JANUARY 24, 2006
What I'm noticing so far and what I like, is that if I try to say, offer a deal to a guy from the majors who is worth a lot of money, he'll ask me to pay him what a superstar in my league would make. When the salary cap is only $15 million, you don't really have a ton of leeway to sign lots of guys like that, because well...eventually you'd be stuck.
What should happen is, the offers they get at the major league level should be so much more substantial that they'd never take such offers and that keeps star players out of the lower leagues and so, OOTP is working just as it should. I noticed it before, but never got an acute understanding of how the process was playing out until now.
FEBRUARY 2006 DIARY
So, I'm with Worcester now. Needless to say, it's a little strange starting over with a team that won't be trying to win a World Series AND knowing that we're not going to get promoted this year. But I prefer it this way, because at least it gives me a starting point where I can test out some theories in this league to see if they work or not and if not, then no harm and no foul and I have an entire off-season next year to try to fix them.
But the strategy we're employing now is risky. I'm spending money. Quite a bit of it to get to or near the cap, to acquire the best talent I can to basically dominate this league. I want to find out if major league has-beens are the type of guys that can clean this league up, along with youngsters that can augment them.
The risk to this strategy is very simple. If you're paying a bunch of washed up guys to play for you in a lesser league, it might bring out fans who have heard of them AND it might win you a pennant. What it won't do is help you long term OR give you kids to develop. Both of which are a problem.
So, it's got to be a give and take thing or else, forget it.
We'll see how it works and what sort of strategy we're going to go with here in Year 1. I'm sorta throwing darts recklessly at this point and I'm not sure where they'll land.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ADDS A FEEDER
I figured that it would be very difficult to call this league a developmental league and have no development happening and so, I added a high school developmental league to the AL that will feed directly into it.
There will be an AL draft starting in 2007 -- the only league that'll employ one -- for the sole purpose of getting talent onto teams and developed. Long-term, we'll see how it works. But I think it's a good way to get this league stocked with young talent.
DAY IS DONE..
FEBRUARY 14, 2006
So I've not introduced you to my team yet, but I find it interesting that you can deal guys who are serviceable major leaguers who sign with you for about what they'd sign for in the majors, only they'd never play and then flip them to major league teams for guys who'll never make it out of the affiliated minors.
In other words, playing this way is a extremely intriguing way to play because there are so many players out there and yet, you have to consider the salary cap and other issues that exist when building your team.
It's just funny how different the standards for talent are, when you're playing in a league like this, though.
It'll be interesting to see how the season plays out.
Speaking of, we play 136-game season. There are 100 games in your division and 36 interleague games.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2006 PAYROLLS
HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS, MLB, 2006
CONTINENTAL LEAGUE, TEAM PAYROLLS, 2006
HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS, CL, 2006
NATIONAL LEAGUE, TEAM PAYROLLS, 2006
NATIONAL LEAGUE HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS, 2006
The American League numbers won't be released until early April, since our season starts..at the end of April.
AMERICAN LEAGUE PAYROLL, OPENING DAY 2006
HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS, AMERICAN LEAGUE, 2006
Rather than introduce you to our roster and all that prematurely, especially since promotion/relegation isn't at stake, I'm going to sim to midseason and figure out what's work and what hasn't and not make any more moves. It'll be a lot more interesting than trying to speculate for you based on what we know about the players I've signed to deals.
But suffice to say that no one on the current roster played in MLB last year. Well that's not entirely true. I made a deal just now which is opening day to get a guy from Pittsburgh who played there last year. But given how bad they've been lately, that might not mean a whole lot.
But save for him, no one played in MLB last season, but there are guys with MLB experience on the roster..include a few names I've mentioned before or if not, at least they're familiar to me and soon, I'll introduce you.
The AL trade deadline is June 1st and so we'll sim well past that date -- I know, no deals for me -- and we'll just see how things are around July 1st.
AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS
JULY 4, 2006
So far, I've figured out in this league that the only thing that matters is performance. It's not like in the majors where you can sign guys on potential. Down here, it's all about how much success they've had or projecting guys who can or will be successful plain and simple. If you fail to do that, you'll simply blow the thing.
It's been a learning experience and we're not even halfway through it. I do think that the short trading window forces you to be effective about putting your team together early on and minimizing the mistakes you make during free agency.
I'm going to hit the free agency pool and see if I can't get a vet or two down the stretch and release other guys to stay under the cap. But we'll see, I haven't decided if it's worth breaking my neck to the pennant this year or not.
SPOKE TOO SOON ~ WE'RE DOING WHAT WE DO
I didn't make any moves at all. I just simmed the game to this point last night and here's where we are:
AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS
DOWN THE STRETCH...
September 1, 2006
Here is a look at the other leagues and what's going on as the teams start to find their position:
In the majors, the Pennsylvania Colonials are leading the high-octane eastern division. Meanwhile, the New York Mets, Cinncinati Reds and Baltimore Orioles are within striking distance of relegation. But there are still 3 long weeks left in the regular season.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Standings
In the Continental League, the Minnesota Twins are the big story. A team that won the Continental League in 2003, the team is looking closer and closer like a relegation candidate in the CL. Unlike MLB and the CL, there is no 'play-in' to get to the CL. The winner of the NLCS will be automatically be promoted to the Continental League. It's a remarkable fall from grace for a team that was in the majors as recently as 2002.
2006 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Rutgers knocked off Ohio State 4 games to 1 to win the College World Series
NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS
In the NL, it's for all the marbles. Win your division and you're in the playoffs. In the Southern Association, Arkansas and Tulsa are grinding it out and in the Western Association, there is a huge race in the midwest with Indianapolis leading, but Cedar Rapids, Gary, St. Paul and Windsor all nearby.
AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS
Playing for pride and no promotion in 2006, the American League race doesn't have the suspense that the other leagues have. It seems all but sewed up in both conferences, setting up what should be an interesting east v. west matchup in the first-ever American League Championship Series. But as we know, anything can happen.
MLB FINAL STANDINGS, 2006
Mets are headed to the MLB Challenge Series
MLB PLAYOFF ALIGNMENT
CONTINENTAL LEAGUE FINAL STANDINGS, 2006
The Minnesota Twins will be relegated to the National League in 2007.
NATIONAL LEAGUE FINAL STANDINGS, 2006
NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Before I recap the playoffs in the other leagues, you've waited patiently to find out WHO the Worcester Browns are.
Well, let me introduce them first, by showing you the season stats for 2006:
Ok, so now you're wondering, "Who the hell are these people?
Vern Morgan is a 28-year old centerfielder. He's in his second year, after spending last year hitting .242 with 27 HR and 81 RBI for Salt Lake of the National League. I signed him to a six-year deal during the off-season. The key to playing in this league and making the ascent to the majors, I decided at the beginning of the year, was that we needed to find a way to get your core guys in place early and have dudes who can produce all the way until you get to the majors or who can market themselves with their talents so you can move them for more players. In other words, 5 for 1 deals are great if you can move a guy to a major league contender or even a bad team, so you can get some prized prospects that will grow and develop along with you.
But in the AL right now? I'm focused mostly on trying to get the hell out of here, not developing players for the long haul at this point, because frankly..I can't really afford to have them hanging out down here for an entire season.
Ok, back to the rest of the team.
3B Ivan Cruz was a guy I acquired from the Chicago Comets in a deal that included three prospects that I shipped off to them for five guys, all of whom could have been or were key for us in certain spots. The players I shipped off are Grade-A prospects that could likely be starring for them by the time we (hope) to be in the majors. But you gotta do, what you gotta do. Cruz is 30 years old and hit 22 HR ad 91 RBI for us in his first year outside of MLB. I can't resign him, either. He'll want more money than I can pay him this off-season and so, I'll have to let him go.
And this friends, is another one of those challenges about playing in a lower league where there salary cap considerations.
2B Robin Donovan is a 32-year old infielder who spent his first year outside of the majors last year, with New Orleans, hitting .296 in 71 games for the Zephyrs of the NL.
Prior to that, he spent 11 1/2 years with the Kansas City Royals and actually, was a guy that I often considered dealing for at deadlines to get an extra bat, but we never pulled the trigger for him. Anyway, I inked him to a long-term deal and he hit .296 with 26 HRs and 91 RBI for us this year.
The hitters are guys who could be servicable at the next level in some situations, whereas our pitching staff is decidedly bush league. But very effective for us.
Our ace this year was 26-year old Cris Massarelli, who despite the name is from Venezuela. Anyway, he went 15-7 this year and was effective notching 18 quality starts.
You can read the stats and get an idea of who we have, but the bottom line is..no matter how we do in the ALCS -- and make no mistake, we want the title -- we'll have to go out and find ways to bolster the pitching staff and replace the guys who we'll not be able to afford next year, if we want to replicate the success of this season.
Free agents this off-season will include the following key players:
Gus Lancaster spent a good third of the season hurt and so, he'll be able to step in for a full year and that'll help ease the loss of losing Anderson who might not have played much anyway, but it'll be intriguing to see how it goes for us.
But enough of that talk.
Let's get to the ALCS
The Santa Maria Winemakers were the best pitching team in baseball this year and boast two 13-game winners in Robby Hill and Carlos Macias. Macias is 40-years old, but doesn't seem to want to quit. He went 13-11 this year with 70 Ks in 226 innings. On the flip side, Hill is a 24-year old hurler who went 13-6 with a 3.99 ERA and 135Ks this year.
The team's power is derived for a 24-year old rookie from Fort Drum, NY named Mack Knight. He hit 26 HRs and 93 RBI this year on .272 hitting.
We should match up well with them in this best-of-seven championship series, but it's the playoffs and anything can happen...
BROWNS WIN THE 2006 ALCS
By offering ridiculously low ticket prices (average ticket price was $1 in a league where they're normally about $4) and making the atmopshere fan friendly, while giving fans a winning product, former Yankees GM D.C. Daly is becoming a championship owner, in the same way that he was running other people's product.
"It's so different," he said of running his own ballclub. "Obviously, I have more help now. But there is so much more to consider."
The Browns won the 2006 American League Pennant (box score) and have fans in Worcester dreaming of major league grandeur.
The upstart American League is the bottom rung of the major league baseball ladder. Its players don't make the tens of millions that stars in the upper majors make, the games don't get much TV coverage and talent level is generally deemed to be of a lower quality than the other leagues.
"We're playing great baseball down here. It's a wonderful chance for smaller cities in America to get Major League baseball in their backyards, so more people truly grow up with the national pastime. I think this system is brilliant and it forces your team to produce. If you don't do well, you go home," said Daly, who as an owner pays a fee each year into the pool.
The system is all possible because of significant spreading out of media money throughout the league. So New York might have four teams -- five if you count the NL team in New Jersey -- but all of the media money those teams generate gets put into the pool, along with other radio, internet and other fees that allow teams in places like Billings or Santa Maria to exist at all.
"Without the revenue sharing across the board, there is no way any of this would be possible. Can you imagine baseball where only the big market teams can compete and it's like, when small market teams compete and win titles, we'd throw parades because they bothered to show up to the party? Man, what a crappy baseball world that'd be to live in," said Daly.
After his team won the title, he said that he knew they'd have to "reload" going into next season, because "with everyone knowing that an AL pennant will get you promoted [to the National League], it's going to be cutthroat. Every game will feel like the playoffs."
This is precisely what I was trying to show with my league as well. It doesn't always make sense from my perspective, but then again, you have no window into the players minds either. Still, it seems to work out very well, and is fun to watch develop.
oh! And Boooooo on showing ratings. ;)
2006 PLAYOFFS RECAP
As you know, in the American League, the Worcester Browns captured the pennant over the Santa Maria Winemakers 4 games to 3.
Meanwhile, on the senior circuit, the stakes were high as the winner of the NLCS would be promoted to the Continental League -- on the doorstep of Major League glory -- if they move up.
New Jersey was knocked off by the Arkansas Travelers in five games, while Cedar Rapids dispatched Omaha in 5 games to setup an NLCS date between the unlikely pair.
In the end, the Arkansas Travelers beat out their big city competition to win the NLCS over upstart Cedar Rapids 4 games to 2 to earn promotion to the Continental League in 2007.
The Charlotte Knights won the 2006 Guinness Cup Series over the Sacramento River Cats 4 games to 2 to earn best-of-five date with the New York Mets to determine who'll be playing in MLB next year at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville.
MLB CHALLENGE SERIES presented by AT&T
The New York Mets held serve in four games of the best-of-five MLB Challenge Series to retain their spot in MLB for another year, knocking off the CL Champion Charlotte Knights. It's the third time in four years that the Continental League champion has been denied entry to the big leagues after a loss in the Challenge Series.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
WORLD SERIES QUARTERFINALS
Pennsylvania def. Florida 3-2
Atlanta def. Chicago Cubs 3-1
Texas def. San Jose 3-0
Boston def. St. Louis 3-1
WORLD SERIES SEMIFINALS
Atlanta def. Pennsylvania 4-1
Texas def. Boston 4-2
2006 WORLD SERIES
Atlanta Athletics def. Texas Rangers 4 games to 1
It's the first World Series title in franchise history for the A's of Atlanta.
Yeah yeah..I don't wanna hear it. lol
AMERICAN LEAGUE TO ADD TWO TEAMS IN 2007
The road to the Majors just got a little tougher for American League teams. The league announced plans to expand by two teams in 2007 to a total of 14.
"We're going to capitalize on the success of year 1 with two new cities that will be able to dream of Major League status."
The two cities have not been named as of yet, but ought to be unveiled November 1st.
Ed Note: I have one city picked and the other..I'm waffling about. If you have any ideas of cities say, west of the Mississippi that we're not already in and could be a good AL destintation (remember: 4th divsion) let me know.
Santa Fe, El Paso, Billings, Cheyenne, Rapid City, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton,
Someone asked a question on another board and I thought my answers might be helpful here:
1. MLB is the only league with minors. It's one level of minors there, 40 players max on the minor league roster. The other leagues do not have minors. The CL used to, but we got rid of that after I added the lower leagues permanently. Most teams don't have a glut of reserve players, because of the salary cap. So you don't see the problem that OOTP used to be famous for where teams gobble up all of the good players and hold onto them forever.
There are two feeder leagues. The NCAA feeds MLB (same number of teams at MLB) and the AL now has a HS feeder league and I might, though I'm not 100% certain, add a minor league for AL teams that's all prospects with the idea that the AL should be the league that houses prospects and I'd love to see a situation where upper division teams trying to deal for those guys left and right sending back vets or something.
2. When a team is promoted or relegated, I recalculate financials for all of the teams in those leagues, so it can change the team's budget from where it was in their old league, to the new one. Sometimes, I have to change their TV revenue to match the rest of the league. But that's it and yes, when teams get demoted to the CL they have to cut payroll and it's been happening automatically. From time to time -- and this was back when I was in MLB myself and not so much now -- I'll step in and hasten the process of the purging of players. But it hasn't been a problem for the past four or so years.
3. Generally at average/average. Sometimes, later in the season or in the off-season, I'll bump it to "very high" and depending on the flow of players in the league (e.g., if I see too many teams holding onto kids who are able to start or where it's veterans who are being held onto to) I'll change it to "favor prospects or favor veterans". It's all based on league movement and trends.
I think the bottom line in understand my "mindset" or whatever is, I'm far more interested in the 50,000 ft. view of the league and 'how it works" than I am about my own team.
It's why I probably change my team idea (I didn't start this ever intending to leave Boston, etc., and planned to stay in Providence before changing my mind...) and why I decided to try to "struggle" my way back to the majors.
I've tried to minimize the team moves and stuff, because I know that can be super hard to follow and keep up with and that's a departure for me from previous dynasties. I'm trying to keep things from get too convoluted and yet, I do want to get people an idea of what's happening in each league. So questions help, because it helps me know what details people are interested in, because while I'm detail oriented to a fault, I don't always know what things people seek out in these things.
I think heading into next season and beyond, I want to streamline things a bit and so, rather than focus on the leagues as a whole or the larger part of things, I'm going to focus more on the team I'm running at that time. It just seems like an easier way to go about things and allows for more focus. I'll obviously cover the stuff like who gets relegated and stuff and of course, if there are things you specifically want to know, PLEASE ask because it helps me know that folks are reading and want to know certain things.
But..I think that's the format I plan to take, because it might just be easier to navigate. And I plan to try to incorporate graphics better, too.
So we'll see.
The two newest American League teams are the:
Westchester (N.Y.) Apples
El Paso Incredibles
I'm pretty happy with how the Incredibles (LOS INCREÍBLES) wordmark came out:
I posted all of my graphics online, so feel free to take what you like. Or at least look and admire my handiwork.
DC, I'm as fascinated by the mechanics of how you're getting OOTP to do these kinds of things and actually make it work as the actual relating of the dynasty itself. The creativity here is outstanding.
Btw, thanks for the graphics link. Those are great as well.
2006 OFF-SEASON PREVIEW
November 1, 2006
So, my plan is pretty simple. We don't have the luxury of wallowing down here for years or else, I'll have to change our entire gameplan. We're all about the fast track and so, I'm going to do my best to get out of this league this year trying to assemble a team that can win in the playoffs as well as the regular season, which in a league like this is pretty much the same thing.
The National League is a completely different animal, since it's almost as big as MLB and so, I dunno. I'm a little concerned and yet...I think we can make it work.
I'd love a player development avenue or some way to get cheap, young talent and so, don't be surprised if I make deals to get a lot more guys on the reserve roster, simply because I want more options to choose from later in the year, because at this level, that can be the biggest problem is that when you do get hit with injuries, that you don't have the ability to bring players in who can help you fill those holes and signing free agents can be spotty or just downright impossible in terms of solid quality.
So we'll see how it goes.
2007 SALARY CAP FIGURES
CL: $80 million
NL: $50 million
AL: $25 million
DECEMBER 10, 2006
The most interesting dynamic of running a team at this level is the fact that signing players can be a gamble. If you ink a guy to a long-term deal that won't be as useful at a higher level of ball, you might be saddled with having overpaid for a guy who won't be useful for more than a year.
The flip side? The fact that you almost have mortagage the future. You can't sign tons of prospects and hold onto them. Ok, you can. But you'll ensure you'll hang out in the AL doldrums forever. You can't even wait for them to develop, because I've rigged the rules at this level to make sure that minor league free agents can exercise their right to bolt after just a year depending on their service time.
So it's been weird looking at guys we KNOW we can't sign and then trying to make deals for the scraps of bigger teams, really and hoping that works for us.
I'm going to sim through the rest of the off-season to get to the pre-season and then prepare for the regular season. I'm still trying to dream up a format I can use, so we can get through these seasons, because frankly..none of the details at this level are all that interesting and all we want to know is whether the Browns can get up the ladder or if we'll be stuck down in the mud for many, many years.
INSERT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL INTO THE AL FEEDER
I have a high school league feeder going to the American League and 2007 will mark the first season of the AL Draft. To make things more interesting, I thought it might be cool to insert a few user high schools into the feeder.
So if you want yours in there, do tell me the name, the school colors and obviously the location and mascot/nickname.
I won't get them all this go-round necessarily, but...I'll eventually find ways to add more as we go on. I think it could fun to follow how kids from our high schools did or whatever.
SEASON PREVIEW, 2007 WORCESTER BROWNS
The defending American League champion Browns are going for something far more than just pride and a pennant this year -- we're gunning for promotion.
The Browns are doing their best impression of a free-wheeling juggernaut by boasting the highest payroll in the AL this year -- just under $800k under the salary cap -- but management says, "we're not concerned with perceptions. We just want to win baseball games."
On the offensive side of the house, the Browns are hoping to get maximum production for reigning MVP Vern Morgan who led the AL with 41 HRs year and added 120 RBI to that total.
33-year old infielder Robin Donovan looks to build his first season in Worcester where he hit .298 with 26 HR and 91 RBI for the Browns.
Newcomers to the ballclub include former Providence infielder Alfie Penrice who spent the past two years with the Minnesota Twins, who were relegated to the NL this past season. Penrice is just 25-years old and the man that signed him to his first deal -- none other than D.C. Daly himself -- says that he thinks the young Englishman can turn it out this year.
"We were ecsatic when he agreed to come here. He didn't play much last year in Minnesota (.228 in 42 games played and I think his confidence is down. He's a solid defender, a great clubhouse guy and the fans in New England already know and love 'em. I can't wait to see him out there on opening day," said Daly about his new acquistion.
The pitching rotation only includes one face, 21-year old rookie Billy Henson.
The team acquired closer Franciso Ortiz from Minnesota, in the deal that sent Penrice and another player to Minnesota for four players include former Worcester closer Warren Tucker (who Minnesota turned converted back to a starter) and three other players this off-season.
In case you're wondering, it's not uncommon to find teams at the AL level that have guys who have MLB experience. Nine of the pitchers on the Browns roster are MLB alumns. Among those, three have started more than 60 games. While we have eight hitters who are MLB experienced, but among those only four of them have in excess of 300 MLB at-bats in their career.
Westchester has seven guys who are MLB experienced in their lineup, among them seven have at least 200 MLB ABs and four have over 1000. But I suppose that's what you have to do when you play in the shadows of NY's Finest teams.
Anyway...I'd like to think we're pretty well setup for the year, but if we sputter out of the gate, I'll make adjustments, because it's worth it to me.
AMERICAN LEAGUE TEAM PAYROLLS ~ OPENING DAY 2007
HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS ~ AMERICAN LEAGUE 2007
Gary Roosevelt Panthers
Black & Gold
MLB TO SPONSOR AREA CODE GAMES
Major League Baseball created a new league for elite high school players starting in 2007 called Area Code Baseball. The six-team league will be comprised of teams of some of the best high school prospects in the nation.
"This will give MLB teams a chance to showcase some of the best young talent that America has to offer."
REEBOK HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE SET FOR 2007 SEASON
12 high schools across the nation are set for the 2007 installment of the Reebok High School Baseball League this year.
A whole new setup has been recruited for the league.
Alameda HS (CA)
Theodore Roosevelt HS (Gary, IN)
Lebanon HS (MO)
Plainfield HS (NJ)
T.C. Williams HS (Alexandria, VA)
Westfield HS (NJ)
Cheyenne South (wY)
Cousins Day School (WY)
Laramie HS (WY)
Tucker HS (GA)
Yellowstone Academy (wY)
JUNE 30, 2007
DODGERS REPORTED OFFER DALY JOB WITH CLUB
Despite his Browns being 5 games ahead in the AL Northern Conference race and looking to repeat as AL champs and earning a promotion to the 3rd division National League, some reports out of Boston are saying that Worcester Browns Team President and majority owner D.C. Daly has received an offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers to run their ballclub as Team President & General Manager.
The Dodgers are currently 35-51 and their .407 winning percentage puts them as the worst team in MLB and in position for the MLB Challenge Series at season's end.
Since it's just midseason, team ownership has panicked, firing the team's manager, GM and several other key players in the front office and are reportedly making an "aggressive" offer to Daly, who has long been coveted by Dodgers, who were recently taken over by a consortium that includes -- most strangely -- the California State Teacher's Retirement System.
"Who would expect teachers to own a baseball team. But they saw the value and thought it was a long-term value investment," said Mickey "Skip" Aronson, CEO of Golden State Sports Enterprises (GSSE), which among its holdings also owns the Los Angeles Kings NHL team and Golden State Warriors. The CSTRS owns 43% of GSSE.
It's not unprecedented as Canadian' Maple Leaf Sports Enteprises is a publicy owned company as well, owned 58% by the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan.
No word has been given from Daly on whether he'd be willing to sell his ballclub to his partners -- or to a local owner -- to take the job in LA, but some reports have said that after a year and a half in the lower levels of baseball, that he's grown "tired" of the process and underestimated the grind of being an owner and G.M.
"I think he feels like it's almost like he's retired. He likes calling the shots and building a club. And he's obviously doing a great job, but I think anytime you have to watch your compatriots play at the big leagues while you toil in obscurity, it can be a little hard. After all, you have to understand that this guy won a World Series five years ago. So I can understand the adjustment of being down there," said Terry Hargrove, Assistant GM of the Boston Yankees, the club Daly helped build into a powerhouse and close friend.
Using a strategy of acquiring name players, wooing Bostonites and employing cheap ticket prices, Daly's Browns club are the toast of lowel-level major league baseball. They play at 24,000 seat Iron Hills Stadium in Worcester, and sellout every game in the ballpark.
"They've done an excellent job down there. They're the envy of a lot of clubs at a much higher level," said an MLB executive.
Their current attendance is nearly double that (692,361, Santa Maria is #2 at 386,728) of any team in the AL and 39th in all of the majors, on par with the top two teams in the 3rd division National League and would put them in the middle of the pack in terms of clubs at the 2nd division Continental League level.
So he's got quite a product to sell. The franchise fee for the club was a paltry $3 million, but the team's value is estimated at as much as $40 million if it were sold today.
The Dodgers are clearly trying to salvage their season and seem to want to move forward on a candidate rather than opting for interims for the rest of the season.
"We're going to try to move this as fast as we can, but we want the right candidate. We don't just want anybody," said Aronson, about the team's search.
REPORT: BROWNS TO BE SOLD TO LOCAL GROUP FOR $34 MILLION
JULY 1, 2007
WORCESTER - It looks like D.C. Daly is poised to head back to the major leagues. After a report came out today in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette -- breaking the story before the Boston Globe could -- that the local ballclub that leads the American League is poised to be sold to a local community group comprised of 10 local investors and about 1,000 shareholders who call themselves Worcester Community Baseball Group, LLC., for the sum of $34 million.
The reported sale price is obviously is a hometown discount -- one must guess -- of nearly $10 million off the premium of the team's value, which is reported to be between $40-47 million, according to a recent report by the Boston Herald.
The sale would still need to be approved by Major League Baseball's Associate Committee, the group that is comprised of the clubs that do not make up the top tier, but only the AL clubs get to vote to approve the deal and most have said, that "won't be a hurdle in the deal."
WHAT HAPPENS TO D.C. DALY?
Daly owned a controlling interest in the ballclub -- about 43% -- at the time of the proposed deal and was the one who engineered it according to advisors to the Team President.
He's still in his current role and a spokesman for Worcester Community Baseball have said that if D.C. wants to stay, he has a job for life.
"This guy is one of the best that's come along. He's still extremely young and we're all pretty convinced he can turn Worcester into a big league city. We're talking rivalry with the Yankees big."
But the rumors are swirling that the Dodgers have offered him a lucrative gig with their ballclub include the title of President of Baseball Operations.
NCAA FINAL STANDINGS ~ 2007
NCAA PLAYOFFS (ALL BEST-OF-SEVEN)
Maryland def. Wichita State 4-2
Texas def. Oklahoma 4-3
Penn State def. Ferrum 4-1
Ohio State def. Notre Dame 4-2
Maryland def. Texas 4-1
Ohio State def. Penn State 4-2
2007 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Ohio State def. Maryland 4-3
DALY DONATES $1 MILLION TO YELLOWSTONE UNIVERSITY BASEBALL PROGRAM
July 5, 2007
CODY, WYOMING -- Worcester Browns GM gave $1 million to the Yellowstone University baseball program, the largest single gift in the history of the school's athletic program. Of course, the school is only 7 years old, so that's not saying a whole lot.
The school was founded by his close childhood friend E. Steven Colms, who founded the university in 1998 as a "place for young, brilliant people to study among the most beautiful scenery in the world and to create a world class university in Wyoming," says the school's web site.
Colms, 36, understands what it's like to be young and successful having owned and sold several internet properties during the 1990s before deciding to finish his doctorate and decided to invest his money into starting a university.
He said he and Daly grew up together and that he was originally the friend of his older brother, but that he and Daly started talking about their common love for baseball and stayed in touch over the years despite the 5-year age difference between the two.
"He always said he'd do this, be successful in baseball."
Daly, who recently sold his stock in the Browns and remains on as Team President, said he was excited about the school's new program that will join the NCAA along with Creighton, UConn and Alabama in 2008.
"I just love this campus. It's a great place and love the work they're doing," he said appearing on the campus as the AL was off for its annual All-Star game for the past few days.
Daly did not answer questions related to his future in Worcester, saying only that he's happy where the ballclub and feels like they've put the team in a great position to go further, but "it's a long season and you never want to get too far ahead of yourself. We're poised on the prize of defending our pennant. That's all the team is focused on now, not anything else."
DALY RESIGNS AS BROWNS PRESIDENT, COULD JOIN DODGERS BY WEEK'S END
July 9, 2007
WORCESTER - In a move that had been anticipated for weeks, Browns Team President D.C. Daly resigned from his post atop the reigning AL champs after the sale of the club was approved in a special session conference call of the American League Board of Governors this weekend.
"I'm happy to have had the opportunity to set the gears in motion that will hopefully soon lead to Worcester being home to a big league ballclub," said Daly who leaves Worcester with a 132-53 record as GM of the ballclub and with the team leading the AL Northern Conference by 3 games. If the team wins the pennant this season, it will be promoted to the NL next season as the American League officially enters the promotion scheme this year.
While Daly didn't directly address the rumour that he'd be taking the Dodgers job, he did say that he would have more information regarding his future later this week.
"I won't deny that I've been contacted by several clubs related to opportunity related to my immediate future. But I won't have anything to say about what's next for me until I know myself," he said in a statement released by his agent.
Tuesday July 10, 2007
BASEBALL AMERICA TOP FARM SYSTEMS
BASEBALL AMERICA TOP FARM SYSTEMS
TEAM PAYROLLS ~ MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS ~ MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Sunday, July 15th, 2007: D.C. Daly is the New General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- When Los Angeles used the "nuclear option" and made wholesale changes in the front office after new ownership took over the club, fans were left wondering in which direction their favorite club would head. The hiring of D.C. Daly gives them hope that the ship can be righted, as the team sits in last place in MLB and is trying to save the team's major league status.
"It's great to be back in the bigs again, but there will be no honeymoon. I'm already aware of that," said Daly. The former Yankees G.M. who rescued that club from the doldrums and put them back on the baseball map spent the last year and a half with the American League's Worcester Browns, a ballclub he was the primary owner of. After selling the club for a handsome profit last month, Daly says that he felt it was the "right time" to get back to business in the big leagues, rather than toiling in the lower leagues with the Browns, who wouldn't be eligible for MLB until the 2010 season and that's provided the team could win the AL in '07, NL in '08, CL in '09 as well as the MLB Challenge Series to earn a bid to MLB in '10.
Daly said that while the task was an "exciting" one, that he felt like his talents were better utilized at the big-league level.
"I have a new appreciation for what owners go through after that whole thing [in Worcester], because I never knew how much work it would be to be able to do what I do and run a ballclub from the top-down. But...when this opportunity arose, I felt like it was the right time for me to move forward, especially since we'd sold the team."
The Dodgers boast one of baseball's worst farm systems and will need to get better, faster if the club is to fight off a possible relegation date.
"I can assure you that we're too proud a ballclub here in Los Angeles to risk trying to lose our top division standing," said Daly, who said he is aware of the gains made by the Los Angeles Angels during this time and that he was hoping to put more pressure on the other relegation candidate from California, the Riverside, CA-based California Empires.
"Needless to say, if someone's going down...I'd rather it be them than us. But we'll have to prove that on the field."
With about two weeks to go before the trade deadline, Dodgers fans are wondering what sort of magic Daly will work to get the team off the ledge. Ownership paid him a handsome sum to sign with the Dodgers, but no one is certain that they're willing to take on more salary at the moment. "We're going to have to evaluate what we have, before we make any hasty moves. Hopefully, we can salvage the year making smart baseball moves. But make no mistake, this is a formidble challenge for anyone."
The AL trade deadline is June 1st, the CL and NL end trading on July 1st and so, the only league that has trading (until August 2nd) is MLB. This is done on purpose to prevent top-division teams from raiding talent at the last minute from teams at the lower levels preparing to dump talent.
The Dodgers -- under the direction of new GM D.C. Daly -- have launched a new ad campaign called "We Are LA" as a response to the increased popularity of the Angels in the city. With the Dodgers in the relegation zone, the team is looking to salvage its season, while also attracting fan interest, as the team resides 28th in attendance out of the 32 big league clubs.
"We're going to try to make things work and we don't have a lot of time to save this season. But I think we've got a lot of great guys here and I believe we can turn it around."
The team also started an area on the team's web site where they can ask the new G.M. questions. "We want to keep the lines of communication open. I'm genuinely interested in where people want to see the ballclub go and look forward to suggestions."
The Dodgers star is Bobby Stewart, who came over during the off-season in a trade from the New York Bombers where he'd spent the first nine years of his career. The 29-year old right fielder said that he didn't expect that he'd be in a position to from a club that was relegated to a team that might be, but having experienced it once before, he says that he's not interested in having it happen again.
"Man, I'm not trying to do that again. We have to get out of this spot we're in," he said.
The Dodgers problems stem from a lack of production from its infielders. Together, they're hitting below the Mendoza Line. The team's pitching staff isn't much to write home about either and lacks depth.
Whether the team can make necessary adjustments to stave off relegation -- something that D.C. Daly has never experienced -- will make this the biggest challenge of the young veteran GM's career.
"It'll be interesting to see if he can pull this off," said one veteran baseball exec. "He's had it pretty easy, even in Boston they were willing to let him make deals left and right and spend when they had to. We'll see how he handles this."
NAMES TO KNOW
Here are a few of the guys on the Dodgers -- you can look at the stats below -- that you ought to know.
Mike Sharpe, Closer
In his fifth year as the Dodgers closer, notching 142 saves over that time.
Paul Moneur, Pitcher
If the name sounds familiar, it should. He was the closer in Providence during '03 and '04 and I had him in the Boston farm system when I was there.
He was dealt here after two years with the NY Bombers last off-season.
Cody Reese, Outfielder
Never got to see him play before now. He was an 8th round pick in the 2001 draft of the Boston Yankees. After getting released in '03, he won a Gold Glove
in Riverside (now California Empires) and inked a three-year free agent deal with the Dodgers in the off-season.
Orlando Hernandez, Pitcher
36-year old hurler came over from New York along with Cody Reese and Bobby Stewart in a blockbuster during the off-season. Only dependable starter in
the Dodgers rotation at present. Went 17-8 last year in New York with a 2.71 ERA and 258 K
Alex Todd, Outfielder
25-year old outfielder who is in his third year with the Dodgers. Had a breakout year last year hitting 39 HR and 110 RBI.
PITCHING STATS ~ JULY 15, 2007 ~ LOS ANGELES DODGERS
BATTING STATS ~ JULY 15, 2007 ~ LOS ANGELES DODGERS
I am genuinely curious how some of the readers out there would approach a situation like this. Rebuilding in the era of relegation is very, very different than dealing with just losing for a few years and going through growing pains. Playing at the lower levels is a lot more competitive than you'd think and once you get down there and have to face salary caps and other restraints, it becomes very difficult to move up and so, it's not anywhere we want to be.
And playing the best-of-five challenge series is akin to a crapshoot, too.
So...how should I approach presenting this season to you? I considered doing a game-by-game account of the rest of this year, to break down my thought process and also to slow things down a bit and help you all get more invested in the guys we have and the team as a whole.
I'm looking for feedback.
I think that the first order of business it avoiding relegation. It seems that you have at least 2 starters that *need* to be replaced. A third would be helpful. I would look for pitching first, but then I always look at pitching first. The bullpen is acceptable for now. The offense actually looks pretty good, but club is really lacking contact hitters (i.e #2 hitters) and guys who get on base (more #2 hitters). That would be the first things that I would look at anyway.
Ed Note: Trading is on hard
JULY 18, 2007
We traded pitchers Will Lewis, Kelsey Brown, Bruce Campbell and shortstop Jeff Sawyer to San Antonio today for:
Rationale: It was all about having more options. We have little to none at the moment. Campbell was horrible with us, but he'd never had a season this bad before (10-13, 4.99 ERA, 208 K last year in Toronto) and so, I felt the change of scenery might help and seeing that he had some value, keeping him at his current pace was not an option.
Sawyer is just 26 and is another guy that was struggling in his first year with us. He makes $5.2 million a year and so, getting rid of him and his salary -- even if he rebounds -- was worth it to me.
This isn't the last deal we'll make before the deadline, as I'm expecting to move either Sharpe or Moneur before the deadline, hoping to pick up prospects in return.
I'm also considering moving Moneur to the rotation. He's started two games in his career, I started him last week and he started a game two years ago in New York.
I don't have any illusions about building a contender or a winner this year or even next. I just want to get this team stabilized enough to a safe, midtable position where we can begin to plot our next moves.
BAD AT EVERYTHING..
JULY 23, 2007
I'm almost amused at how bad we are at everything critical and really trying to resist blowing the team up, selling off whatever value we have to try to get players to salvage the year. This team does everything porly. We're the worst hitting team in baseball and amongst the worst in team ERA as well. I mean, none of this is really that much a surprise and all, it's just....staggering.
We just got swept this past weekend by the Atlanta A's and now we're currently tied with California Empires for the worst record in baseball.
I've moved new acquisition Jorge Gonazales into the rotation, along with Paul Moneur, because I figured well..why not?
I haven't found a deal for Sharpe yet and I haven't really decided what to do with what we have, knowing that after August 2nd, there won't be a whole lot that we can do.
I'll be scouring the minor leagues to see if there are some "near-ready" or "ready" guys that teams are holding onto that can be had. I think that's our best hope right now, as it would be my strategy if this were a lower-division team trying to move up and so, maybe I need to focus more on that, than anything.
And in case you were wondering, if two teams are tied with the worst record, they play a one-game playoff, with the loser going to the Challenge Series.
YANKEES AND DODGERS MAKE DEAL: 12-PLAYERS CHANGE HANDS
JULY 23, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Dodgers G.M. D.C. Daly is desperate to keep him team in the major leagues. So much so that he dealt his team's lone all-star and ace pitcher Orlando Hernandez to Eastern Division leading Boston today as the centerpiece of a deal that would allow the Dodgers to cut payrol by close to $4 million, as well as picking up some prospects along the way.
In the deal, the Dodgers also sent free agent to be Alex Todd, who despite hitting .274 with 21 HRs so far this year, indicated that he would test free agency and so, the team decided to move him while had value.
One other starter, C Paul Peek, who is hitting .239 with 14 HR and 32 RBI as the starting catcher for most of the season and valued primarily for his defensive prowess, will give the Yankees another option at catcher.
Two other minor leaguers -- reliever Javier Orozco and outfielder Mat Gilmore - were also included in the deal.
In return, the Dodgers get starting pitcher Chuck Sherman who is 10-9 with a 4.63 ERA this year in 22 starts with 85 strikeouts and 52 walks. Another notable major league player the team acquired was outfielder Nick Johnson, who is hitting .254 with 13 HR and 47 RBI as the Yankees 4th outfielder. The Dodgers are likely to consider moving him to the infielder, possibly third base. Fifth outfielder Gabe Ramirez (.249/15 HR/37 RBI) and five minor leaguers sealed the deal for the Dodgers.
Fans in Los Angeles upon hearing the deal are livid with new GM D.C. Daly, saying that by dealing a player like Hernandez (11-7, 3.54 ERA, 8.0 K/9) that the team is resigned to its poor position and is giving up.
"We fully recognize that there is a risk in a deal like this and trust me, we weren't just happy beyond belief to give up a guy like Orlando and yet, I think that this trade will help us fill a ton of gaps that we're trying to address, because let's face it..for us right now, there is no tomorrow. We have to get through this season and then we can adjust or adapt as we need to. But right now, we're hearing the alarm and it doesn't make sense to hold onto guys -- especially 36-year old hurlers -- when they can be useful elsewhere, while helping us keep this team in the bigs."
LA talk radio is burning up over the deal saying that Daly should "go back to the minors" and that the engineer of the Yankees World Series championship in 2002 and who led the Bees to the World Series in 2004, is in over his head with a "team that probably needs someone who undrstands what a bad team is like and how to make them better."
What LA fans are ignoring is that it took him 3 years to get Boston to the post-season and that his first year, the team finished 66-96 and 7th in the eastern division.
Daly says that he's okay with criticism and that the team will hopefully respond to his moves. He has not ruled out another deal before the August 2nd trade deadline.
"I don't want to tip our hand too much, but I've been on the phone pretty much non-stop for at least a week. We've got some options and we're going to evaluate them and try to do the best thing we can for our ballclub."
The team is preparing for a four game homestand against the team that's sharing last place with them currently -- the California Empires -- and Daly says that this series will test the team's mettle.
"We'll see if they respond and how they respond. We've shaken things up a bit, but I think the team will decide for themselves what they want to happen next."
We made two deadline deals after the one listed already:
JULY 27, 2007: We dealt Mike Sharpe, Angel Crus, Matt Dupree, Ikki Watanabe and Ted Burns to the Florida Marlins for prospect starter Armando Torres, who was ranked among the Top 100 prospects on Baseball America's list, he's a 24-year old southpaw.
We also got first baseman Joe Wilson (.263/3 HR/13 RBI), reliever Jason Woodward (0-1, 2 SV 1.46 ERA in 9 games), second baseman Victor Brown (.221/9 HR/38 RBI) and pitcher Matt Gregory (2-1, 2 SV 3.03 ERA)
On August 2nd, we made our final deal, trading with the San Francisco Giants for some veteran talent. We sent them outfielder Bobby Crawford, infielder Victor Brown, outfielder Gabe Ramirez, catcher Manuel Gonzalez, starter Edward Braun and Matt Gregory and cash for:
26-year old SS Scott Noble (.255/16 HR/51 RBI)
28-year old MR Joe Rainey (2-3, 1 SV 4.55 ERA)
32-year old LF Kelly Sizemore (.248/17 HR/ 61 RBI)
23-year old C Jose Valadez (.275/8 HR/25 RBI)
The deal with the Giants could be scrutinized heavily since we gave up so much talent -- at least on paper -- Sizemore and Crawford for sure. But, I felt like we need to augment our lineup with guys who'd fit. At this point in the game, I realized that we could get too attached to much of anybody -- other than Bobby Stewart -- because we're in the doldrums and if we didn't come out of this one alive, then we need to try to forge some sort of chemistry as fast as we could, plus I got rid of guys earlier that might be free agents and who made it clear they weren't going to resign.
Right now, the only free agents to be we have on our roster are pitchers Jorge Gonzales, Vincente Salas and David Grant and third baseman Alfonso Lopez.
I do realize that it's a bit insane to go imploding an entire rotation and selling off everything of value, but the real world and the relegation world are completely different and so, it's hard to parallel really.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2007
After making the two deadline deals, I simmed an entire month and planned to go through the last month of the season game-by-game so you could really see whether we make it out or not.
Here are the standings in the MLB RED ZONE brought to you by Old Spice Red Zone:
We went 14-13 in August, our first winning month of the season and even though you could hear the collective sting of "ouch" from fans and pundits when Bobby Crawford was named MLB Rookie of the Month for August (.389/4 HR/ 18 runs), I still feel confident the moves we made will prove right and keep us in the majors for another year without having to play the challenge series.
But that being said, being 2 1/2 games up isn't exactly a safety cushion by any stretch.
Our schedule the rest of the way out: (record as of Sept. 1st) (record against team)
I think at the point that one creates a structure that's comprised of four tiers of major league baseball, abolishes the draft, pools media revenue and essentially treats baseball as on par with European Soccer in terms of its perceived popularity in the world, that realism is an overrated concept.
But that said, yeah I do. I don't make swindle deals where I acquire stars from teams on the cheap. Plus, I tend to overcompensate by generally playing in "God" mode and helping computer teams at random times and I'm always steering top talent their way, on purpose, to make things more difficult.
Also, in terms of realism...real life deals are almost ALWAYS involving multiple players and in most of my deals, I send more minor leaguers and so it always inflates the deal. If I were to say (as they do in real life) "future considerations" or "players to be named later" it'd be the same form or function of what we're doing here.
And when cash is involved in my deals, it's almost always sent as a mechanism to cover the salary of someone I'm sending to that team, not as a pot sweetener, though it acts that way. The alternative, would be to just subtract the money from our payroll and add it to theirs, but to me that's not realistic as the actual transfer of money from team to team.
So to answer your question in earnest (and I appreciate the question, I like these sorts of questions...because it really makes me know people are following what I'm doing and are curious about stuff), I will say that I never know where the line of "realism" and "just plum ridiculous" get drawn. I mean, we're a team in a major market, fighting for our lives. You have a (presumably) well-liked GM who is known for his ability to get quick results, make alliances and make things happen.
Ownership gives him the keys to the farm and say, "production has to improve. Or else." So on some level, I think panicking and dealing off guys where it could very well blow up in his face isn't really unrealistic. Especially fan favourite type guys like Alex Todd that came up with the organization and then get dealt up in a fit of rage that the TFNG decides don't fit with the "chemistry" of the new ballclub and where they're headed.
So yeah, they're realistic to me. Unorthodox maybe and perhaps crazy, but not unprecedented as far as this whole thing is concerned.
THE PULSE OF THE FAN
So, I was wondering what fans were thinking about the team and decided to hit the internet.
Boy, was that a mistake.
Daly sucks! Who thought it was a good idea to bring this scrub from BOSTON to LA? This is the big city loser. He trades all of our good guys away and we're gonna have to play some sorry team, lose and get stuck in relegation playing in the minors like the Bombers or something.
With the spectre of positivity on our side, let's get to the last games of the regular season.
We start a three game set against the Cincinnati Reds on the road. We haven't played them all year.
I never know how to explain these games unless it's particular interest in the result and so, I'll just post the box scores unless something very interesting comes out of it.
In this particular case, I haven't done anything with the lineups at all, but might make some tweaks to particular games to see if someone can get hot to end the year.
Looking more closely, here are some of the notable guys who had hot months in August:
C Jose Valadez (.396/8 HR/ 16 RBI in 27 games)
SS Scott Noble (.342/3 HR/10 RBI in 27 games
OF Kelly Sizemore (.260/7 HR/17 RBI in 27 games)
SP Chuck Sherman (4-1, 17 K, 4.40 ERA)
SP Paul Moneur (2-0, 4.54 ERA 22 K)
The idea here is...find the hot hands and see where they can take us. Playing at Dodger Stadium itself is all about finding guys who can get on base and produce runs, not looking for dudes who can belt it out of the ballpark, because it's a lot harder to do there than it is somewhere else and so, that's how we'll approach this.
September 1, 2007
Los Angeles 8, Cincinnati 1
DODGERS DO ONE-DOLLAR GAME DAYS
The Los Angeles Dodgers, in an attempt to sellout the rest of the team's game as they fight off relegation have announced $1 game day, offering fans $1 tickets on a host of seats at the ballpark.
"We'll take a loss, sure. But this is bigger than money. It's about bleeding blue. We're hoping fans come out and support the team. We need them and bigger things are on the horizon," said GM D.C. Daly about the move.
Daly, who was brought on in mid-July has faced a ton of scrutiny from Dodgers fans who wanted someone closer to the organization to run the team after the team was acquired by new ownership prior to the All-Star break. Daly's design to break up a great deal of the ballclub after it sank to last place and after a run of back to back 90-loss seasons in 2005 and 2006 (70-92, 68-94), fans have become frustrated with the ballclub and its lack of success, though the team claimed division titles in 2000, 2001 and 2004, it's not resulted in any sort of success in the form of championships.
"People need to begin to understand that this is a process and that we're all very committed to getting this team into a place where it's very successful. But that takes time."
Unless otherwise asked, I'm just going to go game-by-game and not post box scores. I save them and the logs to any game my teams play these days, but it gets tedious to upload them, paste them or whatever when I know that sort of thing only appeals to a small base of people. Feel free to inform me of otherwise, tho.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2007:
Cincinnati 8, Los Angeles 2
The Reds had a 5-run eighth inning to bust the game open and get past the Dodgers at home.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2007:
Dodgers sign two college players
22-year old Harlan Minor signed a deal today with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization after four years at the University of Virginia. The Laramie, Wyoming native hit .355 with 78 HR and 232 RBI in four years of college. And in 2007, was a NCAA All-Star selection.
The other player was 22-year old outfielder Danny Hurley,a four-year starter at the University of Washington, Hurley hit 39 career HRs and 137 RBI during his four years at UW. The Beaverton, Oregon product is a left-handed hitter and the Dodgers are hoping he'll develop into a multifaceted outfielder down the road.
"We're happy with our college pickups this year and want to continue to develop our farm system," said D.C. Daly about the signings.
What happens to prospects upon relegation?
Teams lose their minor league club and it's transferred to the team that takes their place, upon relegation. Which can suck if you have a lot of young kids invested on the farm that you can put on the major league roster before you get relegated.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
Dodgers 6, Cincinnati 4
Down 4-1 heading into the 9th inning, the Dodgers put their rally caps on and started to dig deep. A single by Cody Reese started the rally, when the Reds walked Scott Noble to get to Takashi Kichida, who'd been inserted into the game in the 9th and he was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Bobby Stewart, who was walked to score a run, to make the score 4-2. Rookie Harlan Minor struck out to make two outs and the Reds made a pitching change, but Taylor Briggs, the new pitcher gave up a triple to the Dodgers Nick Johnson that scored three and proved to be the cushion the Dodgers needed to pull out the late inning rally win.
"This are the games that seasons are made of," said Johnson about his game winning heroics.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2007: Los Angeles 13, Houston 0
SEPTEMBER 5, 2007: Houston 4, Los Angeles 3 (12 innings)
SEPTEMBER 6, 2007: Houston 5, Los Angeles 2
We head home now for 3 against San Jose and a four-game set against the cross-town rival Angels. We're 33-38 at home this year and only 31-47 on the road and so hopefully, we'll get some home cooking over the next few days.
Here are the Red Zone Relegation standings as of September 7, 2007
SEPTEMBER 8, 2007: DODGERS 1, SAN JOSE 0
CHUCK SHERMAN threw 8 innings of seven-hit ball, striking out 4 and walking 1, as the Dodgers only needed one run to combat Dalton Conway and the San Jose Captains attack.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2007 DODGERS 6, SAN JOSE 1
SEPTEMBER 10, 2007 DODGERS 4, SAN JOSE 3
$1 DAYS A HIT WITH DODGER FAITHFUL.
D.C. Daly wanted his team to come off the road and get to see what it's like to be inspired by a home crowd packed to see them. The team hadn't had a sellout since back in April, but through the ingenuity of giveaways and offering a bevy of $1 tickets, the team has packed the house for three-straight games in a sweep against the Western Division leading San Jose Captains, leaving them 4 games ahead of California in the relegation race and giving the team a lot more breathing room than seemed possible a few weeks ago.
"We've really responded well," said Manager Vince Harris, who took over at mid-season. "We're not out of the woods yet, but I think we do see town ahead..so we're gonna run like hell for it, before something comes and eats us in the forest."
The Dodgers are now 23-17 in one-run games this year, an astounding stat given how anemic the team's offense and as woeful as it's pitching has been. But the recent string of wins gives the ballclub hope, said G.M. D.C. Daly.
"We're really looking forward to an entire off-season to assess where the ballclub is and to set the gears in motion to being successful on a regular basis. Our fans deserve it and our new owners will demand it."
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007: DODGERS 5, ANGELS 2
SEPTEMBER 12, 2007: DODGERS 5, ANGELS 4
SEPTEMBER 13, 2007: DODGERS 4, ANGELS 3
Heading to Riverside for a three-game set against the last-place California Empires should prove the mettle of the Dodgers as they finish up the season. The Empires are 3 games in back of the Washington Nationals for last place in MLB and if the Empires lose this series, they're likely going to be heading to a MLB Challenge Series matchup against the winner of the Continental League's Guinness Cup Series, which is now a best-of-seven game series and kicks off next week between Milwaukee and either Nevada or an up-start Chicago White Sox ballclub who have gone 7-3 in their last ten games.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2007: DODGERS 10, CALIFORNIA 9
Only the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies (76-81) have won 8 of their last 10 games in the majors at present. Meanwhile, the Empires have sunk lower, losing seven straight and 8 of their last 10 games and sit 4 1/2 games ahead of the Mets for MLB's wooden spoon.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2007: DODGERS 4, CALIFORNIA 2
SEPTEMBER 16, 2007: EMPIRES 10, DODGERS 3
The Empire gets off the schnide and cool off the hot Dodgers, heading into the last four games of the regular season. The Dodgers face the Giants at home, always a tough battle.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2007: GIANTS 4, DODGERS 0
SEPTEMBER 18, 2007: GIANTS 4, DODGERS 3
SEPTEMBER 19, 2007: DODGERS 7, GIANTS 5
SEPTEMBER 20, 2007: DODGERS 5, GIANTS 2
The Dodgers end the regular season at 74-88, 13 games out of first place in the Western Division and more importantly, not in last place. The team actually had a 6 game improvement over last season's 68-94 campaign.
FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS
September 21, 2007
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Each league I'll do separately, to make it easier to follow.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
The Worcester Browns knocked off the Santa Maria (CA) Winemakers in 5 games to win their 2nd straight AL Pennant, but this team, they're going up a division after winning it all.
Meanwhile, the Boise Hawks (67-87) will be relegated from the National League after finishing with the worst record in that league for 2007.
NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
WINDSOR def. Sioux Falls 4-3
Minnesota def. Buffalo 4-2
In the 2007 NLCS, the Windsor Red Sox knocked off the Minnesota Twins 4 games to 1 to advance to the Continental League in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Portland Beavers of the CL will be relegated to the NL after a 57-97 season.
2007 GUINNESS CUP SERIES ~ CONTINENTAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Nevada Silverhawks were undaunted by the new best-of-seven format of the GCS and knocked off 2005 Champion Milwaukee in six games and will now face the California Empires for the right to enter the bigs in 2008.
Nevada Silverhawks Continental League Champions
California Empires Major League Baseball
For the first time ever, the Challenge Series is now a best-of-seven game series, with MLB going to this format to ensure "fairness" after teams complained the best-of-five format was a "crapshoot." The format is 2-2-3, meaning the CL team will play the first 2 games at home and the last 3 at home, a concession added to give the CL champion the home-field advantage for having won their league and having already played five games just to get here.
NEVADA WINS SERIES 4 GAMES TO 3
The Silverhawks become the first CL team to get promoted since the New York Rens in 2004.
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