Friday, January 30, 2009

Mr. Ploppie and Domi in heated Division battle.

Your Fearless reporter caught Domi and Ploppie fighting over the upcoming division title. It seems like they really mean business. I hope Ploppie is the one with the sword. If not, I hope Domi does not slice the strings on his pants, that would really be a visual for the "ages" .

Studs Mc Grew ----- Cobbfather Post Gazette

Season 4 on the Horizon!

Thelma Jenkins - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Wassup yall's, this is your homegirl Thelma here at the Gazette letting you all know Season 4 is right around the corner, and it looks to be the best season yet! The new owners are finding their way around their new teams. We're still looking for a couple of more, so if you know anyone interested, direct them to FW_Kekionga to get them signed up for the league. And remember, if you want to move cities, now's the time, get the password from the aforementioned commissioner and do your thang!

The Gazette plans on having much of the same coverage for Season 4 as it did for Season 3. If you have any new ideas for blog articles, feel free to suggest in World Chat! Or, if you'd like to write up a few articles yourself, contact FW_Kekionga for blog access. The more contributers, the merrier!

Enjoy the offseason while you can, season 4 is fast approaching, in what looks to be the most competitive season yet in Cobbfather! See you on the flipside.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chicago Doesn't Choke! Wins Season 3 Title

Season 3 Cobbfather Champions

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

The World Series drought in Chicago is over! Unfortunately for us Chicagoans, it's only as it relates to the Cobbfather League. But that is great news to the ears of slashtc, bringing home the title, after the franchise failed in two previous World Series tries under different ownership. A 6-run 8th inning sealed the deal for Chicago, who came back from down 3-2 to win the last 2 games in Sacramento. Many congrats to slash on a fine season. It was a tough loss for FW_Kekionga, who also deserves a lot of credit for putting together such a solid squad. No doubt with his ability to put together great teams, this won't be his last World Series appearance. It was a tough loss for the Gazette too, with another one of our picks going down in flames. We'll try and revamp our picks system and do better next season. Hope to see you all back for season 4!!! Renew now!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Season 3 World Series Preview

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

I'd like to start this article with a definitive "No Comment" regarding any recent press regarding my or my neighbor's home life. Thank you. Now, it's on to the World Series! The Gazette's heralded team of Season 3, the Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens, swept through the NLCS, while the Chicago Chokers won a tough ALCS matchup vs. Florida to make their 3rd straight World Series. Will Sacto prevail finally bringing their long suffering owner that elusive World Series title? Will Chicago choke again and lose their 3rd straight World Series? Or is it the end of "wait til next year" for the Chokers? Let's get to the analysis!



0.287 AVG 0.280
0.355 OBP 0.351
0.492 SLG 0.456
292 HR 248
183 SB 123
1008 RS 907
749 RA 671
4.34 ERA 3.82
1.39 WHIP 1.32
0.987 Fielding % 0.984
111 Wins 112


In just about every single offensive stat, Chicago appears to have outperformed Sacramento this season. The question remains, how much of that advantage is due to the offensively friendly confines of Wrigley Field? Certainly, the numbers would have been far closer if both played in neutral parks. But you also can't entirely discredit Chicago's stellar offensive output as being due to their home park, as their lineup is very impressive throughout. In the playoffs, Chicago has hit very well putting up a .295 BA and have been getting on base at a solid .376 rate. Hick Millwood (.419 BA, 1.121 OPS) and Ed Morris (.364 BA, .997 OPS) have led the charge offensively during the post-season. But perhaps the more interesting fact is who is not hitting for Chicago during the playoffs, sluggers Mendy Washington and Fred McNamara have had poor post seasons to date. If those two get on track during the World Series, it's going to be very tough to stop the Chicago offense. Looking at Sacramento's offensive post-season stats, they have struggled in batting average (.245) and on-base percentage (.292) compared to their regular season stats. As mentioned in the LCS preview, the loss of top hitter Jack Bottalico could be a cause. It is interesting to note, however, that Sacramento has hit 3 more home runs this post season than Chicago in two less games, and they have some struggling stars of their own who have underperfomed in the playoffs, like Moses Terrero and Ricky Swann, for instance.


The tale of the tape shows that Sacramento has the pitching statistical categories dominated as much as Chicago dominates the offensive categories, although the same thing can be said about stadium factors, as Sacramento is a pitcher friendly park. Sacramento's rotation has been nearly flawless in the playoffs, as Leon, Maduro, and Chiounard have all pitched very well. The same could be said about closer Sammy Felix, who is 4 for 4 in save opportunities this post-season. The rest of the bullpen obviously hasn't been too bad either, given a team ERA of 2.96 in the playoffs. For Chicago, a positive sign is that ace Carl Sosa rebounded with two solid outings in the LCS, after a mediocre DCS. In the LCS, Dan Stahoviak had a great start in game 5, his first post season appearance. It will be interesting to see if Chicago will ride his hot arm over Sheldon and Hartman who have been struggling in the post-season. Bullpen wise, closer Paul Watson is also 4 for 4 in save opportunities and hasn't allowed an ER to boot! Actually, the whole bullpen has pitched extremely well for Chicago this post-season, with the exception of Andres Pena, who just hasn't found his groove, and will look to rebound in the World Series.


- Chicago had the better fielding % during the regular season, although Sacramento has the slight edge during the post season.
- Sacramento is riding the momentum of a sweep in the LCS, while Chicago took 6 to win their LCS.
- The Chicago franchise is in the World Series for the third straight year, amazingly under 3 different owners, but "choked" the last 2 times.
- slashtc has a World Series title and a great post season record to his credit, while FW_Kekionga's teams have struggled mightly in the post-season prior to Sacto's run this season.
- the 2 teams did not play in the Regular Season
- Sacramento has home field advantage.
- Sacramento was the Gazette's preseason pick to win the World Series.


This is going to be a tight series contested between two very good teams. Both teams are stacked, and it's tough to find a distinct advantage for either team statistically, when you take into account their park factors. After comparing the teams it's a tough call who's going to win, but we've got to make a prediction. And in the end, there's nothing that's changed from the preseason that has altered our opinion that Sacramento is the team to beat in Cobbfather this season, baby!!!!

Prediction: Sacramento in 6

Looking forward to a great series between two tremendous teams! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The truth about Leon Jackson and his neighbor

Funny Pictures
Funny Videos

I found out the truth between Leon Jackson our fearless Gazette reporter. Seems like he has had an ongoing dispute with his neighbor about something. Through my sources, I found this picture why the dispute took place. It seems his neighbor did not like the way Leon trimmed his hedges. When I asked Leon about it, he simply said "I wanted to show my neighbor my ass every single day."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Season 3 League Championship Series Preview

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

The Division Championship Series round was far less dramatic than the play-in round, with no series going to five games - except for yours truly, as when Huntington swept Cincinnati, bringing our playoff prediction record to 0-5, I started cleaning out my office, expecting to be canned. Luckily, the other 3 series turned out as predicted, and I'm still here. Let's see if I can't get up to .500! Let's look at the matchups for the LCS round.


(2) Chicago Chokers vs. (1) Florida Shark Waves

The ALCS features the two teams who were clearly the cream of the crop in the AL this season, both exceeding 110 wins, while no other team had more than 97. Both teams feature powerhouse offenses. In the DCS round, Chicago's lineup came through, as expected, hitting .289 with 6 HR. Florida's bats were also alive during the DCS, hitting .295 with 7 HR led by impressive performances from Luis Martin (.611 BA 2 HR 7 RBI) and Carl Watkins (.438 BA 2 HR 10 RBI). Pitching wise, Florida showed in the DCS why they were the #1 pitching staff in the majors this season with a solid 3.50 ERA, although closer Luis Gonzales did blow one game, something they will need to avoid in the LCS. Chicago's starting pitching struggled in the DCS, even the great Carl Sosa allowed 7 ER in 11 IP, although their bullpen came through for them, minus one blow up by Andres Pena. However, Chicago is certainly going to need better starting pitching in the LCS if they hope to go to their 3rd straight World Series. As an indication of how close this series should be, in the Regular Season, the series between the two was split 5-5, with each team winning 3 at Florida and each team winning 2 at Chicago. This certainly should be a great series between the 2 AL powerhouses.

Gazette Prediction: Florida in 7


(2) Huntington Liberators vs. (1) Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens

The NLCS also features its league's top two seeds as Huntington faces Sacramento. Huntington swept Cincinnati in the DCS with outstanding pitching. Although their starters didn't go deep into games, they still only gave up 3 ER in 14 IP, and the relief staff was nearly flawless as well. You might have expected better offensive output from Huntington, given 2 games in the series were in Cincinnati, but clearly their output was good enough to win this series. They are going to have to step it up, however, against a much tougher Sacramento team. Sacto's offense struggled average wise in the DCS, probably due to the absence of Jack Bottalico (that darn research staff!), but did come through with some clutch power from Pena, Fernandez, and Chavez. MVP candidate Moses Terrero appeared to take the series off, although he did smack 1 HR. Sacto's starting pitching was outstanding in the DCS getting 2 great starts from Leon and Chouinard, while Maduro was just OK. They did have a couple of bullpen blowups, although not from stud closer Sammy Felix, which is a good sign. For the season series, Sacto took it 7-3, taking 3 out of 4 at Huntington and 4 out of 6 at home. Given that, and the fact that Sacto was our preseason WS Champ pick and we picked Huntington to lose in the DCS, our prediction shouldn't come as a surprise.

Gazette Prediction: Sacramento in 5

As always, good luck to all of the teams!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Season 3 Division Championship Series Preview

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

The first round of the playoffs are behind us, and they featured quite a few dramatic ups and downs, as all 4 series went 5 games. Some surprise winners emerged from the first round, beating the odds to advance. The most surpised regarding the winners of the first round was the Gazette, who put up a donut, picking all 4 series incorrectly. Terrible, Awful, Horrible, there aren't enough negative words to describe our picks last round. But the best thing to do when you fall down is to get up and try again. So with out further adieu, here's our picks for the Division Championship Series round.


(4) Oakland Bruisers vs. (1) Florida Shark Waves

The Bruisers pulled out the first round upset (even though they were the higher seed) over Monterrey with great pitching. Their starting pitchers allowed only 7 earned runs in 31 innings, and their bullpen was equally as impressive. Their batting stats in the first round were less than impressive, with a .246 batting average, and only 2 home runs in 5 games. They are going to have to do a lot better than that against the powerhouse Shark Waves. The Shark Waves led the league in ERA by far. The highest ERA by any pitcher on their staff was 4.40. They have a phenomenal rotation, and an equally stellar bullpen. Offensively Florida was 4th in the league in team batting average, and in the top 10 in OPS. Their lineups feature a number of players who can hit for average, hit for power, and steal bases. It's looking like an uphill battle for Oakland here for sure.

Prediction: Florida in 3

(6) Burlington Huskies vs. (2) Chicago Chokers

Burlington pulled off the first round upset of New York with a combination of great pitching and speed on the basepaths to advance to face divisional rival, the Chicago Chokers. The speedsters of Burlington swiped an impressive 15 bases in 5 games in round 1, and should continue to have a chance to run against the weak armed catchers of Chicago. The chances of repeating their strong pitching from the first round will be a tougher task. The two-time defending American League champions are an offensive powerhouse, who lead the majors in runs scored, hits, batting average, slugging percentage, OBP and OPS. Somehow, they finished only 2nd in home runs. The Chicago lineup features 5 .300 or better hitters, and 6 players with 30 or more home runs. Chicago's pitching was toward the middle of the pack, the wind must have been blowing out quite a bit at Wrigley this season, but the rotation features arguably the best pitcher in the league in phenom Carl Sosa (13-6, 1.99 ERA). They also have a great closer in Paul Watson, so the pitching staff should hold their own. It's looking good for Chicago here, and a 3rd straight trip to the World Series wouldn't be a surprise.

Prediction: Chicago in 3


(5) Houston Rockets vs. (1) Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens

Sacramento caught a tough break, having to face arguably the 2nd best team in the NL in the DCS, after earning the #1 seed. The Rockets' first round win over New York was characterized by decent starting pitching, great relief pitching, and outstanding offense. 6 of their RP's combined for 14.2 scoreless innings out of the pen in the first round (although 2 of their RP's did get roughed up). They hit an impressive .310 in the series, with 3 players hitting .474 or better, and they slugged 10 HR's. But their starting pitching was only mediocre, and will have to step up facing a tough Sacramento offense that was 6th in batting average, and 5th in OPS in the majors. The powerhouse offense is led by perennial MVP candidate Moses Terrero (.292 BA 48 HR 153 RBI) and Jack Bottalico (.337 BA 35 HR 103 RBI). If Houston's pitching isn't on top of their game, they'll be sure to take advantage. Houston's hot hitters will face a tough challenge in Sacto's pitching staff, who ranked 4th in the majors in ERA. Sacto has a rotation that's solid throughout. But their best pitcher is closer Sammy Feliz (1.96 ERA, 53 SV), so Houston better get the lead early if they hope to win. Overall we see this as an extremely tight series, and definitely the marquee matchup of this round.

Prediction: Sacramento in 5

(3) Cincinnati Flying Pigs vs. (2) Huntington Liberators

As impressive as Houston's bullpen was in the first round, Cincinnati's was better - their bullpen only allowed 1 ER the entire series! The stellar performance of the bullpen was a necessity, as their starting pitching was only mediocre. The offense was firing on all cylinders, hitting .305 for the series, which helped them ward off a tough Honolulu squad. Their opponent, Huntington, quietly put together a great season, featuring a top 10 pitching staff and a top 10 offense. Their rotation features 20 game winner Rabbit Kraemer and 17 game winner Marc Rigney, both who should provide Cincinnati's offense with a difficult challenge. They also have a slew of effective relievers. Offensively, the team home run leader interstingly enough was traded to Florida midseason. Although no one topped Luis Martin's 40 HR's (in only 88 games), they still have a solid offense with some power, and oh yeah speed, 2B Mel Ratliff swiped 107 SB's! This should be a good matchup, featuring 2 very evenly matched teams

Prediction: Cincinnati in 5

Good luck to all the teams!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Season 3 Predictions: A Look Back

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
She-naynay - Psychic Friends Network

Now that the season's over, it's time to take a look back at the preseason predictions. Here's some interesting analysis of the predictions. We'll try to do better next time!



1. Cincinnati (Correctly Predicted Win Total)

2. Boise (Prediction off by 1 win)

3. Burlington, Boston, Florida, Kansas City, New York (NL), Memphis (Prediction off by 2 wins)

4. San Diego, Huntington (Prediction off by 3 wins)

5. Fargo, Arizona, Houston (Prediction off by 5 wins)

MOST UNDERRATED TEAMS (Teams who beat their predicted win total by the most wins)

1. Mexico City (27 wins)

2. Rochester (14 wins)

3. Buffalo (12 wins)

4. Sacramento, New York (AL) (7 wins)

5. Monterrey, Honolulu (6 wins)

MOST OVERRATED TEAMS (Teams who missed their predicted win total by the most wins)

1. Sioux Falls, Lousville (21 wins)

2. Cheyenne (17 wins)

3. Ottawa, Philadelphia (16 wins)

4. Oklahoma City (11 wins)

5. Durham (10 wins)

Average Number of Games each prediction was off by: 8.4


Prediction for Order of Standings Correct For the Entire Division: AL East, AL West, NL South, NL West

Prediction for Order of Standings Incorrect for the Entire Division: AL North, NL East

Number of Teams where the Order of Finish was correctly predicted: 20

Division Winners Correctly Predicted: 6 (AL East and NL East picks were wrong)

Teams Picked to Finish Last, but Finished First: New York (AL)

Teams Picked to Finish First, but Finished Last: None


# of playoff teams correctly predicted: 9 (5 NL, 4 AL)

Teams that made the playoffs that weren’t predicted to: Honolulu, New York (AL), Monterrey

Teams that were predicted to make the playoffs, but didn’t: Augusta, Fargo, Philadelphia

Season 3 Play-In Round Preview

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

The playoffs are upon us, with the play-in round starting this afternoon. Let's take a look at the first round matchups, and we'll even throw in a Gazette prediction! Unfortunately She-nayay and her crystal ball were unavailable for this article, but we'll do our best to provide a solid prediction for each series. Let's get to it!


(6) Burlington Huskies vs. (3) New York Pride of the Yankees

This is a battle of two very teams whose primary strength is their offense. Burlington’s plays small ball very well, with a number of speedsters who can swipe bases at will. This could be a problem for New York’s poor defensive catchers. New York’s offensive comes from their power game, as they have several players who can go deep at any time, supplemented with a few good contact hitters to get on base for their power guys to drive in. Looking at the pitching staffs, both teams have lights out closers, so there should be few runs given up in the late innings. The middle relief looks about even, with New York having great setup guys and Burlington having some quality long relief guys. The starting pitching advantage goes to New York, Burlington will have to catch lightning in a bottle at the number 2 and 3 rotation spots to keep up.

Gazette Prediction: New York in 4

(5) Monterrey Ducks vs. (4) Oakland Bruisers

Looking at this matchup on paper, it would seem that Monterrey has a clear advantage, as they outperformed Oakland offensively and pitching wise this season. Unfortunately for Monterrey, they will be without MVP candidate Stuart Paulson for this series, which levels the playing field a bit, certainly on offense. DH Andre Becker and C Jim Spencer will have to pick up the slack power wise. Oakland’s power source also comes from the catcher position with Aaron Tam. The rest of their lineup features mostly contact hitting speed guys. Spencer doesn’t have a great arm for Monterrey, so look for Oakland to take advantage. Pitching wise, it will be tough for Oakland to keep up with Monterrey’s one-two punch of Tony Saunders and Bronson Jefferies, both who posted sub-3 ERA’s, although Oakland will do it’s best with it’s trio of sub-4 ERA starters of Fitzgerald, Martin and Diaz.

Gazette Prediction: Monterrey in 4


(6) Honolulu Haoles vs. (3) Cincinnati Flying Pigs

These two first round opponents have similar philosophies. Win with the power game and great pitching. Honolulu was 3rd in the majors in ERA this season, while Cincinnati finished in the top 10, despite playing in the bandbox that is the Great American Ballpark. Honolulu will look to ride the arm of Octavio Solano during this series, who went 19-3 with a mind blowing 2.10 ERA this season. Cincinnati doesn’t have an ace quite the level of Solano, but they can match their #2, and have the advantage when comparing #3 starters. Bullpen advantage appears to go to Honolulu led by yet another Cy Young candidate, closer Richie Burks, who was nearly untouchable this season. Cincinnati took advantage of their park, crushing home runs regularly led by LF Marlon Merritt with 57. Honolulu can matchup with 3 30+ HR guys, plus they seem to have better contact hitters than Cincy.

Gazette Prediction: Honolulu in 5

(5) Houston Rockets vs. (4) New York Primetimers

This is probably the tightest matchup in the first round. Houston was 5th in ERA, New York was 6th. Houston had the better batting average, but New York had the better power numbers. Pitching wise, New York has the best pitcher in the series in Walt Lowe (11-5, 2.72 ERA). But Houston’s pitching staff is deeper, and will definitely have the advantage when the #3 starters go head to head. Overall, Houston’s bullpen performed better, but New York has the more dominant closer. As mentioned prior, New York has a lineup deep in power hitting, led by Kevin Byrd with an incredible 67 HR! They had 5 other guys with 20 HR or more as well. New York runs more on the bases too, but may be tamed by Houston’s great defensive catchers. Offensively, Houston has a few good power hitters too, and their team seems to be able to hit for average more consistently across the board. This is going to be a tight series indeed!

Gazette Prediction: New York in 5

Good luck to all the teams in the first round!