I am not wow-ing my season so far, but the pace we are setting. It's the beginning of April, and we are at 40, about to embark on a games-o-rama that may have some teams at mid-season. The draft was smooth, and other than Matt starting with a cross-country pace instead of a sprint, we have been the fastest out of the blocks since we stretched out to different time zones. I love the SL always, but I really love it when it's a dash instead of a marathon.
Steve coming back has been a joy, and despite my frequent phone calls telling him how bad an SL executive he is, he is a great SL executive ... not to mention a game wizard, indicated by his 29-11 mark. Chris was the pre-season favorite, thanks to a solid draft, and he's backed up the early hype with a 23-17 record to date. I didn't think this would be the year for Dave, but he's put in a "rockin'-in-the-first-40" Dave-like 23-17 record. I did think this would be year the for Graham, as he drafted his most balanced team yet, after improving each season so far, and he's in the thick of things with a 21-19 mark. Matt's staff has been gang-busters, while his offense has been gagging, so anything can happen for him in the next 122 following his 17-23 start. Bob is a surprising poor 16-24, but it's a credit to Bob that this was unexpected, as he seemed to draft well, and, to be blunt, in most other year's if he went 16-24, no one would have been surprised. Speaking of surprises, Greg Nims is 13-27, already clearing a spot on his mantel for the Miss Summer League trophy ... perhaps hollow praise, but he has the league's best Beane Count through 40, so he's not too overpowered or anything like that so far. I didn't mention Ken in the proper order and his 15-25 record, as he deserves special mention at this point ... with 3 trades and 8 new players on his team, he totally overhauled his lineup, and I am of the belief that he is at or among the top-level in talent.
For Oman, I started the season out nearly getting chico'ed by Graham, settling for just getting shlitzed. I came back to shlitz Dave, then had the shlitz returned to me by Steve. That's about all I want to say about my 6-9 start, except that it was better than my 4-11 start in 2002. I got to face newlywed Ken then during a Sheffield injury and beat him 3-2. I played Chris and beat him 3-2 to get to 12-13. I then was an unkind host to Bob at the house one weekday afternoon, shlitzing him to raise my record to 16-14. I fell to 16-16 in dropping the first two to Matt then, but took the series and the next 3 games to jump back into the division lead. The first 40 ended with a sunday morning shlitz of new father Greg, and all seemed good.
Here's the tale of the tape:
AVE OBP SLG PRO (MLB) DIFF etc. BONDS, B. .344 .482 .820 1.302 1.381 - 79 15 HRs, 0 IBB, 37g, 37 runs, 37 RBI SWEENEY, M. .317 .392 .563 .955 .980 - 25 33g, 30 RBI SPIEZIO, S. .316 .350 .632 .982 .807 +175 20 PA KEARNS, A. .299 .346 .454 .800 .907 -107 TEJADA, M. .297 .331 .587 .918 .862 + 56 14 HRs, 39 RBI GIAMBI, Jas. .266 .407 .566 .973 1.033 - 60 11 HR, 34 runs, 7 HBP REESE, P. .258 .361 .323 .684 .682 + 2 2-2 SB GOODWIN, T. .250 .222 .250 .472 .659 -187 4-5 SB KOTSAY, M. .197 .245 .275 .520 .811 -291 KOSKIE, C. .194 .293 .411 .703 .815 -112 8 HR KINKADE, M. .190 .346 .238 .584 1.083 -499 26 PA, 4 HBP HERNANDEZ, R. .190 .256 .329 .585 .648 - 63 GIAMBI, Jer. .182 .319 .325 .644 .919 -275 94 PA, 16 BB BELLHORN, M. .177 .271 .374 .645 .886 -241 57 Ks MATHENY, M. .143 .204 .163 .367 .630 -267 58 PA, 4 SH
What does this tell me? I have a few guys going beyond what I could reasonably expect, and they are all in the 2-5 range (I think about the 20 game mark, Tejada became my usual 5th hitter, supplanting Jeremy G). As those guys have been my team so far, I would expect to see some drop off. But as a team, not too much drop off, as the other players seem to be far, far below what I should expect. Or as the APBA-ballers would like to say, maybe their cards were not meant for SL success. Does that mean that my 2-5 guys will succeed as they do have such cards? We'll see.
Here are the pitching stats:
MILLWOOD, K. 3-0 2.84 TRACHSEL, S. 3-0 2.92 RUETER, K. 4-3 5.21 MULDER, M. 2-3 7.19 COLON, B. 2-4 7.83 QUANTRILL, P. 1-1 1.73 2 sv KING, R. 0-0 2.05 2 sv PERCIVAL, T. 2-2 2.70 4 sv EMBREE, A. 4-3 2.74 VILLAFUERTE 1-1 3.46 LINCOLN, M. 1-0 4.05
Mulder and Colon ... oy! Trachsel, I can't believe his success so far. Mulder, Rueter and Colon are all high in league categories like HR/9, BR/9 ... thus their league-high ERAs. Of course, they have given me innings and are a not-so-terrible 8-10 collectively. The pen started off slowly in the Graham series, but they've only blown one save since then. Not sure what the next 122 will bring for any one member of the pitching staff.
Colon, Bellhorn, Reese and Goodwin were traded for Glavine, Vidro, Ramon Vazquez and Singleton. It made me slower, which I didn't think was a possibility. But it also gave me a more reliable secondbaseman in Vidro, offensively and defensively (Steve, Greg and I at the bottom in the league in fielding). Glavine has had some SL success so far, while Colon has not, so maybe that trend will continue for the next 25 starts. We'll see how it works out.
I love the SL. An early season highlight was definitely Ken's wedding, as there was enough SL talk going on to last me for a long time. Ex SL-ers Jim Frank and Tommy Maloney were guests of honor, which added to the fun. And though only 10 games were played over the weekend, that seemed appropriate.