This SOMBILLA Summer Newsletter

Dedicated to Our friend Jeff Donahue  


August 11, 2019

Home/Away Records
Records set this year
Playoffs: North Dakota vs. Bay CIty
Playoffs: Future Wax vs. Oceanus
World Series: North Dakota vs. Future Wax
Minutes of Annual Meeting
Minutes of Elephant Room Conference Call August 1, 2019
Summer Study #1 - Jeff's team through the years
Summer Study #2 - Jeff the Man
Summer Study #3 - Drafting All-Stars
Summer Study #4  - What if Jeff's team had Babe Ruth?
Summer Study #5 - 2015 Draft Analysis
All-star count


The Road Advantage:

AWAY                       HOME

Arnie  17-11   .607        Randy  19-9   .679
Randy  16-12   .571        Arnie  16-12  .571
Robin  16-12   .571        Robin  14-14  .500  
Harold 16-12   .571        Jed    13-15  .464
Jed    15-13   .536        Jeff   13-15  .464

Eric   14-14   .500        Tom    12-16  .429
Tom    13-15   .464        Eric   12-16  .429

Jeff    8-20   .286        Harold 10-18  .357
TOTALS 115-113 .504             113-115  .496



New SOMBILLA Records set this year:

Most strikeouts per 9 innings, C. Sale, New Orleans 13.17 (old record, P. Martinez, FW ’00-01 12.85)

Most solo HR's one game: 7 North Dakota vs Bay City (playoff game) 3/4/19

Record tied: Most HR’s, 9-inning game  K. Davis 4 homers (vs FW) 1/19/19.  Ties D. Segui, North Dakota (1/2/99) Pujols, North Dakota 12/5/10  4 , Votto, Fugakyu (1/22/11)




North Dakota vs. Bay City   (at Holliston, March 2-3, 2019)

Background: Background: Chosen 2nd by league prognosticators before the season, North Dakota starts out with a respectable 9-7 November. A 6-6 December has the team at 15-13 in 2nd place, but 3 games behind red hot Nidavellir at the break. But North Dakota finds its mojo in January, going 11-5 including winning 9 in a row (sweeps of Eric and Jeff) and is at 26-18 only a game out of first with a month to go. A 7-5 February (including a sweep of Harold, knocking out New Orleans) gives the team a 33-23 2nd place finish.

Bay City was chosen 7th by the know-nothing predictors (which included Robin). She starts out 5-3 in November, and follows up with a 9-11 December to stand at 14-14, in a three-way tie for third, behind high-flying Nidavellir at the break. A 9-7 month (featuring a sweep of Tom) and she's in 3rd place, 4 games out, at 23-21 on January 31. A decent 7-5 February (helped by a sweep over New Orleans) is enough to snag her a surprising 3rd place and a rematch of last year's playoff with North Dakota, which North Dakota won in 6 games. The teams split both of their season's series against each other.

Game 1:   Carlos Correa smokes a 2-run homer off Michael Fulmer in the top of the first before most of the 300 fans in Gackle Park have taken their seats.  The teams trade rbi hits in the 4th, and N. Cruz's rbi single chips away to make it 3-2, BC after 5.  But in the 6th, Fulmer faces a 2-out, 2-on jam and Robbie Ray relieves Fulmer. Lefty killer Pirella is intentionally walked, and Andrew Benintendi drives in 2 with a sharp single.  Reddick adds an rbi hit, and Mike Montgomery and Givens finish off ND for the surprising BC 6-2 win.


Game 2: North Dakota pounds Jimmy Nelson early and often with Lindor (HR), Gallo (2-run double), Gonzalez (rbi single), and Kiermaier (sac fly) staking Cashner to a 6-0 lead after 3.   It's 7-0 after 7 innings. Both teams score 2 garbage runs late, but the game is never in doubt.  Final, ND wins 9-2.


Game 3:  The series shifts to Bay City.  Rhys Hoskins smacks a HR off C. Hamels for the 1-0 ND lead, but the red-hot Benintendi doubles in Alonzo to tie it up 1-1.  In the bottom of the 5th, with 2 out and 2 on, ND replaces deGrom with B. Parker.  Benintendi (who else) singles in Alonzo, and on the next pitch Carlos Correa wallops a 3-run homer for the 5-1 lead. In the 6th, ND's Kiermaier walks, Gyorko doubles off Cishek and both runs score on a grounder and an error by Cishek to make it 5-3.  ND loads the bases with 2 out in the 7th, but Betts flies out against Wade Davis.  Correa hits his 2nd homer of the game to make it 6-3 in the 8th and Mike Minor closes out ND in the 9th for the save.  Final score 6-3, Bay City.


It's Saturday night, the managers head out to the Bruins game in Boston and Strat-O is not discussed. 


Game 4:  A new day, and North Dakota's first two hitters of the game, Kiermaier and M. Gonzalez, hit homers off Darvish.  Cruz homers in the 3rd to make it 3-0.  Kiermaier adds another homer in the 5th to make it 4-0.  Kiermaier hits his 3rd homer of the game in the 7th, which is followed by M. Gonzalez's 2nd homer as they go back to back again.  Joey Gallo homers in the 8th for what is believed to be a SOMBILLA record 7 solo home runs in one game.  Meanwhile, Robbie Ray, pounded by BC in game 1, pitches 8 2/3 innings yielding just 4 hits to save ND's bullpen.  Final score ND 7-1 and the series is tied 2-2.


Game 5: BC switches dice to no avail.  Gallo (2-run homer), Lindor (rbi double) and Goldschmidt (2-run HR) tire out Godley in the 2nd inning, 5-0.  Khris Davis blasts a 3-run homer off M. Montgomery in the 5th inning to make it 8-0 ND.  Fulmer, Reed, Kimbrel, and Parker pitch the shutout, helped greatly by Bay City's grounding into 3 untimely double plays.  In fact, over the last 4 games, BC grounded into 10 rally-killing double plays.  Final score, ND 8-0.


Game 6:  Back in cozy Gackle Park, K. Davis and M. Gonzalez hit back to back doubles, and Pedroia nails a clutch hit to give ND the early 2-0 lead after two innings.  Davis doubles in Cruz in the 3rd, but Starling Marte guns Kiermaier out at the plate to bail BC out of the inning without further damage.  But in the 4th, Gallo homers and Cruz singles in Pedey to make it 5-0 North Dakota.  It stays that way until the 8th when Bay City hits 3 singles (Posey, Alonzo, Benintendi) and a walk to score two runs and chase Osuna to make it 5-2.  But Kimbrel pitches a 1-2-3 9th and North Dakota is headed back to the World Series.  Final score, North Dakota 5 Bay City 2


Bay City 6  North Dakota 2
North Dakota 9  Bay City 2
Bay City 6  North Dakota 3
North Dakota 7  Bay City 1
North Dakota 8  Bay City 0
North Dakota 5  Bay City 2
North Dakota wins series 4 games to 2


Future Wax vs. Oceanus (Internet March 3-4, 2019)

Background:  Background: Pre-season favorite Future Wax jumps out to a 9-7 record and is tied with Bay City and North Dakota for first place. A 5-7 December has the Wax tied with Bay City and WES? at 14-14 at the break, just one game out. An impressive 13-3 January, featuring a sweep of Eric, has FW in first place by a game at 27-17 heading into the final month. FW keeps the pedal down, finishing 8-4 to win the pennant by 2 games.

Having finished in last place last season, Oceanus was chosen 3rd by the prescient league prognosticators, but stumbles a bit out of the gate with a 7-9 record and is in 6th place. A lackluster 3-5 December drops Oceanus to 7th place, 6 games out of first at the break. With a 7-5 January, Jed still finds himself a game out of the playoffs at 17-19. Oceanus closes with a middling 9-7 February (including a big series wins over Eric on the final day of the season) to finish at 28-28, good enough to snag 4th place this year. Randy won 6 of 8 from Jed during the season, going 3-1 in each series.

Game 1: Kluber dominates, Oceanus hits 5 home runs against Greinke and Kershaw on the way to a 16-1 blowout.


Game 2:  Scherzer stops the momentum, taking a 1-0 lead into the 9th. But his pen betrays him: Rosenthal puts 2 on, then Kershaw surrenders a 3-run pinch hit bomb to Zunino. But Delmonico counters with a 2-run, pinch hit homer in the bottom of the 9th, sending the game into extra innings. Stanton settles it with a 2-run walk of in the 11th.


Game 3: Bumgarner starts in Jed's lefty-friendly park, yielding only 1 hit and 1 run in 5 innings. Delmonico and Stanton homer again, as does Russell, on the way to an 8-2 thumping of Nola.


Game 4 is another close one, with homers by Rosario and Cozart putting Jed on top 5-4. Strasburg gets the win, in relief.


Game 5: Kluber is effective in game 5, with 11 K vs 5 H in 7-1/3. It's knotted at 4 when Kershew relieves Stroman, giving up 3 hits (2 HR) in 2/3 of an inning, leading to a 7-5 Oceanus victory, and a 3-2 series lead.


Game 6: Scherzer pitches a complete game for a 3-1 win to send the series to game 7. Stanton provides the margin of victory with a 3-run shot in the 3rd.


Game 7: The deciding game features Greinke against Walker. Belt homers for FW in the 1st. OC’s Cozart leads off the 4th with a triple, and scores on a Rendon sac fly. In the bottom of the inning, Upton doubles, Blackmon is hit by a pitch, and then Suarez homers. Springer hits a solo shot an inning later. Altuve plates 2 on a bases-loaded single in the 7th, but Rivero holds and Rosenthal saves.


And the rematch of last year's World Series is set.


Oceanus 16  Future Wax 1

Future Wax 4 Oceanus 3 (11 innings)

Future Wax 8  Oceanus 2

Oceanus 5  Future Wax 4

Oceanus 7  Future Wax 5

Future Wax 3  Oceanus 1

Future Wax 5  Oceanus 3


Future Wax wins series 4 games to 3



World Series


North Dakota vs. Future Wax  (at Holliston March 5, Natick March 6, 2019)


Background: It is the ninth post-season meeting between bitter rivals ND and FW and a rematch of 2018, won by Future Wax in 7 games, but only the 2nd since 2005.  The teams faced each other in the post-season 4 consecutive years from 1998-2001.   It is the 5th World Series matchup, with each team having won twice.


Future Wax won the season series, winning 6 of 8 games.


Due to our combined hectic schedules (rehearsals, vacations, ski trips, weekend plans), Randy and I realized we had to play this series ASAP if we wanted to get it in before the draft. So, last night (Tuesday) Randy dropped by my house in Holliston after rehearsal, showing up at 9:15 so we could knock out 2 games.


Game 1:  It's scoreless in the top of the 3rd when K. Davis hits a BP homer with 2 on.  But he (or more correctly, I) rolls an 18 (it's 1-16 for righties in Randy's park.  In the bottom of the third, Kiermaier drops a routine fly ball that would have been the 3rd out to load the bases, and then North Dakota nemesis Brandon Belt (always pounded me when he  was on Jeff’s team), hits a BP HR (it's 1-7 for lefties in Randy's park) for the grand slam, and they tire out Fulmer, ND's best starter in the 3rd inning. ND is feeling sorry for itself as it stays 5-0 until the 8th when Kiermaier (2-run homer) and K. Davis go back to back.  Dozier's 2-run homer off Andrew Miller in the 8th ices the win for FW.


Game 2: FW jumps out quickly with 3 runs in the first (Blackmon single, SB, Springer rbi, Stanton double, Upton 2 run single).  Another FW run in the 4th and then Turner and Blackmon go back to back in the 4th to make it a 6-0 game.  ND tries to make it a game when an rbi double by Cruz and a 2-run homer by M. Gonzalez in the 6th makes it 6-3.  But Belt belts a 2-run homer in the 7th off Parker and it's 8-3.  ND’s late rally is too little too late.


The ND manager spends the night tossing and turning, thinking about Strat-O and lost opportunities.  But a new day dawns with optimism and renewed resolve.


At Natick

Game 3:  Back home in Gackle Park, Gonzalez starts off the must game for ND with a solo shot off Stroman in the 1st.  FW's McCutchen's rbi single off deGrom in the 2nd inning ties it.  K. Davis's solo shot in the 3rd gives ND the 2-1 lead.  Turner's 2-run homer in the 4th gets FW the lead back.  ND ties it 3-3 in the bottom of the 4th with a GIDP.  Springer's solo HR off deGrom in the 5th makes it 4-3, FW, and his rbi single in the 7th off Osuna makes it 5-3.  In the bottom of the 7th, with the season on the line, Lindor singles with 2 out.  Goldschmidt doubles him to 3rd. Swarzak comes in.  Nelson Cruz smacks a huge 3-run homer to give ND a 6-5 lead and the crowd goes wild.  Possibly the biggest hit of the year.  Blake Parker pitches the final 1 2/3 innings for the save and ND is back in the series.


Game 4:   FW jumps all over lefty Robbie Ray in the 2nd inning, with 2 walks, a single , a 2 run double by Suarez, a sac fly by Russell, and a 2-run homer by Dozier to make it 5-0.  Undaunted, ND chips away. with a homer by Contreras in the 2nd and an unearned run helped by Stanton's 2-base error in the 3rd.  A tired R. Ray makes it through 4 innings.  Lindor homers in the bottom of the 4th off Scherzer to make it 5-3.  FW's Springer greets Addison Reed with a homer in the 5th to make it 6-3, FW.  But in the bottom of the 5th inning Scherzer hits both Goldschmidt and Cruz, and Kiermaier triples them both in.  Gonzalez then hits a double (on a 1-3, out otherwise, a clear sign that the karma has shifted) to tie it at 6.  In the 6th inning, Lindor doubles, and Scherzer hits Goldschmidt again.  Kiermaier then hits another 2-run triple - his 2nd in back to back innings - and it's now 8-6 North Dakota.  Contreras homers in the 7th for good measure to make it 9-6.  The North Dakota bullpen allows no more hits after Springer's HR in the 4th (Reed, Kimbrel, A. Miller) and ND has tied the series.  The oddest thing about this game:  Scherzer pitches a CG 8-hitter for FW with 19 strikeouts!  But gives up 9 runs to take the loss.


Game 5:  Belt boots Goldschmidt's grounder to lead off the 1st inning and Cruz makes him pay with a 2-run homer.  But FW comes roaring back in the 2nd with a walk and 4 singles (Suzuki, Dozier, Turner, Springer) to take a 3-2 lead.  Kiermaier's 2-run homer is followed by Gyrko's HR in the 4th and ND is back on top 5-3.  An rbi single by Kiermaier makes it 6-4.  The teams trade solo homers (Belt and Cruz) for the final 7-5 score.  Osuna picks up the save and Randy vents his frustration at Stanton, who had a horrific series overall, stranding numerous runners and never seeming to miss a death roll.


Game 6: Home teams have won every game so far and Randy is happy to be back in the stadium formerly known as the Waxdome.  ND strikes first with an unearned run thanks to Suarez's error.  But in the 2nd, Belt doubles and Turner doubles him in to tie it 1-1.  FW loads the bases with 2 out in the 3rd off Cashner, but the extra clutch pinch-hitting D. Murphy grounds out.  Lindor homers off Stroman in the 5th to make it 2-1, ND.  Hoping to get more than 5 innings out of Cashner (knowing that the worse deGrom is starting game 7), he gets yanked after two walks and an rbi double by Dozier tie it 2-2 in the 6th.  Parker and Miller quell further damage.  Top of the 8th, Goldschmidt is HBP again (this time by Swarzak).  Cruz hits a double and Goldschmidt has a 1-15 chance to score, running on Upton's arm.  But Austin Barnes makes a great play blocking the plate and the game remains tied.  Bottom of the 8th, Barnes reaches on an error by his counterpart Contreras.  He steals 2nd.  FW's Blackmon singles him in off Romo's card (ND manager beats himself up for leaving Romo in) to take a 3-2 lead.  With 2 out in the 9th, M. Gonzalez his a BP homer (off Swarzak)!  But it’s a 1-7 chance, he misses it, and we go to game 7.


Game 7!  Last year, Randy came back from a 3 games to 2 deficit to win the World Series.  Two days ago, Randy came back from a 3 games to 2 deficit to beat Jed in the playoffs.  Both managers bring this up.  Leading off the game, Goldschmidt hits a BP homer!  1-16!  He rolls an 18. Gonzalez misses a BP homer in the 2nd (1-7), so Joey Gallo hits a straight solo shot to give ND the 1-0 lead.  Top of the 5th, Jorge Alfaro hits a BP homer!  1-16!  He rolls an 18.  The ND manager pounds the table in frustration, waking up Deede.  He then draws giant circles and arrows pointing to the missed HR all over the scoresheet.  Sure enough, FW's Barnes hits a BP homer in the bottom of the 5th and easily rolls within the 1-16.  It's tied 1-1.  FW loads the bases with nobody out in the 6th off Reed, so Parker comes in and gets Upton, Belt and clutch pinch-hitter Murphy without giving up a run.  Despite missing the two easy BP homers, the ND manager realizes it is still just 1-1 and he's still in it.  Scherzer is dominating and the final ND relievers after Parker - Kimbrel, Osuna, Miller - all pitch until their arms fall off.  Neither team can mount much offense.  Top of the 10th inning, Scherzer still in.  Joey Gallo walks.  After Contreras strikes out, Lindor hits a single.  Dustin Pedroia is up.  He rolls a 2-4 and ITS A 3-RUN HOMER!!  DUSTIN FUCKING PEDROIA!  I jumped up, punched the air, and kissed his card.  Swarzak comes in, gives up a single to Goldschmidt and strikes out Cruz.  Kershaw comes in.  Kiermaier hits a 2-run homer!  Only two pitchers are left on ND 's staff with arms still attached and one of them (Cashner) is tired.  Lefty Robbie Ray comes in.  He pitches a 1-2-3 10th inning and North Dakota has won the SOMBILLA championship for the first time in 5 years.


Series MVP is Kevin Kiermaier .769 slugging, with 4 homers, 2 triples and 11 rbis.

Future Wax 7  North Dakota 3

Future Wax 8  North Dakota 3

North Dakota 6  Future Wax 5

North Dakota 9  Future Wax 6

North Dakota 7  Future Wax 5

Future Wax 3  North Dakota 2

North Dakota 6  Future Wax 1 (10 innings)


North Dakota wins series 4 games to 3










Minutes of Annual Meeting and Draft March 31, 2019


1.  Dues.   For the third year in a row, everyone is paid up!


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 be a unanimous vote. 


MVP               1    2    3   Tot

Trout, CN         4         2   22

Judge, NO         2    2        16

Stanton, FW       1    3    2   16

K. Davis, ND      1    2    3   14

Correa, BC             1         3

Rosario, OC                 1    1


Cy Young          1    2    3   Tot

Scherzer, FW      7             35

Strasburg, OC          5    2   17

Bradley, CN            2    2    8

Kluber, OC        1              5

Darvish, BC            1    1    4

Leake, WES?                 2     2

Fulmer, ND                  1    1


Manager of the Year  1    2    3    Tot

Arnie                3    3    1    25

Robin                3    1         18

Jed                  1    3    3    17

Randy                1    1    3    11


3.  Presentation of the Richman Cup by last year's champion, Randy, to this year’s champion, Arnie.  Randy brought with him all three plaques/trophies:  the giant goon sized trophy, the old original plaque, and the actual Richman Cup itself.  Randy offered to keep possession of the Richman Cup in order to have it engraved, but Arnie was having none of that and immediately took possession of it and subsequently had it engraved.


4.       Rule change proposals


a.    Agreement on cutting players and waiver draft.   We spent a few minutes agreeing to the time for the waiver draft and cutting of players.


b.    Starter Yanking.  With the introduction of starters with tired factors of < (5), the proposal was put forth to amend our current 4 innings or 3 runs rule.  Tsuan had sent a flurry of irate emails to the league, berating it for not being creative enough.  Contained within, he actually had a proposal which was debated separately.


This first proposal simply changes our starter yanking rule to “Starters may not be yanked unless they’ve pitched the lesser of 4 innings or their tired factor, or yielded 3 runs.”


After a brief discussion, the proposal passed 5-1 with 2 abstentions.


As a practical matter, this impacts literally one pitcher this year – Diego Castillo an R(1) S(1) drafted by RAT this year.  A few other pitchers are on rosters in the league with S(1) but they are not usable.  Note that we already have rest rules that are applicable.  Starters need one game rest for every 1/3 – 1 inning pitched (1 1/3- 2 inns needs 2 games rest etc).  Thus, a starter who is yanked after 1 inning (or 1/3 of an inning) needs one game of rest before starting again.



c.        Clarify post-season callups.  The bylaws state: “4. Teams are allowed to drop a pitcher and add a hitter, or vice versa, before each series.”.  The proposal was to clarify whether the hitter added for a pitcher could be limited (since then rule was silent). Tom actually clarified that the intent of the rule was for this called up hitter to be unlimited.  Everyone was fine with the clarification and no vote was taken.


d.       Post-season pitcher callups. Eric then proposed that we change the current post-season ‘pitcher for a pitcher’ substitution rule that says any new pitcher must have more innings than the pitcher he is replacing.  After some discussion, a proposal was made that the new pitcher could have up to 15 real-life innings fewer than the pitcher being sent down.  15 is used because post-season innings are 1/15 of actual innings, so basically the new pitcher can have up to 1 fewer post-season innings available.  This passed by a vote of 6-2.


e.        Draft order in rounds 3-12 should switch each round between two teams that have the same record and were 4-4 against each other.  This (not so) unusual situation has happened two seasons in a row.  The team with the better record versus the other will still have the better pick in rounds 3-12. This rule is only for when the tied teams were 4-4 against one another.  This proposal passed 7-0, with one abstention.


This led to a brief discussion about the draft and compensatory picks for draft picks who die.  I had vaguely recalled discussing this, but could not find anything in the bylaws about it.  A few days after the draft, Robin pulled out her notes from last year’s meeting where we voted to approve a compensatory pick after the 6th round (counts as an extra draft pick) for any manager having a rostered player die in the previous year.  If the deceased player was drafted in a round after the 6th round, the compensatory pick is at the end of the round they were drafted in.  This will be added to the bylaws.


f.        Tsuan proposed that any pitcher can start (only relievers can still relieve).  He added provisions for tired factors and rest.   We debated more about Tsuan than we did about his proposal.  In the end, this proposal was voted down 5 ½ - 2 ½ .  The ½ comes from the fact that Tsuan’s co-owner Randy was against the proposal.


g.       Eric then proposed that all starters can relieve.  Harold felt this was even more radical than Tsusn’s proposal.  Randy wanted it noted that the rule was submitted by someone who is a wise ass, emphasis on the wise.   No vote was taken.


h.       Eric then modified his proposal that any reliever can start, but managers could do it only once per series.  This was voted down 5-2 (Tom and Eric switching sides on the original Tsuan proposal, which Tom voted for).


i.         Any outfielder can play any other outfield position. This proposal, from Eric and Tsuan, would have adopted rule 25.21 which allows for this in case of injuries where you don’t have the OF available, to any situation. Randy made a convincing case against it, pointing out that we all have such a large pool of draftees to choose from so that this shouldn’t be necessary.  Harold, among others, found this persuasive and switched his vote.  Ultimately, the proposal was voted down 5-3.


j.         Managers can make pitchers bat in home park.  Jed proposed this perennial rule, which was voted down 7-1.,In honor of Matt, Jed also proposed eliminating the DH and it was clear the meeting had run its course.


5.          Card burning.  For the third time (and second year in a row), we had a triple burning.  A computer version of Osuna, Addison Russell and Machado.  It was tough to burn three cards; we should stick to one or two.


6.             Draft Notes – With a 27% chance of winning the first pick, Tom beat the odds and won the rolloff.  This surprised him so much (talk about pessimism with better than a 1 in 4 chance), that he had not prepared for this scenario and was pacing back and forth trying to decide – until Gus the cat attempted to steal his chair.


Retread report:





Just over three months later, on July 4th, long-time SOMBILLA member and “What Eric Said”? owner passed away quite suddenly.




Minutes of Conference Call August 1, 2019


The saddest discussion in league history took place on 8/1 on a conference call that nobody wanted to be on as we discussed a 2019-2020 season without Jeff.


A few days before the call, Tom emailed the league noting that he had contacted Jeff’s good friend and college roommate, Sam about possibly taking over Jeff’s team beginning at the 2020 draft and then the following season, 2020-2021.  Sam, who lives in Burlington, Vermont, has played a little Strat-O-Matic baseball, and a lot of Strat-O-Matic hockey.  Most of us have met Sam; he served as Jeff’s proxy at the draft one year when Jeff couldn’t attend.


Sam has just started a new job and needs a few months to think about such a commitment to the SOMBILLA. Tom has basically agreed to serve as Sam’s personal SOMBILLA and Strat-O-Matic tutor, play exhibition games and teach him the vagaries of the SOMBILLA’s usage and other rules.


Eric spoke for the league by saying it was kind of cool that Sam has this close link to Jeff.


We discussed that if Sam were to join the league beginning next season, he’d have to play most of his games remotely on the computer.  The discussion sidetracked a bit about this being the way of the future, and Arnie complained about not being able to move to Maine, prompting eye rolling from Robin.


We then turned to a discussion of the upcoming season, beginning this November.  The default decision is to freeze Jeff’s team out of respect and to have a 48 game schedule.  A few alternatives were thrown out:


·         Tom would be willing to manage Jeff’s team, with Sam managing Jeff’s team against Tom.  We didn’t really discuss this proposal.

·         Everyone takes turns managing Jeff’s team. We’d have to figure out logistics (handing or mailing the team to the next manager, rotations, usage, stats).  Robin pointed out it solves the issue of where Jeff’s team would draft next year if we froze it.  But Randy noted he would not be thrilled with having to now manage an extra 8 games or so on top of the regular 56 for his team, busy lives and all that.  Eric said that was a good point.

·         Randy asked Tom if Sam might be willing to play this year.  Tom said it was a lot to ask of a new SOMBIILLA manager playing mostly remotely – rotations, relief, lineups, intricacies of computer Strat-O, etc for someone relatively new to Strat-O.  Tom was really thinking about the draft as an official starting point for Sam.  Perhaps if Sam lived locally and would be a face-to-face player, the decision would be a different one.


Eric said that he was convinced.  Freeze Jeff’s team go with a 48 game schedule and by the beginning of our upcoming season, Sam would let us know if he was a go for the 2020 draft and the ’20-21 season.  If not, it gives us time to pursue another manager.


·         But then Jed had an inspired idea for next season that he thought would be rejected.  He proposed letting the computer manage Jeff’s games.  Advantage is that it’s little extra work for SOMBILLA managers.  The disadvantage is all of the details – usage, roster, rotation, who controls the computer.  Lots of possibilities though, such as letting the computer quick play until the 5th inning, when the manager can then pick up the game in progress.  Arnie and Tom were intrigued; Robin and Eric thought it was worth exploring.  Randy mentioned that he had first brought this idea up when we had a brief discussion about it right after the funeral (see above) and pointed out some practical problems and still needs to be sold.  Harold liked it better than putting Jeff’s team on ice for the year, noting that our comrade was at the draft, drafted players to help him this year, and it may actually honor him more than freezing his team.


Jed agreed to present a detailed proposal to the league by September 1 that we can kick around and tweak if need be.




For 2019-2020, Jed will present a detailed proposal for the computer to manage Jeff’s team by September 1.  The fallback, if we cannot agree to do this, is to freeze Jeff’s team for the season.


For 2020-2021, Sam will let us know by the beginning of our season in November if he is willing to take over Jeff’s team beginning with the 2020 draft.  If so, Tom will act as tutor to help him.  If not, the league will pursue finding a new manager to take over Jeff’s team.



After these minutes were written, but before they had been sent around to the league, Jed forwarded along some thoughtful proposals for next season.  Discussions will continue throughout the summer and fall until a consensus is reached.

SUMMER STUDY NO. 1 – Jeff’s teams through the years


Jeff Donahue joined the SOMBILLA in 1994.  His in with the league was that his wife Amy worked with Andrew & Beth Nowell. In his first year in the league, he shared a team with Dave Pinto.  Dave, who had previously been managing full-time, preferred to share a team and cut back on managerial duties.


Their team in ’94-95 was named Mirkwood, from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.  They finished in 7th place (out of 9 teams) at 25-31.


The following year, ’95-96, Jeff changes the team name to Metrowest and they finish last (18-38).


Metrowest finishes in last place again in ’96-97 (Lofton leading the league with 19 steals). At the end of the season, Dave resigns from the league to pursue a full-time job with the nascent Stats Inc.  “Jeff, the team is all yours,” he says in his resignation email.


After another sub-.500 season in ’97-98 (during which Jeff and Eric set a record for most runs combined in a 24-14 Eric win), Metrowest breaks through in ’98-99 with Jeff’s first good season, a 32-24 team, good for third place.  Led by Mo Vaughn, Larry Walker and Pat Hentgen, he loses a tough 7 game playoff to New Orleans.  In 1998, Jeff also recruited Tom for the league after Land moved to California.


Another lackluster season for Metrowest in ’99-00 leads to Jeff changing his team name to Area 51 for the ’00-01 season.  The new team name doesn’t help (17-36, 8th place).  Nor does it help for the ’01-02 season (19-37, 8th place), during which he set a league record for losing all 7 games in a 7-game series (against Harold).


But in ’02-03, Jeff squeezes into the playoffs, winning a one-game playoff for 4th place with New Orleans.  Jeff drives 75 minutes to Marblehead to play one game, and wins 4-3 in 10 innings.  Area 51 then stunned first place North Dakota 4 games to 1 to advance to the World Series for the first time to face mighty Future Wax.  Led by Cy Young winner, Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina, Jeff wins the championship!  He wrote “Area51 melts Wax 4 games to 1, cruising to the franchises first World Series victory.  Celebrations and ticker tape parades are scheduled but will not be disclosed to the general public.  Officials allege all celebratory information will be released once it is declassified.”


Jeff was voted manager of the year after winning his first SOMBILLA Championship.


The next year, ’03-04, defending champion Area 51 finished at 28-28, missing the playoffs.  In ’04-05 the resurgent squad finished 3rd at 32-24, but lost to Constantinople in 5 games in the first round of the playoffs.


The following two seasons, ’05-06 and ’06-07 saw Area 51 finish in 7th and 8th place, respectively, although M. Young set an obscure league record with 10 triples in ’05-06.


In ’07-08, Area 51 made the playoffs again, finishing in 3rd place at 28-28, 9 games behind 2nd place Future Wax.  After Jeff goes up 3 games to 1, Future Wax storms back to win the final 3 games to take the series.


After another last place finish in ’08-09, Jeff finishes 4th in ’09-10 (28-28) but is unceremoniously swept in the first round by first place Future Wax (who then get swept by Eric’s Dem Bums in the World Series).


Jeff finishes ’10-11 in 6th place, and then on opening night October 30, 2011: “After changing his team's name from Area 51 to the Raging Alcoholics (and changing his ballpark to Chicken and Beer Park) in honor of Lester and Buchholz, Jeff went out and swept Jed over the Internet.”


The Raging Alcoholics finish in 7th place 25-31.  The next year, ’12-13, Jeff becomes “What Eric Said” and finished in 6th place with the same record as the year before.  On 11/28/12, Javier Vazquez, pitched a no-hitter against Constantinople. He fell one hit batsman short of a perfect game. Carlos Gonzales made a spectacular play to rob a HR on Constantinople's 2nd batter of the game. 


In ’13-14 “What Eric Said” misses the playoffs by two games (27-29).


In ’14-15, “What Eric Said” wins a one-game playoff over ND, 3-1 to finish in 4th place (30-27) but loses to Future Wax in 6 games.  CarGo leads the league with 20 homers.


In the 2015-2016 pre-season poll, Jeff was picked for last place.  After the mid-season holiday break, Jeff adds a “?” to his team’s name.  He goes on to win manager of the year after winning his second championship, taking great pride and motivational indignation at the preseason poll.  Lester leads the league in ERA at 2.71. After tying FW for 2nd place at 32-24, he beats them in five games in the playoffs, then defeats Jed in the World Series in 6 games.


He wrote “After a 13-year drought the faithful fans (all one or two of them) of “What Eric Said?” are celebrating a second World Series win.  In post-game interviews the manager stated “It was a great win for the team, after coming up short in the first round the year prior, the team pulled it all together to make what most of the league prognosticators thought was impossible.”  The manager attributes the catalyst that sparked the unlikely run to the inclusion of the “?” in the team’s name.


At the start of the ’16-17 season, Jeff moves the “?” to outside the quotation marks in “What Eric Said”?, but then moved it back after Robin (the editor) had asked him about it when scoring their first series of the season.  Back to the bottom (16-40) in ’16-17, Jeff wins another manager of the year award in ’17-18 by finishing in 2nd place (33-23) after being picked for last in the preseason poll again. Realmuto leads the league with a .352 batting average, Tillman goes 8-3.


His all-time regular season record is 583-724 .446   and his post-season record was 26-29 .473. At the start of the ’16-17 season, Jeff moves the “?” to outside the quotation marks in “What Eric Said”?, but then moved it back after Robin (the editor) had asked him about it when scoring their first series of the season. 





SUMMER STUDY NO. 2 – Jeff the man


The stats are dry, the year by year summaries, a mostly numerical compendium of this game we play with dice.  But there’s so much more.  You spend hours next to a person twice a year for 25 years…it adds up.  Here are our collective thoughts and memories of playing Jeff, the man.


From Matt: I'll never forget a series at his house where just the two of us "sampled" his homemade zinfandel well into the evening.


I always scheduled my 2nd half series over his house.  Inevitably it’d be really wintry and cold.  I think Hopkinton gets even more snow than Holliston. The randomness of global warming days had yet to ever hit my travels to his house.  I’ll miss the repetition of going over there in midwinter.  It was something to count on.  Weird that it’s gone.


Without a doubt, the funniest moment in SOMBILLA draft history involved Jeff. It was at the 2015 draft, 7th round- Jeff announced that he was drafting erstwhile 22-year old prospect Oscar Tavares, who had died tragically in a car accident the previous October. There's a pause, then Tom says "You do realize he's dead, right?" Howls of laughter ensued and we let him make another pick.


From Harold: He had a fantastic sense of pop culture. I had a pitcher, Jarrod Washburn, who whenever he started Jeff said Here comes D.W. Washburn" - D.W. Washburn being the name of an obscure 1968 Monkees single. Of calling three straight strike outs in an inning (K-K-K) a Carver after Daniel Carver, frequent guest on the Howard Sterrn Show and Ku Klux Klan member.


From Jed: A generic memory is that typically I/we would predict Jeff to finish last and he would basically respond go f___ yourselves and proceed to beat the tar out of me when we played.


The last World Series I played in was against Jeff. I felt sure I would win. I had the better team Jeff shouldn’t have even made the playoffs. I took the first game, as I recall, and proceeded to lose the series 4 games to 2. Once again underestimating Jeff....


From Clint: My memories are more distant; however, I clearly remember his wry sense of humor and can still hear his distinct chuckle when laughing.


From Tom:  My first year in the league, Jeff and I decided to have a beer or two in the hot tub after our series.  I had a bit of a back spasm issue and was opining that we should just play our entire series in the hot tub next time.  Jeff laughed and made some joke about bubbles and wet cards.  I said “We could laminate them..”


I think we only did one more après series hot tub, but the lamination of my team(s) had its start in chlorine and beer fumes…


I could always count on one or two times in the season where we would end up outside just doing the family chat – parents in the Rochester Area, kids, wives, new job, job hunt – whatever was the latest thing - in the cold.  He would always tease me that I had to start a conversation after we left whoever’s warm comfortable table…


From Randy: Knowing someone through the SOMBILLA is odd. You see the others 3 times a year (two series, draft, occassional playoffs). You meet as opponents. But before you know it this has gone on for 20+ years (twice that for some founders). You get glimpses of a person's family life and maybe career or hobby, and their taste in beer. Never really reflected on this until now.


My memory of Jeff to share is the one time we met outside of the context of the SOMBILLA. Jeff and Amy attended a sketch comedy that Arnie and I were both in in Ashland two years ago this winter. They were dressed for a night on the town, had a bit to drink, and were having a great time. It opened my eyes as to how they were as a couple, and how entertaining they were (for others and each other). Grateful for this memory, and so sad there was not time to spend more of this sort of time together.


From Robin: I tried to look this up on the website (what? we have a website) but couldn't find the correct year and didn't want to spend too much time on this. Several years ago, Jeff couldn't be at the draft (possibly to attend one of Reese's diving competitions) and Tom created a "Draft-o-Matic," which we used to draft for Jeff. However, at some point the Draft-o-Matic failed (none of the players Jeff had designated were available or Jeff had an extra draft pick that wasn't accounted for or something) and we had to contact Jeff for his pick(s). I was chosen/volunteered to do this because perhaps Tom was still drafting/scouting and I was done?--not sure. I also can't even remember if I was talking to him on the phone or just texting back and forth. Anyway, it was a late-round pick, one that you would typically use for an unheralded rookie you had a good feeling about or a one-year-wonder to fill a need for your team, but Jeff said to draft Bartolo Colon (who was neither), and I responded something like "Are you sure you want to draft Bartolo Colon?," thinking that he was maybe confusing him for someone else, but Jeff did indeed want to draft the aged Colon.I don't recall what the league's response to his choice was.


      From Arnie: Not that I doubt your memory but I searched the file that has all draft analyses <=2013 for "Colon" and could not see anywhere where Jeff drafted him. I remembered that same draft where we drafted E. Santana for him with conflicting information and he was OK with it. Yet I could not find any draft where he drafted E. Santana <queue twilight zone theme>


Speaking of the twilight zone, this reminds me of the time many many years ago, when Jeff was at our house and one of his dice rolled off the table under the baseboard.  We searched for quite a while and could not find it.  For years afterward, he would comment about his missing die that had apparently travelled into another dimension.  We had the floors redone but no dice were found.  One summer day a couple of years ago, out of the blue, his die appeared.  We have no idea how it got there or what it had been doing all this time, but I presented it to him.  He was incredulous.


From Eric: My curious friendship with Jeff


I wish I could tell my classic Jeff story, except I don’t have one. At least none that’s come to mind since Arnie asked us to submit our tributes. I’ve rummaged around the junk in my head for two weeks now looking for something that jumps out and all I’ve found are scattered impressions. They’re not vague; they’re just here and there and, in the depths of our sadness, suddenly too few….




The Baker


Jeff came down to Plymouth for a series last year right before Hanukkah and he (the Catholic) and Sue (the Jew) spent in the neighborhood of ten minutes talking about the challenges and rewards of baking the perfect latkes. “It’s a cultural identity thing,” Sue said. “I’m reconnecting to my roots. But I follow the recipes, and they come out like shit.” Jeff spoke eloquently about cooking oils, oven temps, spuds, spices, and scoffed at frozen latkes, Sue’s suggestion as a last resort.


“Crap,” he said.


“You really know latkes, Jeff.”


 “I have lots of Jewish friends,” he said.


“Of which I’m one,” I said, shaking the dice in my hand.




The Perfect Host


Speaking of holidays, I believe I played at Jeff’s every December since he and Amy moved to Hopkinton. Christmas at the Donahue McMansion. It was like stepping into a snow globe. One night he answered the door and someone was playing holiday lounge music on a piano in a room somewhere off the foyer. Really good holiday lounge music.


“Izzat one of the kids?”


“Nope.” He led me into a parlor. (A parlor?!) In the shadows was a baby grand piano, with no one at the piano seat, save maybe a Dickensian ghost. “It’s a player piano.”


“Holy shit, Jeff! That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!”


“It can play hundreds of tunes. We listen to it all the time.”


“Man, am I jealous.” And I was. I had just bought about a half-dozen jazz CDs to play on my new Bose wave radio, and was pretty much mainlining them round the clock. “So let me get this straight. You can play anyone on this? Like Bill Evans or Art Tatum?”


“I don’t see why not.”


“This is heaven. I feel like I’m at a bar.”


“Want a drink. Before I kick your ass?”




No lie: until last year, I needed to use my GPS every time I traveled to Jeff’s in Hopkinton. What is that, like a dozen years or so? It’s not that there were a lot of turns once you got off the highway; there are more turns driving to Arnie and Robin’s, and there’s nothing to compare with the North Shore Slog up to frickin’ Marblehead…


I think it was the lone, narrow, winding road, cut through the dark woods, and the too-wide SUVs barreling at me, and then the sub-development maze of giant brick homes and roads that snaked up a near-treeless hillside to Everett Circle, that just made it impossible for directions to stick.


“You still don’t know how to get here by memory?” Jeff would razz me.


“I can’t figure it out. How do you find your way home. I’m just grateful to get here. I need a beer.”




Let’s get serious…which is something I was kinda hoping to avoid. This tribute to Jeff has been difficult for me to write. Arnie’s deadline has been weighing on me, and I feel badly that I’ve held him up.




Sue and I have some friends visiting from North Carolina. They’re staying on the Cape, and Wednesday night we met up with them at another friend’s house. All these people are musicians, and the house we visited has a music studio in the basement, and the evening was spent listening to a couple of them jam. We’ve done this a number of times, and it’s cool to have such talented friends. But truth be told, there have been some nights where I’ve found this tedious, in part because they often play original songs that just don’t do it for me, crummy as I feel saying that. Plus, it’s loud and hard to talk.


After an interminable amount of time fussing with the speakers and woofers, control panels and syncing pre-recorded tracks, they played a rather long, loud set. About a minute or so into the third or fourth song I began to get that familiar itch that now would be a good time to wrap things up. But my friends apparently don’t get to play in front of an audience that often—even an audience of five—and the songs just kept coming. And I kept getting antsier.


And then something curious happened. For lack of a better description, the room got deeper, the sound got richer, the moment slowed, and the antsy-ness faded into a kind of bliss, a feeling of wellbeing and gratitude. And in this moment of wellbeing and gratitude I thought of Jeff. And the thought was obvious, something we always say to each other after a terrific loss: value the moment, treasure what’s in front of you, because you never know when it’ll be gone…


I love my friends. All my friends. But we don’t usually say stuff like this because we’re buttoned up in an I-don’t-feel-comfortable-saying-this sort of way. But there you have it. On the way home I brought this up and it seems Sue had the same feelings—a deep connection to the moment and the people in it, and a profound appreciation for it. I called it the Jeff Effect. And now I always will.


Lastly, below is a link to a video, to commemorate Jeff’s love of latkes…




SUMMER STUDY NO. 3 – Drafting all-stars

As suggested by Eric.  Who is better at drafting players who immediately make the all-star team?


This year, Robin led the way with 3 drafted players making the all-star game (W. Smith, McNeil, Polanco):  Eric, Arnie, Harold & Jed had 2 each while Jeff and Tom each drafted one all star.  RAT did not draft any all-stars this year!. Looking back over the past 5 years:


                                Total All-stars                       All-stars who were just drafted


Arnie                                      51                                           8

Robin                                     35                                           8

Harold                                   35                                           7

Eric                                         37                                           6

Tom                                       37                                           6

RAT                                       47                                           3

Jed                                          40                                           3

Jeff                                         27                                           2


Looks like North Dakota and Bay City have drafted the most players who made the all-star team 3 months after being drafted - with 8 selections each.  And North Dakota has the most all-stars over the last five years, averaging more than 10 a season.  Good study, thanks Eric!


At the other end of the spectrum, looks like Jeff has both the fewest total all-stars and fewest newly drafted all-stars.  Way to denigrate Jeff, Eric.  Nice going, jerk.




SUMMER STUDY NO. 4 –What if Jeff’s team had Babe Ruth?


Take a look at the standings on page 1.  Last season, Jeff finished dead last 14 games out of first, 9 games out of the playoffs and 4 games out of 7th place.  Not a good team in the SOMBILLA. What if he had Babe Ruth on his team last year?  Using computer Strat-O and the Hall of Fame cards, I added the Babe to Jeff’s team (replacing Chisenhall, who batted .194 in 67 at bats).  So what happened in a computer replay of last year?


                            WON LOST  PCT   GB 

2018 Oceanus OCE             97  71  .577 ----  

2018 New Orleans NOR         92  76  .548  5.0       

2018 North Dakota NDA        89  79  .530  8.0       

2018 Constantinople CON      85  83  .506 12.0       

2018 Future Wax FUT          82  86  .488 15.0       

2018 What Eric Said? WES     77  91  .458 20.0       

2018 Nidavellir NID          75  93  .446 22.0       

2018 Bay City BAY            75  93  .446 22.0  


The Babe helped a little, enabling WES? to escape last place.  He hit .an astounding 392 with 76 homers and 168 rbis to win the triple crown.  But Jeff is still 14 games under .500 and 20 games out.


OK, let’s help out Jeff’s pitching and give him Walter Johnson.  Johnson replaces Lester, who finished with an 11.45 ERA in the SOMBILLA.  Jeff’s team with the Babe and the great Walter Johnson:


                            WON LOST  PCT   GB

2018 Oceanus OCE            103  65  .613 ---- 

2018 New Orleans NOR        100  68  .595  3.0       

2018 Future Wax FUT          92  76  .548 11.0       

2018 North Dakota NDA        85  83  .506 18.0       

2018 Nidavellir NID          75  93  .446 28.0       

2018 What Eric Said? WES     74  94  .440 29.0       

2018 Constantinople CON      73  95  .435 30.0       

2018 Bay City BAY            70  98  .417 33.0   


Jeff’s team is worse??!!  The Big Train did his part, going 19-10 with a 3.14 ERA, but WES? had two 20-game losers (Samardjia and Leake). SAD!  Alright, let’s stop fooling around.  We’ll add both Christy Mathewson and Ted Williams to his team, replacing Brad Peacock and Trey Mancini, respectively.  I mean, how can a team with Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson not win the SOMBILLA?  (At first I considered Carl Hubbell but Jed reminded me Hubbell was a lefty.)


                           WON LOST  PCT   GB 

2018 New Orleans NOR        100  68  .595 ---- 

2018 Oceanus OCE             87  81  .518 13.0       

2018 Future Wax FUT          87  81  .518 13.0       

2018 Nidavellir NID          83  85  .494 17.0       

2018 What Eric Said? WES     82  86  .488 18.0       

2018 North Dakota NDA        80  88  .476 20.0       

2018 Bay City BAY            77  91  .458 23.0       

2018 Constantinople CON      76  92  .452 24.0   


I’m kind of shocked.  This is embarrassing.  Ruth hit 59 homers and the Splendid Splinter and the Babe both hit .347, and Ted had a .454 OBP.  Walter Johnson went 19-13, Mathewson was 17-11; Jeff’s team led the league in batting, but his pitching still needs help.  The SOMBILLA is a tough league. .


So I gave him Bob Gibson and Rollie Fingers (replacing Leake and Rodney). 


                           WON LOST  PCT   GB  
2018 What Eric Said? WES     94  74  .560 ----  
2018 New Orleans NOR         92  76  .548  2.0        
2018 Oceanus OCE             91  77  .542  3.0        
2018 Future Wax FUT          87  81  .518  7.0        
2018 Bay City BAY            84  84  .500 10.0        
2018 North Dakota NDA        84  84  .500 10.0        
2018 Nidavellir NID          71  97  .423 23.0        
2018 Constantinople CON      69  99  .411 25.0        


That did it!  Ted hit .382, Ruth won the MVP (.328, 62, 131), Johnson (21-11, 3.55) and Mathewson (20-7, 3.37) finished 1-2 in the Cy Young.  Gibson and Fingers oddly each had 5.06 ERAs. 



SUMMER STUDY NO. 5 – 2015 Draft Analysis


It is time for the 4-year draft retrospective analysis of the 2015 (Cards 2014) draft. 

We have 4 SOMBILLA seasons, but note that we have partial or no data for the following seasons:


As a result, some of these teams’ players may lose out in the counting statistics (Wins, Saves, HRs, RBIs, and SBs) and be more maligned than they deserve.

Round 1:

1. Jed -- Abreu, Jose

.290 / .336 / .531 / .867 (262 PA), 19 HR, 46 RBI, 2 SB

Still Owned

2. Eric -- Pederson, Joc

 Nothing showing for …

Still Owned

3. Arnie -- Betts, Mookie

.251 / .315 / .356 / .671 (489 PA), 10 HR, 34 RBI, 10 SB

Still Owned

4. Robin -- Soler, Jorge

.188 / .235 / .176 / .411 (17 PA), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB

Cut in 2018 waivers, redrafted by Arnie 2019

5. Jed -- Brantley, Michael

.287 / .338 / .367 / .705 (450 PA), 6 HR, 36 RBI, 9 SB

Still Owned

6. Eric -- Richards, Garrett

9-5, 0 SV, 4.57 ERA, 99 K (122 IPS)

Still Owned

7. Harold -- Polanco, Gregory

.233 / .258 / .226 / .484 (31 PA), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB

Still Owned

8. RAT -- Springer, George

.242 / .316 / .380 / .696 (618 PA), 25 HR, 60 RBI, 10 SB

Still Owned


Best Pick:  Jose Abreu supplied better SOMBILLA statistics over a shorter span of time, but the best players are still George Springer and Mookie Betts.  Mookie gets the nod as a superb defensive player and a perennial MVP candidate who is often in the same sentence as Mike Trout.  I expect his SOMBILLA performances to only get better and better as the years go on.  Springer has been having a solid year and is just a touch worse than Mookie when looking at all the metrics, and may suffer from my slight Rotisserie biases.  I would say it was a coin toss but after Yelich got snubbed as being the best first round pick last year, I had to give Arnie the nod this year.

Worst Picks:  Jorge Soler* was a SOMBILLA disappointment who never really hit and Robin cut him in disgust before this analysis.  As of today, Soler has 36 homers, 91 RBI and a 876 OPS and projects for 43 homers and 111 RBI.  He turned 27 and found a low key major league city (KC) to bloom into a usable player.

Other:..Pederson might have some good stats, the SOMBILLA just has not seen any.  He has 26 homers this year and 26 (2015), 25 (2016), 11 (2017) and 25 (2018) respectively in the previous years showing consistency when healthy.

* Robin adds: Note that Soler is taunting Bay City this year the way #5 pick & former Bay Cityite continues to taunt me for cutting him.

Last Year Update:  Last year we had Yelich taking second place in the first round behind Josh Donaldson, but  is now a rising MVP who should have been the best of that round.  Profar, who was the worst pick in last year’s first round, actually has a job at last and a question of what value he will have in five more years. 


Round 2:

9. Eric -- Hendricks, Kyle

5-5, 0 SV, 4.44 ERA, 61 K (81 IPS)

Still Owned

1. Jed -- Mesoraco, Devin

.236 / .310 / .371 / .681 (197 PA), 7 HR, 24 RBI, 0 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

11. Robin -- Harrison, Josh

.250 / .287 / .328 / .615 (582 PA), 7 HR, 51 RBI, 3 SB

Cut in 2019 waivers

12. Arnie -- deGrom, Jacob

18-17, 0 SV, 4.86 ERA, 269 K (272 IPS)

Still Owned

13. Jeff -- Martinez, J.D.

.300 / .367 / .531 / .898 (706 PA), 45 HR, 126 RBI, 1 SB

Traded Still Owned

14. Tom -- Carrasco, Carlos

23-12, 1 SV, 4.37 ERA, 256 K (232.67 IPS)

Still Owned

15. Harold -- Santana, Danny

.318 / .342 / .461 / .803 (219 PA), 6 HR, 35 RBI, 6 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

16. RAT -- Stroman, Marcus

9-9, 1 SV, 4.73 ERA, 109 K (144.67 IPS)

Still Owned


Best Pick:  JD Martinez was just a monster over this time period and was the World Series MVP for Jeff’s last Championship team.  He was traded for NO 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft (became Buchter) plus a player to be named later (Realmuto after the season).and continues to be a mainstay for Harold now and into the future.

Worst Pick:  The perennial search for the next starting catcher led to Devin Mesoraco being picked early in the second by Jed.  However, injury and a failure to break through in MLB led him to being cut.  Danny Santana made a run at being just as bad but had a single good season to keep him from the worst pick of the round.

Other  Two good starters were a close 2nd in this round – Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco have distinguished themselves in the SOMBILLA.  deGrom is the better MLB pitcher and has one of the best cards in the set that will be used this year.  Carrasco has been oft injured but has put together some useful cards that have so far produced better SOMBILLA statistics; that should change as deGrom looks to be the one getting better as the two age.

Round 3:

17. Jed -- Tanaka, Masahiro

9-12, 0 SV, 5.15 ERA, 157 K (174.67 IPS)

Still Owned

18. Eric -- Castillo, Rusney


Cut After One Year

19. Arnie -- Miller, Andrew

7-5, 8 SV, 2.75 ERA, 162 K (108 IPS)

Still Owned

2. Robin -- Davis, Wade

5-5, 15 SV, 1.81 ERA, 120 K (89.67 IPS)

Still Owned

21. Jeff -- Giles, Ken

4-1, 19 SV,  0.96 ERA, 74 K (56.33 IPS)

Still Owned

22. Tom -- Arrieta, Jake

19-12, 0 SV, 3.63 ERA, 278 K (278 IPS)

Still Owned

23. Tom -- Betances, Dellin

3-5, 7 SV, 2.13 ERA, 140 K (101.33 IPS)

Still Owned

24. RAT -- Sanchez, Aaron

6-2, 2 SV, 3.07 ERA, 65 K (73.33 IPS)

Still Owned


Best Pick:  A lot of good pitching went in this round and is still owned by their hopeful teams.  Jake Arrieta won a World Series MVP and he pitched a large number of innings in the last 4 seasons.  He has started to decline and might never be dominant again but that can be said about the rest of the round as well.  All but one of the other players have done well but Arrieta did enough to take the honor.

Worst Pick:  Eric optimistically grabbed a Boston Red Sox prospect early, but he did not pan out and Eric cut him immediately.

Other:  Arnie and I made a deal that got me an extra pick I used to draft Betances who I was surprised was still available and might prove to have more good seasons than Arrieta if he recovers from this year’s arm trouble.  Arnie got perennial one year lefty killer Steve Pearce to fill a need in the next round and something else….

Round 4:

25. Eric -- Dickerson, Corey

.322 / .363 / .665 / 1.028 (212 PA), 19 HR, 54 RBI, 0 SB

Still Owned

26. Robin -- Britton, Zack

6-3, 6 SV, 3.48 ERA, 87 K (75 IPS)

Still Owned

27. Jed -- Neshek, Pat

1-1, 11 SV, 2.10 ERA, 31 K (25.67 IPS)

Cut After 1 year

28. Arnie -- Kiermaier, Kevin

.283 / .340 / .476 / .816 (368 PA), 15 HR, 53 RBI, 5 SB

Still Owned

29. Jeff -- Casilla, Santiago

3-2, 1 SV, 2.25 ERA, 38 K (44 IPS)

Cut in 2018 waivers

3. Arnie -- Pearce, Steve

.237 / .301 / .343 / .644 (143 PA), 3 HR, 10 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After 1 Year

31. Harold -- Pompey, Dalton


Cut in 2017 waivers

32. RAT -- Baez, Javier

.000 / .000 / .000 / 0 (3 PA), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 SB

Still Owned


Best Pick:  This was a battle between the close Zack Britton and the slugging Corey Dickerson. In this case the lack of complete statistics left Corey with an amazing slash line that carried him over the 6 save sub 3.5 performance of Robin’s lefty.

Worst Pick:  Pompey had to be the worst pick, as he did not even have one year of contributions before Harold gave up on him after two lackluster seasons.

Other:  Javier Baez had a break-out year last year and could end up being the best player of the round.  The SOMBILLA and Wax will have to see how the slugging middle infielder works out.  I would not vote against him, but he is a big risk/big reward type player.

Round 5:

33. Jeff -- Sipp, Tony

1-1, 1 SV, 2.45 ERA, 27 K (29.33 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

34. Eric -- Duffy, Danny

3-1, 0 SV, 4.36 ERA, 26 K (33 IPS)

Cut After One Year

35. Robin -- Loup, Aaron

0-0, 1 SV, 2.873 ERA, 12 K (15.67 IPS)

Cut After One Year

36. Arnie -- Turner, Justin

.254 / .330 / .357 / .687 (552 PA), 15 HR, 49 RBI, 4 SB

Still Owned Traded

37. Jeff -- Taylor, Michael


Cut in 2017 waivers

38. Tom -- McHugh, Collin

3-5, 0 SV, 5.34 ERA, 67 K (64 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

39. Eric -- Semien, Marcus


Cut in 2018 waivers

4. RAT -- Fiers, Mike

2-4, 4 SV, 3.30 ERA, 31 K (30 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers


Best Pick:  Justin Turner (and his beard) is much feared in MLB especially if you pitch left handed.  He is a high value real life player who has produced some great cards that have not gotten as many good rolls in the SOMBILLA.  He has been a 1 at 3B and is back from injury and poised to be valuable going forward.

Worst Pick:  Michael Taylor has been passed over twice as a prospect in real MLB and Jeff held him but then discarded him and ended up with the only player still owned in the round (Turner) after making a trade with Arnie.

Round 6:

41. Eric -- Cron, C.J.


Cut in 2016 waivers

42. Jed -- Duda, Lucas

.247 / .323 / .476 / .799 (189 PA), 14 HR, 38 RBI, 1 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

43. Jed -- Van Slyke, Scott

.257 / .366 / .585 / .951 (41 PA), 4 HR, 10 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After One Year

44. Robin -- Strop, Pedro

5-2, 9 SV, 2.10 ERA, 91 K (90 IPS)

Still Owned

45. Harold -- Odor, Rougned


Still Owned

46. Tom -- Rondon, Hector

0-2, 4 SV, 4.57 ERA, 45 K (45.33 IPS)

Cut in 2018 waivers

47. Harold -- Ramirez, Neil

0-0, 0 SV, 6.978 ERA, 9 K (1.33 IPS)

Cut After One Year

48. RAT -- Duke, Zach

1-0, 2 SV, 1.80 ERA, 12 K (15 IPS)

Cut After One Year


Best Pick:  Prospecting and reliever round with Strop taking the honors via longevity and solid overall statistics.

Worst Pick:  CJ Cron is a big tall hitter that ended up being a bust for the ever changing secretive dwarves.

Round 7:

49. Jed -- Abad, Fernando

2-0, 0 SV, 5.59 ERA, 4 K (19.33 IPS)

Cut After One Year

5. Eric -- Jepsen, Kevin

1-3, 2 SV, 3.86 ERA, 37 K (39.67 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

51. Robin -- Ramos, AJ

2-8, 4 SV, 5.01 ERA, 82 K (73.67 IPS)

Cut in 2019 waivers

52. Arnie -- Hutchison, Drew

Cut After One Year

53. Jeff -- Cain, Lorenzo

.249 / .275 / .328 / .603 (652 PA), 7 HR, 49 RBI, 11 SB

Traded Still Owned

54. Tom -- Valbuena, Luis

.209 / .284 / .338 / .622 (74 PA), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB

Cut in 2018 waivers

55. Harold -- Franco, Maikel

.344 / .382 / .735 / 1.117 (34 PA), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB

Still Owned

56. RAT -- Shoemaker, Matt

0-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 5 K (4 IPS)

Cut After One Year


Best Pick:  Lorenzo Cain was drafted by Jeff, who traded him to CN, and later regained his services.  Cain has been a solid speedy defensive CF with a 1 glove and always seemed to hit left handed pitching better than average.

Worst Pick:  Hutchison and Shoemaker were the two worst of this round.  Hutchison was a prospect grab by Arnie that never became a star and Shoemaker was a journeyman who was oft injured but always made the sleeper lists for Rotisserie leagues.

Round 8:

57. Arnie -- Gillaspie, Conor

.196 / .229 / .313 / .542 (48 PA), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After One Year

58. Robin -- Ruf, Darin

.244 / .393 / .286 / .679 (56 PA), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB

Traded to FW for Hamels and cut in 2017 waivers

59. Jed -- Warren, Adam

5-8, 0 SV, 4.48 ERA, 78 K (84.33 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

6. Arnie -- Boxberger, Brad

0-0, 0 SV, 9.00 ERA, 14 K (6 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

61. Jeff -- Singleton, Jonathan


Cut After One Year

62. Tom -- Smith, Seth

.167 / .194 / .290 / .484 (31 PA), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After One Year

63. Harold -- Bauer, Trevor

2-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 8 K (15 IPS)

Still Owned

64. RAT -- LaRoche, Adam

.220 / .327 / .374 / .701 (211 PA), 10 HR, 24 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After One Year


Best Pick:  The eccentric Bauer looks to have put together a year that all the prognosticators hoped for, and he is the only one of the round who has any hope for a SOMBILLA future.  There is a great article about Bauer that became a chapter from a book from the Effectively Wild podcasters (“The MVP Machine”).

Worst Pick:  Jonathan Singleton got a big contract from Houston and Jeff gave him a shot, but he was gone after one year.

Round 9:

65. Jed -- Panik, Joe

.287 / .360 / .423 / .783 (175 PA), 7 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB

Cut in 2019 waivers

66. Eric -- Hahn, Jesse

0-2, 1 SV, 4.86 ERA, 39 K (50 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

67. Arnie -- Escobar, Eduardo

.246 / .258 / .318 / .576 (66 PA), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

68. Robin -- Alcantara, Arismendy


Cut After One Year

69. Jeff -- Bethancourt, Christian


Cut After One Year

7. Tom -- Otero, Dan

0-3, 2 SV, 2.67 ERA, 5 K (3.33 IPS)

Cut After One Year

71. Harold -- Gonzales, Marco

1-0, 1 SV, 2.89 ERA, 7 K (9.33 IPS)

Cut in 2016 waivers

72. RAT -- Peralta, Jhonny

.196 / .231 / .342 / .573 (117 PA), 5 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB

Cut After One Year


Best Pick:  Choose either Panik, who stayed around the longest but was a weak hitting part timer, or Otero who was a one year wonder who pitched well and was eventually re-drafted (to be written about in another draft analysis for the same team).

Worst Pick:  Alcantara or Bethancourt never played and were cut immediately, another pick-em in this round of pick-ems…

Round 10-13:

73. Eric -- Wood, Alex

3-0, 0 SV, 4.22 ERA, 28 K (32 IPS)

Still Owned

74. Jed -- Peralta, David

.299 / .396 / .455 / .851 (101 PA), 5 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB

Still Owned

75. Robin -- Ahmed, Nick


Cut in 2017 waivers

76. Arnie -- Taylor, Chris


Cut After One Year

77. Jeff -- Holland, Derek

2-0, 0 SV, 4.22 ERA, 7 K (1.67 IPS)

Cut After One Year

78. Jeff -- Peralta, Wily

Cut After One Year

79. Harold -- Morin, Michael

0-2, 1 SV, 2.65 ERA, 13 K (17 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

80. RAT -- Blackmon, Charlie

.349 / .410 / .497 / .907 (288 PA), 8 HR, 47 RBI, 12 SB

Still Owned

81. Jed -- Quintana, Jose

2-9, 0 SV, 6.03 ERA, 113 K (128.33 IPS)

Cut in 2019 waivers

82. Eric -- Cosart, Jarred

Cut After One Year

83. Arnie -- Kazmir, Scott

6-5, 0 SV, 4.32 ERA, 78 K (102 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

84. Robin -- Susac, Andrew

.225 / .262 / .429 / .691 (42 PA), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After One Year

85. Jeff -- Marisnick, Jake

.429 / .429 / .429 / .858 (7 PA), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

86. Tom -- Paxton, James

3-4, 0 SV, 5.11 ERA, 73 K (88 IPS)

Still Owned

87. Harold -- Heaney, Andrew

Cut in 2017 waivers

88. RAT -- Strickland, Hunter

2-2, 5 SV, 4.74 ERA, 32 K (38 IPS)

Cut in 2019 waivers

89. Robin -- Herrera, Dilson

.556 / .556 / 1.333 / 1.889 (9 PA), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

9. Jeff -- Vazquez, Christian

.274 / .337 / .348 / .685 (92 PA), 1 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB

Still Owned

91. Tom -- Hammel, Jason

3-1, 0 SV, 1.58 ERA, 27 K (45.67 IPS)

Cut in 2016 waivers

92. Harold -- Quackenbush, Kevin

2-1, 0 SV, 4.15 ERA, 19 K (17.33 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers

93. RAT -- McKenry, Mike

.268 / .373 / .482 / .855 (83 PA), 6 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB

Cut in 2017 waivers

94. Tom -- Rollins, Jimmy

.174 / .230 / .272 / .502 (191 PA), 4 HR, 15 RBI, 4 SB

Cut After One Year

95. Harold -- Rivera, Rene

.368 / .429 / .500 / .929 (42 PA), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB

Cut After One Year

96. Tom -- Soria, Joakim

0-0, 1 SV, 2.55 ERA, 20 K (17.67 IPS)

Cut in 2017 waivers


Best Pick:  Charlie Blackmon turned into a valuable source of power and steals for Wax and is starting to age out of MLB, so his time is coming to a close.  James Paxton was a lefty starter with potential drafted by CN and had some good partial seasons in MLB.  He has had Cy Young type months, and the question is can he be healthy and pitch up to his potential.

Waiver Wire:  Wily Peralta was cut in the same year he was drafted.  The only worse decision than picking him was claiming him.  (Jeff and me)

Other:  Chris Taylor never played for Arnie but the versatile player put together a career year to be re-drafted and analyzed in a future edition.

2014 Card Set Results:




.239 / .301 / .365 / .666 (564 PA), 13 HR, 43 RBI, 3 SB


.308 / .349 / .639 / .988 (166 PA), 16 HR, 37 RBI, 0 SB


.315 / .346 / .442 / .788 (292 PA), 7 HR, 43 RBI, 9 SB


.230 / .269 / .290 / .559 (238 PA), 2 HR, 18 RBI, 5 SB


.272 / .335 / .458 / .793 (883 PA), 47 HR, 132 RBI, 10 SB


.244 / .269 / .326 / .595 (279 PA), 4 HR, 34 RBI, 1 SB


.178 / .235 / .291 / .526 (289 PA), 7 HR, 28 RBI, 4 SB


.228 / .307 / .401 / .708 (397 PA), 21 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB





6-5, 0 SV, 3.89 ERA, 94 K (92.67 IPS)


11-9, 2 SV, 4.29 ERA, 166 K (191 IPS)


3-3, 2 SV, 4.00 ERA, 48 K (54 IPS)


7-2, 10 SV, 2.29 ERA, 60 K (63 IPS)


8-6, 11 SV, 3.60 ERA, 131 K (135 IPS)


4-6, 13 SV, 2.50 ERA, 124 K (115 IPS)


18-20, 9 SV, 3.39 ERA, 309 K (361.33 IPS)


5-7, 9 SV, 2.36 ERA, 100 K (114.33 IPS)


Total Reported SOMBILLA Statistics:




.256 / .319 / .379 / .698 (1666 PA), 44 HR, 149 RBI, 19 SB


.322 / .363 / .665 / 1.028 (212 PA), 19 HR, 54 RBI, 0 SB


.318 / .350 / .472 / .822 (326 PA), 11 HR, 52 RBI, 10 SB


.276 / .324 / .428 / .752 (1457 PA), 53 HR, 186 RBI, 14 SB


.275 / .339 / .432 / .771 (1415 PA), 62 HR, 185 RBI, 14 SB


.250 / .296 / .340 / .636 (706 PA), 12 HR, 70 RBI, 3 SB


.182 / .240 / .291 / .531 (296 PA), 7 HR, 28 RBI, 4 SB


.259 / .333 / .407 / .74 (1320 PA), 54 HR, 157 RBI, 25 SB





31-27, 8 SV, 4.33 ERA, 523 K (488 IPS)


21-16, 3 SV, 4.45 ERA, 290 K (357.67 IPS)


5-3, 2 SV, 3.13 ERA, 56 K (69 IPS)


10-4, 21 SV, 1.92 ERA, 146 K (14.33 IPS)


19-30, 11 SV, 5.12 ERA, 383 K (432.33 IPS)


18-18, 35 SV, 2.98 ERA, 392 K (344 IPS)


54-44, 15 SV, 3.81 ERA, 911 K (903 IPS)


31-27, 8 SV, 4.33 ERA, 523 K (488 IPS)


Draft Summary:












JD Martinez







Castillo, R



































Wily Peralta








Best Draft:  I am going to give it to Arnie and Jeff.  3 of the best players in rounds 1-7 played on Jeff’s team at one point, and, well, in this year I have to let him share the honor.  Arnie had the best player in the draft and accumulated a good blend of hitting and pitching statistics from this draft over the years.  He only had one Worst pick and that a flyer on a SP who just failed to make his quality staff.

Worst Draft:  This draft had a lot of individual bad rounds for teams.  Robin had the worst pick in Soler in the first round.  Eric and Harold got the least statistically out of the draft, but both have some short areas in the reporting.  Eric pulls out the worst draft by the lack of stats and 2 worst rounds in the top 6 rounds.




Here is our first unscientific look ahead to the 2019 cards (due out in January).






Jeff (11)* – Acuna, J. Bell, Bregman, A. Chapman, Dahl, deJong, Freeman, Giolito, Morton, Realmuto, Tanaka


RAT (10) – Baez, Blackmon, M. Chapman, Greinke, Kershaw, C. Santana, Scherzer, Springer, F. Vazquez


Eric (10) – Arenado, Bellinger, Berrios, Bogaerts, S. Greene, Hader, LeMahieu, K. Marte, Muncy, Verlander


Arnie (9) – Betts, Bieber, Contreras, deGrom, Gallo, L. Hendricks, Lindor, B. Lowe, Yelich


Harold (8) – Bryant, Grandal, S. Gray, Hand, JD Martinez, Meadows, G. Sanchez, Torres


Jed (7)  – Abreau, Brantley, Buehler, Merrifield, Moustakas, Rendon, Story


Robin (5) – Cole, McNeil, Odorizzi, J. Polanco, W. Smith


Tom (3) – L. Castillo, Trout, Yates



*  :-(





SOMBILLA Opening Day: Sunday, November 3!