Thursday, December 31, 2015

Series 2: Orators take two of three from Orioles

Orators 2-4; Orioles 2-5

Game One: Orators 13, Orioles 1
WP: Shocker (1-0)
LP: Hardin (0-1)
HR; Cuyler 2 (2); F Robinson (3)

Game Two: Orioles 3, Orators 2
WP: Richert (1-0)
LP: Sutton (0-2)
HR: F Robinson 2 (5)

Game Three: Orators 6, Orioles 4
WP: Jenkins (1-1)
LP: McNally (0-1)
Save: Danforth (1)

Kiki Cuyler hit two homers and drove in seven runs in the fifth inning of the series opener for Ortonville. The Orators scored 12 runs in the inning; of the nine men in the lineup, only Jim O'Roarke didn't score in the inning. Urban Shocker allowed seven hits in the complete game.

The Orators took a 2-0 lead in the third inning of the second game on consecutive singles by Richie Ashburn, Billy Herman and Dan Brouthers followed by a Cuyler sac fly, but Frank Robinson tied it with a two-run homer in the sixth. Robby led off the bottom of the ninth with another homer off Don Sutton for the walk off.

The rubber match went to Ortonville, which peppered Dave McNally for six runs in the first four innings. Cuyler and O'Roarke each had two RBIs for the Orators. Baltimore pulled to within 6-4 in the seventh and had two on with one out, but Ferguson Jenkins struck out pinch-hitter Dave May and Don Buford to protect his lead.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

End of Series 1

The standings

                          W      L    Pct.     GB
Flashes               3       0    1.000    --
Black Caps         2       0    1.000    .5
Rams                  3       1      .750    .5
Orioles               1       3      .250   2.5
Quakers              0       2      .000   2.5
Orators               0       3      .000   3

Series Two
Quakers at Flashes (3)
Orators at Orioles (3)
Rams at Black Caps (3)

Series 1: Flashes sweep Orators

Game One: Flashes 18, Orators 3
WP: Grimes (1-0)
LP: Sutton (0-1)
HR: Brouthers (1)

Game Two: Flashes 5, Orators 3
WP: Haines (1-0)
LP: Jenkins (0-1)
Save: Bentley (1)

Game Three: Flashes 11, Orators 2
WP: Barnes (1-0)
LP: Wingard (0-1)
HR; Snyder (1)

Big innings came easily to the hometeam Flashes in this series.

Fordham batted around three times in the opening game, putting up seven runs in the fourth inning, four in the fifth and four more in the seventh. The Flashes racked up 19 hits, including four doubles and two triples. Fred Lindstrom scored four runs, while Ross Youngs, Joe Medwick and Dave Bancroft had three apiece. Medwick drove in six runs. Burleigh Grimes went the distance, allowing 11 hits.

The Orators held a 3-1 lead into the seventh of the second game, with Ferguson Jenkins looking strong. But the Flashes rose up for four runs in the seventh: George Kelly led off with a single, Hank Gowdy walked and Bancroft drove in Kelly with a base hit. After pinch-hitter Billy Southworth flew out, Youngs walked to load the bases and Lindstrom doubled all three men home.

The Flashes put the series finale away early, with a five-run outburst in the third inning. Medwick drove in two runs with a double, and Kelly tripled home two more. Frank Snyder hit the only homer the Flashes got in the series in the sixth inning. Medwick and Kelly each had three RBIs, while Youngs, Medwick, Jim Bottomley and Chick Hafey each scored twice.

Medwick was 7-for-15 in the three games with nine RBIs and five runs. Lindstrom was 8-for-13 with six runs scored and five RBIs. Bth hit four doubles. Bottomley totaled seven RBIs.

Pitcher availability: For the Orators, Kolp (4.6 innings in Game Three) needs a couple games off. For the Flashes, Bentley (2 innings) should sit one game for each inning he pitches in the first game of Series 2

Rotations: Flashes: Neft-Grimes-Haines-McQuillan-Barnes.

Orators: Shocker-Sutton-Jenkins- ??? (Davis, Danforth, Kolp)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Series 1: Rams take 3 of 4 from Orioles

Game 1: Rams 9, Orioles 1
WP: Perry (1-0)
LP: Cuellar (0-1)
HR: F Robinson (1), Wilson (1)

Game 2: Orioles 6, Rams 5
WP: Hall (1-0)
LP: Ruffing (0-1)
Save: Watt (1)
HR: Hendricks (1), F Robinson (2)

Game 3: Rams 7, Orioles 0
WP: Whitehill (1-0)
LP: Palmer (0-1)

Game 4: Rams 2, Orioles 1
WP: Collins (1-0)
LP: Phoebus (0-1)
Save: Dauss (1)
HR: Wilson (2), Flick (1), Salmon (1)

The visiting Rams took control of the opener in the second inning, when they scored six runs off Baltimore ace Mike Cuellar. Two of the runs were unearned, but Raymond had four singles and a double in the uprising. Hack Wilson hit a two-run homer in the eight off Dave Leonhard, while all the Birds could muster against Gaylord Perry was a solo shot in the fourth by Frank Robinson.

Game Two looked like more of the same. The Rams peppered Dave McNally for 10 hits and four runs in seven innings, with Ray Schalk bopping a pair of run-scoring doubles, while Red Ruffing allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings. But in the bottom of the sixth, down 4-0, Don Buford doubled, Davey Johnson singled and Robinson homered to cut the deficit to 4-3. In the eighth, Paul Blair singled, Brooks Robinson tripled to tie the score and Elrod Hendricks homered for a two-run lead. Hack Wilson singled in Earle Combs in the ninth to halve the margin, but that was all the Rams got.

Earl Whitehill spun a seven-hit shutout in Game Three, although he had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to secure it. The Rams got all they needed off Jim Palmer in the first inning. Joe Sewell walked, Wilson doubled, Frank Chance tripled for two runs and Elmer Flick singled for a third. But the Rams salted this one away with four more off Palmer in the fifth, with Chance doubling home two more runs in the process.

Rip Collins outdueled Tom Phoebus in the fourth and final game. Collins allowed three singles and a solo homer to Chico Salmon, filling in at second for the injured Johnson. The Rams got solo homers from Wilson in the first inning and Flick in the seventh. Phoebus allowed only three other hits in his eight innings. Hooks Dauss worked a perfect ninth for the save.

Pitcher availability: For the Rams, Perry and Ruffing start the next two games. A fifth starter, either Ken Holloway or Lil Stoner, should be used after that. The Orioles will start Jim Hardin next, then Cuellar and McNally. Dauss and Dick Hall pitched one inning apiece in the finale, and all other relievers are rested and ready.

Rotations: For the Rams, Perry-Ruffing-xxxx-Whitehill-Perry-Ruffing-Collins-xxxx.

For the Orioles, Hardin-Cuellar-McNally-Palmer-Phoebus-Hardin

Friday, December 18, 2015

Series 1: Black Caps sweep Quakers

Game One: Black Caps 4, Quakers 2
WP: Holland (1-0)
LP: Lyons (0-1)
Save: McDonald (1)

Game Two: Black Caps 4, Quakers 3
WP: Streeter (1-0)
LP: Faber (0-1)
Save: Currie (1)
HR: Doby (1)

Lincoln Park opened the season with two well-pitched games and a knack for two-out runs.

The Black Caps scored a run in the first inning of the opener on doubles by Vic Harris and Buck O'Neil. The visiting Quakers responded with two runs in the top of the second, but the rally cost them shortstop Rabbit Maranville, who left the game after being hit by a Bill Holland pitch. Joe Tinker doubled to start the rally, and starter Ted Lyons fed it with a bunt single. The Black Caps promptly tied it on Bonnie Serrell's sac fly. The score remained tied at 2 into the fifth, when Sparky Adams, playing short in Maranville's absence, booted Serrell's leadoff grounder. Harris walked, and both runners advanced on a grounder. O'Neil's groundout plated Serrell with the lead run, and Jerry Benjamin singled home Harris. And that was the scoring; Holland left after six innings, and Webster McDonald threw three scoreless frames for the save.

The Quakers scored first in the second and final game of the series. Joe Tinker reached in the third on an error and scored on Hank Greenberg's double. Tony Perez singled home Greenberg for a 2-0 lead. The Black Caps got one back in the bottom of the inning, tied it in the fifth, took the lead in the sixth and expanded the lead to 4-2 in the seventh. Larry Doby homered off Hilton Smith in the eighth to make it 4-3, and Rube Currie pitched the ninth for the save. Sam Streeter went six innings and allowed no earned runs on three hits.

Pitcher status: For the Quakers, Ted Lyons needs two days of rest and Red Faber three. George Milstead pitched two innings in the finale and will need a game off for each inning he pitches in the next game.

For the Black Caps, Holland needs at least two days of rest and Streeter three. McDonald should sit the next game as well. Phil Cockrell, Smith and Currie each pitched one inning and are available to relieve the next game but not start. Projected starters: Bill Drake followed by one of Currie, Cockrell, Tom Williams or Verdell Mathis. If the bullpen is heavily used, Holland can follow.

Projected rotations: For the Quakers, Vic Aldridge-Tony Kaufmann-Lyons-Faber-xxx.

For the Black Caps, preferably Drake-xxx-xxx-Holland.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Leftovers League schedule

Series One
Orators at Flashes (3)
Rams at Orioles (4)
Quakers at Black Caps (2)

Series Two
Quakers at Flashes (3)
Orators at Orioles (3)
Rams at Black Caps (3)

Series Three
Orators at Quakers (4)
Flashes at Rams (3)
Orioles at Black Caps (3)

Series Four
Flashes at Black Caps (3)
Orioles at Quakers (3)
Rams at Orators (3)

Series Five
Orioles at Orators (3)
Flashes at Quakers (3)
Black Caps at Rams (3)

Series Six
Flashes at Orators (3)
Orioles at Rams (2)
Black Caps at Quakers (3)

Series Seven
Rams at Orators (3)
Flashes at Black Caps (3)
Orioles at Quakers (3)

Series Eight
Orioles at Flashes (3)
Quakers at Rams (3)
Black Caps at Orators (2)

Series Nine
Black Caps at Flashes (3)
Quakers at Orioles (3)
Orators at Rams (3)

Series 10
Quakers at Flashes (3)
Orators at Orioles (3)
Black Caps at Rams (3)

Series 11
Rams at Flashes (3)
Black Caps at Orioles (3)
Quakers at Orators (3)

Series 12
Black Caps at Flashes (3)
Quakers at Orioles (3)
Orators at Rams (3)

Series 13
Orioles at Black Caps (3)
Rams at Flashes (3)
Quakers at Orators (3)

Series 14
Flashes at Rams (3)
Orators at Quakers (2)
Black Caps at Orioles (3)

Series 15
Rams at Quakers (3)
Flashes at Orioles (3)
Orators at Black Caps (3)

Series 16
Orioles at Orators (3)
Rams at Black Caps (3)
Flashes at Quakers (3)

Series 17
Orioles at Flashes (3)
Rams at Quakers (3)
Orators at Black Caps (3)

Series 18
Orators at Flashes (3)
Black Caps at Quakers (3)
Orioles at Rams (4)

Series 19
Black Caps at Orators (4)
Quakers at Rams (3)
Flashes at Orioles (3)

Series 20
Flashes at Orators (3)
Rams at Orioles (2)
Quakers at Black Caps (4)

Other rules and comment

The schedule will be posted next. Each team will play 60 games total, six home and six away against each of the other five teams. No divisions, no post-season series.If there is a tie, a one-game playoff will be played; if there is a multiple tie, we'll devise a tie-breaker accordingly.

Injuries will be for the duration of the game only.

The four teams using Hall of Fame cards will not vary their lineups (batting order, yes). This rule does not apply to the Flashes catchers, who are not HOF. There are bench players for each team with 1924 cards good enough to take playing time, if not the regular job, away from the HOF card. But (to use one example) Johnny Bassler will not beat out Ray Schalk. The bench players are there to pinch-hit and fill in for injuries. The HOF position players will start every game, including catcher.

For purposes of pitcher rest, there are no days off or double headers, even though the schedule has a mix of two-game, three-game and four-game series. The HOF starters will start every four games; the asterisked 1924 and 1969 pitchers can start once on four days, but the next time around will get an extra day.

Super-advanced rules, including closer ratings, are in play, but not the home-run steal and plate blocking rules.

The teams: Raymond Rams

The Rams are matched with the 1924 Detroit Tigers and will play in Navin Field.

C: Ray Schalk
1B: Frank Chance
2B: Nellie Fox
3B: Joe Sewell
SS: Phil Rizzuto
LF: Earle Combs
CF: Hack Wilson
RF: Elmer Flick

P1: Gaylord Perry. P2: Red Ruffing

The bench: Johnny Bassler (C), Lu Blue (IF), Bob Fothergill (OF), Fred Haney (IF), Del Pratt (IF), Al Wingo (OF), Larry Woodall (C)

Pitchers: Hooks Dauss, Rip Collins, Ken Holloway, Syl Johnson, Dutch Leonard, Lil Stoner, Ed Wells, Earl Whitehill

Also eligible: Les Burke (IF), Bert Cole (P), Bob Jones (IF),  Frank O'Rourke (F), Herman Pillette (P), Topper Rigney (IF). Ineligible: outfielders Ty Cobb, Harry Heilmann and Heine Manush.

Thoughts: Lacking in power. Feels a step below the Orators offensively. Whitehill is the No. 3 starter, and Dauss may be the closer. I think this is the weakest of the HOF teams.

The teams: Ortonville Orators

The Orators will play in Sportsman's Park, 1924, and have the Browns as their filler team.

The lineup:

C: Jim O'Roarke
1B: Dan Brouthers
2B: Billy Herman
3B: Travis Jackson
SS: Pee Wee Reese
LF: Heinie Manush
CF: Richie Ashburn
RF: Kiki Cuyler

P1: Fergie Jenkins, P2: Don Sutton

The bench: Baby Doll Jacobson (OF), Marty McManus (IF), Norm McMillan (IF), Harry Rice (IF), Hank Severeid (C), Jack Tobin (OF), Ken Williams (OF)

The pitchers: Bill Bayne, Dave Danforth, Dixie Davis, Ray Kolp, Hub Pruett, Urban Shocker, Elam Vangilder, Ernie Wingard

Also eligible: Herschel Bennet (OF), Pat Collins (C), Joe Evans (OF), Wally Gerber (IF), George Grant (P), George Lyons (P), Rony Regp (C), Gene Robertson (IF), Syl Simon (IF). Ineligible: George Sisler.

Thoughts: Bill James once described the 1987 Cardinals as "Jack Clark and seven leadoff hitters." This team is Dan Brouthers and seven leadoff hitters, and Brouthers isn't that slow and doesn't have Clark's power. Good defense, good OPBs. The outfield is juggled from the draw. Shocker is the No. 3 starter, and Danforth is the likely closer. This, to my eyes, is the best of the HOF teams.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The teams: Lincoln Park Black Caps

The roster for the Black Caps, home park 1924 Chicago AL:

Spoony Palm
Bill Perkins

Dave Malarcher
Ghost Marcelle
Buck O'Neil
Art (Superman) Pennington
Alec Radcliff
Dick Seay
Bonnie Serrell

Jerry Benjamin
Charles Blackwell
Vic Harris
Red Parnell
Neil Robinson
Frog Redus

Phil Cockrell
Andy Cooper
Rube Currie
Bill Drake
Bill Holland
Verdell Mathis
Webster McDonald
Hilton Smith
Sam Streeter
Tom Williams

Also eligible to be activated: outfielders Jimmy Crutchfield and Chaney White and infielder Newt Joseph and Dewey Creacy.

Thoughts: The six repeated pitchers from the Presidential League are Cooper, Mathis, McDonald, Smith, Streeter and Williams. My plan is to anchor the two Hall of Famers, Cooper and Smith, in the bullpen and treat the other eight as spot starters/relievers. I might try something even more radical.

There is no obvious middle of the lineup. Indeed, I'm not sure there's a position player I want in the lineup on a daily basis. Probably Serrell at second base. It's a deep and flexible roster in a league in which the rest of the lineups are essentially fixed, and the pitching may be better than most of the HOF teams. I don't really know what to expect from this team. It might be noncompetitive; it might be really good. I suspect I will enjoy this team from a managerial perspective, because I will be able to juggle the lineup.

The teams: Guilford Quakers

The Quakers will use 1924 Wrigley Field as their home park.

C: Rick Ferrell
1B: Tony Perez
2B: Johnny Evers
3B: Joe Tinker
SS: Rabbit Maranville
LF: Hank Greenberg
CF: Max Carey
RF: Larry Doby

P1: Red Faber
P2: Ted Lyons

The rest of the roster:

Bench: Spark Adams (IF), George Grantham (IF), Denver Grigsby (OF), Cliff Heathcote (OF), Hack Miller (OF), Bob O'Farrell (C), Jigger Statz (OF)

Pitchers: Vic Aldridge, Sheriff Blake, Guy Bush, Elmer Jacobs, Tony Kaufmann, Vic Keen, George Milstead, Rip Wheeler

Also eligible to be activated: Bob Barrett (IF), Hooks Cotter (IF), Bernie Frieberg (IF), Charlie Hollocher (IF),Ray Grimes (IF), Otto Vogel (OF), Butch Weis (OF). Ineligible: Pete Alexander (P), Gabby Hartnett (C)

Thoughts: Doby, Greenberg and Perez give this team the most long-ball punch of anybody in the league other than perhaps the Orioles. Max Carey is a renowned leadoff hitter. Beyond that, the offense isn't impressive. Good up-the-middle defense, but issues in three of the corners. Aldridge is definitely the third starter, and Keen may be used mainly as the closer.

The teams: Fordham Flashes

The roster for the Fordham Flashes, home park 1924 Polo Grounds:

The lineup

C: (see below)
1B: Jim Bottomley
2B: George Kelly
3B: Fred Lindstrom
SS: Dave Bancroft
LF: Joe Medwick
CF: Chick Hafey
RF: Ross Youngs

P1: Burleigh Grimes; P2: Jesse Haines

The bench: Hank Gowdy (C), Heinie Groh (IF), Andy High (IF), Irish Meusel (OF), Jimmy O'Connell (OF), Billy Southworth (OF), Frank Snyder (C), Specs Toporcer (IF)

The pitchers: Virgil Barnes, Jack Bentley, Wayland Dean, Claude Jonnard, Hugh McQuillan, Art Nehf, Rosy Ryan, Mule Watson

Also eligible from the 1924 Giants: pitchers Harry Baldwin, Walt Huntzinger and Ernie Maun. Ineligible: the 1924 cards of Frank Frisch, Travis Jackson, George Kelly, Fred Lindstrom, Bill Terry, Hack Wilson and Ross Youngs.

Thoughts: No Hall of Fame catcher fit the theme (teammates of Frank Frisch), but Hank Gowdy and Frank Snyder don't figure to be handicaps to the Flashes compared to the other backstops. I had to add two infielders from other 1924 teams to fill out the bench. Andy High was on the Dodgers in 1924, Specs Toporcer on the Cardinals; both played with Frisch in St. Louis. Kelly's defense makes him probably the weakest second baseman in the league, but Lindstrom might be the best third baseman (Brooks Robinson hit under .240 in 1969).

The teams: Baltimore Orioles

This one is pretty self-explanatory: The 1969 Baltimore Orioles provide a high-quality real team control for the level of this league. I'm curious about how "good" these teams are, especially after a selection process that didn't put a lot of power on the rosters. The O's appear to have deeper pitching and more home run hitters than the HOF teams and may well be contenders.

Clay Dalrymple
Andy Etchebarren
Elrod Hendricks

Mark Belanger
Bobby Floyd
Davey Johnson
Boog Powell
Brooks Robinson
Chico Salmon

Paul Blair
Don Buford
Dave May
Curt Motton
Merv Rettemund
Frank Robinson

Mike Cuellar
Dick Hall
Jim Hardin
Dave Leonhard
Marcelino Lopez
Dave McNally
Jim Palmer
Tom Phoebus
Pete Richert
Eddie Watt

Pitcher Frank Bertaina is also eligible for this team.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The draft

First base

The pool (13): Jake Beckley, Jim Bottomley, Dan Brouthers, Rod Carew, Orlando Cepeda, Frank Chance, Hank Greenberg, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, John Mize, Tony Perez, Willie Stargell, Bill Terry

The draft

1) Orators: Dan Brouthers
2) Rams:  Frank Chance
3) Quakers: Hank Greenberg (LF eligible)
4) Flashes: Jim Bottomley (selected after all other players)

Second base

The pool (6): Rod Carew, Johnny Evers, Nellie Fox, Billy Herman, Tommy McCarthy, Bid McPhee

The draft

Flashes: George Kelly*
1) Quakers: Johnny Evers
2) Rams: Nellie Fox
3) Orators: Billy Herman (3B eligible)

Third base

The base pool (6): Travis Jackson, George Kell, Tommy McCarthy, Tony Perez, Joe Sewell, Joe Tinker

The draft
 Flashes: Fred Lindstrom*
1) Rams: Joe Sewell (SS eligible)
2) Quakers: Tony Perez (1B eligible)
3) Orators: Travis Jackson (SS eligible)


The base pool (6): Luke Appling, Dave Bancroft, Rabbit Maranville, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, Joe Tinker

The draft

1) Quakers: Rabbit Maranville
Flashes: Dave Bancroft
2) Orators: Pee Wee Reese
3) Rams: Phil Pizzuto

Left field

The base pool ( 21):  Earl Averill, Lou Brock, Max Carey, Orlando Cepeda, Fred Clarke, Earle Coombs, Kiki Cuyler, Goose Goslin, Harry Hooper, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Chuck Klein, Heinie Manush, Tommy McCarthy, Edd Roush, Al Simmons, Willie Stargell, Lloyd Waner, Zach Wheat, Billy Williams, Hack Wilson

The draft

Flashes: Joe Medwick*
1) Orators: Kiki Cuyler (CF, RF eligible)
2) Rams: Earle Combs (CF eligible)
3) Quakers: Joe Tinker (3B)

Center field

The base pool (12): Richie Ashburn, Earl Averill, Lou Brock, Max Carey, Larry Doby, Elmer Flick, Heine Manush, Sam Rice, Edd Roush, Al Simmons, Lloyd Waner, Hack Wilson

The draft

Flashes: Chick Hafey*
1) Quakers: Max Carey (LF, RF eligible)
2) Rams: Elmer Flick (RF eligible)
3) Orators: Heinie Manush (LF, RF eligible)

Right field

The base pool (13): Richie Ashburn, Lou Brock, Roberto Clemente, Larry Doby, Goose Goslin, Harry Heilmann, Harry Hooper, Sam Rice, Willie Keeler, Chuck Klein, Tommy McCarthy, Billy Williams, Hack Wilson

The draft

Flashes: Ross Youngs*
1) Quakers: Larry Doby  (CF eligible)
2) Rams: Hack Wilson (LF, CF eligible)
3) Orators: Richie Ashburn (CF eligible)


The pool (8): Red Faber, Catfish Hunter, Fergie Jenkins, Ted Lyons, Rube Marquard, Gaylord Perry, Red Ruffing, Don Sutton

The draft

Flashes: Jesse Haines,* Burleigh Grimes*
1, 6) Quakers: Red Faber, Ted Lyons
2,5) Orators: Fergie Jenkins, Don Sutton
3,4) Rams: Gaylord Perry, Red Ruffing

Park/rest of roster

Flashes: 1924 New York (NL)
1) Orators: 1924 St. Louis (AL)
2) Rams: 1924 Detroit
3) Quakers 1924 Chicago (NL)

Welcome to the Leftover League

With the 40-years Tourney complete, my next solo Strat project will be a six-team league centered on players from the 2000 Hall of Fame set and the Negro Leagues set who were not used in the Presidential League.

The Leftovers League's six teams will be as follows:

The 1969 Baltimore Orioles will serve as something of a control. How good would a lineup of (essentially) second-line Cooperstown inductees be? The Orioles are a very high-quality real-life team, representative of one of history's greatest dynasties; pitting them against four such Hall of Fame teams intrigues me. (The O's get the use of their three Hall of Fame players; Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer, who were not used in the Presidential League, will not be used on any of the Hall of Fame squads of this league.) Their home field, of course, will be Memorial Stadium, 1969. It will be the only team in the league  not using a 1924 park.

The Lincoln Park Black Caps will be compiled from the 19 position players and four pitchers from the NeL set who were not used in the Presidential League. Six pitchers will be recycled from the Presidential League, with a preference for the pitchers who were least used in that league. There will be no Cooperstown inductees among the position players, and my expectation is that this will be the least competitive of the six teams. Their home park will be Comiskey Field, 1924

The Fordham Flashes will be a HOF theme team, the theme being teammates of Frank Frisch. Seven of the eight positions (and two pitchers) can be covered with Cooperstown inductees unused in the Presidential League, although that requires using George Kelly (primary position first base) at second base. Catcher is the only vacant position. The rest of the Flashes roster will come from the 1924 Giants, with some supplement from other teams because seven members of the '24 Giants are Cooperstown inductees and their single-season cards thus ineligible for this league. The Polo Grounds, 1924, will be their home park.

Kelly, Fred Lindstrom, Joe Medwick, Chick Hafey, Ross Youngs, Burleigh Grimes and Jesse Haines will be on the Flashes. Bill Terry and Jim Bottomley will be entered in the first base drawing for the other three HOF teams; if one is drawn, the other will be assigned to the Flashes. Dave Bancroft, Travis Jackson and Rabbit Maranville will be entered in the shortstop pool (and Jackson in the third base pool as well); if two of them are pulled, the third will be the Flashes shortstop.

The other three teams have been assigned a specific catcher. The Ortonville Orators will have Jim O'Roarke; the Raymond Rams will have Ray Schalk; and the Guilford Quakers will have Rick Ferrell. Schalk is the one player from the Hall of Fame set who will be repeated from the Presidential League.

These three teams will draw players from position pools, with the draw order reset at random for each position. If a multi-position player is drawn, that position will be added to the player's other position(s) for that team. For example: If Rod Carew is drawn at first base, the undrawn first basemen will be included in that team's second base pull; if that team then pulls Orlando Cepeda, both first base and second base will be added to that team's left field pool. A team with an expanded pool will pull last; if two teams have expanded pools, the one with the larger pool will pull last. Positions will be drawn by scoring order after catcher, with two pitchers selected per team after the position players.

Also to be pulled are the three supplemental teams to fill out those rosters. The three teams are the most average of the 1924 teams: the St. Louis Browns, the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. This pull will also provide the home park for their assigned teams.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Final thoughts

Thus ends the 40-Years Tournament. It went considerably faster than I had anticipated. The rhythm of such a tournament feels ideal for a card-and-dice player such as me: Play four to seven games, work out the stats, play four to seven games with different teams, repeat. There was seldom a day in which I didn't do something to advance the cause. That's far different than my experience with the Presidential League, during which I took at least two lengthy breaks.

So I expect I will do such a tournament again. Not immediately; I have a different Strat project in mind, which I will start detailing in the next few days. But before I drop this, a few comments to have on the record for future review:

The Pascual Perez Principle works. I never codifed this in the rules for the tournament, but I fell in to it early and stuck with it throughout: A pitcher with less than 100 innings on his card may not start more than once in a series. Named for the pitcher who had 70 innings with a 2.30 ERA for the 1987 Expos, and in '87 that was REALLY impressive. This rule may have swayed some series, and it certainly added complexities to handling some pitching staffs (2009 Padres for one). But it was, I think, realistic.

The limitations I placed on every-fourth-day starters worked.  For the first four rounds, I attached a one-inning point-of-weakness penalty for starting on three days rest for asterisked pitchers UNLESS their cards had 40 starts or 300 innings. For the fifth round the boundaries were 35 starts and 250 innings, and the penalty was lifted entirely for the final round; as it transpired, the changes didn't change how I actually used pitchers.

I should not have used similar roster construction for each team. All active rosters had nine to 10 pitchers; I may have expanded it to 11 for the 09 Padres, who were desperately short of 100-inning arms. The 2009 teams, however, came from an era in which everybody carried 12 or 13 pitchers, and the bullpen arms in particular just aren't coded to work multiple innings. Regardless of my beliefs about the best way to run a bullpen, it's silly to try to use the relievers of the 2009 Red Sox in the same way as the relievers of the 1987 Twins. Their weakness factors get in the way.

Mixing rules was not a good idea. I don't really regret using the 1987 teams to fill out the Ringo bracket; indeed, revisiting those cards these many years later was like meeting old friends. But my future tournaments should involve only cards coded for superadvanced play.

Stat break; 69 Orioles


Name                AB     R   H   RBI   2B  3B   HR   BB   SB   Avg,
Belanger           120   12   26      8       4    1      0    13      1      .217
Blair                  114    16   36   19       6    1      4      6      1      .316
Buford               127   27   42   13       7    1      5    17      2      .331
Dalyrmple             4      1     1     0       1    0      0      0      0      .250
Etchebarren       39      2     6     3       0    0      1           0     .154
Hendricks           79      7   22    13       2    0      2     7       0     .278
D Johnson        137    23   50   12     13    0      2    11       0     .365
D May                29       4    7           2    0      0      0       1     .241
Motton                28      2     4     1       3    1      0      0       0      .143
Powell              137    15   36   37     11     0     8    10       0       .263
Rettemund         23      4     5     3       2     0     0      6      0       .217
B Robinson      130    12   34   16       7     0     6    10      0       .262
F Robinson      112    25   33   22        7     0    8     17     0       .295
Salmon              15      1     2     2       0     0     0      0       0       .133


Name                G    GS   IP        H    R    ER   BB    K     Sv.     W    L     ERA
Cuellar              9      9    65       50   19    17    12     26        0      3     2      2.35
D Hall             12      0     15.6    17     7      6      7     10       2      0     1       3.45
Hardin               7      2    22.3    22     5      5      4       8        0     3     0       2.02
Leonhard          5      0    14         1     0      0      0       7        0      1      0      0.00
Lopez               8      0    19.3    19      7      7      5     15        0      0     0      3.26
McNally            9      9     55.3    56   22    21    17     27        0      7     0      3.42
Palmer             8      8     58       50   22    19    21     40         0     5     2      2.95
Phoebus          8      4     22.3    42   30    27     11     18        0      1     3    10.88
Richert           12      0     15.6      8     2      2       1     18       6       0     0     1.15
Watt               10      0     15.6      7    1       1       5     10       3      4     0       0.57

Friday, December 11, 2015

Stat break: 87 Giants


Name                AB   R   H   RBI  2B  3B  HR  BB  SB  Avg,
Aldrete              54   12  19     3        3    1    2      8      0    .352
Brenly               98   16  29   25      11    0    3      8      0    .296
W. Clark          140   16  38   19       5    0  10      8      0     .271
C. Davis          129   21  31   16       4    0    8     13      4    .240
Leonard            98    11  20   11       7    1    4       4      1    .204
Maldonado       70    10  23   12       8    0    3       4      0    .329
Melvin              18      3    6     4       2    1    1      2      0    .333
E. Milner          47      9  19     9       5    0    3      8      1    .404
Mitchell          131   18   38     9       9    0    4    10      1    .290
Speier               14     2     3     1        0    0   1      3      0     .214
Spilman            10     0     4     3       1    0    0      0      0     .400
Thompson      139   17   33   16       5    1    3      4      4     .237
Uribe              100     5   22   10       5     1    1     3     2     .222
Ma Williams    18     3     4     4        0    0    2      1      0    .222
Youngblood     10     1     1     0        0    0    0      0      0    .100


Name                G    GS   IP        H    R    ER   BB    K     Sv.   W    L   ERA
Downs              7      7    40.6      42   15    11      10    33       0      2    2    2.43
Dravecky          8      8    57         44   15    15      17    39       0     5    1    2.37
Garrelts           14      0    18.3        9     4      4      11    22      2      3    1    1.96
Hammaker        7      4    24.6      31   14    11        3    15      0      1    1    4.01
Krukow             2      0      2          0      0      0       0     2        0      0     0   0.00
LaCoss              7      4    31.6     39    10    10       8    12        0     2    1    2.84
Lefferts             9      0       9.6       5      1      1       1     5        4      1    0    0.93
Price                 6      0       5.3       2     2      2        1     4       0      1     0    3.38
Reuschel        12     12    90.6     70   25    21      17    42       0      8     3    2.08
D. Robinson   12       0   18.3      22     8      8        5    14       5     0      3    3.93

Championship: Orioles (69) defeat Giants (87) in six games

Game One: 69 Orioles 4, 87 Giants 3
WP: Watt (4-0)
LP: Garrelts (3-1)
HR: W Clark (9), Hendricks (2), B Robinson (6)

Game Two: 69 Orioles 8, 87 Giants 4
WP: McNally (6-0)
LP: Downs (2-1)
HR: Maldonado (2)

Game Three: 87 Giants 11, 69 Orioles 3
WP: Dravecky (5-1)
LP: Palmer (5-2)
HR: C Davis (8), Brenly (3), Mitchell (3), Blair (3)

Game Four: 69 Orioles 7, 87 Giants 1
WP: Hardin (3-0)
LP: LaCoss (2-1)
HR: W Clark (10), Blair (4), F Robinson 2 (8)

Game Five: 87 Giants 5, 69 Orioles 2
WP: Reuschel (8-3)
LP: Cuellar (3-2)
Save: Lefferts (4)
HR: Maldonado (3)

Game Six: 69 Orioles 4, 87 Giants 1
WP: McNally (7-0)
LP: Downs (2-2)
Save: Richert (6)
HR: Mitchell (4), Buford (5)

The 1969 Baltimore Orioles didn't win the World Series. They did win the 40-Years Tournament.

Game One of the championship series,played in Candlestick Park, was the best of the six games. The Orioles parlayed a pair of singles and a groundout into a first-inning run off Rick Rueschel. Mike Cuellar sliced through the Giants lineup for seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits in that space. Reuschel was almost as good, but Elrod Hendricks homered in the eighth for a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the eights, pinch-hitted Joel Youngblood led off with a walk. Rob Thompson singled, and Will Clark homered for a 3-2 Giants lead. Cuellar was replaced by Watt, who got the next three hitters. Scott Garrelts took the hill for the ninth, and he retired Frank Robinson and Paul Blair around a walk to Boog Powell. But Brooks Robinson homered to put the O's back in front, and Watt threw a perfect bottom of the ninth to nail down the win.

The Orioles controlled Game Two all the way. Powell, Blair and Hendricks hit doubles in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Candy Maldonado homered to narrow the margin, but the Birds scored an unearned run in the top of the third and plated three runs in the fourth on four singles, a stolen base and another Giants error. Don Buford and Davey Johnson each scored a pair of runs for the Orioles, while Blair drove in three runs.

The series moved to Memorial Stadium, and the Giants bounced back big. They scored three runs in the second (two unearned) off Jim Palmer and tacked on another in the third for a 4-0 lead. Palmer left after five innings, and the Giants ripped Tom Phoebus for six more runs in 1.6 innings. Bob Brenly drove in four runs and scored twice, while Dave Dravecky held the Orioles scoreless until Blair hit a three-run homer in the eighth.

Jim Hardin was superb for the Orioles in Game Four, allowing just four hits in seven innings. The O's got him three runs before Mike LaCoss retired a batter in the first -- doubles by Buford and Johnson followed by a homer by Frank Robinson. The Orioles tacked on single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Giants' sole run came on a Clark homer in the eighth off Pete Richert.

Reuschel got the series back to San Francisco by outpitching Cuellar in Game Five. Kevin Mitchell doubled home Thompson in the third inning, and Maldonado homered in the fourth. The Giants strung together three singles for a run in the sixth and added solo runs in the eighth and ninth, while the Orioles could get only two runs in the seventh on Chico Salmon's two-out pinch-hit single.

The Giants scored the first run of Game Six on a Mitchell homer. But that was all they got off McNally, Dave Leonhard and Richert. Kelly Downs held the O's scoreless until the sixth, when they bunched two singles, two walks and an error for two runs and the lead. Buford homered in the eighth, and Richert struck out three of the six men he faced to secure the save and the title.

Player of the Series: Paul Blair had seven RBIs and five runs while going 9-for-26.

Player of the Tournament: His 09 Reds were eliminated in the semifinals, but Joey Votto scored 20 runs and drove in 23 while hitting .340. There were players who scored more runs, and there were players who drove in more, but Votto carried an unlikely team to the Final Four.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

End of Round Five: The final matchup

Advancing: 87 Giants, 69 Orioles

Eliminated: 09 Giants, 09 Reds


One series went six games, the other four. Ten of the 14 possible games were played.

No 2009 teams reached the championship round. One 1969 team and one 1987 team did. One is an American League team, the other a National League team. As no DH team reached the fifth round, no DH team reached the sixth and final round.

Stat break: 69 Orioles


Name                AB     R   H   RBI   2B  3B   HR   BB   SB   Avg,
Belanger           100   10   22     7       3    1      0      9      0      .220
Blair                    88    11   27   12       4    1      2      6      1      .307
Buford               111    22   37   11       6    1      4    12      2      .333
Dalyrmple             3     1     1     0       1    0      0       0      0      .333
Etchebarren       33      2     6     3       0    0      1       2      0     .182
Hendricks          64       6   18     9       1    0      1      5       0     .281
D Johnson       109    19   42   10      12    0      2    11       0     .385
D May                27       4    7           2    0      0      0       1     .259
Motton                27      2     4     1       3    1      0      0       0      .148
Powell              111    12   30   35       8     0     8      9       0       .270
Rettemund         19      4     5     3       2     0     0      5      0       .263
B Robinson      108    10   29   14       7     0     5      5      0       .269
F Robinson        92    20   26  18        6     0     6     10     0       .282
Salmon              11      1        0       0     0     0      0       0       .091


Name                G    GS   IP        H    R    ER   BB    K     Sv.     W    L     ERA
Cuellar              7      7    51       35   13    11    10     22        0      3     1      1.94
D Hall             10      0     12       11     5      4      6       6       2      0     1       3.00
Hardin               6      1    15.3    16     5      5      2       4        0     2     0       2.94
Leonhard          4      0    12         1     0      0      0       7        0      1      0      0.00
Lopez               7      0    16.6    17      6      6      5     14        0      0     0      3.24
McNally            7      7     44       46   18    18    14     19        0      5     0      3.68
Palmer             7      7     53       46   18    17    20     37         0     5     1      2.89
Phoebus          5      4     19       27   23    20     11     17        0      1     3      9.47
Richert           10      0     13.6      7     1      1       1     15       5       0     0     0.66
Watt                 9      0     13.6      7    1       1       5       8       3      3     0       0.66