>NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH PREVIEW

>New Britain Fisher Cats (Second Place)(95-100 victories this season)

Lineup:
Dennis Johnson LF (Will finally get a chance to prove he’s ready for the big show)

Santiago Alfonzo CF (Hitting in front of West any season will improve your numbers every time)

Kevin Montgomery RF (Montgomery may not hit for a great average but don’t underestimate his ability to hit the ball over the fence)

Pedro Javier 3B (After getting through the heart of the order many pitchers forget that Javier can hurt as well with his bat)

Lonnie Grove 2B (Grove how now made the thundering three into the fabulous four after another wonderful season from him last season)

Don Davis SS (Davis is Rule-5 Draftee and falls into the perfect situation playing for the Fisher Cats this season)

Hoss Boone 1B (Provides the protection in the lineup for West and picks up any runners that West leaves on base)

Erik West C (West won his second MVP award last season and in four season in the majors West has averaged over 50 homeruns a seasons)

Starters:
Raymond Pavlov (A new team and motivation can really bring back a career)

Horacio Segui (If Segui wants to become an elite pitcher he will have to go deeper into the games this season)

Esteban Polanco (Polanco led the team in innings and complete games last season and I see him getting a career in victories this season)

Carlos Pujols (Last season Pujols got his second straight season of 16 victories could approach that again this season)

Jerry Franco (12 wins from your fifth starter is all you need to know about how good the Fisher Cats season was last year)

Closer:
Reid Ward (Ward may have the closer job now but can last years closer Shane Clayton reclaim his spot once again)

Coaches Corner:
The team’s main goal for the season is to make it to the World Series. The team made it all the way to Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, but wasn’t able to pull out a win. We have the talent to make it deep into the playoffs, and with some key additions this offseason I believe we have what it takes to make it to the big series. During this offseason, the first order of business is to improve the bullpen. There were some players that were let go, mainly because of monetary issues, and we have our eyes on a couple of free agent pitchers that would complement the bullpen nicely. During spring training, where going to be looking at some of my more highly touted prospects to potentially fill the openings we have at shortstop, leftfield and right field. We strongly believe that newly acquired closer Reid Ward could turn some heads this season. He has struggled throughout his young career, but he has a great power fastball and a knee-buckling curveball, that if harnessed, could make him a force coming into the 9th inning. The philosophy of this team is to have fun while staying competitive. The team is at its best when they are relaxed and playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played. It’s not uncommon to see practical joking going on in the clubhouse. These guys have bonded so well that it translates right onto the field, where they seem to know what each other is going to do before a play even happens. This team won 96 games last season. With some key upgrades, we have full confidence as a team that we could 100 games this season.

Rankings to start the season:
10th ranked offensive
10th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Reid Ward P (0-1, 6.94ERA, 11SV) (4yrs, 18mil)
Darryl Schmidt P (2yrs, 3.8mil)
Don Davis SS (Rule-5 Draftee)
Quinton Adams C (Rule-5 Draftee)
Pedro Flores C (.195, 2, 14) (1yr, 327K)

Players Lost:
Nicholas Herndon CF (Left via Fee-Agency)
Dummy Palmer C (Released)
Phil Randall 3B (Released)
Willie Batista P (Released)
Mike Neugebauer P (Released)
Ricardo De La Vega P (Released)
Kennie Sexson SS (Released)


Philadelphia HeadHunters (Fourth Place)(60-65 victories this season)

Lineup:
R.A. Donovan RF (The 24 will see a lot of time the field for his rookie season)

Khoury Glass CF (Glass wants to prove he is still one of the best center fielders in the game after a horrible season last year)

Sammy Aguilar LF (Will get a chance to prove he’s a major league right fielder this season)

Vinny Menechino 3B (Third base will have a lot of competition this season but I see Menechino winning the spot)

Matt Corey 2B (Last seasons team MVP is one of the best players of getting on base)

Sean Cepicky SS (Cepicky is another young player giving a shot this season)

Patrick Barker 1B (Rudy Adams has more power but I think Barker is better overall for this team)

Endy Hemingway C (Team would like to see if he is ready to be a starting catcher this season)

Starters:

Gerald Wallace (After spending most of his career as a spot starter could see a full season as the starter this year)

Dickie Wells (Wells won 11 games last season and is looking to improve that record this season)

Norm Canseco (Hoping to find a spot in the rotation this season)

D’Angelo Baez (Hoping to find a spot in the rotation this season)

Open

Closer:
Rich Ford (Ford will finally be giving to shot of being the closer this season)

Coaches Corner:
The simple step for this team is to rebuild the farm system almost from scratch. The team had a lot of starters with there contracts expiring this season. With the young movement of this team they where just too old to renew and with the farm system having no quality pitching to replace the guys could make for a long season for the team. We will focus on picking up a player or two from the Rule-5 draft, international signing and the draft. The fans in Philadelphia may not like this but it’s the best course of action for this franchise. I think a lot of people should look out for Rudy Adams this season could make some noise whether anyone will be listening is a different story. The philosophy of the team this season is improve, don’t make dumb trades that could hurt the franchise even more. This team could when around 70 games this season everything goes right.

Rankings to start the season:
23rd ranked offensive
28th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Rico Rosado 3B (Acquired via Trade with Charleston Gullah’s)
Roberto Gonzalez 2B (Acquired via Trade with Charleston Gullah’s)
Rudy Adams 1B (Claimed off Waivers)
Bruce Jenkins P (Claimed off Waivers)
Jeff Gilmore P (Claimed off Waivers)
Patrick Barker 1B (Claimed off Waivers)
John Stinnett P (Claimed off Waivers)
Gus Inge P (Claimed off Waivers)

Players Lost:
Carson Minor P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Walt Hayes P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Nomar Ramirez 1B (Left via Fee-Agency)
Roger Newfield P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Nomar Kirby SS (Left via Fee-Agency)
Jaret Adams P (Released)
Earl Mitchell P (Released)
Michael Koh 3B (Released)
Bobby Crow P (Released)
Vicente Guillon LF (Released)
Albie James 1B (Released)
Cristobal Vallarta P (Released)
Delino Brooks P (Released)
Michael Dickey P (Traded to the Charleston Gullah’s)
Javier Benitez P (Traded to the Charleston Gullah’s)
Artie Holmes P (Traded to the Charleston Gullah’s)
Toby Henderson RF (Released)

Chicago Blackhawks (First Place)(95-100 victories this season)

Lineup:
Manny Vanguri LF (Vanguri last season had a limited role last season and if ready to prove he’s a major league player)

Brian Creek CF (One of the big two power hitters in the lineup and will look to set another career high in homeruns this season)

Mikey Frey RF (Frey played well when you got a chance last season and will look to prove he’s a major league player this season)

Nick Ball 3B (Three straight seasons of team MVP, Ball as become the face of the franchise)

Jaime Basile 2B (Basile is one of the best lead-off hitters in the game but with is average dropping to .250 last season he worked all off-season improving his bat speed)

Tommie Romero SS (Not only is Romero to Basile one of the best double plays combination in the league but they work in perfect harmony at the top of the lineup as well)

Tony Armas 1B (Signed a big contract during the off-season, will need to prove it was worth it)

Fergie O’Shea C (There was a lot of questions marks about the signing of O’Shea last season but he quickly silent any outrage with a solid season)

Starters:
Brendan Cora (Cora may have five straight years of ten or more victories but after a 10-15 performance last season really has him fired up to prove he’s still one of the elite pitchers in the game)

Jim Little (Little is one of the best third string starters in the league and with another winning record under his belt could be hitting the peak of his career)

Eric Parker (Parker was 10-7 last season but with his 5.32ERA, he will be sitting at the back of the rotation once again this season)

Sammy Goya (Goya was the only starter without at least ten victories last season but he still provided almost two hundred innings of work)

Mike Scanlan (Scanlan is young but you should see a big improvement this season from him)

Closer:
Norman Jordan (Jordan will probably have the best year of his career this season as he will be pushed into a lot more ninth inning leads to protect this season)

Rankings to start the season:
3rd ranked offensive
9th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Gene Guerrero P (0-2, 4.55ERA, 14SV) (2yrs, 7.2mil)
Tony Armas 1B (.344, 12, 76) (3yrs, 19.5mil)
Bill Snyder P (1-2, 7.43ERA, 1SV)(Spring Training Invitee)

Players Lost:
Frank Nakamura P (Left Free-Agency)
Tomas Johnson P (Released)
Stuart Davidson P (Claimed off Waivers by Columbus Pride)
Patrick Barker 1B (Claimed off Waivers by Philadelphia HeadHunters)

Milwaukee Bucks (Third Place)(85-90 victories this season)

Lineup:
Danny Harding LF (Harding was the team MVP last season and with a monster career year can he repeat that performance this season)

Tomas Olivares CF (The only job for Olivares to do is to get on base and that’s exactly what he does with a .367 career on-base percentage)

Ronn Franco RF (Franco may not hit for a high average but he has no problem hitting the ball over the fence and showing off his arm in right field)

Sal Moore 2B (What a rookie season from Moore last season, as I expect his numbers won’t be as good as last season but they will still great)

Wesley Stanley 3B (Stanley as played more games in Milwaukee then any other player on the team and has average 41 homeruns, 114 RBI’s and 104 runs a season for the last five seasons)

Vinny Hunter SS (Hunter just wants a chance to play and I think this could be his year to do that)

Julian Hartley 1B (Hartley is probably the best first basemen that you have never heard of)

Chris Bellhorn C (Bellhorn could see a lot of pressure from fellow catcher Rafael Moreno in starting time this season)

Starters:
Jim Nathan (Nathan’s first season with the Bucks last season could be considered a success but the team will need more from him this season)

Sidney Musial (Has age finally caught up with Musial this season, well we all have to wait and see)

Pedro Azocar (I think he earned a spot this season with an outstanding effort last season)

Emmanuel Navarro (Navarro had 14 victories last season but can his second season with the team produce the same results)

Ernie Garcia (Garcia made 31 starts last season but with a record of only 7-6 could push him into a battle for the fifth starting spot this season)

Closer:
Vernon Bolton (Bolton is like a great wine, he’s just getting better with age)

Coaches Corner:
My goal for the Milwaukee Bucks this season is to win the division and hopefully make it deeper into the playoffs. We came so close last season (tied with the rival New Britain Fisher Cats for the regular season record) and lost in the first round of playoffs. It was a bit of a disappointment, but now we’ve got that to feed off of the experience we had last season. The goals this offseason is to lock up some core players to long-term deals. We also want to solidify my starting rotation, as last year saw a lot of turnover due to injuries and trade acquisitions. I can’t say if anyone on my roster is going to surprise anyone. Honestly, I think the surprise came last season from a number of great performances. Look at what Danny Harding did as an offensive force, MVP candidate, and team leader. Look at what Sal Moore did to win Rookie of the Year honors and state his case as one of the best all-around players in USMLB. Look at what Jim Nathan and Pedro Azocar did as rookies thrust into a pennant race. No, the surprise was all last years’. The other owners know what my squad is capable of, so there should be nothing surprising this time around. The team philosophy is one of balance. We try to get players who are multi-talented: guys who don’t rely on one facet of the game for success. For hitters that means solid defense, speed, and offensive prowess. For pitchers it means quality starts and the ability to win games regardless of whether you’re a strikeout pitcher or someone who relies on movement and deception. It’s a lot tougher for an opponent to have that confidence to beat you when he gets different looks from all your guys. It makes game-planning that much more difficult for them, and that’s what I want to do. We feel confident saying that this team is going to have another 90-win season. That could be a bit of a stretch given how good New Britain is and what the new Chicago franchise has done to improve itself. But in the end, I know what my players are capable of, I know they can win.

Rankings to start the season:
17th ranked offensive
7th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Nomar Ramirez 1B (.234, 38, 112) (2yrs, 4.6mil)

Players Lost:
Ebenezer Canseco P (Left via Free-Agency)
Mitchell Pickett RF (Left via Free-Agency)
Bart Guerrero P (Released)
Todd Borkowski LF (Left via Free-Agency)
Carson Booker SS (Released)
Dave James 2B (Released)
Reid Ward P (Released)

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About Knucklebones Radio

Alternative News, History, Music, & Interviews on podcast. Every now and then I blog too. Conspiracy and Theories. Interviews about the topics with those that have material concerning it. Independent Artists and Politics.
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