Category Archives: Detroit Tigers

A Baseball Package: What I think would sell and predictions

I would love to put together a professional-looking total baseball package that would sell to fans and curious people alike. In it I would try to offer the following:
Bringin’ Gas and Dialin’ 9: The 5-tool total package

· A Hardcover Book – estimated 750-900 pages w/additional Appendices of Players and Teams records
· CD: PDF of Book with online links
· CD: Image Gallery of 100s of MLB players, Stadiums, Teams, Managers, Executives and Umpires
· CD: Database of Statistics with executable queries to find those statistics, comparisons and Player backgrounds
· CD: Graphs/Charts of the Financials, Stadium Layouts and Other useful stats
· DVD/CD: Audios of famous plays, players and radio broadcasts in history with footage from World Series and epic moments in Baseball history
Estimated Retail Cost: $110-150 with the following hang ups:
1. Book: $45 – $55 (did/doing)
2. Images: $15 (need permission)
3. Database: $25 (have backendfront end needed, permissions)
4. Charts: $5 (can do)
5. Audio: $10 (missing)
6. DVD: $20 – $30 (missing)

I think it would be a cool thing to have a baseball reference library package in one complete outfit. Of course, it will never happen. (I can collect the stuff, but sell it, never.)

I started working on a Fantasy/Roto League PDF file, but got bogged down with other things. Maybe next season.

Some off-the-cuff predictions/analysis:
The Chicago Cubs can win the NL Central if their pitching holds up. (Kerry Wood closing, I have to see that pan out…I am not holding my breath given his extensive injury history since 2003.) Milwaukee has youth and now, some experience in pressure filled games in the late season. I can see them winning the NL Central by 7 games as much as I can see the Cubs win by 3 games. Milwaukee has to pitch too – but they have their young up-and-comer starting ace Yovani Gallardo to nurse back to health if they are going to win anything.

Boston has some issues (Shilling done for the year, likely, and Beckett on the DL), but still will be there in the AL. With youngsters like Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Manny Delcarmen pitching, and Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury up and coming hitters, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz don’t have to be the only boppers to worry about. They can ride out; the Yankees haven’t shown me they have improved that much on paper. A-Rod is their only regular season weapon.

Detroit has the powerhouse lineup (though Curtis Granderson is down for a while) but still has to pitch better than last year in the bullpen. Cleveland has plenty of talent on both sides (offense in Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner & pitching C.C. Sabathia (left) and Fausto Carmona) and can win that division with any falter or hiccup by Detroit.
You got to figure Arizona and Colorado can’t win again like last year. Arizona was outscored; so they will have to win with their pitching – maybe. They got it with Dan Haren and Brandon Webb, both 220+ inning eaters with 15-20 win potential. Colorado has the bats and some nice pieces, but I don’t expect a run away by either. Los Angeles and San Diego can compete. San Francisco – your heart is gone.

Mets, Phillies and Braves. Mets have young talent with Reyes, Wright and now, Santana; and money is never much of problem, but old (and hurt) Moises Alou and Carlos Delgado are no longer premier options at power positions, 1B and LF. As a result, Endy Chavez, Angel Pagan and Ryan Church will get to play musical chairs in left & right field. I still figure this is a 90-win team, or Willie Randolph will hear, “you’re fired,” by a Donald Trump impersonator.

The Phillies have a similar dynamic trio in 1B Ryan Howard, 2B Chase Utley and 2007 NL MVP SS Jimmy Rollins. The problem begins once the Phillies get past ace-like Cole Hamels and starter-to-closer-back to starter Brett Myers in their starting rotation: the 3 guys left are either old, raw or beat up like a pick up truck. (Moyer, Kendrick and Eaton.)

But the Phillies will compete for this division.

Atlanta has to turn to two 20-year vets for competitive pitching in Glavine and Smoltz. I think the well is run dry. Hot-lanta can still get some miles out of Chipper and Texiera, but I don’t think they will win anything.

Boston, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels (not mentioned),Cleveland, Detroit, Philadephia, New York and Arizona make the playoffs.


Baseball: Mid 2007 Predictions for the playoffs

No, I’m not Sara Freder, so I won’t grant you insight into your future by using talismans and crystal balls for $39.99, but I figure I can look at the halfway point of a baseball season and figure who will represent both leagues in the playoffs.

Boston. It would be tough for them to lose this division, even with the Yankees in it. With a double digit lead, and the Yankees lacking a real pitching ace, it would take a collapse like 1978 for these Bo Sox to fall short. Unlikely with Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Dice-K, Beckett and a host of others battle tested and not at all afraid of the vaunted Yankee mystique.

Cleveland. At 49-32, this team has done a lot with lackluster work by Travis Hafner. But with CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez and Grady Sizemore doing their jobs well, the team has a .352 OBP, 3rd in all of baseball behind Boston and the NY Yankees. This is a primary sabermetric tool to scoring runs and Cleveland will continue to do that. On the other side of the ledger, with Sabathia only walking a couple of handfuls of people, the Indians have allowed the fewest walks in MLB. While only in the middle of the pack in ERA, the Tribe should stay in 1st or 2nd in the AL Central.

Detroit. The Tigers are at it again. They are 4th in OBP, right behind Cleveland. They lead all of MLB in SLG% and thus also lead the MLB in putting runs on the board. However, many of their players are above their lifetime heads. Placido Polanco is a good little hitter, .302 lifetime. Not much power, but he’s struggled to put together 150 games in a season. He’s on pace for that. Does he continue to hit .330? Magglio Ordonez is another .300 hitter that is pounding it at .370. Will that continue? Realistically, those two will drop off 30-40 points and the Lion share of the scoring will have to come from Gary Sheffield and Pudge Rodriguez and Carlos Guillen.

Pitching is faltering, even with Justin Verlander no-no just recently. Their bullpen is shaky at best, with 39-year old Todd Jones still getting saves with a 5.85 ERA. Jones does not strikeout batters and that’s a problem for a closer. The Tigers have been looking for answers as their number of pitchers used reflects. Eventually, these two aspects – less offense and shaky pitching – will put them in second in the AL East.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 6th in OBP, 5th in Runs Scored and 1st in AL West. They still get mileage out of Vlad whose 31, looks older, and has been at it for a decade or more. He is a 1st ballot HOF if he does it for 5 more years. With pesky, versatile Chone Figgins, the Angels just do it well with Mike Scioscia running the show. They have better pitching, with Lackey, Escobar and Santana eating up innings as starters and likely the best bullpen, or at least a top 5 bullpen in baseball with a 25 year old K-Rod and Scot Shields as the forces.

The Angels have two problems: Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s. The AL West is a marathon usually and Oaktown is 8.5 games behind. Seattle too is only 4 games out, but managerial shakeup with Hargrove gone means likely the Mariners will not contend. The Angels are not a uber team; so, Oakland’s manuevers could get them their. But realistically, the A’s have not got much out of 3rd baseman Eric Chavez, SS Bobby Crosby and C Jason Kendall. Those parts are producing miserably and even with another Big 3 in Haren, Blanton and Gaudin, the A’s are unlikely to surpass the Angels.

AL Playoffs: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and Los Angeles.
AL Championship: Boston vs. Detroit.
AL WS: Boston.

National League

Chicago. Yes, yes, holy mackeral, the Cubs are going to play in the post season. They have the pieces (sans a durable right fielder) in the batting order: Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Theriot, DeRosa, and Floyd can produce runs. Zambrano, Lilly, Marquis and Hill can hold their own most nights in the National League – 5th in the NL in ERA and 2nd overall in Strikeouts of opponents.

Lou Piniella has done everything he could to manipulate this into a winning ballclub. In a weak division, Milwaukee is just not good enough. Aside from Ben Sheets and Prince Fielder, I don’t get a warm fuzzy with their players on the field. The Cubs have more experience in playoff runs with Soriano, Lee, DeRosa actually going on to play in the World Series.

New York. The city liked so much they gave them 2 teams. The Mets are star laden bunch. Coming up short last year to the mediocre WS-winning Cardinals had to put them on edge. Unfortunately, the Altanta Braves are only 4.0 games back. What gives? They have a 3.65 ERA which is 3rd in all of baseball. They have enough offense to win? Bullpen has been terrible. Aside from little lefty Billy Wagner and Pedro Feliciano, they have Mota (5.29), Sele (5.26), Shoeneweis (5.46) and Heilman (4.19) that have blown up a few games.

Mets will win – with Pedro Martinez on the mend for August/September push – but not by double digits.

NL West. It’s a good question: who will win this mess?

San Diego: 27th in OBP. 22nd in SLG%. 1st in ERA (3.03 ) by a half-run over everyone else.
LA Dodgers: 11th in OBP. 23rd in SLG%. 5th in ERA (3.73).
Arizona D-backs: 25th in OBP. 19th in SLG%. 8th in ERA (3.92).

Pitching wins championships. San Diego has veterans in Maddux, Wells and Hoffman to go with Jake Peavy. Their lineup is mediocre at best, they play decent defense and their home park is best suited for 3-2, 2-1 ballgames with a good bullpen which they have.

NL Playoffs: Chicago, New York, San Diego and LA Dodgers.
NL Championships: New York and Chicago.
NL Series: Chicago. (Biased ain’t I?)

Boston v. Chicago: Boston in 6. Cubs still sans a World Series title….