March 21, 2000
season is about to begin.†† For the
first time since NASAņ
ņs first year, well over half
of the teams in NASA have a clear shot at a playoff berth.† This figure to be an exciting season,
and hopefully will continue to build on all of the good things that happened last year.
One of the best things that has emerged in NASA is that the administrative responsibilities have begun to diffuse among many of us.† Rany has done a great job with the rosters and drafts,
Joe has managed the standings for several years, and Jim Arnold has kept the web page up and running.† This year, Jim Satrape will reassume control of stats management.† It is wonderful to
see how much all of these people care about this league, and how much time they are willing to devote to it.†
The diffusion of these responsibilities will also hopefully free me up to do more fun activities.† This year, Iím going to focus on improving the newsletters, and including individual game results and team updates.† Iím also going to ask each team to keep me abreast of roster changes each month so that we can have simulated disabled lists and minor league teams.† These are things that, while they are not essential, I think truly enhance everyoneís enjoyment of the league.† If you would like to contribute to the newsletter, please let me know.
In this addition of the newsletter, Iíve included my predictions (based on guesses) for the 2000 season, the offensive milestones that may be reached this season, and the rules for play.† I hope you enjoy it, and good luck to everyone this season!
Offensive Milestones © 2000
200 Home Runs
Roberto Alomar, WWH 1332
Dean Palmer, GCG 196
Rafael Palmiero, KKR 191
Larry Walker, YKM 190
Jeff Kent, LTB 173
Frank Thomas, GCG 171
Ray Lankford, PPP 164
Dante Bichette, CBS 168
Mo Vaughn, SPC 160
Tino Martinez, BSP 158
John Olerud, WWH 151
Mike Piazza, ILF 150
Paul OíNeill, KCT 981
Chuck Knoblauch, CRB 972
Larry Walker, YKM 942
Barry Larkin, PPP 893
Kenny Lofton, KCT 890
Tim Salmon, CBS 839
Rickey Henderson, ILF 838
Sammy Sosa, PPS 838
Rafael Palmiero, KKR 823
Jim Thome, WWH 818
John Olerud, WWH 275
Albert Belle, SPC 243
Juan Gonzalez, PPP 241
Larry Walker, YKM 240
400 Home Runs
Juan Gonzalez, PPP 337
Ken Griffey, ILF 330
Mark McGwire, PPP 304
Ken Griffey, ILF 908
Juan Gonzalez, PPP 883
Albert Belle, SPC 279
Sammy Sosa, PPS 220
400 Stolen Bases
Kenny Lofton, KCT 335
Predicted Standings © 2000
Please take with a major grain of salt...remember that one trade can throw all of these predictions out of whack.
Crash Davis Division
1. Yellowknife Moose - This division is interesting, because it features four teams with a variety of real strengths and noticeable weaknesses.† Yellowknife, which has very susceptible starting pitching, nonetheless has a very potent offense, headed by Alex Rodriguez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Larry Walker, Ben Grieve and Bernie Williams, which should carry it to another division title. However, Spokane isnít far behind, and Yellowknife may want to look for another starting
pitcher to add into the mix.
2. Spokane Chiefs - A much improved team, this team features a strong offense (although not as strong as Yellowknife), thanks to the acquisitions of Albert Belle, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Gary Sheffield, and Mo Vaughn, and good, but not great, pitching, anchored by Andy Ashby. Trading Armando Benitez initially left a huge hole in the bullpen, but the acquisiton of John Rocker may push them over the top.
3. Brussels Sprouts Ė A Brussels starting rotation, headed by David Cone, Orlando Hernandez and Al Leiter, may be the strongest in the division.† However, this team lacks an offensive superstar, and will probably have difficulty putting runs on the board, especially with the trade of Albert Belle.† However, the offensive does possess several valuable bit players, such as Cal Ripken, Tom
Lampkin and Benny Agbayani, and a future star in Shannon Stewart. If Jim Satrape manages to use them effectively, then this team may find itself in the wild card race.
4. Paloverde Pointed Sticks - Paloverde features a lineup replete with powerful sluggers (Sammy Sosa, Greg Vaughn, Fernando Tatis, Carl Everett).† The rotation, with newly acquired Chris Carpenter joining Tim Hudson, Pat Hentgen and Armando Reynoso, appears to be adequate.† If Paloverde hangs onto their stars, and does not make trades with the future in mind, they could definitely give Brussels a run for their money in third place, and if they acquire a top starter, a
playoff run is a possibility.
Roy Hobbs Division
1. Prospect Park Posse - The race between the Posse, Thoroughbreds and Seadogs is very close. For the first time since their championship season, the Posse possess a balanced lineup against right handed pitchers, with three lefthanded sluggers (Brady Anderson, Ray Lankford, and Harold Baines) to complement the righthanded power (Mark McGwire, Juan Gonzalez, Jeff Cirillo).† The Posse bullpen is improved with the addition of Mike Venafro, but the rotation, after
Kevin Brown, is deeper than it has been, but is also shaky.† Over the years, the Posse have demonstrated a reluctance to trade their top prospects to help win now.† That reluctance may leave the door open for Louisville and Casco Bay.
2. Louisville Thoroughbreds - The Thoroughbreds feature a potent offense, and a strong pitching staff headed by Jose Lima, Eric Milton and Omar Daal.† Their offense is heavily righthanded, though, which may leave them susceptible to certain types of pitchers.† The bullpen is anchored by Armando Benitez, with good support from Turk Wendell, Pat Mahomes and Mike Jackson.† Louisville may be a trade or two away from seizing control of this division.† However, having surrendered draft picks in 2001 to acquire Edgar Renteria, the question remains to whether they have enough to make these trades.
Casco Bay Seadogs - The up and coming team in this division, Casco Bay may be poised to make a run this year.† Trades have upgraded their offense, adding Dave Nilsson, Matt Stairs, Luis Gonzalez and Randy Velarde to a lineup that already included Magglio Ordonez and Chipper Jones†† Despite these additions, the Seadogs still have only the third best offense in the division. Mike Mussina and Jamie Moyer anchor a strong rotation, but their pitching may not be enough to
overtake both the Posse and Thoroughbreds.† Look for them in the wild card race..a trade could really shake things up.
4. Cedar Rapids River Bandits - The victims of sabotage in the 1999 rookie draft, the River Bandits are trying to climb out of that deep hole.† They have several of the pieces in place, including Sean Casey, Paul Konerko, Tim Salmon and Ruben Mateo, with a decent support staff. On the pitching side, returns to form by Ramon Martinez and Kerry Wood could push this team into contention by 2001.† However, for 2000, itís looking like they will be in contention for a lottery pick.
Buck OíNeil Division
1. Inwood Landfills - The offense isnít as strong this year, and this team has become very right-handed.† The pitching rotation is revamped, with Ismael Valdes and Jeff Suppan joining holdovers David Wells and Aaron Sele to anchor the rotation.† The addition of Jeff Zimmerman bolsters the bullpen.† These changes are all important for the Fills playoff run..despite some decline, they should win this division by at least 10 games.
2. Virginia Squires - The Squires are perennial playoff contenders, and rebuilt their team completely by trading Pedro Martinez for almost an entire infield.† The trade, plus the acquisition of Brian Daubach through the draft, improves the Squires chances of making the playoffs by bolstering a sagging offense.† However, the rotation, the backbone of all the good Squires teams, is down this year, as Brad Radke will anchor a rotation that includes a down season from Tom Glavine and solid but not spectacular seasons from Kent Bottenfield and Omar Olivares.† Virginia will be in the hunt, but canít be considered playoff favorites at this point.
3. Traverse City Cherry Bombers - Mike Cha seems to have this team on the right track, as the core of this team now includes exciting young players such as Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez and Vernon Wells.† Seasoned veterans like Tony Fernandez, Glenallen Hill and Steve Finley will help the Bomber attack, although they may occasionally struggle to score this year.† The pitching rotation is in development, but currently features a staff ace in Bartolo Colon, and solid support from Mike Sirotka, Hideo Nomo, Joe Mays, and Brett Tomko.† A playoff run doesnít seem to be in the cards, but a run at second place may well be.
4. Grundy County Grizzlies - This team is perplexing, in that they have some very good young players, and some superstars who have fallen from grace, or have suffered with injury problems. This year doesnít look too great for Sunville, but if the stars align correctly in 2001, this team features a lineup with Jim Edmonds, Frank Thomas, Cliff Floyd, Matt Lawton, Raul Mondesi, Dean Palmer and Quilvio Veras.† The pitching staff could also come along very quickly, headed
by Freddy Garcia, Hideki Irabu, Jose Rosado, Carl Pavano and several other young starters. Theyíll probably struggle in 2000, but for once, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Ricky Vaughn Division
1. Wichita Whiffers - As with Inwood, Wichita has returned to the pack a bit.† The rotation, once dominating from one to five, remains good, but no longer intimidates opponents.† Randy Johnson is the staff ace, and John Smoltz is an effective #2 starter.† Bret Saberhagen, Denny Neagle, and Steve Woodard will contribute a great deal, and Roger Clemens and Kevin Appier remain on the roster, although they lack the dominating stats this season.† The offensive core is very good, led by Roberto Alomar, Jim Thome, Vlad Guerrero, Mike Sweeney and John Olerud. The Whiffers will probably get a first round bye in the playoffs, but after that, without the dominant starters, they are no longer a lock for the finals.
2. Kansas City Tornadoes - Kansas City took a huge gamble this offseason, trading four good hitters and their top draft picks for Pedro Martinez.† Martinez shores up a rotation that also includes a moderately less effective Greg Maddux, Alex Fernandez and 2nd-round draft pick Jon Lieber.†† The pitching should be fine..the question remains as to whether the offense, without
Robin Ventura and Tony Batista, can carry the load.† The KC offense should be watched all season...if they can put runs on the board, then theyíll clinch a wild card slot.
3. Kenmore Krushers - For a team that tries to build around pitching, the Krushers have assembled a pretty good offense.† Shawn Green and Rafael Palmiero will highlight the Krusher attack, with strong support from Jeromy Burnitz, Mike Cameron, Mark Grudzielanek and Preston Wilson.† The starting staff is more in flux though, as Pedro Astacio, Pete Harnisch and Rick Helling represent a strong top of the rotation, but the bottom is less refined, and the bullpen is fairly suspect.† Expect the Krushers to show dramatic improvement this year, but a wild card berth seems a bit unrealistic right now.
4. Beechurst Beguilers - Probably a lock for the worst record in the league, Beechurst is starting over, drafting players with high upsides (JD Drew, Michael Barrett, Peter Bergeron, Carlos Febles, Ramon Hernandez, Octavio Dotel, Ted Lilly) and looking to trade their few valuable commodities for this season (Fred McGriff, Henry Rodriguez, Jeff Conine, John Franco). Depending on the return on trades, Beechurstís future can improve rapidly or gradually.
NASA Rules of Play © 2000
ROTATIONS AND ROSTERS:
This season, Iím going to track roster changes as well as rotations.† Thus, to start the season please send me your 25 man roster, plus any changes you might be making mid©month.† In subsequent months, you need only send me the changes you are making to your roster both at the start and the middle of the month.
Rotations must be sent to Kenny and to your home opponents.
Month 1 © March 31
Month 2 © April 30
Month 3 © May 31
Month 4 © June 30
Month 5 © July 31
Month 6 © Aug 15
I will again attempt to send a full rotation file to every team early in the month.† However, donít wait for my file to send out instructions.† If I do not receive a rotation from you by the 5th of the month, I will create one for you.†
Instructions should be sent only to your road opponents.
Month 1 © April 5
Month 2 © May 5
Month 3 © June 5
Month 4 © July 5
Month 5 © August 3
Month 6 © August 18
Generic instructions, which can be used if an emergency arises during the year, must be submitted to Kenny by April 5.† Failure to do so will result in the loss of a 5√√thńń round draft pick.† I will remind you as we get closer to the deadline.
All game results should be saved as subset files.† All of your road opponents should receive, at a minimum, subset files for their team and boxscores for each game.† I would also recommend saving Play by Plays in case your subset files become corrupted in some way.
In addition to sending results to your opponents, you must provide the following
information to the following people:
1.† Series results: Send to Joe Sheehan and Kenny.† This can be individual series results, or an entire report for the month.
2. Boxscores: Send to Kenny.† Iím going to try to include them in newsletters this season.† Just cc me when you send results to your opponents.† Please donít send boxscores to Joe..theyíll clutter his mailbox.
3. Subsets: Send only complete subset reports (at the end of the month) to Jim Satrape.† Jim will maintain the league roster and stat files.† Please remember that you cannot play a game for a given month until Jim has sent out the revised roster and stats files.
Results are due (with subsets sent to Jim):
Month 1 © April 28
Month 2 © May 29
Month 3 © June 28
Month 4 © July 29
Month 5 © Aug 14
Month 6 © Sept 15
Trades can be made at any time until August 15.† Trades made during a given month do not take effect until the start of the next month.† Trades, as always, are subject to review by the trade committee.† Please remember that picks in the 2002 draft cannot be traded until after the season.
Overusage will not be tolerated this season, especially for players limited by Games or Starts.† If a full timer exceeds the number of games played or starts (unless the season extends beyond 162 games) there will be a penalty.† You must watch this closely.† As for part-timers, there is a little more leeway, but if a player exceeds his ABs or IPs by more than a very small amount, there may be a penalty.
Please let me know if any situations crop up that will delay play.† Lateness will be handled on a case by case basis.† As much as possible, get your games played early in the month.
The rules for the playoffs remain the same, with one change with regard to playoff injuries. This is actually open to debate, but Iím proposing something here to get feedback.
When an injury is rolled, a 20 is immediately rolled:
1©14:††† Player is out of this game.
15©20: Players misses this game and the next game (not day).
This is based on what happened to Prospect Park in the playoffs last season, when Jeff Cirillo was lost for the entire second round during Game 1.† Cirillo played in 156 games in 1998, and there was little reason to carry a useful backup on the Posse roster (certainly not one who could fillin during a seven game playoff).† When he went down, the Posse were forced to play Frank Catalanotto at third, despite his awful fielding rating.† I think that this new rule prevents teams from being totally torn apart by injuries, but still rewards those teams that have depth.