Saturday, March 16, 2013

Season 19 Off-Season

Well... we filled in less than a week (I think). Thanks to all that helped on the classifieds forum keeping the thread higher on the list for more visibility. My hope is that we start cutting the list of available teams from the 8-10 range to the 2-4 range and eventually nobody wants to leave. I'll try and make the league better as a commissioner, and lets all make the league a good one for new owners to High Fives.

Moving on... here is a list of the new owners to High Fives, and a Season 18 wrap up / Season 19 introduction.

New Owners / Movers and Shakers

AL North

Wichita Wookies (andrewp97) - formerly Chicago Holy Soxs
*andrewp97 is new to Hardball Dynasty but takes over a team that has some pieces to build around. Very fortunate to take over now while the Mighty Montreal Royals are rebuilding. When you feel someone sneaking up behind you, it could be Chuck Norris, but it is more than likely Montreal (9 straight division titles) rebuilding to once again take his thrown in the AL North.

AL East

Indianapolis Fire Starters - formerly Pittsburgh Rust Rangers
*cubs_4_life has 44 seasons under his belt in Hardball Dynasty with 11 playoff appearances. He takes over a Pittsburgh team that has had an identity crisis over the past few years. There is enough stuff there for cubs to make a run or to get a head start on a rebuild. Look out for Hartford, 7 straight division titles.

AL South

Richmond Poormen - formerly Atlanta Aliens
*ewd330 takes over the reigning world series champions' franchise. The former owner always talked about going out on top and did just that. Well, as a fellow AL South owner, I had hoped that someone would come in and demolish this franchise but ewd330 comes in with a .635 winning percentage and 21 world series titles in 104 seasons. This division just keeps getting tougher.

AL West

Seattle Pilots - formerly Tacoma Ninja Squirrels
*kwheeler decided that he had enough in Chicago and jumped ship to take over the underperforming Tacoma squad. There is a lot more to work with in this franchise than there was in Chicago, so we'll see how kwheeler reacts to the wild west and Salem.

NL North

Buffalo Dons - formerly Cleveland Mistakes
*matt28 is new to Hardball Dynasty and takes over a franchise that was 1 win away from the playoffs last year. This has traditionally been the weakest division in the High Fives world, but Pawtucket has started to claim this as his division with a first or second place finish in the last 5 years.

Scranton Mifflinites - formerly Toronto Blues
*awyborski is also new to Hardball Dynasty. Although he was the last owner to allow us to roll (THANK YOU!), I actually think he got a great team to start with. I mentioned that Crespo and McNamara are good position players to build around, and I think awyborksi will do just that.

Rochester Bulldogs - formerly Columbus Eagles
*bulldog25174 has 9 seasons under his belt and has made the playoffs 2 times. That's not a bad start to HBD life for bulldog, and I think he may be able to continue this trend in the "traditionally" weak NL North.

NL East

Philadelphia Stars - formerly Baltimore Stars
*ewells54 took over an abandoned franchise last year and Big Ern will get the number one pick this year. He moved the franchise from Baltimore to Philadelphia and plans on turning this puppy around.

San Juan Smugglers
*reefer124 also moved his franchise from New York (and the dreadful previous owner) to San Juan where the air is clear, the sun is shining, and the drugs are flowing freely. This division is up for grabs as this franchise looks to turn back to its dominant ways that lead them to 10+ division titles as Richmond.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Season 18 World Series Preview

6. Atlanta Aliens (99-63) vs. 6. Mexico City Margaritas (92-70)

Game 1: Pritchett (ATL; 17-8, 2.75) vs. Ausmus (MC; 14-10, 3.32)
Game 2: Uribe (ATL; 22-5, 2.22)  vs. Salvador (MC; 15-7, 4.00)
Game 3: Atchley (MC; 13-11, 4.79)  vs. Crosby (9-6, 2.81)

*PredictionWell, just as predicted both #6 seeds advance to the world series. First, I just want to say that I think Atlanta has the deepest team in the AL along with Salem, so they are not your average #6 seed. Mexico City, all I have to say is I believe I am the sole reason you are in the world series... every time I pick you, you win! Well, that and the fact that you have to be slipping your opponents some of that "Mexican water." Back to baseball, I have to believe that ratings will prevail here and Atlanta will make quick work of Mexico City. I think Atlanta takes this in 4 or 5 games. One last thing... you are welcome Mexico City.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Season 18 League Championship Series Preview



5. Charleston Country Boys (101-61) vs. 6. Atlanta Aliens (99-63)

*This matchup features the first wildcard team vs. the second wildcard team. Winner of this series will advance to the World Series to play the Tampa Bay / Mexico City winner. The two teams split the  season series 5-5. Here are the probable match-ups for the first 3 games:

Game 1: Chang (CHR; 20-6, 2.77) vs. Uribe (ATL; 22-5, 2.22)
Game 2: Halladay (CHR; 15-11, 4.16) vs. Pritchett (ATL; 17-8, 2.75)
Game 3: Crosby (9-6, 2.81) vs. Taylor (CHR; 19-10, 3.80)

*Prediction: It doesn't matter how you get to the dance, as long as you're dancing. Atlanta has struggled in 2 previous series while Charleston is 6-0 in the playoffs this year. Based upon expected win % for most of the regular season, Atlanta had the better team. They've got arguably the best SP in our world, and if that isn't enough, I asked my wife this morning and she said Atlanta is going to sweep my team 4-0. She said 2 of the games will be close and 2 of the games will be blowouts. When asked why she felt that we, she responded with "Uribe has struggled so far in the playoffs, and he's too good of a pitcher to let that continue. Plus, the algorithm has to start kicking in at some point." Ok, we all know she didn't talk about the HBD algorithm, but she did predict a sweep for the other guys. If there is one thing I've learned in my marriage, happy wife = happy life. Atlanta sweeps Charleston to represent the AL in the World Series.


1. Tampa Bay Orange Crush (110-52) vs. 6. Mexico City Margaritas (92-70)

*This matchup features the NL South division champions vs. the second wildcard team. Winner of this series will advance to the World Series to play the Charleston / Atlanta winner. Tampa Bay won the season series 9-1. Here are the probable match-ups for the first 3 games:

Game 1: Washington (TB; 19-8, 2.38) vs. Ausmus (MC; 14-10, 3.32)
Game 2: Mesa (TB; 17-4, 3.24) vs. Salvador (MC; 15-7, 4.00)
Game 3: Atchley (MC; 13-11, 4.79) vs. Arnold (TB; 17-6, 2.89)

*Prediction: Tampa Bay has been as consistent a team the NL has seen since the Richmond team that has since been dismantled. They are ranked 3rd in the NL in hitting and 1st in pitching. Despite not having a true ACE of the staff (at least based on ratings), TB has an amazing 5 SP's with over 16 wins. That type of depth will serve them well in a 7 game series. Mexico City has been like the little engine that could this year. They held off CSP for the final playoff spot. I picked against them vs. Pawtucket and they took care of business. I picked against them vs. Las Vegas, and they proved me wrong. So, behind the sound logic behind your current commissioner, I am going to pick Tampa Bay in 5 games (YOU'RE WELCOME MEXICO CITY!).

What was the best Season 19 off-season move in High Fives?