Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Portland Landports
(First Place)(79-84 victories this season)

Woody Ruffin LF (Signed a big contract in the off-season would like to prove that he can still play at the age of 34)

Tommy Mientkiewicz CF (Last season’s team MVP should get even better this season at the top of the lineup)

Rich Blue RF (Won’t provide much power but provides great protection for the power hitters as he makes the pitchers think twice when he’s on base)

Joaquin Ozuna DH (Nothing but a pure power hitter and fits great playing in the American League)

Rich Hale 3B (The 36 year old would like to prove he’s still got some life in his bat this season)

Anthony Bolling 2B (Struggled last season but should get better this season and cause even more problems on the base paths)

Aurelio Mercado SS (Named after a famous Brazilian soccer player as the sweet feet of any soccer player but it’s his glove that’s even sweeter)

Tony Goldman 1B (The Goldman will be looked on even more this season to produce some big numbers)

Will Randolph C (Is not much of a defense wizard at the catcher position but has no problem hitting when he gets a chance to start)

Cesar Delgado (was the best pitcher they had last season and will be looked upon to become an ace this season)

Jim Buckley (The 35 year old almost retired after last season but the Landports offered him a lot of money for the next two years so lets see if the risk was worth it)

Vin Bryne (Hopefully Bryne will stay in the starting rotation for the whole season this year)

Howard Fowler (Had the best ERA of any starter on the staff last season but will need to pitch more then 22 starts to see his numbers improve this season)

Wayne Fingers (Finally will have a chance to start for a team this season as he blocked from any starting spot in Tacoma last season)

Wayne Bard (Split time as the closer with Rafael Estrada hopes that he can hold on the closer role all season long)

Coaches Corner:

Last season we where very disappointed with how the season turned out even though we won our division we still didn’t finish the season above .500 and was quickly gone from the playoffs. This season we would like to see a record better then .500 and a playoff round victory. We really pushed hard to find to find a number one starter that could help this team but the market was really bare as it seemed everyone was looking for pitching. Omar Ferrer and Anthony Bolling are the two players that your really need to keep an eye out this season as there going to have a big season. Believe it or not this team is all about pitching, defense and speed with the pitching coming into place hopefully as the season comes along. If we can find a number one starter I think we could get around 90 victories if not will probably be around .500 again.

Rankings to start the season:
21st ranked offensive
18th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Will Randolph C (.267, 3, 28) (3yrs, 8.4mil)
Rich Hale 3B (.283, 12, 71) (3yrs, 8.1mil plus 2mil signing bonus and a no-trade clause)
Woody Ruffin LF (.317, 13, 54) (3yrs, 10.2mil plus 2.7mil signing bonus and a no-trade clause)
Gary Clark P (0-1, 19.41ERA, 32G) (4yrs, 14.8mil plus 4.0mil signing bonus)
Jim Buckley P (7-13, 4.89ERA, 121SO) (2yrs, 12.0mil plus 6.0mil signing bonus)
Wayne Fingers P (5-1, 1.68ERA, 60SO) (Acquired via Trade from Tacoma Pioneers)

Players Lost:
Billy Ray Lombardi 1B (Released)
Felix Riggs P (Released)

Scranton Beet Farmer's
(Second Place)(79-84 victories this season)

Vicente Domingo RF (Domingo is one of the big power bats in the lineup and provides the protection that Shigetoshi needs)

Dwight Hennessey CF (Will get the chance to start this season and he hopes that the team will enjoy the numbers that everyone knows he can produce)

Fritz Hernandez LF (Hernandez will bat at the top of the order and his numbers should improve this season as well)

Adam Thomas DH (Thomas had no problem getting on base last season but the team had trouble to touch home plate as he only scored 67 runs)

Ryne Myers 3B (The fans are expecting Myers to produce some big number this season and I think that he can)

Marc Rivera 2B (Rivera is really a man with no position as he could play any where but I believe second base is the best position for him)

Matty Lee SS (Nicknamed the General in college, Lee looks to have a breakout season this season)

Phil Shigetoshi 1B (The quite leader of the team once again got some great numbers last season and will once again be a force in the middle of this lineup this season)

Charley Meadows C (Meadows will probably platoon with Elvis Zentmeyer this season)

Andres Crespo (The 21 year old may have only won 2 games last season but he’s got the stuff to become an ace someday for this team)

Phil Lee (Lee won 12 games last but will need to improve his 163 innings pitched last season if he wants to be considered as a rising star in this league)

Steve McIntyre (McIntyre only started 19 games last season but expect him to be around 30 this season)

Vic Stewart (lead the team in innings pitched with 193 innings pitched but the 17 losses is a real concern for this team that is trying to get over .500 for the first time)

Hector Rijo (With the fifth spot open, I think Rijo might get the spot)

Livan Acosta (I know Che Jiang saved 34 games last season but I believe Acosta will push him right out of the closer spot once the season get going)

Coaches Corner:
Every year your goal is to get the World Series and that is what our focus is, but you have to start by winning your division, which is something this franchise has yet to accomplish. We can taste it after getting so close last year. Without giving away too much we have a close eye on the free agent market. I don't anticipate we will be making any news worthy signings this year. I do think there are a few quality players that may slide under the radars this year. We will see what happens. We have a few key positions that are locked up this year. So, we will focus on upgrading in some of our weaker performing areas from last year. If our young pitching can catch up to our offense and defense things could be looking up for Beet Farmers this year. I believe Andres Crespo will be a star this season. He came into a tough situation last year. Called up when Steve McIntyre went down for the year. We really asked a lot of him and he did the best he could. He is very talented and very young and had an excellent off season progression, so he is my pick. There are a couple spots on this roster where some young guys have a chance to win the position in the spring. Our philosophy is to build a strong franchise that can be competitive every season. To grow from within with good scouting and drafting and locking up key players to long term deals. Being adaptable and knowing when to save money and when to spend it. Definitely not afraid to play young players or take chances on crafty veterans. Without doing any sort of research on the other teams in my division. I will say we will go 83-79, which will be our first winning season in franchise history. Hopes are high in Scranton this year.

Rankings to start the season:
15th ranked offensive
24th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:

Players Lost:
Sammy Beltran P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Eddie Erstad SS (Option Declined)

Ottawa Crawdaddies
(Third Place)(73-78 victories this season)

Al Guillen LF (Hit 24 homeruns last season but his 56 runs scored tells the story of how this offense struggled last season)

Scott Coffie CF (.238 average and a .321 on-base percentage is not what you need at the top of you lineup)

Luis Johnson RF (Did a great job last season hitting at the top of the order but the 29 walks could be a concern for this team)

Hooks Gagne DH (A full season out of Gagne this year will improve this offensive through out the year this season)

Gregory Page 2B (Has the speed and glove to play second base but does he have the bat to keep him in the lineup)

Bob Ulrich 3B (Ulrich is really looking forward to playing a full season and improving on his numbers from last season)

Clay Offerman SS (Clay the Wizard Offerman may struggle out the plate but his defense more then makes up for this short comings at the plate)

Al Vazquez 1B (The team MVP and the real only power threat this team has in the lineup)

Ricardo Martinez C (Martinez was signed during the off-season and I believe will win the catching spot from Ira Walsh when the season starts)

Rafael Machado (Won 10 games last season the most on the team but only going 5.1 innings per game really puts a lot of pressure on the bullpen)

Mark Brantley (Is only 25 years old and should see a big improvement this season)

Pedro Bautista (Bautista struggled as he had 16 losses but the ability is there to become a solid pitcher)

Ajax Peavy (Peavy should see time as a starter for the whole season this year)

Herman Blair (Was the best starter on the team last season as he was the only starter with an ERA under 4)

Kordell Schneider (I know that the Crawdaddies signed Olmedo Ayala to a big contract but I believe Schneider will be the closer this season)

Rankings to start the season:
30th ranked offensive
12th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Ira Walsh C (Minor Leagues) (4yrs, 9.6mil)
Olmedo Ayala P (0-7, 5.29ERA, 36SV) (4yrs, 22mil)
Luis Johnson SS (Resigned)
Ricardo Martinez C (.264, 4, 27) (2yrs, 3.4mil)

Players Lost:
Eddie Henderson P (Left Free-Agency)
Harold Morton DH (Left Free-Agency)
Rex Ross DH (Left Free-Agency)
Marc Penny DH (Left Free-Agency)
Chris Haney P (Left Free-Agency)
Jermaine Curtis P (Left Free-Agency)
Floyd Sherman P (Option Declined)
Luis Johnson SS (Released)
Carmen McPherson P (Released)
Rigo Lopez P (Released)
Alex Ellis C (Released)
Dick McClain P (Released)
Jeff Gilmore P (Claimed off Waivers by Philadelphia HeadHunters)
Gus Inge P (Claimed off Waivers by Philadelphia HeadHunters)

Minnesota Milfoils
(Fourth Place)(55-60 victories this season)

Benny Julio LF (Julio saw limited playing time last season but with all the moves made this off-season by the team Julio should get a starting spot this season)

Dorian Perisho CF (Perisho is Rule-5 Draftee and is really looking forward to prove it was worth it for the team to take a chance on him)

Brian Stone RF (Stone hit 22 homeruns last season but I don’t believe he will put the same kind of power number up this season)

Darren Higginson DH (Higginson once again hit over .300 last season but it just didn’t seem as he was motivated all year but hopefully the move from Madison will recharge his bat)

Ernie Darwin 2B (Darwin is another young player that will get the chance to start for this team)

Sherry West 3B (Spent last year in Triple-A and is hungry to prove he belongs as a major league player)

Dutch Douglas SS (Douglas will struggle a bit this season as he’s only 25 years old and he has great upside)

Cookie Valdes 1B (The Cookman may not provide the power numbers you want from a first basemen but he has a solid bat that always seems to make contact when they need him to)

Rico Lopez C (Not only is Lopez won of the best game callers in the league but he has some pop in is bat as he hit 17 homeruns last season)

Chad Armstrong (Armstrong will once again see some great numbers but I don’t think he will get more then 11 victories as the team will struggle to find wins this season)

John Cho (Cho is looking for that last shot has a starter as this might be the last chance to prove to he belongs as a starter)

Ralph Ewing (The young 24 year old Ewing took some lumps last season giving up 277 hits and 160 runs but 9 victories should help his confidence improve this season)

Mark Higgins (Look for Higgins to make a mini-break out season this year with the move to dome)

Abdullah Hernandez (Hernandez 6.11 ERA is a real concern for the team but he will have to hold has the fifth starter until the younger pitchers in the minors are ready to come up)

Moises Montero (You can tell when a team struggles when a reliever is tied for the team led in victories but I don’t think Montero will get 11 wins this season as I believe is future is the closer of the team this year)

Coaches Corner:
With the way this team was handled last season goals for this season need to be small. First we need to get control of the budget being 20 games under .500 last season with a budget of 120 million is not acceptable in the long run. Two we need to draft well, get prospects signed, and get them into the system. This team has very few drafted players still in the system. That's going to have to change for monetary reasons. Three improve player development. Get younger, less expensive players into the position to achieve their potential. This off-season we really tried hard to get low cost, short term players to bridge to gap this season as the future player’s development more in the minors. Once this team get stable I think it will be easier to understand what this team really needs. I'm hoping to maintain some stability, but we'll probably loose more games this season then last. Perhaps 61-101. We would like to not loose 100 games.

Rankings to start the season:
31st ranked offensive
27th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Marc Penny DH (.257, 1, 6) (Spring Training Invitee)
Quinton Adams C (Minor Leagues) (Minor League Contract)
Albie Salinas P (Minor Leagues) (Claimed off Waivers)
Dorian Perisho CF (Rule-5 Draftee)
Bryant Garland P (Rule-5 Draftee)
Deivi Lopez P (Minor Leagues) (Minor League Contract)
Alex Romero P (Minor Leagues) (Minor League Contract)

Players Lost:
Rob Stevenson P (Left via Free-Agency)
Ed Houston SS (Left via Free-Agency)
Don Xaio C (Left via Free-Agency)
Freddie Adcock LF (Left via Free-Agency)
Todd Borkowski LF (Left via Free-Agency)
Carson Booker SS (Released)
Dave James 2B (Released)
Reid Ward P (Released)