Do I feel a draft? MWBL picking players on Saturday

2014draftKeep an eye tomorrow (Feb. 22) for Stray Corrado’s Mid-West Baseball League draft.  It will be online and you can watch the progress at the MWBL draft page

Stray tells me that the draft runs pretty smoothly.  Using their own written web-based software, they will record the draft online.  Starting at 9:46am and ending at 6:46pm, the league will pick 336 players.  That’s two minutes for each pick with a 1/2 hour for lunch.  Stray says his wife acts as Draft Coordinator and “keeps us all in line with draft times”.  

I’ve known this for a while but the MWBL is a pretty serious league with managers who really know their baseball.  They’re not just picking big leaguers but picking uncarded players as well.  You have to be on top of the baseball scene to be in the MWBL.  Stray says that reaching down into college and high school is common.  One rule though… uncarded picks have to make it to the majors by 2017. 

Good luck to all the managers in the Mid-West Baseball League.  May your draft go as well as your season! 

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Terribles vs. Monsters Poll: Vote for the Terribles shortstop!

As with the poll for Terribles secondbaseman, there are some stinkers here with the shortstops.  Not just with the bat but with the glove as well.  Only 1968 Oyler shows some talent in the field. 

Also similar to the secondbasemen poll for the Terribles, the nominees hover around the late 60s to late 90s. 

More info here on my project, by the way. 

Terribles Team nominee for Shortstop

APBA card breakdown

1968 Ray Oyler SS-9, 0-0-8-8-9-9, three 14s
1978 Mike Fischlin SS-6, 0-8-8-9-9, two 14s
1986 Kevin Elster SS-7, 6-7-8-8-8-9-9, three 14s
1999 Cristian Guzman SS-7, 0-0-7-8-8-8-9-9, two 14s


The purists out there will be happy to see at least a few players who put in a significant amount of playing time in their respective season. 

Who should start at short for the Terribles?


The Results are in for second base:  1965 Joe Morgan takes the Terribles secondbaseman starting role with probably one of more closer votes.  He wins with 41% of the vote. 

As for the Monsters Secondbase vote, the winner is well, Rogers Hornsby.  His 1922 card garnered 48% of the vote.  Not only that, his 1924 card came in second place with 26%.  That didn’t leave much left for 1901 Lajoie, 1977 Carew and 1984 Sandberg. 

Here are the winners and the poll results!

Terribles Secondbaseman

1964 Joe Morgan

Monsters Secondbaseman

1922 Rogers Hornsby

image image

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1905 Chicago Cubs replay update: Cubs win in thrilling game 1 in Cincy

Wildfire_Schulte (1)by Scott Fennessy

Cincinnati, OH

The Cubs face the Reds in a “must win” situation. Although they are tied with the Giants, they have two more games played than their New York rivals. That however will be reduced to one as the Cubs schedule has them off for the next three days due to schedule adjusting. Today’s game sees Mordecai Brown against Charles Harper. Harper is making his first start of the year and being a D pitcher has seen limited action, but has always given the Cubs fits through his career.

Neither team does much in the first, but the Cubs strike first as Johnny Evers hits a ball to Miller Huggins at second, and he boots it for the error. Frank Chance sends the runner and Joe Tinker, who is in his best run of the season rips a fly to deep center field. This one’s over Fritz Odwell’s head and bounces off the wall! Evers comes in to score the first run of the day and the Cubs take the early lead. Harper settles down to keep the score 1-0.

Brown and Harper both look good early and the score is unchanged until the bottom of the 4th when Jimmy Sebring rips a single up the box that just evades a hard charging Tinker. Jimmy got off to a tough start, and really had under produced, but has his numbers more in line with what I was hoping for. Joe Kelley, the player that has really been valuable of late hits a single to right center and Sebring cruises into third standing. Kelley takes advantage of O’Neill’s less than stellar throwing arm with just his 6th steal of the season and runners are now on second and third with just one out. Fortunately for Brown the lower part of the lineup is pretty harmless, and after Tommy Corcoran’s sac fly to left scores Sebring to tie the game Ed Phelps and Harper go quickly to end the threat.

Once again pitching takes control until the Cubs and the red hot Frank Schulte (pictured above) hits a triple right, and he is now boasting a 6 game hitting streak, and has added about 7 points to his average during this run. A fly ball to deep right field looked like it may tail foul, but stayed in play allowing Schulte to score the lead run. Considering how strong the pitching has been this could be big. Hofman and Evers get back to back hits, but the defense held and the score was still 2-1 as the bottom of the third ended with a scoreless Cincinnati inning.

The Reds strike suddenly as the normally solid bruin defense slips up. Jim Casey botches a throw allowing Tommy Corcoran to reach and move to second on a ground out. Miller Huggins, who has really looked weak at the plate this season hits a frozen rope to center and Corcoran scores to tie the game. Huggins steals second easily and Brown hurls a mistake fastball that Harper crushes into the corner for an RBI triple and the Reds are suddenly on top late. Brown gets the final out, but now the home team leads 2-1 at the end of 7.

Fortunately for the Cubs, the bats have really been booming lately and Schulte gets his third straight hit and moves to second with one out when Art Hofman rips a single under the diving Huggins at second and Schulte scores just ahead of Jim Seymour’s throw to tie the game again. Harper gets two quick outs and the inning ends 3-3. Brown does his job in the 8th and on to the ninth we go.

The Reds get two very quick outs, but Maloney gets his second single of the afternoon and steals second. Casey atones for his earlier error by floating a single just over Corcoran’s reach and Maloney rounds third. The throw from Sebring is a good one, but Maloney is safe, just ahead of the tag. Schulte grounds out to end the inning and now Brown goes to the hill in the ninth to get the win and he does with a perfect 1-2-3 inning.

The Reds looked good in this one, and did everything except win the ball game. The bottom of the lineup pulled its weight late and Harper’s surprise start was solid. For the Cubs Schulte continues to rake, and while Hofman, Maloney and Tinker are still struggling overall, have looked better over the last 3-4 days.

[photo credit]

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Flashback Friday: 1991 MicroManager manual

With the Boys of Summer APBA League getting into the swing of things (we’re finishing up our draft on Sunday), there’s talk of how to use Baseball for Windows MicroManagers.  With that in mind, I thought I’d feature this manual from 1991 for MicroManager for Flashback Friday.  This early version of the computer add-on was put put out by Miller Associates for use with APBA Baseball for DOS. 

Here’s the cover:

Micromanager cover


This is the general description page for Micromanager (click to enlarge).

Micromanager page

MicroManager included built-in managers Blaze Pascual and Blackie Dugan but the manual also showed you how to customize your own special skipper. 

The system requirements page for this version of MM.  Okay, everyone, make sure you have at least 640k of memory on your PC computer. 

Micromanager sysreq

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Weird Card Wednesday: 1987 Jim Gott


Mel M. sends me the ultimate in the all or nothing card.  It’s Jim Gott’s 1987 card. 

Gott split his time between the Pirates and the Giants that year and didn’t do too bad as a pitcher.  He sported a 3.41 ERA and struck out 90 batters in 87 innings mostly in relief.  However, he did start three games for the Pirates and accumulated 11 at-bats. 

Gott did get one hit that year and looking at his card, I’ll bet you can figure out what kind of hit it was.  Yes, it was a two-run homer. 

1987 Totals 55 3 11 11 2 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 4 .091 .091 .364
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/19/2014.


I noticed that Gott scored two runs in 1987.  With no other hits or walks, I had to look up how it happened.  In Gott’s only win of the year, he reached base on an error and eventually scored. 

No, it wasn’t an E-3, the error was on the thirdbaseman. 

thanks, Mel!

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Terrible Card Tuesday: 1987 Frank Viola


Ok, disregard the pitching grade here.  There is obviously nothing “terrible” with 1987 Frank Viola’s AXZ grade.  In fact, his 17-10 record and 2.90 ERA for the Twins was good enough to rank sixth in the Cy Young voting. 

But now look at his hitting card.  Are there enough 13s for you?  I count only eight result numbers that are not strikeouts. 

Why?  Viola was an American League pitcher so he didn’t bat in the AL regular season so he might have gotten a template AL pitchers hitting card.    The answer lies in the Minnesota Twins’ postseason.  When the Twins’ went to the World Series, they were forced to bat their pitcher.  Frank Viola was among the starters who pitched in an away game. 

For the record, he batted once and struck out once.  Hence, the thirteen-laden APBA card. 

1987 ALCS DET 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0      
1987 WS STL 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/18/2014.


So what numbers did APBA consider “untouchable”?

Viola still got hit numbers 7-8-9 despite hitting .000.  That’s not surprising.  Most AL pitchers who don’t pick up a bat get that too.  He also gets the almighty 12 which in 1987 was at 14.  The error number 21 assigned to pitchers is at 22.  John Mikulas who suggested this card says Viola has taken advantage of this a couple times already. 

Viola received the two unusual numbers which pitchers normally get.  His 23 is at 44 and his 36 is at 45.  Finally, Viola get the automatic 65-35, good only if he’s facing a DW with runners on base.  Other than that, it all thirteens. 

As Twins fans will know, Viola went on to win the Cy Young in 1988 with a 24-7 record.  He didn’t bat that year so I’ll bet you he had a few fly outs and ground balls on his card too. 

thanks to John for passing this on!

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1905 Chicago Cubs replay update: Injuries mar Cub victory over Reds

by Scott Fennessy

Cincinnati, OH

The Cubs only got to face the Cardinals in a one game series due to schedule cutting to meet my season limit of 140 games. That is disappointing as they are really in a free fall, and the Reds team they now face features a returning Harry Steinfeldt, who with Jim Seymour and James Sebring are really hitting right now. Also light hitting Tommy Corcoran is hitting the ball for the first time all year.

We are now at the time of year where in real baseball teams would be experimenting with their September “call ups”. In APBA you don’t have to worry about that, but I use this time for teams out of the race to give more time for players that don’t get a lot of playing time, so when you see Reds pitcher John Vowinkel facing the Cubs Ed Reulbach (pictured above) in today’s game don’t think too much of it. The Giants concluded a pounding of the Braves in a series which they did not send Irv Young or any of their good starters and sent all D pitchers to the mound. I try very hard to be even handed in this as I don’t want to question myself after the season ends if I “gave everyone an equal chance at the World Series”.

In reality both leagues have come down to two team races. In the NL the Pirates have faded badly and are now 12 games out, and are the only team besides the Cubs and Giants not yet eliminated. In the AL it’s a slightly different story, as only the sorry Browns are officially eliminated but the Senators are only a day or two from elimination. The other teams are just treading water until their day. The only exception to this is the Indians. A team mired in mediocrity until August, their superstar Napoleon Lajoie barely hitting .260 and pitching holding the fort down until the hitters came around have seen drastic improvements on offense and are now just two games behind the struggling and injury prone White Sox. This is the closest anyone gotten to them all year.

Both teams come up empty in the first inning, but the Cubs start the scoring in this one, with an Art Hofman single. Moving to second and scoring on Joe Tinker’s single. Vowinkel does stop the damage, but has looked a little shaky for certain, but the inning ends with the Cubs on top 1-0.

Nothing else happens until Hofman gets a one out single in the 4th. It’s great to see him finally come through after a very difficult year. Hofman then notches his 14th steal of the year and scores on a Johnny Evers single. Again Vowiknel calms down, but I don’t see him going much further in this game the way he looks so far. The Reds go down quietly as Reulbach continues to roll and the score is 2-0 Cubs.

The Cubs offense comes through again with another run as Frank Chance gets a one out single and moved to second on a ground out scored on Evers second RBI single of the day. Tinker ends the inning, but the Cubs keep chipping away, and have really been hitting the ball all day. The score is now 3-0 Cubs as the bottom of the inning closes.

The Cubs finally explode in the 7th. It looked like Vowinkel was going to make it out of the inning as he racked up two quick outs, but Billy Maloney, who has a small hit streak going gets a single and steals second. Jim Casey hits a routine grounder for what should have ended the inning, but first baseman Joe Kelley missed the throw and it rolls pretty far away, allowing Maloney to score and Casey moves to second. Frank Schulte, who has a 5 game hit streak going also, rips a solid single up the middle and Casey scores with “Wildfire” taking second on the throw. Chance finally ends Vowinkel’s day with an RBI single. Tom Walker comes in and finishes the inning and the Cubs now have a 6-0 lead.

Fritz Odwell, who leads all of baseball with 18 homers gets a 1-1 fastball and rips it hard down the line. The relay from Evers is good, but Fritz slides in under the tag and the Reds end Reulbach’s consecutive batters retired streak at 16. Seymour then lifts a sac fly to break the shutout, but Reulbach gets the final two hitters to keep the game in hand 6-1.

The Cubs get an insurance run in the top of the 8th when Evers gets a walk to open the frame and Tinker’s single puts runners on first and third. Tinker then steals second. John O’Neill, subbing for the injured Johnny Kling then gets a single that scores two more, and moves to second on a wild pitch by Walker. O’Neill suddenly takes off for third on the next pitch by Walker and catcher Ed Phelps fires off a beauty to Steinfeldt at third, and he’s out! But unfortunately the Reds have seen this many times this year; and sure enough Steinfeldt is hurt and will have to leave the game. He has reinjured the ankle that has sidelined him for about 20 games this year. It’s a shame as he was finally starting to hit. Reulbach grounds out to end the inning but the score is now a lopsided 8-1 margin.

The Reds seem fired up in the bottom of the inning and Joe Kelley rips a double into the left field gap to start things off. Kelley takes third on a single by Phelps after a nifty diving stop from Chance. He threw to Reulbach covering first from his knees. Unfortunately Reulbach drops the ball after being spiked by Phelps. Ed’s in a lot of pain and will not finish the ballgame. “Big Jeff” Pfeffer comes in and gets the final two outs and the score is unchanged.

Nothing else happened in an uneventful ninth inning and the Cubs get the important win that keeps them tied with the Giants atop the NL. For the Reds, Seymour and Sebring continue to hit, and Odwell keeps up the surprise power hitting, but Steinfeldt will miss another 5 days and Miller Huggins will move into second as Al Bridwell moves over to cover for Harry.

For the Cubs the last few days have reminded me of their early season hitting and speed display with the Cubs getting 5 as a team, including Maloney’s 61st of the year. Struggling Art Hofman and Joe Tinker each got two hits, and Reulbach looked amazing. Allowing just two hits and one run in 7.2 innings while striking out 6 en route to his 23rd win of the season. There is a down side though, as he will miss his next turn in the rotation with Herb Briggs moving into the rotation. Thankfully it will only be the one start though. Also glad to see Jeff Pfeffer look strong in his 1 plus inning of work.

The Cubs face the Reds tomorrow in a double header while the Giants face the Dodgers in another twin billing. I think they have had 4 double headers in the last week, and this is the third against the horrid Dodgers.

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Monster Card Monday: 1930 Bill Terry

Finally, here it is!  As I mentioned earlier, this 1930 Bill Terry card should have been one of the first posted.  Pastor Rich Zawadski had even forwarded it to me.  But for months, I was under the assumption I had featured him.  Now, Terry finally gets his due. 

Those who know baseball history know the significance of Bill Terry’s 1930 season.  It was the last time a National League hitter batted .400.  He barely hit the mark with a .401 batting average.  Terry had a bit of power with 39 doubles, 15 triples and 23 homers. 

It’s hard to believe but Bill Terry’s mark of .4013 ranks 25th (tied with 1922 Rogers Hornsby) all-time.  If it matters, thirteen of those 25 are pre-1900 averages. 

In addition, Terry stole eight bases while walking 55 times while striking out just 33 times. 

1930 Totals 154 708 633 139 254 39 15 23 131 8 55 33 .401 .450 .619
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/16/2014.


Bill Terry’s power numbers of 1-3-4-6 are pretty nice but it’s his hit numbers that bring it home.  Terry has five 7s and a 10 to go along with his three 8s and two 9s.  APBA puts his last 9 at 53 which put his error number of 20 at 46. 

If his hit numbers aren’t enough, Bill Terry has a top fielding rating of 1B-5. 

Fun numbers:  31-7, 51-7, 53-9

Note that Terry has a 63-37 on his 1930 card.  Surprisingly, there’s no sign of a second 31 on his card either.  Don’t expect him to strikeout much.  He only has one 13 at 24. 

Final bit of interesting info on Bill Terry:  He never won an MVP award but was in the top ten in voting from the years 1929-1935 EXCEPT for 1930 the year he hit .401. 

Now here’s a treat.  It’s some footage of the 1934 All-Star Game which includes some footage of Bill Terry. 


thanks, Rich!

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Terribles vs. Monsters Poll: Vote for the Monsters secondbaseman!


With the less than formidable cards you saw with the Terribles secondbasemen, you’ll be happy to see the choices for the Monsters.  They were so good, I actually included one player twice for two different seasons.  I’m sure Pastor Rich knows who I’m talking about (more info here on my project).  You still have time to vote for the Terribles secondbaseman if you want. 

As it turned out turned out, I have choices for you to vote on from a variety of eras.  Deadball, the 1920s, the 70s and the 80s. 

Monsters Team nominee for Secondbaseman

APBA card breakdown

1901 Napoleon Lajoie 2B-9, 0-0-0-0-0-7-7-7-8-8-8-9-9-11-10, two 14s
1922 Rogers Hornsby 2B-8, 1-1-3-6-6-7-7-7-8-8-9-9-10-10, three 14s
1924 Rogers Hornsby 2B-8, 1-3-4-6-6-7-7-7-7-8-8-9-9-10, four 14s
1977 Rod Carew 2B-8, 0-0-0-0-7-7-7-8-8-8-9-9-11-10, three 14s
1984 Ryne Sandberg 2B-9, 1-2-6-6-8-8-8-9-9-11-10-10, three 14s


I’m actually curious how this will turn out.  

Who should start at second for the Monsters?

By the way, the polls for the firstbasemen in my project have closed.  Boy, they sure weren’t close at all!  I had a feeling that Adam Dunn would run away with it but with all the legit contenders for the Monster role, I thought someone might give ‘27 Gehrig a run for his money.  Apparently not. 

Both won handily with more votes than the others combined. 

Here are the winners and the poll results!

Terribles Firstbaseman

2011 Adam Dunn

Monsters Firstbaseman

1927 Lou Gehrig

Adam Dunn 1B gehrig27
image image

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Boys of Summer APBA League: Inaugural league drafts despite issues

boysofsummerSometimes even I am amazed by what happens when APBA fans get together.  When faced with a pretty major setback, a group of baseball fans will find a way to get things done. 

The Boys of Summer APBA Online League, spearheaded by commissioner Shawn Baier, were ready to draft for their inaugural season this morning.  We had planned to use the new APBA Online system to draft but after about six picks into the first round, the system sort of went into autopilot and began to exhibit a series of issues including auto picking players for managers and locking managers out of the draft session altogether. 

In the middle of round #2, we regrouped on Facebook and the bulk of us had decided to scrap the idea of using the APBA Online drafting feature.  After some discussion, we decided that while we were all online, we might as well draft and since most of us were already on Facebook, we could conduct the draft via FB chat.  So that’s what we did.  We gathered those who weren’t already on Facebook onto a single chat session and continued the draft from the sixth pick. 

It took a while to get into the swing of things but once we got going, it ran pretty smoothly it was a lot of fun too.   We didn’t finish though we got through 14 rounds and 223 players.  Shawn is pretty sure that he can upload the players to APBA Online via Advanced Draft. 

So what happened with APBA Online?

I can’t say with certainty what happened that caused the APBA Online problems.  To me, it almost seemed like there were multiple draft sessions going on at the same time.  Same teams listed but some of us were in different ones.  Some of us were seeing completely different drafts than others.  From my end, it seemed like it was working fine until I realized that I was the only “live” person drafting.  Players were being drafted but apparently, they were being “autopicked”.  I began to get suspicious when there just wasn’t any discussion in the chat area after a while. 

All I know, is I’m still getting notifications eleven hours later from the draft that we started and subsequently abandoned. 

I know browser compatibility is an issue.  That is something that the programmers will have to work on among a host of other problems.  John Herson has said today he plans to be looking into this whole thing and hopes the programming team can have it fixed. 

More importantly, who got drafted?

I suppose you all are interested in who got picked.  We’re not finished… we only got through 14 rounds.  Here were the first round picks in the Boys of Summer Draft:

  • 1 – Mike Trout, OF
  • 2 – Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  • 3 – David Wright, 3B
  • 4 – Clayton Kershaw, SP
  • 5 – Robinson Cano, 2B
  • 6 – Yadier Molina, C
  • 7 – Justin Verlander, SP
  • 8 – Felix Hernandez, SP
  • 9 – Andrew McCutchen, OF
  • 10 – Craig Kimbrel, RP
  • 11 – Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  • 12 – David Price, SP
  • 13 – Max Scherzer, SP
  • 14 – Buster Posey, C
  • 15 – Bryce Harper, OF
  • 16 – Yu Darvish, SP


And what did my team, the Urbana Locomotives, end up with?  Well, here they are: 

1 David Price SP
2 Adrian Beltre 3B
3 Aaron Hill 2B
4 Hiroki Kuroda SP
5 Cole Hamels SP
6 Alex Rios OF
7 Jimmy Rollins SS
8 Norichika Aoki OF
9 Carlos Ruiz C
10 Garrett Jones 1B
11 Nick Markakis OF
12 Jeremy Hellickson SP
13 Jonathon Papelbon RP
14 Tyler Colvin OF


I went with pitching early.  It just occurred to me now that I was going with what was comfortable later.  In rounds 11-15, I picked players who were on my Illowa APBA League Twin City Thunderchickens team.

Many thanks go to Shawn Baier as well as my fellow BoS managers for pulling this off.  It was a frustrating morning but we regrouped and found a way to do this.  I sure hope Shawn is getting some sleep now.  He’s been working real hard to make this league a success. 

While we’re not done yet (we have to schedule another day to finish the draft) we’ve got the hard part done.

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