League Updates

Hooray for the Rosebuds!

The Tornados blew some drama into the race in the final week, for which we all thank them, but in the end the season-long favorites won by a clear if not quite comfortable margin.


So congratulations to the Portland Rosebuds in their first turn as repeat champions of the EFL!   They led from very early on until the finish, always the team to beat, never actually beaten.


Other teams definitely deserve congratulations, too — including for winning the closest race this year and maybe in EFL history — and will receive them in the rest of this post. But this day belongs to the Rosebuds.


EFL Standings for 2019
Portland Rosebuds 105 57 .651 1018.7 745.6
Flint Hill Tornadoes 104 58 .642 1.5 1002.6 746.1
Old Detroit Wolverines 95 67 .586 10.5 947.6 792.8
Peshastin Pears 90 72 .556 15.3 849.6 763.4
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 86 76 .533 19 841.0 771.4
Haviland Dragons 83 79 .515 22 908.7 875.8
Canberra Kangaroos 82 80 .503 23.9 904.7 902.8
Kaline Drive 80 82 .495 25.3 782.8 793.4
Cottage Cheese 77 85 .474 28.6 901.3 949.9
Bellingham Cascades 67 95 .413 38.5 725.7 874.5
D.C. Balk 65 97 .404 40 703.8 860.7
Brookland Outs 65 97 .404 40 760.2 921.8
CONSUMER SAFETY WARNING: All the math in the following commentary was done in the author’s head, and thus almost certainly contains errors.***  These stats are for entertainment purposes only. They should not be used to make investment decisions.  
Portland: “L” , 9 – 6. (.311, .404, .556 – Happy Edgar Martinez Day!; 1.7 ip, 2 er, 10.80 ERA)
      It was a nice gesture to avoid recording another win. This allows the Tornados to sort of pretend they ended up only 1 game out, when it was actually at least 1.46.
      Mookie Betts played what might be his last game for the Rosebuds, with his rookie status expiring.  He went 2 for 4 with a walk.  Yordan Alvarez and, somehow, Aristides Aquino also ended their briefer Rosebud tenures.  Alvarez went 0 for 4, probably overwhelmed with emotion.  But Aquino coolly walked twice and homered in three trips.  JD Davis homered and singled in his final two Rosebud at-bats, while Carlos Santana only managed a walk in three plate appearances, and Myles Straw bowed out of Portland with a double in four trips.  Nick Wittgren’s final Rosebud appearance was a scoreless inning despite allowing 2 hits.
      Brett Anderson, Matt Andriese, Brock Burke, Brad Hand, Merrill Kelly, John Means, Charlie Morton, Jacob Waguespack, Alex Avila, JT Realmuto, Eric Sogard and Fernando Tatis will also be available either as free agents or rookies next spring. That will leave the Rosebuds with 11 players on the roster, costing a total of $50,500,000. They will have the 28th or 29th draft pick, since they let the Astros and the Dodger end with better records.
Flint Hill: W, 7 – 6.  (33 PA, .310, .394, .586; 2 ip, 1 er, 4.50 ERA)
      Flint Hill finished their best season ever, winning over 100 games, coming at least as close as 0.1 games behind in the last week, and pushing over the 1000 runs scored mark on the last day of the season.  For that they can thank homers by Yasmani Grandal and Teoscar Hernandez.
      Matt Barnes, Trevor Cahill, Aaron Civale, Taylor Clarke, Emmanuel Clase, Robert Dugger, Jacob Faria, Jace Fry, Zac Gallen, Zack Godley, Tony Gonsolin, JD Hammer, Joe Jimenez, Wade LeBlanc, and James Paxton will be available to the rest of us in either the rookie or the free agent draft.  And that’s just the pitchers!  Joining them will be Jose Abreu, Luis Arraez, Javier Baez, Travis d’Arnaud, Keston Hiura, JD Martinez, and Cameron Maybin —  22 in all. That will leave 11 big league players (only 3 of them pitchers) on the Tornado roster, costing $40,500,000.
              Plus one all-time great, costing another $25,000,000.
Old Detroit: W, 7 – 5. (54 PA, .255, .352, .489; no pitching)
      Will Smith had his best day as a  Wolverine, also his last: 2 for 3 with a homer. Rafael Devers had a good day, but not his best, and also not his last, either: 3 for 5 with a double. Kind of like Trea Turner: 2 for 3 ith a stolen base.  Devers at 3rd, Turner at ss… Urias at 2b? He did a nice .300, .371, .425 in September.  Maybe Josh Bell will be the good Josh Bell now that the Pirates are dealing with their dysfunctions.  With Will Contreras back, that completes a pretty nice infield.
       The outfield will feature Eloy Jimenez (1.093 OPS in September), Kyle Schwarber (1.100), and… I don’t know! Maybe not, alas, Jorge Soler (48 HR, 1.136 in September) nor Bryan Reynolds (.880 on the season). Almost certainly not Lewis Brinson — he’s on sale remarkably cheap for a guy I traded Christian Yelich to get.  Walker Buehler and Robbie Ray will anchor the rotation, with Eric Lauer and maybe Jonathan Loaisiga also candidates, and Raisel Iglesias and Josh James in the bullpen. That’s 6 pitchers, so I’m ahead of the Tornados there.
      Bumgarner, Harper, Heaney, Keller, Kikuchi, Paddack, Plesac and Stroman will be available pitchers next spring. Ahmed (alas), Hanson, B. McCann, Muncy (sob), Reynolds (sigh), Riley, D. Smith Jr., W. Smith, and Soler (rats) will be available hitters. The Wolverines will go into the offseason with 17 players costing $26,000,000, more than 1/3 of it going to one player (Robbie Ray).
     Hmm.  My 17 players costing $26,000,000, or the Tornados’ one all-time great player costing a million less? If he makes the offer, what should I do? Would he trade Trout for Robbie Ray?
Peshastin: W, 4 – 2. (32 PA, .214, .281, .250;  13 ip, 3 er, 2.08 ERA.)
      The Pears ended up far closer to third than the W’s are to second place.  Jack Flaherty threw 7 more shutout innings to finish a great season. Flaherty is a Pear for three more years.
      The Pears are loaded with youth.  They lose only Bedrosian, Guilbeau, N. Ramirez, Wisler (again, for good this time you would think) among their pitchers.  They lose hitters Eaton, Fosythe, Solak, and C. Vazquez.  That leaves the Pears with a whopping 24 players and a payroll of $52,000,000. But $12,750,000 of that is owed to two veterans no longer on the Peshastin roster — Tyson Ross and Yangervis Solarte — who might not cost the Pears so much if they sign on with other teams this off-season.
Pittsburgh: L, 4 – 10. (35 PA, .219, .286, .500;  7 ip, 7 er, 9 era)
      Not a stellar end to what will seem to spoiled Allegheny fans as a pedestrian year. But they were never in danger of falling to .500, they showed their usual skills at picking up great bargains in our drafts, and they have some clear strengths going forward.  I never count out the Alleghenys until the gossamer cords of math have finally pinned them down. Like today, for 2019.  Like nothing, yet, for 2020.
     Pittsburgh loses the following 5 pitchers to free agency or the rookie draft: Shaun Anderson, Tevor Gott, Cal Quantrill, Logan Webb, Alex Young.  Among batters they lose Pete Alonso (!), Bo Bichette, Seth Brown, Michael Chavis, Tyler Flowers, Brian Goodwin, Ender Inciarte, James McCann, Juirckson Profar, and Kirt Suzuki. That’s 15 players gone, leaving 18 behind costing $72,750,000.
Haviland: L, 3 – 3. (32 PA, .233, .281, .233; 11.3 ip, 4 er, 3.18 ERA)
      Good pitching rescued subpar hitting on the last day of 2019 for the Dragons.  The Dragons will lose pitchers Brennan, Del Posos, Duplantier, J. Fernandez, H. Harvey, and M. Perez from their pitching staff.  Hitters Bader, Hilliard, Lamb, N. Lowe, and P. Severino will also perforce dip into free agency.
       That’s only 10 players lost. So 24 remain at a cost of  $43,500,000.
Canberra: W, 7 – 5. (37 PA, .219, .324, .344; 10 ip, 5 er, 4.50 ERA)
       The Kangaroos got the win they needed to be clearly finish above .500.  Also, they squeezed past the 900 runs-scored mark on the last day of the season — and the 900 runs allowed, too, but they ended up with more runs scored than allowed on the season.   Blake Parker ended his Kangaroo tenure on a sour note, coughing up three earned runs in his one inning, but fellow Canexiter Dustin May repaired some of the damage with a scoreless inning. The only departing ‘Roo to bat, Tommy Edman, went 0 for 4, kindly making it just a little easier to say goodbye.
       Players leaving Canberra today on their long flights back home: pitchers May,  Parker, Poche, Puk, J. Suarez, Wieck, Yamamoto; plus batters  T. Beckham, Edman, A Mondesi, Senzel. Those 11 leave behind 24 players costing a total of $41,250,000.  However, the ‘Roos are on the hook to Corey Kluber for $13,000,000 per year through 2022. If the Indians exercise their club options for those years, Canberra’s obligation will be covered by Cleveland.  If the Indians don’t use those options, Canberra’s obligation will be reduced by any salary Kluber earns from a new contract.  So the total Kangaroo salary load going forward has a good chance of looking better.
Kaline: W, 7 – 5. (47 PA, .262, .340, .476; 6.3 ip, 3 er, 4.26 ERA)
      Unfortunately, the Drive had slipped off the .500 mark a little too far. Despite a nice win they finished 1.9 games off the .500 pace.
      Drives taking the exit ramp today include Agrazal, Littell, Milone, Wainwright, A. Garcia, O Mercado, Pollock, and Puello.  23 players remain, costing a total of $33,500,000 in 2020. The Drive also currently owe Mike Zunino $5,500,000 in 2020, which would make their total payroll $39,000,000, but if Zunino gets a new contract, or goes through arbitration or gets and extension, Kaline’s obligation will be reduced by whatever Zunino gets next year.
Cottage: L, (-1) – 5. (30 PA, .103, .133, .138; 5.3 ip, 4 er, 6.75 ERA)
       It appears the Cheese reached their sell-by date a day too soon, given the way they stank it up on closing day.  Three hits was all the offense could muster. Yonny Chirinos nearly chulked (2.7 ip, 4 er).*
       Those on their way out the Cottage door today include pitchers Allen, C. Anderson, Kela, and B. McKay.  Batters battering down the doors to get out were Ford, J. Polanco and Ramos.  Since they only lose 7 players, the Cheese will have 23 left on the roster at a total cost of  $48,500,000.
* By the way, Jamie, a chulk occurs anytime a pitcher allows twice as many earned runs as innings completed.  It is named after the immortal Vinnie Chulk, who had a marked affinity for pitching like this.  If the pitcher allows 3 times as many earned runs as innings pitched, it’s a triple chulk;  a multiple of 4 produces a quadruple chulk, and so on.  If the pitcher allows 10 times as many runs as innings pitched, it’s a Royal Chulk (always capitalized).  If the pitcher allows earned runs without getting any outs, it’s an infinite chulk, although if this is 1 or 2 runs with no outs we might go a little easy on the poor sap.
Bellingham: L, 2 – 8. (24 PA, .217, .250, .304;  no pitching)
      It was a quiet closing day in the Cascades Sunday. The highest OPSing batter, former Wolverine Jacob Nottingham, got hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance. Nottingham’s entire September line is 0 for 1 with that HBP. He left a truly minimal footprint for the entire season: 2 for 6 with a homer, a single, and that HBP.  On the other hand, the man I traded him for, Brian McCann, was inactive (by my choice) all month, after providing me with 7 for 34 production with no extra bases in August. But now I have nothing, and Andre has Nottingham for four more seasons. I think I will end up regretting this deal.
      The Cascades end their maiden season, bidding farewell to pitchers Bailey, Boxberger, Delgado, Hellickson, Miley, and Stammen.  Hitters departing for the lowlands include Alberto, Bour, Culberson, R Davis, J Dyson, Gattis, Kozma, LaStella, Szczur, and Vogt.  Unfortunately these are mostly cheap players.  The remaining 16 players will cost $64,750,000.
DC: L, 6 – 7.  (40 PA, .297, .350, .378;  13 ip, 8 er, 5.54 ERA.)
     The Balk pulled it off.  They gained the 0.2 games they needed to catch the Outs.  And not a bit more.  This is one of the glories of the EFL:  there are no ties.  Sure, when Rob next sees Brooks, he can talk about how great it was that they tied at the end, since they have identical records, identical games-behind the Rosebuds (and, if you check, are an identical distance off the normal games behind in the MLB standings). There is nothing visible to identify which of them might be ahead of the other… except the math in Dave’s database, which apparently calculates the Balk’s winning percentage and/or games behind to be ever so slightly ahead of the Outs, when taken out beyond the three decimal points we can see.  So when Brooks isn’t around, Rob can say to himself “Yes, but I actually left you in the cellar, Mr. Lampe.”**
       Balks walking away today include pitchers D. Hudson, Sampson, and Walden, and hitters Holt, Kieboom, Kiermaier, Richie Martin, T Murphy, Naylor, A. Nola, and Yastrzemski (Mike, not Carl). This leaves 21 Balks costing $54,250,000.
Brookland: L, 4 – 3. (15 PA, .500, .533, .786; 2 ip, 0 er, 0 ERA)
       ** To which Brooks can reply (to himself), “Sure, but I get the first EFL pick in the draft, Mr. Bohall.” And smug he might rightfully be, since his team has mastered the art of simplicity, perfected so well that he only used on the last day of the season batters who would OPS 1.000 or better and pitchers who would allow no earned runs. Sure, he fell well short of a full game’s worth of players, but that’s the next step now that he has discovered what perfection looks like and how to attain it.
      This would be more impressive if the Outs were keeping their “perfect” players. But both pitchers (Swanson and Vincent) will be available in next spring’s draft, along with colleagues N. Anderson, Canning, Lovelady, and Smeltzer.  Of the five perfected hitters, Cron and Dozier will be leaving the Outs along with A Jones, G Polanco, and Juniors Guerrero and Gurriel. After they’re gone, 19 Outs will be left trying to remember how perfection is done, earning a total of $38,750,000.
Finally, as an appetizer of what will be our primary diet for the next six months, here is the first VERY rough attempt to assess which team is in first place for the 2020 EFL championship:  the average cost of the players each franchise has as of today, the day after the 2019 season:
Old Detroit:    1,529,412
Kaline:              1,695,652
Canberra:        1,718,750
Haviland:         1,812,500 
Brookland:      2,039,474 
Cottage:            2,108,696
Peshastin:        2,166,667
DC:                      2,583,333
Pittsburgh:       4,041,667
Bellingham:     4,046,875
Portland:           4,590,909
Flint Hill:           5,458,333  
*** Well, ok, these averages were done on a spreadsheet. But the team salary and roster slots figures they are based on were done in the author’s head. GIGO, as they say.
On the other hand, if the Tornados traded Trout for, say, Brinson, their average cost per player would drop to $3,416,677 — over $2,000,000!  And the poor team stuck with Trout would suddenly zoom up to $2,970,588.  We’d almost meet in the middle! When was garbage ever so illuminating?
This chart is clearly of almost zero significance.  It says nothing about the quality of the players we retain, nor does it mention our draft order. It doesn’t even reflect how many slots we have yet to fill. So maybe the Tornados are closer to a complete roster than the Wolverines, and only need a couple of players to have another 100+ win team next year.
Or maybe not.
It doesn’t matter today, anyway, because today we are celebrating the Portland Rosebuds, whose name will be etched forever, again, on the trophy they already have.
Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2014
AL East
Flint Hill Tornadoes 104 58 .642
New York Yankees 103 59 .636 1
Tampa Bay Rays 96 66 .593 8
Old Detroit Wolverines 95 67 .586 9
Boston Red Sox 84 78 .519 20
Toronto Blue Jays 67 95 .414 37
Baltimore Orioles 54 108 .333 50
NL East
Atlanta Braves 97 65 .599
Washington Nationals 93 69 .574 4
New York Mets 86 76 .531 11
Canberra Kangaroos 82 80 .503 15.5
Philadelphia Phillies 81 81 .500 16
D.C. Balk 65 97 .404 31.6
Miami Marlins 57 105 .352 40
AL Central
Minnesota Twins 101 61 .623
Cleveland Indians 93 69 .574 8
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 86 76 .533 14.6
Chicago White Sox 72 88 .450 28
Bellingham Cascades 67 95 .413 34.1
Kansas City Royals 59 103 .364 42
Detroit Tigers 47 114 .292 53.5
NL Central
St. Louis Cardinals 91 71 .562
Milwaukee Brewers 89 73 .549 2
Chicago Cubs 84 78 .519 7
Cottage Cheese 77 85 .474 14.2
Cincinnati Reds 75 87 .463 16
Pittsburgh Pirates 69 93 .426 22
Brookland Outs 65 97 .404 25.6
AL West
Houston Astros 107 55 .660
Oakland A’s 97 65 .599 10
Haviland Dragons 83 79 .515 23.6
Kaline Drive 80 82 .495 26.9
Texas Rangers 78 84 .481 29
Los Angeles Angels 72 90 .444 35
Seattle Mariners 68 94 .420 39
NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers 106 56 .654
Portland Rosebuds 105 57 .651 0.6
Peshastin Pears 90 72 .556 15.9
Arizona Diamondbacks 85 77 .525 21
San Francisco Giants 77 85 .475 29
Colorado Rockies 71 91 .438 35
San Diego Padres 70 92 .432 36



  • I mean, think about it. Lewis Brinson is 100% pure upside. He cannot get worse. He can only get better. If he quits tomorrow he’ll be better. You still would have bought in just in time to catch his upside. He might quit tomorrow! Don’t hesitate or you might miss the upswing!

    Mike Trout is the complete opposite. He can’t get better. No one has ever been better. He can only get worse.

    The best traders sell high and buy low. You can’t sell any higher or buy any lower.

    • Thanks Tom! This year was a bit more stressful than last year! Flint Hill put the pressure on!