Saturday, December 27, 2008

Minnesota New Day Rising

The Twins League is underway (though perhaps with a Prince soundtrack rather than the Posies song quoted in the title).  Ten teams, basically in three time periods: the Killebrew era when the Twins had very good teams that couldn't quite beat better teams (like the Koufax Dodgers or the '69-'70 Orioles); the Puckett era when the Twins had decent teams with unbeatable home field advantage and regularly defeated better teams (Whitey Herzog nods sadly); the Johan Santana teams of recent vintage who mostly couldn't quite get out of the first round of the playoffs.

The 1970 team are the current representatives in the Cloverland Leagues.   About 20 games in out of 162, it's too close to call and far, far too early.  I guess I'd bet on 1965 as the best of these teams, but that doesn't always translate into success.  Still, if I have to guess a winner...

Meanwhile, the 1970 Orioles still are the leaders after roughly 25 games, but the 1979 edition has been on a tear and have closed to a half-game back.  Again way too early for real prognostication, but it may end up closer than I'd expected...

Monday, December 22, 2008

And from the Polo Grounds...

After a pretty close race, the 1911 New York Giants fought off the 1912, 1913, 1904, and 1905 editions of the 'Jints to win their qualification league and represent the New York Giants franchise.

The final standings at the top:

W L Pct. GB
1911 89 60 .597 -
1913 88 64 .579 2.5
1904 87 65 .572 3.5
1912 87 65 .572 3.5

Despite winning the World Series in a 4-game sweep, the 1954 Giants finished in 20th (that'd be last), 28.5 games back.

The hitting categories were mostly led by teams from the 1920s and 1930s, as one might expect, save for Jack Doyle of the 1894 squad sitting atop the batting average and obp categories and  just missing a .400 season (.399).  Mel Ott (1934) led in slugging and runs created, Rogers Hornsby (1927) in runs scored, George Kelly (1922) in RBI, and Bobby Thomson (1951) hit 33 shots heard 'round Kings Contrivance to edge out Ott (1936) and lead in home runs.

Pitching statistics were biased by the 1894 team, who had two pitchers starting 70%+ of their games in real life.  Those two pitchers (Amos Rusie and Jouett Meekin) both topped 30 wins.  Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson took up 4 slots in the top 10 winners and top 10 ERA, with the 1905 edition performing best: 29-10 (3rd in wins, 2nd in win pct., 1st in ERA, 4th in strikeouts).  

The 1911 team didn't have many statistical leaders, but managed to grind out the pennant by being among the team leaders in batting and pitching.  In reality they lost the World Series to the Philadelphia Athletics.  

The Orioles league has stalled out a bit (naturally, since I'm actually trying to manage one of the teams instead of letting the computer do all the work).  Not sure if the next all-computer league will be Oakland or Minnesota...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Giants after 90, Orioles after 20

The decision of who will right to represent the New York Giants is currently looking like it'll go down to the end. A bit over 90 games are finished, with roughly 60 to go. Five of the 20 teams are within a half-game of the top:

Team W L Pct. GB
1913 52 38 .578 -
1904 53 39 .576 -
1922 53 39 .576 -
1905 52 39 .571 0.5
1912 52 39 .571 0.5

Meanwhile, in Charm City things are a bit more separated, though it's still early:
Team W L Pct. GB
1970 15 5 .750 -
1969 12 6 .667 2.0
1960 12 7 .632 2.5
1997 10 7 .588 3.5

It seems unlikely the 1970 team will be able to keep up that pace, but there's nothing weird about them being atop the standings...