All Forums > Hardball Dynasty Baseball > Hardball Dynasty > WKRP Radio (or How to Rebuild a Disaster)
4/14/2007 10:36 AM
After a rather lengthy search, I have found a team in World Addicted Users that I personally believe is in as bad a shape as any team can possibly be in this game. My goal -- see how fast I can resurrect the franchise and turn it into a legitimate contender.

First, let me state the following:
1. I am not attempting to steal the thunder from grivfmd1's Trash Heap Challenge or MikeT's Rebuilding Las Vegas. If not for having other teams roll over at the same time as those worlds did, I may have joined them in their worlds. This thread is simply my attempt to document my rebuild effort.
2. If you don't care and don't want to read, don't. It is MY thread after all. :P
3. I intend, in this thread, to go into some detail about my thought processes for moves that I make. I hope that it can therefore serve as an instructional or at least advice guide for those owners that find themselves stuck with a team that has similar problems to the one I have taken over.

Next, my "qualifications":
This is my 7th team. I have started 3 teams from Season 1, as follows:
1. Sandberg (Philadelphia) -- won my division all 5 seasons so far, won the NL pennant in Season 1. (UPDATED 8/29/07)
2. FYC (Wichita) -- won my division all 4 seasons, won the World Series in Season 2. Currently in first place late in Season 5. (UPDATED 8/29/07)
3. Cooperstown (Louisville) -- World Series champion each of the league's first two seasons. Currently in playoff contention in Season 3. (UPDATED 8/29/07)
I took over 2 teams at the start of their second seasons, as follows:
4. Robinson (Columbus) -- took a team from over 100 losses the year before I had them to 3 straight playoff berths (one wild card, two division titles) Had best record in the league in my second and third seasons, after which I retired from the league. (UPDATED 8/29/07)
5. NABCL (Kansas City) -- took a team with over 100 losses the year before I had them to four straight division titles and 2 World Series titles. (UPDATED 8/29/07)
Finally, I took over one team with about 45 games in Season 2:
6. Mays (Santa Fe) -- took over a team with an entire pitching staff sitting at 0(0), no significant talent, but luckily very little payroll commitment. Only won 69 games my first full season (up from 39 the year before though), thus making it my only full season team ever to miss the playoffs. Barely missed the playoffs in my second full season. Won my division and had the best overall record in either league in my third season, where the playoffs are just starting. (UPDATED 8/29/07)
UPDATE: I also started one more new team from Season 1 since this was originally posted:
7. Clemens (San Diego): Closing in on the halfway point of the season, I am in first place in my division and tied for the best overall record in the NL. (UPDATED 8/29/07)

Finally, my requirements for the team I am now rebuilding:
1. Never had a winning season
77 wins in Season 1, 74 wins in Season 2, 45-117 in Season 3
2. All minor leagues had losing seasons last year
42-102 AAA, 34-110 AA, 25-119 High A, 29-115 Low A, 17-59 Rookie
3. Significant payroll commitment for Season 4, which would obviously make rebuilding extremely difficult:
99.2 M committed -- I was hoping to get 75 million, 99 was way worse than I thought I would ever find.
4. West Division, simply because I don't have any teams in that division
team I found is AL East -- oh well, this was the least important requirement anyhow
5. A top-flight private league
While Addicted Users did have 10 spots this rollover, I have been in other leagues with quite a few owners and believe that it does have a very good, solid core group. I also noted that threester is in the league, who happens to have perhaps the best overall success rate in HBD and is (as of the last time I checked) one of only three owners including myself to have won championships in at least 3 worlds.

Thus begins the rebuilding effort of the Cincinnati Venus Flytraps - named, of course, after the great WKRP disc jockey himself. The team has already contracted with WKRP radio for broadcasting of all of its games. Now we just need to find a way to win a few.
4/14/2007 10:43 AM
His truth is marching on.
4/14/2007 10:54 AM
STEP 1: EVALUATING YOUR TEAM -- POSITION PLAYERS

The first step with any new team is to figure out what you have. Obviously, with projected ratings not available until after budgets are set, there is a serious lack of information about players under 27 years of age. The best you can do for your prospects is look at their current ratings and, if they look fairly decent, assume/hope the guy's projected ratings will have him looking like a stud.

Therefore, the majority of my concentration until the league fills and we reach Budget Setting Day will be on what my major league roster looks like.

My team has 11 position players on its major league roster. 10 of the 11 are 27 years or older, so their projected ratings will equal their current ratings. I therefore have all possible ratings information for these 10 players and will begin my roster evaluation with them. The 11th guy is only 23 years old, so while he may not knock my socks off at the moment, there is a chance he will project into a star -- I just don't have enough information to evaluate him completely yet.

My first step is to change positions for all of my players using the position editor links in the GM's Office. I use the Recommended positions, although in some cases I will add or remove a recommended position if I don't agree. The following is my 11 major league position players:

J. Mateo (catcher), 27 years old, 3 x 3.3M contract. Mateo has offensive ratings in the 60s across the board, has a 70 arm power which is good for throwing guys out and has a 63 pitch calling. His Durability is in the 60s meaning he probably can't play more than 2/3 of my games. However, he is a solid player. I mark him down as a guy that is definitely usable, although given that he has a 3 year contract, I would not mind moving him to free up some cap space -- remember, I have over 99 million committed this season already.

V. Guerrero (first base), 34, 5 x 6.3M. I see the age and the contract and that is as far as I have to go. This guy has to be moved. I just hope I can find someone willing to take him -- odds are I will have to throw money and at least 1 prospect into a deal to get rid of him. Luckily for me, his offensive ratings are still solid and he should be able to hit close to .300, 25-30 HR and over 100 RBI on the right team.

K. Hill (second base), 31, 3x5.2M. Another bad contract, but not dreadful. Hill has decent speed and solid defensive ratings for a second baseman. His offensive numbers are in the high 40s to low 60s. Not a superstar but a serviceable guy. I list him as a guy I would like to move, but am willing to keep if I cannot find a taker. Not worth losing a good prospect to move him.
4/14/2007 11:11 AM
D. Mahomes, third base, 32, 3 x 6.3M. These contracts are already driving me nuts, and I still have 6 more positions players and an entire pitching staff to go. Mahomes does have decent offensive ratings (L/R splits in the 70s, solid contact and eye), and is solid defensively at third. I list him as a guy I must move - that is way too much salary for a team that is rebuilding.

O. Gonzalez, shortstop, 32, 4 x 2.4M. Another long contract, but only 2.4 million is not bad. Plus Gonzalez has 80+ ratings across the board defensively. I am probably going to keep him, at least for my first season, as I rank defense very highly and thus guy is fairly inexpensive. Of course, given his age, if the right offer came along I would move him in a heartbeat.

P. Baez, infielder, 33, 4 x 8.0M. The age and the contract are enough for me to not look further. He must be moved. Defensively, his ratings are better suited for third or second than shortstop. On offense, his 90 power, 78/63 right splits , and 86 contact should make him attractive on the trading market. Definitely a guy that can help a contender and I just have to hope the contract does not deflate his trade value too much.

G. Newson, field, 28, 2 x 3.6M. Finally a guy under 30. Too bad he can't hit. Hopefully I can unload this contract somehow. If not, at least it is only 2 years.

M. Kirwan, right field, 27. Kirwan is a rookie making minimum salary. He has decent offensive ratings. However, based on the salary, I pull out my ink pen and place him in right field for at least the next 3 seasons. Finally, a bit of progress.

W. Eusebio, field, 35, 3 x 7.5M. The good news from Kirwan ended real fast. As with a lot of these veterans, Eusebio has solid offensive ratings (power and L/R splits in the 70s). But his age and contract will make him a tough sell. He goes on the must move list, of course.

W. Long, field, 35, 4x2.8M, Long looks like he will be with me for a Long time. His offensive ratings are trash. There goes almost 3 million a season for the next 4 years.

B. Balboa, outfield, 23, rookie making minimum salary. Balboa is the one guy I could not fully evaluate. His offense isn't much yet, but hopefully he will have good projections. The prior owner appears to have had a fielding coach that was running Bill Buckner drills, as Balboa's fielding ratings took a huge hit last season. He now shows 80-36-53-29. I have no idea what to do with ratings like that. I will list him as a corner outfielder for now, and mark down signing a great fielding coach as a top priority.


That is it for position players. The prior owner signed a ton of AWFUL contracts. Luckily, most of these guys can hit and I hope I can find a couple of contenders that are willing to take them off my hands. But I realize that it may be more important to move contracts than acquire prospects at this point. All of these contracts are 3-5 years long, and there is no way I will be able to invest in scouting and prospects if I do not clear these salaries off of my books.

Up next -- the pitching staff.
4/14/2007 11:32 AM
My wife has also learned to ignore me. On a more serious note, good luck on your project.
4/14/2007 5:47 PM
Your team smokes the one I just took over.
4/15/2007 10:37 AM
STEP 1(B) -- EVALUATING YOUR PLAYERS - THE PITCHING STAFF

I normally run a 13 man pitching staff, especially with an American League team. I find that there really is not much need for more than 3 extra position players when you don't need pinch hitters because of the DH rule. So my bench on an American League team generally consists of a backup catcher, a backup shortstop/utility guy, and a guy with great speed and baserunning skill that can be used as a pinch runner in key late-game situations.

My pitching staff consists of 5 starters, 3 long relievers (guys with starter DUR/STA combinations) and 5 true relievers (4 setup and a closer). If I get very good DUR/STA combos on my relievers I may cut down to only 4 and take an extra position players. Similarly, if I have a top flight starting pitching staff, I may only go with 2 long relievers. Given that this team is a major rebuild project that should take at least 3 years to make the playoffs, I anticipate serious pitching issues until I can develop young talent. I am therefore going to change up my pattern and go with 4 long relievers in anticipation of a lot of short outings by my starters. I will cut back to 3 setup and 1 closer.

Here is my evaluation of the 11 pitchers that start the season on my Major League staff:

L. Torcato, SP, 28, League Minimum salary. Wow. I expected trash in my rotation and I start with a guy that is a keeper. Torcato has 21/80 DUR and STA making him a solid every 5th day starting pitcher. He has very good control (81) and I have come to regard control as one of the most important ratings for a pitcher. Very solid L/R splits and 2 70+ rated pitches (though also two sub-50 pitches). He will be arb eligible next season, so his pay is going to start going up soon. For the right offer I may move him, but I mark him down as a keeper.

P. Carter, SP, 36, 9.6M (final season of contract). Here is a serious waste of money. The guy has good STA/DUR, control, and L/r splits, although his 4 pitches are not very strong. He is serviceable and if I cannot move him due to his ridiculous contract and age, at least he can eat innings for me this season. Perhaps if I pay most if his contract I will be able to pick up a prospect for him. At least I don't have to move a prospect to get rid of him -- he will thankfully be gone next season.

S. Shields, SP, 33, 3 x 6.3M. Another guy with good (88) control, but weak stamina makes him iffy as a starter. Besides, his age and contract are way too much. He goes on the must move list. With 4 pitches rated 59 or higher and L/R splits of 78/59, I think I may be able to get value for him, despite the contract.

J. Martin, SP, 27, League minimum salary. Why this guy is on the major league roster is beyond me. He has starter DUR/STA, but 39/44 splits and no pitch rated 60 or higher make him a career minor leaguer. he has options so he is going to be shipped out to the farm.

L. Locko, SP, 23, league minimum. I expected a mess in my pitching staff. Instead I find not only the aforementioned Torcato, but also this guy. he is only 23 years old and has serviceable ratings across the board already. If his projections end up being anywhere close to what I think they will be, given that he is still only 23, I may have a future ace on my hands. I would have preferred he still be in the minors to develop, but I will not risk a demotion penalty and place him into my rotation.
4/15/2007 10:50 AM
L. Kennedy, Long relief, 37, 3.1M (final year of contract). 87 control, 42/61 splits, and 4 pitches rated 50 or higher. Noone will want to trade for a 37 year old, so I am going to simply have to eat his contract this season and use him as one of my 4 long relievers.

D. Truman, setup, 29, 4.0M (final year of contract). Someone under 30! Plus, he has solid ratings and a decent Dur/Sta combo. Definite trade value here and I intend to move him. The last thing a team with the problems that mine has needs is 4 million dollar setup men. I consider setup guys to be the final pieces to add when a team is ready to make a title run, and any team in rebuilding mode should have as cheap of a bullpen as possible.

P. Parrish, 33, setup, 3 x 8.0M (actually the final year is only 6 million). The age and contract are all I need to see to know he must go. Luckily, his ratings tell me that he could be a top-rated closer , 94 control, 72/71 splits, 2 pitches both in the 90s. I think I will be able to move him for value, despite the contract.

D. Knott, 34, setup, 4 x 1.6M. Everything looks good on the guy except the 34 DUR/17 STA combo. This means he pitches once ever 3 days at best. I may end up eating this entire contract for the next 4 seasons unless I can find a way to package him in a trade.

N. Standridge, 35, setup, 2 x 4.6M. Another guy with decent ratings, but a low DUR/STA combo. He goes on the must move list as well.

A. Blair, 34, long relief, 6.0M (final year of contract). Another guy that I may simply have to keep and use in long relief. He has no trade value but thankfully it will only be one season.


Having completed my review of the pitching staff, I am pleased that the contract problems are not nearly as bad as they were with the position players. I also begin to wonder why this team lost so many games last season. There is definitely some talent amongst the veterans and a few guys that I can get value for. However, I will not even consider attempting to keep this team together and go for a playoff run this season. They are way too old and I need to move whatever I can while these guys still have some value . I can only hope that there are a fair number of players in the world that want to win now as opposed to rebuild so I can make a few deals.


Up next -- Evaluating Arbitration Eligible and Departing Free Agents
4/15/2007 12:06 PM
Well hello Mr. Fancypants with too much time on his hands.
4/15/2007 12:22 PM
Quote: Originally posted by csherwood on 4/14/2007
First, let me state the following:

2. If you don't care and don't want to read, don't. It is MY thread after all. :P

This post has a rating of , which is below the default threshold.
4/15/2007 12:37 PM
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4/15/2007 12:41 PM
In Ron Cey, I took over the LA franchise, which had 65 MLB wins and an average of 35 wins at each minor league level. Bad major-league contracts, guys on the MLB roster who weren't MLB quality, guys at each minor league level who were signed off the FA scrap heap (pitchers with L/R of 12-15, for example).
I released about 60-65 of the 130 or so players I started with. I traded away all of the bad contracts, basically by agreeing to pay the bulk of the Season 1 salary (if not all), and throwing in a modest prospect, in exchange for a better (and preferably MLB-ready) prospect. I made a bunch of minor-league trades, dealing high-stamina pitchers for lesser-stamina, higher-quality guys, and trading guys who were closer to major-league ready, but who were power pitchers who lacked control, in exchange for bulk pitchers at the A and AA level who were marginal to good MLB prospects, but who were more likely to throw quality innings.
I then signed six MLB FAs (three of whom worked out well, three not -- one I was able to trade). I signed a slew of minor-league FAs, a few who made cameo appearances on the MLB team, and the rest who made those teams competitive. I also signed two high-end international FAs, who should be major-league ready next season.
The result: 96 wins and a wild card in the majors. All but AAA made the playoffs. My rookie team won the championship.
4/15/2007 12:53 PM
Quote: Originally Posted By csherwood on 4/15/2007
Quote: Originally posted by MikeT23 on 4/15/2007 <DIV>Mr. Fancypants is pretty sensitive today.



yeah yeah. I'll have this team in the playoffs long before your Las Vegas 'tards

I should hope so. You have talent on your team.
4/15/2007 1:36 PM
In Moonlight Graham I took a team that won the WS in S1 and underachieved a bit in S2 and now I'm taking em right back to the WS. WORSHIP ME!!
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