Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tigers Get Ready for 1982 (NXPL)

For those who follow my blog, they may remember that I am in a retro league called the Non-Expansion Professional League (NXPL), which is currently commissioned by Peter Kilmarx. I originally know Peter from my days in the MWBL (Mid-West Baseball League) and MWWL (Mid-West Winter League).

We are entering the 1982 season, this is a league with no expansion after 1961 (I believe). Last season was my first season, and we had to endure plenty of health issues with my team, so we did not fare to well. This year looks a lot better, I'm not going to count my chickens, but I do feel we have a winning ball club on our hands.

A look at our opening day roster...

We drafted our first baseman of the future in Pete O'Brien; He had some good years in the 1980's for the Texas Rangers, and he was the best available first baseman in the 1982 draft. We currently have Jason Thompson, who played for the Tigers in real life from 1976 to mid-1980 (He was actually playing with the Pirates in 1982) -- We are looking forward to his last solid year (82') in which he batted .284, 31 HR & 102 RBI with a solid .391 On-Base Percentage and .902 OPS.

We also drafted Walt Terrell, who the Tigers would actually acquire in real-life from the Mets with the Howard Johnson trade. Thankfully, in the NXPL, with each draft, every team gets to keep at least one real-life franchise pick where a player had his real debut with, we kept Howard Johnson of course (and still got Terrell). Terrell is nothing spectacular, but he ensures consistent solid innings from 1984-1991 -- That is one less rotation slot to worry about later.

We drafted Von Hayes in 1981, so that will be another solid 1980's bat to go with Pete O'Brien, adding that with HoJo, Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, (oh did I mention?) Bill Madlock, Kirk Gibson & Mookie Wilson. Oh, and one last power year for Ben Oglivie (34 HR) -- In fact, our lineup has 3 players with 30+ HRs for 1982 (Parrish was the other to go with Thompson & Oglivie).

Our rotation will only get better next season in 1983, with a bounce-back season for Tom Seaver to go with Mario Soto, Joaquin Andujar & Dan Petry.

We didn't improve the bullpen as much as I would have liked, we picked up free agent Sid Monge, and have Andy McGaffigan in future seasons... but we have yet to get our hands on a legitimate closer, our draft goal was to draft Tom Henke, but Seattle beat us to the punch.

Our fielding is pretty decent, only because we have the best double play combination in the Majors in Trammell & Whitaker to go with Madlock (a fielding 5) at the hot corner... but our outfield arms are weak, if our pitchers can keep the ball in the infield we can benefit from that -- We do have one of the best rotations in either league.

By the way, the Montreal Expos repeated as NXPL World Champions, by defeating the Boston Red Sox; Andre Dawson took home World Series MVP honors.

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