Thursday, February 12, 2004

MLB Preview #2: AL West

Oakland A's

Mark Ellis 2b
Mark Kotsay CF
Eric Chavez 3b
Erubiel Durazo DH
Jermaine Dye RF
Bobby Kielty/Eric Byrnes LF
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Damian Miller C
Bobby Crosby SS
Tim Hudson
Mark Mulder
Barry Zito
Mark Redman
Rich Harden
Kotsay and Kielty were nice pickups, although the A's already have enough Billy Beane-style outfielders. They could use a little more pop in the lineup, but they do have the pitching staff to go far with this lineup.

Seattle Mariners

Ichiro RF
Randy Winn CF
Brett Boone 2b
Edgar Martinez DH
Raul Ibanez LF
Rich Aurilia SS
John Olerud 1b
Scott Spiezio 3b
Ben Davis/Dan Wilson C
Freddy Garcia
Jamie Moyer
Joel Pineiro
Gil Meche
Ryan Franklin
This is a deep lineup, and once again Seattle carries three starting outfielders who could all play center. That has to be a pitcher's dream. Aurilia may not put up the numbers from a few years ago, but if he, Olerud, and Martinez put up good stats, there's no reason to complain about this lineup. That, and I'd probably trade Mike Cameron for Raul Ibanez any day. As for the rotation, Rock lookalike Garcia should be back to him old form this year, Moyer (an Elkhart native and Digger Phelps's son-in-law) will continue to confuse, and Pineiro, Meche, and Franklin will continue to be good young starters. The loss of Arthur Rhodes and Kaz Sasaki will mean that the bullpen is the only thing Seattle fans have to fear this year.

Anaheim Angels

David Eckstein SS
Darrin Erstad 1b
Vlad Guerrero RF
Garrett Anderson CF
Troy Glaus 3b
Jose Guillen LF
Tim Salmon DH
Bengie Molina C
Adam Kennedy 2b
Jarrod Washburn
Bart Colon
Kelvim Escobar
John Lackey
Ramon Ortiz
Aaron Sele
OK, there may be one thing better for a pitcher than having three center fielders in the outfielder, and that would be having 3 of the top 4 outfield arms playing behind you (Ichiro is the 4th). Oh, and they aren't too bad when it comes to hitting either. Add in Colon and Escobar, plus a lights out bullpen, and this is a team to watch this year.

Texas Rangers

Mike Young 2b
Mark Teixeira 1b
Alex Rodriguez SS
Brian Jordan RF
Brad Fullmer DH
Hank Blalock 3b
Kevin Mench LF
Einar Diaz C
Laynce Nix CF
Kenny Rogers
Colby Lewis
RA Dickey
Rich Rodriguez
Chan Ho Park
Joaquin Benoit
Ryan Drese
Kevin Mench has the largest head in baseball. Just thought I'd point that out. The lineup looks nice, adding Jordan and Fullmer. However, when I was looking at the starting rotation and came to "C. Lewis," even I couldn't figure out who that was. And this is their #2 starter. Once again, John Hart, you will need some pitching if you want to go somewhere.

ND Football News and Notes

B&G Illustrated is getting a little worried about Anthony Fasano's back problems. Of course, if he is hurt, this only means more time for Gary Godsey.
Eight Irish seniors were invited to the NFL comines, scheduled for February 28-March 4. This is a great list of names, as many are loved by most if not all members of this site. They are: kankasports HOF finalist Darrell Campbell, Vontez "I'm not 35, I swear" Duff, Glenn "Human Special Teams Big Play" Earl, Big Ced "blocking Mike's first Bookstore shot really wore me out" Hilliard, Julius, Jim Molinaro, Nick "Ellen loves me!" Setta, and Senator Courtney Watson. Good luck to all.

Other News and Ramblings

  • Maybe it's just me, but with a name like Patrick Surtain, shouldn't this guy be playing LW for the Avalanche or something? (Surtain is a Dolphins DB).
  • Drew Henson finally decided to quit baseball. But what about my lame running joke that the Yankees farm system is nothing more than Henson and Luis Sojo playing catch in Columbus? Fear not, for the Yankees have just signed Joe Girardi to a minor league deal. You can't make this up.
  • Mo Clarrett is going pro. For once, I actually want to see Ray Lewis eschew a form tackle for a pointless helmet-to-helmet hit (and yes, I did use "eschew" and "helmet-to-helmet" in the same sentence).

KankaMatic Baseball Update

The more I think about this, the more I think I should be able to pull this off. I'll work out some of the details over the weekend to see if this really is possible, but until then, get ready for the draft. I'll probably start the draft around March 1 or so. There will be 40 rounds, since teams can hold up to 40 players. You only need 25 to have a team, so you may withdraw from the draft any time after the first round. Some notes on the draft:
  • Each team must have at least 25 players, but no more than 40. 25 will be your active roster, and the remaining players will be your "AAA" roster. Their stats will not count, but you may call them up at any time (provided that someone is on the DL or you put someone on waivers).
  • Each 25 man roster must consist of at least 10 pitchers and 10 position players.
  • Of your position players, you must have at least one for each position, including the three outfield positions (LF, CF, RF). For a player to qualify for a position, they must have played at least 10 major league games at that position. Exception are made for rookies and cases like Jose Reyes (moving from SS to 2b). If you think you have another good exception, let me know.
  • The pitching staff must have at least 5 starters. Looking at the categories (Wins, Saves, ERA, WHIP, K/9 (I changed this to make it more even)), there's no real advantage of having more relievers or more starters.
  • You may carry DHs, but they are by no means necessary. In fact, they will actually hurt you when fielding stats are calculated.
  • If you would like your team autodrafted, please let me know. To make things easier for me, I'll autodraft your team in this order: round 1 best pitcher available, round 2 best catcher, round 3 best pitcher, round 3 best 1b, round 5 best pitcher....
  • For autodrafters, I will make one exception: if the player that is to be picked for your team is a member of another person's favorite team, I will skip them over for the next best pitcher. For example, if Ellen is autodrafting and it's time to pick a pitcher for her, and the best pitcher available is Mark Prior, I will skip him for the next person, giving Mike a chance to pick him. Of course, if someone who isn't autodrafting decides to take Prior between Ellen's turn and Mike's turn, well, that's tough luck for Mike. Of course, when it's time to autodraft and the person is on the autodrafter's favorite team (for instance, if it's Brittany's turn and Mark Prior comes up), then that player will go to the autodrafter. Since it appears that the Cubs are the only team with more than one fan, Mike would be at a disadvantage if Brittany decides to autodraft. Sorry, Mike.
  • I'll use a little random number generator, similar to the quote generator in the top right of this page, to determine a draft order. Then, we'll snake each of the rounds. (unless you'd prefer to just snake the first two rounds and go in order the rest of the way).
  • Here are the two options I could think of for the draft: me setting up the message board with the round number and person's name, then you reply to that name with your pick like this:
    Round one -post by Kanka
    Ellen -post by Kanka
    Don Mattingly -post by Ellen
    Dave -post by Kanka
    Mookie Wilson -post by Dave
    Mike -post by Kanka
    Ryne Sandberg -post by Mike
    Kanka -post by Kanka
    Joel Skinner -post by kanka
    The other option would be for each of you to give me a list of your top 60-75 names in order, and I'd use that to do the draft. Let me know what you think.
  • In case you were wondering, I'll probably ago with these player rankings from or these from

I'll probably set up a separate site for KankaMatic baseball, and I'll give you more of the rules as I go along. Also, if you think of a good team name for yourself, pass it along to me.

OK, that's it for today. I put the link to Chad's site up on my list of links. Ellen, if you would like to tell Chad about this site, feel free. But, if you ask me, I think his site puts my writing to shame.