WHO WANTS TO BE A SOMBILLA MANAGER?
THE SOMBILLA SUMMER NEWSLETTER


VOL. XXII No. 2
August 20, 2006


Playoffs:  Constantiniople vs. Bay City
Playoffs: Swarzluna vs. Future Wax
World Series:  Constantinipople vs. Future Wax
Minutes of annual meeting
Summer Study #1:  2002 draft and analyses
Summer Study #2: The Cute Ratings
Summer Study #3:  Bad Boys of the SOMBILLA
Summer Study #4:  Card Burnings
All-star Count
Ballparks


_________________________________________________________________________________________

Playoffs

Constantinople vs. Bay City (March 5, 2006)

Background: Tom sweeps Harold to begin his defense of his SOMILLA crown and the teams start off ‘05-06 as the two hottest teams in the league at 8-4 by the Thanksgiving break. Tom stumbles a bit in December, getting swept by North Dakota and finishing 7-8 (the odd game there reflects the infamous Pedro Feliz game) for the month. Robin continues to play well and is 17-11 at the halfway mark. Both teams still seemed pretty comfortable in their playoff chance. As we welcomed the new year, the standings looked like this:

                  W L Pct GB
Future Wax       18 10 .643 --
North Dakota     17 11 .607 1
Bay City         17 11 .607 1
Constantinople   15 12 .556 2.5
Swarzluna        11 13 .458 5
Area 51          12 16 .429 6
New Orleans      10 18 .357 8
Manila Folders    7 16 .304 8.5

Sweeps of both Matt and Jeff helped Robin streak to an 11-5 January and by the end of the month she was sitting pretty in first place at 28-18 with a 2-game lead over the pack. Tom’s sweep of Randy on 1/17 brings him into a virtual tie for 2nd with Randy and ND by the end of the month:

               W L Pct GB

Bay City       28 16 .636 --
Future Wax     23 17 .575 3
North Dakota   23 17 .575 3
Constantinople 27 20 .574 2.5
Swarzluna      19 17 .528 5

Tom does his job, going 5-4 in February to secure a playoff spot. Robin, needing only a split with Eric in her final series of the season to clinch first place, is instead swept to finish in a tie with Tom for 2 nd place - a bad omen. Because the two teams split their season series, a coin flip decides 2nd place (Bay City wins the coin flip). It is the first ever post-season series between the two teams.

 

Game 1: Sheets vs. Oswalt

This game started as a defensive struggle. The first three innings saw both teams face the minimum 18 batters. But then CN chipped in to get 1 in each of the next two innings. Then Bay City’s ill fated 7 th inning started. A walk and HBP loaded the bases with one out for A. Rod. With the infield in, he hit a SSx result to Jeter who misplayed it into a long single. The next batter rolled an infield X drawn in infielder and another long single. A Jason Bay homer capped the inning as 6 runs scored to give CN an 8-0 lead. Beltran hit a 9th inning 2 run shot for BC and Cabrera added a double to tire Sheets, but he bore down for the complete game win.

Final Score: 8-2 Manatees

HR: Bay (1), Beltran (1)
W: Sheets (1)
L: Oswalt (1)
SV: None

Game 2: Schmidt vs Halladay

CN came out strong, scoring 5 runs in the first two innings highlighted by a 3-run Mora homer. Inning six was the best shot for BC as Sweeney missed a 3 run BP homer, but after Easley kicked what would have been the 3rd out to load the bases, Mohr missed the second BP shot of the inning. (Both 1-10 chances) 2 runs did score to bring the score to 5-2 CN. CN answered with 4 in the bottom of the 6th including a 3-run Jose Guillen ballpark homer. When the dust settled the final score came out 11-4.

Final Score: 11-4
HR: Mora (1), J. Guillen (1)
W: Schmidt (1)
L: Halladay (1)
SV: None

Game 3: Hudson vs Wright

A close fought battle as the lead went 1-0 CN on a Jason Bay 2nd inning shot, then 2-0 CN in the top of the 3rd, then 2-1 CN in the bottom of the third, then it was 2-2 after 4. Then CN went up again 4-2 in the sixth, only to have BC scratch out a run in the bottom of the 6th, to make it 4-3. BC’s Miguel Cabrera hit a shot in the 7th to tie the game at 4. It stayed this way till the 9 th , when A. Jones hit a solo shot to give CN its 3rd lead of the game. BC had men on 1st and 3rd in the ninth with one out, when Looper got the double play ball for the win.

 

Final Score: 5-4 Manatees
HR: Bay (2), Jones (1), Cabrera (1), I. Rod (1)
W: Looper (1)
L: Gordon (1)
SV: None

Game 4: Sheets vs. Oswalt

CN went up 4-0 in the first, highlighted by a 3 run Jason Bay homer, his 3rd of the series. The BC manager was beside herself when Jeter committed a 2-base error that did not lead to any runs, but was emblematic of Jeter’s whole series defensively. Mohr hit a 3rd inning BP Homer, to bring the score to 4-1. Beltre hit a solo shot in the sixth to restore the 4-run lead to 5-1. BC struck in the bottom of the sixth to score 3 runs off Sheets, but luckily for CN, Sheets is a 7 inning pitcher and he was able to come out in the next 3 innings to not allow a hit (1 walk and 5 Ks over the final innings). CN added 4 runs including back to back shots by Mirabelli and Easley in the 8th.

 

Final Score: 9-4 Manatees
HR: Bay (3), Mohr (1), Beltre (1), Durazo (1), Mirabelli (1), Easley (1)
W: Sheets (2)
L: Oswalt (2)
SV: None

Constantinople wins series 4 games to 0

Players of the series: Sheets had 2 complete game wins and 22 strikeouts. Bay had 3 homers and 7 RBIs to lead in the power stats. Mora started all 4 games and hit .625 for the series with 4 runs scored, a homer and 5 RBIs.

 

Future Wax vs. Swarzluna (March 5, 2006)

Background: After beginning his season with a sweep of Matt, Randy comes back to earth as both teams start off the season in mediocre fashion, playing .500 ball in November. Randy turns it on in December, going 10-2, winning 3 of 4 from North Dakota and Robin and sweeping Matt. After losing 3 of 4 to Robin on Christmas day, Eric falls to 11-13, 2 ½ games out of the playoffs. At the end January, Future Wax is in the thick of things, Eric is on the outside looking in, but with half of his schedule to make up:

                 W L Pct GB
North Dakota    22 14 .611 --
Bay City        24 16 .600 --
Future Wax      23 17 .575 1
Constantinople  24 19 .558 1.5
Swarzluna       15 13 .536 3

A sweep of Jeff helps propel Eric into 2nd place. Peaking at just the right time, he wins 7 of his final 8 games to claim 1st place, and on the final night of the season, he beats Randy 3 of 4 to drop Randy into a 4th place tie with North Dakota. Eric beat Randy 5 of 8 during the regular season. It is a rematch of the playoff series from 2 years ago, which Eric won in 5 games.

Game 1

FW threatens early, loading the bases with no outs in the first, and league MVP Edmonds up. Eric brings the infield in, forces the runner at the place, and gets out of the inning surrendering only one run. Konerko homers an inning later to even the score. Then a Chavez error keeps the inning going, a Loretta triple plates two runs, and he scores on a Rowand single (past a diving Clayton). Craig Wilson homers in the 4th to close the gap to 4-2. In the 5th, Edmonds is up again with bases loaded, but Guardado comes in and gets the inning ending strikeout. He’s the first of six relief pitchers who shut down the Wax offense over the last five innings. Meanwhile, Eric adds a small-ball insurance run in the 5th. Rowand singles, steals second, advances on a ground out, then scores on a sac fly: textbook. Konerko hits his second solo shot of the game an inning later, and Swarzluna continues their Cinderella season with a 6-2 victory.

Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

FW

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

5

1

SL

0

4

0

0

1

1

0

0

-

6

10

0

WP: Day (scorer’s decision, as starter Westbrook went only 4-2/3) LP: Zambrano (L1)

FW HR: C. Wilson (1) SL HR: Konerko (1), Konerko (2)

Game 2

FW strikes quickly: Thome singles, Bonds doubles him in, then scores on an Edmonds sac fly, set up by a passed ball. Giles singles with the bases loaded for another run. Edmonds drives in another run with a single in the 2nd, but Eric keeps the game close by throwing out runners at the plate in the 5th and 6th innings. A Ramirez 2-run blast cuts the lead to 4-2 in the 3rd. However Pedro clamps down, and – with an assist from Nathan – allows only 3 hits, 1 walk, and no runs over the final 6 innings. FW takes it 5-2, and evens the series 1-1.

 

 

Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

FW

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

5

10

0

SL

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

8

0

WP: P. Martinez (W 1) LP: Clement (L 1) SV: Nathan (SV 1)

SL HR: M. Ramirez (1)

Game 3

Future Wax scores all the runs they will need on a Bonds blast. Santana is masterful, allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk over 7-1/3 innings, while ringing up 12 Ks. Eric spoils the shut out on a Tejada sac fly in the ninth, but it’s too little, too late. FW takes a 2-1 series lead with a 6-1 victory.

Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

SL

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

4

0

FW

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

3

-

6

9

0

WP: Santana (W 1) SV: Cordero (SV 1) LP: Burnett (L 1)

FW HR: Bonds (1)

Game 4

SL bounces back with a Drew solo shot in the 2nd and gets another run on a Griffey error. Finley leads off the 3rd with a homer. FW bounces back with a 2-run, bases-loaded Giles single. Eric uses three relief pitchers in the 5th, but can’t prevent Edmonds from doubling in a run and setting up a Wilson sac fly, to give FW a one-run lead. FW misses a chance at insurance runs in the 7th : a 2-out single, walk, and passed ball put two runners in scoring position, but Giles rolls into a clutch out (each team also had a clutch out earlier in the game). Linebrink comes in the 8th, walks the lead off batter, but strikes out the next two. But Tejada comes through with a homer (ballpark, 1-9), to put SL back in the lead. Eric brings in his 7th reliever, Rincon, in the 8th. He escapes a bases-loaded situation in the 8th, only to walk the first two batters in the 9th , putting the tying run in scoring position with no outs. But, after Giles flies out, Piazza -- pinch-hitting for Clayton -- grounds into a game ending double play, evening the series at 2 games apiece.

Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

SL

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

5

10

0

FW

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

4

7

2

WP: Tavarez (W 1) LP: Linebrink (L 1)

SL HR: J.D. Drew (1), Finley (1), Tejada (1)

Game 5

Clement is shaky from the start, hitting a batter and issuing three walks, forcing in a run, in the 1st. He loads the bases again in the 2nd, but a runner is cut down at the plate with the infield in. Like the calm before the storm, he strikes out the side in the 3 rd, only to lose it completely in the 4th. With two outs, he walks three batters, gives up an RBI single to Edmonds, and then gives up a grand slam to Chavez. This opens the floodgates, and FW adds 11 more insurance runs on 4 more home runs, for an 18-4 blowout.

Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

SL

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

4

9

0

FW

1

1

0

5

0

0

1

5

5

18

15

1

WP: Leiter (W 1) LP: Clement (L 1) SV: Nathan (SV 2)

FW HR: Chavez (1), Edmonds (1), Bonds (2), Griffey (1), Edmonds (2)

SL HR: Baldelli (1), M. Ramirez (2)

 

Game 6

While down, Eric is also back to the friendlier dimensions of his home field. He takes a seemingly comfortable 5-0 lead on a string of hits by Ramirez, Drew, and Tejada in the 1st, a Konerko blast in the 3rd, and a Tejada blast (on the heels of Manny’s second double) in the 6th. Up to this point, 3 pitchers have held FW hitless (including three missed ballpark homer rolls).

Eric brings Otsuka in with one-out in the 7th . Wilson hits the first pitch he sees into the stands. Thome and Giles draw walks, but Hernandez misses a ballpark single rolls for the second out. Otsuka walks Ford, loading the bases. He pitches carefully to Berkman, who also draws a walk, forcing in a run. Now Bonds is up, and Eric goes to the mound to talk things over. He has Rincon available in the pen, but if he uses him, he won’t be available for a 7th game. He decides to stick with Otsuka. Bonds singles in a run, and MVP Edmonds hits a grand slam that just clears the deep right field wall (ballpark homer 1-7 made, after 3 unsuccessful rolls earlier in the game). The roaring crowd goes deathly silent. Unfortunately for Eric, so do the SL bats. Nathan walks Manny in the 8th, but Drew misses out on a ballpark homer chance. Bonds adds an insurance blast in the 9th, and Nathan closes it out with a 1-2-3 9th for a FW game and series victory.

Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

FW

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

1

8

SL

2

0

1

0

0

2

0

0

0

5

WP: P. Martinez (W 2) LP: Otsuka (L 1) SV: Nathan (SV 3)

FW HR: Wilson (2), Edmonds (3), Bonds (3)

SL HR: Konerko (3), Tejada (2)

Future Wax wins series 4 games to 2

 

SL-FW Series Notes

MVP: Edmonds lead FW to victory with 14 hits (including 4 HR), 17 RBIs, and 11 runs scored. Bonds was runner up with 10 hits (3 HR), 9 RBI, and 11 runs scores. He did, however, set the table by walking 9 times ahead of Edmonds.

OBP: Over the six-game series, FW had 51 hits to SL’s 48, nearly even. But FW out-walked SL 53-17!

Ballparks: The two teams had greatly different ballpark dimensions. FW favored lefties with 1-18 for HR and SI, compared to 1-9 for righties. SL was a pitcher’s park by comparison, with SI on 1-7 for all batters, and righties having a 1-13 homer chance vs. 1-7 for lefties. In the 3 games at SL, FW made all 3 BP-SI chances, but went 1 for 4 in BP-HR chances (all lefty). At home, SL missed all 4 BP-HR changes (3 L, 1 R), and was 0-1 on BP SI. At home, FW had no BP-HR chances, and was 4-5 in lefty BP-SI, and 0-3 in right BP-SI. At FW, SL was 1 for 2 in righty BP-HR, and 2 for 2 in lefty BP-HR. Eric also was 4-4 in BP-SI chances (2 each L/R).

 

World Series

Future Wax vs. Constantinople (March 18, 2006)

Background:

It is a rematch of the 2005 World Series won by Tom in 6 games. Tom beat Randy 5 of 8 games during the regular season.

It all started around naptime. Randy showed up half an hour late to make CN manager pace around in fear. As things were about to start with carbonated caffeine, cheese thingees, and chips and dip all around, out came Stella to give the starting "Big Hug Da Da" for luck.

Game 1: Zambrano vs. Schmidt

The game started scoreless through 3, but in the bottom of the 4th Mora worked a walk and then Carlos Guillen followed with a triple and Bay with a ballpark single to put CN up 2-0. Both sides were held scoreless until the top of the 8th, when FW’s Berkman led off with a HBP and then A. Ramirez hit a 2-run shot to tie the game. Bonds walked to tire Schmidt, so Torres and Looper came in to get 3 outs and keep the game tied at 2. R. Santana came out in the bottom of the 8 th for FW and walked pinch hitter A. Rod, then struck out Mora. When Phelps was announced for CN, Linebrink came in for FW and Jose Guillen hit a long single to put runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. Nathan, FW’s lights out closer came in and the corners came in against Bay. Bay looked for the sign and the suicide squeeze was on. The pitcher fielded it, but A. Rod was already passing the plate and the only out was Bay at first. Tom used Looper, Radke and Romero in the ninth to hold Wax off and eke out the 3-2 victory.

Final Score: 3-2 Manatees

HR: Ramirez (1), W: Looper (1), L: Nathan (1), SV: Romero (1)

Game 2: Pedro vs. Sheets

Pedro seemed off his game stranding runners on third base 4 times, and on second base once, all in the first five innings while yielding two homers to Thome in the 3rd and 5th innings to face a 6-1 deficit. Sheets was cruising along until the 7th, when with one out Easley kicked a ground ball and the flood gates opened as four straight hitters reached (A Bonds IBB loaded the bases and with fingers crossed to save Sheets from being tired, A. Ramirez sent Sheets to the showers) and the next thing anyone knew it was 6-4 and a ballgame. Pedro responded by hitting Nevin and giving up a single to Jones before leaving the game in disgrace, but the bullpen gave up four singles and 2 homers for a total of six runs. In CN vs. Wax tradition, CN used six relievers over the last two innings to yield four runs to hold on for the 2-0 series lead. (6-0 in CN park for the year.)

Final Score: 12-8 Manatees

HR: Thome (1, 2), Beltre (1, 2), A. Rod (1), Mora (1)

W: Sheets (1), L: Pedro (1), SV: None

Game 3: Santana vs. Hudson

CN went up 2-1 on a Mora homer in the third. But Bonds answered in the bottom of the third to tie the score at 2. Beltre hit a solo shot in the sixth to give the upstart Manatees a 3-2 lead. The bottom of the eighth had the Manatees going for the kill in 9 innings, bringing in Romero. But he gave up a Bonds triple (on a 1-5 Triple, out chance with a 5 as the result) and an Edmonds single to tie the game. The 10th inning saw defensive specialist Jones hit a solo shot to give CN the 4-3 lead. However Thome / Berkman / Bonds / Edmonds / Chavez were due up and no real lefty killers left. Looper, who had a bunch of singles and GBAs on his card, came out, but after Thome hit a SSx for an out, they never looked to his card again as a Berkman homer tied it, then a Bonds walk and two singles scored Bonds with the winning run as Chavez touched first with a pump of his fist.

Final Score: 5-4 Wax (10 Innings)
HR: Mora (2), Bonds (1), Beltre (3), Jones (1), Berkman (1)
W: Colome (1)
L: Looper (1)
SV: None

Game 4: Zambrano vs. Schmidt

Re-match of game 1, but in a lefty-favored power park. Both starters looked rocky as FW’s Zambrano gave up 2 first inning runs and three runs in the top of the third. Schmidt gave up 3 in the third with no outs (BB, BS*, BB, BB, 1B**) and a man on first and third, but recovered with a double play grounder (run scored) and strike out to remain in the game. Zambrano gave up a 4th inning Durham homer to be sent to the showers. After 5, the score was 9-5 CN, which then exploded for 8 runs capped by a JT Snow grand slam. Schmidt held on for a complete game victory.

Final Score: 17-6 Manatees
HR: Berkman (2,3), Durham (1), A. Rod (2), Snow (1)
W: Schmidt (1), L: Zambrano (1), SV: None

Game 5: Radke vs. Leiter

A strange game. FW’s Leiter left, leading 3-0 after 4 2/3 innings. CN had missed 3 BPHRs from the right side with 5 men on, but Tom just kept banging his head into the ballpark with utter frustration. The game was 3-1 when Rusch came in for FW and CN just never could mount an attack no matter who batted. 2 runs were added in the 8th for overkill as Wax, with their backs to the wall brought the series to 3-2 going back to CN.

Final Score: 5-1 Wax

HR: Chavez (1), W: Pedro (1), L: Radke (1), SV: Rusch (1)

Game 6: Pedro vs. Sheets

Sheets gave up 6 over the first two but stayed in for the 3rd . Wishful thinking. Strangely enough, the next three runs came after two singles on LFx (versus Bay’s 3e5 rating) were wrapped around 2 outs which if they were caught would have kept Wax off the board. Instead it was 9-4. Pedro started and until his arm fell off after the 7th was good enough. The 9th saw CN rally a comeback with 2 runs including a 2 base Griffey error, but Nathan came in to end the game 9-6 and send the series to a decisive game 7.

Final Score: 9-6 Wax

HR: Bonds (2, 3), Thome (3), Beltre (4), J. Guillen (1)
W: Pedro (2), L: Sheets (1), SV: Nathan (1)

Game 7: Zambrano vs. Schmidt

Schmidt struck out 11 (33 for the series) on his way to giving up only 1 run, as Romero and Dotel combined for three strikeouts to end the game with the winning run at bat in the persons of Edmonds and Giles (both Ks). Zambrano gave up three runs in separate innings as Carlos Guillen scored after a triple, a bases loaded sac fly from Bay and a solo shot from Beltre.

Final Score: 3-1 Manatees
HR: Beltre (5)
W: Schmidt (2)
L: Zambrano (2)
SV: Dotel (1)

Players of the series: Schmidt pitched 23 innings, 2 Wins, 33 Ks and CN won every game he started. The offense was spread across many with Beltre’s 5 homers (7 RBIs) in 5 starts leading the way as CN hit .318/.389/.539 for the series with A. Rod hitting 0.588/0.682/1.059 in 4 starts and 17 AB’s .

 

Constantinople wins series 4 games to 3

 

THOUGHTS WHILE PROCRASTINATING TO WRITE THE NEWSLETTER

Minutes of Annual Meeting and Draft April 2, 2006

1. Dues. OFFICIAL BLASTING!!! OFFICIAL BLASTING!!! OFFICIAL BLASTING!!! OFFICIAL BLASTING!!! OFFICIAL BLASTING!!! à Land, Andrew, Jed, Randy and Tsuan ß are DELINQUENT. $4.00 $4.00 $4.00 $4.00 $4.00. (Land has not paid any dues since the Clinton administration and is now "super-duper suspended". Andrew is now two years overdue).

2 Awards Voting - 5 points for 1st place, 3 for 2nd place, 1 for 3rd place. Since managers cannot vote for their own players, 7 votes would normally be a unanimous vote. Jim Edmonds won his 2nd consecutive SOMBILLA MVP award.

              MVP
              1 2 3 Tot

Edmonds, FW   5 1    28
Pujols, ND    1 5 1  21
Beltran, BC   1 1 4  12
Bay, CN       1   1   6  
Bonds, FW     1       5
Alou, ND        1 1   4
I. Rodriguez, BC  1   1

 

à At the draft, a luggage-induced tabulation error led to Tom Hudson being mistakenly announced as the league’s Cy Young award winner instead of the rightful winner, Tom Gordon:

Cy Young
               1 2 3 Tot

Gordon, BC     3 3 1 25
Hudson, CN     3 1 4 22
R. Johnson, ND 2 2 1 17
Nathan, FW       1 1  4
Clement, SW      1    3
Burnett, SW        1  1

In a shocking turn of events, last place manager Matt was awarded the Manager of the Year award (no vote was received by Jed or Clint).

Manager of the Year
               1 2 3 Tot

Matt           5      25
Tom            2 2 2  18
Eric             5    15
Robin              4   4
Arnie              1   1

3. Presentation of the Richman Cup from former champion Tom to new champion Tom.

  1. Franchise news.
  2. The league agreed to place an ad on Strat-O’s website for a new manager, beginning in June. Jeff & Randy were to pursue leads with friends of theirs. (Since the meeting, Jeff & Randy’s leads reached dead ends.)

    The ad has been up on Strat-O.com (and the SOMBILLA website) for > 2 months now. One person responded with interest, but then inexplicably withdrew from consideration before I even had a chance to talk to him.

    The league still has Plan B: Jed manages the Manila Folders by playing Internet Strat-O as much as possible with a major bash weekend thrown in (followed perhaps by a divorce). In order to save Jed’s marriage, I am looking into placing ads on other websites. Also, please keep your eyes and ears alert for potential managers.

    Plan B! If we don’t get another manager by October 1, we will have to implement Plan B. This will require people to purchase computer Strat-O if they don’t already have it. v 11.0 with card image (you are going to want card image) costs $64.95. Or if you prefer, computer Strato with an actual set of cards and no card image = $67.97. It is $72.95 with cards and image. If you already own computer Strat-o, an upgrade from 10.0 is about $15 less.

    The more people who purchase computer Strat-o, the better for the league and Jed, so we can schedule. Again October 1 is the drop-dead date for Plan B. (Note that if we do go to plan B, nothing would prevent Tsuan and Andrew from purchasing computer Strat-O and working out arrangements with Randy to join the fun).

    In other franchise news, Eric has lost his team (but not scoresheets).

  3. Vice Commissioner

With the resignation of Matt as Vice Commissioner, a vacancy arose. Nominations for both Eric and Tom were received, but Eric graciously withdrew his name from consideration, stating that "Tom would be much better." Tom was then unanimously voted Vice Commissioner.

6. Rule change proposals

  1. Repeal of the rainout rule. I again proposed a repeal of Eric’s rainout rule. Not because it’s a bad rule or anything. It’s fairly harmless. The main reason was that it is not fairly applied. More often than not, we forgot to roll for it. While it is their own damn fault, I still proposed repealing it (keeping the automatic day off at the midway point). The vote to repeal the rule was 4-4, meaning keep the rule (status quo). Eric was warned that his rule was on thin ice.
  2. One-game playoff.
  3. As a result of shitloads of e-mails surrounding the FW/ND one-game playoff situation, a shitload of proposals were on the table. But to the league’s credit, we methodically tackled all of them and came to a rational consensus.

(1). If an eligible starter’s innings + available reliever innings are < 9, the starter is still eligible to start. Because Randy & Arnie had agreed to this ahead of time, it passed by acclamation.

  1. Once a team’s last pitcher with innings available is in the game, he must stay in the game. No used-up relievers can be chosen to come in, tired (also agreed to by acclamation).
  2. Tom had proposed a rule whereby if a used up pitcher was a team’s last pitcher in the game, and he gives up a tired single or would have become tired the normal way, he would have to be removed and another used up pitcher or position player brought in. The league was against this 7-1.
  3. Randy had proposed that if a used up pitcher were the last pitcher in the game, the opposing manager would have an option to select a different used up pitcher to finish the game. After Eric called this absurd, the league voted against it, 6-2.
  4. We then got into examples of pitching decisions, which, while legal at the time, could set up something screwy later in the chain of events. The league agreed by acclamation that a manager can make any legal move (i.e. still remove any pitcher before being used up as long as other unused up pitchers are available), even if that sets up a situation with a used up pitcher being the last pitcher left in the game.
  5. Example: A manager has 10 innings of pitching left - a starter with 6 innings, reliever A with 3 innings and reliever B with 1 inning. The starter could still be removed after only 4 innings and reliever A could still be removed after only 1 inning, leaving the manager with only reliever B, who would have to stay in for the final 4 innings, used up after his first inning.

  6. Tsuan had proposed that all eligible starters be allowed to pitch in relief. (As a practical matter, this really means one pitcher for teams with a 5-man rotation). It passed 7-1.
  7. Randy’s proposal that any starter used in relief is tired for game one of the playoffs met with a resounding "NO".
  8. Ineligible starters with innings left. Jed, who wasn’t even in attendance, had the best proposal. Such pitchers are allowed to come in tired if there’s been 2 days of rest in between their last start (that would be 2 pitchers in a 5-man rotation or only 1 in a 4-man rotation). The original draft proposal said "2 starts in between their last start", but was changed to "days of rest" to allow for the possibility of an extra days rest before the 1-game playoff due to a rainout. This passed by acclamation.
  9. Eric’s silly proposal that relievers can start was voted down 8-0. Eric explained his rationale as simply his "passion of arguing against Tsuan" and he didn’t really mean for it to be a serious proposal.

The bylaws will be updated to reflect any new guidelines for the one-game playoff.

  1. Starters available to relieve in extra-inning games.
  2. Randy proposed that in extra inning regular season games of 12 or more innings, starters be allowed to relieve to ease the burden on potentially burning out relievers. Once it was pointed out that you can always bring in a position player to pitch (which, because everyone has apparently forgotten about it, has never been done), his proposal was left with no legs to stand on and was summarily dismissed.
  3. Tiredness carrying over into the playoffs.
  4. Tom proposed that only one off day after the end of the regular season be granted, instead of the current rule of starting fresh for each playoff series (i.e., 5 days off). This would give an advantage to teams not involved in a one-game playoff as well as those who finish their first round most expeditiously. The vote after a spirited debate was 4-4, so it did not pass.
  5. Someone proposed a resolution to honor of the memory of Matt. It was unanimously agreed upon.
  6. A proposal by Randy to rename the "thing-off" to the "Phelps-off" passed 6-2.

7. Card burning. As usual, we burned Barry Bonds.

  1. Draft Notes

A couple of minor highlights included unintentionally making Robin’s friend say "Sorry, wrong number" after answering the phone "SOMBILLA" and Daisy the dog lying prone on her back with her legs in the air for most of the draft.

There was one major trade made the day before draft day and one minor one made on draft day:

Fewer players than usual were drafted who previously had flings in the SOMBILLA and have now been recycled as free agents. The earliest such retread was the 27th pick overall in the 4th round, Hector Carrasco by Harold. Carrasco was a former reliever for the doomed Bunghole Quahogs.

The others:

We all shouted "Spooneybarger," and the ’06 draft was history.

 

SUMMER STUDY NO. 1 - DRAFT ANALYSIS - 2002

This summer we will do our 4-year draft retrospective analysis of the 2002 draft. As usual, the first 2 rounds will be listed in order, for heightened scrutiny. After that, all picks are lumped together by round.

We've conducted 4 SOMBILLA seasons since that '02 draft (using the 01, 02, 03 and 04 seasons), and we will begin playing another season, the 2005 cards, in a few months. Finally, in real life, we are currently in the midst of a 6th Strat-O season, 2006, and we can project who might be usable. Thus, each player from this draft will have the potential to play in all six SOMBILLA seasons.

This was the draft after the Bunghole Quahogs dissolved. After much discussion, it was decided to lump all of the Bunghole dispersal players in with the rookies and free agents to create one big super draft. Robin and Jeff rolled off for the first pick with Jeff winning. Eric and Arnie rolled for the 3rd pick, with Arnie winning. How'd we do?

The player’s SOMBILLA stats are shown.

Round 1

  1. V. Guerrero, Jeff (.286, 48 hr, 142 rbi) all 6 seasons
  2. Oswalt, Robin (14-24, 5.83) all 6 seasons
  3. Pujols, Arnie (.298, 64, 181) all 6 seasons
  4. Helton, Eric (.300, 30, 91) all 6 seasons
  5. Aurilia, Matt & Jed (.304, 11, 32) 1 season
  6. A. Jones, Tom & Land (.276, 46, 134) 6 seasons
  7. A. Dunn, Harold (.236, 13, 47) 4 seasons
  8. W. Miller , RAT (12-8, 7.16) 2 seasons
  9. Best pick: A star among stars, I have to go with Pujols here (despite the outcries of ‘fix’). Guerrero, Oswalt, A. Jones and Helton are all great players, but when all is said and done, I think Pujols will be considered the best.

    Worst pick: In a round filled with future Hall of Famers and then current all-stars, Matt & Jed chose a one year wonder.

    Round 2

  10. Piniero, Robin (2-2, 3.00) 1 season
  11. LoDuca, Jeff (.327, 16, 47) 3-4 seasons (depending on whether he makes Jeff’s team for 05)
  12. Burkett, Eric (2-3, 8.86) 1 season
  13. Mulder, Arnie (9-17, 5.94) 3 seasons
  14. Ichiro, Matt & Jed (.315, 13, 55, 31sb) 6 seasons (stats missing for 1 ½ seasons)
  15. Nevin, Tom & Land (.330, 28, 90) 4 seasons
  16. Cameron, RAT (.235, 7, 19) 2-3 seasons

Best pick– Nice comeback by Jed & Matt to snag Ichiro here

Worst picks – Joel Piniero, Robin and John Burkett, Eric

Round 3

Best pick – John Smoltz, Matt & Jed (a contracted Bungholian, he will have played at least 5 of the 6 potential seasons. We have no stats from this franchise for last year).

Worst picks – Zimmerman, Jeff and Baez, Tom & Land. Both are one-year wonders, although it took Baez a few years to earn his one-year wonder status

Also picked – J. Uribe, Robin (2); Escobar, Arnie (2); Farnsworth, Eric (3), N. Johnson, Harold (2 – ’05 and ’06)

Round 4

Best pick – Guardado, Eric (5 seasons!)

Worst pick – J. Ortiz, Tom & Land. Drafting a Colorado pitcher, what did they expect? The first player from this draft who never played in the SOMBILLA.

Also picked – Catalanotto, Robin (3); Fox, Jeff (1); T. Phelps, Arnie (1); O. Cabrera, Arnie (3); F. Lopez, Harold (1); M. Giles, RAT (3)

Round 5

Best picks – Mike Lowell, Jeff and Craig Wilson, RAT – A Red Sox and a Yankee. 4 of 6 seasons for both.

Worst pick – Carlos Pena, Arnie. Alas. Other than a brief injury callup, a total bust.

Also picked – Fossum, Robin (1); D. Miller, Eric (1); T. Hall, Tom & Land (1); Rincon, RAT (2). Izturis, drafted by Harold is not listed with Pena as a worst pick even though he has never played in the SOMBILLA because he is still on Harold’s team as a prospect.

Round 6

Best pick – Roy Halladay, Robin. All 6 seasons. An outstanding 6th round pick, 2 years after I chided Jed & Clint for taking him in the first round and one year after Jed & Clint cut him.

Worst pick – A. Berroa, RAT. Has never played in the SOMBILLA (though he is still on their roster 4 years later).

Also picked – Lidle, Jeff (1); Manzanillo, Eric (1); B. Groom, Arnie (2); K. Millar, M&J (3); Sheets, T&L (2); Riedling, RAT (1)

Round 7

Best pick – CC Sabathia, T&L, assuming he is usable in ’06, which would give him 3 seasons

Worst pick – Lawton, Eric DNP

Also picked – Stanton, Jeff (1); J. Cruz, Robin (1); W. Gonzalez, Arnie (2); Mesa, M&J (2); Kreuter, Harold (1); Weathers, RAT (1)

Round 8

Best pick – David Eckstein, Jeff 2 seasons – one with Arnie, one with Eric and none for Jeff who cut him, not realizing that he was the best 8th round pick.

Worst pick – Duckworth, Robin and Reitsma, Eric. The only 8th rounders to not play in the SOMBILLA

Also picked – LeCroy, Arnie (1); V. Nunez, M&J (1); Conine, T&L (1); Charlton, RAT (1)

Round 9

Best pick – Brian Lawrence, Harold. 3 seasons.

Worst picks – Crede, Jeff. Hard to believe he’s the only player from the 9th round to have never played in the SOMBILLA

Also picked – Redmond, Robin (1); Cairo, Arnie (1); Grimsley, M&J (2); J. Lopez, M&J (1); Fassero, T&L (1); Mirabelli, RAT (2)

Round 10

Best pick – Craig Counsell, Harold and Luis Matos, Jeff. 2 seasons each

Worst pick – Shea Hillenbrand, Eric. Hard to believe he’s the only player from the 10th round to have never played in the SOMBILLA

Also picked – O. Perez, Robin; D. Bautista, Arnie; D. Williams, M&J; Lincoln, T&L; R. Sanchez, RAT – 1 season each

Round 11

Best pick – AJ Pierzynski, Eric (4 seasons). An outstanding pickup in the 11th round.

Worst pick – Dempster, T&L. Yup, you guessed it. Hard to believe he’s the only player from the 11th round to have never played in the SOMBILLA

Also picked – Shinjo, Robin; V. Padilla, Arnie; D. Young; Javier, Harold; Colome, RAT - 1 season each

Rounds 12-15

(Because of contraction, the draft was 14 rounds. Two teams chose in the 15th round as a result of trades).

Best picks: Tim Wakefield, Robin and Melvin Mora, T&L. 3 seasons each. Great picks!

Worst picks: Mienkiewicz, Eric; Redding, T&L; Jiminez, Harold; R. Ordonez, Eric; B. Smith, RAT; Cordova, Eric; Alfonseca, M&J; Burnitz, Harold.

Also picked: Ma. Grace, Robin (1); Zaun, Arnie (1); Matthews, M&J (1); T. Perez, RAT (1); McGriff, Arnie (2); J. Hernandez, M&J (1); Hairston, Harold (1); Fick, M&J; Lilly, Harold (2)

Trades

There were no trades consummated on draft day 2002! You are all a bunch of woosies.

Best draft, 2002: Jeff! (Although it was a remarkably even draft):

(Guerrero, LoDuca, Zimmerman, Fox, Lowell, Lidle, Stanton, Eckstein, Crede, Matos)

Worst draft, 2002: Eric (Helton, Burkett, Farnsworth, Guardado, D. Miller, Manzanillo, Lawton, Reitsma, Hillenbrand, Pierzynski, Mienkiewicz, R. Ordonez, Cordova). Impressively drafting 3 players with "z’s" in their names.

 

SUMMER STUDY NO. 2 – The Cute Ratings

Presenting the nonannual Cute Ratings by Robin Perlow, guest columnist

To, I’m sure, no one’s surprise, Bay City is the cutest team in the Sombilla, with a whopping 21 cute players, easily topping runner-up A51, who has 14 cuties. Swarzluna has the fewest, with only 8 cute players, but only 9 truly ugly ones, whereas FW has 15 ugly guys (compared to BC, which has only 4 ugly ones—including trade pick-up Kevin Mench). Catcher is probably the least attractive position (I didn’t separate infielders or outfielders by position), with only 5 cute ones out of 29 in the league. MF has 2 of these, so 4 teams (CN, ND, NO, A51) have no cute catchers.

In my exhaustive search to determine the "cutest player in the SOMBILLA" (to replace the cut [and retired] Alex Gonzalez [not the Red Sox one] and the cut Steve Finley—the previous titleholders), there was no clear winner. I am forced to declare a tie amongst Khalil Greene (A51), Mike Cameron (FW), and newcomer J.J. Hardy (MF). My choices are purely subjective; thus, Cleveland heartthrob Grady Sizemore and former 50 Most Beautiful Person Mike Lowell didn’t make the cut. Certain players, including Matt Clement (SW), Nick Swisher (A51), Dan Johnson (FW), and Doug Davis (ND), would be more highly rated if they got rid of offensive facial hair—what I call the Billy Koch syndrome (a former BC player who, if not for his shaved head and chin fringe [the Jay Buhner look], would have been cute. Craig Wilson (FW) was much cuter as a Pirate with longer hair than as a Yankee (but this holds true for most players). A few current players (Jose Cruz, Jr., Ken Griffey, Jr., and Coco Crisp) are not as cute as their fathers (OK, I’m showing my age, and I’m anxious to get a look at Kyle Drabek, son of former BC ace Doug Drabek, who was highly drafted in MLB this June).

What follows are a few notes on the high and low lights of each team (from worst to first). Please note that if I was not familiar with a player’s looks, I relied on the MLB Web site, so some people may have been unfairly but unavoidably penalized for being non-photogenic.

SW (8)—Cutest player: Manny Ramirez (with the dreadlocks). Exceptionally unattractive bullpen (Turnbow, J. Tavarez, Rincon).

CN (10)—Cutest player: Brad Radke, ugliest: Wise. Giambi much cuter as an A in the pre-steroid days.

ND (10)—Cutest players: Rollins, Wily Mo, Francoeur (in fact, half the ND outfield is cute). Really ugly battery with Johnson pitching to either Bard or Castro. Travis Hafner (who’s actually from North Dakota) is the league’s ugliest DH.

FW (12)—Cutest players: Cameron, Nomar, B. Anderson, D. Johnson. Least attractive: Barajas, Penny, Jacobs.

MF (12)—Cutest players: Hardy, Zito (with hair), B. Roberts. Most attractive corps of catchers, with Javy Lopez and LaRue cute and Mauer not ugly. Tied with A51 for 2nd fewest ugly guys (6).

NO (12)—Cutest players Benson, Cano, Michaels. Best smile: former BCer O-Dog. Colon-Posada battery rivals ND’s for ugliest. Very cute infield with Soriano still at 2B for the coming season.

A51 (14)—Cutest player: Greene, Ugliest: Donnelly, Myers, Molina, Reyes. Another attractive outfield, with 5 of 8 being cute.

BC (21)—Cutest players: new draftees Cotts, Granderson, and Langerhans, along with usual suspects Blalock, Wakefield, and Hawpe (newly discovered as cute—I never knew what he looked like till I did this study—nor did I know what the cute draftees looked like [except Huston Street] ). Ugliest: former A51er Mench, Laird, and Tejeda (all either former or current Texas Rangers--but so’s Blalock, so it’s not in the water there).

 

SUMMER STUDY NO. 3 - BAD BOYS OF THE SOMBILLA

Which league’s franchise doesn’t give a shit about societal mores? Who flaunts boorish, illegal behavior in the rest of the league’s face? Which team is the most gentlemanly, intolerant of criminal activity on its roster? This summer, the SOMBILLA spotlight team studies the bad boys of the SOMBILLA - detailing a team by team summary of arrest records.

Not surprisingly, Future Wax heads the shame roll. Tsuan and Andrew (and more recently Randy) clearly have an eye for stockpiling thugs, hoodlums and criminals. The question is, do their wives know about this predilection?

At the other extreme, Constantinople has a very scant bad boy record.   Tom & Land win the goody two shoes award.

Future Wax

Area 51/Hatchbacks/Sardukar

Manila Folders/Bunghole Quahogs

(Jed assumes liability for both franchise’s bad boys)

New Orleans

North Dakota

Swarzluna

 

Bay City


Constantinople

 

SUMMER STUDY NO. 4 – Who have we burned?

Not really a study, just a compilation. Somewhat related to Study 3. Including direct quotes from recent summer newsletters:

2006 – As usual we burned Barry Bonds.

2005 - Robin had previously proposed resurrecting an old Canseco card and ‘injecting’ it, although she was vague about how that would be accomplished. As a result, we kept it simple and burned Barry Bonds.

2004 - There was a lot of sentiment around burning ‘alleged’ steroid user Barry Bonds. There was also a lot of momentum for burning another Future Wax bad boy, rapist Ramon Castro. Some tried to argue creatively that, if it hadn’t been for the steroids, Bonds would be a rapist too. In the end, that speculation proved to be no match for actual facts, and Castro was burned.

2003 - The winning choice was to burn David Wells, who was then burned. If we’d had a copy of his book we’d have burned that too.

2002 - The winning choice was to burn Ruben Rivera. The card of Derek Jeter watched and cheered.

2001 - The only nomination received was for Bobby Chouinard, who was then burned.

2000 - Nominations were received for John Rocker, Al Martin, Daryl Strawberry, and Bobby Chouinard, the most number of nominations ever. The votes were Rocker 5, Martin 1 (Eric abstained). John Rocker was then burned.

1999 - Wil Cordero

1998 - Tony Phillips and Wil Cordero

Previous to 1998, Robin was in charge of card burning decisions. At the ’97 draft, Land proposed formalizing the card burning process by allowing for nominations and putting the card burning to a vote. His proposal passed 7-2.

1997 - Mike Greenwell

1996 - Darryl Strawberry

1995 - Jack Morris

1994 - Matt Young

1993 - Gary Carter

1992 - Gary Carter

1991 - Gary Carter

1990 - Bill Buckner

1989 - Glenn Hoffman

1988 - ???

1987 - Pete Rose

1986 - ???

1985 - Mike Torrez

1984 - Bucky Dent

Card burnings for 1988, 1986, and years prior have not been documented.

 

 

HOW IS YOUR TEAM DOING?

Here is our first unscientific look ahead to the 2006 cards (due out in January).

THE 2006 SOMBILLA/ESPN ALL-STAR COUNT

RAT (10) – Berkman, Garciaparra, Kazmir, P. Martinez, McCann, Penny, Reyes, J. Santana, Thome, Zambrano

Robin (9) – Beltran, Buehrle, M. Cabrera, Gordon, Halladay, Jeter, Oswalt, I. Rodriguez, V. Wells

Harold (8) – Arroyo, Cano, Carpenter, M. Ramirez, Rios, M. Rivera, Soriano, Wright

Arnie (7) – Contreras, Glaus, Hoffman, Jo. Lopez, D. Ortiz, Pujols, Rolen

Tom (7) – Bay, Howard, A. Jones, C. Lee, Papelbon, A. Rodriguez, Schmidt

Jed (7) – Fuentes, Holliday, Mauer, M. Ordonez, Suzuki, Webb, Zito

Eric (7) – Eckstein, Konerko, Loretta, Pierzynski, Tejada, Turnbow, Utley

Jeff (6) – V. Guerrero, LoDuca, BJ Ryan, Renteria, Sizemore, M. Young

 

 

 

 

Tentative Opening Day: Sunday, October 29

 

Ballparks

Singles

Homers

Arizona

1-11

1-13

Atlanta

1-8

1-8

Chicago (NL)

L 1-5

R 1-8

L 1-10

R 1-14

Cincinnati

4

1-13

Colorado

1-19

1-15

Florida

1-5

L 1-9

R 1-3

Houston

L 1-3

R 1-11

L 1-3

R 1-16

Los Angeles (NL)

1

1-11

Milwaukee

1-4

1-11

New York (NL)

L 1-15

R 1-10

L 1-7

R 1-4

Philadelphia

L 1-9

R 1-14

1-15

Pittsburgh

L 1-16

R 1-10

L 1-10

R 1-4

St. Louis

L 1-5

R 1-11

1-6

San Diego

1

1

San Francisco

L 1-7

R 1-16

L 1-4

R 1-7

Washington

1

L 1-9

R 1-3

Baltimore

L 1-4

R 1-7

L 1-8

R 1-11

Boston

1-14

L 1-4

R 1-10

Chicago (AL)

1-6

1-18

Cleveland

1-5

1-3

Detroit

L 1-13

R 1-8

1-6

Kansas City

L 1-10

R 1-13

1-2

Los Angeles (AL)

L 1-5

R 1-8

1-8

Minnesota

1-7

1-10

New Yuck (AL)

1-7

1-10

Oakland

L 1-7

R 1-4

L 1-4

R 1-10

Seattle

1

L 1-14

R 1-6

Tampa Bay

L 1-8

R 1-5

L 1-9

R 1-6

Texas

1-13

L 1-19

R 1-11

Toronto

1-11

1-13