Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Season 5 Power Rankings - Preseason

Chuckles McGee - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Howdy, it's Chuckles back with the final piece of the Season 5 Preview - the preseason power rankings. The preseason rankings are based purely on Leon's and Shenaynay's prediction of regular season records. Once the season starts, the power rankings will be updated every 15 games. Now, without further adieu, here are the preseason power rankings!



Predicted Record















New York (AL)




Tampa Bay
















New York (NL)
























St. Louis




San Francisco




















San Juan




























Los Angeles




Kansas City












Little Rock



Season 5 Preview - Playoff Predictions

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

Well, we've been through each division in Cobbfather and we've told you what the future holds for every team. But, Shenaynay's knowledge of the future extends well beyond the regular season. She knows exactly who is going to advance in the playoffs and who is going to flop. Let's sit back and see what girlfriend has to say about the Season 5 playoffs!


OK, the playoffs kick off with #6 Dover vs. #3 New York Primetimers, and #4 Rochester vs. #5 Memphis. The playoff success continues for #6 Dover, as they dispose of their division rival in 4 games, and #4 Rochester takes out Memphis in 4. On to the NLDS, where #1 Sacramento takes on #4 Rochester - and the youth of Rochester crumbles, as Sacto takes it in 4 games. #2 Jackson takes on #6 Dover in the other series, and Jackson takes a tough series in 5. The NLCS features a rematch of playoff rivals #1 Sacramento and #2 Jackson. It's another playoff disappointment for Sacramento as Jackson takes it in 6 games, and Jackson is your NL Champion!


Kicking off the AL Playoffs is #3 Atlanta vs. #6 Burlington and #4 Vancouver vs. #5 Tampa Bay. Atlanta wins the battle of division rivals in 4 games. In the other matchup, Tampa Bay tanks Vancouver in 5 games, advancing to the ALDS. Next round features another clash of division rivals in #1 Florida vs. #5 Tampa Bay. The defending World Series champs win a close series in 5 games over the Tankers. Next, we have #2 New York vs. #3 Atlanta, and the big bats of New York take it over the big bats of Atlanta. Making the ALCS a battle of New York vs. Florida. domi vs. rawdk. The epic battle goes 7 games, and the winner is....New York, capturing their first AL Pennant!


The World Series features the Jackson Rockets vs. the New York Pride of the Yankees. It's the strong pitching of Jackson vs. the powerful lineup of New York. But also to be considered is the fact that New York owner domiisgod has a long line of playoff disappointments in his past. Will he be able to overcome his playoff jinx? It will be a great series that goes 6 games, but in the end, the bats of New York will be too much for the pitching of Jackson, making your season 5 World Series Champions the New York Pride of the Yankees! The playoff jinx is over for domi!

Good luck to all teams in Season 5!

Season 5 Preview - NL North

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The final division preview for Season 5 is the NL North. Syracuse, although a solid team, was a bit of surprise as the division winner last season. Who will take the crown this season? Let's find out!


4. Ottawa Renegades
Last Season: 69-93

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: it’s still cold up in Ottawa.

Impact Player – Haywood Reuschel – Ottawa fans are eager to find out if he can repeat last season’s spectacular numbers.

Gazette says: Ottawa did show some improvement last season going from 60 to 69 wins. But we’re not sure they’re ready to make another nine game improvement this season. The lack of offensive firepower is a concern, and we’re not all that high on their pitching staff. They could definitely use a couple of more impact players. This could be a year for them to build their system, and get those players. But on the Major League field this season, we see them being about the same as last season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 65-97
Odds to win it all: 150-1

3. Wichita Linemen
Last Season: 65-97

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the winds of change blowing through Wichita

Impact Player – Louie Grey – will he impact the team by another great season on the mound, or will he impact them by allowing them to cut salary by trading him and start the rebuild process?

Gazette says: After three straight division titles, this franchise took a step backwards last season, falling to 65-97. Some would say that was because of poor management. Now under new management, and in a new city, Wichita looks to rebound. While it certainly wouldn’t hurt for them to shed a few of their big contracts, Wichita should be better than last year, as their pitching is better than the 5.15 ERA they posted last season, and moving in to a pitcher’s park will help as well. There are a few question marks with the lineup, which will need to resolve before they contend for a division title.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 72-90
Odds to win it all: 90-1

2. Syracuse Sycophants
Last Season: 91-71

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the ball is clouded with Syracuse orange!

Impact Player – Erv Jodie – can the rookie pitcher help fill the void in the rotation left by departing free agents?

Gazette says: Last season, Syracuse posted their first winning season in Cobbfather posting 91 wins and winning the NL North. They did this with solid hitting, and very good pitching. Their bullpen was excellent, and their rotation stepped it up. The lost a couple of type B free agents this offseason, but still return most of the parts from last year’s division title team. They also have a few rookies coming up that should help. Still, we’re not sure the pitching staff can repeat the same numbers they put up last year, which may cost them a couple of games in the win column:

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 85-77
Odds to win it all: 40-1

1. Rochester Rolling Rocks
Last Season: 86-76

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the rolling rocks are picking up speed.

Impact Player – Trey Padgett - if the Rochester offense is firing on all cylinders, they should be extremely tough to beat, and it looks like Padgett is the leader of the offense.

Gazette says: Rochester was our pick last season to break out and really make an impact in the NL pennant race, but it didn’t help, although they still posted a respectable 86 wins. Looking at their performance, it’s really hard to see why they didn’t win more games, as the offense was good enough, and their pitching was excellent. It looks like it may have been a bit of bad luck. We like them again this year, as they may have both the best offense and best pitching in the division. If the offense gets rolling, this team could be scary. What is definitely scary is their payroll is a ridiculously low 14.9 million, so they have a great opportunity to add even more blue chip prospects.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 95-67
Odds to win it all: 11-1

UP NEXT: Playoff Predictions

Monday, May 25, 2009

Season 5 Preview - AL North

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The AL North has always been a very competitive division, both in the standings and in trash talk on the World Chat board. Who will be able to back up the smack talk this year? Let's find out!


4. Cleveland Kings
Last Season: 79-83

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the locker room is a lot more sanitary without ploppie’s soiled depends

Impact Player – Darrell Wright – this young hurler has somewhat underperformed at the Major League Level – could this be his year?

Gazette says: mrploppie is gone after 4 seasons, and the franchise is under new ownership, and has moved to Cleveland. So what did ploppie leave behind? I mean in terms of players. Well, the team has a young, talented pitching staff, although they have underperformed thus far at the Major League level, as evidenced by a team ERA over 5.00 last season. The pitching staff will certainly have to improve if Cleveland is going to be King this season. The offense was very good last year, with an OPS over .800, and returns many of the same players. The only question is can the pitching prevent the opposition from scoring even more runs?

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 76-86
Vegas Odds to win it all: 65-1

3. Detroit Dirt Dogs
Last Season: 71-91

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The Kid is back!

Impact Player – Timo Green – can the righty starter step up and lead the pitching staff with an outstanding season he has the potential for?

Gazette says: The Kid is back at the reigns of his franchise, and his first act was to move the squad to Detroit. Last season, Detroit’s lineup produced fairly well with a .268 batting average and .737 OPS. We think they underperformed, and should be a bit better this season. On the pitching side of the coin, their team ERA approached 5.00, which will certainly have to improve if they are going to win more games this season. We think it will – the starters should do better, and the bullpen should be excellent, and has the potential to be a major strength for the team. Overall, we look for Detroit to take a step forward in their new home, compared to last season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 79-83
Vegas Odds to win it all: 60-1

2. St. Louis Silver Sluggers
Last Season: 82-80

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: a cabinet full of compromising photos of various Cobbfather league members.

Impact Player – Sarma Flores – the young flamethrower will need to improve on his numbers from his debut (5-10, 4.97 ERA) to take St. Louis a step closer to the promised land.

Gazette says: In the Season 4 campaign, pitching was a major strength for St. Louis, and should once again be solid this season. The bullpen looks to be dangerous, and should be hard to score on. The starters look like they should be able to hold their own as well, although they don’t look quite as strong as the bullpen. St. Louis’s offense sputtered last season, when compared to their division rivals, and will definitely be looking for some players to step up at the plate. We’re not sure the offense is quite there yet to contend for a division title, but their pitching staff will keep them in a lot of games.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 85-77
Vegas Odds to win it all: 40-1

1. New York Pride of the Yankees
Last Season: 99-63

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: many happy managers that they haven’t moved into the new Yankee Stadium.

Impact Player – Ken Evans – if he can put up Cy Young numbers again, New York will be in great shape.

Gazette says: The three time division winners are primed for another run at the division title, and depending on their pitching, another run at the ever elusive 100 win mark, which they have fallen one game short of three times. There is no questioning the firepower of New York’s lineup, which may be the most powerful in the league. Opposing pitching staffs will cringe seeing them on the schedule. New York’s pitching staff may be a tad underrated, and is capable of putting up better numbers than last year; but even if they don’t, their explosive offense can strike at any time and carry them to victory.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 100-62
Vegas odds to win it all: 7-1


Season 5 Preview - NL West

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The NL West has been dominated the first 4 seasons of Cobbfather by the Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens. The other teams in the division have been reloading to try and make a run, let's see who will take the division crown this season!


4. Cheyenne Chiefs
Last Season: 60-102

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The chief is bringing his tribe together

Impact Player – Doyle Jacome – he needs to be a leader and a consistent force in the rotation for Cheyenne.

Gazette says: Cheyenne made great strides last season going from 35 wins in Season 3to 60 wins. There are definitely signs that the team is coming together, as they move a few players up from the minors into the lineup. Still, the lineup could use a little more pop, and the pitching staff could use another solid arm or two, so while we think there will be some progress this season, we also consider it another rebuilding year for Cheyenne. They should be very active in the IFA market with an extremely low payroll, so look for them to continue to add great prospects to their system this season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 64-98
Vegas Odds to win it all: 140-1

3. Los Angeles Marlowes
Last Season: 52-110

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: Things are looking up in the City of Angels

Impact Player – Bo Dalrymple – the free agent signee will be expected to help improve an offense that staggered last season.

Gazette says: Season 4 was a rough one in L.A., as the offense was almost non-existent, and the pitching staff struggled mightily. L.A. did a good job adding a couple of solid bats to their lineup this offseason, so we definitely expect improvement on that front. The pitching staff should be a bit better this season as well. Rule 5 pick Davey Rivers was a nice add, and should immediately help the rotation. We see improvement in L.A. this season, but still think they are maybe another strong bat and a good arm or two away from contending. But management’s improvement of the team this offseason is to be commended.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 70-92
Vegas Odds to win it all: 100-1

2. Honolulu Haoles
Last Season: 76-86

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The islands are stormy.

Impact Player – Matt Clarkson – if he can repeat his great effort in Season 4, the Honolulu pitching staff will be in good shape.

Gazette says: After 3 straight wild card berths, the Honolulu franchise missed the playoffs for the first time in Season 4. Honolulu’s pitching fared pretty well last season, and it looks like they should be solid in Season 5. They have some nice bats in their lineup too, with a nice mix of contact hitters and power. So, both the pitching staff and offense look fine, but they really don’t stand out either, which to us means they are a few players away from getting back to the playoffs. They have a low payroll, so this season should be a good opportunity to build their system.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 80-82
Vegas Odds to win it all: 60-1

1. Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens
Last Season: 106-56

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: Sacto is still the Mother Hen of the NL West

Impact player – Blake Howell – the powerful slugger should take the Sacto offense to new heights.

Gazette says: The 4 time NL West champions are looking primed for a run at a 5th straight division title. Many of the faces are the same in Sacramento, and they also added the aforementioned Howell, which makes the lineup even stronger. Sacramento is rock solid pitching wise and on offense, and to us, is clearly still the cream of the crop in the NL West. Look for another great season, with the only question being will Sacto be the Gazette’s pick to win the World Series for the third straight season? Stay tuned!!

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 108-54
Vegas Odds to win it all: 4-1


Season 5 Preview - AL West

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The balance of power shifted in the AL West last season - not only standings wise with the Vancouver Blaze winning the division title after 3 straight 100 losss seasons, but also in terms of best nickname with the arrival of the Hammer'd Leprechauns. Let's see what's in store for the division this season!


4. Kansas City Tweakers
Last Season: 67-95

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the tweaking continues in K.C.

Impact Player – Dean Gagne – The rookie slugger will be relied on to provide some pop to a lineup that is greatly in need of some.

Gazette says: The rebuilding project continues in Kansas City. They made progress in season 4 with a 9 game improvement over season 3. The team is still a few pieces away from being dangerous, but we’re starting to see some of their young talent hit the majors, which is a good thing. Look for them to continue to acquire young prospects this season, and take another step closer to contending.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 69-93
Vegas Odds to win it all: 150-1

3. Oakland Bruisers
Last Season: 76-86

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the bruises are healing

Impact Player – Marc Rigney – The offseason trade acquisition will be needed to improve a pitching staff that struggled last year.

Gazette says: After three straight division titles, the competition finally caught up to the Bruisers, who finished in third in the AL West. Both the offense and the pitching struggled last season for Oakland, while some of their division rivals stepped up their play. Does Oakland have what it takes to contend this season? We think there’s a chance, as some of their big bats struggled, and their pitching underperformed. They also made some nice offseason moves. It won’t be easy though, as the division has definitely gotten tougher.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 82-80
Vegas Odds to win it all: 55-1

2. San Francisco Hammer’d Leprechauns
Last Season: 79-83

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the hammer’d leprechauns merrily dancing their way west.

Impact Player – Paul Junge – pitching will be key for the Leps this season, and Junge , as their top starter will need to come through.

Gazette says: The Hammer’d Leprechauns are back, although they have moved from Colorado Springs to San Francisco, I think we can all agree it’s great they didn’t change their team name. Those pesky little leprechauns posted their best record ever last season, despite being hammered. Moving to a more pitching friendly park should help their pitching staff, which looks very good. Offensively, ideally they could use another big bat or two, but they should still be pretty good. We predict another step forward for the Leprechauns this season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 83-81
Vegas Odds to win it all: 50-1

1. Vancouver Blaze
Last Season: 93-69

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the bats, the bats, the bats are on fire

Impact player – Jordan Abernathy – if he continues to put up out of this world numbers, the Blaze will win.

Gazette says: After 3 seasons of futility, losing 100 games each season, the Blaze busted through to take the AL West with a 31 game improvement over season 3. The key to their success was an extremely powerful lineup, lead by MVP Jordan Abernathy. He’s not the only bat in the lineup Blaze opponents need to worry about, as their roster is filled with great hitters. The pitching was decent last season, but could have been better. The outlook is about the same this season, although with no other team in the division really having an outstanding pitching staff, we think the Blaze bats will be enough to bring the division crown home.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 94-68
Vegas Odds to win it all: 12-1


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Season 5 Preview - NL East

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The NL East produced last season's World Series representative, the Dover Diamond Dogs, who upstaged division winner New York. Who will come out on top this season between the two? Or will a new contender emerge? Let's find out!


4. Buffalo Bisons
Last Season: 75-87

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the buffalo are roaming!

Impact player – Wilfredo Ordaz – one of Buffalo’s best hitters, he’ll need to produce this season to keep Buffalo competitive.

Gazette says: Buffalo last season had a decent offense and pitching staff, but lacked any standout performances. Looking at what they are bringing to the table in Season 5, we see similar results for this season. They won’t be terrible, but the offense needs a little more fire power before they can compete for a division title. Pitching wise, while they don’t have a lights out ace, they have a solid rotation, and a good bullpen that will help them stay competitive in a lot of games.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 73-89
Vegas Odds to win it all: 100-1

3. Hartford Snakes2
Last Season: 75-87

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the snake slithering up the tree

Impact Player – Marvin Mays – the #2 overall pick from season 1 was a mid-season callup last season and struggled at the plate. He’ll need to step it up this season if they hope to contend.

Gazette says: In season 4, Hartford featured a strong, power hitting lineup, which should be the case in Season 5 as well. In fact, it should be better, if Mays can rebound from a mediocre season, which we expect him to. Hartford had a high 4.95 team ERA, but their park is an extreme hitters’ park, so that certainly is a factor, but it’s not the only reason. We’re not sure the pitching staff is strong enough to compete for the division title this season. But the Hartford lineup will certainly be an intimidating one.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 78-84
Vegas Odds to win it all: 80-1

2. Dover Diamond Dogs
Last Season: 88-74

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: a whole lot of cash

Impact Player – Bill Osborne – the big money free agent will be expected to produce and improve the pitching staff.

Gazette says: Last season’s NL pennant winners are determined to get back and perhaps this time win the crown, as noted by their offseason moves, primarily the signing of Bill Osborne for a cool 80 mil. Osborne should help what was only a mediocre pitching staff during the regular season, finishing with a 4.40 ERA, but the pitching definitely stepped it up in the playoffs. Offensively, Dover has a power packed lineup that can definitely put runs on the board. Look for Dover to put up a good fight for the division title; they won’t be going away easily this season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 93-69
Vegas Odds to win it all: 10-1

1. New York Primetimers
Last Season: 97-65

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: New York, New York big city of dreams

Impact Player – D.T. Hamilton – the well traveled OBP machine will be expected to get on base a ton so that the sluggers can knock him in.

Gazette says: Last season’s NL East champs were strong in the regular season, but were shown up by division rival Dover in the playoffs, who made a run to the World Series. New York looks to reclaim the title of the team everyone is talking about in the NL East. New York’s offense is solid and skilled at hitting the long ball, along with a few guys that know how to get on base for their mashers. New York excelled with a 3.95 team ERA last season, and will need their pitching to remain consistent to ward off a very tough Dover squad.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 95-67
Vegas Odds to win it all: 9-1


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Season 5 Preview - AL East

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

Up next, the AL East, a division full of high powered offenses. Last year the Burlington Huskies took the division by one game. Let's see if they'll repeat!


4. Durham Radicals
Last Season: 63-99

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the journey up the mountain continues

Impact Player – Rafael Benitez – the 21 year old youngster will be asked to lead the offense this season.

Gazette says: Durham has been in rebuilding mode the past few seasons, and has done a good job collecting blue chip prospects to build their system. Offensively, Durham looks very good and will field a lineup that could go off at any time, especially at home, where the park is generous to hitters. Unfortunately for Durham, there’s an equal probability that their pitching staff could get lit up, as they still have some strides to make in that area. There should be some pretty eventful, high scoring games in Durham this season, that’s for sure. We see some improvement this season for Durham, but their still a few arms away from being contenders.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 70-92
Vegas Odds to win it all: 75-1

3. Boston Massacre
Last Season: 77-85

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the troops have retreated and are getting ready for the next battle

Impact Player – Dom Lazzeri – the free agent hurler was brought in to help a weak pitching staff, and he must perform if Boston is going to contend.

Gazette says: Boston was one of the best offenses in the league last season, leading the league in Home Runs and OPS. Their lineup featured 6 hitters who hit 35+ HR and 100+ RBI, and all of them are back this season. Unfortunately, Boston was also one of the worst pitching staffs in the league. In addition to Lazzeri, the Massacre also dealt for veteran Charles Gardner to help the rotation. If those two succeed, expect Boston to be better this season. We think they’ll at least be as good as last year, as it is hard to imagine the pitching staff could be any worse.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 81-81
Vegas Odds to win it all: 55-1

2. Burlington Huskies
Last Season: 90-72

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the Huskies are hungry and ready to bite.

Impact Player – Hector Ball – he’s the heart of the order, and will need a great year to help fuel the Burlington offense

Gazette says: Burlington is coming off their first division title, which they achieved through very good pitching to support a decent offense. The pitching looks to be very good again and will keep Burlington in contention. The key to defending the division crown will be if their small ball players can get on base for their sluggers to drive in. The other 3 teams in the division have great offense, so they will still need to put some runs on the board this season, even though they do have a great pitching staff.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 91-71
Vegas Odds to win it all: 15-1

1. Atlanta Expos
Last Season: 89-73

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: more fans at the stadium than the Montreal Expos

Impact Player – Chris Pendleton – the hurler acquired in the offseason greatly bolsters the pitching staff, he should rebound from an off year last season.

Gazette says: Last season was the first season the Atlanta franchise didn’t win 100 games, yet they still came one game away from their fourth straight World Series appearance. The franchise, now under its fourth owner in five seasons, has moved to Atlanta. This franchise has always been known for great hitting, and returns quite the solid offense this season. The pitching wasn’t great last season, but adding Pendleton will certainly help, forming one of the most potent 1-2 pitching combos with Carl Sosa. The move from Chicago to Atlanta, a more friendly park for pitchers, should help as well. All in all, we think they reloaded enough to take back the top spot in the division, a position they had for the first three seasons in Cobbfather.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 98-64
Vegas Odds to win it all: 8-1


Friday, May 22, 2009

Season 5 Preview - NL South

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

Last season, the NL South featured one of the best division races in either league, as Memphis outdueled Jackson to win the division by one game. Will Memphis be able to hold the top spot? Will another contender emerge? Let's dig in to the NL South!


4. Charleston Chew
Last Season: 79-83

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: mmmmm…candy bar goodness.

Impact Player – Andre Moss – Charleston is going to need last season’s mid-season acquisition to continue the work he started in the 2nd half of last season if they are going to contend.

Gazette says: Charleston made great strides last season improving their record by 19 games over Season 3. The team features an excellent offense who hit a solid .275 last year, and looks to be prepped to put a similar average this year. We think Charleston’s pitching staff needs a little bit more work before they can contend, especially in a division that features some pretty tough teams. Still, Charleston won’t be an easy team to beat this season by any means.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 74-88
Odds to win it all: 75-1

3. San Juan Chinchillas
Last Season: 77-85

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: cloudiness – not sure if it’s because of the cloudy future of the team or cloudy because Shenaynay doesn’t know what a chinchilla is.

Impact Player – Kordell Menechino – pitching is going to be key in this division, and San Juan needs its ace to come through

Gazette says: After 3 straight 95 win seasons, the San Juan franchise took a step backwards last season falling to 77 wins. Offense was not a problem for San Juan last year, with a very respectable .281 batting average, and they look as if they’re return a lineup that has a chance to put forth similar numbers. On the pitching side, they didn’t have a starter with an ERA under 4.00, and their team ERA was 4.71. They’re going to need their starters to step it up a notch if they’re going to have a shot this season, and better consistency from their bullpen. At this point, it doesn’t look like they’ll have the arms to make a run at the division title.

Psychic Friends Network Prediction: 79-83
Odds to win it all: 70-1

2. Memphis Mayhem
Last Season: 100-62

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The King is back!

Impact Player – Pinky Matheson – the midseason acquisition of Matheson was the equalizer last year that gave Memphis the ace they needed to win. He’ll be relied on heavily once again this season.

Gazette says: After 3 straight 3rd place finishes, the Mayhem finally took the next step, winning the division title in Season 4. Memphis was the most powerful lineup in the division, lead by NL MVP Buddy Poole who crushed 72 HR. While he may not hit 72 HR this season, he’ll still be dominant. The biggest factor in the division title win may have been the aforementioned Pinky Matheson who went 9-1 down the stretch. He leads a talented group of pitchers this season for Memphis, who are hoping to bring another division title home. Look for another tight race for the division title – but we’re not sure they’ll get the same out-of-this world performances to put them over the top again. Still, Memphis will be a very tough team.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 96-66
Odds to win it all: 10-1

1. Jackson Rockets
Last Season: 99-63

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the Rockets red glare!

Impact Player – Brian Taylor – Jackson will need MVP like numbers from its biggest bat, to go along with its great pitching, in order to top Memphis this year for the division crown.

Gazette says: Although they have only won the division once in four seasons, the Jackson franchise has posted at least 97 wins every season. Jackson has consistently had one of the best pitching staffs in the league, and looks as if they will continue that trend this season. The only question is will they have enough offensive fire power to bring home the division title? Looking at their lineup, it looks like they had a few players have off years, not to mention they are adding slugging 2B rookie Tike Bennett to the fold. We think they will be better offensively than last year, which will allow them to win the division.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 101-61
Odds to win it all: 6-1


Season 5 Preview - AL South

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

It's time to start the Season 5 division previews, and as always, Leon and Shenaynay are back in the hizzouse. Using her special psychic powers, Shenaynay has seen the future and already knows how your team will fare this season. It's time for her to reveal your fates, and the Gazette will back it up by dropping some knowledge about each team. And we'll start with the AL South, which looks to be one of the most competitive divisions in all of Cobbfather this season. Let's see how things will play out.


4. Little Rock Travelers
Last Season: 60-102

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the road less traveled

Impact Player: Carl Watkins - this guy is clearly the best offensive player and will be asked to carry the load.

Gazette says: Little Rock is clearly a team in rebuilding mode, and also is playing in a very tough division. So, it looks like the scale of success for Little Rock this season will be how many blue chip prospects they can add to their system, not wins and losses. With some attentive, close managing, Little Rock can get back in the fold, but it won’t be this season.

Psychic Friends Network Prediction: 56-106
Odds to win it all: 250-1

3. Austin Rock Stars
Last Season: 95-67

Shenayay’s crystal ball shows: rbf_4 jamming on guitar hero like a rock star

Impact Player: Tony Saunders – Austin will be relying on another spectacular season from Saunders to keep them in the race.

Gazette says: The Gazette has a rep for not giving the Austin franchise, so I’ll start by giving them credit for 4 fantastic seasons so far. They’d be a perennial division winner in a lot of divisions, but have run into the juggernaut that is Florida. The same could be said this season. Austin has great pitching, and a solid offense. But so do the other two teams in the division – and we’re not sure Austin has the bats to keep up with the two other teams in the division. So it looks like another year of trying to prove the Gazette’s predictions wrong for rbf and his Rock Stars.

Psychic Friends Network Prediction: 89-73
Odds to win it all: 20-1

2. Tampa Bay Tankers
Last Season: 64-98

Shenayay’s crystal ball shows: a tank riding through a battlefield victorious, a flagpole is raised with a pair of soiled depends on it symbolizing victory!

Impact player: Matt Lawrence – Tampa is going to need their young pitching to come through for them this season.

Gazette says: This team is loaded, and the team name tells how they accomplished that. Luckily, a more honorable owner is now at the helm. This is one of the most talented teams in the league. The lineup is one of the league’s most potent, and they are well stocked with talented young pitching. The poor record last season can be attributed to poor managing, mainly gross mismanagement of the pitching staff. That problem is fixed with the reknown mrploppie at the helm, who despite his incredibly old age and a nasty incontinence problem, still runs a heck of an HBD franchise. It wouldn’t shock us if Tampa Bay took the division – but we’re going to give that other team one more season on top.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 98-64
Odds to win it all: 8-1

1. Florida Shark Waves
Last Season: 113-49

Impact Player: Luis Martin – the pitching is there, the Shark Waves are going to need their bats to come through to fend off the tough competition in the division. This means a great season from Martin with tons of home runs.

Gazette says: The defending world champs, 4 time division champions, and 4 time winners of 112+ games are facing more challenges than ever in Season 5 in the form of increased competition within their division, and an escalating payroll as their stars hit the latter years of arbitration. Florida’s pitching has consistently been amongst the best in the league, and despite the loss of $80 million dollar man Bill Osborne, looks to be again one of the best in Season 5. Florida’s offense is built on high average hitters getting on base for a stacked middle of the lineup to drive them in. They should be great there again too. But man does that Tampa Bay team look good! We still think they squeak out a division title, but it won’t be as easy as in years past.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 100-62
Odds to win it all: 6-1


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Season 5 Offseason Free Agency Review

World B. Free - Cobbfather Post Gazette

It's time to kick off coverage of Season 5 in Cobbfather with the Offseason Free Agency review. All Type A picks, as usual, will be rated on the World B. Free supah-fly 5 star rating scale. In addition, we have some bonus coverage of a few big non type A/type B signings, and we'll run down the Type B signings. Let's get down to business


Bo Dalrymple
Los Angeles
Age: 29B/T: L/L
Born: Peaster, TX
Position(s): RF/1B/LF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

2 years, 14.5 million
Pick lost: 2nd round

LA inked former Memphis outfielder Bo Dalrymple to a 2 year deal this offseason, and the team has the option on the second year. Dalrymple has superb contact hitting abilities, and decent power, splits and batting eye. His major league history has been good, but not great, with a career .268 BA and averaging 20 HR per season. Dalrymple should definitely help LA’s offense that struggled mightily last season, and he has potential to put up better numbers than he has his first 4 seasons. If he struggles, the team can cut him after this season, but it will have made giving up the top pick in the 2nd round a waste.

Final Rating: 3 stars - LA boosted their offense with this signing for sure – whether or not it will be worth losing a high 2nd rounder remains to be seen.

Benny Pena
Tampa Bay
Age: 32B/T: L/L
Born: Agua Prieta, MX
Position(s): 1B/LF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

2 years, 6 million
Pick lost: 2nd round

The Tampa Bay Tankers signed former Sacramento 1st baseman Benny Pena, forfeiting their 2nd round pick to do so. Pena has outstanding contact, and an excellent batting eye, but doesn’t have a lot of power. His splits are solid, not great. Pena has enough fielding skill to move out to left field if nBoldeed be, which is a plus. Pena’s past major league history is highlighted by a good OBP, and very few strikeouts. You’d probably expect better average from someone with such great contact skills, although Sacramento was a pitcher’s park.

Final rating: 2 stars – Pena is a decent bat – but with 1B/LF field types readily available, we’re not sure if it was worth it to give up a 2nd rounder to sign him.

Those were the only two type A free agents signed this offseason, but before we get to the rundown on the type B free agents, there were 2 other non type A/type B signings that set the league a-buzz that warrant coverage.


Richie Burks
St. Louis
Silver Sluggers
Age: 36B/T: L/L
Born: Vanderbilt, TX
Position(s): P (P)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

3 years, 28 million

St. Louis shelled out some serious cash to 36 year-old relief pitcher Richie Burks. Burks has phenomenal splits, and excellent control. His velocity is good, and he has a solid GB/FB ratio. His arsenal feature 4 pitches, 2 which are very good, but he doesn’t have a lights out pitch. Burks has a career 2.00 ERA, and has been used a closer the past 2 seasons, a role which he has excelled at. St. Louis management has hinted he will be used as a closer for them as well, and given his past history, you can’t argue with. But he could also be a long relief type as well, if need be. Age is a slight concern for Burks, as it is with any 36 year old. But he has aged well to this point.

Final rating: 4 stars – when you can get a guy with a career 2.00 ERA in Free Agency without giving up a draft pick, you’ve done well. If he was a bit younger, this would be a 5 star signing.

Bill Osborne
Diamond Dogs
Age: 30B/T: R/R
Born: Prichard, AL
Position(s): P (P)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

5 years, 80 million

Dover gave a boatload of cash to sign hurler Bill Osborne, who was part of the Florida squad last season that beat them in the World Series. Osborne has excellent splits and control, and a lights out slider to go with a very nice curveball. He doesn’t throw with much velocity, and does decent at keeping the ball down. Osborne was dominant in his 4 years with Florida, used mostly as a starter. His stamina isn’t ideal for a starter, which would limit him to around 150 innings a season – but they will be a great 150 innings. Osborne is 30 years old, so he should see some decline in the later years of the contract, although Dover has a mutual option for the 5th year if the decline is too great.

Final rating: 4 stars – there’s no questioning Osborne’s talent. The steep contract keeps the rating at 4 stars, along with the fact that he doesn’t have ideal durability for a starter. But if he can put Dover over the top and bring them a World Series title, the 16 mil a season will have been well worth it.


Jose Blanco, C, Jackson – Very good hitting catcher who should bolster the lineup
Francisco Jose, RP, Boston – This solid 34 year-old reliever should have a few good years left in the tank
Dom Lazzeri, SP, Boston – already dubbed “The Dominator” by Boston fans, Lazzeri brings some much need aid to a pitching staff that was awful last season.
Shep Stevenson, RP, Dover – very nice reliever who could close if need be.
Rudy Vaughn, LF, Buffalo - .312 career batting and .443 career OBP are tremendous, although doesn’t have much power for a LF.
Miguel Guerrero, OF, New York (NL) – this 33 year old masher looks to still have some good years left in the tank.
Peter Yamamoto, IF, Los Angeles – his skills are starting to fade at 34 years old, nonetheless, he should be able to help what was an anemic Los Angeles offense last year.

That's the rundown on this offseason's free agency period. Looks like a lot of teams improved, but we'll have to wait til the season to see how much. Until next time....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

FW's newborn chimes in her pick

FW'S newborn baby(Rosemary) was the youngest to weigh in her prediction this season. When Nate asked her where Ploppie would finish, she simply showed him.Now one would think Ploppie would be mad about this, but being the gamer he is he was not. But a second source thinks that was the response from Rosemary, when her dad asked her about tankers in HBD..Either way she thinks someone is #1.

FunnyBaby4 by adrianoh3.

I.P. Daily----- Cobbfather Post Gazette

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Season 5 on the horizon!

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Season 5 is on the horizon in the Cobbfather World, and we currently are looking for 5 dedicated owners to come on board. So, spread the word about Cobbfather - there is a thread on the forum looking for owners. Any applicants will be considered - other than tankers (those who have a history of tanking, aka violators of the Pieo rule, although Tankers as a team name is okay) and sisters of current league members with incontinence problems. We're going to hold off rollover until after the game update on May 12th, hopefully we get going shortly thereafter. Thanks in advance for everyone's help in filling the league!