Thanks to Steve Z for pointing this out in the latest hijack central.
Phil Rogers summarizes each of the 30 Major League teams chances of making the playoffs in 2004. The Jays are classified as "Sleepers", along with the Giants, White Sox, Cardinals, and Rockies.
"They may be two of the most improved teams in the game this winter. They have made trades, spent money and showed a commitment.
But there are no guarantees for the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles."
I did, however, read BPro's recent article on their PECOTA projection system and how it compared to, among other systems, Baseball Primer's ZiPS. After reading the BPro article, I looked at some of the ZiPS projections for this year and then thought "hey, this could be my first ever entry at the Batter's Box!"
So here it is...
No, wait. Chairman of the Board of Directors Wendy Selig-Prieb announced the Milwaukee Brewers are for sale. While not as famously troubled as the Expos, Milwaukee's situation does not inspire confidence. The new owner faces a litany of problems to overcome, including but not limited to:
Eleven consecutive years of losing baseball, declining fan support, allegations of deliberate failure to field a competitive team, questions about who owns the team's $110 million debt, and the team's previous acquiescence to an independent audit (a real one, not the flimflam offered in Congressional hearings in 2001).
So, with all that in mind, what would be YOUR first order of business if you'd just purchased the Milwaukee Brewers? Moving the team to a larger market is not an option. As quoted from the main story linked above, "the Brewers' 30-year lease at Miller Park, which opened in 2001, prevents new owners from moving the franchise."
But this ain't the real world, so let's see what this list tells us about the upcoming BBFL season...
This simulation reflects free agent signings and trades through Tuesday, January 13th (up to and including Jay Payton to the Padres). In his recent file release, Dan Szymborski created starting lineups and assigned some of the pitching roles for each team, which I have tweaked and updated. As in the first edition, I created manager profiles for all the (NL) teams, including playing time for backups and utility players. The number of simulated seasons was increased to 25 and the "no injuries" setting was used. The following results are based on average (not median) performance.
The likelihood of Pudge Rodriguez signing with the Tigers and his impact on the franchise.
The likelihood of Sidney Ponson, he of the career 99 ERA+, earning his contract.
The Dodgers’ mortal embarrassment at being upstaged repeatedly by their brethren in Anaheim, and the possibility that their offense might be even worse in 2004.
Baseball Headline Writing 101: Mixed Metaphors
Jessica Simpson’s potential role in the upcoming David Clyde movie.
Top ten are:
1. Alexis Rios
2. Dustin McGowan
3. Quillermo Quiroz
4. Gabe Gross
5. Francisco Rosario
6. Aaron Hill
7. David Bush
8. Vince Perkins
9. Russ Adams
10. Brandon League
Lilly is a topic that divides the Box. Some see him as the number 2 starter, while others think he'll be 5A. I'm a little split myself, liking his potential to be a good number 3 but a little wary of the $3.1M now committed to him for 2005.
If you notice any problems, please e-mail one of the Bauxites, who all should know how to get ahold of me at a moment's notice. However note that if you've been sending e-mail to any @battersbox.ca addresses, it has likely been delayed (but hopefully not lost forever).