Monday, March 12, 2018

Case Study: How Do I Rebuild This Team When The Time Comes?

The recent WC commentary on top's rebuilding effort got me thinking about how I'll rebuild the Diablos.

Here are the relevant (I think) details of the current state of my team:

***  This year's total (incl MiL) payroll is at $146MM;

***  I already have committed every last dollar of next year's $115.2MM cap;

***  I have absolutely no prospects in the minor leagues;

***  I have $0 in all scouting categories;

***  The things other than payroll I spend $$ on are coaching salaries ($7MM), prospect payroll ($6MM), training ($20MM) and medical ($8MM).

***  I should be able to keep the core of the team (Polonia, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Green, Merced, Stock, Duran) together for another 3 years or so.  The big loss will be Season 43 when Merced goes free agent.

***  This was probably the last year I could fill in around the core with retail-priced free agents (like Dawkins, Valbuena, Thomas, Zurburan), and I had to do some heavy back-loading on obviously declining players to manage that (not a recipe for LT success clearly)

***  Next year, and in future  years, I'll have to rely more and more on bargain-basement FA's to fill in around the core...and even moreso if I want to start building up my scouting again.

*** Clearly I can keep contending for awhile, probably not at the 105-112 win level, but 90 wins seems very doable for awhile.

***   I'd REALLY like to avoid the "drive it off the cliff and then spend 7 seasons in all-out rebuild at 60 wins" plan.  Been there, done that and it's boring.

How do I manage the transition so that I rebuild while at least staying in marginal contention?

Do I just start adding $$ back to my scouting categories next season and live with even more bargain-bin FA's?

Do I start trading off some of my aging-but-still-valuable players to try to get some prospects into the pipeline?

I guess the way I'm looking at it is this:  between Merced, Stock and Duran I have about 500 innings of ace-caliber pitching per season, the equivalent of 2 SP aces.  Even if I could squeeze into the playoffs with 85-90 wins, that trio has a chance to dominate 3 out of 5 games, or 4-4.5 out of 7 games.  We've all certainly seen more than a few WS won in that fashion.

Appreciate any thoughts about how I can manage a "soft landing" transition to a rebuild.  Comment here or on the WC - thanks.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Big News For Diablos Rojos Fans (in rl)

Mexico City Diablos Rojos fans are getting a new baseball stadium.  Designed in 2014, it was supposed to be completed by the end of 2017, but last Fall's earthquakes caused considerable damage and the team is now expecting to get into the new digs in 2019.

This article is the only one I could find that had any pictures of the rather unique roof design:

I still can't figure out that roof...will have to take the metro out there to get an eyewitness look.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The 3 Best Types Of Free Agent Signings

Now that Free Agency is in full-swing, I thought I'd toss out a hot sports opinion and see if I could get a little discussion (argument) going.

What are the 3 best types of free-agent signings?

Number 1: "The Game-Changer"...the one player that can change the fortunes of the franchise (also-ran to contender or contender to Champ).  This is the rarest type of good FA signing for 2 reasons: first, there simply aren't that many players who can change franchise fortunes by themselves, and two (this is less of a factor in Hobbs because of our lower salary cap), the price you pay for Game Changers can leave you fatally weak at other positions.

In this year's class, Hasegawa could certainly be a Game-Changer: Texas is coming off a 67-win season in which they had better-than league-average pitching.  Plus, 89 wins got a Wild Card in the NL last year.

The classic Game-Changer is a starting pitcher who takes a contender into the playoffs and then dominates the playoffs (like Lawrence Hannity's 1.04 ERA in 43 post-season innings last year, but Hannity was acquired via trade).  The fact that I can't think of an actual example is a testament to how rare this one is.

Number 2:  "The late-free acency wart-filled bargain"...usually an older player, but the key factor is they're disregarded by most teams for some reason be it age, a glaringly  deficient rating, whatever.  Classic example from my team:  Rio Molina.  Obvious wart: 38 control.  But in his 4 seasons with me he's been around his career norm (low 4's ERA)...nothing great, but I can put him away at playoff time.  But in the regular season he's a decent innings-eater for only $2MM a year.

There are always a few of these every year.  I've always thought the most consistent good values  are found among older players on or after the last day of FA.

Number 3:  "The Cycle One Oops"...the guys who manage to slip through the cracks on the very first cycle of FA.  Not sure why...maybe it's that the cycle falls in the middle of the night, or maybe everyone's just not in tune with the start of FA, but bargains are found here. 2 good ones this year:  RP's Parker Walker and Enerio Tatis.

What do you think?  Have you bought FA's like these?  Are there other types that are as good or better?  Disagree completely?   Add your comments below or put a blurb on the WC. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Who Is Werniss?

 Werniss is one of our newer owners, having taken over the Wichita Wonderboys (now the Colorado House of Horrors) during Season 37.  Take it away, werniss:

I am 48 years old living in Aurora, CO. I was born in West Point, NY and grew up in NY my first 27 years of my life. I have no kids but I have 3 dogs (2 Pugs and a Golden Retriever) instead so I have more time to spend on my HBD teams.

I have played both HD and GD when they first started. I also started playing HBD in 2006 when it first started. I stopped playing for a few years after winning my 1st world series to do other things for a while. I came back in 2015 and have been playing ever since with 2 teams maximum at a time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Season 38 Stat Update: Single-Season Hitting and Pitching

We just don't get many hitters getting into the top 5 of the single-season records in these days of the average team scoring 723 runs a season (last year's league-wide average).

A quick search shows the only players to crack the top 5 single season records in the last few years were Itou in Season 33 (.345/67/155), Ike Allen in Season 33 (.362/51/136, 222 hits, 101 extra-basehits), and Carlos Valdivia in Season 35 (.332/54/113, 216 hits, 103 extra-basehits).  There might be a couple of others in there somewhere, so correct me if I missed somebody.

As near as I can tell with my limited willingness to research, no hitting seasons cracked the top 5 single-season records in any major categories last season.

Conversely, the single-season pitching records are coming to be dominated by recent or active pitchers. 

In Season 37, Sam Stock and Kirk Marks both entered the top 5 in OBP Allowed:  Stock at #4 with .238 and Marks at #5 with .246.

In Quality Starts, Paul Kinney of The Steam set a new single-season record with 32.

Stock hit the record books a second time with a .251 Slugging % Allowed (#2 all-time) and a third time with a .87 WHIP (#3 all-time).

Ya' think we're in a "pitching era"?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Season 38 Stat Update - Career Pitching

Just as Jin-Chi Itou dominates the career hitting records for modern hitters, Sam Stock dominates the career pitching categories.

But unlike the hitting records, many other modern pitchers are prominent in the career stats.

Let's start with Stock.  Yeah, he's best-known for big wins totals (at 249, he's just outside the top 5 going into his age 29 season), but middle-relief wins don't really mean much.  He's currently #1 on in  the career stats in BA Allowed, ERA, OBP Allowed, Slugging % Allowed, and WHIP.  We'll see how those hold up when he begins the decline in a few more seasons, but for now he's ahead in most of those by wide margins.

Santos Eovaldi checks in at #4 in Complete Games and can move up to #3 with just 2 completos this year (the 7-point stamina drop in the off-season didn't help). 

Ernest Carey hits the charts in 4 categories: #2 in ERA at 2.67, #5 OBP Allowed at .278, #5 in Slugging % Allowed at .315 and  tied for 3rd in WHIP at 1.08.

Yean Carlos Posada comes in at #3 in ERA with a sterling 2.69.

Bralin Kohn just became eligible this year (810+ IP) and moves into #5 in ERA with a 2.75 mark.

Aurelio Duran is #2 in OBP Allowed (.271) and WHIP (1.05).
Glen Coste is #3 in OBP Allowed (.274) and tied for 3rd in WHIP (1.08)
Kind of a unique phenomenon in Hobbs:  in most worlds it's the short relievers that dominate the qualitative stats.  But at least among this group of still-active hurlers, Duran is the only pure short reliever.  Stock, Carey, Kohn and Coste are all more long/middle types or "long Setup A's".  Along with perhaps the best pitcher in Hobbs history, Orlando Fernandez, they make Hobbs the "World of the Middle Relievers".

Owner Intro: topoftheworl

41 year-old educator for the North Slope Borough School District and adjunct for Ilisagvik College. The NSBSD is the northern most school district and Ilisagvik is the northern most community college (or college of any kind) in North America. 

I am also the father of 11 (ed. note: holy crap), ranging in age from 30 to 5. 5 adopted, 3 step, 3 biological). I originally played GD under the name alykaramazov. I made 5 title games, but never won one. I gave that account away and started this one to play HBD where I have had some success. I'm originally from Snohomish County, Washington.