All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > WIS Championship > Team Building Strategies
9/29/2012 9:00 AM (edited)
Posted by schwarze on 9/28/2012 4:40:00 PM (view original):
Team Name: Pedro's Rookie Year ('92 LA)
Salary Cap:
$90 Million
Ballpark:
Dodger Stadium

I spent many hours researching for this theme and tried dozens of teams. I was real close to going with a '64 Dodgers team (8 twists) with Koufax & Drysdale along with a twisted Bill Singer but I couldn't stomach the offense (led by Frank Howard and Wally Moon). I was also close to taking the '77 Reds (6 twists) since their offense needed almost no twists and I could use the full season of '77 Seaver (along with a twisted Mike Caldwell and Mario Soto), but I figured Bench and Foster would underachieve in HRs. I also strongly considered the 1917 Braves (9 twists) with Ed Walsh & Ed Reulbach solid twist candidates, but the hitting and defense was pretty weak. I also looked at really bad teams with stud pitchers like '72 Phillies (Carlton), '04 Diamondbacks (R.Johnson), '09 Royals (Greinke), '10 Mariners (F.Hernandez, C.Lee), but there were just too many holes to fill.

Then I started looking at stud pitchers in their first few or last few years to see if they played on bad teams that could contain a lot of twists. That's how I found the 1992 Dodgers (12 twists). These Dodgers lost 99 games, but had great twist candidates… Pedro Martinez, Orel Hershiser, Bob Ojeda, John Candelaria, Jay Howell, Mike Piazza (also his rookie year), Eric Davis, Eric Young, Kal Daniels, Jose Offerman, Eric Karros and Stan Javier. I could still use the 92 seasons for Tom Candiotti (204 IPs, 1.18 whip), Kevin Gross (205 IP, 1.27 whip), Pedro Astacio (82 IP, 1.22 whip) and Brett Butler (676 PA, .413 obp). I didn't even use Daryl Strawberry, Juan Samuel, Mike Scioscia, Tom Goodwin, Ramon Martinez or Roger McDowell. You will notice this team also contains lots of speed. The biggest negative is defense at shortstop. I could've kept the '92 Offerman (D/D at short), but instead will be using '98 Offerman (better hitter) who is a C/C at 2B with no rating at SS. How much worse than a D/D can he be? I could also leave Offerman at 2B and move Eric Young (B-/B+ at second) to short. I don't have a lot of experience playing guys out of position, so we'll have to see which works out better.

Team Stats (excluding scrubs)
Hitting: 5337 pa, .299 avg, .384 obp, .452 slug, 271 SBs at 80.9%, $42.9 million
Pitching: 1384 ip, 2.53 era, .222 oav, 1.09 whip, 0.37 hr/9, $45.6 million

Post-mortem comments:

With respect to the other teams I was contemplating, the '64 Dodgers team in my league won 92 games, Another one won 83 games.  The two '77 Reds teams won 93 and and 87 games respectively.    My '92 Dodgers team finished at 89-73 (although I punted the last few games, giving my good starters some rest).  We started the season 3-11 and it took half the season before we could claw back up to .500.  '99 Pedro Martinez was the main culprit.  It took him12 starts before hd got his ERA to stay below 5.00.  In fact, his counterpart in the $120M clone league was pitching better than the $90M version.  It was maddening.  He then started pitching like you'd expect and finished with respectable numbers (18-11, 3.62 era), which was still a little bit worse than than my $120M '99 Martinez (16-11, 3.12 era).  My pitching staff, in general was just ok.  We finished a medicore 11th in ERA.  Orel Hershiser was a stud, 25-9, 2.79 ERA.  The other 3 SP on my staff (Candiotti, Ojeda, Gross) were a combined 37-33, with a combined ERA just barely under 4.00.  The non-closer RPs were worse than average, all sporting an ERA over 4.00.  Jay Howell (49 IP, 46/46 Saves, 0.73 ERA) was awesome at closer though.

The offense (i.e. speed) was my tean's strength, finishing 6th in runs scored despite ranking only 15th in OPS.  Again, it was the 291 SBs that made a difference.  Jose Offerman (.344 obp) led my team with 118 runs and added 48 SBs to go along with his 48 errors, playing out of position at SS.  I had five players finish with 40+ SBs.  Mike PIazza (.320, .392, .460) was an RBI machine, finishing 4th overall with 133 RBIs.

This team wasn't overly affected by luck.  If anything, they were a tad unlucky... 15-22 in 1-run games, .558 Exp Win%, .549 Actual Win%.  Ironically, we play the aforementioned 92-win '64 Dodgers team (#1 ranked pitching) in the first round. 
9/29/2012 9:35 AM (edited)
Posted by schwarze on 9/28/2012 4:40:00 PM (view original):
Team Name: 1920 NYY-StL-Cin-Pit-PhA
Salary Cap: $100 Million
Ballpark:
Polo Grounds

This was another theme I spent many hours over many weeks researching different combinations. I was looking for teams with bad W-L records that had lots of usable players (especially pitchers). I built teams for 2009, 1967, 1910 and 1924. I was torn on whether or not to go dead-ball era (better pitching) or the modern era (more flexibility, better defense). I ended up not going modern era because I knew the big HR hitters wouldn't reproduce their numbers. I ended up focusing on the Ruth era. I wanted to get a good season of Ruth who wouldn't underachieve. I immediately settled on 1920 when I discovered the 1920 Pirates (a near .500 team) contained 3 of the top 7 SP's of that year (Babe Adams, Wilbur Cooper, Elmer Ponder). Along with the Yankees (95-59) and Pirates (79-75), I added the Cincinnati Reds (82-71) for SP Dolf Luque, OF Edd Roush and 3B Heinie Groh and the St. Louis Cardinals (75-79) for 2B Rogers Hornsby and 1B Jack Fournier. This put me 47 games over .500 so I had to include the 48-106 Philadelphia Athletics. Fortunately, they had a couple of short-inning starting pitchers and a part-time outfielder that barely got me over the $10 million minimum salary. I have no idea how this team will do, but Ruth should be fun to watch, especially playing against some modern pitchers who give up HRs.

Team Stats (excluding scrubs)
Hitting: 5675 pa, .321 avg, .397 obp, .475 slug, $57.4
Pitching: 1421 ip, 2.47 era, .248 oav, 1.10 whip, 0.17 hr/9, $39.4 million


Post-mortem comments:

Remember that old Sesame Street song... "Which of these things is not like the other?"   That song describes this team perfectly.  All five of my other teams are based on speed and pitching.  This team has no speed, not much pitching and has Babe Ruth.  As a result, we finished first in runs scored (with zero SBs) and 21st in team ERA.  I guess that's to be expected when you have the 3rd highest hitting payroll of the 96 teams at $59M.  Even so, I had high hopes for this team after they started off the season really well.  Then Babe Ruth slumped... and slumped badly.... He hit exactly ONE home run over a span of 27 straight games.  Not what I expected for $14+ million.  Ruth finished with strong numbers of .340, .496, .763, 58 HRs and 162 RBIs (just think what the numbers would have been without the slump).  Hornsby was my other stud and he was more consistent (.345, .412, .510, 132 RBs).  After looking at the leaders, it seems I would have been better off going with 1919 Ruth (saved $5M) and had much better pitching.  descodemo won 94 games with a 1919 team. 

The other real streaky player I had was Dolf Luque (1.10 whip is stud-like for 1920).  After his first 14 starts, he had ZERO wins and an 8.02 ERA.  Amazingly, he turned it around and finished at 11-10, 4.59.  My top SPs were Babe Adams (23-9, 3.02) and Wilbur Cooper (21-14, 3.61).   After that, it gets real ugly, real fast.  The bullpen is not very good. 

Hard to tell if my team was lucky or unlucky.  I ended up with a 20-27 record (unlucky) in 1-run games.  My Exp Win% was .524 compared to .549 actual (lucky).  I did throw 100+ innings of really bad mopup so that surely skewed my Exp Win% to the unlucky side.  That being said, I was 2 games out of the playoffs with 11 games to play and finished 9-2, so I am simply happy to finish at 89-73 and squeek into the playoffs.
9/30/2012 5:03 PM (edited)
Posted by schwarze on 9/28/2012 4:41:00 PM (view original):
League Name: Silver & the Switch Hitters
Salary Cap: $110 Million
Ballpark:
SBC Park

I've only used Silver King twice and he's disappointed both times. And of course, I can never use his full complement of innings. He has 703 IPs, which means, in theory, you should be able to get around 770 innings, but that's over 85 complete 9-inning games… which is just not feasible given the sim's fatigue system. In reality, expect to get about 600-650 innings. Remember that this league uses the DH, so the in-game pitch count will be higher than in non-DH leagues which means he may get fatigued faster. This means you need to draft another 800 or so innings - or around 1500 total. At least, that's my thought process… I could be wrong.

Anyway, I decided to go with '96 K.Brown and '97 G.Maddux as my other two starting pitchers… And I added six relievers who have high IP/G numbers and low whips (Pineiro, Dean, Ruffing, Latman, Adams, Cooney).. So I did go pitching heavy, spending almost $60 million for 1500 innings of 0.92 whip.

So, what kind of offense can beat Silver King? Forget about HRs. Since King's walk rate is low, I went with hitters with good batting averages, mixed in lots of speed and made sure my defensive ratings were good since King will increase their error frequencies. I also wanted to get lots of switch hitters in the lineup. Here are the hitters (T.Simmons, Anson, R.Alomar, Boggs, Vizquel, Raines, M.Carey, V.Coleman and Heilmann-dh). Alomar, Vizquel and Boggs are all A- or better fielding. Anson is an A+++ range at 1B. I'm playing in SBC Park to keep the runs scored to a minimum.

Team Stats (excluding scrubs)
Hitting: 6055 pa, .323 avg, .399 obp, .451 slug, 336 SBs at 83.8%, $49.5
Pitching: 1510 ip, 1.78 era, .207 oav, 0.92 whip, 0.20 hr/9, $59.0 million

Post-mortem comments:

The key to this team was balance... The team finished 5th in runs scored, 8th in ERA, 7th in fielding% and 7th in most "+" plays.  Although the team won 97 games (.599), my expected win% was .642.  I didn't waste any salary on HRs, as my team leader (T.Simmons) finished with 13.  Despite the lack of power, I still had 5 guys with over 100 RBIs (Raines, Anson, Boggs, Heilmann, T.Simmons).   Coleman (130) and Raines (110) combined for 240 SBs, while R.Alomar (51) and M.Carey (53) added another 104.  Cap Anson was a stud with the glove at 1B with a total of 37 + plays. 

I didn't try anything odd with Silver King, just starting him every other game.  I set his pitch count somewhat conservatively to prevent any possible in-game fatigue.  He finished the season with the following numbers...  636 IP, 25 CG, 42-24 record, 1.20 whip, 3.37 ERA.  His 636 IP ranked 20th in my league.  His ERA was 4th (among all the Kings), his whip was tied for 1st.  The other two SPs had drastically different results.  '96 Kevin Brown finished 20-9, 4.10 while '97 Maddux was 9-13, 4.51.  The bullpen was pretty solid except for my closer.  '24 Babe Adams had 32 saves, but blew 10 games and had an ERA of 5.40 with a whip of 1.63.  Need less to say, he won't be closing in the playoffs. 
9/30/2012 5:28 PM (edited)
Posted by schwarze on 9/28/2012 4:41:00 PM (view original):
Team Name: Raines, Redmond, Hornsby & Pedro
Salary Cap: $120 Million
Ballpark:
Pro Player Stadium

I really wanted to use Greg Maddox and tried to force him in, even though he doesn't have a lot of low-IP (or cheap) seasons. I had a decent team built with Maddox that I'm sure would do well, but I didn't want the headache of having to micro-manage a team with six 230+ inning seasons. I also looked at the other stud pitchers including W.Johnson, Mathewson, Joss, M.Brown, B.Adams, P.Martinez, R.Johnson and Koufax. I decided to go with Pedro since he's probably right there with Maddox in terms of top-level seasons. I think that Babe Adams will be a popular selection, since he has some nice medium and low inning options and he saves $5-$10M over Maddox/Pedro. I also tried Smoltz since he's got some real nice pure reliever seasons, but his SP-quality isn't high enough for a 120M theme, although you could put together a nice $70M+ offense if you used Smoltz.

I really tried to get a roster built using only 3 players (2 hitters, 1 pitcher), with Pete Rose playing 6 positions (1b, 2b, 3b, ofx3) and Lou Boudreau filling in at SS and C, but there wasn't enough cheap seasons for the bench… so I knew I was going to have to use three hitters so my salary would be $120 million. Since my offense was going to be below average salary-wise, I wanted high-average guys with a little bit of speed mixed in. I figure I would play in a pitchers park and let Pedro shut down the opposition while I would win low-scoring games. Raines was the obvious choice in the OF with his 300+ AVG and 70+ SB seasons. Then I found Hornsby. He has usable 1B, 2B, 3B and SS seasons at the right salaries with decent fielding. Plus, Pedro's strikeouts should somewhat limit the errors that Hornsby would make given an ordinary pitcher. Mike Redmond has a ton of cheap partial seasons, so he was an easy choice at catcher. I know Jimmie Foxx will be a popular selection in this theme, but I just think his HR numbers will be way lower than actual at this cap level (and I hate paying for a stat that I know will underperform). I actually had a team almost built using Boudreau, Ruth and Smoltz, but ran out of cheap seasons and couldn't make it work without lowering the starting quality and wasting salary on the bench guys.

Team Stats (excluding scrubs)
Hitting: 5750 pa, .332 avg, .405 obp, .480 slug, 230 SBs at 87.9%, $58.1
Pitching: 1440 ip, 2.23 era, .198 oav, 0.93 whip, 0.58 hr/9, 11.0 k/9, 1.9 bb/9, $60.4 million
Post-mortem comments:

I thought the team would be decent, but they exceeded my expectations, winning 104 games.  Again, balance was the key, finishing in the top third of the league in offense, pitching and defense.  My three Tim Raines ('83, '85, '86) averaged the following line:  128 runs, 74/86 SBs, .288 avg, .347 obp.  My four Rogers Hornsbys ('17. '19, '20, '21) averaged the following line: 91 runs, 108 RBIs, .315 avg, 370 obp, .443 slug.  Even better, the Hornsby fielding didn't kill me as my 2b, 3b, ss committed 20, 25, 29 errors but made 8, 3, 17 + plays, respectively.   I'm sure Pedro's 1756 strikeouts helped keep the errors down. 

2000 Pedro was a completed monster.  23-8, 0.90 whip (1st in league), 2.28 era (3rd in league).   '99 Pedro was next best, 16-11, 3.12 era, 1.15 whip.  

I will admit that this team was lucky in terms of close games (28-13 in 1-run games, .629 exp win% vs 642 actual).  Still, I like their chances in the playoffs.
9/28/2012 10:15 PM
$90m Limited Twist - 1996 Florida Marlins ($90m)

I knew exactly what I wanted to do here the moment I saw the theme. I took the '96 Marlins, my first choice three years ago when schwarze did the $90m Free agent theme based on W%. I gave more detailed strategy descriptions then, but in a nutshell, at that time I was looking for a team that underperformed their pythags and would net me 4 FA while already giving me two solid starting pitchers. This time I wanted that same outcome, but with 7-8 twists. The fish are the team. I toyed around a little with my final twist unsure of whether having the 2000 Charles Johnson or 2000 Luis Castillo would be more valuable. In the end I went with Johnson and have a 3 player platoon at 2B with Castillo, Veras, & Abbott. This team does it all: they hit for average (.299, but only two starters are below .300), take BBs, hit for power (187 HRs), steal bases (120+ at 75% rate), and they have solid starters in Brown, Leiter, Livan, and Burkett, plus great bullpen help from Nen, Mantei, Helling, Hammond. I feel this team will be right on the edges of the playoffs and if luck goes our way a 90+ game winner.

1,490 IP with .226/1.18/2.94 slash
5,252 PA with .293/.366/.477 slash

post by schwarze on 9/7/2012 4:17:00 PM:It happens every year... where one team KILLS a person's chance of advancing.  So far this year, here are those teams...

$90 Theme
just4me (
32-66 $90M team, 261-229 otherwise)

My team above finished the season at 64-98 (.395).

So we went 32-32 (.500) the rest of the way, after winning at a .326 clip (32-66) at the point where schwarze posted in the forums that this team was killing my chances of advancing..

This team also started out playing decent (11-13) before I noticed I forgot to set the advanced settings for my pitchers so I had my closer set to the defaults for a mop up (any availablility, 50% autorest, high PC, etc), and my long a with the default closer settings (9th inning availability and a 15 max PC), which really messed up my pitching fatigue as my closer was pitching in the red very quickly, etc...

Took me awhile to get things back on track fatigue-wise, but then we also had the worst luck I'd ever seen from a team. At one point they were 0-14 in extra inning games (finished 3-16) and were 7-22 in 1-run games (finished 24-37), so for what it's worth, I don't think it was necessarily my selection that was the poor choice, but a combination of bad luck and a managerial oversight on my part. Though, to be fair, I didn't research this team like I should have and just went with my gut based off of an older WISC team, but while the leagues were similar, the differences were enough that I could have and should have made a different team selection. 

So, while this team could've been managed better and gotten a little luckier, and I could've easily had a 80-85 win season from them, I also could have and should have picked a different team to begin with. It was both the bad choice to start, plus the oversight and a little bad luck that kept me from the cage.

partly due to the early fatigue issues my entire bullpen underperformed:

RL:
 BULLPEN
Pitcher Role % G W-L SV IP/162 ERA OAV WHIP K/9 BB/9 $
Terry Mathews '96 (R) Mop Up 100 57 2-4 4 55.0 4.91 .273 1.56 8.02 4.42 854K
Miguel Batista '01 (R) Long A 100 48 11-8 0 139.0 3.36 .226 1.24 5.83 3.88 3.38M
Chris Hammond '02 (L) Setup A 100 63 7-2 0 77.0 0.95 .195 1.11 7.46 3.67 3.16M
Mark Hutton '96 (R) Setup A 81 (100) 13 5-1 0 57.0 3.67 .222 1.15 4.95 2.88 1.32M
Rick Helling '96 (R) Setup A 91 (92) 5 2-1 0 28.0 1.95 .143 0.76 8.46 2.28 1.28M
Robb Nen '96 (R) Setup A 100 75 5-1 35 83.0 1.95 .225 1.06 9.98 2.28 3.15M
Jay Powell '96 (R) Setup B 100 67 4-3 2 72.0 4.54 .255 1.51 6.59 4.56 1.37M
Matt Mantei '98 (R) Closer A 89 (100) 42 3-4 9 55.0 2.96 .203 1.12 10.44 3.81 1.99M


SIM:
 BULLPEN
Pitcher Role % G W-L SV IP ERA OAV WHIP K/9 BB/9 $
Terry Mathews '96 (R) Mop Up 100 25 0-1 0 44.0 15.34 .446 3.45 1.84 10.84 854K
Miguel Batista '01 (R) Long A 100 52 2-4 3 67.0 5.64 .291 1.66 5.10 4.57 3.38M
Chris Hammond '02 (L) Setup A 100 76 3-6 0 86.0 4.29 .238 1.31 5.34 3.45 3.16M
Mark Hutton '96 (R) Setup A 81 (100) 73 4-3 3 61.2 4.82 .252 1.48 3.65 3.94 1.32M
Rick Helling '96 (R) Setup A 91 (92) 40 2-2 0 33.1 2.16 .185 1.02 4.32 2.97 1.28M
Robb Nen '96 (R) Setup A 100 72 1-6 7 72.0 4.50 .278 1.42 8.50 2.75 3.15M
Jay Powell '96 (R) Setup B 100 44 5-0 2 32.0 6.75 .313 1.94 7.03 5.63 1.37M
Matt Mantei '98 (R) Closer A 89 (100) 58 1-14 32 55.1 4.55 .267 1.70 7.81 5.86 1.99M
 

9/29/2012 10:27 PM
Retrospective comments below:
$70 Mil – Low Budget Expos/Nats
The obvious key driver for the low cap seems to be speed. I also wanted to balance it as best as I could with some power given the modern twist of the theme. I figured that I would go with a Cards team as many have built but when it came down to deciding it actually came down to between the Expos and A’s. I liked the balance of the pitching staff better with the Expos so I went with them. ’85 Bryn Smith, ’78 Steve Rogers and ’94 Pedro anchor the staff. On the hitting side – I have the usual SB suspects in Raines and LeFlore. Vladdy adds more SBs and pop. Part-time Gary Carter to cut down on the SB teams. I usually find low cap themes boring and this is not much different. I have had moderate success with the low-caps and wouldn’t be at all shocked to have between 75-85 wins with this team.

This turned out to be the right choice for me as we cruised to 92 wins and the division title without much trouble. We had the best ERA in the league (2nd in runs against) which was a bit of a surprise but probably in large part due to the balance of the staff and the moderate pitchers park (Olympic Stadium). The offence finished a respectable 6th in runs scored due to the nice combo of power and speed. My first round opponent is discodemo so likely a quick playoff exit for this team.
 
$80 Mil – MNH’s Chapter 1
With a team name ready to fly in the face of any WIS jinx I was prepared for a theme that would drive me insane. I fairly quickly realized that this wouldn’t be the case. I started with pitching and looked for the usual deadball suspects. I have Joss but neither team has the ’08 version. I like to have a fairly balanced staff that gives me a chance to win each game and didn’t see it happening spending all that money on the ’08 version. For the pen I knew I had to go modern to give me a chance to have back to back quality seasons (except for 1915 George Dumont). The pitching staff came around fairly quickly and was right around the 40mil mark which is my comfort level. For the bats I just started by looking at cookie/speed type guys. Tried to get walks and XBHs and didn’t really worry about homers due the likelihood of facing a bunch of deadballers. As some have mentioned, finding that key awful player who had back to back sub 300k seasons was very satisfying. All the pieces ended up fitting pretty well at the end – after a tweak or two to the pitching staff I was pretty much set. Once I had the team set I didn’t bother looking at it again (very different from any other theme I’ve ever done). One change would set off a chain reaction and it wasn’t worth it to me. My round 1 team certainly has better hitting but my round 2 team might have a bit better pitching. Nonetheless, I chose what I thought was the better team for round 1. I figured that milking the most of my IP would be an important factor so I lowered my total IP to 1282 (including 58 mopup) and put the team in Safeco. I don’t think it should be an issue but after last year’s round 2-80 mil fiasco I wouldn’t be shocked at anything at this point. Assuming fatigue issues are kept in check this team should be just fine and contend for a playoff spot.
 
I am genuinely proud of this team. By biggest pitching fatigue fears were realized and the staff was gassed by the 40 game mark. My mop up guys gave up a whopping 208 runs (!) and my team would have finished 2nd in the league in ERA without them (although to be fair I would have to disregard everyone’s mop-up guys for the comparison….regardless, the rest of the staff was very solid). Despite the pitching problems my team managed to win 94 games and a 1 game playoff vs schwarze. To me this is very impressive considering we were on the verge of an epic meltdown that would have single handedly taken me out of the 2nd round. I am concerned about my 2nd round team given my original plan was to have less IP – I am going to have to revisit that idea obviously.
 

$90 Mil – 1916 Chicago Cubs
I certainly love these types of themes. This one and the 100 mil one were the most fun for me. I pretty much looked at every season to find that one perfect team and leaned towards more twists than less. I never did find that perfect team but I did look strongly at the 1907 and 1908 Red Sox and the 1926 and 29 Cards. The 26 Cards were too two player heavy (Hornsby and Alexander) – didn’t like that. The 29 Cards didn’t leave me very comfortable with the pitching staff. The ’07 Sox had great pitching but not enough guys who got on base. I finally had to decide on the ’08 Red Sox vs my chosen Cubs team. My problem with the ’08 Sox team was that it was too heavily weighted to pitching (in terms of dollars) so pretty much by default I chose the Cubs team who had the best balance in my opinion. A strong starting staff of ’14 Hendrix, ’18 Vaughn and ’04 Brown should keep me in just about every game. The bullpen is thin with only 3 useable pitchers (all from 1916 fortunately). To complement the strong staff, the lineup is very balanced. ’14 Dutch Zwilling, ’12 Heinie Zimmerman and ’14 Art Wilson will be studs given normalization. In addition we have ’23 Cy Williams and ’11 Frank Schulte. They will have some sneaky pop (again given normalization) and I stuck them in Weeghman Park (+2 Hrs) to help them hit the ball out. Through 5 games they have 11 HRs which is somewhat surprising but fitting with what I was trying to accomplish. I am a bit surprised that only 1 other owner took them so I have a bit of cause for concern but under 90 wins will be a failure for this team in my view.
 
It looks like this was the right choice and my pre-season prediction was bang on. We cruised to the division title with 101 wins and never really had much trouble.  Generally this means a 1st round playoff loss for me. We led the league in HRs, which for a 1916 team is pretty outrageous. 2nd in the league in runs scored and 7th in ERA. My first time using ’14 Hendrix was a pleasant one as he was the anchor of my staff going 32-10 and winning the Cy Young award.
 

$100 Mil – 1910 Cards, Sens, Naps, Sox and Cubs
I could probably write a dissertation on my process for selecting this team. I was a little disappointed that given the amount of time I spent searching I was never entirely happy with my options. I looked at every season every which way pretty much; great teams with terrible teams, average teams and other average teams. It came down to 2011, 1992, 1928 and 1910. I didn’t like the structure of my staff for the 2011 team so they were gone. From the comments here I have seen others who structured a more sound staff than mine for this season. Oh well. 1992 looked pretty good in all aspects but they were too vanilla. 1928 had amazing hitting and 1910 had amazing pitching. In the end I got too scared of the 1928 staff at this cap. Not one person took 1928 so it looks like I likely made the right call by staying away. I am actually quite surprised at some of the staffs that people felt comfortable with at this cap – given this likely won’t play as a true 100 I could be way off on this opinion. I have ’10 Johnson and Walsh leading the way and decided to trim some dollars on my 3rd starter for better hitting from the Cubs and went with Brown there. The hitting could be a serious problem with no one really of note other than Lajoie and Solly Hofman. Johnson and Walsh will have to carry a big load for this team to be a contender for the playoffs. I guess I’m hoping that everyone’s teams pretty much suck but it will be interesting to see what strategies ended up paying off.
This team was a failure and really my only bad team from round 1. We had some trouble in 1-run games but really it was our inability to score runs that was the downfall of this team. I am not sure why I thought the hitting would be enough – Hofman and Lajoie underperformed I guess but this team was never really going anywhere. It seems other owners found success with 1910 so I likely just had the wrong combination of teams.


$110 Mil – As Good As Silver
Thankfully I got a bit of experience from last year’s WISC with Silver – otherwise I may have really screwed this team up. I started by choosing 2 200ipish SPs to tandem with King. I originally had ’95 Maddux and ’00 Pedro but didn’t want to spend that kind of $$$ so downgraded to ’14 Dutch Leonard and ’06 Doc White (two lefties in case everyone went LH to counter King). This might not be much of a downgrade in fact and it saved me a bunch of dough. From there I just finished the staff with fairly premium low IP relievers. I ended up bumping my IP up a bit after some tweaking – I went from the low 1400IPs to 1498 (including 57 mop up) due to the DH and the fact that King’s 700 ips aren’t true 700 ips. I stuck them in Safeco just to be safe and figure that King could probably take a beating every once in a while if I had to serve him up at low rest (since he would bounce back and not suffer an IP death spiral). For hitting I knew I wanted speed and a balance of high average and walks (to counter any owners who threw out some non-King low avg/higher bb guys). I also tried to get some decent to great fielding to help King out. I expect 90 wins+ for this team.
This was my best team, winning 104 games (and an even better exp winning percentage of .690).    This team caught fire about half way through the season and never looked back finishing 3rd in the league in ERA and 4th in the league in runs scored. I never had much of an issue with IP and my lineup was well balanced with speed, power and average. As above, likely a 1st round playoff loss for this great regular season team.

$120 mil – Maddux & Rivera, Hornsby & Foxx
When I first read the rules for this theme I was pretty disappointed but seeing the various strategies used I think it will actually be a fun one to follow. From the get go I figured I would use 1 pitcher and 2 hitters (I didn’t want to play guys out of position because I don’t have the experience of knowing how to do it or when it could/couldn’t work). I built Maddux, Pedro and Mordecai teams. I ditched Pedro because he was too expensive and went with Maddux over Mordecai due to Maddux filling more roster spots. I think Maddux might be the best, most consistent pitcher in the sim and certainly can throw out 4/5 seasons against anyone so I feel he was the obvious choice here. I then looked at hitting and quickly realized that a lot of guys I wanted to use wouldn’t work because they simply didn’t have enough cheap seasons. I found that Hornsby had a few and could play multiple positions. For catcher it was between Foxx and Boudreau for me. Foxx could play a bit of OF and had some cheap seasons too so this was a no brainer. At this point I realized that I was wasting over 5 million in money due to not having enough cheap players and also didn’t really like the structure of my Maddux-only pitching staff. Since I had wasted 5 mil I had no problem adding another player. I humoured myself by first adding Raines and seeing how much that helped my situation. It obviously didn’t solve my pitching issue so I got rid of Raines and looked at who I could use in relief. Rivera was the obvious choice here. He filled a ton of roster spots to the point where I don’t have any excess IPs or Abs. I put the team in Yankee Stadium (III) to take advantage of the Pedro teams I am likely to face. I have high hopes for this team and feel that this theme will very quickly separate the haves from the have-nots.
This was easily my most frustrating team. I don’t understand what happened in this theme and feel if we ran it all again we would get some very different results in terms of teams that were successful.    My team finished with a .626 exp winning percentage but was 5 games out of a playoff spot. We also went 36-45 at home which is confusing to me given the homerun nature of my team and park. We finished 3rd in ERA and I was entirely disappointed with the Jimmie Foxx component of my hitting. Blah.
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