Graham – Texas Rangers. Great Offense. Frustrating pitching.
Matt – Los Angeles Dodgers. Great Pitching, including a top level reliever. Not much Offense but still manages an outside chance to be in the hunt for the wild card
Bob – Houston Astros. Serious thunder in the lineup. Great bullpen. No real starters. Came up a little short.
Dave – Oakland A’s. No so great offense but gets the job done to compliment good pitching staff.
Keith – San Francisco Giants. Threatening offense with quality staff. High playoff hopes thwarted early.
Chris – Atlanta Braves. HR power throughout the lineup. Good but not great pitching. Will it be enough? His fate is already better than Atlanta’s.
Steve – Florida Marlins. Good pitching chemistry. Go go offense dependent upon hitting and running. Will his fate equate?
Wow, this season was great! All the power and homers, Vlad and Glaus had such great seasons! Chuck J, Hill, Edmonds and Klesko were all great in support. Too bad Manny didn’t do as well as I hoped but he sure came through in the playoffs. How about it! 8-2 in the playoffs!
Oh wait wrong season.
This was amazing! Great base stealers. Good power. I had a top hitter in Walker. Pitching and defense were good. My bench was so flexible. I had a lot of fun with this team. I experienced perhaps the greatest game in my life and that fell on game 7 of the World Series!
Oh wait. Still the wrong season.
I must still be in the denial stage. Is the anger stage next? Oh wait, that comes first.
This was awful. I was too focused on starting pitching that didn’t materialize. No real power. A hit and run team that had some real poor SB % potential. Beltran batted fourth for the first 40 games and had a grand total of 8 RBI’s. Sheffield kept getting injured. See Matt for details on that…
My bench was not nearly as flexible. Sheffield was injured and I had no true replacement. I think Winn was DHing and Singleton was getting the starts. Awful. Poorly conceived.
I did my best to adjust. I liked all my trades. Some of the players I traded ended up with decent seasons, too.
Trade 1 – To Keith. Vidro, Singleton, Vazquez and Glavine for Bellhorn, Goodwin, Reese and Colon. I was sick of Vidro. He didn’t hit for me and didn’t really hit for Keith. In all preseason replays, Vidro hit .290 or better. I was overjoyed to get Bellhorn. He played well and started at 3rd for 2 games and left field about 10 games. Sorry to lose Singleton but Goodwin kind of filled the role. I couldn’t use Goodwin as a hitter.
Vazquez was a good little player that could give you about 10 starts and you really wouldn’t be affected. I wish Reese had more than the 20 attempts as he filled the role of pinch running for almost any position as I could move Bellhorn anywhere but catcher. Glavine/Colon – Glavine pitched OK for me and OK for Keith. Colon stunk for both of us.
Trade 2 - to Matt. Suzuki and Sheffield for Green and Floyd. Tough call as Sheffield played about 67% of his available games but performed well in those. Green was a huge RBI man but hit a measly .207 and was near the top in runners left on base. Floyd did OK but never really drove anyone in or scored runs. He was a player I had projected as a DH at the time of the draft. Suzuki was a stud in the OF. He hit OK but no power. Again, in replays, Suzuki was a .320 hitter. I guess he never really had a chance as the lead off man I preferred to have in there was always injured.
Trade 3 – to Steve. Winn and Beltran for Hunter and Abreu. Pre-draft, I had liked all these guys. In games 41-80, Hunter didn’t really do anything. He finished hitting like the player I had in mind. His defense was a plus but I don’t really recall any major effect on a game like Suzuki seemed to have.
When I selected Beltran, the buzz around was that I had taken the second coming. Good all around player and had a decent season for Steve.
Winn had a good season for Steve and had the uncanny ability to have the key hit and run doubles when Steve needed them. He was my most consistent player during his 40 games with me.
Abreu fit well on my team. He did not walk as much as I had hoped but performed well overall.
Trade 4 – to Dave. Kendall for Pierzynski. I was sick and tired of having a 7 defensive catcher behind the plate. I wanted the 8 with a 1 PB rating. Of course, LaRue caught the bulk of the games in the second half but AJ did OK. Kendall fit well on Dave’s team.
Kendall was another player that did exceptionally well in preseason replays. .270 hitter.
I think Dave and I wanted to get rid of our under performers.
My trades went to 3 playoff teams and a Wild Card contender. So, if you think I ripped off the other guy, likely not.
Opening day lineup:
Sheffield DH Suzuki RF Vidro 2B Beltran LF Lee 1B Lowell 3B Winn CF Rollins SS Kendall CAfter 4 separate trades the season finished like this:
Abreu RF Lowell 3B Floyd/ Edgar DH Bellhorn 2B Hunter CF Green LF Lee 1B Cabrera/ Rollins SS LaRue/ AJ C
My offense performed pretty well the last 122 games. It seemed that my team hit quite a few three run homers and performed well on the hit and run play. I am not blaming the offense for my team’s lack of execution. I averaged 4.9 runs/game from games 41 thru 162 – near to the tops in the league. It may have been because of the poor start and that things were finally turning my way but I view the numbers as they are.
If your offense is scoring 4.9 runs/game and pitching is allowing 5.4 runs/game it doesn’t matter. You are going to lose.
Lowell. Started slowly. Finished wonderfully. Even when he was hitting lower in the order he seemed to have a knack for the big hit. He drove in 95 runs with not too spectacular numbers. Moving to the 2nd slot did him well as he seemed to thrive as a hit and run artist.
Floyd/Edgar. I was sort of disappointed with Floyd’s performance. A lot of doubles but I expected that. His RBI total was so low for a 3rd hitter and was puzzling. He hit well from games 81-120 but still did not drive in many runs. Edgar did pretty well and had some key base hits and homers. He started out so poorly – I don’t think I ever gave him a real chance to play regularly. I actually liked him better as a pinch hitter because there were enough quality lefty relievers that I wanted his bat available for pinch hitting duties vs the lefties.
Bellhorn. 2nd in K’s. He came over and just tore pitchers apart for awhile in the 5th slot (especially Bob – something like an .800 slugging pct vs Shady). I moved him to the 4th slot and he stopped hitting homers but maintained the walks but stopped driving in runs. He had a 35 game on base streak – which is kind of surprising for a .217 hitter. 2nd in strikeouts. Thank You Greg for playing Hernandez.
Hunter. He finished outstanding. At one point, his extra base hit total was so low relative to his potential performance it was frustrating. But his finish helped him and he managed to drive in runs from the 3 and 5 spot. I never really noticed any defensive effect having him in CF.
Green. 2nd in RBI, 9th in HR, 5th in LOB. 53 RBI’s in his first 40 games for me. He had a knack for the three run blast. He stopped hitting altogether and I moved him from 4 to 6. He performed all right the final 42 and managed to finish 2nd in RBI’s even though he hit .207.
Lee. 6th in BB, 7th in K’s, 9th in LOB. Yuck. He seemed to strike out every time someone was on base. His extra base hit total was down from the regular season. It might have been because he batted in almost every slot in the lineup. Late in the season, he started walking a lot and seemed to be effective in front of Cabrera.
Cabrera/Rollins. Rollins (tied for) 1st in 3B. Why didn’t I start Cabrera all season? Offensively, he performed in every task I asked. In the beginning of the year, he was starting only when my 2 Z starters were on the mound. Of course, he is likely the reason on why they allowed so many unearned runs. His fielding percentage was in the low .900’s for most of the season until I played him regularly. He finished at .935 ish which is only acceptable because Rollins was 2nd best in the league behind Bordick.
Rollins finished the season in what should have been his role from the beginning. Pinch running with his 19 speed and was a defensive replacement
LaRue/AJ.– LaRue hit better than I thought he would. But, his +5 was such a trade off for his 7 defense and PB3 that I was never certain what would happen game to game. He led the league in Passed Balls and had a quite a few errors. My team wasn’t solid enough to allow players to advance extra bases on steal attempts. AJ did all right. He was a pinch hitter, defensive replacement at the end of the season. Nothing real to brag about.
Pokey and Goodwin pinch ran well. As I mentioned before, I wish Pokey had a few more attempts because it would have increased his value. They both scored at least 20 runs for me. I liked them both. Neither had many at bats. Which is always good in a pinch runner. Both also performed as defensive replacements – Pokey a lot more than Goodwin.
I will try to be brief.
Johnson – 1st in innings. 1st in GG, 1st in K’s, 5th in WHIP. Sounds pretty dominant. Please take note that quality starts is not listed and neither is ERA. He led the league in home runs allowed. He was the only starter on the team that did not have a shutout – not counting Wakefield. I tried to get as many innings out of him as I could as I had a shallow bullpen. He led the league in strikeouts and innings. I think he was fairly consistent throughout the season. Not as great as a number one pitcher could be but wasn’t awful considering the number of home runs he allowed.
The other 4 starters had either good starts or were reduced in the 3rd inning ish. Oswalt 8th in ERA, 9th in innings, 5th in QS, 6th in K’s, 3rd in WHIP, 2nd in BB/9. He had good finishing numbers but, his record was poor. Perez 3rd in SHO, 7th in BB/9. He had a good stretch in the middle. Washburn 3rd in QS, 3rd in SHO. His first six starts were quality starts. I think he led the league in BB/9. He was good at the beginning and really didn’t do too much after that. Colon and Glavine were in the 5th spot in the rotation, likely facing 8 9 10 or 11’s and whatever edge I may have had was never truly taken advantage of.
The relievers: In the beginning, Donnelly was like gasoline. He was shorted innings because he kept blowing saves in the 8th on the road and wouldn’t get the full 2 innings that we needed. He was good in the middle of the season but had a few poor performances at the end of the season. Worrell started great and finished with a few bad outings. Hoffman and Stewart were both good all season long. They would have the occasional bad outings but consistent nonetheless. Guthrie would get shelled almost every time he pitched.
Team numbers: 6th in fielding but 2nd in DP 114, 3rd least SB allowed w/116.
6th in ERA 1st in QS 63. Tied 1st in SHO 7
2nd 2B 380 1st 3B 32
Believe it or not; I had fun this season. It was a complete challenge. I tried to recover from what I reflect upon as a poor drafting scheme. Good but not great starters with minimal complimentary relief staff did not work. The offense was good after the trades but not enough.
I look forward to every season.
By Ken Klein, 11.06.2003