League News

January 2002



Winter Reading 

Well, the calendar has turned over and it finds me in my usual nervous anticipation of “pitchers and catchers.”  I’ve been dealing with this difficult situation by getting caught up on some baseball reading.  As a gift I had received Bill James’ new historical abstract.  This has been a wonderful treat for me.  I love the history of baseball, but have been negligent in comprehending the full scope of it.  This is helping to get the juices flowing again.  The book itself is a solid starter reference and argument starter.  It’s been quite fun looking up some of my favorite Brewers in particular and seeing where they rank in James’ “Top 100” lists.  One player I was stunned to see listed was Charlie Moore.  Now, in all honesty, I love the Brewers and their teams from the late 70’s and early 80’s quite a lot, but never would I have fathomed that Charlie was any type of player to be considered the Top 100 of anything.  James ranks him the 96th best catcher of all time.  Right ahead of Bo Diaz.  Go figure.  James’ new Win Shares system gives those interested in hardcore statistical analysis a new toy to play with.  As always, James is quite opinionated and well, frank, about some things.  But he is also quite humorous.  Take this quote about Joey Meyer: “Meyer was…just fat as a bear in August.  Huge, fat thighs, fat arms, immense rump.  He was kind of gross actually.”  For curiosity’s sake here’s James’ Top 30 players: 

1. Babe Ruth                            11. Tris Speaker                                   21. Mike Schmidt
2. Honus Wagner                     12. Henry Aaron                                  22. Rogers Hornsby
3. Willie Mays                          13. Joe DiMaggio                                 23. Cy Young
4. Oscar Charleston                  14. Lou Gehrig                                     24. Frank Robinson
5. Ty Cobb                              15. Joe Morgan                                    25. Turkey Stearns
6. Mickey Mantle                     16. Barry Bonds                                   26. Rickey Henderson
7. Ted Williams                        17. Satchel Paige                                  27. Pop Lloyd
8. Walter Johnson                     18. Eddie Collins                                  28. Mel Ott
9. Josh Gibson                          19. Lefty Grove                                    29. Jimmie Foxx
10. Stan Musial                        20. Pete Alexander                               30. George Brett

I highly recommend this book if you have been thinking about it.  Some times I think James is off his rocker, but more often than not I found myself nodding in agreement with his methods and principles.  The man always brings the stats to the argument, which is to be commended.  An understatement, I know, but this ain’t the “New York Times Book Review” J   

Also, I read Dan Okrent’s Nine Innings, which I liked.  Currently I’m on another of James’s books- The Politics of Glory.  It’s an interesting history about the Baseball Hall of Fame and how it went about selecting players.   James also seeks to identify some sort of standards that one could reasonably assume a HOF’er should reach.  Another solid read so far.  Well, I think that’s enough about my reading lists.  Let’s proceed to the news of the day. 

2002 Schedule 

Also included in the ZIP file is the 2002 schedule.  The month of April will see the champs from Ocala start their defense against Cook County.  Minnesota, 2001 runners up, will square off against Stanley to begin the season.  The other two division champs, Glen Allen and Toledo, also go toe-to-toe in the first week of action.  Also of note, BRASSball action comes to the people of Springfield on April 1st when they play host to Santa Barbara.   Look for Homer on the 1st base side, probably in the upper deck.  Charlevoix gets BRASSball action back starting on the first also. Their guests will be the boys from La Crosse.  Four days later the Tigers return the favor, as they’ll be the first BRASSball visitors to La Crosse.  Enjoy the view from Granddad’s Bluff when you’re in town, Tigers!  And yes indeed, the Metropolis Avengers are on the 2002 schedule.  They survived contraction. 

Of special note is BRASSball’s 8th Midsummer Classic.  This season, the AL will be looking to add to its 4 games to 3 lead in the All Star Game series at the home of the Cook County Maulers.  The fans of Cook County are well deserving of this league treat.  While Bill Veeck Field has been a bandbox so far, rumor has it that Owner Kolb is tinkering with the notion of changing the dimensions, presumably to the favor of his mounds men.  Either way, the fans will enjoy the show I’m sure. 

Big Draft Deadline 

As Corey has already pointed out, the next big league deadline is now the 25th of February.  On this day you need to have your 30 man protected lists sent to Jack Howard, the Draft Conductor.  Feel free to “CC” Corey and I on these as a backup measure, but Jack MUST receive this information.  Also, players on AM contracts DO NOT count against the 30 man limit.  Any player you leave unprotected must be drafted back if you wish to retain him.  Teams are allowed to be at 40 players (not including AM’s) and no more upon the draft’s conclusion.  As always, a trade freeze goes in effect on the 25th and lasts until the draft is done.  The draft is set for March 2nd.  Please get your lists in to Jack as soon as possible so he can get the necessary information turned around to all of us as quickly as he possibly can.  To sum up: Do not miss this deadline. 

Corey’s New Address 

My partner has a new e-mail address.  Please delete what you have and use this one from now on:  


Ballpark Changes 

As you will remember we voted in a change that allows those of you who have played in your park for three seasons to change it in any manner you wish for a $500,000 fee.  After doing so, you are not allowed to change your park again for three seasons.  I, for example, took full advantage and ripped down that damn ugly, state built dome that was the only building in town ready for my Mudcats in 1995 and replaced it with my new Xanadu- John Galt Park.  Outdoor baseball and everything now for me.  And contrary to spurious Internet rumors, Galt Park was built totally with my private fortune.  What kind of objectivist would I be if I hadn’t? 

Corey on the roster sheets lists the year when you become eligible to change your park if you wish.  If it says “Yes” you can change it right now.  If it says “2005” that means you’ve changed it and have to wait for the 2005 season to alter it again.  New managers can change free of charge initially.  All changes need to be submitted by March 15th for the first league roster file.  But please submit them earlier if possible.  

Hot Stove Heaters 

For those of you who haven’t checked it out yet, Joal has done a fine job contributing off-season write-ups on all the BRASSball organizations.   Just head on over to brassball.org.   Some tidbits from what Joal has written: 

On Ocala: “Top-to-bottom, few teams can compare to this modern day Murderer’s Row.”

On Iowa: “While a divisional championship is not realistic with Cook County still running strong, Iowa does have an outside chance at a Wild Card berth in 2002. To do so, though, it will need to stay healthy and to have pitchers like Schmidt and Nomo lead the way.”

On Metropolis: “Thankfully for Metropolis fans (if there are any left), the future is now close at hand.”

On Bloomington: “We are all aware of the proverb that "what goes up must come down." Well, perhaps it works the other way, too. After slipping over the past two seasons, Bloomington now looks primed for success once more.”

On Glen Allen: “That said, the current version of the Glen Allen team does seem to be on its last legs. The veteran team is aging and many of its players are on the downward slope of their career.”

On Minnesota: “This loss of talent has only fueled the controversy surrounding the team's desire for a new, state-of-the-art stadium in Minnesota.” 

Trades and Roster Stuff 

30.   Toledo trades Vic Darensbourg, Miguel Cairo, Matt Perisho, Benny Agbayani and Seth Etherton to Morris for Jason Tyner.

31.   Santa Barbara trades Wes Helms to North Georgia for Jason Hart.

32.   Santa Barbara trades Omar Vizquel, Arthur Rhodes and Travis Dawkins to Morris for Rey Ordonez and Josh Karp.

33.   Santa Barbara trades Ted Lilly and Mike Jackson to North Georgia for Shane Reynolds and $4,675,500.

Glen Allen trades Doug Mirabelli and Marquis Grissom to Cook County for Cook County’s 2002 3rd round draft choice. 

Box City – Released Francisco Cordova, Alex Fernandez, Eddie Perez and Rico Washington. 

Charlevoix – Released Clayton Andrews, Elipidio Guzman and Darnell McDonald. 

Iowa – Released Jackson Melian. 

Minnesota – Released Ben Broussard. 

Plaza – Released Willie Bloomquist. 

Springfield – Released Rick Elder and Vince Faison.

Once again we have a few articles below to fill the newsletter out.  Brian, Jack, Al, Lenny, Paul and Jim Clark are our contributors this month.  As always these can be found on the league website, usually before they appear here.  They are at the end. 

Upcoming League Deadlines 

February 25th   Deadline to submit 30 man protected lists to Jack Howard, Draft Conductor. 

February 25th   Deadline for submitting articles for the next issue. 

March 2nd        DRAFT DAY 2002!!! 

Next Issue of “League News” 

Might be a slow news month again.  I think I’ll analyze something next month.  Well, I got another month to think it over J