Sept 17 addendum (courtesy Andy Somers)

Arizona clinched playoff berth this week.  Houston clinched AL West this week.  Washington clinched NL East last week.

Magic numbers below 10:

Arizona, magic number 6 to clinch NL West

Colorado, magic number 6 to clinch a wild card spot

Baltimore, magic number 5 to clinch AL East

Cleveland,magic number 9 to clinch AL Central, magic number 7 to clinch a playoff spot

Eliminated from playoff contention:

NL: Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San DIego, San Francisco

AL: Texas

 

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Newsletter for games through 9-17-17

APOLOGIES: Sorry for the lateness; the Wednesday that were my open days in the spring are evidently NOT my open days in the fall.

FREE WAIVER LEADERS: Since they now can’t be used (waivers don’t cost anything the last 2 weeks’ worth of lineups), we can see who ended the season with the most.  This is some combination of “team with the most injured players” and “owner most content to let it ride.”  The winners are: Texas, 18 (truly staggering), Giants 13, Tampa Bay, Miami, and the Mets (all eastern seaboard teams) tied at 12, St. Louis 11, Pittsburgh 10.  I note that Texas’ totals would be two full teams’ worth of players.

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Rougned Odor of TEX struck out 4 times against SEA on 9/11/2017
Aaron Judge of NYY struck out 4 times against TBR on 9/11/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 11 strikeouts against STL on 9/12/2017
CIN and STL played 13.5 innings on 9/12/2017
Garrett Richards of LAA had 10 strikeouts against HOU on 9/12/2017
Jonathan Villar of MIL struck out 4 times against PIT on 9/12/2017
Luis Castillo of CIN had 14 strikeouts against STL on 9/13/2017
Justin Verlander of DET had 13 strikeouts against CLE on 9/13/2017
Roberto Perez of CLE struck out 4 times against DET on 9/13/2017
Marcell Ozuna of MIA robbed 3 hits against PHI on 9/14/2017
Andrew Albers of ATL had 10 strikeouts against WAS on 9/14/2017
Zack Greinke of ARI had 11 strikeouts against SFG on 9/15/2017
Phil Ervin of CIN struck out 4 times against PIT on 9/15/2017
CWS and DET played 15.5 innings on 9/15/2017
Randal Grichuk of STL struck out 4 times against CHC on 9/15/2017
Rich Hill of LAD had 10 strikeouts against WAS on 9/15/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 12 strikeouts against TBR on 9/15/2017
Trevor Plouffe of STL struck out 4 times against CHC on 9/16/2017
J.D. Martinez of DET hit 4 home runs against CWS on 9/16/2017
Elvis Andrus of TEX struck out 4 times against LAA on 9/17/2017
Caleb Joseph of BAL struck out 4 times against NYY on 9/17/2017
Yasiel Puig of LAD had 6 RBI against WAS on 9/17/2017
Corey Kluber of COL had 15 strikeouts against SDP on 9/17/2017
Cory Spangenberg of SDP struck out 4 times against COL on 9/17/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 10 strikeouts against PIT on 9/17/2017
Kyle Seager of TOR robbed 3 hits against MIN on 9/17/2017
TOR and MIN played 13.5 innings on 9/17/2017
Alcides Escobar of SEA had 5 hits against HOU on 9/17/2017

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Newsletter for games through 9-13-17

COMMENTARY

The Reds made a serious move this week, and the Reds, Cubs, and Dodgers have 77, 78, and 79 respectively…the Braves roared forward with a 6-1 record and have inserted themselves into the wild card race…it would take another couple 6-1 records, but this is baseball and anything can happen…as witnessed by the actual Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers…speaking of which, the Indians mimicked the actual club (plus 1 loss), and re-took first place in the AL central…Twins, Bosox, Mariners and A’s all posted winning records…Philly matched Atlanta with 6 wins…and that included a 4-game sweep of the Nationals, who even after that stumble have the best record in the ASFBL…they allowed 3 runs in the last 27 innings of that series…Cards and Pirates also took up the challenge to be spoilers last week…Pittsburgh helped the Brewers out by taking 3 of 4 from the Cubs…Houston, Arizona, and Washington are the 3 teams who have amassed 90 wins so far…Please note that Sal Romano of the Reds accounted for 19 strikeouts on 9/6…he fanned 15 opponents, and struck out 4 times himself….

PLAYOFF NOTES  (Courtesy of Andy Somers)

Washington clinched NL East this week (Occurred on 9/6, with Atlanta loss and Washington win on same day)
Houston magic number is 2 to clinch AL West
Arizona magic number is 6 to clinch a playoff spot
No other magic numbers at 10 or less.
Wildcard standings showing all teams at 6 GB or less….
Inline image
FEATS AND FAILURES
Jose Berrios of MIN had 13 strikeouts against TBR on 9/4/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 10 strikeouts against TOR on 9/4/2017
Charlie Blackmon of COL had 9 RBI against SFG on 9/4/2017
MIL and CIN played 13.5 innings on 9/4/2017
Tyler Moore of MIA struck out 5 times against WAS on 9/5/2017
Jose Taveras of PHI had 10 strikeouts against NYM on 9/6/2017
Gio Gonzalez of STL had 13 strikeouts against SDP on 9/6/2017
Wilmer Difo of OAK struck out 4 times against LAA on 9/6/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 15 strikeouts against MIL on 9/6/2017
Sal Romano of CIN struck out 4 times against MIL on 9/6/2017
Odubel Herrera of PHI had 5 hits against WAS on 9/7/2017
Corey Kluber of COL had 11 strikeouts against LAD on 9/7/2017
SFG and CWS played 13.5 innings on 9/8/2017
Clayton Kershaw of LAD had 12 strikeouts against COL on 9/8/2017
Robbie Ray of ARI had 12 strikeouts against SDP on 9/8/2017
Carlos Gonzalez of TOR robbed 3 hits against DET on 9/8/2017
Lucas Giolito of CWS had 10 strikeouts against SFG on 9/9/2017
MIA and ATL played 18.5 innings on 9/10/2017
Jacob deGrom of SEA had 10 strikeouts against LAA on 9/10/2017
Chad Green of NYY had 10 strikeouts against TEX on 9/10/2017
Shin-Soo Choo of TEX struck out 4 times against NYY on 9/10/2017
Robinson Cano of NYM robbed 3 hits against CIN on 9/10/2017

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Newsletter for games through 9-3-2017

MY THANKS to you all.  EVERY single lineup submitted this week was accurate, which is really important given then obviously late start I got on all of this.  And thanks for your patience, since not one of you got in touch to hurry me up.  I really appreciate it!

COMMENTS: JD Martinez who, for those of you without any access to a highlight show, hit 4 homers in a game last night, is 8th in the ASFBL in home runs….Judge and Bellinger still lead their respective leagues…John Kephart’s Dodgers were 5-1 this week, a mark Dave Roberts would gladly trade for…Chris Taylor’s .520 batting average surely had something to do with that…Cubs and Reds went on a collective 11-2 rampage this week and each are almost as close to the Brewers for first in the central as they are to the Dodgers for the last wildcard spot…Baltimore might actually have found some breathing room (though not much) in the AL East…Cleveland got back 2 more games in the AL Central…Toronto put together a winning week and is +3 WOR….Angels went 4-2 as Houston had another very solid week to establish itself as the class of the AL…Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies is unexpectedly leading the league in RBI…Nolan Arenado of the ASFBL Giants is 4th in the league in runs scored…has there ever been any game more pre-determined by the name of the starting pitcher than when Matt Harvey took the mound in Houston’s first game back after the hurricane?…in case you missed it, he gave up 8 runs in 2 innings…phenom Rhys Hoskins had 5 HR for the Phils last week, most in the ASFBL…I got up at 6am this morning and haven’t really sat down until now, but I still think my day was shorter than the Red Sox-Blue Jays 19-inning marathon on Tuesday…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Justin Verlander of DET had 10 strikeouts against COL on 8/28/2017
Jeff Samardzija of WAS had 13 strikeouts against MIA on 8/28/2017
Josh Donaldson of SEA had 6 RBI against BAL on 8/29/2017
Freddie Freeman of ATL robbed 3 hits against PHI on 8/29/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 11 strikeouts against TOR on 8/30/2017
Jacob deGrom of SEA had 11 strikeouts against BAL on 8/30/2017
Trey Mancini of BAL struck out 5 times against SEA on 8/30/2017
Adam Jones of BAL struck out 5 times against SEA on 8/30/2017
Chris Davis of BAL struck out 4 times against SEA on 8/30/2017
SEA and BAL played 15.5 innings on 8/30/2017
Avisail Garcia of CWS had 6 RBI against MIN on 8/31/2017
Tyler Mahle of CIN had 11 strikeouts against NYM on 8/31/2017
TEX and HOU played 13.5 innings on 8/31/2017
Masahiro Tanaka of SEA had 10 strikeouts against OAK on 9/1/2017
Khris Davis of OAK struck out 4 times against SEA on 9/1/2017
OAK and SEA played 13.5 innings on 9/1/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 11 strikeouts against PIT on 9/1/2017
Francisco Lindor of CLE struck out 4 times against DET on 9/2/2017
Clayton Kershaw of LAD had 10 strikeouts against SDP on 9/3/2017
Allen Cordoba of SDP struck out 4 times against LAD on 9/3/2017
Nick Williams of PHI struck out 5 times against MIA on 9/3/2017
Carlos Carrasco of HOU had 10 strikeouts against NYM on 9/3/2017
Derek Norris of TBR struck out 4 times against CWS on 9/3/2017

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Newsletter for games through 8-27-17

PLAYER’S WEEKEND: In the spirit of customized jerseys and strange, 1970s-Astros-looking socks, I’ve taken the liberty of personalizing some of the ASFBL team names (one week only).  If you have a personalized team name you’d like, zap me an email.

POLLS ARE CLOSED: The vote is overwhelmingly in favor of trading free waivers, pro-rating minor league stats until enough MLB time has been logged to be meaningful, and expanding rosters (all have 78% support or higher).  Vote is overwhelmingly against daily updates (100% opposed) and AAA keepers.  Other ideas that we’ll probably just do: post-deadline waiver trades that will go through unless someone claims a player within 24 hours, customized (or more specialized) bullpen roles, adding a “never bat” option for position players.  Thanks to all who voted, and a special thanks to those who sent us written comments.  Hope to make these a reality by next year!

COMMENTARY: Arizona and the Cubs had the big weeks at the top of the standings; Arizona got some space at the top of the NL West, and the Cubs gained ground on the Brewers in the central and the Dodgers in the wildcard race…Cub sweep was against the Phillies and the Reds, which is no small feat considering both are in the top 4 WOR…I just realized that Andy Somers has the same name as the guitar player for the Police…he is truly the king of (inflicting) pain with his 21 game lead….the Brewers were no slouches, either, and went 5-1….that included a sweep of the Dodgers, who are down 3 starting pitchers….on the upside, nobody is going to add a better pitcher than Clayton Kershaw going down the stretch…Braves were the class of the NL East at 4-2 last week…Cards matched that pace in the central…AL was a complete logjam with nobody going better than 4-2…Oakland was 4-2 and has quietly moved +2.5 in the WOR world…the ASFBL Rangers have agreed to swap home dates with Houston this coming week…the Boston Bernacchis had the best AL east record…they held Cleveland to 6 runs in 4 games, and then gave up 22 runs to Baltimore over the next 3…the actual Indians responded to another round of late-season pitching injuries by throwing lights-out baseball for 4 games in a row…Skrovan’s group held their opponents to 2 runs or fewer in 5 of 7 games…week finale was a shutout against the Royals…if you’ve got a chance, do visit the red cross website this week and see if there’s something you can do to help folks in Houston; in the words of AJ Hinch, the issues out there are bigger than baseball…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Paul Goldschmidt of ARI robbed 3 hits against NYM on 8/21/2017
Chase Headley of NYY robbed 3 hits against DET on 8/22/2017
Aaron Hicks of NYY robbed 3 hits against DET on 8/22/2017
Stephen Strasburg of WAS had 12 strikeouts against HOU on 8/22/2017
Mike Zunino of SEA had 6 RBI against ATL on 8/23/2017
Rogelio Armenteros of HOU had 12 strikeouts against WAS on 8/23/2017
Josh Osich of SFG robbed 3 hits against MIL on 8/23/2017
David Hurlbut of ARI had 10 strikeouts against NYM on 8/24/2017
Jose Iglesias of DET struck out 4 times against NYY on 8/24/2017
Trey Mancini of BAL struck out 4 times against BOS on 8/25/2017
Welington Castillo of BAL had 5 hits against BOS on 8/25/2017
BAL and BOS played 13.5 innings on 8/25/2017
Didi Gregorius of NYY struck out 4 times against SEA on 8/25/2017
Evan Longoria of TBR robbed 3 hits against STL on 8/26/2017
Chris Taylor of LAD struck out 4 times against MIL on 8/26/2017
Sonny Gray of OAK had 12 strikeouts against TEX on 8/26/2017
J.A. Happ of TOR had 10 strikeouts against MIN on 8/26/2017
Stephen Strasburg of WAS had 11 strikeouts against NYM on 8/27/2017
Amed Rosario of NYM struck out 4 times against WAS on 8/27/2017
Jose Altuve of HOU robbed 3 hits against LAA on 8/27/2017
Joe Mantiply of NYY had 10 strikeouts against SEA on 8/27/2017
Alcides Escobar of SEA struck out 4 times against NYY on 8/27/2017
Gio Gonzalez of STL had 10 strikeouts against TBR on 8/27/2017

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Newsletter for games through 8/20/2017

SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE:

Last call to submit the quick, 6-item survey.  Just let us know what you think about rules changes; more than half the owners have voted so far, but the more the better.  We’ll announce the results next week.

COMMENTARY:

Photo finish in the NL East!  The Mets roared to a 5-2 mark to pull within half a game of being 20 games behind the Nationals! The race could be in the teens by next week with just about 6 weeks to go!  On a more serious note, there is a race going on in the NL West…Leo’s Rockies pulled to within 2 games of Rick Wynne’s mightly DBacks…Power rankings show the teams pretty even, with the Rockies leading the league in batting average (they’re hitting over .300), and the DBacks with notably better defense …Skrovan’s Indians lead the league in fielding…Reds went 4-3 and are threatening the Dodgers for the last NL playoff spot…Dodgers lead the league in ERA, and they are 2nd in most homers…while they were at it, Reds also held the top spot in WOR…Zewiske’s Brew Crew still holds the NL central lead…4 games isn’t insurmountable, but it’s getting to be the time of year when it’s worth counting the notches…Hugh Brown’s Blue Jays made the big noise in the AL East with an AL-best 6-1…Boston and Baltimore moved up by inches at the top of the standings…Tigers picked up an important 2 games in the AL Central…and owe a round of drinks to Josh Clark, who’s Royals took 2 of 3 from the Indians, including an 11-10, extra-innings win in the series finale…Seattle went 5-1 in the AL west and are now serious contenders for the last wildcard spot…Texas is due for the biggest ERA correction in a positive direction…Avasail Garcia of the Chisox is on a 13-game hitting streak, longest active one in the league…longest of the season was 32 by Rendon of the Tigers…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Matt Olson of OAK hit 3 home runs against KCR on 8/14/2017
Matt Olson of OAK had 6 RBI against KCR on 8/14/2017
Luis Severino of NYY had 11 strikeouts against NYM on 8/14/2017
Nolan Arenado of SFG had 6 RBI against MIA on 8/15/2017
Eduardo Nunez of COL had 5 hits against ATL on 8/15/2017
Wilmer Font of LAD had 10 strikeouts against CWS on 8/16/2017
J.D. Martinez of DET had 6 RBI against TEX on 8/16/2017
Jorge Polanco of MIN had 7 RBI against CLE on 8/17/2017
Rogelio Armenteros of HOU had 12 strikeouts against OAK on 8/18/2017
Rhys Hoskins of PHI had 6 RBI against SFG on 8/18/2017
Danny Salazar of CLE had 12 strikeouts against KCR on 8/18/2017
Corey Kluber of COL had 15 strikeouts against MIL on 8/18/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 13 strikeouts against NYY on 8/20/2017
Martin Maldonado of LAA struck out 4 times against BAL on 8/20/2017
LAA and BAL played 14.5 innings on 8/20/2017
Brent Honeywell of TBR had 10 strikeouts against SEA on 8/20/2017
Mike Zunino of SEA struck out 4 times against TBR on 8/20/2017

 

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Newsletter for games through 8-13-17

MISSING MR. BALLINGALL — Here is a quick excerpt from Damien High School, where he worked for over 30 years.  It’s not complete, but it captures an awful lot about the guy.

While he is justly proud of his many accomplishments, he notes that “I am most proud of the graduates I’ve had who have returned to the coaching community.”  As the announcer for many Damien High School sporting events, during 2007, “The Voice of Damien” earned the exciting opportunity to do some stadium P.A. work announcing games for both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Clippers where he met legends Tommy Lasorda and Vin Scully.

For those interested in knowing more about Chuck, Damien’s full memorium effort can be found here.  There is also a more complete biography, letters from school officials, and a page to see and share remembrances.

FINAL TIDBIT: The nerdiest among you might enjoy this, which is an invitation to the 1983 Glenbrook High School round robin debate tournament.  It is relevant to us for 3 reasons.  First, it shows yours truly from Brighton High School as a contestant (as a sign of how powerful we were, they mis-spelled both my name and that of my partner).  Second, it shows Chuck Ballingall coaching for Damien (no surprise).  Third, it was found by Josh Clark, longtime ASFBLer and owner of the Royals, who is now the coach at the prestigious Montgomery Bell Academy and found this last week in a storage closet in Tennessee, which is a long way from Utah, California, and Chicago.  Josh worked for Chuck for a couple of years; special thoughts going out to Josh this week.

FREAKISH WEDNESDAY.  Last week I ran the games and exchanged an email with Chuck Ballingall about the survey at 12:43.  John Weerts — who’s hand I have not yet had the pleasure of shaking but who I am digitially connected to — dropped by my office for an unexpected visit around 4pm because he was in town.  We just missed each other by 20 minutes.  By 5pm Chuck had passed away.

FANTASY VS. REALITY

AL EAST Reality: Boston has surged and taken control, but the Yankees aren’t out of it yet.  Fantasy: Baltimore has shoved themselves into first place with a +11 WOR and the Yankees are better than the actual team; this has bumped the Bosox back a notch.  The Rays, who have been scuffling, were 6-0 last week.

AL CENTRAL Reality: After some back-and-forth, Cleveland is acting like the defending champs and is 6 up on the Royals and Twins.  Fantasy: Detroit is +9.5 on the real club and nudged into first by a half game; the Chisox are roadkill in reality but +6.5 in the ASFBL.  The Tribe are hanging tough and still look like a team to beat.

AL WEST Reality: The Astros are running away with it but have been awful since the All-Star break.  Fantasy: The Astros are solidly in control and only Oakland (John Weerts) is in positive WOR territory.

AL WILDCARD  Reality: There are 6 teams within 5.5 games of each other and there’s a see-saw battle for the last playoff spot.  The Yankees are in the best spot but nobody feels comfortable with a 3-game lead.  Fantasy: The Yankees are also in the top spot, and whoever finishes second in the AL Central will have to battle with Boston for the second spot.  Seattle and Anaheim — and maybe the A’s — are within striking distance and one good run could make them contenders.

NL EAST Reality: Nobody is going to catch Washington and nobody else is going to make the playoffs.  Fantasy: Somehow, Andy Somers’ has the team more than 10 games better than the actual version despite the rest of the division being +15.5 WOR.  Was perfect this week and now leads the league in wins.  The Las Vegas Mets managed 2 wins this week but Philly (Johnny Mac) and Atlanta (Danny Wildes) are coming on strong and making WOR headway.

NL CENTRAL Reality: 3-dog race between the Cubs, Brewers, and Cards.  Fantasy: Cubs and Brewers and battling it out with the Brewers in front and the Cubs gaining a few inches this week.  The Reds (Raphael Malveaux) have vaulted into the top WOR spot in the league.

NL WEST Reality: The Dodgers are having a historic season and while Arizona and Colordao look tough they are a distant second.  Fantasy: Arizona and Colorado are +bigtime WOR and that’s pushed the Dodgers back a few spots.  Leo’s Rockies are within 5 games of first.

NL WILDCARD Reality: The Cards and Brewers aren’t out of it, but these spots seem to belong to the DBacks and Rockies.  Second place in the NL Central gets you an early vacation.  Fantasy: Colorado looks to have the top wildcard spot in hand, and the Dodgers have 68 wins; Cubs and Reds each have 62.  The loss column puts the Cubs a game closer than the Reds, and while making up 5 games in the last 6 weeks is daunting, it’s possible, and the Central runner-up has a better chance of catching a wildcard spot than the actual clubs.

QUICK REMINDER: If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please do so.  The link is in last week’s newsletter.  We have 12 responses so far, and we’d like to get more than 20.  If you have taken the survey, please don’t do so again.  The form is supposed to prevent it, but I’m sure that’s not perfect.  Best quip of the week came from Adam Symonds: “I assume you want me to vote up to 25 times a day on this one?”

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Corey Kluber of COL had 11 strikeouts against CLE on 8/8/2017
Yoenis Cespedes of NYM robbed 3 hits against TEX on 8/8/2017
Carlos Rodon of CWS had 10 strikeouts against HOU on 8/8/2017
Justin Verlander of DET had 10 strikeouts against PIT on 8/8/2017
Miguel Sano of MIN struck out 4 times against MIL on 8/8/2017
Tyler Skaggs of LAA had 15 strikeouts against BAL on 8/8/2017
Daniel Descalso of LAA struck out 4 times against BAL on 8/8/2017
Chris Archer of TBR had 11 strikeouts against BOS on 8/8/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 17 strikeouts against TBR on 8/9/2017
Max Scherzer of WAS had 10 strikeouts against MIA on 8/9/2017
Delino DeShields of TEX had 5 hits against NYM on 8/9/2017
Ryan Zimmerman of WAS had 6 RBI against MIA on 8/10/2017
Corey Seager of LAD robbed 3 hits against ARI on 8/10/2017
Chris Taylor of LAD struck out 4 times against ARI on 8/10/2017
Mike Zunino of SEA struck out 5 times against LAA on 8/10/2017
LAA and SEA played 13.5 innings on 8/10/2017
Tanner Roark of BAL had 10 strikeouts against OAK on 8/11/2017
Kyle Finnegan of OAK had 11 strikeouts against BAL on 8/12/2017
Drew Pomeranz of BOS had 10 strikeouts against NYY on 8/12/2017
Rogelio Armenteros of HOU had 11 strikeouts against TEX on 8/13/2017

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