Monday, December 29, 2008

The Superstar Equation

. Monday, December 29, 2008
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Superstar... it is a word that evokes passion. It channels a certain mystique. It provides pride in the team you love.
Superstar is something that every team needs. The thing that many teams are willing to overpay for be it in the form of young prospects or a mountain of cash.

One thing is certain. To be a truly great franchise you need to have that signature player that can excite the fans. To entice the sports world and to build a revenue stream.

The question however is just how important a factor the superstar truly is to team success. We have seen many cases of a team giving it's all to sign a alleged superstar and then never be any better than they were before. From Alex Rodriguez and his then record 252 million dollar deal, to Mike Hampton signing for 180 million to Miguel Tejada going to the Orioles.

One player can make a difference and that difference can be huge but the thing that most fail to see and this is especially true in HBD. Is that you cannot build a true dynasty on a lone Superstar. You can have the best player in the world your in but if the team you set around him is full of holes you will never succeed.

There is no doubt that having a superstar is key. But the craze in which owners are willing to sacrifice an entire draft for the sake of a stud international free agent or forking over 20 million a season for that great hitter is indeed a flawed theory.

A HOF hitter may play in all 162 games but the salary to effect ratio will never pan out if you only have a great player on a poor team. More to the point if you a team with a great hitter vs a great pitching staff regardless of situation with enough exposure to the hitter the staff will win out. For a hitter success is going 1/3 every time out. 3 at bats vs a potential of 7-8-9 innings of possible 7 hit 4 earned run ball.

A closer can be elite but will only close out 40-50 games to preserve the win. A superstar can make an average to above average team great. A superstar cannot however take a porous team from obscurity to greatness.

Much like when Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman so to does a HBD superstar need to be surrounded by pieces that compliment, augment and enhance his natural abilities.

You should always build a great team with a superstar and not build your team around one.
If you fail to heed this advice you will doom your franchise to failure. No amount of money, nor huge bonus, nor key ratings will save you should you do it the wrong way.

Quality in quantity is more important than simple quality in one lone player. So you can sign that 40 million dollar international free agent. You can bring in that huge Arod type signing. But you will always be behind the team that bring in 4-5 quality guys each draft, makes savvy trades for youngsters and builds from within to make a true team.

A superstar is worth it's weight in gold. But their far from priceless.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Examining Free Agency

. Friday, December 26, 2008
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The Wright world free agency period has come and gone. We the current economic misfortunes play a part in the cash flow of some teams. We saw just 2 contracts of 30 million or more.
The per year average and bonuses on contracts also plummeted. The highest Bonus given was just 3 million while the highest per year average was 10.3 million. The long term contracts that free agents expected did not come either. There was just 1 contract of 5 years given out. It appears that the market beared out lower salaries and 2-3 contracts this season to give the economy to recover.
Only time will tell if the free angency splurge will return to Wright or if this is the start of a less crazied free agency period and less money for the players and their agents.

There were still very good players out there and they will make impacts on their new teams. But the pressure of fiscal responsiblity and rumored pressure from Wright world officials seems to have halted the expenditures of many.

Compensation Pick Signings
Stephen Singleton
Signed with Portland 3 years and 25 million.
Surprisingly exits Pawtucket to join a very good Portland franchise. The top offensive player available via free agency & a key signing for the Rainmakers.

Kevin Lennon
Signed with Tampa Bay 3 years and 23 million.
Quite possibly the best free agent pitcher on the market makes Tampa Bay his new home this season.

Marcus Williams
Signed with Toronto 4 years and 41.2 million.
He wasn't the best player available but he might have the biggest impact as he adds to a already deep Toronto rotation.

Max Mayne
Signed with Boise 3 years 15.9 million.
Just a monster masher who can put points on the board. Has had only 1 season under 20 homeruns and 75 RBI. Very productive hitter.

Keith Adams
Signed with Richmond 4 years 31.2 million.
A solid and durable starter. Very reliable meat and potatoes type that gets it done.

Bubbles Powell
Signed with San Antonio 1 year 3.8 million.
One of the best relievers available on the market and a bargain for San Antonio.

Bob Roberts
Signed with Richmond 3 years 15 million.
A true gamer type pitcher. He does what is needed to keep you in the game. Whether he is starting or coming out of the pen.

Winston Greene
Signed with Florida 3 years 15.6 million.
The long time Cincinnati Marauder leaves for Florida. One of the best defensive 2B in the game.
Solid addition for the Villans.

Patrick Buchanan
Signed with Durham 3 years 19 million.
Doesn't have the greatest stuff in the world but you put the ball in his hand and he can get you some W's. Atlanta will miss him this season.

Jed Hart
Signed with Jacksonville 1 year $2,775,000
Hart leaves Durham for Jacksonville. The swingman can eat alot of innings and do enough to keep you in a game.

Impact Signings W/o Compensation.
Don Fujiwara 2 years 12 million
Ray Hairston 2 years 6.2 million
Darrell Long 3 years 17.8 million
Greg Hill 2 years 8.8 million
Paul Walter 2 years 3 million
Bill Barry 2 years 15.2 million
Richard Sierra 3 years 13.8 million
Del Matos 2 years 5 million
Pascual Guerrero 3 year 18.6 million
Sammy Olmeda 2 years 5.2 million
Andy Barker 2 years 3.8 million
Dante Cheng 2 years 4.2 million
Norm Curtis 5 years 26 million
Walter House 2 years 4.5 million

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Season 10 Ownership Opportunites

. Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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American League
North
Formerly Vancouver Muffdivers 93-69 2nd Place 2 games back

Major League Foundation:
Alex Renteria is a flat out stud capable of MVP numbers every season. Don Fujiwara is a perfect compliment to the bat of Renteria. Stephen Singleton Is yet another offensive veteran weapon for this club to form a trio capable of 40-100 each.
The staff is led by cagey vet Homer Rizzo but after him your looking at a core of 28 or younger with the likes of. Ruben Soto, Robert Salmon as well as youngster Fernando Wilfredo(76/81) who can thrive as either a setup man or a closer.
Minor League Building Block:
Has some solid players in recent draftees like Ahmad Bailey(65/78) A potential #2 type SP. Jordan Ray(56/73) A very adept pitcher with #2-#3 potential or dynamic as a LR/SUA type role player.

Outlook:
A team built to win now with a great offensive set of players and some good pitchers. Capable of winning the division and more with the right tweaks.

Formerly Cleveland Redlegs 43-119 4th place and 52 games back.

Major League Foundation:
When you look at this franchise you have to start with none other than Alex Manto. The supreme hitter is just beginning to hit his stride and will make the allstar team for many years to come. After him on offense you have hitters like Pascual Guerrero,Valerio Reyes & Harry Stargell.

Minor League Building Block:
Shep Reagan(71/80) Leads the charge as the top prospect in the system. A complete 2 way player with gold glove potential at 2B or CF. After him lies Hal Lamb(61/81) a SP prospect with good potential to be a #2-#3 type, Todd Dresden(60/77) a future elite closer,Mel Grace(72/76) a potential stud slugger with polish. With the likes of Deivi Martin(70/75),Fred Hunter(72/77) & Joe Ward(53/77) on the back end the minors while needing work are in good condition.
Outlook:
The franchise has some very solid pieces at the major league level for their offense. The pitching staff needs an overhaul but this is a team that can contend in 2-3 seasons if the path chosen is to rebuild. With the right owner, this team could surprise in season 10. Armed with a top 5 pick this franchise could go the way of the Tampa Bay Rays with the right selection.

South
Formerly Memphis RedBirds 42-120 4th place 59 games back - TAKEN
Major League Foundation:
The hitters leave alot to be desired but Pitching wise the standouts are Esteban Elcano & Brandon Leach.
Minor League Building Block:
Brian Ransom(82/92) is a sure fire future allstar OF with 5 tool potential. He will be a franchise player for many years to come. Theodore Wilson(65/88) the recent #1 overall pick,Eduardo Jacquez(68/83) is a close 2nd who reminds of the Oakland A's version of Jason Giambi. Behind those 3 you have the likes of Robert Isringhausen(61/75)Jackson Stoops(63/81),Quinn Jenner(39/71),Ed McDowell(55/72),Vicente Ramirez(75/80),Luis De La Vega(66/78),Hiram Prince(80/87),Ariel Carrasco(65/82),Sarma Roberts(68/76) and too many others to name.
Outlook:
The minors are stacked and the only way to describe it would be "Prospect heaven" however the ML team needs some serious work put into it by a dedicated owner. Some prospects in the minors are ML ready now and should have already been in the show so that could help bridge the gap.

National League

East
Formerly Iowa City Acorns 74-88 T-2nd place 18 games back. - TAKEN
Major League Foundation:
An extremely youthful bunch of guys. Adrian O'Neill(75/83) is arguably the franchise player with his best uyears well ahead of him. Rounding out the offense is slugging 1B Bip Fleming(74/82), Macbeth Wagner(66/70) & Otis Reese.
Minor League Building Block:
This franchise has some very nice prospects on the farm. Raul Ortiz(55/83) is a future stud hitter who projects as DH/C type, one thing is for sure...he'll bring the wood. If Ortiz isn't your cup of tea then former #1 pick Dicky Kreuter(77/87) should do the trick. A potential allstar OF who can be a anchor to the lineup. After them you have even more with the likes of Jeff Green(63/75),Angel Olivares(68/72),Tony Chen(65/76) &Eli Jacquez(60/74).
Outlook:
This is a very young team with lots of pieces to tinker and toy with. Either to contend now or in the future, it will depend upon the owner. Lack of pitching is a problem at the ML level that needs to be addressed to have a chance to compete year in and year out.

West
Los Angeles Dodgers 94-68 T-2nd place 7 games back
Major League Foundation:
4 time allstar OF Geraldo Alvarado is the franchise player. Donaldo Lucano & Cooper Carter provide protection in the lineup for him.
Miguel Colome who might be the best pitcher in all of Wright world is also the best pitcher on the staff. followed up by Carter Stull, Steven Keeler,Joseph Martin,Kyle Alston & Bernie Sierra for one of the best pitching staffs and bullpen tandems in the NL.
Minor League Building Block:
Rafael Ozuna(69/81) is arguably their top prospect or atleast their best pitching one. Harold Vernon(58/70) provides the organization with depth along with the following pitchers Felix Culver(65/79),Russell Griffey(54/77) & Randy Hearn(64/73).
The position prospects are solid in Bubba Blanton(65/75) & Jimmy Pearson(65/74)
Outlook:
A very good ML foundation with some prospects in the minors. Built to contend right now in a tough NL. With a few tweaks this team can make a big time playoff run, WS title? anything is possible in the playoffs.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Dynasty Is Made

. Tuesday, December 9, 2008
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After a tough back and for seven game series. The Atlanta Fairfax have risen from ashes to claim their second Wright world championship.

In a series that pitted two teams with a brewing rivalry against one another again. Last season saw Toronto break the hearts of the Fairfax by denying them a WS and claiming it for themselves. This season saw payback for the Fairfax after seeing everything from 9 run blowouts to 1 run pitching duels.

So hats off to the champs as they now hold the distinction of being the only true dynasty in Wright world. Being the only team to capture more than one title.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

The Terrific Two

. Friday, December 5, 2008
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After nearly 3 months of speculation. Who's gonna win? Who is the favorite? Soon we will have a clear cut answer.

You have two teams that were once again head and shoulders above the rest. For the second straight season the world series will feature a showdown between the Atlanta Fairfax and the Toronto Trail of Tears.

Last season saw a very primed and ready Toronto squad capture their first WS title with a gut wrenching 4-3 series win.

This season Atlanta been on the road to redemption. Seeking to prove that last year was merely a fluke and that they are still the kings of the AL.

For Toronto this series will be about cementing a legacy as the first team to win multiple titles.
They seek to prove dominance and to claim to ultimate respect. The kind no one can take away.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls strap yourselves in for the biggest thrill ride in all of HBD.
Because this series is about one word...P.R.I.D.E
Proven
Respect
In
Dynasty
Efficiency

To build, to know and to win it all.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

The Final 4

. Monday, December 1, 2008
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32 teams began this journey. A journey of hope, one of discovery and one of desire.
The hope that one could rise above the rest to become something more. To discover the will to make all the right moves. The desire to prove one's self as the best.

This is why we play the game, to win. Yes 32 teams began the journey but now only 4 remain.

ALCS - 7 Game Series
#3 Dover Demons v #5 Atlanta Fairfax
The Demons make their first playoff appearance a memorable one. Pulling off a sweep on a very game Vancouver squad and then holding off a prime Texas team with WS hopes.
The season 5 WS champs return to the ALCS for the 2nd straight year. After sweeping Salem and a shocking sweep over Chicago the Fairfax hope they are primed for a 2nd WS title.

NLCS - 7 Games Series
#1 Toronto Trail of Tears v #3 Cincinnati Marauders
Toronto is the epitome of consistency. Making the playoffs 7 out of 9 seasons, making 2 WS trips and being the reigning WS champs. Ace pitcher Cookie Nunez looks to further his revenge on Cincy for letting him walk last season.
Cincinnati is making it's first trip to the playoffs in 3 seasons. Appearing in their very first NLCS this is the farthest this team has ever been. The question now is not only do they have the ability to win vs a game Toronto team but can they win it all if they do?

Questions will be raised, questions will be answered, excuses gone out the window.
It's game time boys and the final 4 are out for blood.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wright World Chat

. Saturday, November 15, 2008
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Get your own Chat Box! Go Large!


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Season 9 Draft Review

. Thursday, November 13, 2008
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The season 9 Wright world draft has taken place. There were 32 first round selections made, 7 compensatory selections for a total of 39 1st round draftees.

Some fan bases exclaimed joy at their franchise selecting a sure fire future all star, others were left scratching their heads like a lions fan seeing 3 straight WR's drafted in the 1st round.

First Round
1.Memphis Redbirds - Theodore Wilson $4,000,000 Bonus ****
There were screams of joy from the Redbirds fans after it was announced "With the first pick of the Season 9 amateur draft the Memphis Redbirds select Theodore Wilson, SS from North Iowa Area Community College"
A future batting title waiting to the happen. Shows great patience at the play, a tremendous batting eye. Solid inside pitch hitter & brings some slick fielding to the position.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 10-11
Major League Comparison: Derek Jeter
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

2.New York New York - Chris Lloyd $3,910,000 Bonus ****
The absolute worst kept secret in the draft was that Lloyd would go at #2 to NY. The bronx bombers bought the super sophmore from Gainesville FL in for a workout just 2 days before the draft and gave him a tour of the stadium. Has a good set of defensive tools to be a capable SS at the ML level, my be best suited as a 3B. Show plus power and is at his best when he pulls the ball but lacks the patience at the plate to be a hall of famer.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11-12
Major League Comparison: Miguel Tejeda
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

3.Tampa Bay Tic-Tacs - Ricky Terry $3,820,000 Bonus *****
Shock was the word to describe the feeling around tropicana field when flat out stud OF/2B Terry was available at number 3. Grading out as the best player in the draft with 5 tool potential. The Sr. from ECU comes to the Tic-Tacs as a highly heralded player with poise, polish and potential. A true five tool guy who shows tremendous power potential, great base running ability and will be a gold glove winning LF should he stay there permanently. Has a swagger that is cock-sure but not cocky, franchise player and future HOF'er if he reaches his full potential.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Alfonso Soriano
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

4.Iowa City Acorns - Dan Peterson $3,720,000 Bonus **** 1/2
Drafted as a SS but is in no way shape or form will likely make his mark as a good glove 3B or RF with the lack of range to play SS or 2B. But boy does he make up for it as a hitter. He can hit for power, or average. An advanced hitter who's bat is ahead of his glove. Has a bright future ahead of him but it depends upon his position.
Major League Debut ETA: Season
Major League Comparison: Chase Utley
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

5.Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo - Alan Moreno $3,630,000 *****
A true Ace in this draft. Has great command on his pitches & a electric fastball. Can go deep into games, has great poise. Knows how to get you out, whether it is Swinging at strike 3 or a flyball to CF. A player that has "it".
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11
Major League Comparison: Roy Halladay/David Price
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

6.Houston Councils for Foreign Relation - Raymond Walton $3,540,000 Bonus ***
A puzzling pick this early, A high control, high velocity guy with 2 solid pitches.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12-13
Major League Comparison: None
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

7.Boise Land Sharks - D'Angelo Leon $3,440,000 Bonus ***
A very consistent player over his HS career. Great command of his pitches but must get better at being spectacular. He's solid and you know what your going to get from him but that's also the problem because he's capable of more.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Joe Blanton
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

8.Burlington Coat Factory - Chip Restovich $3,350,000 Bonus **** 1/2
A great pickup by the Coats in the first round. A very advanced hitter with a patient approach at the plate. Has good power potential but is more likely to be a 20-25 HR guy while making contact and driving in alot of RBI's, just depends upon the development of his bat.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Justin Mourneau
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

9.Ottawa Primetimers - Pete Conigliaro $3,250,000 *** 1/2
One of the best defensive players in the draft this season. Has the ability to play at any position you need him except catcher. No slouch with the bat either. Has a good amount of power potential along with the ability to make contact and draw some walks. Not a great base runner but is good enough to not kill a inning rally.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 13
Major League Comparison: Edgar Renteria
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

10.Las Vegas Immortals - Beamer Griffin $3,160,000 **** 1/2
What's not to like about this big projectable Right hander from VA. The sky is the limit on potential with this kid. He's a bit raw like all HS talents but with some fixing of mechanical issues and growth this "kid" could grow up to be a 5 pitch multiple Cy Young winner. A lights out fastball combined with a heavy curveball give him the established pitches to move quickly in a system.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Brandon Webb
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

11.Jacksonville PnBs - Trenidad Prieto $3,070,000 Bonus ***
A very good command type pitcher who can throw hard and throws all the pitches in his repertoire well. His struggles versus righties could man a bullpen future for him. But if his command can overcome that deficiency he could turn into a solid middle rotation starter.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12-13
Major League Comparison: Mark Mulder
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

12.St. Louis Spirits - Doug Giles(Not Signed)
Major League Debut ETA: None
Major League Comparison: N/A
Injury Concern Level: N/A

13.Durham Wolverines - Carl Broome $2,880,000 Bonus ***
A smallish guy with a slight frame but he can turn it loose on the radar gun. Has issues with poise and patience on the mound and tends to become rattled at times. If he can overcome this your looking at a pitcher with a live arm who can throw strikes.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12-13
Major League Comparison: Carl Pavano
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

14.Portland Rainmakers - Lonny Gil $4,000,000 Bonus ***
Very erratic pitcher, has good stuff overall but lacks focus and poise to be a consistent front end of the rotation type.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11
Major League Comparison: Javier Vazquez
Injury Concern Level: 4.0

15.Pittsburgh Outlaws - Nick Field $2,690,000 Bonus ***
Solid all around player. Can hit, can field, can play all the OF positions in a pinch plus some 1B. Very versatile not only as a fielder but as a hitter as well.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Nick Swisher
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

16.Cincinnati Marauders - Don Crawford $3,614,000 Bonus *** 1/2
High value in picking up the sweet swinging 1B at this spot. Very adept hitter who shows plus power potential along with a knack for coming through with clutch hits. One of the best at his position in picking balls out of the dirt so he's a INF's best friend.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Mark Texeria
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

17.Cleveland Redlegs - Hal Lamb $2,500,000 *** 1/2
A very good college arm with the ability to throw strikes. Has good stuff but won't blow you away with anything. Just plain effective out on the mound.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11
Major League Comparison: Jose Contreras
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

18.Dover Demons - Pete Gragg $2,410,000 Bonus ***
A spunky defensive centerfielder who shows a keen ability to use his bat. He's not going to remind you of Micky Mantle but he'll be a solid ML'er for quite a few seasons.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12-13
Major League Comparison: Aaron Rowand
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

19.Florida Villians - Harold Forbes $2,320,000 Bonus **
A puzzling pick at this spot. Doesn't really do anything well and is a bit of a health risk. Will be shocked to see him make the Bigs.
Major League Debut ETA: Never
Major League Comparison: N/A
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

20.Chicago Chargers - Bruce Campbell $2,220,000 Bonus *** 1/2
Chicago taps the tough HS arm from Texas at this pack. A fiery young gun with alot of velocity and movement on his pitches. If he can stay healthy he has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter. Maybe not an ace but a solid #1 or a great #2 option.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11-12
Major League Comparison: Aj Burnett
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

21.Chicago Crankers - Rex Barker $2,920,000 ***
The Crankers go high risk high reward with this pick. This HS arm has a decent skillset with a cannon arm but maturity and control issue could doom this talent to minor league status for his career.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Braden Looper
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

22.San Antonio Sandbaggers - Steve Carter $2,040,000 Bonus ****
A very solid arm with a good fastball as his primary pitch and a curveball as his off speed out pitch. Has good velocity on the ball but not a real flame thrower but he gets the job done.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Joe Nathan
Injury Concern Level: 3.0

23.Indianapolis Colt 45's - Earle Trunk(Not Signed)
Major League Debut ETA: N/A
Major League Comparison: N/A
Injury Concern Level: N/A

24.Willie Gil $1,850,000 Bonus ***
A enigma wrapped in a riddle is what this player is. Sometimes he's one of the best arms in the draft at other times he's wilder than Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel put together. If he can mature and improve his control and poise on the mound he could be a solid #2-#3 starter. But if he cannot he's a AAAA player at worst or a solid bullpen long reliever at best.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Jeff Weaver
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

25.Richmond Sons of Virginia - Ronnie Coleman $1,750,000 Bonus ****
Drafted as a SS but is nowhere near a fielder for that position. Likely to outgrow the position and be moved to either 3B or RF in the future. Depending upon his position he's a average to above average defender with big bat and not affraid to use it.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11
Major League Comparison: Jermaine Dye
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

26.Los Angeles Dodgers - Felix Culver $1,660,000 Bonus ***
A Solid selection at #26. A polished collegiate arm with a bit of zip on his fastball. Likely to be a bullpen guy in the future.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11-12
Major League Comparison: Tim Redding
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

27.Vancouver Muffdivers - Marvin Cooney $1,570,000 Bonus ***
Solid is the word to describe him. He does nothing great but he does some of everything well.
Will make a good everyday bottom of the lineup hitter with the potential to be better.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 10-11
Major League Comparison: Yunel Escobar
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

28.Santa Cruz Banana Slugs - Gill Gryboski $1,470,000 Bonus ***
The slugs roll the dice on a high upside HS arm with this pick. A ground ball pitcher who gets outs with quality off speed stuff & grit. He'll never wow you but he's that guy that year in and year out is always that solid #4 guy who performs like a #2.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 13
Major League Comparison: Derek Lowe
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

29.Texas Rangers - Russell Linden $3,550,000 **** 1/2
The Rangers may have mined the best pure hitter in the draft out of the 29th overall pick. The Jr. from the University of Michigan sports a prodigious amount of power to go along with great patience at the plate and the ability to change the game. If he fills out his potential we'll know him by his initials as R.L. puts on a HOF Jacket.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 11
Major League Comparison: Josh Hamilton
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

30.Atlanta Fairfax - Larry McCovey $1,290,000 Bonus ***
A very good defender who projects as a solid hitter with some pop and the ability to run the bases.
Major League Debut ETA: Season 12
Major League Comparison: Brandon Phillips
Injury Concern Level: 2.0

31.San Diego Padres -Paxton Coppinger $1,190,000 Bonus **
At a loss of words to describe this pick...
Major League Debut ETA: Never
Major League Comparison: None
Injury Concern Level: 1.0

32..Toronto Trail of Tears -Vin Gomez $1,100,000 Bonus ***
A slick fielding, sweet swinging 2B with some serious pop potential. Health concerns could keep him from developing into a staple of a team's lineup. But the potential is there to be a "glue" guy.

Major League Debut ETA: Season 13-14
Major League Comparison: Jayson Werth
Injury Concern Level: 4.0

Compensatory Round
33.Cleveland Redlegs - Todd Dresden $1,000,000 Bonus ****
The Redlegs score a hit with the late selection of argueably the best closer in the draft. The super sophmore right hander is a groundball pitcher with "heavy" stuff. With the right defense behind him we could be looking at a hall of fame type closer.

34.Richmond Sons of Virginia - Ajax Dransfeldt $960,000 Bonus **
A control artist with not much else. Very questionable so early.
35.Tampa Bay Tic-Tacs - Rube Adams $920,000 Bonus ***
A great pick for the overall value this late in the draft. A solid trick pitch right hander from UNC. He won't blow you away but he'll do enough to get you out on a consistent basis. Could be a future all star with some coaching.
36.Portland Rainmakers - Roy Lansing $880,000 Bonus **
A solid defensive OF capable of playing multiple positions, more of a tweener than having a true role. Brings a decent skillset to the plate but lacks patience to mature into a true hitter.
37.Los Angeles Dodgers - Russell Griffey $840,000 Bonus ***
A very polished player who shows great patience and poise on the mound. Gritty as well as durable but while he will be a solid reliever at the next level the question is can he be really effective because he does alot of things well when he's not great at any one thing.
38.Vancouver Muffdivers - Marc Risley $800,000 Bonus **
A very sound and polished defensive OF with great speed and base running ability. Doesn't offer much as a hitter aside from bunting. Could make the majors as a backup defensive specialist.
39.Florida Villians - Henry Grace $760,000 Bonus ***
A defensive wizard in centerfield. Shows an above average arm and is adept enough at the plate to be a solid OF in the bigs or possibly even a 2B.

Star Ranking System & potential
***** - Hall Of Famer
**** - Perennial All Star
*** - Solid Major League Contributor
** - AAAA Type
* - Minor League Roster Fodder

Health Concern
5.0 - 0-44 Severe health issues. Potentially projection affecting.
4.0 - 45-59 Very serious health concerns with DL trips likely mutiple times during a season.
3.0 - 60-74 Average health but nothing that should be woefully alarming.
2.0 - 75-89 Solid health and shouldn't make many trips to the DL
1.0 - 90-100 Outstanding health with injuries few and far between. Not likely to be severely injured.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

I now know why

. Thursday, November 6, 2008
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You know one of the things that peeved me the most when i first started playing HBD. It was when a GM said "i refuse to trade with..."

I'm not really sure why it always bugged me to here another GM say that, maybe it was my thinking that you should never close off trading with someone cause out of 31 other teams in the league your gonna have to make a trade with just about all of them eventually.

I would always say to myself "that is so dumb." But now i've found myself having those same sorts of thoughts.

In fact in another league i'm in I actually have a mental note of 5-6 GM's who i will flat out not trade with. Regardless of the player involved i always either tell them no thanks or drag out talks til they find another team to deal with.

Why you ask? Because i've come to realize that there are several things that will cause me to think this way.

1.Ridiculous demands or Putting down of other players
Constantly demanding a fortune for you players but refusing to deal players of value for other franchises players of the same or better level. I especially can't stand it if a GM says "well he's 30 so i'm not gonna trade this prospect/player for him"
2.Dragging out a decision on an offer.
I cannot stand making an offer to a team and then having them say they are thinking about it, will get back to you or "weighing multiple offers" then it takes them 2-3 days to get back to you.
It grates my nerves and quite frankly it doesn't take more than a few hours to determine what you want for a player.
3.Inter-divisional Rival
I have only recently given into this train of thought but it makes good sense. Why deal with a team in your division that even though it might help you now could come back to haunt you in a season or 2.
4.Owner i cannot stand
No reason to even explain this one.

Now i'm not at all saying that the thought process is not inherently flawed but i do now understand why it is said so frequently in the HBD realm.

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Value Of The Draft

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After careful study as well as a few painful trial and errors, This GM has come to a important conclusion. The value of the draft towards ensuring a franchise's long term success can be summed up in just one word... crucial.

Main Entry:
cru·cial
Pronunciation:
\ˈkrü-shəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: French, from Latin cruc-, crux cross
Date: 1706
1archaic : cruciform2 a: important or essential as resolving a crisis : decisive crucial step> b: marked by final determination of a doubtful issue crucial game of a series> c: important , significant crucial question — Stanley Kubrick>


One word but key to a truly successful franchise. Not just in a figurative sense but in a literal one as well.
If you can draft well and i don't mean simply having a top 5 pick and landing a stud player.
You have to poor money into scouting, sink time into ranking your prospects & make sure they are signable. A wasted pick can be more harmful than one might think.

The first 5 draft choices you make in every draft will determine your ability to either make trades to improve the club in the present or hold onto the talent so that you can have a vast number of choices for your ML club in the future.

Why are the first 5 draft picks so important you ask? Because it shows your ability to not only scout talent but to mine it out of the later rounds. What good will it do a franchise to have the #1 pick in every round if they draft a stud in the first round and completely drop the ball in the next 24-25(depending upon compensation picks) That would mean that the club had roughly picks number 1, 43, 75, 107 & 139.

Wasting a top 75 pick is beyond foolish to begin with. A high second round draft choice is sometimes just as valuable as a first round selection in the early to mid 20's.

Not every team sees the same draft pool due to scouting budgets, also not every team ranks the pool the same way. 10 GM's might see the exact same pool with the same projections but 10 people will likely always have 10 different opinions upon how to ascertain the value of a player.

Some seek the closest to becoming a major leaguer, others prefer taking a stab at selecting the player with the highest ceiling. With so many unknowns it is vital that a GM does his homework in the draft. It could be the difference between a disappointing season or a world series championship.

Let us also not forget that philosophy plays a huge role in the draft rankings as well.
There are some GM's who's stance is that a closer should never be your first round pick, other who are in the NL and refuse to draft a DH type because they could never be used in a ML capacity and there are others still who have even more variations of "non draftable".

There is simply too much talent floating around every season in the draft to haphazardly give away compensation picks for "so-so" and fringe players.

I have even taken a close look at my own draft history and sure enough when i have had a strong first 5 picks and mined that talent out it has allowed me to pull off trades, allow them to develop and become a part of my ML squad and has simply made the franchise more valuable.

It's alot better to be bugged constantly about your nice prospects sitting in the minors than it is to go to make a trade and to be told "i'm not seeing much there, sorry" .

What you do is up to you but this GM plans to take the draft much more seriously in the future.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wow Tough Crowd

. Thursday, October 23, 2008
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As the season moves on in Wright world i've begun to take notice of the NL West division.
It has 4 solid teams capable of playoff contention. All are pretty well balanced without many deficiencies.

Taking a look at the division race invokes thoughts of past legendary playoff fueds.
88' Dodger vs A's, 27' Yankees vs Pirates, 75' Reds vs Red Sox & etc.

It's a truly exciting time to be a part of Wright world. Rather than a best a 7 series it's a who's better over the next 92.

It's still a long way to go til the end of the season. Trades will be made, injuries taken place, hard luck losses swallowed & hearts broken. 4 teams, 3 contenders, 1 division crown... whoever survives might just have the inside to the WS. Or have nothing left come playoff time.

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Point - Counter Point

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PCP returns all new this week with another interesting take on a old scenario.

No dramatic build up, no suspenseful lead in and no elongated introduction to the topic this week.
Well...almost

This weeks topic up for discussion will be the farm system.
It can be your greatest ally or your worst nightmare at times.
But more often than not it is essential to all things HBD. You can rarely make deals without it, it helps the future of your franchise & if you learn nothing else from the Tampa Bay Rays...it's fun to watch when it's all done.

Building a farm system can be done several ways. The first and most conventional way is to build through the draft. This method is generally the easiest due to the potential for compensation picks and the fact that not every team sees exactly the same pool.
The next method is through trading. This is more than likely the most culturally accepted way to build a farm. Trade off your established stars for a high ceiling prospect or two who'll be ready for the show in a few seasons.

The last and most costly not to mention annoying way to build it up is through international free agency signings. Much like the draft not every GM will see the same crop of players but the issue is by doing it this way you have to have a severe amount of prospect cash. There might be only 7 GM's who see the same player as you but the market is determined by what's willing to be paid and not by the talent of the player. You can expect to dish out anywhere from $50,000 for a filler type fringe player, to upwards of $25,000,000 for a flat out stud.
But in doing so if you overspend and leave yourself with no wiggle room you might end up not being able to sign your draft selections.

Either way can work for your team but the question is... is it better to have a stacked farm system and go through a bit of a rough patch until they are ready to be called up.
Or is it much better to have a ML juggernaut with a porous farm but with a genuine prospect sprigged here and there.

In a perfect ideal world one would have a juggernaut of a team as well as a dynamic farm to go along with it. Often times however this is not plausible either due to the feeling that the club needs to contend now in it's prime causing a lack of patience and meaning a raiding of the farm.
The other scenario is that there is a feeling that there is no chance on contention in a certain time frame so the team should be "gutted" and allowed to rebuild anew.
Both parties of thoughts are legitimate, both will likely work depending upon the strategy and patience of the owner.

A proper farm system and it's value are truly immeasurable, it can mean the difference between being on the cusp of the world series or actually being able to make that last second deal to ensure bring home the world series title.

Think about it, what's more important selling out the farm and loading up to eventually lose? Or is it better to keep the farm intact and make your move late to eventually snag that elusive WS crown.

32 GM's, 32 different opinions but at the end of the season 1 champion is crowned and 31 losers hope for next season. Which one do you wanna be?

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Movin' On

. Thursday, October 2, 2008
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Your vote is cast & you have decided that Houston & Atlanta shall win their divisions.
just one more division title vote left.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

You Decide 08'

. Saturday, September 27, 2008
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The next round of results are in & you decided that the Indianapolis Colt 45's & the Durham Wolverines will win their respective divisions(the NL & AL East)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your Voice Is Heard

. Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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The results are in and you have decided that Toronto & Ottawa will win their respective division crowns.


Toronto d. Burlington 10-2 NL North Champion

Ottawa d. Cleveland 10-5 AL North Champion

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Point - Counter Point

. Monday, September 15, 2008
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In this weeks installment of PCP we will delve into a subject that has been the subject of scorn in many a world.
It has placed a irreversible strain on leagues.
Forced owners to tear each other down to the point where a
simple discussion turns into a disagreement. Then it further breaks down into a situation so horrific that three year olds seem more mature. It might be the quickest way to get the 'Tard label slapped upon your world.

Loyal readers the subject we are about to dive into the deep end of the ocean on is none other than ... Cash used in trading.

The opposing side of the argument see it as a severe end run around the imposed salary cap.

Every team starts out with the same amount of money to slice into 9 pieces of the same pie.
The game shows you what's taken in current payroll, as well as potential arbitration and free agent demands. Now knowing this ahead of time in addition to being able to see the potential class of free agents. Some would very likely say that you should set aside enough in payroll to cover free agent signings, arbitration cases as well as future salary crunches should you need to chase a international free agent and need to shift some money to sign your draft class.

So if Team A has set up a prospect payroll of $20,000,000 then goes out and signs a IFA for $18,000,000, this will leave them with $2,000,000 to spend on their potential draft class.
Let us assume that Team A has the #3 pick in the 1st round as well as the #18 and #25 picks as compensation for Type A free agents.

Draft Picks Preview
1. #3
1. #18
1. #25
2. #45
2. #60
2. #67
3. #80

Once the draft rolls around Team A finds that it has drafted a 95 projected SS, a 84 projected SP, a 79 projected C, a 78 projected RF, a 76 projected SP ,a 75 projected LF and finally a 71 projected closer.

Seeing this draft haul the owner calculates how much he will need to sign his draft class. After review he concludes he will need an additional $6,000,000 to sign a class requiring $8,000,000 to sign all.

Team A then initiates 3 trades to ensure he will have the money to transfer over to prospect payroll.
1st Trade
Team A trades Player X($2,500,000) to Team B for Fringe Prospect Y and $5,000,000 cash
2nd Trade
Team A trades Prospect F to Team C for Fringe Prospect G and $2,500,000 cash
3rd Trade
Team A trades Prospect H to Team D for Frine Prospect I and $2,500,000 cash

Doing these 3 trades has now allowed Team A to create $12,500,000 in cap space and after transfer $6,250,000. Or $250,000 more than need to secure all draft choices.

After review the prospects brought in Through this method show as this.
Team A signs:
IFA Prospect Projected 98 SP - $18,000,000
Draft Class including 95 projected SS, a 84 projected SP, a 79 projected C, a 78 projected RF, a 76 projected SP ,a 75 projected LF and finally a 71 projected closer. -$8,000,000
Team A has now added 8 future major league prospects while violating the $20,000,000 imposed prospect cap by $6,250,000.

This sets up Team A for a very nice future and potentially gives them a distinct advantage in trades or ML talent in the future. In short an unfair advantage.

However on the other side of the arguement it can be said like this.
The programmers of this game put in not only the ability to transfer payroll but also gain cash in trades as a legitimate venue for acquiring value.

In other words the game does not have a true hard cap so there is no end around of it by using this method. Moreover all trades can be vetoed for any reason so if enough owners find fault in this method then it can never be approved nor employed.

So if seen this way Team A was in complete compliance with the rules, maybe not the spirit of the rules but the rules as outlined in penned form. So if this is indeed the case then how can it be seen as improper, unfair or even "cheating"?

Well that my friend is up to you the individual to figure out. Much like beliefs,views and opinions everyone's take is different and should be respected as equal.

Til' next time my friends


- Signing off

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Season 9 Ownership Overview

. Saturday, September 13, 2008
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AL North
Ottawa Primetimers - Primetime17 .537 68 Seasons, 29 division titles, 42 playoffs & 3 WS titles. 6th Season in Wright
Vancouver Muffdivers - laughin_lion .542 9 Seasons, 5 division titles, 6 playoffs & 1 WS title.
Dover Demons - purplehaze54 .509 43 Seasons, 9 division titles, 14 playoffs & 1 WS title.
Cleveland Redlegs - mfoster55 8 Seasons, 1 division title, 2 playoffs.
AL East
New York New York - madmuldoon 16 Seasons, 4th Season in Wright
Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo - eacadca .581 8 Seasons, 1 division titles, 5 playoffs & 1 WS title.
Durham Wolverines - szavsza23 .539 13 Seasons, 3 division titles, 8 playoffs.
Chicago Crankers - gydk .557 77 Seasons, 28 division titles, 46 playoffs.
AL South
Texas Rangers - winmyron .553 5 Seasons, 2 division titles, 3 playoffs. 2nd Season in Wright
Atlanta Fairfax - gobosox514 .541 9 Seasons, 2 division, 3 playoffs & 1 WS title. 6th Season in Wright
Richmond Sons of Virginia - tarvis614 .581 6 Seasons, 3 division titles, 4 playoffs & 1 WS title. 7th Season in Wright
Memphis RedBirds - drnick77 13 Seasons, 2 playoffs, 3rd Season in Wright
AL West
Boise Land Sharks - 05nomar05 30 Seasons, 4 division titles, 9 playoffs. 4th Season in Wright
Santa Cruz Banana Slugs - kjmulli .510 10 Seasons, 1 division title, 2 playoffs.
Salem Blue Jays - t_mcclure24 .560 4 Seasons, 2 division titles, 3 playoffs. 5th Season in Wright
Las Vegas Immortals - werniss .560 5 Seasons, 2 division titles, 2 playoffs. 3rd Season in Wright


NL North

Toronto Trail of Tears - whiteshadow* .586 9 Season, 5 division titles, 6 playoffs & 1 WS(defending Wright champion)
Burlington Coat Factory - boydndahood 5 Seasons as(kindjohndevi)
Pittsburgh Outlaws - PirateFan13 7 Seasons, 1 division title, 1 playoff. 4th Season in Wright
Chicago Chargers - joelshields .513 8 Seasons, 2 playoffs. 6th Season in Wright
NL East
Iowa City Acorns - gerald007 .502 35 Seasons, 14 division titles, 16 playoffs. 2nd Season in Wright
Cincinnati Marauders - deaconsoule 11 Seasons, 2 division titles, 2 playoffs. 3rd Season in Wright
Jacksonville PnBs - sjr456 .525 5 Seasons, 5 division titles, 5 playoffs.
Indianapolis Colt 45's - jamsing7 51 Seasons, 9 division titles, 11 playoffs. 7th Season in Wright
NL South
Houston Councils for Foreign Relation - r_minor 2 Seasons, 3rd Season in Wright
San Antonio Sandbaggers - hatchetman .527 11 Seasons, 6 division titles, 6 playoffs & 1 WS title. 4th Season in Wright
Tampa Bay Tic-Tacs - goblkngld 6 Seasons, 1 playoff, 3rd Season in Wright
Florida Villians - Stewart_UK .504 46 Season, 13 division titles, 16 playoffs & 1 WS title.
6th Season in Wright
NL West
Portland Rainmakers - bagpipes28 22 Seasons, 2 playoffs & 1 WS title. 7th Season in Wright
Los Angeles Dodgers - dugger13 .531 11 Seasons, 3 division titles, 4 playoffs
San Diego Padres - mrpolo09* .511 8 Seasons, 1 division title, 1 playoff. 9th Season in Wright
St. Louis Spirits - brianwakler 10 Seasons, 7th Season in Wright

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