2005 Season

 

 

 

   2005 Season

Edition No. 32

October 25, 2005

 

 

Brethren:

 

            As advertised, this weekís issue of From the Bullpen brings you a smorgasbord if not cornucopia of facts, figures, lies, damn lies, statistics, and keen observations from this cub reporter.  Iíve got so much information for you this week, I hardly know where to begin.  Weíll start with a listing of the team pitching and hitting totals across the league from the 2005 season, and after that, weíll follow my meandering mental processes.

 

TEAM HITTING TOTALS

FOR 2005

 

 

 

 

Overall

Finish

1.

Cubs*

5765

11

2.

Irates

5758

9

3.

Tigers

5700

7

4.

Wahoos

5666

8

5.

Redbirds

5654

2

6.

Skipjacks

5599

1

7.

Chiefs

5587

4

8.

Senators

5496

3

9.

Blues

5474

12

10.

Reds

5434

6

11.

Bombers

5261

5

12.

Tribe

5964

10

 

The team with the top batting average for the season was the Chiefs, who clocked in at .286.   The Wahoos brought up the rear in this department with a collective batting average of .270.  The Irates scored the most team runs with 6557, while the Tribe had the fewest with 5920.  The Skipjacks hit the most long balls on the season with 279, while the Tribe managed 90 fewer, or 189, on the year.  The Cubs* led the circuit in RBIs with 985, while the punchless Senators had the fewest RBIs with only 802.  The Redbirds were the swiftest team on the base paths with 191 steals, while the slow-footed Reds had the fewest steals with 69.  The Cubs* had the most free passes with 740, while the circumspectless Senators had only 551 bases on balls on the season. 

 

            The Chiefs, Cubs*, Redbirds, Skipjacks and Tigers had the highest points-per-game average among hitters at 3.4 PPG.  The Senators, Tribe, Bombers and Blues had the lowest PPG average with 3.2.  The Wahoos, Irates and Reds fell in the middle with 3.3 PPG. 

 

TEAM PITCHING TOTALS

FOR 2005

 

 

 

 

Overall

Finish

1.

Skipjacks

3934

1

2.

Senators

3709

3

3.

Bombers

3671

5

4.

Tribe

3605

10

5.

Redbirds

3603

2

6.

Reds

3458

6

7.

Chiefs

3368

5

8.

Wahoos

3202

8

9.

Tigers

3169

7

10.

Blues

2892

12

11.

Irates

2866

9

12.

Cubs*

2697

11

 

            The Senators staff had the most pitching wins with 105, while the Cubs* hurlers had the fewest with 77.  The Tribe throwers had the most losses with 96, while the Cubs* had the fewest losses with 70.  The Bombers had the highest winning percentage at .566, while the Irates had the worst winning percentage of .488.  The Skipjacks staff had the best ERA of 3.51, while the Irates had the worst with 4.35.  The Bombers relievers had the most saves with 95, while the Tigers closers had the fewest saves with 46.  The Senators middle relievers had the most holds with 59, while the Tribe middlemen had the fewest with 6. 

 

            The Tribe led the circuit in innings pitched with 1753, while the Cubs* staff had the fewest innings with 1210-1/3.  The Tribe staff also gave up the most hits with 1784, while the Cubs* hurlers gave up the fewest with 1199.  The Irates staff gave up the most walks with 515, while the Blues staff gave up the fewest free passes with 410.  The Tribe tossers had the most strikeouts with 1347, while the Cubs* hurlers again trailed the field with 826. 

 

            In terms of points per game averages among pitching staffs, the Skipjacks hurlers blew away the rest of the pack at 9.1 PPG.  At the other end of the spectrum, the Cubs* pitchers averaged only 7.1 PPG, far and away the lowest among the twelve teams.

 

SKIPPERíS KEEN OBSERVATIONS

 

**

The top two pitching staffs in the league, the Skipjacks and the Senators, finished 1st and 3rd, respectively, overall. 

 

 

**

Among the top five pitching teams, four of them finished in the top 5 overall, while among the top six pitching staffs, only the Tribe finished in the lower division, at 10th. 

 

 

**

The three worst pitching staffs, the Blues, Irates and Cubs*, finished 12th, 9th and 11th overall, respectively, although not respectably. 

 

 

**

The top four hitting teams, the Cubs*, Irates, Tigers and Wahoos, finished 11th, 9th, 7th and 8th overall, respectively.

 

 

**

The top four overall finishers, the Skipjacks, Redbirds, Senators and Chiefs, had only the 6th-, 5th-, 8th- and 7th-best hitting teams, respectively. 

 

 

            CONCLUSION:  It takes great pitching, not great hitting, to win this league.  Over the course of a 162-game season, the difference between the best hitting team (3.4 PPG) and the worst hitting team (3.2 PPG) is a far cry from the difference between the best pitching team (9.1 PPG) and the worst pitching team (7.1 PPG).  You can win with mediocre hitting, but you canít win without superior pitching.   End of story, amen. 

 

HALF ĎNí HALF

 

            Letís look at how the teams did during the first half of the season, and then during the final 13 weeks:

 

FIRST HALF

1.

Redbirds

4738.0

2.

Skipjacks

4711.5

3.

Bombers

4458.0

4.

Chiefs

4407.0

5.

Senators

4401.5

6.

Reds

4392.5

7.

Irates

4385.0

8.

Wahoos

4348.0

9.

Blues

4331.0

10.

Tigers

4233.5

11.

Cubs*

4220.5

12.

Tribe

4016.5

 

SECOND HALF

1.

Skipjacks

4821.5

2.

Senators

4802.5

3.

Tigers

4635.0

4.

Tribe

4520.5

5.

Chiefs

4547.0

6.

Wahoos

4520.0

7.

Redbirds

4518.0

8.

Reds

4499.5

9.

Bombers

4473.5

10.

Cubs*

4241.5

11.

Irates

4239.0

12.

Blues

4034.5

 

            LESSON:  Itís great to get out of the gate fast, but better yet to finish strong.  Just ask the Quintessential Closer, Brother Itchie, or our perennial HSL Bridesmaid, Tirebiter.

 

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

 

            Letís take a look now at the top fifty hitters and top fifty pitchers for 2005, including their PPG averages, the spot where each was drafted, and their original drafting team:

 

TOP 50 HITTERS

 

Hitters

Pts.

PPG

Round

Taken

Team

1.

A. Rod

785

4.8

1 (5)

SK

2.

D. Lee

761

4.8

9

BL

3.

D. Ortiz

748

4.7

1 (12)

TR

4.

A. Pujols

738

4.6

1 (1)

SE

5.

M. Teixeira

722

4.5

3

SK

6.

M. Ramirez

708

4.7

1 (8)

BB

7.

M. Young

698

4.4

2

IR

8.

J. Bay

680

4.2

11

WA

9.

M. Cabrera

669

4.2

3

TI

10.

A. Jones

651

4.1

5

SK

11.

D. Jeter

649

4.1

3

CU

12.

M. Tejada

639

3.9

1 (6)

RE

13.

A. Soriano

635

4.1

4

TI

14.

B. Roberts

627

4.4

11

IR

15.

C. Utley

622

4.2

12

TR

16.

G. Sheffield

621

4.0

2

BB

17.

B. Abreu

619

3.8

2

RB

18.

J. Kent

616

4.1

8

CU

19.

V. Guerrero

610

4.3

1 (2)

RB

20.

H. Matsui

610

3.8

3

RE

21.

T. Hafner

590

4.0

4

WA

22.

V. Martinez

591

4.3

4

CU

23.

A. Dunn

595

3.7

1 (9)

IR

24.

R. Furcal

588

3.8

6

CH

25.

R. Sexson

585

3.7

3

IR

26.

J. Rollins

582

3.7

6

BB

27.

P. Konerko

578

3.7

6

RE

28.

P. Burrell

575

3.7

11

SK

29.

M. Ensberg

573

3.8

21

CH

30.

M. Giles

571

3.8

6

WA

31.

D. Wright

571

3.6

10

RB

32.

C. Delgado

571

4.0

2

CU

33.

B. Giles

568

3.6

7

IR

34.

G. Sizemore

564

3.6

FA(10)

CH

35.

T. Helton

563

3.9

1

CH

36.

Lopez

563

3.8

FA(6)

RB

37.

C. Floyd

557

3.7

19

CH

38.

C. Crawford

557

3.6

8

RB

39.

I. Suzuki

565

3.5

1

BL

40.

D. Eckstein

546

3.5

22

CH

41.

J. Penalta

544

3.9

22

IR

42.

C. Lee

541

3.3

5

BB

43.

J. Damon

536

3.6

9

RB

44.

Junior

534

4.2

12

TI

45.

Reyes

530

3.2

14

SE

46.

G. Jenkins

527

3.6

12

CH

47.

S. Figgins

525

3.3

11

BB

48.

R. Winn

525

3.3

13

SE

49.

C. Biggio

518

3.3

16

BL

50.

F. Chavez

516

3.2

4

TR

 

TOP 50 PITCHERS

 

Pitcher

Pts.

PPG

Round

Taken

Team

1.

Carpenter

633

19.2

5

RB

2.

Santana

608

18.4

1 (3)

TI

3.

Pettitte

585

17.7

13

SK

4.

Clemens

579

18.1

4

BB

5.

Willis

579

17.0

17

CU

6.

Rivera (cl)

575

8.1

3

BB

7.

Pedro

560

18.3

2

CH

8.

Wagner

542

7.2

7

RB

9.

Oswalt

542

15.5

2

SE

10.

Nathan (cl)

540

7.8

5

IR

11.

C. Cordero (cl)

535

7.2

15

RB

12.

Turnbow (cl)

517

7.5

FA(5)

BB

13.

Peavy

512

17.1

4

SK

14.

Lidge (cl)

512

7.3

3

SE

15.

Smoltz

509

15.4

3

TR

16.

Zambrano

505

15.3

3

RB

17.

Colon

503

15.2

10

BL

18.

R. Johnson

493

14.5

1 (4)

WA

19.

FRod

487

7.4

3

BL

20.

Buehrle

482

14.6

9

BB

21.

T. Jones (cl)

479

7.0

FA(9)

SK

22.

Ryan (cl)

458

6.6

13

RE

23.

Shields (MR)

458

5.9

17

SE

24.

Wickman (cl)

451

7.0

27

TR

25.

Baez (cl)

449

6.7

21

RE

26.

Garland

446

13.9

FA(3)

SK

27.

Dempster (cl)

445

7.1

24

BB

28.

Myers

444

13.1

FA(1)

IR

29.

Lackey

439

13.3

FA(6)

TR

30.

Isringhausen (cl)

435

6.9

8

RE

31.

Webb

431

13.1

18

RE

32.

Fuentes (cl)

431

5.5

FA(9)

IR

33.

Farnsworth (MR)

428

5.9

FA(10)

CU

34.

F. Cordero (cl)

428

6.2

9

CH

35.

Hoffman (cl)

428

7.1

8

SK

36.

Timlin (MR)

426

5.3

FA(6)

CH

37.

Patterson

426

13.7

FA(2)

SK

38.

C. Lee

425

13.3

16

SE

39.

Street (cl)

422

6.3

28

BL

40.

Contreras

420

13.1

FA(10)

SK

41.

Zito

420

12.0

4

SE

42.

Beckett

417

14.4

7

TI

43.

Garcia

417

12.6

10

IR

44.

Haren

415

12.2

21

BL

45.

Davis

406

11.6

16

TI

46.

Weaver

403

11.8

17

TI

47.

Loaiza

401

11.8

FA(5)

TI

48.

Lieber

400

11.4

14

BB

49.

Linebrink

400

5.5

20

BL

50.

AJ Burnett

398

12.4

8

WA

 

SKIPPERíS AWARDS

 

Best Late Pick-Pitching:

Andy Pettitte, Skipjacks, 13th round, ended up with 585 points, 3rd highest pitcher. 

 

 

Close Second:

Dontrelle Willis in the 17th round by Shamu*, who finished with 579 points, tied for 4th overall among all pitchers. 

 

 

Worst Early Pick-Pitching:

Jason Schmidt, taken by Shamu* as the 11th pick of the 1st round, who finished with 297 points, 68th among starters and 112th among all pitchers. 

 

 

Best Late Pick-Hitting:

Derrek Lee, drafted by the Blues in the 9th round, finished with 761 points, 2nd among all hitters.

 

 

Close Second:

Jason Bay, taken by Possum in the 11th round, finished with 680 points, good for 8th overall.

 

 

Worst Early Pick-Hitting:

Carlos Beltran, taken by Big Guy as the third pick of the 2nd round, finished with 433 points (2.9 PPG), to finish as the 8th best center fielder, the 86th best hitter overall.

 

 

Best Free Agent Pickup-Pitching:

Derrick Turnbow, who lasted until the fifth week of the Free Agent Draft, was shrewdly snapped up by Mouse and finished with 517 points, 4th among closers and 12th among all pitchers.  Salty.

 

 

Best Free Agent Pickup-Hitting:

Grady Sizemore, drafted by the Chiefs in the 10th week of the Free Agent Draft, finished with a total of 564 points, 2nd among all center fielders, with a nifty clip of 3.6 PPG.

 

 

Worst Player Drafted:

Gavin Floyd, picked up by the savvy U-Bob in the 28th and last round of the Draft, finished the season at -13, officially the worst player taken in the Draft.

 

 

Close Second:

Juan Gonzalez, who is now hopefully long gone, was drafted by the Irates in the 20th round with the hope for a big comeback, finished the season with one at-bat and negative 1 point for the year.   Great work ethic.

 

 

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Award:

Remember Possumís 25 minutes of angst-filled indecision during the 3rd round of the Draft, as he tried to pick between Jim Thome and Mark Teixeira?  Well, he couldnít have blown himself up any worse if he was an Iraqi insurgent.  By taking Thome and allowing Itchie to pick up Mark Teixeira as the very next pick, Possum got the benefit of Thomeís injury-plagued year and sad total of 142 points, while Teixeira chalked up 722 points for the Skipjacks and carried them on his back to the title.  Thanks a lot, Possum!

 

 

Gilligan Bad Cast-Away Award:

This award goes to the team manager who drafted a good player, but cut him loose before going on to a good year on someone elseís roster.  Not that we are an imperious or impatient managerial lot as a whole, but there are plenty of viable contenders for this award, as follows:

 

Player

Drafting

(and

Releasing)

Team

Points

FAD

Beneficiary

Noah Lowry

Skipjacks

357

Skipper

Chris Capuano

Skipjacks

383

Magpie

Jason Lane

Irates

419

Skipper

Jose Contreras

Skipjacks

420

Possum

Kevin Mench

Senators

439

Possum

Jason Giambi

Skipjacks

490

Possum

Jorge Cantu

Chiefs

505

Big Guy

Jhonny Peralta

Irates

544

Possum

 

And the winner is:  Morgan Ensberg, who was originally drafted by the Chiefs in Round 21, immediately banished from the team, and then snapped up by Magpie in the Free Agent Draft and finished with an impressive total of 573 points, 3.8 PPG, second behind ARod among all third basemen, and 29th among al hitters.  Screech had better hope that B.T. doesnít read this issue of From the Bullpen (the odds are pretty good), or he may be looking for a new squad during the off-season.  

 

Vulture Award: This one's easy.  As shown above, Possum lurked outside the back alley and picked up four players who were dropped by other managers and went on to have fine seasons, Jhonny Peralta, Jason Giambi, Kevin Mench and Jose Contreras. 
   

Can't Lose In Spite of Myself Award

You may also note that our 2005 champion, Itchie, was the moron who drafted but then cut loose Jose Contreras, Jason Giambi, Chris Capuano and Noah Lowry.  In spite of his hairpin trigger finger resulting in these very poor management moves, the guy walks away with the title again.  Some guys have all the luck. 

 

 

DISTRIBUTION

 

            Because the time constraints of managing my team are now over and I have plenty of free time on my hands, I decided to plot the top 25 hitters and top 25 pitchers on our original Draft roster to see where the high point-getters came from.  Some interesting, although perhaps predictable, results.  Among the 25 hitters who scored the most points this season, 19 were drafted in the first five rounds of the Draft.  Three players, Furcal, Lee and Kent, were drafted during Rounds 6 through 10.  The remaining three hitters among the top 25 scorers, Jason Bay, Brian Roberts and Chase Utley, were all drafted in either Round 11 or Round 12.  In summary, we were collectively smart enough and prepared enough to draft the top 25 hitters during the first 12 rounds.  In addition, the 26th, 27th and 28th ranked hitters, Rollins, Konerko and Burrell, were all drafted by Round 11.  We have to get down to the 29th ranked player, Morgan Ensberg, who as aforementioned was drafted in the 21st round by the Chiefs, to find a hitter who was not drafted in the first 12 rounds.  We have to go all the way down to the 34th ranked hitter, Grady Sizemore, to find a hitter who was not drafted at all in the initial Draft but picked up in the Free Agent Draft.   Pretty good work.

 

            But the story on pitching is far different.  Among the 25 highest scoring pitchers, only 13 were picked during the first five rounds of the Draft.  Three pitchers, Billy Wagner, Mark Buehrle, and Bartolo Colon, were picked during Rounds 6 through 10.  Three more Top 25 pitchers, Chad Cordero, Andy Pettitte and B.J. Ryan, were drafted during Rounds 11 through 15.  Two more, Scot Shields and Dontrelle Willis, went during Rounds 16 through 20.  One pitcher, Danny Baez, went during Rounds 21 through 25.  And one pitcher, Bob Wickman, was picked during the final three rounds of the Draft.  In sum, although we managed to draft 23 of the Top 25 scoring pitchers during the initial Draft, missing out only on Derrick Turnbow and Todd Jones, only 16 of the top 25 pitchers went during the first 12 rounds of the Draft, compared to all 25 of the hitters who were selected during that same part of the Draft. 

 

            I also found it of interest that when we expand the list to look at the pitchers that finished between 26th and 40th among all pitchers, 8 of these additional 15 pitchers came from the Free Agent Draft, for a total of 10 pitchers out of the top 40 from the Free Agent Draft. 

 

            The take-home point:  drafting pitchers is darned hard work, but well worth the effort.  And as we know, you have to have good pitching to win this thing. 

 

            Now for one final bit of fun, letís take a look at how the juiciest part of the Draft Ė those exciting and pressure-packed first two rounds Ė panned out for the lot of us:

 

TOP TWO ROUNDS AND RESULTS

 

ROUND 1

 

Name

Total

Points

PPG

Overall Rank

Among

Hitters/Pitchers

Rank

At

Position

Position

1.

Pujols (SE)

738

4.6

4

3

1B

2.

Guerrero (RB)

610

4.3

19

3

RF

3.

Santana (TI)

608

18.4

2

2

SP

4.

RJ (WA)

493

14.5

18

12

SP

5.

ARod (SK)

785

4.8

1

1

3B

6.

Tejada (RE)

639

3.9

12

3

SS

7.

Helton (CH)

563

3.9

36

9

1B

8.

Ramirez (BB)

708

4.7

6

1

LF

9.

Dunn (IR)

595

3.7

21

5

LF

10.

Ichiro (BL)

565

3.5

34

5

RF

11.

Schmidt (CU)

297

10.2

112

68

SP

12.

Ortiz (TR)

748

4.7

3

2

1B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROUND 2

 

Name

Total

Points

PPG

Overall Rank

Among

Hitters/Pitchers

Rank

At

Position

Position

1.

Oswalt

542

15.5

9

7

SP

2.

Abreu

619

3.8

17

2

RF

3.

Beltran

433

2.9

86

8

CF

4.

Schilling

471

5.3

DK*

28

CL

5.

Hudson

348

12.0

DK

49

SP

6.

Sheets

343

15.6

DK

53

SP

7.

Pedro

566

18.3

7

6

SP

8.

Sheffield

621

4.0

16

1

RF

9.

Young

698

4.4

7

1

SS

10.

Rolen

138

2.5

DK

38

3B

11.

Delgado

571

4.0

30

8

1B

12.

Garciaparra

161

2.6

DK

34

SS

 

* DK = Donít Know (because too low)

 

BUSH LEAGUE BANTER

 

            Most of the following thoughts are neither here nor there, but Iíll include them here:

 

**

You can put John Mabry on the list of Major League beneficiaries (along with Clint Hurdle, among others), who must have compromising photos of Bud Selig, or Walt Jockety, or the two of them together, or something.  How this guy remains in a Major League uniform is beyond me.  And not only remains, but is put in to pinch hit in critical situations by Tony LaRussa in the playoffs.  This is the same hapless hitter that we saw get absolutely overmatched by Pedro on Opening Day in Seattle in 2000, and the same guy who has a career batting average of .269, a high of 13 homers in one season, a high of 74 RBIs in one season, and a total of 7 career stolen bases.   The guy couldnít get a hit off of Charles Nelson Reilly, and yet there he is facing Brad Lidge in the bottom of the 9th in the Cardinals elimination game.  Go figure.

 

 

**

Speaking of Clint Hurdle, how does this guy keep his job as manager of the Rockies while a terrific manager and person like Alan Trammell gets sent packing by the Tiger organization?  Oh, thatís right.  The pictures.

 

 

**

I hope that Clemensí bad hamstring debacle in Game 1 of the World Series doesnít signal the end of his career.  Even though he needs to let the hammie heal up over the winter, a guy who leads both leagues in the ERA department and who can still make the opposing batters look silly at the ripe old age of 43 shouldnít hang it up just yet.  I understand the arguments.  But with 341 career wins and plenty of gas left in the tank, I want to see the guy play for two more years and make a serious run at catching old Pete and Big Six.  Whoís with me on this one?

 

 

**

How about Scott Podsednik hitting a walk-off homer to win Game 2 of the Series after going Yard exactly 0 times during the year for my Senators?  Or Joe Crede looking like the reincarnation of Brooks Robinson at third base after botching enough plays during the season to get himself cut from the Senatorsí roster?  Let it shine, boys, let it shine.

 

 

**

I am happy to report that Tirebiter made it back safely from his two-week moose-hunting sojourn out West.  Thankfully, he scrapped his original plan to don a pair of antlers to draw fire from other anxious and bloodthirsty hunters, in his ill-conceived scheme to put himself out of his misery over yet another 2nd place Hot Stove League finish.  Canít wait to see his new Bullwinkle trophy mount in his office. 

 

 

**

It will probably come as a surprise to all of you that no one has yet offered to host the celebration of Itchieís fifth HSL championship crown.  When the call went out for a volunteer to step forward and do the honors, it looked like a dozen Michael Jacksons doing the two-step moonwalk backwards in perfect synchronization.  Hope Itchie isnít holding his breath.

 

 

 

IN CLOSING

 

            And in closing, fellas, let me just say that, as always, itís been my pleasure to serve you.  No thanks are necessary.  Really, I mean it. 

 

                                                                                    Skipper

 

 

P.S. Seriously, donít worry about it. 

 

 

 

 

 

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