Life is Sport Games

My Baseball blog is Moving

I created a new website that will host my baseball blog. New blog

The blog will feature real life baseball stories and analysis as well as LISG tabletop baseball. For example I will soon be putting up a poll over there as to folks preferences when doing a season replay. I may post in this 'old' blog from time to time, but the new blog will be much more active.

-James

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Is the American League weaker than the NL?

Living near Milwaukee I get to follow the Brewers really close and guess what? The Brewers have a 15-33 record against NL teams and a 5-3 record against AL teams. That is a .312 win pct versus .625. Ok its a small sample against the AL but those were good AL teams they faced, the Tigers and the Twins.

 

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Will the Brewers set a Franchise Record for Losses

After todays loss the Brewers record is now 16-34, tying the 1970's Brewer team for the worst record through 50 games for the franchise. The worst overall season record belongs to the 2002 Brewers during their 106 loss season. The current 2015 version of the Brewers is on pace to break the franchise loss record and lose 110 games.

The thing is the Brewers are putting their best lineup out there everyday. The only starter they are currently missing from injury is Lucroy. Scooter Gennett was sent to the minors not because of injury, but because of ineffectiveness. Once the Brewers have their fire sale after the All star break, they could start to lose at an even faster pace. Its more likely though that they will improve slightly because often times prospects surprise when called up and play better than expected. Also, there really can't be much drop off from the current Brewers starters.

The Brewers will also have trouble moving players because none of the starters are performing well. Milwaukee's 16-34 record translates to a .320 winning percentage. There is a saying in baseball .......'that no matter how bad you are you will at least win 1/3rd of your games.' Well that doesn't apply to Milwaukee. Looking at history, teams that have a .320 winning percentage are usually expansion teams in their first few years, like the 1970 Brewers. Either that or they are teams that are rebuilding and have traded off 1/2 their starters for prospects. The real scary part is the Brewers are not rebuilding this year, this is the best they have to offer as they have one of the weakest farm systems in all of baseball. In part because they traded most of their best prospects away already fro players like Greinke and Shaun Marcum.

Unfortunately, I do not have a cable package that allows me to view games outside Milwaukee (except the national game of the week). I live near Milwaukee and I can say that the Brewer games are not entertaining because they are no longer even competitive. Once the opposing team has 3 runs, the game feels over. It is partly because of the Brewers struggles that my attention has turned to baseball in the 1800's. In 1884, 'Old Hoss' Radbourn started over 70 games as a pitcher and won 59 of them. That was when real men played baseball. In 2015 Ryan Braun makes 14 million and asks the manager for a day off about every other week. Guess he doesn't make enough to play full time.

If your discouraged with baseball in 2015 try out the 1889 season here: Pine Tar Baseball - 1889 version.

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The Brewers under Manager Craig Counsell

I like the change at manager for the Brewers. Even without the change it was unlikely that the Brewers would have continued to play .250 baseball for the entire season. I feel that they will be a better team with Counsell at the helm. I think Craig is less afraid to make changes to benefit the team without worrying so much about individuals feelings.

At this level, players are professional, if not, then they don't need to be here. Already Counsell pulled Broxton and brought in a left hander to face Rizzo in the 8th inning of their most recent game. That is something the Brewers previous manager would not have done.

The team just looks more relaxed now with a chance for a fresh start.

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Pirates turn Historic 5-4-5 Triple Play!

Being a Pirate fan, I totally loved that play. Although I was surprised at the poor judgement of the Cards base runner on 2nd. Very heads up on Neil Walkers part by throwing to 3rd first.

The Icing on the cake is that the Pirates went on to win the game. Lets take the series tomorrow and start realing the Cards back in!

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1884 World Series Game 2 using Pine Tar Baseball

This is game 2 of a replay of the 1st World Series ever. All 3 games were played in New York. It featured the NL champion Providence Grays vs the AA champion New York Metropolitans. Logos displayed in the replay were created by Pete Manzolillo of Jet Signs of Long Island, and are used with his permission. This replay was done using Pine Tar-1884. The 1884 season has not been released yet but is in development. The project is being funded through Kickstarter. If interested, you can see the Pine Tar Baseball campaign here. 

While I have "finished" the Grays and Metropolitans, the players error ratings will be tweaked slightly before release. This play test and those done by others will help fine tune the season set.

Game 2

 

                  6                                        3

                                                                             R   H   E        BB    LOB

Providence Grays ..........   0 0 0  3 0 0  2 1 0    6  11  2           3        10

New York Metropolitans    0 0 2  0 1 0  0 0 0    3   8   3           2         9

Winning Pitcher: Radbourn 

Losing Pitcher: Keefe

Home Runs: None

Triples: None

Doubles: Denny x 2, Radbourn, Esterbrook

Stolen Bases: Orr

Caught Stealing: Irwin

 

Grays

Carroll    1 for 5, ROE, 1 rbi

Gilligan   1 for 5, 1 run

Start        3 for 5, 1 run, 1 rbi

Hines       1 for 4, BB, 1 run, 1 rbi

Denny      2 for 5, 2B x 2, ROE, 1 run, 1 rbi

Irwin        0 for 3, BB x 2, SF, 1 run, 1 rbi

Farrell       0 for 5

Radford     1 for 4

Radbourn  2 for 4, 2B, ROE, 1 run, 1 rbi

 

Metropolitans

Nelson        0 for 5, ROE, 1 run

Roseman    1 for 4, BB, 1 run

Esterbrook  3 for 5, 2B, 1 run, 1 rbi

Orr               3 for 4, 2 rbi's

Troy             0 for 3, BB

Brady           0 for 4

Holbert        0 for 4

Kennedy     1 for 4, ROE

Keefe          0 for 4

 

GAME SUMMARYNew York jumped ahead scoring twice in the 3rd. After Roseman walked with 2 outs, Esterbrook hit an RBI double. Orr then drove in Esterbrook with a single to center. The Grays answered with 3 runs in the top half of the 4th. They had 3 hits in the inning and Keefe walked 2 batters, both of whom came around to score. The Metropolitans tied the game in the bottom of the 5th. Nelson led off and reached on an error by Denny. With 1 out, Esterbrook's single putting runners on the corners. Orr followed with an RBI single to right and Troy worked a walk to load the bases. Radbourn then struck out both Brady and Holbert to strand the bases loaded and end the threat.

The Grays would get the decisive runs in their half of the 7th. After 3 consecutive hits, the 3rd by Hines scoring Gilligan, Irwin lifted a sac fly to right to give the Grays a 5 to 3 lead. The Grays tacked on 1 more in the top of the 8th making the final score 6 to 3 Grays.

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Brewers Hire Craig Counsell as Manager

Living 20 miles from Milwaukee, I have followed the Brewers for most of my life. As such I feel qualified to say hurrah for the Brewers finally replacing Ron Roenicke as manager. With Craig Counsell they get a fresh start on what had been a painful beginning to 2015 for the Brewers.

I still recall a game I attended in 2011. The Brewers pitcher, Chris Narveson had a 1 hitter going into the top of the 7th inning. The Brewers led 1 to 0. By the time Roenicke finally pulled Narveson 2 outs later, the Brewers trailed 7-1. I had never seen a pitcher left in to get pummeled like that when his pitch count was mounting and there was really nothing to be gained by Narveson getting 1 more out in the 7th.

So when the reliever came in, he gets the 1st batter he faced to make the final out. Yes I know, Roenicke was trying to save his bullpen. However, it was obvious to anyone that Narveson had hit the wall and leaving him in didn't save the bullpen or help the starting pitcher's confidence either. 

Having watched Roenicke manage since 2011, I have to say he never learned from mistakes. He would just keep doing the same things over and over. The Brewers had reckless base running under him and poor fundamentals. Towards the end, even their fielding had gone south. I hope that this new hiring takes some of the pressure off the team and they get back to the basics.

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1884 World Series Replay - Game 1

This is a replay of the 1st World Series ever. All 3 games were played in New York. It featured the NL champion Providence Grays vs the AA champion New York Metropolitans. Logos displayed in the replay were created by Pete Manzolillo of Jet Signs of Long Island, and are used with his permission. This replay was done using Pine Tar-1884. The 1884 season has not been released yet but is in development. The project is being funded through Kickstarter. If interested, you can see the Pine Tar Baseball campaign here. 

While I have "finished" the Grays and Metropolitans, the players error ratings will be tweaked slightly before release. This play test and those done by others will help fine tune the season set.

Game 1

 

                   4                                        1

                                                                              R   H   E        BB    LOB

Providence Grays ..........   0 0 0  1 0 0  1 1 1     4  10  1            3        14

New York Metropolitans    0 0 0  0 0 0  0 1 0    1  11  5            2        13

Winning Pitcher: Radbourn

Losing Pitcher: Keefe

Home Runs: None

Triples: Orr

Doubles: Hines, Roseman

 

Grays

Carroll    1 for 5

Gilligan   1 for 4, BB, ROE

Start        2 for 5, 1 run

Hines       2 for 5, 2B, 1 run

Denny      2 for 5, ROE, 1 rbi, 1 run

Irwin        0 for 5, ROE x 2

Farrell       0 for 3, BB, SF, 1 rbi

Radford     0 for 4, BB, ROE, 1 run

Radbourn  2 for 5, 1 rbi

 

Metropolitans

Nelson        1 for 5

Roseman    3 for 5, 2B

Esterbrook  1 for 5

Orr               3 for 4, 3B, BB

Troy             0 for 4, BB, ROE, 1 run

Brady           1 for 4

Holbert        1 for 4, 1 rbi

Kennedy     0 for 4

Keefe          1 for 4

 

GAME SUMMARYThe Grays stranded the bases loaded in the top of the first. Gilligan, Start, and Denny all singled with Denny's being an infield hit. With 2 men out, Keefe got Irwin to pop out to shortstop to end the threat. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Metros had runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. Orr had led off with a triple to left field. Troy followed with a walk, but both runners were left stranded when Brady popped out, Holbert struck out, and Kennedy flied out to left field.

The Grays broke the lid off in the top of the 4th. Denny led off with a single and advanced to second after Irwin reached on an error charged to Keefe. With 2 outs, Radbourn drove in Denny with a base hit to left. Keefe got Carroll to strike out to end the threat. The Grays would tack on single runs in their half of the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. The Metropolitans lone run came in the bottom of the 8th when Troy reached on a 2 base error and was driven in by Holbert's RBI single to left.

Note: Radbourn pitched all 3 games of this series for the Grays, while Keefe did the same for the Metropolitans as Lynch was injured.

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The Trouble with the 2015 Brewers

As the Brewers enter the month of May, they still do not have consecutive victories this season. Will they break through and finally win 2 in a row? Of course, because as they say, 'even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile'.

What ails the Brewers is 2 major issues. First, the players are minding the store. Brewers GM Doug Melvin hired Ken Macha as manager for the 2009-2010 seasons. Macha had managerial success with Oakland compiling a 368-280 record with them over 4 years. As the manager for the Brewers, the players didn't like his stoic mannerisms and Ryan Braun essentially called Macha out. What happened is that Melvin had to replace the manager because the Brewers players didn't want to play for him. Ron Roenicke, the manager that the Brewers signed to replace Macha, is nothing more than a baby sitter for over paid divas like Braun. Braun tells Roenicke when he can and can't play instead of the other way around. Its like Ron is walking on egg shells and doesn't want to hurt any players feelings when he makes out the lineup.

If you look at successful organizations, they sign professional players that play where they are asked and don't call out management publicly. When Rickie Weeks was a Brewer, he was asked to play a position other then 2nd base. He refused. Now that he is with a different team, he plays positions other than 2nd base and has even bunted. He never bunted in Milwaukee because he didn't want to and Roenicke lets the players run the ship.

The 2nd major issue is rather simple, the Brewers have 26% of their payroll taken up by just 2 players. Those players are Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez. With Brauns mega contract extension going through 2020, don't look for the Brewers to be competitive until they are able to shed Brauns contract which drags the team like a 1 ton anchor.

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Will Ferrell - The Real Baseball Player

There was actually a  Will (Williams) Ferrell that played MLB for pro ball for the class D Bluefield Blue-Grays ( of the Mountain State League) in 1937. In 1938 he played for the Landis Senators of the North Carolina State League. His career minor league batting average was .264

Rick Ferrell was another ball player that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. His career spanned 19 years, from 1929-1947. He player catcher and had a career batting average of .281 and made  7 appearance in the All Star game.

Wes Ferrell made 2 all star game appearances and was 2nd in MVP voting for the 1935 MLB season. So players named Ferrell made a number of contributions to the history of baseball. There were a number of ball players with a similar name, only spelled Ferrill. 

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News

Vote on which season gets 'carded' next for the Pine Tar Baseball game

Now baseball fans get to decide which will be the next season produced for the Pine Tar Baseball game. Select on of the teams listed below. It has been pointed...

Kickstarter campaign for the 1973 Baseball season.

The 1973 season for Pine Tar baseball will be featured in a Kickstarter campaign that will begin on Jun 22, 2015. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates for...

Future Crowdfunding Campaign for 1897 Baseball Game

In mid June, Life is Sport Games will be launching a crowdfunding campaign for the 1897 baseball season. This season set will be for the Pine Tar Baseball tabletop game....

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