Official Publication of

The Tigers

Special Edition of

From the Bullpen

Guest Editor:  Big Guy

2004 Season

Edition No. 25

August 17, 2004

STATISTICS

 

Hot Stove League Standings thru Sunday, August 15, 2004

 

Team

Bat

Pitch

Proj.

TOTAL

Hanover Wahoos

4706.0

2539.5

6944.5

7245.5

Omaha Skipjacks

4497.5

2717.0

7022.5

7214.5

Omaha Senators

4171.5

2937.0

7018.5

7108.5

Detroit Tigers

4420.5

2683.0

7054.5

7103.5

Omaha Red Birds

4273.5

2756.0

6945.5

7029.5

River City Reds

4252.5

2473.0

6725.5

6725.5

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Irates

4216.0

2371.5

6580.5

6587.5

Omaha Bronx Bombers

4077.0

2415.0

6440.0

6492.0

West Des Moines Cubs

3845.0

2636.0

6459.0

6481.0

Lincoln Chiefs

3939.5

2337.5

6263.0

6267.0

Kansas City Blues

4534.0

1668.5

6197.5

6202.5

Lincoln Tribe

3414.0

1498.5

4912.5

4912.5

 

 

Last Weekís Standings

 

 

West Des Moines Cubs

460.5

River City Reds

460.0

Omaha Senators

443.0

Omaha Skipjacks

389.0

Kansas City Blues

385.0

Hanover Wahoos

371.0

Detroit Tigers

368.5

Omaha Bronx Bombers

329.5

Omaha Red Birds

327.0

Lincoln Irates

325.0

Lincoln Chiefs

298.5

Lincoln Tribe

248.0

 

TOP 20 Hitters thru Sunday, August 15, 2004

 

DRAFT

 

No.

Name

Pos.

Points

Round

Player No.

Team

1.

Barry Bonds

LF

593

1

8

Red Birds

2.

Miguel Tejada

SS

543

3

26

Skipjax

3.

Albert Pujols

1B

542

1

3

Senators

4.

Scott Rolen

3B

539

3

35

Blues

5.

Bobby Abreu

RF

537

5

59

Blues

6.

Carlos Guillen

SS

525

22

257

Red Birds

7.

Mark Loretta

2B

518

12

144

Tigers

8.

Todd Helton

1B

515

1

2

Skipjax

9.

Vladmir Guerrero

RF

510

1

5

Chiefs

10.

David Ortiz

1B

498

10

119

Skipjax

11.

Adam Dunn

LF

498

8

91

Wahoos

12.

Jim Edmonds

CF

498

7

79

Wahoos

13.

Manny Ramirez

LF

495

1

7

Bombers

14.

J.D. Drew

RF

491

13

146

Skipjax

15.

Mike Young

SS

484

8

94

Senators

16.

Travis Hafner

1B

482

FA

336+

Wahoos

17.

Carlos Beltran

CF

482

2

23

Blues

18.

Gary Sheffield

RF

482

2

19

Bombers

19.

Adrian Beltre

3B

476

20

239

Skipjax

20.

Victor Martinez

C

475

13

147

Senators

 

TOP 20 Pitchers thru Sunday, August 15, 2004

 

DRAFT

 

No.

Name

Pos.

Pnts

Rnd

Player#

Team

1.

  Jason Schmidt

SP

478

7

80

Chiefs

2.

  Mariano Rivera

CL

469

4

43

Irates

3.

  Randy Johnson

SP

460

1

12

Tigers

4.

  Eric Gagne

CL

455

2

24

Tigers

5.

  Joe Nathan

CL

439

9

103

Wahoos

6.

  Johan Santana

SP

423

6

65

Red Birds

7.

  Ben Sheets

SP

404

21

243

Senators

8.

  Armando Benitez

CL

404

11

121

Reds

9.

  John Smoltz

CL

400

6

69

Cubs

10.

  Brad Lidge

MR

398

19

227

Skipjax

11.

  Roger Clemens

SP

394

8

95

Skipjax

12.

  Francisco Cordero

CL

385

16

187

Wahoos

13.

  Jason Isringhausen

CL

383

11

125

Irates

14.

  Pedro Martinez

SP

380

1

4

Cubs

15.

  Francisco Rodriguez

MR

376

14

159

Senators

16.

  Tom Gordon

MR

375

23

265

Reds

17.

  Mark Mulder

SP

373

2

21

Irates

18.

  Curt Schilling

SP

371

1

6

Wahoos

19.

  Danny Graves

CL

368

28

327

Senators

20.

  Jose Mesa

CL

361

FA

336+

Irates

 

DRAFT REVISITED

 

The Draft sure looks different five months later. On draft day, the Cubs were the consensus pick as the best drafted team, and nobody liked the Skipjacks. Looking back at the draft now, it looks like somebody unplugged the power on the Cubs after Round 6. On the other hand, the Skipjacks had flashes of hidden brilliance throughout the draft, highlighted by Clemens in the 8th, Ortiz in the 10th, Drew in the 13th, and the back-to-back acorns of Lidge and Beltre in the 19th and 20th rounds. The Senators were almost as good in late round drafting, picking up M. Young in the 8th, V. Martinez in the 13th, K Rod in the 14th, Sheets in the 21st, and Graves in the 28th round. I can see clearly now that I had my head up my butt when I drafted Bagwell and left David Ortiz on the table.

 

The Blues had a great start, snagging Top 20 players Beltran, Rolen and Abreu in the first 5 rounds. The only other teams with multiple players on these lists after Round 5 were the Skipjax (Helton and Tejada), and the Tigers (R. Johnson and Gagne). Most teams were only able to select ONE player out of their top 5 picks to make the Top 20 lists! There were two teams without a single player on the lists after 5 rounds: The Reds, who had the first pick in each of the rounds; and, of course, the Tribe. More on these two later.

 

It is interesting to see how many players drafted after the 6th round ended up on the list of Top 20 Hitters and Pitchers through the games of August 15. If there was any question about the reason for the difference between the Upper Division and the Mullets, consider this statistic: After Round 6 of the Draft, there were 20 players drafted and 2 free agent drafts who ended up on the Top 20 lists; 19 were taken by the UD and 3 by the Mullets. It seems pretty obvious to me from this data that the teams near the top are there by virtue of their middle and late round drafting.

 

I would venture a guess that this year was the worst Round 3 drafted in league history. Only Tejada and Rolen made the Top 20 Lists. The others: Zito, Jeter, Mussina, M. Ordonez, Berkman, J. Giambi, B. Boone, B. Webb, B. Giles, and K. Brown. Yeesh. Granted, some of these guys got hurt, but if we could start over and draft a team today for the rest of the season, there arenít any of these players that would be taken by Round 3.

 

Possum scored quite a coup in drafting back-to-back-to-back Top 20 performers in Rounds 7 through 9 with Edmonds, A. Dunn and Nathan. The Senators also had a quick fix during Rounds 13 and 14 with Victor Martinez and K Rod, as well as the previously mentioned Skipjax drafting of Lidge and Beltre in Rounds 19 and 20. The Reds had a horrible draft, which must be a testament to his management during the season. (Howís that for a left-handed compliment?)

 

TRADE WINDS

 

The hot topic recently has been the questionable trade between the Reds and Wahoos, which has been assailed as bailing out the Wahoos from the proverbial corner in which they had painted themselves with too many low average sluggers (slugs) getting all their points from HRs, and no middle reliever points. Magpie graciously (stupidly, selfishly, collusively?) bailed him out by taking Dunn, Teixeira and J. Valentin off his hands, and giving up high average Garciaparra and a great MR in Tom Gordon.

 

Society passes certain laws and rules to benefit the masses, although an individual might not like its individual application to him. There is an unwritten rule in friendly competitions that near the finish line, you donít help the leader unless there is a significant advantage to be gained from the deal. If you need a tutorial on how this works at a card table, ask Snickler (or Skipper, or Dick Huebner, or me). Time will tell, but the visceral reactions from the Skipjacks and Senators seem to speak what everyone else thought: Possum took Magpie for a ride on this one. This trade allowed the Wahoos to avoid, or at least soften, what would have been a horrific crash with the limits on Home Runs. Possumís delight at his good fortune has been confirmed by his recent Message Board postings about what a great deal this was for Magpie. Relax, Possum, you donít need to sell this one anymore.

 

LEAGUE MOCKERY?

 

There have been recent trades of questionable status involving the Tribe, whose rotting carcass has now been picked clean of any meat. Why would U Bob give up Brian Giles for Glavine and Graves, only to keep these two pitchers in his minors? And the recent trade between the Tribe and Irates, in which the Irates picked up A. Huff and C. Patterson for a bucket of dung, doesnít even pass the smell test. Perhaps someone should notify Denny about the deal.

 

In addition to keeping Glavine and Graves in the minors, the obvious tanking of this team can be seen by the numerous players on its active roster who have been on the DL for an extended period of time or performing far worse than another player at the same position in the Tribe minors. One exception has been Jose Lima, recently picked up by Underbelly on the Free Agent wire, apparently to administer his usual punishment to a teamís point total. However, Lima has been programmed for so long to do exactly opposite of what his owner wants, heís been pitching like his hairís on fire, and amassing large amounts of points.

 

Bob, your team sucks, but the manipulated, depressed point totals for the Tribe are about as accurate as Fahrenheit 911. This fall, when you are getting your union card autographed by Michael Moore at the corpulent hypocriteís appearance in Lincoln, remember the haunting words of the Leagueís moral compass, Big Chief Krause, who said, "Youíre making a mockery of the League."

 

MY DREAM AS A FISH

 

Here it is, mid-August, and time for the annual run of the mullet. Iím swimming along, thinking about how this summer has been quite different than the past few years. The weather has been pleasant, and I have happened upon some unexpected good fortune along the way. The other fish Iím used to swimming with are nowhere in sight. I apparently took a wrong turn, and now find myself in a vaguely familiar channel, swimming with the big fish, including a wahoo and a skipjack. There are a couple of other fish in this pack, tagged with some Regency logo, which may indicate they were caught, but thrown back. Thereís also an overfed red fish behind me, doing a lot of talking, but too far back for me to pay much attention to his chattering. My familiar group of mullet friends must be in a pack somewhere in another stream. I think it might be near Lincoln.

 

 

This is the first time since 1989 that I can remember five teams with a chance to win it this late in the season. That year, there were five teams packed together going into the last month, and the Tigers were predicted to finish fifth in From The Bullpen. You can check the Cup to see how it came out that year. It should be exciting down the stretch. Now if we could just get those projected points to be what counts . . .

 

THE TRIP

 

Bring your gloves this weekend. If you donít have room in your carry-on bag, we can always find room in Snicklerís steamer trunk with the travel stickers. Iím bringing a Laser Ball, which records how fast it is pitched on a digital read-out on the ball. Remember, Itchie and I were publicly recognized by the PA announcer as having the two fastest arms in the crowd at a packed Omaha Royals play-off game attended by several members of the HSL.

 

See you in San Diego.

 

 

SKIP'S BLIPS

 

League MVP of the year Ė Barry Bonds, 603

League Cy Young of the year Ė Randy Johnson, 572.5

 

SAME TIME LAST YEAR

 

Last year at this time, through Week 19, the Reds were leading the way with a total of 7198.5, just ahead of the second place Senators who had 7170.0. Skipjacks were in third last year at this time with 6956.0, followed by the fourth place Chiefs with 6838.5, and the fifth place Cubs* with 6750.0. The last place Tigers were at 6009, or not quite 1200 points off the pace. This may be contrasted with the chasm between the Wahoos and the Tribe through 19 weeks of this year, just over 2300 points.

 

The League MVP of the year last year through 19 weeks was Todd Helton of the Senators with 631 points. The Cy Young of the year last year was John Smoltz of the Redbirds with 487 points.

 

 

į

Many kudos to Big Guy for his comprehensive and thoughtful analysis. Man, this guy loves his stats. Hey, Blongo, what were you saying last week about not having access to this type of information so you could properly complete your 7th Inning Stretch? Hrrrrrmmpphh.  And by the way, were those the same three words that the San Diego Chicken said to you at a Royals game, "So sue me," or what? Oops, didnít mean to reopen that ugly chapter of the celebrated McBlunder legal archives.

į

Loved Big Guyís schtick on the Mullets of the league. Very funny, but dang, so very true. Must be something in the water down there in Salt Creek, the spawning stream for those Capital City Mullets.

į

Not that I want to promote an Omaha vs. Lincoln and All Comers/We vs. Them rivalry in our peacefully cohesive league, but one has to recognize if one is circumspect that 16 out of the 19 Hot Stove League championships have been won by the Omaha-based clubs (but donít get too smug over your Omaha team status, Mouse and Tirebiter ĖĖ the two of you havenít exactly been shouldering the load for all of us here on the banks of the Missouri). And, of the three pennants won by non-Omaha based clubs, one has a perpetual asterisk attached to it; one was bought and paid for by our league jillionaire; and one was the product of a once-in-a-blue-moon/pigs are now beaming through the galaxy/Shamu just passed up a second helping of biscuits, phenomenon, and canít really be accredited to the skill of its drafting team. But hey, itís just one manís opinion.

į

Did somebody get the license plate number of that semi-truck with the mudflaps with the chubby little Redbirds on them? Holy smokes, itís like somebody shot Tirebiter out of a cannon this week. Through three days of play, the once-pitiable Redbirds have 268.5 points for the week, putting Jim Edís team in first place on a Projected Points basis. The tease is on. Weíll let you get close, Jimmy, but then itís time for you to crawl back in your hole. It should be noted, however, that the Redbirds have had this enormous surge this week even without the benefit of a providential trade from Possum, such as has inflated the Redsí point total this week.

į

In the carcass-picking department, I take umbrage and demand a retraction of Big Guyís suggestion that my trade with íBelly was anything other than an above-board, arms-length transaction. It just so happens that my arms are a lot longer than U-Bellyís, and were able to reach around his neck and squeeze out the last bit of life-blood from his team. But hey, I gave him the choice of Buehrle or Glavine and Urbina or Graves for the fifth-best left fielder, Giles, and how can that be anything but fair? Donít be tarring me with that same brush that you have used to blacken Possum and Tricko.

 

See you in San Diego. Skipper

 

 

 

 

 

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