Thursday, August 6, 2009
Back near the start of the season, I announced the exciting news that I would be participating in the Seamheads Near-Miss League, an all-time baseball simulation league being run by Mike Lynch over at Seamheads.com and featuring such big-name GMs as Jonah Keri, Eric Karabell, and Dave Dameshek. I still don't know how I got to be included in that group, but it was (and is) pretty exciting.
The league began play shortly after I wrote the league's AL West preview, but I was sadly remiss in keeping you all up to date with how it was going. I would check in with the league every now and then, but I just never got around to writing a post about it. That might have had something to do with how poorly my team was performing, though.
After going through the long history of the Philadelphia-Kansas City-Oakland Athletics franchise, I finally settled on the 2002 Oakland team as my team, choosing to go with the pinnacle of the Moneyball teams over the more powerful, but also more successful A's teams of the past. With MVP Tejada, Cy Young Zito, and the other stars of the team (Chavez, Hudson, Mulder), I felt pretty confident in my chances, even against the likes of the '82 Brewers and the '69 Orioles.
I was very, very wrong, though. Looking at the standings and my team's stats, it's pretty clear that the 2002 A's (as GMed by me, at least) were just overmatched. The home runs were certainly there - first in the AL - but nothing else came together (the pitching staff was third best in strikeouts, at least). The team on-base percentage, supposedly the hallmark of the team, was only good for 11th in the AL. Whatever it was, it added up to a fifth place, 73-89 finish for the team, securely in the second division.
Now, maybe I should've been a more proactive GM, sending weekly tweaks to Mike to try to get the most out of my roster - I don't know. I suspect it wouldn't have made much of a difference, though. Mike's 1922 Browns did win the division by 17 games, after all (and were 33 games better than my A's). I hardly think an extra 50 at-bats for David Justice or Olmedo Saenz would've made up that kind of difference.
Anyhow, those Browns will be facing Dave Dameshek's 1990 Pirates (a wild card winner) in the World Series later this week. On paper, it looks like the Pirates have no chance, considering the way the Browns have steamrolled through everything, but that doesn't seem to mean anything these days. In the prior league, Joe Posnanski and his Indians played the underdog to the steamrolling Red Sox (manager by Bill James) but he was somehow able to pull out the miracle World Series title. Dameshek has to be hoping for the same thing in the Near-Miss League.
You can find a fantastic article about the Browns and Pirates over at Seamheads. I can't wait to see if Dameshek will pull this thing out or if Mike will continue his juggernaut ways. And when it's time for the next Seamheads simulation league, I hope Mike thinks of me (if you do, Mike, I promise to be a more hand's on GM - it might be the only way for me to win).
Posted by lar at 5:51 AM