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Old 05-13-2018, 01:58 PM   #21
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And now a short word about the enemy. The enemy would be of course, generally, and probably for obvious reasons, the LA. Spinners. But on the Spinners one man epitomizes all that is unholy and feared: 25-year old relief pitcher, Jamel "Cobra" McNeil. Despised by teammates, coaches, and fans alike, McNeil is nevertheless the best darned relief pitcher in the WPK and when he enters the game the opponent senses that defeat is inevitable.
I give you, Brewers Enemy #1, Jamel McNeil:
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:29 PM   #22
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Wow, a closer that logs 152 innings and strikes out 195 batters while compiling a 0.75 WHIP
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germaniac View Post
Wow, a closer that logs 152 innings and strikes out 195 batters while compiling a 0.75 WHIP
Yes, those numbers are crazy. Then again, remember this is using strategies and statistical modifiers that correspond with the 1965 MLB season. So not as out of line for that period of baseball as it would be now. Still- this guy is just crazy good. And, of course, unlike modern closers (even though that is technically his job title), he was brought into games in high leverage situations in various innings, not just in the 9th with a lead, and with his stamina could rather easily pitch 2-3 innings or even more on occasion.

(I hadn't really looked at this terribly closely or thought about it that much since he isn't on my team- but crunching the numbers he averaged more than 1 2/3rds innings per appearance. Whereas my own closer- Poblano- who ended up with an impressive 11 wins and 21 saves, averaged just a bit over an inning per appearance.)

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Old 05-14-2018, 05:11 PM   #24
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BTW, Germaniac, I want to thank you for following along and commenting. I will certainly be following your European League!
It is hard to find a way to talk to someone about a fictional league that only you actually know so my hope here is to slowly paint a picture that might make some of these players and this league come to life for someone other than just me.
It is good to have this area of the forum to interact with other OOTP'ers who enjoy the fictional side of things.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:08 PM   #25
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September 1965:
The final full month of the season saw the Brewers holding their own as a number of the young players on the team were showing clear signs of starting to adjust to being at the big league level. Although the team started the month a bit sluggish, they soon heated up and reeled off 7 straight wins from September 6th through the 14th. One of the young players helping to lead the way during this stretch was Ruben Souffront. Souffront went 10 for 25 (.400) with 12 RBI, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, and 1 SB during the 7 game win streak.
Young shortstop Chad Brown also displayed great progress, having his best month with the bat, hitting .277 with 10 runs scored, 7 RBI, and hitting his only 2 HR's of the season. More importantly, Brown, who had committed 24 errors at the end of June, 32 at the end of July, and was up to 40 at the end of August, only picked up 3 more errors the rest of the way. Brown, who turned 19 on August 20th, looks to be a premiere defensive shortstop eventually, but largely due to his rookie struggles in the field, he ended the 1965 season with a -1.0 WAR. Still, our head scout is very high on his future potential and for the time being the starting shortstop job is his to lose.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:18 PM   #26
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September 1965 (con't):
While the Brewers and their fans were generally not under any delusion that they were likely to win the MGL in 1965, on September 22nd it was still a disappointment having to face the mathematical reality of having no chance to do so.
Still, going 15-11 for the month assured the Brewers of a winning record and left them in 2nd place at the end of September, 1 game ahead of Phoenix, with 3 games left in the regular season.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:57 PM   #27
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So with 3 games left in the regular season, let's step away a moment to take a quick tour of the Moonlight Graham League and get a quick introduction to each team (leaving, for the moment the Los Angeles Spinners, who we know a bit already and who will get plenty of attention soon) and at least one player on each team who stands out, particularly those players the Brewers have come to fear and respect.
And we will start with the Brewers closest geographic rival, the Phoenix Speed Devils. Coming into the last few games of the season the Speed Devils have moved into 3rd place, just a game behind the Brewers.
The Speed Devils have a fairly balanced team as they would finish the season tied for 5th in the league in runs scored and alone in 5th in runs allowed. In terms of their pitching staff, their bullpen was a bit stronger than their starting staff. Overall, the real strength of their pitching was the ability to strike out opponents, as their staff strikeout total of 1045 was best in the league. On the other hand, they were 6th in the league in HR's allowed (147) so that was a relative weakness.
On offense, the Speed Devils earned their nickname as they stole 126 bases, second only to our Brewers. Their team batting average was an anemic .223 (8th in the MGL) but their SLG and OPS were both 4th in the league. A key contributor to this was their 22-year old star Left Fielder, Joe Esman.
The Brewers split the season series with Phoenix, 9-9. It probably helped that for some reason Esman was relative quiet against us.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:13 PM   #28
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Next up, let's take a look at the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings. The Diamond Kings were an up and down team and when at their best looked like the class of the league. They led the MGL in team batting average (.240), and Starters ERA (3.04) as well as defensive efficiency (.741) But on offense they were under-powered (96 HR, last in the league) and impatient (451 walks, last in the league) and this led to them being only 7th in the league in runs scored. They fared better when in the field, as they were second in runs allowed. But to the extent that they did not walk on offense, they did allow the opposition plenty of bases on balls (7th in league) and HR's (156, 8th in the MGL.)
And in spite of the heroics of their great and speedy young Center Fielder, Felix Lopez, who hit .358/.403/.552 with 11 stolen bases and only 1 caught stealing against the Brewers on the season, Oklahoma City proved to be the second easiest opponent for the Brewers in 1965, as we had a record of 12-6 against them.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:24 PM   #29
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Starting our tour now of the teams that finished below the break-even mark in the MGL, we will begin with a trip out east to visit the Baltimore Lords. The Lords were one of the least balanced teams in the league as they had a dynamic offense and a very lacking pitching staff. The Lords led the league in runs (629) while finishing 8th in runs allowed (620). While their bullpen was quite respectable (2.51 ERA, 2nd), their overall ERA ranked 7th and their Starters ERA (3.47) ranked 8th. On offense they were 1st or 2nd statistically in every major category except bases on balls (7th) and stolen bases (10th, with only 27.)
Our Brewers struggled a bit though against the Lords solid offense, winning 8 games while losing 10.
Third Baseman Ron Ganier was a particular thorn in the side of Brewers' pitchers (.328/.397/.459).
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:35 PM   #30
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Next up: The San Francisco Velocity. A very poor hitting but respectable pitching team that just totally had our number during the 1965 season.
The Velocity finished either last or next to last in nearly every offensive category and their highest ranking was in HR's (144) where they merely ranked 6 out of 10 teams. They were, however, 2nd in team ERA (2.98) and 3rd in runs allowed (566) and they were very stingy with the longball (114 HRA, 2nd.)
Against the Brewers the Velocity won 13 games while losing only 5.
One reason was the way young knuckleballer, Dennis Daniel pitched against us. in 3 starts against the Brewers he went 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 21 K's and only 4 BB's.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:43 PM   #31
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On to the Brooklyn Aces. Brooklyn was a team with solid hitting but underwhelming pitching and porous defense. They were 3rd in team BA and OPS and 4th in runs scored in the MGL, but 7th in runs allowed, 8th in team ERA, and 9th in defensive efficiency.
The Brewers went 11-7 against the Aces on the year.
Veteran Center Fielder, Eric Canova, did do some damage to the Brewers though (.258/.303/.581, 5 doubles, 5 HR, 14 RBI).
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:50 PM   #32
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Another team the Brewers fared pretty well against were the Charlotte Sting. Then again, the Sting were, well, just not very good. They finished 9th in runs scored and 9th in runs allowed in the league. Really, their best skill on offense was not striking out too terribly much (929, 5th) and when in the field it was the ability to not allow too many free passes to the opposition (480, 6th.)
The Brewers went 11-7 against Charlotte.
One player who did do some damage to Denver was young Right Fielder Rigby Muckenfuss (who the Brewers manager liked to call by a rather colorful variation of his last name, which is not printable here.)
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:58 PM   #33
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Then we have the Detroit Falcons. Another unspectacular club. The Falcons finished 8th in runs scored and 6th in runs allowed. On offense they did manage to finish 2nd in the league in bases-on-balls but with poor contact skills as a team, their OBP was only 6th best. Their pitching staff was rather stingy with the longball (127 HRA, 3rd) but otherwise they were mostly in the bottom quarter of the league and their defensive efficiency was dead last.
The Brewers took 11 of 18 from Detroit.
Even the aptly named slugging third baseman Jamison Bash only managed one round tripper against the Brewers. But he's a home run hitter named Bash, so I had to spotlight him here.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:04 PM   #34
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And finally, ending our tour of all the also-ran teams in the Moonlight Graham League: the Portland Wild Things. What can I say about the Portland Wild Things. Well, they have a great name. And they were 1st in the MGL in OBP as a team. And dead last in 7 of the major pitching categories. But hey, they have a great name.
The Brewers were 13-5 versus the Wild Things. My guess is a few of those might have been games where our guys let up a little out of pity.
Then again, for all of the fun I am poking at the Portland club, they do have one of the best players in the game, in his prime, Andy "Lemonhead" Wilson. (I'm constantly mistakenly referring to him as Puddin' head.)
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:56 PM   #35
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But now, for a moment, to interrupt the story of the 1965 Brewers season for a little current event reporting: in the Arizona Fall League today (today, in this case, being 11/07/1965), Brewers farm hand Zach Barr tossed a no-hitter. Barr, a pretty pedestrian prospect as a AA and AAA closer this past season, has been starting in the AFL and has been amazing the entire AFL season thus far, but today's no-hitter really took things to another level. Is it possible that our own scouting department and the OSA have all been underestimating this guy? (Okay, probably not. Just a nice stretch. Still, it's pretty fun while it lasts.)
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:58 PM   #36
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The man of the moment: Mr. Zach Barr:
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:50 PM   #37
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Well, Zach might have earned 'shortlist' status, at the least. I'd be interested to see how he follows up on this outing.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:12 AM   #38
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Quote:
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Well, Zach might have earned 'shortlist' status, at the least. I'd be interested to see how he follows up on this outing.
With just one game left in the AFL regular season, Zach has had a few more starts. And while they weren't nearly as dominant as his no-hitter, he has continued to be one of the stronger pitchers in the league.
He will certainly be monitored closely in Spring Training and could possibly earn a spot in the pen. But more likely, as you suggest, I will shortlist him at AAA and watch closely for any positive development. Given that his success in the AFL has been as a starter, and that my system is weak in that area, it would be wonderful if somehow he developed that third pitch into something not horrible and possibly became a usable back-end of the rotation guy. Not counting on it, by any means. But one can always hope.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:07 PM   #39
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So, let's wrap up the 1965 WPK regular season shall we. When we left our Brewers, at the end of September 1965, they were sitting in 2nd place in the MGL (1 game ahead of the Phoenix Speed Kings) with 3 games left in the season. The Brewers lost to the Detroit Falcons on the 1st of October but Phoenix also lost, to the Baltimore Lords, to keep the status quo. The Brewers then would win their final two games against Detroit- very narrowly (3-2, 4-3). On October 2nd in 11 innings on a walk-off run-scoring single by veteran first baseman Pablo Gonzalez and on October 3rd with another walk-off win, this one thanks to a 10th inning Sam Rogers solo HR. This was only the 4th HR of the season for captain Sam.
And with the Speed Kings winning their last two against Baltimore the Brewers needed these extra-inning heroics to hold on to 2nd place.
A very respectable finish indeed!
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:10 PM   #40
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The final standings of the 1965 W.P. Kinsella League would show the Jacksonville Wolf Pack easily winning the Shoeless Joe League while the Los Angeles Spinners, who led most of the season, rolled to a World Series invitation with a Moonlight Graham League title.
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