Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Up for Grabs

Salem Witch Trials (AL)
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Currently residing in Salem, Oregon, the Witch Trials will be taking place elsewhere next season. This franchise is currently up for grabs to new ownership.

Within the AL West, the Witch Trials have been an average franchise. They have finished 3rd or 4th in the division 9 straight seasons. The have not had a winning record since season 7, but have not been too far under .500 since then. This Franchise is in need of a dedicated Owner/GM that knows how to build a winner. Currently, this franchise has some young talent and key verterans in place that will help win sooner rather than later.

Dean Counsell is currently under contract for The next 2 seasons. A key veteran for the franchise is their highest rated player. He has hit for average the last few seasons and has some pop. Defensively has been primarily a Center Fielder, though a position change might be in his very near future.

Francisco Cedeno is J5B's reigning Gold Glove winner at SS in the AL. In fact, he's won 5 straight. While at the plate, he'll strikeout a lot but will knock out a few home runs as well. He might not be a premiere run producer, but his Elite glove will certainly prevent more than a few.

At the ripe old age of 24, Kenny Judd has a lot of good time left in him. Playing a reduced role the last 2 seasons, many GM's think he's been wasted. He has great speed and a solid contact rate. An increase in playing time under new ownership might be just what he needs to really show what he can do.

Jack Garcia saw full time duty as the teams closer in season 16 and fared rather well. He has loads of talent and looks to be the teams closer for many years to come.

Rookie Tex Floyd had some growing pains in his first year in Oregon, but the 7th overall pick in season 13 still has plenty of room to grow.

The pride of the farm system has to be Skip Andrews. Some GM's say he could play in the Majors right now, but would benefit from a little more seasoning. At age 20 he destroyed High A competition. He should be ready to help the Major League club very soon.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Franchise

The franchise formally known as the Buffalo Sabres, is well positioned to contend in the AL North in season 16 and beyond. They have veteran leaders in place, like Humberto Rodriguez, Lonny Sardinha, & J5B all-time saves leader, Kane Durocher. Heading in to the prime of his career, Shortstop, Endy Lewis will be looking to build off his best season yet.

A few years removed from an ALCS appearance, Buffalo has been at the bottom of the AL North for a couple of seasons now. Although they've never been too far out of contention. With low finishes in the standings, comes higher draft position. The headliner among prospects in the organization is Pat Perisho. Coming off a Cy Young award at the AA level in season 15, Perisho may be ready to make the jump to the Major's this season and help this franchise (to be named later). 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Race to the Finish (NL)

1.  Pawtucket Paw Sox (64-27) - They have been nothing short of dominant and are on pace for 114 wins this season.  With a 24 game division lead, the Paw Sox can afford to rest players already as they prep for a playoff run.

All-Star Count - 7

Most Outstanding Player - All-Star snub Terrel Boyle (1.027 OPS)

2.  Iowa City Hawks (58-33) - A surprise second seed coming off a disappointing record last year.  New ownership and management has instantly turned this team into a contender in the NL.  With a five game division lead there is still plenty of work to be done though.  Iowa City relies on balanced pitching, defense, and offense and look like a safe bet to at least land a wild card spot.

All-Star Count - 3

Most Outstanding Player - HR Champ Antone Grilli (27 HR)

3.  Anaheim Angels (54-37) - Last season's World Series representative from the NL is having another great season.  It has been a season of extreme highs and lows for the defending NL champs though with long winning and losing streaks at different times.  They are clinging onto a slim two game lead in their division and will need a strong second half to snag a high playoff seed.

All-Star Count - 6

Most Outstanding Player - Albert Valazquez (1.037 OPS)

4.  Richmond Flying Squirrels (53-38) - After narrowly falling short of the playoffs last season, Richmond has come out on a mission this season and hold a seven game division lead.  Their young players are coming into their own and Richmond appears to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

All-Star Count - 4

Most Outstanding Player - Dicky Scheffer (1.080 OPS)

5.  Dover Destroyers (53-38) - A Wild Card team from last season, Dover has aspirations of not only making the playoffs, but taking home the division crown this year.  They trail Iowa City by just five games at the All-Star break. 

All-Star Count - 4

Most Outstanding Player - Steven Peterson (11-2 with a 1.17 WHIP)

6.  Cheyenne Primetimers (52-39) - Holding onto the sixth and final Wild Card spot will not be easy.  Cheyenne may have multiple ways to get into the playoffs though as they are only two games out of the division lead.  Needless to say, they will need to continue to play well down the stretch unless they want to start golf season early.

All-Star Count - 1

Most Outstanding Player - Julio Montanez (9-1 with a 2.96 ERA)

7.  San Diego American Kings (47-44) - On the outside looking in right now, the American Kings will need to continue their good play as of late for the rest of the year.  They are currently running third in their division, but are only five games out of the final Wild Card spot.  This team is built on pitching and they'll need to continue to paint the corners the rest of the way to earn a trip into the postseason.

All-Star Count - 1

Most Outstanding Player - Chris Jarvis (28 Saves)

8.  Mexico City Matadors (46-45) - A playoff team by the skin of their teeth last season, Mexico City is desperately trying to get back to the postseason again.  This team is young and may be a year or two away, but that hasn't stopped them from fighting.  They are currently six games out of the last Wild Card spot.  New GM citizenkyle2 has been more active then anyone pulling off a major league leading 10 trades prior to the All-Star break.

All-Star Count - 0

Most Outstanding Player -Rookie Sensation Henry Weinhardt (97 K's with at 2.99 ERA)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trades In Review

The half way point of the season is rapidly approaching, and we'll be reviewing some the bigger trades that have gone down so far in Johnny5Bench.

First up...

Pablo Zapata & Skip Kershaw traded to the Texas Coyotes.


Jack Cooper & Lonny Merchado traded to the Arizona Border Patrol. 

Pablo Zapata
Age: 31B/T: R/R
Born: Moca, DO
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Zapata was a target of the Coyotes in season 14 but wasn't able to come to an agreement on a trade. With new Arizona GM, tnicol44, coming in for season 15, a deal was struck that filled needs for both clubs. Zapata was the biggest name involved in the trade and had big shoes to fill. He has taken over for Coyote's all-time saves leader Julian Marquez as the teams closer. In 33 appearances this year, Zapata owns a 3-1 record, converting 21 of 23 save opportunities. His 1.87 ERA and .98 WHIP lead the teams pitching staff this season. Zapata looks be be headed to the All-Star game for the first time since his season 10 appearance with Oakland.

Skip Kershaw
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Iroquois, SD
Position(s): P (SP5)
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Kershaw was more of a throw in to the deal. A decent prospect that hadn't lived up to his talent, is now in his 3rd organization in 4 years. Last year at AA, Kershaw was lit up on a regular basis posting a 6.60 ERA & 1.76 WHIP while coming out of the bullpen. Certainly not encouraging numbers. However, now with Texas, he has turned it around. Moving back to the starting rotation and repeating his time at AA, Kershaw is taking advantage of his second chance, earning himself a 2.55 ERA 1.17 WHIP.

Jack Cooper
Border Patrol
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Groveland, CA
Position(s): SS/IF/OF/DH
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Jack Cooper has all the skills needed to be a good starting shortstop in the Major Leagues. So far this season he has shown flashes of what he could be down the road, but so far as really struggled to put all together consistently. He is hitting just .212 with an OBP of .273. He has never been a power hitter so his 1 homerun is no shock, but the low AVG an OBP really is compared to his career in the minors, where he hit .294 with a .382 OBP. As far as defense is concerned, Cooper has above average range, good glove and the arm strength needed to stay at SS in the majors. Like his hitting, he has struggled in the field. With 16 errors so far he hasn't blown anybody away with his defense, although Cooper leads the American League with a 5.98 RF. 

Lonny Mercado
Border Patrol
Age: 25B/T: L/L
Born: Wolf Lake, IL
Position(s): P (SuB)
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Lonny Machado had been in the Coyotes system for all 3 of his professional seasons. As a late inning pitcher during his 3 year minor league career, Machado has a 3.75 ERA and 1.33 WHIP during that span. Including a 3.23 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in AAA last season for the Coyotes. Machado was the odd man out when the Coyotes had 3 openings in their bullpen they were hoping to fill with youth from the farm. And with that, he was available to help another organization. So far, he hasn't shown much of his potential in the stats department. His 8.46 ERA and 2.01 WHIP this season, show that there is a lot of room for improvement. The major issue for him this year has been the development of his slider. He hasn't been able to throw it effectively, leaving opposing hitters ready to jump on his plus fastball. If Machado can improve his slider he has a shot to be a good Major Leaguer. If not, it'll be more of the same and a shorter ML career than most were expecting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Angel In The Outfield

Jake Benson
Age: 32B/T: L/L
Born: Arlington, WA
Position(s): LF
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The biggest name in free agency, among positional players, this off-season was Jake Benson. The biggest name, got the biggest contract as Benson signed a 5yr. $75 million deal with the Anaheim Angels.

The defending National League champions will pay Benson $10 million up front as a signing bonus and then pay out $13 million over the course of his first year. From there, the contract is $16M in year two, $14M in year three, & $12M in year four. The fifth year of the contract comes in the form of a mutual option, where Benson can opt out of the deal and become a free agent at the age of 36 or the Angels can buy out the remaining year for $2.5 million.

Benson is a former Rookie of the Year winner, 5-time Silver Slugger, & 6-time All-Star. He is a career .282 hitter, with a .376 OBP, 215 homeruns and 1598 hits. The most impressive stat on Benson's resume is his 811 career stolen bases. Ranking 2nd all-time, Benson is 87 steals behind Vinny Simon for the J5B record. Based on his stolen base numbers from the last 3 years, Benson could potentially pass Simon this year as Simon still is not officially retired, but was out of baseball in season 14 and has yet to sign with an organization for this year.

Keep your eyes on the base paths this year in Anaheim.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teams Up For Grabs

AL East - Formerly based in Atlanta, this team finished just one game shy of a wild card birth last season, finishing 93 - 69. Is in one of the leagues tougher divisions, since the emergence of the Boston Patriots to go with the Huntington Yankdawgs as legit championship contenders. An experienced GM may be just what the franchise needs to help, stud pitcher, Scooter Lee. A consistent Cy Young contender and still just 27 years of age, Lee is the leader of this club and ready to bring them to the post-season.

AL South - The former Monterrey Express franchise is changing  GMs for the first time since the J5B world started 14 seasons ago. This franchise is need of some direction. They have been left out of the post season 8 straight years, though it seems like improvement could easily be made. In the last 8 years, they've finished no worse than 63-99, but no better than 78-84. With young guys like Asdrubal Santiago making up most of the ML roster and 21 year old William Barfield ready to make a ML impact in season 15, the future looks much brighter than the past with this franchise.

AL West - Mostly based out of Oakland over the life of the franchise, this team is the overall best, for anyone looking to contend right away. Making the playoffs 7 straight years and 9 of the last 10, this franchise is the home of Season 14 AL MVP - Ramon Shin & Cy Young award winner William DeJean. The best part? They aren't even the best rated players on the team. That honor goes to the likes of 26 year old, Juan Dominguez & 21 year old, Benji Rosado. Not to mention the veteran leader of the pitching staff, Benito Tejada. This team is ready to win now and is in a great position to keep it up for years to come.

AL WEST (2) - The distractions of playing in Las Vegas may be to blame for this franchises run of mediocrity over the years. Looking for a new GM for the first time in the organizations life, this team could use someone with a plan. A plan good enough to take out the former Oakland franchise (World Series champions in season 12) & defending champion, Salt Lake City. This is a great team for someone looking for a challenge. With one of the best defensive shortstops in the game today (Francisco Cedeno), number one starter Howard Truman isn't the only piece this franchise has as it tries to build toward a championship.

AL West (3) - This franchise is the closest thing J5B has to the definition of consistent. Only problem is, it has been consistently bad. But even the least experienced GM's know that with a bad major league team, comes stacked farm systems. If you want young cheap potential All-Stars to build your franchise around, this is your team. 24 year old, Geronimo Morales leads this teams ML player rater. But with guys like  Chance Daley, Ben Tam, & Vic Lopez flying through the minor league ranks, this franchise is ready to break out very, very soon.

NL East - Trying to take away the division lead from the Sox of Pawtucket is no easy task. But certainly a task worth taking on. With 4 time All-Star and former MVP, Benji Marquez leading the way, 19 game winner Octavio Martin & the power bat of Jade Scalici stand a top the player rater for this former Durham team. Oh... and don't forget about Rob O'Leary. His best years are just a head, as this 27 year old looks forward into the prime of his career.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Rochester Horrorshow Announce the Retirement of Lewis Standridge

The Rochester Horrorshow announced today that future Hall of Fame 1B Lewis Standridge has chosen to retire. The Horrorshow will give Standridge his unconditional release as a formality. Standridge's 2,500th hit and the stirring Lewis Standridge Night stand as the shining moments in this season for the Horrorshow. "We will always cherish the time Lewis spent with our team," Horrorshow management said today. "We certainly want to do right by a future Hall of Famer, and give him a chance to enjoy his retirement early than intended.


Lewis Standridge had 51 hits in 231 at-bats with ten doubles and four home runs in 79 games for the Horrorshow. The Horrorshow have promoted OF Glenn Maybin from AAA to fill the roster spot.


The Rochester Horrowshow did today deny the scurrilous rumors that they always intended to release Standridge when he accomplished his milestone 2,500th hit. "This was far from the rumored publicity ploy. We consider Lewis an important member of the Horrorshow family, and we would have been proud to see Lewis play the entire season in Rochester."


The Publicity Manager of the Rochester Horrorshow wishes to thank the Horrorshow organization for affording his the opportunity to use the word "scurrilous" in two straight press leases. He will cherish and enjoy the case of Genesee Cream Ale he won in the wager.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Let the Celebration Begin!

The Rochester Horrowshow are proud to announce that Lewis Standridge, future Hall of Famer, has accomplished the goal of 2,500 hits! In the second inning of Game 94 of the Horrorshow season, Lewis hit a line-drive single to Right-Center Field off pitcher Tony Alberro of the Boston Patriots to finally cross the line and set off jubilation all across the great city of Rochester.


The Rochester Horrorshow will celebrate Lewis Standridge Night with Game 96 Saturday afternoon, as the fanatics of Rochester greet the returning Horrorshow in their epic battle with the Huntingdon Yankdogs. We look forward to lauding the great Mr. Standridge for his amazing career.


The Rochester Horrorshow also wish all the best regards to the legendary Henry Bravo, recently traded to the Chicago Death Panel in exchange for reliever Julian Riley and new prospects pitcher Danys Ordaz and OF Rich Simpson. The Horrorshow welcome the new member of our family, and look forward to cheering on the exploits of Henry Bravo with the Death Panel.


The Rochester Horrowshow do wish to deny the scurrilous rumors that the Horrorshow has protested Little Sisters of the Poor for their upcoming "Burn a Horrorshow Jersey in Effigy" Night. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Horrorshow has donated a number of "Henny the Horrorshow Heifer" jerseys and Henry Bravo bobbleheads to this valuable cause.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

AL 1st half power rankings

1. Oakland Knightmare
Current record 55-33

Two words. William DeJean. This pitcher is the early CY favorite. This stud is leading the AL in ERA, Wins, WHIP, OBP, and SLG.  He's 12-1 with a 1.97 ERA. Wow. He's not the only reason the Knightmare are tops on our power rankings. The pitching as a whole are among the AL leaders in key stats and are a main reason for the teams success. But if you think that pitching is the only weapon the Knightmare bring, think again. This offense is scary good and as a whole are second in every single stat. CF Jaun Dominguez leads the AL in OBP, OPS and Walks and will be in the MVP race. Joining him is 1B Ramon Shin. He is tops in the AL in HR, and RBI. Couple those guys with Doubles machine and AL Runs leader Mark Ramsey and you can see why this team leads the list and will be a force in the AL all season.

2. Huntington yankdawgs
Current record 54-34

Offense, offense, offense. Where do you even begin? Huntington is number two on our AL power rankings only because of current record. The yankdawgs lead the AL in almost every single offensive stat: Runs, Hrs, RBI, Walks, SLG, OBP. These guys should change their name to the OPS Gang. The starting lineup reads like an All-Star lineup. DH Angel Rosado will be in the MVP race. This slugger is hitting .331 and has an 1.059 OPS with 26 HR and 68 RBI. RF Russell Hobbs is having an outstanding season. He is second in the AL in SB and Walks and has over 100 hits to go along with his AL leading 30 Doubles and is hitting .315 with a .433 OBP. We could throw out names all day: Davey Navarro, Timothy Evans, Mariano Johnson. All having solid seasons. The yankdawgs pitching staff comes at you hard and is second in the AL in Strike Outs and Wins and are led by ace Pat Kirk who is 10-2 with a 3.45 ERA. It's going to be hard to stop this team.

3. Salt Lake City Sundance Kids
Current record 52-36

Salt Lake City maybe the best all-around team in the AL. They definitely bring dominate pitching to the table. listen to this rotation: 4 time CY winner Richard O'Neill is 7-7 with a 3.01 ERA and 3 CG, Strikeout machine Louie Guapo is 8-2 witha 2.98 ERA and Richard Prieto is 9-3 with a 3.24 ERA. Unstoppable is this group. The Pitching as a whole lead the AL in major stats: ERA, WHIP, SLG, OBP and have only given up 287 ER and 713 hits, both tops in the AL. If you manage to still be in the game at the end, you have to deal with Danys Mesa who is only 16 of 17 in Saves with a 2.17 ERA. Quite a challenge. But Pitching isn't the only thing opposing teams have to worry about. This offense can hit. They can hit so good, they lead the AL in Hits and AVG, making the Kids one tough nut to crack. This team is very dangerous and commands respect. Expect this team to be in contention at the end.

4. Boston Patriots
Current record 52-36

The Patriots are a tough group of baseball players. Though they have to contend with the mighty yankdawgs as division rivals, this team is flourishing and are number 4 in our power rankings. Let's start with pitching as to why this team is successful. The staff ace Brandon Murphy is having a solid season and is 9-3 with a 2.94 ERA. The ageless Bump Milliard has 26 saves already and may be in the Fireman discussion if he lowers his ERA a bit. The pitching as a whole, though not tops in any major categories, are right up there and are solid enough to not hurt this team as the season continues. Similar story with offense. With everyone looking at Huntington's and Oakland's offensive numbers, the Pats are surprising the AL with how great they are. They are right there behind the bigs in almost all key stats. Super Stud David Manuel leads this offense hitting .318 with a .397 OBP. He is among the AL leaders in everything: Hits, Runs, Walks, SLG, OPS and has the 3rd longest hitting streak this season at 21 games. It doesn't stop there. Slugger Marino Camacho has 25 bombs and is 2nd in the AL with 82 RBI. Hit brothers Raul Tatis and Dick Hamels have 115 and 117 hits respectively, with Tatis also leading the AL with 40 SB and is hitting .300. Amazing. This team will give Huntington all they can handle.

5. Kansas City Burnt Ends
Current record 50-38

The Burnt Ends come in at number 5 in the power rankings. Though they lack a real slugger, they make up for it by hitting for AVG. Tom Nady, Gustavo Infante and Willie Alomar are all hiting above .300 and are solid. If we are talking about K.C.'s offense, then we need to talk about Cristobal "crystal ball" Terrero. he is second in the AL in AVG hitting .348 and also second with a .447 OBP. This MVP contender is among the leaders in Walks, Doubles, SLG and OPS and is the top dog on this offense which also leads the AL in Doubles and are second  with 106 Stolen Bases. Impressive. Now the Pitching. The Burnt Ends have a couple of quality starters in Mike Benard who is 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA and Howie Sosa who is 6-2 with an incredible 1.32 ERA. These guys bring it every time they are on the mound and always give K.C. a chance to win. Perhaps more impressive than the starters, are the Burnt Ends bullpen. Closer Thomas Benitez has 14 saves with a 2.79 ERA. This is only the beginning. To get to the closer, opposing teams have to face Neil Howe and his 1.71 ERA and Vinny " pass the" Ducey "on the left hand side" and his 1.93 ERA! Incredible. You had better get to this team early, or you have no shot at winning. The pitching staff as a whole are second in the AL in ERA and ER, third in WHIP and OBP and fourth in SLG. Very tough team to beat. K.C. have their hands full with div rival and number 6 on our list Chicago.

6. Chicago Death Panel
Current record 49-39

It goes to show how tough the AL is this year when a team like the Death Panel are number 6 on the power rankings. The Panel's offense ranks 3rd in the AL in many stats: AVG, SLG, OPS, HRs and doubles and are 4th in Hits. Brian Sanders is very good. This stud is hitting .329 with a .380 OBP, and leads the AL with 124 Hits. Other players are hitting excellent as well: Jamie "shannon" Dougherty is hitting .308, Vin Martin is hitting .306 and Gill Martin is hitting .300. Quite a lineup there. If this team had any kind of speed at all, they'd be unstoppable, ranking second to last in SB with only 27. But as good as the offense is, the strength of the Death Panel is their pitching. This staff leads the AL with 681 Strikeouts and are 3rd in SLG and Hits and are among the leaders in ERA, WHIP, OAV and ER. Todd Sullivan has 20 saves, 4th best in the AL. The rotation is very tough to beat. Francisco Duran is 7-3 with a 3.30 ERA. Alex Sanders is 7-4 with a 2.95 ERA. But the ace is Raymond Forbes. This flamethrower and Cy Young contender is leading the AL with 121 Strikeouts and is 11-4 with 3.51 ERA and is the main reason why Chicago is on the power rankings. K.C. cant let up at all or this team will overtake them. This team could surprise many in the AL when the post season hits.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Join the Horrorshow and Lewis Standridge for the Countdown to 2,500!

The Rochester Horrorshow want all of their remaining fans to come out to Frontier Field and root on Lewis Standridge to his 2,500th hit! The countdown stands at just 5 hits to go!

Tickets are still available for the Horrorshow's upcoming homestand, featuring four games against the Iowa City Rockhoppers and three games against the Salt Lake City Sundance Kids!

Game One of the Rockhoppers series features Rochester Tourism Council Henry Bravo Bobblehead Night, available to our fans 15 and younger!

Game Three of our Rockhoppers series will be the ever-popular 80's Night, brought to you by the Rochester Record Depot! Come remember when!

Game Four of the Rockhoppers series will be the annual Rochester Fire Department Fireworks Night! Always a blast!

The Rochester Horrowshow wish all condolences to the family of "Henny the Horrorshow Heifer," who passed away Friday night following her recent bout with Mad Cow Disease. The Horrorshow will be holding a Henny the Horrorshow Heifer Memorial Night during Game Two of our series with the Sundance Kids. All in attendance will receive a black velvet portrait of our favorite heifer in all her glory, sponsored by the Rochester Beef Council.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NL 1st quarter power rankings

1. Dover Destroyers
Current record 34-15

Life is good in Dover this season. The Destroyers, coming off their first division title in Dover last season, are sitting atop the NL power rankings. Deservedly so.The Dover pitching staff is leading the NL in Wins and Strikeouts. The bullpen has been stellar so far with newly acquired Fernando Mercedes having a dominating season. He is 7-0 with a 2.81 ERA coming out of the pen. His bright light could only be shadowed by super closer and early NL Fireman Award favorite Luther Riggs, who is a perfect 18 for 18 in Save opportunities with a .52 ERA and a "don't mess with me" attitude. The Destroyers have another standout this season in Early ROY frontrunner Jose "taco" Toca who has 22 bombs and 50 RBI while hitting .289. Dover has their hands full with Div. rival and number 2 on our NL power rankings Toronto.

2. Toronto Elite Thunder Bolts
Current record 33-16

Toronto fans have every reason to be happy this season. Though the team had off year last season, the Bolts are proving it was just an anomaly, bringing back the pride the team has seen because of 90+ wins in 7 of the last 9 seasons and three straight Div crowns in seasons 10-12. The fans are loving the fact that their team are among the NL leaders in SB, Doubles, Triples, Walks, ERA, Whip, ER, Wins, and lead the NL in Saves. This formula has made the Bolts " Bad Muddas" not to be taken lightly and have been giving opposing teams headaches because of the many ways they can beat you. This team will not go quietly into the night and has put the NL on notice " We will put you on your ass, so you better bring it". Dover beware.

3. Anaheim Angels
Current record 31-18

The Angels has lived up to the Pre-season hype. Though if you ask anyone walking the streets in Anaheim, they will tell you it's business as usual. This team has won 4 straight Div. crowns and 5 straight 90+ win seasons. The strength of the Angels is their NL leading Fielding % defense and dominating pitching staff, which as a whole are leading the NL in ERA, WHIP, SLG, and OBP. Quite impressive. At the top of this staff is the three-headed monster of Al Terrero, Jimmie Wright, and Andrea James. Opposing teams can never catch a break with this rotation. Terrero is having a Cy Young caliber year. He is a perfect 8-0 and leads the NL with an amazing 1.89 ERA. He is also tops in OBP and shares the NL lead in WHIP with Wright. Wright is second only to Terrero in OBP, and has a perfect 5-0 record. And if that wasnt enough to cause opposing fans to jump off the Vincent Thomas Bridge, The Angels come at you with James who is 5-3 with a 2.25 ERA. Suicide help lines across the National League are experiencing  a higher than normal volume of calls.

4. Pawtucket Paw Sox
Current record 29-20

Pawtucket has it all. Hugh Adams is a stud. The early Cy Young favorite is kicking ass. He is an incredible NL leading 10-1 with a 2.19 ERA. Adams leads the NL with 3 complete games. But it doesnt stop there. Oh no. Weldon Hughes is solid again this year. The two-time CY winnner is 5-3 with a 3.41 ERA. Couple that with an offense that is leading the NL in AVG, OBP, Triples, Doubles, and Hits, and is second in RBI and Runs scored, and what you get is a recipe for disaster for the rest of the National League. Former 2 -time MVP and GG CF Jose Rosado is an early MVP contender again. He is flat-out raking it and leads the NL AVG (.370) amd Hits (70). He is also second in the NL in OPS and is among the NL leaders in SLG, OBP, Walks, RBI, HR, and Doubles. Rosado also has the top current hitting streak, hitting safely in the last 10 games. Despite a semi-slow start and injuries, Pawtucket has everyone's number, and won't be stopped. Look for this team to top the power rankings in the future.

5. Durham Nuke LaLoosh's
Current record 29-20

Durham is not phased at all by Pawtucket. The attitude in the clubhouse all season has been "screw Pawtucket, those bastards can write us off if they want to, but we are not afraid of the dirty Sox". SP Octavio Marin is doing his part and is a CY contender. He is 8-1 with a 2.99 ERA. He is second in the NL in IP, and Strikeouts. Marin also leads the NL with 2 Shutouts. Durhams pitching staff as a whole are with the NL leaders in ERA,WHIP, SO, and Saves. Perhaps more remarkable is the season former MVP 1B Benji Marquez is having. This stud is a MVP favorite and is first in the NL with 27 HR, 60 RBI, 46 Runs scored and is SLG .735. Marquez is 3rd in OPS and among the NL leaders in AVG, OBP,Walks, and Hits. The Nuke LaLoosh's have another weapon in Josh Ryan who has 20 SB, and is leading the NL in Triples. This team has a "die trying" attitude and will not back down from anyone. Least of all the mighty Paw Sox. Watch out.

6. Jackson BigAss Trucks
Current record 27-22

The biggest surprise in the power rankings this season are the Trucks. "We have been on nobody's radar, and we like it that way" says Cf Phillip Morgan. " we embrace the underdog label and take great joy in shoving our success down the throats of the powerhouses. The Trucks are on the map baby, no one should takes us lightly". This feeling abounds in the clubhouse, as the Trucks continue to show the NL that the rebuild is over and that Jackson is for real. The team has no real superstud allstars, but are successful by being a solid all-around team. The fans have responded as well, packing Boon Stadium every night, and causing ownership to commit to a new era of winning baseball from here on out. The Trucks are a big FA or two away from really contending but are on the right course and should be taken seriously. Nice work Sjstapleton.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Horrorshow Announce Call-Up

The Rochester Horrowshow announced today that they have recalled star prospect Juan Jacquez to the majors.  Jacquez, a 26-year-old catching prospect, will assume the Designated Hitter position effectively immediately.  Jacquez hit 10 home runs and 22 RBI with a 1.066 OPS in just 28 games this season in AAA.  
"We wish we could have called Juan up at the beginning of the season, Horrorshow management said today, "but we needed to keep our eye on the economic realities of the arbitration system. We welcome Juan to Frontier Field, and look for good things."
The Horrorshow announced that Jacquez's promotion would cause the move of the legendary Lewis Standridge into a role as pinch-hitter and occasional 1B. Standridge stands just 25 hits shy of the 2,500 hit mark.
"We remain committed to seeing Lewis attain the 2,500 hit mark as a member of the Horrorshow. That momentous mark will stand as one of the highlights of this long season."
The Horrowshow also expressed their thanks to the Little Sisters of the Poor Grammar School for their continued prayers to St. Jude Thaddeus, Patron Saint of lost causes.
"It warms our hearts to hear of their continued devotion in these troubled times. We pray that the Horrorshow is respectable for their children's children."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Season 14 AL playoff predictions

1. Salt Lake City Sundance Kids
Last season's record- 105-57
Notable transactions
   Resign- P Phil Aoki, SS Carlos Borbon, 1B Tom Nickle
   FA losses- DH Trenidad Castillo, P Rudy Matusz, 2B Cam Gutierrez
   Promoted- Darren Spencer
   Option pick-up- P Richard O'Neill
   Traded for C Mickey Orie and P Pepe Amaral from Chicago.

The Kids had a very busy offseason. Amaral should shore up an already great pitching staff. Retaining O'Neill was huge along with the promotion of Spencer. The offense, though lefty dominated, should be more than enough for this staff to win. Expect this team to be great. The Kids win total will probably drop slightly from last season because of a more competitive AL.

Season 14 prediction- 103-61

2. Huntington yankdawgs
Last season's record- 102-60
Notable transactions
   FA losses- 2B Edgardo Torres
   Promoted- 2B Heinie Ramirez, P Rico Feliz

Huntington had a quiet offseason with most transactions being handled through arbitration. While the loss of Torres is huge, the dawgs couple a young power hitting offense with a good staff. The rivalry this season with Boston will be intense and cost the yankdawgs a chance to compete for the 1 seed. The dawgs will win the div. and the number two seed at the end.

Season 14 prediction- 99-63

3. Texas Coyotes
Last season's record- 91-71
Notable transactions
   Resign-3B Lyle Pearson, P Greg Franco
   Option pick-up- P Albert Castillo

The Coyotes didnt do much this offseason, but they didnt have too. They are solid enough on offense though they lack a real power slugger and have the best pitching staff in their div. Though Jacksonville will be better this season, the Coyotes should easily win their div and the number 3 seed.

Season 14 prediction 89-73

4. Chicago Death Panel
Last season's record- 81-81
Notable transactions
   Resign- LF Tyler Fingers
   FA losses- RF Dizzy Murphy, 3B Victor Candelaria
   Promoted- Francisco Duran
   Traded for SS Kevin Smith from SLC

The loss of Candelaria will certainly hurt the Panel this year, but the trade for Simpson makes up for it. The promotion of Duran shores up the back end of this rotation and gives the Panel one of the better pitching staffs in the AL. The battle for the division and 4 seed will be one to watch this season with Chicago, K.C., and Buffalo battling it out. Though the rivalry will be intense, the Death Panel will pull away and secure the 4 seed.

Season 14 prediction- 87-75

5 wildcard. Boston Patriots
Last season's record- 96-66
Notable transactions
   FA signing- LF Pepper James
   Resign- P Bump Milliard
   Contract extension- David Manuel

The Patriots are a stacked team with good offense and pitching. If not for being in Huntington's division, this team could easily be a number 2 seed. They took care of in-house business this offseason resigning Milliard and locking up ace David Manuel for the next 3 seasons. The Pats will challenge Huntington for the division, but will just fall short at the end and will end up the top Wildcard spot.

Season 14 prediction- 98-64

6 wildcard. Oakland Knightmare
Last season's record- 90-72
Notable transactions
   Fa signing- P Karim Farr, SS Clint Hudek
   FA losses- P Jimmie Wright, 2B Joel Schofield
   Contract Extension- 1B Ramon Shin, LF Jeffrey Fitzgerald.

The Knightmare have a potent offense and good pitching and will suffer from being in SLC's division. They locked up key players Shin and Fitzgerald this offseason and brought in Farr to help stem the loss of Wright. Though they will be challenged by K.C., the Knightmare will win the final WC spot.

Season 14 prediction- 88-74

Wildcard contenders
Kansas City Burnt Ends
   Season 14 prediction- 84-79
Las Vegas Legends
   Season 14 prediction- 83-78
Buffalo Sabres
   Season 14 prediction-81-81

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The International

Brayan Jennings
BigAss Trucks
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Cahirciveen, IE
Position(s): 2B
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

The Jackson BA Trucks made the first International prospect signing of the year when they inked Ireland's Brayan Jennings to a minor league contract, including a $12.9 million signing bonus. The 20 year old second baseman, will report to Jackson's rookie league camp to start season 14.

Jennings has all the tools to become an everyday major leaguer. He shows good patience at the plate and will make good contact. He should have the power to hit 15-20 homeruns in the majors as he fills out in the coming years. The one concern scouts have is with his defense. He's shown good enough range to perhaps stay at second base, but his glove may end up being better suited for the outfield once he hits the majors.

While he has been assigned to rookie camp, he is expected to move through the lower levels of the minors fairly quickly. I would expect to see him make his major league debut by season 17.

Season 14 NL Playoff Predictions

1. Pawtucket Paw Sox
Last seasons record- 105-57
Notable transactions
   FA signings- 2B Edgardo Torres
   Resign (via FA)- P Felipe Domingo, CF Jose Rosado
   Option pick-up- P Jose Gonzalez

The Paw Sox are poised to do it again, and are pre season favorites to win the National League. With the addition of Torres, the Paw Sox's offense should roll. Though the team is getting older, they still have what it takes with enough pitching to see them through.

Season 14 prediction- 101-61

2. Anaheim Angels
Last seasons record- 97-65
Notable transactions
   FA signings- 3B Victor Candelaria, P Jimmie Wright
   FA losses- P Felipe Melo, P Tony Rivera, P Doug Hunt
   Option pick-up- P Andrea James
   Traded for- P Al Terrero from Cheyenne

The Angels had a very busy offseason losing many notable pitchers, but with the additions of Wright and Terrero, have more than made up for it and should compete with the Paw Sox for the number 1 seed. With the addition of Candelaria at the hot corner, the Angels should improve from their 97 wins a season ago.

Season 14 prediction- 100-62

3. Richmond Flying Squirrels
Last seasons record- 87-75
Notable transactions
   FA signings- P Mike Ramsey, P Patrick Leary
   FA losses- P David Frias, 1B Benito Lopez
   Traded for- 2B Bernard Hayes from Oakland

The Flying Squirrels did not have a busy offseason, but made impact moves. Hayes should more than fill the hole at 2B and be a productive contributor. The FA additions of pitchers Ramsey and Leary should shore up the bullpen and give the Squirrels one of the better pitching staffs in the NL. The team should improve from 87 wins and achieve the number 3 seed.

Season 14 prediction- 93-69

4. Dover Destroyers
Last seasons record- 86-76
Notable transactions
   FA signings- P Fernando Mercedes, P Hub Moriarty
   FA losses- P Albert Kingsdale, P Sammy Myette
   Traded for-C Lou Clapp from Fargo, P Cody Parrish from OK City, P Stu Bryant from Rochester

The Destroyers have made many changes to the pitching staff with lots of turnover. All for the good. The addition of lefty slugger Lou Clapp should help the Destoryers improve upon their 86 wins and beat out Fargo for the number 4 seed.

Season 14 prediction- 90-72

5 Wildcard. Boise Half Horse
Last seasons record- 87-75
Notable transactions
   FA signings-P Felipe Melo
   Resign- P Matty Cruz
   FA losses- P Don Martin, LF Diego Sanchez

The Half Horse are a solid team that could be a number 4-3 seed if not for the fact that they are in the same division as Anaheim. Though they could improve their pitching, the Half Horse offense should propel them to the top WC spot.

Season 14 prediction- 90-72

6 Wildcard. Fargo Funky Flamingos
Last seasons record- 84-78
Notable transactions
   FA signings- SS Troy Norton, RF Yamil Henriquez
   Resign- P Miguel Manzanillo, C Chuck Jorgensen
   FA losses- 2B Hawk Lambert, P Patrick Leary
   Waiver claim- P Dorio Hubbard

The Flamingos signaled last season that the rebuild was over winning 84 games and earning WC honors. This season, the competition with Durham fpr the final WC spot should be intense with the Flamingos just beating them out and making the post season.

Season 14 prediction 87-75

Wildcard contenders
Durham Nuke LaLoosh's- Season 14 prediction- 86-76
Toronto Elite Thunder Bolts- Season 14 prediction- 85-77
Cheyenne Primetimers-Season 14 prediction- 85-77

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Season 14!!!

AAAAHHHHH, another season here in J5B! Time for stadium goers to dust off their team jerseys and oil up the gloves and  TV watchers to prep their spouses on the lack of attention they will recieve for the next few months. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Spring Training is upon us! The smell of freshly mowed grass is here. The cold spring air anticipates the smell of wet clay and chewing tobacco. The nightmares of seasons past are laid aside. This is our year!!!  Our teams will be victorious!!! On this day, we will not doubt, we will not fear! Come with me my J5B brothers. Our journey to Title Town starts now! Play ball!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HOF Can Wait

Pepper James
Age: 37B/T: R/R
Born: Polson, MT
Position(s): CF/CIF/2B/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Future Hall of Famer, Pepper James, has signed a one year deal with the Boston Patriots worth $1.7 million. The deal ends speculation that James may hang up his cleats after the eight time All-Star struggled last season in Houston. James hit .259 with an OBP of .335 last season, while hitting 15 home runs and driving in 74. These numbers aren't terrible compared to the average major leaguer, but when you're talking about a player like James we've all come to expect the .317/.437 32/108 line he put up just two seasons ago during his MVP campaign in season 11'. One major league scout said, "He's still talented, still driven. He's just 37 years old."

The $1.7 million owed to James is a far cry from the $15 million he was scheduled to make this year, before he and Houston agreed to a buy out. James confirmed today that it wasn't the money he was after. "I love this game, and I still have a passion for it. I wasn't sure what opportunities would be available to me, but I'm still close with Raul [Tatis] and we talked about how cool it would be to play together again. When [Boston GM] Nate called and offered me a job, it really was a no brainer." Tatis and James were teammates on the J5B champion Tractor Pulls of season 6.

The Patriots All-Star Center fielder, had this to say about his friend. "I'm thrilled to have him here. He's a great talent, a great teammate and a great friend. He's just happy to be here and whatever kind of role he's in, he'll embrace and work as hard as he can to help us win a World Series."

James projects to primarily contribute offensively off the bench and have occasional DH duties. Though his invaluable leadership ability and experience will play a much bigger role in helping the defending AL Champion Patriots get back to the World Series.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LA's newest Angels

Victor Candelaria
Age: 32B/T: R/R
Born: Elias Pina, DO
Position(s): 3B/MIF/RF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Jimmie Wright
Age: 31B/T: R/R
Born: Andrews, TX
Position(s): P (SP1)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Victor Candelaria is one of the newest members of the LAA Angels, as the 32 year old former All-Star signed a new 3 year deal worth $7.5 million annually. The type A free agent will cost the Halos their first round pick in this years amateur draft, where the DeathPanel will will now pick at number 32.

Candelaria sports a .265 lifetime AVG and .336 OBP, but it's his glove that has most people talking. The life-long short-stop is projected to move to third base for this upcoming season. A move that new fielding instructor Seth Young says has "Gold Glove potential".

Another new addition is two time World Series champion & All-Star, Jimmie Wright. Wright signed his new deal early Wednesday morning. The deal is being reported as a four year $40.5 million deal, with a mutual option for a fifth year at $8 million.

Over his first six major league seasons Wright has an ERA of 3.58 and a 1.28 WHIP, while also bringing home two World Series rings with the Bay City Bullies organization. An experience he hopes to share again with his new teammates.

Two major signings for an already competitive Angels team make them an early favorite for the NL West.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meet Halfhorse

Halfhorse has been a part of J5B since season 10 and turned a losing team into a two-time Wild Card team.

Name: Mike

Age: Just turned 50. Yeah, that's hard to type and even harder to say (Editor's note-man, you're old!!!:-).

Marital status: Single

Kids: None- but have three cool nephews and three sweet nieces.

Occupation: Sports writer- won 16 career writing awards (including three national ones) while covering an NFL team and college sports for a Southern Californian newspaper. Currently write MLB, NBA, college football and college hoops reviews and recaps for one company, handle a college basketball conference weekly report for another company that runs on the major sports Web sites, cover the home games of a Division I college basketball program for the nation's leading wire service, do freelance sports coverage work for a local newspaper and use any available free time to chime in on sports on my own personal sports blog (Editor's note- wow, very impressive).

Do you know any J5B owners: Nope, not a single one.

Favorite HBD moment: Hopefully coming with my first playoff series win. In only my fourth season of doing this and currently making second postseason appearance.

Favorite J5B player: Can't say I have one yet. When one of my draft choices makes it big, perhaps then.

Favorite sports teams: When I was a kid, I adored the Padres and Chargers. Journalistic objectivity/ethics and the rude way athletes, coaches, general managers and owners treat you quickly prevent you from ever again having a favorite (Editor's note-I'm saddened by that).

Favorite Band: John Waite, former lead singer of The Babys and Bad English in addition to being a longtime solo act. Dynamic live performer too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet Burk

Burk was here for the inauguration of J5B, and won the AL South in season 1 and was a WC in season 2.

Name: Kevin

Age: 44

Marital status: Single. Never married.

Kids: No kids

Occupation: Special Ed teacher and high school assistant baseball/head girls golf coach. I do know two professional sports athletes because I coached them when they were growing up. There names -PGA Golfer- J.B. Holmes and 3B Zack Cox-currently AA ball in the Cardinals organization. I'm proud of both those guys.

Do you know any J5B owners: I know no owners.

Favorite HBD moment: My favorite moment is when my team in Edmonds made it to the WS in season 18.

Favorite J5B player: Trenidad Balboa is my favorite player in this world, but my future favorite may be Phillip Swann.

Favorite sports teams: My favorite sports teams are the Boston Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Heat and Spurs-I love Tim Duncan. Really favorite sports team is the University of Kentucky, born there-live there. Love the cats. We are going to win #8 this year.

Favorite band: I like the old band KISS and Journey.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meet Kjeverhart

Kjeverhart has been a part of J5B since season 6 and was a Wild Card in season 10.

Name: Kevin

Age: 36

Marital status: Single

Kids: None

Occupation: Transportation Dispatcher

Do you know any J5B owners: I've known Peagles99 since childhood. Brought him into the league. Sometimes regretted it.

Favorite HBD moment: I'd go with finally building the team up to the playoffs in season 11. It was a long road. Steven Peterson winning the Cy Young in season 12 is a near-miss.

Favorite J5B player: Kind of a tie, between Bailey Cohen and Hersh Maholm. They were my first rounders in consecutive seasons (6 and 7), both drafted as 2Bs, and they've been the heart of the Destroyers for the last couple of seasons. They were my first two big draft picks.

Favorite sports teams: I'm a Philadelphia sports fanatic, so the 4 Philly teams, with the Phils on top (Editor's note: That's what I'm talking about!).

Favorite band: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It's a bit of a Jersey stereotype, but I got into the music around the time of the Reunion Tour, and it just clicked for me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Meet Larryvegas

Larryvegas has been a part of J5B from it's incipiency and has won the AL West 3 times.

Name: Mark

Age: 44

Marital status: Married

Kids: 3 kids

Occupation: Golf professional, I work in Massachusetts (Editor's note- how do I fix my damn slice? ;-).

Do you know any J5B owners: Don't know any owners.

Favorite HBD moment: No favorite moment YET.

Favorite J5B player: Eddie Leary (first player drafted in this league for me).

Favorite sports teams: Green Bay Packers, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox...in that order.

Favorite band: Favorite band and best concert I've ever been to would be Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meet Erbgotti

Erbgotti witnessed first hand the nascency of Johnny5Bench. His Yankdawgs have won the AL East 4 times and were WS champs in season 10.

Name: Mike

Age: 37

Marital status: Married

Kids: 2 kids 16&13

Occupation: Injured, but was an electrician apprentice lineman

Do you know any J5B owners: Don't know any owners in real life

Favorite HBD moment: Winning my first title in Boggs world

Favorite J5B player: Easy, 7x in a row MVP winner Edgardo Torres

Favorite sports teams: Yankees (Editor's note-BOOOO), Bears, Lakers, Kings, Michigan.

Favorite band: Don't really have one. I love listening to the Jim Rome Show...LOL...I listen to just about anything when I'm driving...don't even own a stereo in the house.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meet Rondo

Rondo has been a part of J5B since season 2 and won the AL North in season 9.

Name: Steve

Age: 55

Marital status: Married

Kids: No kids, 2 cats.

Occupation: Economic developer

Do you know any J5B owners: OUDrew recruited me to WIS and HBD.

Favorite HBD moment: (Only made one ML playoff and was 3 and out) Season 12-my team uses Kaufman stadium (home of the Royals) whom I am very familiar with. I've tried to put together a team of speed and gap hitters (think George Brett and Willie Wilson). Season 12 we lead J5B in 2B and Hits and was in top 3 in 3B and SB. The Royals in 2011 were in AL top 3 in 2B, 3B, and SB. I love when a plan comes together (Editor's note-that line comes from the A-Team TV show).

Favorite J5B player: Current ROY candidate Michael Garrido.

Favorite sports teams: St.Louis Cards (with the Royals gaining fast). I grew up in Central MO and followed the KC A's until they left. I switched to the Cards in 68 and the rest is history. Now living in KC, OUDrew and I have a partial season ticket package for the Royals. I look for the Royals to break .500 and be in the hunt in 2012.

Favorite band: The Beatles (watched them on the Ed Sullivan Show (Editor's note-that kicks ass)). The best concert I've seen was Paul McCartney's tour in 2010. He's still got it for a 70-year old.