Mar 2, 2008

Pacific Division Preview

All-Star Team

Joe Mauer, Stars. 1B—Lance Berkman, Bats. 2B—Aaron Hill, Roadrunners. SS—Yuniesky Betancourt, Stars. 3B—Mike Lowell, Stars. LF—Josh Willingham, Stars. CF—Ichiro Suzuki, Stars. RF—Bobby Abreu, Roadrunners. DH—Aaron Rowand, Crows.

SP—Fausto Carmona, Roadrunners. SP—John Lackey, Roadrunners. SP—Mark Buehrle, Crows. SP—Gil Meche, Stars. RP—J.J. Putz, Roadrunners.

Selections are based on players' win shares totals for the 2007 season, as per The Hardball Times. Win shares account for batting, pitching and defensive prowess, while also rewarding durability.

California Roadrunners
Record: 86-76, 2nd in Pacific Division (wild card). Playoffs: Lost to Bethlehem (4-2) in first round.

Key Additions: RHP Fausto Carmona, C Carlos Ruiz, RHP Carlos Marmol, OF Nate McLouth, RF Bobby Abreu
Key Departures: LF Matt Holliday, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, 1B Rich Aurillia, LF Marcus Thames, LHP Tom Glavine, RHP Clay Hensley

C—Carlos Ruiz, John Buck, Johnny Estrada#
1B—Ty Wigginton, Mike Jacobs*
2B—Aaron Hill
3B—Garret Atkins, Mike Lamb*
SS—Jason Barlett, Juan Uribe
LF—Geoff Jenkins*, Nate McLouth*
CF—Gary Matthews#, Bill Hall
RF—Bobby Abreu*, Jermaine Dye
DH—Frank Thomas

SP—John Lackey, Fausto Carmona, Jon Garland, Rich Hill*, Jesse Litsch, Kason Gabbard*
RP—J.J. Putz, Rafael Betancourt, Carlos Marmol, George Sherrill*

On The Farm: LHP J.P. Howell*, RHP Wes Littleton, LHP Francisco Liriano*

California Roadrunners go into the 2008 season riding some momentum from there 2007 season which saw them make the playoffs for the first time in their seven-year existence in the MMDA. In the 2007 season, the Roadrunners had there best home-run outburst, hitting 249 dingers compared to there previous high of 192 in 2001. The new edition won't have the same power, but they are hoping to run more as they stole a measley 40 bases in '07 and were caught 18 times. Being in the highly competitive National League Pacific Division, it will not be an easy road back to the playoffs for the Roadrunners, but if the team can generate runs and there pitching come around, it will be a very interesting and entertaining season at the Roadrunner Roost.

Interesting California Tidbits

• J.J. Putz was the 117th pick by the Roadrunners in the 2006 draft
• Juan Uribe is the only remaining Roadrunner from the 2002 edition, though he was traded in between and traded back to California.
• Fausto Carmona was the 124th pick by the Qillars in the 2007 draft
• George Sherrill was the 134th pick by the Roadrunners in the 2007 draft.

Kiel 08 Black Sox
Record: 77-85 playing as the Syracuse Stingers in 2007

Key Additions: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Jose Contreras, CF Juan Pierre, RHP Jeremy Guthrie, C Yorvit Torrealba, C Josh Bard, 1B Aaron Boone, LHP Doug Davis, 2B Tadahito Iguchi, 3B Josh Fields, CF Michael Bourn, 3B Pedro Feliz, 1B Richie Sexson
Key Departures: CF Ichiro Suzuki, CF Melky Cabrera, LHP Andy Pettite, LF Moises Alou, LHP Randy Johnson, 3B Brandon Inge, LHP Pedro Feliciano, RHP Ricky Nolasco, CF Jacque Jones, CF Darin Erstad, C Rod Barajas, RHP Brandon Medders, 3B Willy Aybar

C—Yorvit Torrealba, Josh Bard#
1B—Shawn Green*, Aaron Boone, Richie Sexson
2B—Tadahito Iguchi, Ronnie Belliard
SS—Omar Vizquel#
3B—Pedro Feliz, Josh Fields
LF—Juan Pierre*, Rod Mackowiak*
CF—Andruw Jones, Michael Bourn*
RF—Marlon Byrd, Juan Encarnacion

SP—Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jeremy Guthrie, Doug Davis*, Livan Hernandez, Jose Contreras, Roger Clemens
RP—Chad Cordero, Mike Timlin, Geary Geoff, Steve Kline*, Ramon Ortiz, Julian Tavarez

On The Farm: CF Jacoby Ellsbury*, CF Elijah Dukes, 2B Tony Abreu#

the outlook for Kiel 08 Black Sox looks much better than it did when ownership took over the team in December 2007, and having an excellent draft will help the team in the future—plus one or two key trades. but the Black Sox are in the very tough Pacific division and will find 55 games a very tough job.

all of the gms in our division know how handle the difficult business of running a team in the offices, and how to manage the team on the field ... we hired Gene Mauch because is the type of manager who can get the most out of the least ... give him a lemon and he will turn it into an orange ... we brought Red Barber to broadcast the games along with Herb Score because they know how to teach the game and the history of the game to the fans ... who are just learning the game.

every trade we made this winter has been important to our team and the future of this org. but perhaps the two most important trades were the following: our 1st trade to the Stars that sent Ichiro Suzuki plus others to the Stars (no one in this org wanted to make that trade ... Ichiro is the org. but this team when we bought it needed everything ... as an example we had two catchers between them ... we figured they could give us 180 ab! ... we have known Ray Ross gm of the Northwest Stars ... and we knew he loved Ichiro ... as if there is anyone who hates this guy ... anyway ... after some talks ... we took the Stars 1st round pick, Jered Weaver and Yorvit Torrealba ... and to this day ... my father will not forgive me. but we had to do it ... this team needed too much.

and than there was this last trade ... where we sent Jered Weaver, Black Sox 1st round pick (which could be the 8th pick in next year´s draft) for Dice-K. The Kiel press ... not Strawbone of course ... but most of the other sports papers were outraged that we should give up so much for a pitcher with a whip of 1.32 or something ... but Dice-K is king in his country ... and yes ... we did have to pay his japanese club before we could sign him ... the price was high ... enough said, yes.

Northwest Stars
Record: 95-67, 1st in Western Division.

Key Additions: CF Ichiro Suzuki, RF Randy Winn, RHP Bronson Arroyo, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Kyle Lohse, LHP Tom Glavine, RHP Scott Linebrink, RHP Francisco Cordero, 1B Scott Hatteberg and LHP Pedro Feliciano
Key Departures: LF Eric Byrnes, RHP Saul Rivera, RHP Trevor Hoffman, C Yorvit Torrealba, 1B Justin Morneau, RHP Jason Marquis

C—Joe Mauer*, Kurt Suzuki
1B—Jose Vidro#, Darin Erstad*
2B—Mark Grudzielanek, Maicer Izturis#
SS—Yuniesky Betancourt
3B—Mike Lowell
LF—Josh Willingham, Randy Winn#
CF—Ichiro Suzuki*, Endy Chavez*
RF—Ken Griffey*, Mike Cameron
DH—Scott Hatteberg*

SP—A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Gil Meche, Oliver Perez*, Tom Glavine
RP—Francisco Cordero, Jeremy Accardo, Rafael Soriano, Scott Downs*, Pedro Feliciano*, Scott Linebrink

On The Farm: 3B Dallas McPherson*, CF Brian Anderson, RHP Brandon League

The Stars will be competitive and have an opportunity to win their division. The bullpen and everyday lineup are strong. The teams season will be determined by how well the starting staff does.

The team's defense is solid led by Ichiro and Mike Lowell. There will be several platoons including left field (Winn and Willingham), right field (Griffey and Cameron), DH, Hatteberg and several others) and 1b (Vidro and Erstad).

Spokane Hooded Crows
Record: 70-92, 4th place in Western Division

Key Additions: SS Rafael Furcal, RHP Tony Pena, 1B Ryan Howard
Key Departures: None. Good riddance to those bums

C—David Ross, Gerald Laird
1B—James Loney*, Dan Johnson*
2B—Mark Ellis
SS—Rafael Furcal#, Cesar Izturis#, Ryan Theriot
3B—Joe Crede, Mark DeRosa
LF—Andre Ethier*, Dave Roberts*
CF—Aaron Rowand
RF—Michael Cuddyer
DH—Ryan Howard*, Mike Piazza

SP—Mark Buehrle*, Chad Billingsley, Miguel Batista, Jeff Weaver, Joel Pineiro, Jason Schmidt
RP—Tony Pena, Chris Ray, Santiago Casilla, Eric Gagne, Cla Merideth, Joel Peralta, Scott Proctor, Oscar Villlarreal

On The Farm: C Jesus Flores, 1B/OF Steve Pearce, RHP Tom Mastny, RHP Chris Schroder, LHP Hong-Chi Kuo*

The Crows are happy with the young everday team we've assembled, but we are still trying to fill out the pitching staff. We are anticipating around a .500 season with hopes of being back in the playoff picture by 2009.

Tampa Bay Bats
Record: 59-95, last in Midwest Division

Key Additions: OF Rick Ankiel, LHP Joe Saunders, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, CF Mark Kotsay, F Jim Edmonds, RF Delmon Young, LHP Andy Pettitte, RF Jeremy Hermida, 1B Lance Berkman, RHP Edwin Jackson, LF Jason Bay
Key Departures: 2B Chris Burke, RF Jose Guillen, 1B Scott Hatteberg, RF Randy Winn, 1B Justin Morneau, RF Bobby Abreu

C—A.J. Pierzynski*, Damian Miller
1B—Lance Berkman#
2B—Josh Barfield, Jose Lopez
SS—Alex Gonzalez
3B—Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Cirillo
LF—Jason Bay, Rick Ankiel*
CF—Jim Edmonds*, Mark Kotsay*
RF—Delmon Young, Jeremy Hermida*
DH—Jason Giambi*
UTIL—Nick Punto#

SP—Andy Pettitte*, Boof Bonser, Chuck James*, Steve Trachsel, Josh Fogg, Edwin Jackson
RP—Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Wise, Salomon Torres, Matt Thornton*

On The Farm: RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Jair Jurrjens, RHP Rick Vanden Hurk, LHP Joe Saunders*, RF Nelson Cruz

The Yankee Clippers took a lot of heat from their fans and peers in the 2007 they dealt away youth and draft picks. After the season, the Clippers were sold to the Bon Jovi Management Team. A spokesman said there would be no more trading of young players and draft picks unless it was to trade up in the draft. The first thing the new management team did was to relocate the former Clippers to Tampa Bay. The plan is to lease Tropicana Field while the new stadium is waiting for the new stadium is built in St. Petersburg....Hooters Restaurant Management has outbid naming rights for both Tropicana and the new stadium. The new team will be called the Tampa Bay Bats...and should have a huge following down near thre party zone off the tip of Tampa Point.

After the new realignment...the Bats will try to keep their heads above water in a very tough Pacific Division which includes the Stars, Roadrunners, Black Sox and Crows. Though winning the division may be premature, the team is looking to the 2009 or 2010 season.. Response from the fans and the management is sky high because of the core of young players and the foundation they are laying for the future...There is a lot to be excited about the new Tampa Bay Bats.



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