2006 Mid-Season Report

Josh Bertman

GM Burke Boomerangs

 

            First off, let me just say that it is an honor and a privilege to write the first mid-season report of the new era of Jefferson League Baseball, which continues to evolve as the best fantasy baseball league in the world.  Not only does this season mark the beginning of a new keeper system for the JLB, it shines as another example that both rebuilding in the JLB is possible as is evident by the re-emergence of the Ants, as well as the rise of the Clams and Roosters, as is continued success, as the Roundabouts’ dynasty has shown.

            Going into the season, I expected the top 3 teams to be the Starfish, Grenades and Heroes.  Injuries, disappointments and a lack of depth have hurt all three, as the Boomerangs, Roundabouts and Ants have put together tremendous first halves and have made the moves necessary to go into the break as the top 3 teams.  The Boomerangs only key acquisitions so far this season have been a trade for Barry Zito and a promotion of the rookie sensation Papelbon, but GM Bertman’s successful (albeit lucky) spot-starting has helped the least star-studded of the better teams stay on top of the standings.  With the additions of Clemens, Manny and Damon though, there is no doubt that the Roundabouts have to be considered the favorites to win a record 4th JLB title.  The Ants’ young core could be the team to beat for years to come.  Although there is not much room for improvement on the offense, the Ants’ pitching could be even better if young King Felix and Jake Peavy show what they can do in the second half.

            As for the aforementioned Heroes and Grenades, all hope is not lost.  The Heroes have plenty of room to improve with Michael Young, Barry Bonds and Juan Pierre all greatly underperforming in the first half.  If they get a 4th SP to step up with the terrifying trio of Santana, Carpenter and Webb, they could approach 60 pitching points once again, and are in great position to win the league.  The Grenades have survived an injury to the best player in the game, Albert Pujols, and still find themselves in contention.  However, they simply need their pitching to perform up to their ability, or they’ll be happy if they just finish in the money.  The Starfish still have one of the better teams in the JLB, but they might not have a complete enough team to come back from the hole they have dug themselves without the help of Gary Sheffield.  Only time will tell. 

            It has been great to see the young star-studded offenses of the Clams and Roosters really put it all together.  Unfortunately, neither of these teams have enough pitching to contend this year.  The Robots and Outlaws both have great players both for now and the future.  They both, however, have too many holes to be considered legitimate threats this season.  New GM Carlton Davis really has put a stamp on these Falls Church Foxes, and that stamp says 2009, because he has drastically cut payroll, and prepared the team for the future.  The original rebuilder, Mike Keenan himself, seems to have the Firemen on a slower track to recovery than the Clams, Roosters and Ants, but as long as he avoids fines for the rest of the season, he has reasons to be excited about the future with a pitching core of Kazmir, Zambrano, Sheets and Sabathia and a lineup that only lacks a 1B (Niekro, please).

 

            And now, without further ado, are your 2006 JLB Fantasy All-Stars (starters in bold):

 

C Joe Mauer – Boomerangs – His absurd batting average has carried the Boomerangs, a traditionally poor BA team, to 1st place in average

 

1B Ryan Howard – Ants – Hyped as primarily a power prospect, Howard appears to be a more complete hitter than once thought.

 

2B Alfonso Soriano – Roundabouts – He moved to the worst home run park in the majors, and got significantly better, go figure

 

3B Nomar GarciaparraOutlaws – Considered by many to be done as a star coming into the season, Nomar silenced his critics by storming back from major injuries

 

SS Jose Reyes – Ants – Has a legitimate shot to finish the season as the best fantasy player in baseball.  Was picked after Jesse Foppert in the ’03 draft.

 

OF Alex Rios – Firemen – Finally put it all together to be a 5 category fantasy all-star, and should help the Firemen rebuild into the future

 

OF Matt Holliday – Clams – Has proven that it’s not just the Coors Park factor as the humidor has not slowed him down

 

OF Jermaine Dye – Clams – Most people thought 31 HR last season was a pleasant aberrational surprise.  Who thought he would hit 25 by the break this year?

 

Util Jim ThomeRoundabouts – The power stroke is back, and the peripherals aren’t bad either

 

3B Garrett Atkins – Roosters – Doing a little bit of everything.  I wouldn’t have put him on here, but enough people did that I couldn’t leave him off.

 

OF Vernon Wells – Roosters – No one ever denied he was good, but he has to be firing on all cylinders to be putting up this kind of numbers

 

OF Raul Ibanez – Ants – Raul Ibanez?!?

 

Util Travis Hafner – His continued development is one of the few bright spots to a disappointing Starfish first half.

 

SP Francisco Liriano – Ants – So good, so young, so scary for the rest of the league.

 

SP Scott Kazmir – Firemen – Yet another example that short pitchers can indeed succeed.

 

SP Mike Mussina – Boomerangs – GM Bertman must be kicking himself for just signing Mussina to a one year deal

 

SP Chris Capuano – Boomerangs – I’d like him better if he played Lacrosse for Duke instead of baseball

 

SP Brandon Webb – Heroes – Watch for Webb, along with Santana and Carpenter, to lead the Heroes’ pitching back to being the best in the JLB

 

SP Jeremy Bonderman – Foxes – Hard to believe he’s still only 23.

 

SP Curt Schilling – Grenades – Is getting little help from the rest of the Grenades’ staff that looked good going into the season.

 

SP Bronson Arroyo – Roundabouts – Arroyo might be at the top of this list if Hausman had just trusted him from the beginning of the season

 

RP Jonathan Papelbon  - Boomerangs – The rookie is on pace to have the best RP season ever.

 

RP JJ Putz – Robots – Earned the closer’s role and has not disappointed

 

RP Aki Otsuka – Boomerangs – Was so good that they had to keep him in the closer’s role

 

RP BJ Ryan – Ants – Even though he went into the season considered a top 7 RP, he’s been too good not to include.

 

 

All-Bust-Team

C Jason Varitek

1B Mark Teixiera

2B Jeff Kent

3B Aubrey Huff

SS Michael Young

OF Barry Bonds

OF Brady Clark

OF Cliff Floyd

UTIL Marcus Giles

SP Livan Hernandez

SP Andy Pettitte

SP Oliver Perez

SP Mark Prior

SP Mark Mulder

RP Francisco Cordero

RP Eric Gagne
Standings adjusted for Innings Pitched:

 

 

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

W

SV

K

ERA

WHIP

TOTAL

Boomerangs

9

7

9.5

6

12

12

12

5

11

12

95.5

Roundabouts

12

12

11

10

10

8

7

8

6

9

93

Ants

8

11

12

7

5

3

11

12

10

10.5

89.5

Heroes

5

5

7.5

10

2

9

8

11

12

10.5

80

Grenades

10

10

7.5

4

11

1

9

9

4

3

68.5

Clams

11

9

5

12

3

6

4

3

1

1

55

Roosters

6.5

8

9.5

4

9

4

3

2

9

7.5

62.5

Robots

3

4

6

1

7

7

6

6

7

6

53

Starfish

2

6

4

8

6

2

5

10

8

7.5

58.5

Foxes

4

2

2

10

4

10

10

1

5

4

52

Outlaws

6.5

3

3

4

8

5

2

4

3

5

43.5

Firemen

1

1

1

2

1

11

1

7

2

2

29

 

My projections to reflect acquisitions, injuries, etc. are listed below.  Categories that were too close to call, I left as a tie among the parties involved.  There may be some changes from the present amongst teams near the bottom of the standings that I missed:

 

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

W

SV

K

ERA

WHIP

Total

Roundabouts

12

12

12

10

10

9

7

10

6

9

97

Boomerangs

8.5

9

10

6

11.5

12

11

5.5

10

10

93.5

Ants

8.5

9

11

7

4

3

12

12

11

11

88.5

Heroes

8.5

5

7.5

10

2

9

7

11

12

12

84

Grenades

8.5

9

7.5

4

11.5

1

9

9

4

3

66.5

Roosters

6

9

9

4

9

4

3

2

9

7.5

62.5

Robots

2

5

4

10

8

2

5

8

8

7.5

59.5

Clams

11

9

5

12

4

6.5

4

3

1

1

56.5

Starfish

3.5

5

6

1

7

6.5

7

5.5

7

6

54.5

Outlaws

3.5

2

2

8

4

9

10

1

5

4

48.5

Foxes

5

3

3

4

6

5

2

5.5

3

5

41.5

Firemen

1

1

1

2

1

11

1

5.5

2

2

27.5

 

Good luck to all for the remainder of the season…