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OOTP 20 - Fictional Simulations Discuss fictional simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 11-08-2019, 12:40 AM   #681
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SJL Pitcher of the Year

With no clear-cut front-runner there was much speculation about who would win the 1974 Pitcher of the Year award in the SJL.
Would it be Jacksonville's Juan Maldonado, who was the only SJL pitcher with 20 wins? Or Philadelphia's Jeff Tribble, who led the league in WAR among pitchers? Some even thought that 3-time Pitcher of the Year and future Hall-of-Famer Jake Harris could swoop in and take the award.

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But as it turned out, El Paso's 24-year old Dan Bottom, who went 11-4 and led the league in ERA at 2.12 won by a fair margin over Jacksonville's Eddie Osorio with fellow Wolf Pack starter Maldonado finishing in third place.

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Old 11-08-2019, 12:44 AM   #682
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MGL Pitcher of the Year

There was no drama here. It was clear that Aaron McNally would win this award, the only question was if anyone else would get any first place votes. And the answer was, of course, no.
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The Brewers Cheol-han Lee finished in 4th place
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:51 AM   #683
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Sjl 1974 mvp

At age 29, Ricky Salinas could soon be a free agent if the Jacksonville Wolf Pack don't find a way to sign him to an extension soon. And if so, the sparkplug right fielder with 4 Gold Gloves, 3 All-Star appearances, a Silver Slugger award, 3 championship rings, one of them for World Series in which he was named MVP, should earn a huge payday, especially now that he has won his first league MVP award.

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Old 11-08-2019, 06:03 PM   #684
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Brewers expansion draft protection list update

I'll keep this one brief.
Harry made the cut. (Lyerly, that is.) For some reason John Weaver did not appear on the list for protection (is there some kind of Arizona Fall League loophole, intentional or unintentional?)

The most significant omissions from the list were catcher Kevin Curtis and reliever Sam Pruiett. They are both established enough and good enough players that I can't imagine them not being picked by one of the expansion clubs.

I was able to protect minor leaguer Jorge Gonzalez, just in case. He is a highly enough rated prospect that even if I don't ever use him as a Brewer he could bring pretty good trade value.

We'll find out later tonight, but essentially the Brewers should remain pretty much intact for 1975 though surely we will lose a few (to a handful of) decent minor league prospects, along with Curtis and Pruiett.

(Edit: and a little teaser. So now that I've basically protected all of our starting pitchers, including Justin Peacock and prospect John Weaver, the International Free Agent list is revealed. And sure enough, there is a potential generational talent, a right handed starting pitcher out of Japan, who is only 26 years old, an extreme groundballer, with great movement and control. With Cheol-han Lee heading into his mid-30's, this guy could be a great replacement. We can afford him (I've been a very good manager of our owner's money and we always lead the league- by a lot- in attendence) and as the reigning champs you would think he would be happy to come play for us. This is such a dilemma for me. I don't like to stack the team, especially through free agency. But the owner wants me to acquire a Pitcher of the Year and this guy looks like he could end up being that. And Lee won't last forever. And we aren't great at developing front-line starting pitchers. Okay- this was supposed to just be a teaser and I've gone on and on. Enough for now. More later.)
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:22 PM   #685
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This year's International Free Agent class

So with free agency filing day upon us we get our first look at the International Free Agents hitting the market.

And largely it is an uninspiring group, with several who don't look like they fare that well in AA ball.

But then there are these two:

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What team wouldn't want either of these gents. If the scouts are to be believed (and, of course, there is much more murkiness when predicting how a player from another country's league might respond to the WPK), Sadahige Kawaski could be the best pitcher in the WPK, or at least a worthy rival to Aaron McNally for that title, from the moment he enters the league.

And second baseman Xiao-mei Mah out of Taiwan could soon compete for a batting title and could instantly be one of the best overall hitters in the game. (On both of these players, the OSA and the Brewers scouting staff largely agree, although our staff is even higher on Mah's abilities than the OSA is.)

With all of our player under contract for 1975 already, and with the strong possibility the expansion clubs will grab up some of our players with big league contracts, further freeing up money in the budget, we could easily sign both of these free agents and still have some money to burn. (We currently have $1,373,832 available for free agent signings.) Now, to be clear, we won't be doing that. The Brewers are pretty content with the status at second base at this time. But as mentioned above, adding a quality arm to the rotation is always a desirable thing.

If we are going to move we better do it quickly. In a rather weak free agent market, these two are likely to be the most sought after players. Beyond reigning SJL MVP Ricky Salinas, future HOF reliever Jamel McNeil, and the wildly popular 7-time All-Star third baseman Trevor Leach, there isn't much front line talent in this free agency class.

What will the Brewers do? Wow, that's a good question. We have a full rotation and then some with Cheol-han Lee, Erik Sloan, Steve Green, Hector Hard, Harry Lyerly, Matt Helm, and Justin Peacock. (Roughly in that order, though if Helm stays healthy and pitches like he did in 1974, he moves up that list.) If we added righty Kawasaki, who do we eliminate? (Assuming you can keep Helm and/or Peacock in the bullpen at least part of the time.) Having just made a last minute decision to protect Harry Lyerly from the expansion draft, he seems like the most likely to unload. And as you know, Lyerly is a sentimental favorite of Brewers management.
This one is sort of a heart versus head decision. And it's too early to know which will win.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:30 PM   #686
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No Stacking

You are right Bird. You should not "stack". You should let Los Angeles sign him! Don't worry about having too many pitchers. You have been WAY too lucky with your pitchers health. Soon the devil's due will come with injuries, ability dropoffs, etc. Your worry of a stack will not be a long term problem. Sign him and if he works out will allow you to let go of or move declining pitchers for prospects. If he is as good as your scout says and you trust your scout and you can afford (find a way) then do it. Oh and don't forget to always make your owner happy. You wouldn't like your owner to be unhappy would you?!?!

On another subject the expansion. If I were you I would take expansion off the league evolution list as it is very limited and the AI doesn't work well in regards to it. You will have to set up the divisions manually how you want. I would suggest thinking about the long term view of what you want your final WPK league to look like. How many divisions and how many teams per division do you forsee in the end league structure. Then obviously you map out a date plan (can be semi random) for when to expand. I do not suggest expanding more than 2 teams a year and at least 3 or more years between (preferably 5). The reason for these numbers is to prevent over dilution of players. Common sense, experience and research has allowed me to learn this information.

Do you want the WPK to end up in the style of the MLB with 30 teams, 2 sub-leagues, 3 divisions per sub-league and 5 teams per division.

OR

Perhaps a more comfortable 24 team, 2 sub-leagues, 2 divisions per sub-league and 6 teams per division. This format would only require you to set up the structure and perform MJL expansion of 2 teams in say 5 years or so and you would be set.

Have a good night!

Palaaemon

I could suggest other choices but I cannot see you wanting to go beyond a MLB format.

If you have any other questions about expansion feel free to contact me.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:16 AM   #687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
You are right Bird. You should not "stack". You should let Los Angeles sign him! Don't worry about having too many pitchers. You have been WAY too lucky with your pitchers health. Soon the devil's due will come with injuries, ability dropoffs, etc. Your worry of a stack will not be a long term problem. Sign him and if he works out will allow you to let go of or move declining pitchers for prospects. If he is as good as your scout says and you trust your scout and you can afford (find a way) then do it.

On another subject the expansion. If I were you I would take expansion off the league evolution list as it is very limited and the AI doesn't work well in regards to it. You will have to set up the divisions manually how you want. I would suggest thinking about the long term view of what you want your final WPK league to look like. How many divisions and how many teams per division do you forsee in the end league structure. Then obviously you map out a date plan (can be semi random) for when to expand. I do not suggest expanding more than 2 teams a year and at least 3 or more years between (preferably 5). The reason for these numbers is to prevent over dilution of players. Common sense, experience and research has allowed me to learn this information.

Do you want the WPK to end up in the style of the MLB with 30 teams, 2 sub-leagues, 3 divisions per sub-league and 5 teams per division.

OR

Perhaps a more comfortable 24 team, 2 sub-leagues, 2 divisions per sub-league and 6 teams per division. This format would only require you to set up the structure and perform MJL expansion of 2 teams in say 5 years or so and you would be set.

Have a good night!

Palaaemon

I could suggest other choices but I cannot see you wanting to go beyond a MLB format.

If you have any other questions about expansion feel free to contact me.
Yeah, as I've thought about it this evening I've come to the conclusion that I should probably go ahead and try to sign him. I certainly don't mind sending Peacock packing and some combination of Helm, Hard, and Lyerly can move back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation. Helm is fragile and you never know when we might lose him to injury. Or any of them really. They are pitchers after all.

As for expansion. I just don't know. I kind of want to somewhat trust the program even though I know others with far more OOTP experience (yourself included) argue against that. (Or at least point out potential pitfalls in that approach.) Things have worked out for me so well with this league so far without messing with things too much. And having just completed the expansion draft (which I found fascinating and think went rather well) I am pretty committed to this current expansion. I guess I figure I will ride this one out for now and then when another round comes make decisions about possible league restructuring. I hear what you are saying about planning ahead for what I want the WPK to look like. But, well, personality reveal/confession- while I like to plan some things out I do tend to be a bit more of a go with the flow guy. When I started this league part of the appeal was to see what it would do, not to dictate what it would do. To a certain extent I really relish the idea of having this thing sort of take on a shape of its own, very organically. (Yeah, I know, I'm starting to sound like an artsy humanities major trying to explain to his conservative mid-western father why he didn't choose a course of study with a greater earnings potential. Which, I guess makes sense, since I was that kid once upon a time. Just a middle-aged version playing a computer baseball game now. )
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:27 AM   #688
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First off, congrats to the Brewers! Nice.

Expansion will add another element to the depth of the league. Hope it works out well. GL
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:07 AM   #689
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WPK Expansion Draft- 1974

The Expansion Draft was held today and the Chicago Fire and Houston Cavaliers now have at least the beginnings of their future in place.

In the early rounds the Fire picked a veteran leader in right fielder Luis Machado, 41-year old starting pitcher Joey Brown (more about him below), a young center fielder with great defensive skills (Juan Lobato), veteran knuckleballer Dennis Daniel, a decent power hitting left fielder (Ryan Hammond), and a very talented young right-handed starting pitcher in Tony Rangel. (Rangell needs to develop a bit more control and has a reputation for selfishness but he is also one of the youngest and most talented players chosen in this draft.)

The Cavaliers led off by picking left-handed starting pitcher Chris Mazzola. The 27-year old with great stuff but limited control had two really fine seasons as a Boston Berserker in 1971 (when he led the league in strikeouts) and 1972 (when he went 17-10) but has battled injuries ever since starting just 7 games in 1973 and 15 this past season after returning from a torn labrum. It's a risky pick but if he can stay healthy he is a pretty good starting point for the rotation. And when he does pitch, he will likely most often be working with former Brewer Kevin Curtis behind the plate. Curtis was the second player chosen by Houston, the fourth overall. (Brewers fans are not happy!) In Doug Helmick, their next pick, the Cavaliers got a good power/speed/defense package for left field. Third baseman Dustin Walker has a good eye at the plate and is a solid defender and perhaps most importantly brings great leadership to the expansion club. Ted Watson is an interesting pick. He is a hard working 25-year old with a great changeup, above average stuff and control, but poor movement.

(And here is where an aside is appropriate. Something important to note about both of these expansion clubs is that they will be playing their home games in stadiums that favor pitching and speed and defense and suppress the home run. And as I watched the draft unfold it seemed that both teams were stocking up heavily on great fielders, speedsters, some decent (for an expansion draft) pitching, while not getting a great many good hitters and few good power hitters. It didn't seem like the worst possible strategy. They might get battered on the road, but they have the potential to be, well, at least not completely inept at home.)

With their sixth pick the Cavaliers chose outfielder John Hillman, who for the past few years has been a mainstay for the Brewers AAA club, the Chester Big Stick. He was blocked in Denver but he certainly has the bat to play at the big league level, and while he is very slow his base-stealing and base-running skills are far better than one would expect. He'll never win any Gold Gloves, but his arm is very strong and he can be an acceptable right fielder.

Some other interesting picks:
Houston got reliever Mike Mayberry with their 11th pick. He needs to develop more control, but he has the potential to anchor their bullpen the next several years.
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Similar deal for Chicago, choosing Jeff Ault with their 14th pick.
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And how the heck did the Fire get Javy Bermudez with their 18th pick. Fan favorite, durable, terrific slider and plus sinker, wonderful movement. If the Brewers scouts are to be believed, one of the most talented relievers picked up in this expansion draft.
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And shortstop Bill Street, with his terrific glove and not horrible hit tool, is a pretty good pick for an expansion team.
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Other Brewers chosen: Sam Pruiett went to Houston in Round 17. Starting pitcher Raul Melendrez, who pitched most of the year in AAA but spent a bit of time with the Brewers in September, was also chosen by Houston (Round 13.) And that's it really. I thought we would lose more.

Now back to Joey Brown. The 41-year old, who pitched for the Brewers the second half of the 1966 season, has had a fascinating career. He's never been considered an ace, never been a great pitcher. But he keeps hanging around, putting up mostly decent season after decent season with a few really fine seasons mixed in (12-9, 2.28 in 1968, 20-8, 3.22 in 1969, 16-6, 3.09 this past season). He's a risk not only because he is 41 years old but also because he profiles as fragile. Of his 4 pitches, none are even as good as average. And yet, he has plus movement and plus control. He's a likable guy and a survivor. And while he might not be a great choice for an expansion team, he's a great story and something about this just feels so right. Hopefully the old guy can end his career on a nice note, even if his team will likely lose a ton of games.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:26 AM   #690
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Trevor Leach to El Paso

Veteran free agent third baseman Trevor Leach, who spent the first 8 years of his WPK career as a member of the Pittsburgh Roadrunners, today signed a contract with the El Paso Dawgs as a free agent. The contract could keep him in a Dawgs uniform for the next six seasons.
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El Paso needed a new third baseman as last year's starter, John Millen, was recently chosen by the Chicago Fire in the expansion draft. Leach, a 7-time All-Star and one of the most beloved players in the game, is a decided upgrade over Millen.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:47 AM   #691
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Philly gets Xiao-mei Mah!

The Philadelphia Mud Hens were in the running for the SJL title right up until the last days of the 1974 season and today they signaled their intention to take the next step in 1975 when they signed one of the two most coveted international free agents on the market this off-season when they inked Taiwanese second baseman Xiao-mei Mah to a 4-year deal.
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There are questions around the WPK about what the Mud Hens intentions are now for current second baseman David Littau, who was an All-Star this past season, is an excellent fielder, and put up 4.2 WAR.
One possibility is that they move Littau to shortstop. But they also recently signed free agent shortstop Josh Nix, who is a 4-time Gold Glover at the position. Rumor is that Nix expects to start, but the reality is that his bat had declined considerably the past 2 seasons and the nearly 32 year old veteran would likely be better suited to a back-up role this coming season. (Nix is known for his selfish attitude though, so this might be a hard sell.)

(The scuttlebutt around the league is that the other most sought after international player- Japanese starting pitcher Sadahige Kawasaki is the subject of a bidding war among several teams, chief among them MGL competitors Charlotte, Phoenix, and Denver. The thought at the moment is that the Brewers have seized the upper hand and are most likely to get the talented righty.)
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:22 AM   #692
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Wily old veteran

Bird,

You know, you talking about Joey Brown (the 41 year old veteran pitcher) that the Chicago Fire drafted in the WPK expansion draft, makes me think of Charlie Hough being drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 1992 MLB expansion draft.

The Chicago front office drafted him not necessarily with the idea of just wanting his 41 year old worn out body with an arm that has very few bullets left (although anything he can give the team they will take) but rather wanting him to bring his experience, knowledge, craftiness, poise, leadership and every other intangible that he might possess to the team. The front office expects him to lead and mentor the rotation and pen (not necessarily as the ace). To show them how to pitch rather than throw and work through adversity. What the actual results are remain to be seen.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:53 PM   #693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

You know, you talking about Joey Brown (the 41 year old veteran pitcher) that the Chicago Fire drafted in the WPK expansion draft, makes me think of Charlie Hough being drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 1992 MLB expansion draft.

The Chicago front office drafted him not necessarily with the idea of just wanting his 41 year old worn out body with an arm that has very few bullets left (although anything he can give the team they will take) but rather wanting him to bring his experience, knowledge, craftiness, poise, leadership and every other intangible that he might possess to the team. The front office expects him to lead and mentor the rotation and pen (not necessarily as the ace). To show them how to pitch rather than throw and work through adversity. What the actual result are remain to be seen.
Yes, excellent. Thanks for this. I wasn't recalling specific instances but this did feel very familiar to me, like something that would actually happen in an expansion draft. And I love the idea of Brown being sort of the Charlie Hough of the WPK. Granted, Brown is not a knuckleballer like Hough was and certainly not as durable as Hough. Still, I think they are similar in terms of career trajectory. I was so fascinated by this idea that I decided to subject them to Bill James' similarity score tool. Comparing Brown's WPK career to Hough's MLB career for the same age period (age 31-40, which for Hough was 1979-1988), the score was 828. Not terribly similar, but not completely un-similar either. The biggest differences were because of Hough's greater durability: he just pitched a lot more during this period then Brown has. But they had very similar win-loss percentages and ERA's, they both have been used as starters and out of the bullpen, pitched a very similar number of complete games and shutouts. The biggest differences, even accounting for the disparity in innings pitched, was in terms of strikeouts and walks. Hough both struck out many more batters and walked many more. Oops, I just remembered I forgot to factor in handedness. Since Brown is a lefty and Hough was a righty the similarity score actually drops to 818.

Still, I think it's a great comparison in terms of reputation and significance in the game and as an expansion draft pick.


On another note (and I was going to say this in a separate post, but since it's mostly of interest to you and in response to you, might as well do it here), I found myself thinking a lot this early morning about WPK expansion. And I think I have come to a decision to wait on what seems the logical next step for the program- adding two more franchises before too long- and then, if the program doesn't do it for me, breaking the leagues into divisions, with 6 teams in each, as you mentioned. And then shutting down any possibility of expansion at least temporarily. Not excluding the possibility of future expansion (whether by the program or manual) but seeing how things are working out before making any decisions about that.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:37 PM   #694
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L.A. Spinners trade for Mike Stagner

Mike Stagner was the first player chosen in the 1966 draft and in 1973 won the SJL Pitcher of the Year award with a record of 20-10 with a 2.94 ERA.
In 1974, at the age of 30, Stagner had his worst season in the bigs. He was 7-17 and had an ERA of 4.95. And with his team, the Milwaukee Cadets, finishing in last, and Stagner being eligible for free agency at the end of the 1975 season, it was nearly inevitable he would be traded soon.
And sure enough, the L.A. Spinners, with one of their key members of the 1974 rotation, Jesse Hartong, a free agent and almost surely not to re-sign with the Spinners, brought the L.A. born and raised Stagner back home by sending the Cadets veteran slugging outfielder Rigby Muckenfuss and 20-year old pitching prospect Chris Way.
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Stagner is durable, a power pitching ground ball specialist, and most believe his skills are relatively undiminished. The feeling around the league is that the move to the pitching-friendly environments of Avalon Park and as a member of the one of the most accomplished rotations in the game should lead to a bounce-back year for Stagner.
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In a related note, a few weeks later the Baltimore Lords announced they had signed Hartong to a 6-year deal.
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(EDIT: Oh, and I probably should have mentioned that the Cadets offered us Stagner for Oscar Vargas and reliever Eric Marino. Which probably would have been a pretty good deal for us and certainly had my assistant G.M. salivating. I said no, having my sights set elsewhere.)
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:45 PM   #695
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Salinas to Charlotte

Ricky Salinas, the SJL MVP in 1974, is now a member of the Charlotte Sting, who have signed him to a 6-year deal.
The Sting had a strong showing in 1974 and this acquisition signals their intention to compete for the MGL crown in 1975.
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Salinas essentially replaces former Brewer Ruben "Streak" Souffront as the Sting right fielder as Souffront is also a free agent this off-season and unlikely to return to Charlotte.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:57 PM   #696
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Phoenix signs more relief pitchers (of course)

Well, those Phoenix Speed Devils are at it again- stockpiling free agent relief pitchers in the off-season.

So far this off-season they have signed 28-year old Guillermo Cruz, who has pitched for Washington the past 3 seasons and 32-year old Barry Guy, who has spent his entire career with the L.A. Spinners until now.
They both look like better relief pitcher signings than the team has made the past few years, but the power-hitting Speed Devils, who finished in 8th place and have been disappointing for years, will need to do much more than just shore up the bullpen if they wish to contend.
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(Granted, several WPK insiders have indicated that the team has been actively engaged in the bidding war for Japanese starting pitcher Sadahige Kawaski. Phoenix, along with the Denver Brewers and Charlotte Sting, appear to be one of the main contenders to engage the talented right-handers services. At this point though most insiders consider the Brewers the front-runners to get Kawaski.)
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:07 PM   #697
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Schardein signs with Milwaukee!

The great Jaime Schardein, 2-time Pitcher of the Year, the author of the first Perfect Game in WPK history, and the only pitcher in the WPK to win the pitching triple crown until Aaron McNally did it this past season, has signed a two-year deal to pitch for the Milwaukee Cadets.
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At age 38 (he'll turn 39 just prior to the start of the 1975 season) Schardein is still a valuable pitcher, but nothing like the dominant ace he was in his younger days. There are those who question the wisdom of a rebuilding team signing a starter in the twilight of his career especially on the heels of trading away a fine starter in his prime. Still, it's nice to see Schardein have a chance to prove his worth for at least a few more seasons.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:14 PM   #698
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Kawasaki to don Brewer purple!

And it's finally official! After what was purportedly a long drawn out process in which several teams were vying for the services of Japanese right-handed starting pitcher Sadahige Kawasaki, the Denver Brewers have prevailed and have signed the talented 26-year old to a 6-year deal which makes him the 4th highest paid player in the league for the coming season (behind Jesse Hartong, teammate Cheol-han Lee, and Jacksonville starter Reece Vaughan.)

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The acquisition is seen around the league as a clear sign of the Brewers intentions to defend their WPK championship title with full force in 1975.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:39 PM   #699
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Superstar Brodeur slapped with drug suspension

Joe Brodeur was the SJL MVP of 1973 and is one of the most talented players in the game but he is also gaining a reputation as one of the more troubled players in the WPK and a real clubhouse disruption. Today that perception was enhanced when the league issued an 80-game suspension to him for violating the league's drug policies.

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This is yet another obstacle for the San Antonio Keys as they attempt to rise up the ladder in the SJL with several very talented young stars. Their young shortstop, Bud Lindsay, who does not have the temperamental issues of Brodeur and is in fact considered the team's captain, struggles to stay healthy. And the team has still not been able to build a stable pitching staff, even with the tremendous season that staff ace Mike Girard (18-3, 2.70) gave them last season. The gifted 24-year old Brodeur is the kind of player who can carry a team on his back, but it increasingly becomes clear that he is also the type of player who could drag this team back into mediocrity.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:49 PM   #700
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Wolf Pack extend Osorio through 1979

The Jacksonville Wolf Pack announced today that they had reached an agreement with 16-game winner Eddie Osorio to keep him in a Jacksonville uniform through the 1979 season.
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Osorio had an excellent season in 1974 but there are questions about his age and durability and some feel this wasn't the wisest use of resources for the reigning SJL champions.
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