2006 Winter Report

By Dan Hausman, GM Reston Roundabouts

JLB

 

I know league members have discussed the death of Mike Durgala both privately and on the message board and I think that we handled it well as a League.I wanted to say that Mikeís death reminds me of the importance for us to live our lives to the fullest because we never know when we are going to go.JLB, although it is a fantasy league, is something I really enjoy and hope to continue to be a part of for the rest of my life.I hope this feeling is mutual.

 

††††††††††† Now that the first full season of JLB season is in the books, I think we can all rest assured that we have developed the best possible system for our league.We just need to stay vigilant and make minor changes as we move forward to close loopholes and make things run more smoothly.The bidding system for free agents should work well and both the amateur and minor league drafts are becoming important for the success of a franchise.The traits of intelligence, creativity, and strategy in the context of baseball are being properly rewarded in JLB.

 

††††††††††† Now that the important things are out of the way, some other thoughts I have had about this past season:I am so pleased to be able to have won the JLB title one more time and I plan on being a competitive adversary as we move through the decades of this League.It is real fun to see players who were not in professional ball when JFBL began to begin to develop as JLB stars.I canít wait for expansion in this league so that we can dominate some more faces.I also canít wait until the prize package will exceed $1000 for first place; I know that would come out to about one dollar per hour of work for me.On to the awards and the team write-ups.Good luck in 2007.

 

 

Awards

 

MVP:2B Alfonso Soriano, Reston Roundabouts

119 R, 46 HR, 95 RBI, 41 SB, .277 AVG

 

Soriano becomes the 1st player in league history to win two MVPís.His elite power speed combination was the driving force on JLBís best offense and helped lead the Reston Roundabouts to their 4th title.To win this award, Alfonso has worked hard to change his perceived value among league GMís.Dan Hausman was once universally panned for acquiring Soriano along with Jimmy Rollins for Miguel Tejada and Marcus Giles.That appears to be a trade that J.D. Moss would take back now if he could.Soriano improved on his 2005 season by adding 10 HRís and 10 SBís to reach the elusive 40/40 club.†† His numbers contributed in every aspect of team offense from second base, the weakest position in the league.Sorianoís offensive output was just enough to take the award over Ants 1B Ryan Howard who had an extremely productive rookie season in the power department.Jose Reyes, the most exciting player in the game, also received consideration.Soriano is slated to move to the outfield in 2007 where the Roundabouts will lean on his dynamic energy in their lineup.

 

Cy Young Award Winner:SP Johan Santana, Herndon Heroes

19 W, 245 K, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

 

Johan Santana has established himself as the undisputed ace of the best collection of starting pitchers that JLB has ever seen.This is Santanaís 2nd Cy award in his short career and also the third consecutive Cy Young winner coming out of Herndon.Santana teamed with Chris Carpenter and Brandon Webb to deliver a ridiculous performance at the top of the rotation for Herndon in 2006.Santana had the most Kís, wins, and the best ERA and WHIP in the entire JLB this season.Other pitchers receiving Cy votes were Francisco Liriano, Jon Papelbon, J.J. Putz, and Roy Halladay.Santana anchors the rotation that will be one of the biggest competitive advantages Herndon has in their quest for a JLB title in 2007.

 

Rookie of the Year:RP Jon Papelbon, Burke Boomerangs

4 W, 34 S, 72 K, .95 ERA, .80 WHIP

 

This award is a reminder that Josh Bertman is one of the best farm directors in the JLB.Papelbon was once a promising starting pitching prospect that emerged as one of the top relievers in JLB in 2006.Just check out his miniscule ERA and WHIP numbers.Papelbon was shut down as the Boomerangs faded down the stretch and is scheduled to return to the rotation in 2007 to try and stay healthy.If Papelbon stays a starter donít expect him to be nearly as valuable in 2007 as his power assortment likely wonít be as dominant after a few times through a JLB lineup.Others receiving votes were Ryan Howard, Francisco Liriano, and Hanley Ramirez.

 

Mike Durgala Award:Dan Hausman, Reston Roundabouts

 

It is an honor to win the first Durgala award.I was up to my old tricks in 2006.I again identified my weaknesses as the season progressed and did what was necessary to insure as many possible standing points as possible.Brad Hawpe, Reggie Sanders, and Cliff Floyd were replaced with Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon.Roger Clemens, Kelvim Escobar, and Bob Wickman were added to a struggling pitching staff.These additions allowed the Roundabouts to catch frontrunners as the season wore on.Valuable pieces of the future were given up in these deals that could come back to haunt the team.But as I like to say, come over to 1124 N Rockingham St. and come look at my trophies.

 

Teams

 

1st place:Reston Roundabouts (101.5 points, 57 hitting, 44.5 pitching)

 

The Roundabouts recaptured the JLB title in 2006.Healthy and productive seasons from every offensive starter was the major reason that the Roundabouts had such a fine season.Standout offensive performances came from the keystone combination of Jimmy Rollins and Alfonso Soriano.The pitching staff is starting to get a little old and thin and this strength is now the Roundabouts weakness.The Roundabouts will look to add some pitching this off-season and they also hope to rejuvenate their farm system in both the MLD and AD draft.

 

2nd place:Annandale Ants (99 points, 48 hitting, 51 pitching)

 

The tragedy that the Ants faced this season really hurt their chances of bringing their first title home.The Ants did not have any management which led them unable to add the extra pieces necessary to put them over the top.On the plus side the Ants look poised to compete in the near and long term as they have assembled great young talent such as Howard, Reyes, Liriano, and Hernandez along with a good minor league system.The organization has been infused with the energy and new perspective of owner Debdeep Maji.I think the Ants need to find some major bats in the OF and get some more rotation help this off-season.I canít wait for the new name and relocation.

 

3rd place:Burke Boomerangs (91 points, 47 hitting, 44 pitching)

 

The Boomerangs are falling into the trap of strong starts followed by late season fades, this time the pitchers let Burke down.The Boomerangs seem to lack any true star presence after David Ortiz and Mariano Rivera.I really see smoke and mirrors when I look at the Boomerangs pitching staff.I think that Burke needs to get some top notch pitchers to win JLB and also needs to make the in-season adjustments necessary when they get off to a good start to stay at the top.Getting over the Cain debacle would be a good start.

 

4th place:Herndon Heroes (85.5 points, 31 hitting, 54.5 pitching)

 

This team just seems scary.The top of the rotation is so good that the pitching points are always going to be there.The Heroes seem like they have a good offensive core and need to add a couple of more contributors in the OF or at 1B to put them over the top.The one thing I would be worried about is the lack of highly regarded minor league talent.

 

5th place:Great Falls Grenades (79 ponts, 46 hitting, 33 pitching)

 

This team looks to be back on track at the JLB level with quality players at almost every position and superstar Albert Pujols leading the offense.The addition of Carlos Zambrano and probable playing time to some stud middle relievers should really help the weak pitching staff improve in 2007.The Grenades minor league system has really weakened in both trades and graduations of top prospects in the recent past.

 

6th place:Clifton Clams (62.5 points, 43 hitting, 19.5 pitching)

 

The Clams have made progress, but they still have a long way to go.The roster seems to be filled with a lot of mediocrities after Cabrera, Holliday, and Young.The money probably isnít there to make the splash in this rather weak free agency class that the Clams may have been anticipating.It is inspiring to see Lasken work so hard on his organization.We will see if he can prove the naysayers wrong and really contend in 2007.

 

7th place:Reston Robots (59.5 points 28.5 hitting, 31 pitching)

 

The window is starting to close on the Robots roster as it is constructed.One of their big three OFís has already been shipped away and many of the other long time Robots will start to test free agency soon.The Robots need to upgrade their infield and hope that their young pitchers develop this season to get back in the money.

 

8th place :Sterling Starfish (52.5 points, 17 hitting, 35.5 pitching)

 

Nothing went right for the Starfish in 2007 as the offense regressed and in season additions did not help.It is really surprising to see a champion fall so far in one season. The Starfish have shed old players and bad contracts for young talent with upside.The Starfish have a chance to compete if their pitchers can develop and the team can stay healthy.

 

9th place:Reston Roosters (51.5 points, 30.5 hitting, 21 pitching)

 

The Roosters really need to continue to pick up talent.Their top tier guys like Texiera, Utley, and Wells are very valuable properties and there is some young talent in the organization.It is the mid-tier guys that are very weak in this organization.I really think a lot of improvements can be made to this team if they are aggressive in free agency.They certainly have the cash to be a big player.

 

10th place:Oakton Outlaws (34 points, 18 hitting, 16 pitching)

 

It looks like the Outlaws have recognized their need to rebuild, as there simply is not enough JLB talent to compete.It seems as if they now need a comprehensive plan to do so.There is some nice young talent that can hopefully be added to this season so the Outlaws can once again contend for a JLB title.

 

 

11th place:Fairfax Firemen (33.5 points, 10 hitting, 23.5 pitching)

 

There is so much young talent in the Fairfax organization and the Firemen have made moves to add even more so far this off-season.The Firemen also have around 80 million dollars to use in free agency.When the Firemen finally decide it is time to see if their young players can live up to their potential they will certainly be able to support them with big ticket free agents.I canít wait to see Mike Keenan make his move one of these years.

 

12th place:†† Falls Church Foxes (30.5 points, 14 hitting, 16.5 pitching)

 

The rebuilding effort is in full effect for new GM Carlton Davis.The minor league system is bursting with talent and the payroll is ridiculously low.It will take a bit more time for the organization to reap the benefits of the project, but it should come at some time.So far I am impressed by the work of Carlton in acquiring top prospects and putting his stamp on the team.