Posts Tagged ‘1969 draft league’

The 2nd year of our draft league is winding down and a lot is going on Here is where things stand:

EastWinsLossesPctGBWild Card GB
NY Yankees8159.579—-+11 1/2
Seattle Pilots6773.479141 1/2
Baltimore Orioles638019 1/27
Pilots are defending AL Champ

Barring an epic collapse the Yankees have a pretty solid lock on the AL East and are a solid seven games ahead of Cleveland for the best record in the AL. Their trades last season when the playoff door closed have paid off and holding the 2nd-4th leading hitters in the AL and Jim Hickman’s MVP caliber season all help . Seattle trading for Frank Howard who is has made a huge difference leading the AL in HR & RBI and puts the defending AL champs in a position to challenge Minnesota for that final wild card spot to end the year. Particularly with the two AL leaders in walks batting ahead of him. Despite a good year by Billy Williams and Orioles pitchers striking out everything in sight the team has surprisingly underperformed but even with only 19 games to go to rule them out is dangerous

CentralWinsLossesPctGBWild Card GB
Cleveland Indians7466.529—-+4 1/2
Minnesota Twins6974.4836 1/2—-
California Angels5885.40617 1/211
Don’t count out those twins

Cleveland has surged lately building up a 6 1/2 game lead but even with Tony Perez & Jim Perry outperforming all expectations and Sam McDowell being Sam McDowell they are not far enough ahead to avoid worry. Minnesota is clinging to that last wild card spot by their fingernails with Duke Sims and Killebrew doing their best to hold off the charge but also has the toughest schedule with five of their last seven series against teams with better records than them BUT 5 games vs Cleveland meaning the division is still in play. California despite an excellent expansion draft have underperformed all around.

WestWinsLossesPctGBWild Card GB
Boston Red Sox7172.497—-+2
Oakland A’s7172.487—-+2
California Angels5090.35719 1/217 1/2
Talk about down to the wire!

The tightest division race in the majors remains deadlocked with only 19 to play. Add to that only a 2 game margin over the bottom wild card and this battle becomes do or die. Can Rico Carty’s bat, Gary Nolan’s arm and Pete Richert’s work in the pen overcome a disappointing year from knuckleballer Phil Niekro? Or will Sonny Siebert, Daryl Knowles be the difference to keep Reggie & company moving forward? Meanwhile the Washington Senators sitting with the #1 pick next year plus draft picks from trades are in a great position to rebuild and play spoiler.

EastWinsLossesPctGBWild Card GB
Atlanta Braves8654.614—-+9 1/2
Philadelphia Phillies8459.5873 1/2+6
Montreal Expos5588.38532 1/223 1/2
Another tough fight

Only the Yankees rivaled the Braves in trades for draft picks and like the Yanks Atlanta has cashed in. Tony Oliva and Caesar Cedeno have ruled at the bat while Fergie Jenkins leads the majors in ERA with pitching help from Chuck Dobson, Mike Cuellar and Eddie Fisher saving the day. Philly the other expansion team with Luke Walker, Bob Robinson and Dick Selma saving the day don’t intend to make it easy for the Braves. Montreal was expected to be a contender this year

CentralWinsLossesPctGBWild Card GB
Cincinnati Reds10241.713—-+27
NY Day Traders6377.45037 1/213 1/2
Montreal Expos6479.4483814
Big Red Machine no Huge Red Machine dominating the defending champion day traders

The Reds haven’t just deiminated this division they’ve dominated the league, Carbo, Rettenmund, Bench, Morgan Tolan own the leaderboards at bat with Fritz Peterson and Steve Hargan doing it on the pitching side. The defending champ day traders are still alive in the wild card hunt thanks to Tom Seaver with help from Larry Brown & Terry Harmon but only just. St. Louis’ is right behind them and only a bad luck year from Bob Gibson have kept them from doing more.

WestWinsLossesPctGBWild Card GB
San Francisco Giants8258.586—-+5 1/2
Pittsburgh Pirates7865.5455 1/2—-
Los Angeles Dodgers5783.4072519 1/2
Pitching Pitching Pitching

The Giants under new management have been a Pitching machine with Dave McNally reversing last years bad luck and Tom Hall and John Lamb leading the way. Pittsburgh led by Luis Aparicio and Gaylord Perry having huge years seem a wild card lock but are still in striking distance for the division. The rest of the league has discovered the way to beat the LA Dodgers. Walk Willie McCovey because if you don’t he will beat you badly.

Well we’ve now got our 18 teams and the Dynasty draft league for the 1970 season is starting to roll. It began with our Expansion Draft. We had four new players two of which took existing teams vacated by other players (Cleveland and SF) and two who took new franchises (California & Philadelphia). Those two teams participated in an expansion draft choosing players from existing teams. Each existing team was allowed to protect 7 players from the expansion draft and an additional five if a player was drafted from their team. Once any team lost 3 players (LA Dodgers) no further players could be drafted from it.

Here were the draft results by round

RoundPlayerPositionDrafted FromPlayerPositionDrafted From
Philadelphia PhilliesCalifornia Angels
1Mudcat GrantPSt. Louis CardinalsTommy JohnPBoston Red Sox
2Don McMahonPLos Angeles DodgersBill Russellss/OFBoston Red Sox
3Dick SelmaPLos Angeles DodgersJoe NiekroPWashington Senators
4Clyde WrightPMinnesota TwinsSandy Alomar Sr2BSan Francisco Giants
5Pat DobsonPCleveland IndiansCarl MortonPNew York Yankees
6Luke WalkerPCincinnati RedsDon Money3BSan Francisco Giants
7Tom PhoebusPPittsburgh PiratesBob LockerPOakland A’s
8Clay CarrollPPittsburgh
Pirates
George MitterwaldCSeattle Pilots
9Ron KlimkowskiPMontreal ExposMatty AlouOF Los Angeles Dodgers
10Dick DragoPNew York YankeesLou PiniellaOFBaltimore Orioles
11Jim RookerPMontreal Exposn/an/an/a
12Tony TaylorInfAtlanta Bravesn/an/an/a

Having drafted 10 players in the expansion California will draft 16th in the full scale version ahead of Seattle & Behind LA. Because they took the full 12 players allowed the Philadelphia will draft last at 18th.

The Final Draft order for the 1970 continual draft league:

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. NY Yankees
  3. San Francisco Seals (Giants)
  4. Cin City (Cincinnati Reds)
  5. St Louis Cardinals
  6. Boston Red Sox 
  7. Washington Senators 
  8. Oakland A’s
  9. Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Baltimore Orioles
  11. Montreal Nos Amours (Expos)
  12. Minnesota Twins
  13. Cleveland Indians
  14.  LA Dodgers
  15. California Angels
  16. Seattle Pilots
  17. New York Day Traders (Mets)
  18. Philadelphia Phillies

Given that the actual draft will be 18 players from all over the country from NY to CA it will take at least a couple of weeks. I expect us to get started by the end of may or beginning of June, sooner if I can manage it, but we’re playing 162 this time and it’s going to be fun.

And if you like what you see, well we can always go to 20 teams next season.

UPDATE The rules for keeping players after the next season are as follows:

  1. World series winner 4 players
  2. World series runner up 5 players
  3. Division winners who don’t go to the series 6 players
  4. Division winners who don’t make the Pennant round 7 players
  5. Wild card teams who don’t go to the series 8 players
  6. 11th and 12th best records 9 players
  7. 13th and 14th best records 10 players
  8. 15th and 16th best records 11 players
  9. 17th and 18th best records 12 players

With 18 teams the divisions are going to be as follows

AL EastAL CentralAL WestNL EastNL CentralNL West
Seattle PilotsCleveland IndiansBoston Red SoxAtlanta BravesNY Day TradersLos Angeles Dodgers
New York YankeesCalifornia AngelsOakland A’s
Philadelphia PhilliesCincinnati RedsPittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore OriolesMinnesota TwinsWashington SenatorsMontreal Nos Amours (Expos)St Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Seals (Giants)
Bold indicates defending division winner from last season Bold Italic Pennant winner Bold italic underline World Series Champion

Divisions were set up with the following priorities in order

  • Division winners not to be put in the same division
  • Whenever possible players are placed in divisions with opponents living in the same time zone
  • If not possible traditional rivals are put together
  • Actual geographic location of the franchise

Thus since the Red Sox (Colorado), the A’s (Arizona) and the Senators (Nevada) all live out west they were put in the same division since with an unbalanced schedule (18 in division, 12 out of division 6 interleague) so alas the Redsox and Yankees will not share a division as the Yanks live in the east

two of the three AL central teams live in the central time zone while four AL team managers live in the east. California and Seattle were the obvious candidates to go to the central but as Cleveland is defending a division title and so is Seattle California was the default as it was the closest geographic choice.

The NL was more complicated four NL teams live in the east, four in the central and only one (Pittsburgh) on the west coast. Thus one eastern player and one central player had to go west. The obvious choices were the Giants and the Dodgers as they are both actual west coast teams and are also traditional rivals.

One of the things about the Dynasty Baseball game is that just about anything can happen which you consider that hundreds of game may be taking place at any single moment in time 24/7.

This was proved yesterday in the first series back of a player who had previously left the league but returned to take over his team when the player who had replaced him expressed an interest in drafting his own team next season, which is the fun of a draft league, rather than playing out the current one with a team someone else built even though it’s currently in first place and a very well built team.

The game started pretty normal with Yankee Ace Fritz Peterson (9-6) vs the Twins Gene Barbender (7-6) The Yanks struck first as rookie catcher Thurman Munson tripled to lead off the game and scored on a Jim Fregosi Sacrifice Fly that was just a few feet shy from going out making it 1-0.

The Twins stuck back in the bottom of the 2nd Tony Perez Led off with a single, Willie Mays drew a walk and Rich Reichhardt doubled into the gap scoring them both making it 2-1 Twins

The Yanks took the lead back in the 6th. Nate Colbert lead off with a homer to left to tie the game. Ron Fairly singled and Greg Nettles walked. Julian Javier hit into a force putting runners at 1st & 3rd with one out. Richie Hebner pinch hitting for the slumping Bill Sudakis, grounded into a force play beating out the throw to first allowing Fairly to score and it was 3-2 NY.

It stayed that way until the 9th when the most improbabile inning I’ve ever seen took place.

The trouble began for Lindy McDaniel, who came in for Barbender in the 8th, when 2nd baseman Joe Morgan booted Munson’s grounder. He moved to 2nd on a ground out by Fregosi at which point Jose Acria came in to run for him. Nate Colbert drove him in with a single for his 2nd RBI of the game and Ron Fairly followed with a double that scored Colbert all the way from first and now the Yanks had a 5-2 lead, but they weren’t done yet.

Ernie Banks then dropped the throw on a Craig Nettles grounder that should have been out 2 (or 3 if you consider the Morgan error. It was only his 2nd error of the entire season and the Yankees took advantage of that rare Banks miscue when Fairly was able to score on a Javier grounder making it 6-2.

They say trouble comes in threes and this was certainly the case for McDaniel as he dropped Banks throw to first that would have ended the inning on a slow roller by Richie Hebner for the 3rd Twins error of the inning.

Like Banks’ error it was his 2nd of the season and like Banks’ error it immediately paid dividends for the Yankees as Ken Henderson uncharacteristically deposited his next pitch deep into the right field stands for a 3 run shot which gave the Yankees a seven run lead going into the bottom of the 9th. A seemingly unassailable lead as noted by this chart on the odds of a Minnesota win going into the bottom of the 9th

Alas for the fans of the Bronx Bombers this is not football or Basketball or Hockey or even Soccer where there is a clock to run out. This is baseball which means that no matter how many runs you are ahead by going into the last of the 9th, you still have to record those final three outs to win.

Here’s what happened.

Ernie Banks started things with a single. The hot hitting Alex Johnson followed with a high chopper to 3rd which Acria now playing the hot corner made an excellent play on to get Johnson at first. Tony Perez Singled to left Banks stopping at 3rd and the Say Hay Kid came up with another single off Peterson to driving in Banks cutting the lead to six.

Reichhart hit the next ball right to 3rd and Acria forced Perez there.

The scene was now Mays on 2nd and Reichhardt at first with two men out and the score Yankees 9 and Minnesota 3. Fritz Peterson needed only one more out for a complete game victory when light hitting Joe Azcue came to bat for Lindy McDaniel

It was not to be

Azcue singled to right scoring Mays and sending Reichhardt to 3rd. New York Yankees 9 Minnesota Twins 4. Catcher Frank Fernandez followed with a single of his own scoring Reichhardt and sending Azcue to 2nd. Yankees 9 Twins 5. At this point Dick Radatz starting throwing in the pen as it improbably began approaching a save situation.

While he was getting loose John Kennedy added to the hit parade singling to center to load the bases and Joe Morgan whose initial 9th inning error had seemingly put the game on a path to defeat waited out an exhausted Peterson for a bases loaded walk making the game 9-6 and ending Peterson’s night.

Dick Radatz came in and despite the bases loaded situation only needed one out to give Peterson the win and him the save. Steve Howley came in to bat in place of the right handed Ernie Banks who had lead of the inning. He was hitting over .400 vs RHP but that didn’t intimidate Radatz who coaxed a slow grounder toward Acria who had already made one great play in the inning and had produced the 2nd out unassisted. it seemed the game was over…until Acria hurried the throw which got past Colbert. Azcue and Frenandez both scored and now the score was 9-8 on what should have been the final out of the game.

Radatz was still not worried even with the tying run at 2nd and the winning run at 1st. He still needed only one out and was determined to keep pinch hitter Lou Brock who came in to hit for Alex Johnson from driving in that tying run.

In that respect he would be successful as Brock would pop out to Colbert on a 2-2 fastball, however with the count 2-1 Joe Morgan broke for 3rd and Hovley Broke for 2nd. Catcher Jim Paglairtoni who came in to catch at the top of the inning rushed the throw trying to end the game. It sailed into the outfield for his 1st error of the season. Morgan dashed home with the tying run and Hovley made it to 3rd where he would be stranded to end the inning.

After 9 Yankees 9 Twins 9.

After that 9th inning the 10th was almost anticlimactic Twins Reliever Cecil Upshaw (W 3-1) would retire the Yanks in order in the top of the inning while Radatz (BS L 3-5) led off the 10th with a first pitch fastball and Tony Perez took that ball drove it 399 feet into the left field stands and the game was over.

Twins 10 Yankees 9.

This was quite a cap to an exciting finish. You won’t see a game like that often or at all but the real irony is this.

I mentioned at the start of this post that this was the first game back for the former manager/GM of the Twins who had left the league because he was frustrated at the computer game. He said the results were too improbable and would end up putting his team on auto in frustration. And here is his 2nd game back and what does he get, the most improbable game of the year.

That’s irony.

Jerry Koosman is the AL player of the week for his key 4 hit 9 inning game vs LA for his 2nd win putting his A’s a mere half game out of first place in the AL west.

Bob Humphreys is the NL player of the week for coming in for an injured Chuck Dobson. Going into the game he had no appearance longer than 2/3 of an inning with batters hitting .500 against him and a WHIP of 2.00. He threw 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball facing 17 hitters and giving up but a single hit to earn his 1st win of the season.