Saturday, January 31, 2009

New owners for season 5

A few teams have moved and are looking forward to good seasons in their new homes during season 5. The NL stays completely intact, so we look at the 3 AL teams on the move...

Charlotte made two straight playoff appearances in the AL East; if they make it 3 in a row, it will have to be in the great city of Scranton. The Janitors will try to mop the floor with the rest of the AL East. CF Justin Hernandez was asked what he thought the best thing about Scranton was; his reply was, "At least it's not Wilkes-Barre". Nap00 takes over as owner in one of the 10 biggest cities in Pennsylvania.

Little Rock was the other AL Wild Card team last season; after a one-season absence, cincysteve resumes control of the team. Following the team's tradition of never playing two seasons in the same place, they move to Oklahoma City to become (deep breath) the Oklahoma City Sneaky Finger Puppet Mafia. 3B Leo Miller was asked about his team's new name and said, "Yeah, I knew about it in advance. Why do you think I've requested a trade?"

Out west, The Colorado Springs Chickens will play this season as the Boise Shadow Wolves under the new ownership group headed by god_mike. They hope to have their best season (which wouldn't even require 70 wins) in the great state of Idaho (insert your own punchline).

Friday, January 30, 2009

One on one with Milwaukee GM gydk

We caught up with the GM of the season 4 World Champion Milwaukee Manic Maulers, gydk, to get his thoughts on his world champion club, the Baltimore Orioles and the biggest trade in The Bigs history. Here's what gydk had to say:

After being so close a few times, how does it feel to finally get that first World Series title in The Bigs?

It feels great. As an owner with 80+ seasons under my belt, I had not won a title. Recently, I have now won 3 titles in my last 4 seasons with 3 different teams. This title is particularly special because I have been with this league from the start and we have an amazing group of fun and competitive owners. It makes winning and playing in general a lot more fun when it’s with people you enjoy competing against.

What was different about your team in season 4 that helped you win the WS compared to the first three seasons?
The biggest change I made this season was improving my team defense. For the first time I sacrificed some offense to improve my defense and was right around league average as opposed to being way below average. I played Eric Speier at SS who hit 32 HR's for me, though he killed me in BA. His defensive play at SS made a huge difference.

Aside from your Milwaukee team here in The Bigs, you run about nine other teams in different leagues. How do you have the time for that? I sometimes don’t have the time to run three teams. Do you have a job?
Believe it or not, I work non stop. I am a principal of a high school for students with learning disabilities and mild emotional issues. I am also the Camp Director of a summer day camp with 400+ campers. I am also married with 2 little boys ages 4 and 1. WIS is my relaxation. I have running my teams down to a science so that I need about 15 -20 minutes after each cycle and then I spend about 30 minutes each night around midnight doing some extra maintenance. Obviously, the beginning of each season takes a little more time. I love having a bunch of teams because each one is unique and it gives me the ability to experiment with different things.

You and I pulled off what is probably the biggest blockbuster deal to this point in The Bigs when we swapped Javier Henriquez for Luis Martinez, Del Lopez and James Morton prior to season 1 starting. It was a bit of a controversial deal at the time. What were your reasons for making that trade?
He would be a nice player to have on my team right now, but sometimes I feel you need to trade one superstar to fill a few holes with great talent. I turned one player into 3 players who really could have helped me. Del Lopez was a whole mess with the issue with the Rule V, but that’s another issue for another time…I feel that Martinez will roam my CF for years to come and Morton has won a lot of games to me…The real question is would I do the deal again if I had a chance…You never know….

Your profile says you’re an Orioles fan. How do you make it through the MLB season? Or do you just not watch anymore?
Honestly, I just don’t watch the Orioles anymore. It’s just too painful. I am a huge Fantasy Baseball guy though, so inevitably, I know how every player is doing. I am in a huge 16 team 29 player auction league and that takes up a lot of time during the baseball season!

There are reports out there saying the Birds are trying to acquire Rich Hill from the Cubs. Will he make them respectable or will it even matter?
Rich Hill is a nice young talent but in the grand scheme of things it means nothing. The O’s are in the toughest division in baseball and they have a terrible owner. I really don’t see them winning any time in the next 25 years. It’s so frustrating and it’s compounded by living in New York and hearing about the Yankees non stop!

What do you need to do to your team to get them back to the World Series in season 5?
I need to get another SP. Solano is getting older and I lost my #2 SP right before the playoffs, Joe Gleason. I also will have to make the decision to start rebuilding my system sometime soon because some of my key players are getting older and I need to have people to fill their holes.

If you could change one thing about HBD, what would it be and why?
I absolutely love HBD. I think it’s such a realistic model and really incorporates all aspects of being a GM. I would love to have an Arizona Type league that would allow you to work with individual players on set skills. I.e. being able to make your SS better defensively or even teach a pitcher a new pitch that could alter his ratings..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top 10 Storylines going into Season 5

Here are just some of the things to watch going into season 5.

1. Can Milwaukee repeat?

Milwaukee finally got over the hump and won their first World Series. They've always had the offense and their starting pitching has been solid. They've been arguably the best team since season 1- can they add another title?

2. Who's going to be the favorite in the NL?

Fargo and Houston have each made a World Series in the past and would seem to be 1 and 2 in the NL right now for next season, not necessarily in that order. So does one of them make a second World Series appearance? Or does a dark horse emerge, like in seasons 1 and 4?

3. Who will be this season's Little Rock?

Little Rock, fueled by a massive run at the end of the season, managed to get into the AL playoffs. They overcame what seemed to be a deficiency (starting pitching- nobody won more than 12 games and only 3 pitchers made at least 20 starts) to grab the spot over teams that may have had more talent on paper. Which team curently off the experts' radar will make some noise next season?

4. Is this the beginning of an Atlanta run in the NL East?

The Bandits made a few bold moves this season, in particular acquiring Matty Eusebio and Steven Michaels. Eusebio is signed through next season, but Michaels has a long term deal and Fred Carter hasn't hit arbitration yet, so they could make a long run atop the NL East. Unless, of course, Washington rebuilds, Norfolk's pieces come together (or they retool) or Trenton's young pieces take over for the veterans and gel quickly.

5. What about the wide-open NL West?

The Salem/Cheyenne reign officially ended this season. Cheyenne seems to be in a rebuilding stage, but Salem still has Dunwoody and Salmon and is always dangerous. Salt Lake City took the division; Vancouver won the pennant. So who winds up on top next season?

6. Can San Juan make a run?

If they weren't in the same division as Houston, San Juan would be talked about in the same breath as the other top teams. They've got arguably the best outfield in baseball. The problem is, they can't seem to get past Houston and have to play in the wild card round every season. Could that extra round be what makes the Dead Bunnies fall short?

7. Can Charlotte or New York take down the Legends?

Louisville has won 4 straight division titles, although Charlotte made them sweat it out this time. Can they take the division this time, or can New York break through?

8. What about the other perennial AL contenders?

Monterrey failed to win a playoff game, Las Vegas couldn't get by Milwaukee, and Nashville couldn't even make the playoffs. Could one of them (or one of the AL East teams) knock off the champs?

9. Who is going to try to make a move on the free-agent/trade market in the offseason?

Let the hot-stove talk begin? Who's a player or two away? Which veteran is on the move? Which team is going to make the move to get better? There are many good teams that have a flaw- which team(s) can take that next step?

10. Who's next?

Which rookies are going to make an impact? It always seems at least one rookie has something to say about the playoff race. (By the way, I already have my rookie of the year candidate lined up- wait for the season previews to find out who it is).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Year-End Awards

Breakdown of the major awards (vote total in parentheses)

National League

Matty Matos, Atlanta (17)
Osvaldo Johnson, San Juan (9)
Hal Brinkley, Atlanta (3)
John Baldwin, San Juan (2)
Lynn Abernathy, Atlanta (1)

Analysis: I had a hard time picking between Matos and Johnson- I went with Johnson but have absolutely no problem with Matos winning. They had very similar numbers in terms of HRs and RBIs- Johnson added the element of the stolen base while Matos's average was higher. Atlanta's division win probably helped Matos's case.

Cy Young

Sammy Pierce, Fargo (21)
Dave Dunwoody, Salem (4)
Dwight Salmon, Salem (3)
Jerome Oliver, Houston (2)
Matty Eusebio, Atlanta (2)

Analysis: Easy pick. 22-5, 2.02 ERA, WHIP under 1.0. Far and away the best pitcher in the NL this season. I went with Pierce as well.

American League


Gregg Black, Nashville (12)
King Winn, Nashville (12)
Nick Hernandez, Syracuse (5)
Ryan Snyder, Monterrey (2)
Burt Stevenson, Milwaukee (1)

Analysis: The question here was always between the two Sounds; does Black's defense, higher average and stolen bases make up for Winn's ridiculous power numbers? I took Winn and the power numbers, but I could just as easily put up a very good argument for Black. In the end, we had a split decision.

Cy Young
Vin Solano, Milwaukee (18)
Philip Allensworth, Monterrey (6)
Jason Sprague, New York (3)
Tom Beltran, Louisville (3)
Dave Stewart, Las Vegas (2)

Analysis: As in the National League, the race was for second place. The Venezuelan goes 19-2 with a 2.05 ERA to win his second Cy Young award in 3 seasons. Although it has no bearing on the Cy Young race, he was every bit as good in the playoffs, and finally gets the hardware he truly wanted.

Milwaukee wins first title

The Milwaukee Manic Maulers have won their first title, making it 4 different winners in 4 seasons here in the Bigs. A look back at the playoffs:

1st Round

In the National League, Atlanta used their arms and home-field advantage to knock off Osvaldo Johnson and his San Juan team 3 games to zero. The other series was a battle of division rivals and fellow first-time playoff teams Vancouver and Salt Lake City. The Shakers won the division, but the boys from north of the border took the series 3 to 1.

The American League saw surprise team Little Rock fall to the Louisville Legends 3 games to 1. Little Rock won the first game in Kentucky and lost 3 straight. The best series of the first round was Las Vegas knocking off Charlotte in 5. The two teams split the first two in Vegas and then the next two in Charlotte. In game 5 Charlotte was up 4-3 in the 6th when Ronnie Brown's grand slam turned around the entire series and gave the Gamblers a 7-5 win and a date in the next round with the mighty Milwaukee team.

Round 2

The National League's second round closely resembled season 1, as both top seeds failed to advance to the NLCS. Houston, the defending champions, couldn't generate enough offense to take out Atlanta, whose power arms got the job done in 4. The Fargo-Vancouver series was even stranger; neither team won a single game at home. Fargo scored 13 runs in two games in Canada, but only 4 in 3 games in Fargo, so the Wild marched on with a 3-2 series win.

The American League wasn't quite as exciting. Milwaukee averaged more than 8 runs a game in taking out the Las Vegas Gamblers in 3 straight. Monterrey (in season 2) and Louisville (season 3) had both already played thrilling 7-game sets with the Manic Maulers in ALCS play; Louisville earned the repeat trip with a 3-0 sweep, holding Monterrey to 4 runs in 3 games.


-The NLCS pitted two upstart teams, the 4th seeded Atlanta Bandits and the 6th seeded Vancouver Wild. In game 1, Stan Starr's 2-run single in the 8th turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Bandit win. Game 2 saw Vancouver even the series with a 7-5 win. Again the key hit was in the 8th, but this time it came off the bat of a Wild hitter- Tony Kwon's 2-run double.
- The series shifted to Vancouver, and we saw two pitching duels. In game 3, Vancouver's Oswaldo Astacio threw 7 shutout innings to outduel Fred Carter in a 3-0 Vancouver victory. Matty Eusebio gave up 1 run on 4 hits over 8 innings in game 4 to take a 6-1 decision and even the series at 2.
- Game 5 saw the bats come to life again. Atlanta's Steven Michaels got shelled, giving up 8 runs in the first 3 innings. Atlanta almost came all the way back, but it was just too much and the Wild took game 5 9-7.
- Game 6 saw Vancouver get a 2-run homer from Cap Herrera in the first and never look back. Roland Casey and Yuniesky Bennett shut down the Atlanta bats to win the game 6-1 and the series 4-2.

American League

Milwaukee faced Louisville in a rematch of last season's epic 7-game ALCS. This edition would not be nearly as exciting.
- Game 1 saw the hometown Manic Maulers wait until the 5th to open the scoring, but did it in style with 6 runs. Two-time Cy Young award winner Vin Solano gave up 2 runs in 6 2/3 innings and the bullpen hung on for a 10-6 victory. Game 2 saw a 3-3 game go to the 12th, but Milwaukee's Eric Speier sent the crowd home happy with a 2-run walkoff shot for a 5-3 win and a 2 games to 0 lead in the series.
- In Louisville, the Legends broke out with a 10-6 win in game 3. The win was fueled by an 8-run 2nd inning highlighted by Cy Hughes and Ismael Polanco home runs. Game 4, like game 2, saw Milwaukee get the clutch hits when they needed them. Milwaukee turned a 2-2 game after 7 innings into a 6-2 win with 4 in the 8th.
- Holding a 3-1 lead, a second straight World Series appearance appeared to be a foregone conclusion. The Maulers figured they might as well give their loyal fans a reason to celebrate, as they took game 5 by a score of 5-3. Louisville scored the first 3, but Milwaukee scored 5 unanswered to win.

World Series

Milwaukee entered the World Series as an overwhelming betting favorite against Vancouver. However, the Wild had already knocked off the Shakers, Dirtbags, and Bandits to get here, so another upset wasn't unthinkable. However, it was not to happen. Vancouver again failed to win on its home field; this time it cost them the series.

- In game 1, Vin Solano outdueled Oswaldo Astacio in a 3-1 win. Bob Malone hit 2 solo shots, including one to lead off the game.
- Game 2 saw Vancouver eke out a 4-3 win. Wilt Gardner's 2-run single in the 4th closed the scoring, as the bullpens were not to be touched on either side.
- Game 3 saw more late inning heroics from Milwaukee, this time from Harold Lewis. His 2-run homer in the 8th broke a 2-2 tie and gave Milwaukee a 4-2 win.
-In game 4, Milwaukee took a stranglehold of the series with an 8-7 win. Vancouver got to James Morton for 4 in the first, but Oswaldo Astacio had his worst performance of the postseason, giving up 6 runs in 2 1/3 innings.
- Game 5 saw a close game (1-1 in the 6th) turn into a laugher with 8 runs in the 7th. Vancouver had no chance at that point, and succumbed to Milwaukee 10-2 in the game and 4-1 in the series.

Congratulations to Milwaukee on winning the World title. One of the storylines for season 5 instantly becomes: Can they defend it?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nashville's Black, Winn split AL MVP Award

Fargo's Pierce, Milwaukee's Solano take home second Cy Young Awards

For the second time in The Bigs history, a major award has been split between teammates. Nashville Sounds' Gregg Black and King Winn each tallied 12 votes to take home the season 4 American League MVP it was announced earlier today. For Black, the AL MVP is his third and second straight while the award is a first for the three time All-Star Winn. Black hit .342/.461/.701 this season with 49 homeruns, 146 RBI and 117 BB while Winn hit .316/.372/.669 with 62 HR and 182 RBI. The only other time a major award has been split between two players happened when Salem pitchers Dave Dunwoody and Dwight Salmon shared the NL Cy Young Award in season 1.

In the National League the Atlanta Bandits' Matty Matos took home MVP honors by receiving 17 of the 32 possible votes. Matos, not even voted into this season's All-Star Game, overcame a slow start to the season by finishing with a line of .315/.377/.618 with 45 homeruns and 145 RBI. San Juan's Osvaldo Johnson finished second in the NL MVP voting with 9 votes.

It was a couple of familiar faces in familiar uniforms claiming the Cy Young hardware in season 4. Milwaukee's Vin Solano captured his second AL Cy Young Award by receiving 18 votes while the Fargo Dirtbags' Sammy Pierce ran away with his second straight Cy Young Award with a final tally of 21 votes. The 34-year-old Solano went 19-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 184 IP this season to help Milwaukee to a major league best 103 wins. His other Cy Young Award came in season 2.

Pierce had an incredible season, posting a 22-5 record with a 2.02 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 238 strikeouts in 249 IP to help Fargo secure a two seed in the playoffs and a third straight division title. His 2.02 ERA is the second best single season ERA of all-time behind teammate Javier Henriquez's ridiculous 1.79 ERA in season 2. Pierce's 0.95 WHIP ties him for the second best single season WHIP with Henriquez and Dwight Salmon. Milwaukee and Fargo, respectively, are now home to each of the last three AL and NL Cy Young Awards.

Other AL awards included Louisville's Hipolito Maradona edging Monterrey's Jocko Keats by one vote for AL Rookie of the Year. Maradona went 15-5 in his rookie season with a 2.91 ERA in 30 starts for the Legends. Las Vegas Gamblers' closer Dave Stewart won the AL Fireman of the Year Award by notching 47 saves in 51 chances with a 1.73 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 62.1 IP.

In the National League it was Chicago Snake Tamer Trever Russell winning the NL ROY Award. Russell hit .286/.356/.585 with 48 homeruns and 124 RBI to win the award. Norfolk Destroyers' closer Ariel Lee took home the NL Fireman of the Year Award after posting 44 saves in 50 chances with a 3.11 ERA.

Gregg Black
Age: 32B/T: R/R
Born: Wayne City, IL
Position(s): 2B
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

King Winn
Age: 31B/T: R/R
Born: Alta, IA
Position(s): DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Cinderella meets the Manic Maulers in World Series

For the first time in the history of The Bigs, a six seed has made the World Series. In fact, Vancouver's presence as the National League champions marks the first time in world history that any team lower than a four seed has made the fall classic. The Golden Otters have taken down some big names in the NL to get to this point, with series wins over the three seed Salt Lake City, the second seeded Fargo Dirtbags and the fourth seeded Atlanta Bandits.

But their final opponent may prove to be their most difficult yet this postseason. The American League champion Milwaukee Manic Maulers have made it to their second straight World Series and have done so both times as the number one seed. Milwaukee recorded the best record in The Bigs this season with 103 wins and 59 losses and, after a first round bye, defeated the Las Vegas Gamblers and Louisville Legends to reach the World Series.

Vancouver has been led on offense this postseason by LF Travis Ryan who has hit .391/.435/.766 with 6 homeruns and 11 RBI. Oswaldo Astacio has been dominant on the hill for the Golden Otters, amassing a 4-1 record with a 2.04 ERA in five starts.

Milwaukee has marched to the World Series behind the bat of Eric Speier and the arm of 2-time Cy Young winner Vin Solano. Speier has hit .375/.390/.750 with 4 homeruns while Solano has racked up a 3-0 record and 1.69 ERA in four starts.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Atlanta, Vancouver to battle for NL crown

Underdogs have stolen the spotlight from the favorites in the National League. The Atlanta Bandits toppled defending world champion Houston Riverdogs in their Division Series 3-1 while the sixth seeded Vancouver Golden Otters took down the second seeded Fargo Dirtbags in five games. Now, these two underdog franchises meet in the National League Championship Series for the chance at a World Series appearance.

The NLCS appearance is a franchise first for both teams. Both franchises also had the best regular seasons in their histories with each notching a record of 89-73. This postseason marked the first time the Golden Otters have reached the playoffs in their franchise's history and the second playoff appearance for the Bandits.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Milwaukee, Louisville advance to ALCS with sweeps

For the second straight season the Milwaukee Manic Maulers and Louisville Legends will square off in a seven game series for the chance to play in the World Series. The top seeded Manic Maulers swept the fourth seeded Las Vegas Gamblers in three games to win their Division Championship Series while the third seeded Legends swept the second seeded Monterrey Sultans to reach the ALCS.

Last season, the seven game series between Milwaukee and Louisville went the distance with Milwaukee eventually winning Game 7 and the series to advance to the World Series. The Manic Maulers lost in the World Series to Houston, four games to two.

Milwaukee has reached the ALCS for the past three seasons while the ALCS appearance is the second for Louisville.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Bigs-Less Season 4 Awards

We all know who were the best of show in the AL and NL, but what about the players that deserve a "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate" trophy or ones that may need a new job at seasons end?

Pitchers Dream Award:

NL: Homer Ashby, 165 strikeouts combined with his whopping .233 average in 155 games. Good thing his defense is good enough to keep him employed.

AL: Alex Vazquez, 177 strikeouts and paltry .213 average in 162 games. If it wasn't for his contract, he just might be flippin burgers at the local Whataburger.

Chicks Dig It (Adam Dunn) Award:

NL: Max Clifton, 44 homers, .244 average, 143 strikeouts. It says he plays 3B, good thing he never did.

AL: Julian Nichols, 45 homers, .245 average, 144 strikeouts. Again it says he plays 3B, maybe a DQ Bistro is in his future.

Police Laughing Award:

NL: Trever Russell, 2 thefts in 20 tries. He said "They kept giving me the steal sign, I can barely walk!"

AL: Bill Daneker, 1 stolen base in 13 attempts. He said " I just cringe when the 'hit and run' sign is given."

My Bad Award:

NL: Scot Hutton with 36 errors and 6 minus plays.

AL: Marty James with 59 errors and 11 minus plays.

Minus Plays or What Was I Doing Award:

NL: Ronald Spurgeon beat out Cody Lincoln by a slim margin.

AL: Alex Li with 13 mind blowing boo boo's.

Am I A Pitcher or What Award:

NL: Ron Lewis with a 4-12 record in 32 starts.

AL: Keith Klesko with a 2-18 record in 33 starts.

Hero-less Complete Game Award:

NL: Charlie White with 5 CG's to his credit and a shutout victory followed a 5-12 campaign in 32 starts.

AL: Victor Hamill with 1 complete game but a 1-10 record in 20 starts.

Failure to Duck or Taking One for the Team Award:

NL: Lynn Abernathy has 17 bruises to prove it.

AL: Matt Davies has 23 seams tattooed around his arms.

Iron-Manless Hitting Award:

NL: A tie between Steve Sweeney and Achilles Parris as both had a sub .255 BA and 600+ AB's. Max Clifton of the Salem Sacrifices would have won but was 2 AB's short of further embarrassment.

AL: Alex Vazquez wins his second award with his .213 average in 633 AB's.

Iron-Manless Pitching Award :

NL: Patrick Clifton compiled a 8-16 record while pitching 226 innings.

AL: Perry Herman compiled a 9-16 record with 232 innings of work and Jimmy Cole compiled a 10-18 record with 223 innigns of work tie for the award.

The Backstop is My Friend Award:

NL: Chris Barrett had 17 balls pass him by.

AL: Jason Mann beats out Grover Becker, both had 16, but Jason did it in 69 games.

Coaching OOPS Award:

Charlotte Blue Devils: Rob Hentgen for his play at 3B.

Milwaukee Manic Maulers: Luis Martinez for his play at 2B.

NL: None

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A season for the record books

When you look at the Cy Young candidates for the National League with about 18 games to go this season you're immediately blown away by the numbers being put up by some of the league's elite pitchers. Salem's Dave Dunwoody has a 2.09 ERA through 32 starts and teammate Dwight Salmon's ERA is even lower at 2.02. Norfolk's Babe Broadhurst and Houston's Jerome Oliver are also having amazing seasons that would garner serious Cy Young consideration in a normal season. But this season, there's one guy who has been head and shoulders above the rest and he's no stranger to the Cy Young Award. And if his pace holds up, he'll become quite familiar with the record books as well.

Fargo's Sammy Pierce is on pace to finish what one may say is the greatest single season performance in The Bigs' history. Through 33 starts, Pierce has amassed a 21-2 record with a 1.78 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in 223 IP. The 1.78 ERA would break teammate Javier Henriquez's single season ERA record of 1.79 accomplished in season 2 and the 0.95 WHIP would tie him with Dwight Salmon's season 1 WHIP as second best all-time, just .02 behind Matty Eusebio's single season record of 0.93.

Pierce's season has been so impressive because it's been so much better than his Cy Young season from a year ago when he went 20-7 with a 2.35 ERA and because he's done it all while leading the major leagues in innings pitched. He's led a Fargo team that got off to a horrible start to a second half surge that puts the team in line for a third straight division title and in the running for a first round bye in the playoffs.

With 18 games to go in the regular season, Pierce also has a chance to tie for the most wins in a single season if he can win his final two starts. Fellow Dirtbag Jim Arnold holds the single season record for wins with 24 in season 2. Rumblings are that if Pierce wins his next two starts that Fargo may push him to get an extra start before the end of the season to give him a chance to break the wins record.

Whether Pierce can keep this unprecedented pace and break these records remains to be seen. What we can say for sure is that Pierce has had one of, if not the best single season in The Bigs history and with a world that has a handful of all-time greats, that's saying something.

Sammy Pierce
Age: 26B/T: L/L
Born: Jackson, CA
Position(s): P (SP5)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Playoff picture with about 30 games to go

First of all, I'd like to wish all owners here in the Bigs and anyone else reading this a Happy New Year. A new year may be upon us, but season 4 of The Bigs is in full swing and with about 30 games to go, here's the current playoff picture:


East: The Trenton Traffic and Atlanta Bandits are in a flat-footed tie at 70-59. Trenton has been up and down all season, looking unbeatable at times and and others looking like they couldn't beat their AA squad. Atlanta is riding a 7 game win streak fueled by recently acquired aces Steven Michaels and Matty Eusebio. Nofolk, although they are below .500, are only 8 games back.

North: Fargo has used a second half surge to reassert their dominance in this division and put themselves in position to be a force in the playoffs. They stand at 74-55, 12 games up on the Chicago Snake Tamers. Barring a huge collapse, they should cruise into the playoffs.

South: Houston is at 79-50 and, from start to finish, have appeared to be the team to beat. They'd be the top seed if the playoffs started today. Unlike Fargo, they can't really let up, as San Juan has provided a stiff challenge this season- they are 5 games back at 74-55.

West: I think someone turned the west standings upside down; the two also-rans in that division from the first three seasons are the two top teams now. Salt Lake City is at 74-55, 4 games up on Vancouver. Salem is 9 out.

Wild Card: San Juan has a fairly good grasp on the #5 seed right now at 74-55. After that, it gets interesting. Vancouver, Trenton, and Atlanta (although it would seem that one of those last two would win the East) all have 70 wins. New Orleans is by no means out of the race with 68 wins. Salem is on the edge of the race at 65 wins, although with Dunwoody and Salmon, don't count them out yet.


East: Like the National League, the AL East features a tie at the top. Louisville is shooting for its 4th straight division title; Charlotte is looking to wrestle the crown away from the Legends. Both currently stand at 72-57. New York has slumped a little lately, but they are 66-63 and are a threat.

North: Milwaukee again holds the best record in baseball at 84-45, leaving the entire division in its dust. St. Louis is 70-59; if they were in another division they might be in it.

South: Monterrey, like Milwaukee, should cruise to its fourth straight division title. They are at 81-48. Nashville and Little Rock, tied for second, are 16 games back.

West: The AL West doesn't appear to be in much doubt, either. Las Vegas stands 12 up on the rest of the pack at 74-55. Seattle, in second, is 5 games below .500.

Wild Card: Not quite as wide-open as the NL. The East loser (Charlotte/Louisville) would take the 5 seed and St. Louis would hold the 6 seed. New York is 4 back of St. Louis, and Nashville and Little Rock(surprisingly in the race after a blistering 20-3 run) are 5 out. It's not too late for any of those back 3 teams to make a move.