring.

But at the end of the day, I feel I did what I needed to do to keep my team in the hunt, it's still so early, and when I first took the team over I knew it was a strong team, but now I'm thinking these veterans want to make a big run at it in 1988. In a few years, we know we have to get young quick, but looking forward to that, still have some strong years left in Paul Molitor, and I have a Hall of Fame ace in Greg Maddux.

TOMORROW, I'll shift gears & tell you what's up in the MID-WEST BASEBALL LEAGUE (The current players league - 2013 APBA season) on my Traverse City Crusaders, with a new chapter for the team to start: Life after Miggy.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


So I mentioned that I am now a member of the MID-WEST BASEBALL LEAGUE and the MID-WEST WINTER LEAGUE in my post labeled "A Lot Has Happened" . I will soon tell you of both of my new APBA endeavors, I have been wheeling & dealing in the MWBL with my Traverse City Crusaders, and for the Winter League we are in 1988. I'll tell you more in my next post on the Tigers' performance for my first three series, but until then enjoy taking a look at my Tigers roster.

BOONE, Bob C 8 R 5
HASSEY, Ron C 7 L 5
O'BRIEN, Pete 1B 4 L 4
ESASKY, Nick 1B 3 R 9
MEYER, Joey 1B 2 R 2
RAY, Johnny 2B 7 B 13
MOLITOR, Paul 3B 4 R 18
O'MALLEY, Tom 3B 3 L 6
RAMIREZ, Rafael SS 8 R 9
FERMIN, Felix SS 6 R 17
CARTER, Joe OF 3 R 18
RAINES, Tim OF 2 B 18
WINFIELD, Dave OF 2 R 12
BARFIELD, Jesse OF 2 R 14
WILSON, Mookie OF 2 B 18
JOHNSON, Lance OF 2 L 17
KNEPPER, Bob 13 Y L 27
RIJO, Jose 17/19* X R 19
MADDUX, Greg 12 Z R 34
TERRY, Scott 10/12* Z R 11
JONES, Doug 18* XZ R
HOLTON, Brian 17* YZ R
AGOSTO, Juan 16* Z L
LEIPER, Dave 15* YZ L
DAYLEY, Ken 12* YZ L
NUNEZ, Edwin 3* Y R
ALOMAR Jr, Sandy C 6 R 6
HORN, Sam 1B 2 L 2
ESPINOZA, Alvaro 2B 6 R 7
BICHETTE, Dante OF 1 R 2
HERNDON, Larry OF 1 R 4
YOUNG, Mike OF 1 B 4
KING, Eric 13/14* YW R 5
AQUINO, Luis 10 W R 5
ACKER, Jim 3* YZ R
WILLIS, Carl 3* W R

Friday, January 10, 2014

2007 Tigers Replay: Tigers 5 Games Ahead at Break

The Tigers are slightly ahead of pace on the Cleveland Indians in my 2007 Detroit Tigers Replay. It certainly will not be easy as the Tigers need to avoid the slide that they suffered in 2007.

The Tigers say goodbye to Mike Maroth, who for a APBA Grade D-R was pitching like a B starter/reliever for my Tigers in the first-half. The Tigers traded him for Chris Lambert [No 2007 APBA Card], he will be wearing red for the St.Louis Cardinals. Maroth was 4-0, 3.16 ERA, 16 K's & 15 BB's through 51.1 Innings (17 Games / 7 GS).

Tigers say hello to RP- Macay McBride, who was traded from Atlanta for [non-card] Wil Ledezma.

Here is the current standings at the All-Star Break below:

BOSTON 56 31 0.644 0
NEW YORK (A) 43 43 0.500 12.5
TORONTO 41 46 0.471 15
BALTIMORE 39 49 0.443 17.5
TAMPA BAY 33 54 0.379 23
DETROIT 53 33 0.616 0
CLEVELAND 49 39 0.557 5
MINNESOTA 44 44 0.500 10
KANSAS CITY 40 48 0.455 14
CHICAGO (A) 38 48 0.442 15
LOS ANGELES (A) 53 35 0.602 0
SEATTLE 49 36 0.576 2.5
OAKLAND 44 44 0.500 9
TEXAS 36 52 0.409 17
NEW YORK (N) 48 39 0.552 0
ATLANTA 49 40 0.551 0
PHILADELPHIA 44 44 0.500 4.5
FLORIDA 42 47 0.472 7
WASHINGTON 36 52 0.409 12.5
MILWAUKEE 48 40 0.545 0
CHICAGO (N) 44 43 0.506 3.5
ST. LOUIS 41 44 0.482 5.5
PITTSBURGH 40 48 0.455 8
HOUSTON 39 50 0.438 9.5
CINCINNATI 36 52 0.409 12
SAN DIEGO 49 38 0.563 0
LOS ANGELES (N) 49 40 0.551 1
ARIZONA 47 43 0.522 3.5
COLORADO 44 44 0.500 5.5
SAN FRANCISCO 38 48 0.442 10.5


Mathewson Div / Stripes League
Home ( 8 - 3 )
Road ( 8 - 4 )
Game # Opponent Score W/L Extras H/A Record Diff
1 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers 17 4 L A ( 0 - 1 ) -13
2 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers 4 0 W A ( 1 - 1 ) -9
3 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers 8 5 W H ( 2 - 1 ) -6
4 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers 5 4 W H ( 3 - 1 ) -5
(Off Day)
5 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 5 0 L A ( 3 - 2 ) -10
6 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 3 1 W A ( 4 - 2 ) -8
7 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 8 1 W H ( 5 - 2 ) -1
8 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 3 2 W H ( 6 - 2 ) 0
(Off Day)
9 1971 Oakland Athletics 1 0 L 11 Inn A ( 6 - 3 ) -1
10 1971 Oakland Athletics 3 1 W A ( 7 - 3 ) 1
11 1971 Oakland Athletics 3 2 W H ( 8 - 3 ) 2
12 1971 Oakland Athletics 5 4 L 12 Inn H ( 8 - 4 ) 1
(Off Day)
13 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 4 1 W 11 Inn A ( 9 - 4 ) 4
14 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 5 2 W A ( 10 - 4 ) 7
15 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 5 2 W H ( 11 - 4 ) 10
16 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 7 4 L 12 Inn H ( 11 - 5 ) 7
(Off Day)
17 1983 Baltimore Orioles 3 2 L A ( 11 - 6 ) 6
18 1983 Baltimore Orioles 5 3 W A ( 12 - 6 ) 8
19 1983 Baltimore Orioles 10 5 L H ( 12 - 7 ) 3
20 1983 Baltimore Orioles 2 1 W H ( 13 - 7 ) 4
(Off Day)
21 2002 Oakland Athletics 3 2 W 10 Inn A ( 14 - 7 ) 5
22 2002 Oakland Athletics 11 1 W A ( 15 - 7 ) 15
23 2002 Oakland Athletics 8 1 W H ( 16 - 7 ) 22
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