Saturday, April 05, 2008

Gold League Championship Series

Game 1: Chuckanut Bay 1 at Plainsfield 5
The Plainsfield Hitmen toppled the Chuckanut Bay Tubas by a 5 to 1 score at Yankee Stadium. In the bottom of the 2nd inning Plainsfield scored 4 runs when they had 4 base hits. That was all Mike Mussina (1-1) needed. Neither team managed to score after the 4th inning. Kevin Millwood (1-2) ended up with the loss. Despite losing, he struckout 12 Plainsfield batters in 7 innings.

Game 2: Chuckanut Bay 6 at Plainsfield 11
David Wright smacked 2 homeruns and had 4 RBI as the Plainsfield Hitmen defeated the Chuckanut Bay Tubas 11 to 6 at Yankee Stadium. Wright had a big evening at the plate. He blasted a two-run home run in the 4th inning and smashed a two-run homer (his 3rd of the postseason) in the 6th inning. Plainsfield totaled 10 hits on the night. The win went to Scott Proctor (1-0) who allowed no runs in 1 and 1/3 innings. John Maine (1-2) absorbed the loss. He served up 4 gopher balls in 3 and 1/3 innings.

Game 3: Plainsfield 6 at Chuckanut Bay 2
At Busch Stadium the Plainsfield Hitmen easily handled the Chuckanut Bay Tubas by the score of 6 to 2. Plainsfield scored the decisive runs in a big 8th inning, scoring 2 runs on 3
hits. After an out was recorded, Matt Holliday got things going when he laced a base-hit. One out later, Jorge Posada stepped in and he laced a one-base hit which scored a run. Posada took second on the throw. Ken Griffey Jr then doubled scoring the final run of the inning. For the game Plainsfield out-hit Chuckanut Bay 12 to 6. Bronson Arroyo (2-0) picked up the victory, allowing 2 runs in 8 innings. Brian Tallet (0-1) was charged with the loss in relief. He pitched 1 inning, allowing 4 hits and no walks.

Game 4: Plainsfield 12 at Chuckanut Bay 7
Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr touched them all and had 2 RBI as the Plainsfield Hitmen topped the Chuckanut Bay Tubas by a score of 12 to 7 at Busch Stadium. Dan Wheeler (2-2) came through for Kevin Kolb with an excellent relief stint. He performed flawlessly in relief in his 2 innings and recorded 4 strikeouts lowering his postseason ERA from 3.86 to 2.70. This was the kind of game that many fans love as the lead changed hands 5 times. The losing pitcher was Duaner Sanchez (0-1) in relief. He allowed 2 hits and no walks in 1 inning.

The Hitmen absolutely jumped all over the Tubas pitching staff, hitting 10 homers in the four games. Kevin's offense was opportunistic and jumped on every miscue by the Chuckanut Bay defense. His team was clearly superior and he will be a fine representative for the Gold League in the BRASS Championship Series. Best of luck getting that 4th BRASS Championship, Kevin!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I am going to miss the amateurs

This is a test post to see if everything is good with the invite. I really liked it when we had five AMs. I enjoyed reading minor league reports, prospect lists, etc. This year I will be drafting no AMs. Dont get me wrong. I like drafts too. In fact, drafts and player acquisition are my favorte parts of strat. But to me persoanlly it is sad we have reduced our amateur numbers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rules Change Voting Results

by Vaughn Nuest

Below is a run down of how our crop of proposals fared this year. Kudos to BRASS voters for again carefully considering the proposals and voting, in most cases, in overwelming numbers one way or the other.

Over the years I've always been impressed with how clear league preferences are on most topics and how smart voters have been in assessing the best and most fair season in which to implement changes also. This year is no exception.

No matter what your position is on given topics, the league has always been so well served by its membership and how they approach these critical voting issues. Good work guys, as always. I've never been stuck with a klunker or impossible to implement or understand league change.

Commentary on the voting ....

The first Proposal, the one which synchronizes the in-season playing months with actual months, passed 21-2 (one abstention). So we will be trading now during in-season months right up to the last day of the month and then beginning play around the 7th of the following month, with a deadline for completion of games as the last day of the given month also.

It seems clear that we've dug about as deep as the league cares to dig in terms of reducing the number of amateur players on rosters and increasing the draft's strength. While league voters narrowly approved (by a 13-11 margin) a further reduction in the number of amateur players we want to see on rosters, the league strongly favored retaining two amateurs (13 votes) over both the option of one amateur (5 votes) or zero amateurs (6 votes). As with last year, this change won't take effect until the 2009 Draft. So we all have about 13 months to cut down to a total of 2 amateurs on our 2009-10 pre-draft rosters.

71% to 29% of the membership (17 yes to 7 no) voted to make another in our series of routine, cosmetic modifications to BRASS dollar amounts to make them feel just about like modern MLB salary numbers. The proposal also slightly modified the Y1, Y2, and Y3 contract amounts to bring them more closely in line with MLB entry wages and account for the salary increases that MLB players get as their early service time accrues (BRASS had a flat rate for each season with no raises). The new dollar amounts will be shown in the next roster file update, which will come out after the April 18 trade freeze begins. The new system will officially be in effect at that time.

23 of us liked the proposal that modified our player overuse fines to a graduated scale whose penalty amounts varied in direct proportion to the size of the infraction. The usage buffer concept is retained in this proposal, preserving the buffers that currently exist to cover slight manager miscalculation and other events. We definitely thought overuse fines should still exist, but that the fine should better fit the crime that our current system.

By a 14-10 margin, the league said they prefer to keep the Home/Road Discrepancy program in place as is, measuring and rewarding as it does now.23 of us also stated that we believe players who are on no-trade contracts may not be exposed to selection in The Draft and must remain on a team's protected list from here forward.

17 of the 24 of us want to see veteran players get veteran player (or "U") contracts when selected in the draft. We'll begin this with the 2008 Draft.12 people felt the current Y1 PA and IP thresholds were best and 12 wanted to see them revised slightly, as detailed in the proposal. So these thresholds will stay as they are.

By a 14-10 margin, league voters did not wish to see draftees become eligible for a month-to-month contract, irrespective of their MLB PA or IP levels. These contracts (MTM) therefore remain in the private domain of Secondary Free Agency signees.

By an 88% to 12% (21 to 3) margin, the league approved the utilization of the "B" contract minimums and not the "U" contract minimums to determine contract amounts for players re-signed after returning to their teams when no one signed them in the Free Agency process.

And in what is certainly the ballot item with the biggest impact on league play of any proposal on this list, the question of whether to eliminate the DH (and if so, when), the league voted decisively but not overwelmingly, 58% to 42% (14-10), to eliminate the DH from BRASS in the future. The 2010-11 season was selected by 13 voters as the year in which this will be implemented. The 2009-10 season was the choice of 9 voters. 2 voters wanted the DH to be gone immediately, starting with next season.

So we will all have until September 1, 2010, exactly 30 months from today, to figure out how best to plan our individual roster set up for the elimination of the DH. While I would bet the league membership is savvy enough to have done it in 3 months if they needed to, we'll have 10 times that transition period, so we will have plenty of time to make plans or discuss/vote on any special circumstances that we perceive may be part of this implementation.

I encourage you all to give some individual thought about how this change will impact your roster and while it almost sounds silly to consider how something 30 months away will impact you, time passes and things can catch up to us all. Someone like me, who has extended DH David Ortiz's contract for three seasons, will have some decisions to make before that last season comes due for me when Big Papi may not have a position on my roster anymore, other than pinch hitter.Again - great work here guys. Nothing we can't handle and implement cleanly on this list. Nothing scares me at all here from an administrative standpoint.

And from the decisive voting totals here on the topics we all liked, it certainly looks like we all decided to tweak the league in small ways to make it more fun or more to our liking, which is the point of the process.

I'll revise the constitution as I am able, as usual, to reflect our changes and get the new document out to you all.

Good luck with your draft prep!