Dynasty All Time Great Teams League “B” Division Update

The weekly update of the various Dynasty Leagues that I run. This week Division B in the All Time Any Time Great Teams League. (Note this post was written before the results of Saturday’s interleague games were complete). All individual states were current at the time of writing.

American League

2010 Texas Rangers 29-19 1st

When last we left the 2010 Rangers they were in last place in division B and the question was: “Is this the start of better things to come? Or will the team without a manager continue to be rudderless?” Well Texas has a manager( David H of Lake Forest California) and while they have lost 4 of their last seven they preceded that with a 13 game winning streak. So the question is, Is this the start of the return to earth or will Texas remain at the top of the heap?

Heroes: Vladimer Guerrero tears up the league with 42 RBI’s despite only five home runs. His .339 average is even more impressive with runners on base (.398) runners in scoring position (.394) or the bass loaded .429). By comparison Nelson Cruz has “only” driven in 34 runs but has hit 9 homers and boasts of batting avg of .353 to go with it.

Zeroes: Starting pitching remains an issue. Cliff Lee’s 6-3 record comes despite a 5.12 ERA virtually unchanged since last month and a .306 avg (down from .347) Meanwhile Tommy Hunter’s 3-3 record comes with a 7.05 ERA & 17 HR in 37 innings and an avg of less than 5 innings per start

Wild Cards. Texas’ 13 game winning streak is the longest of any team this year but included only two wins vs division rivals. They are 19-5 against AL teams out of their Division. Texas’ has 35 starts from pitchers whose ERA’s are 4.84 or worse (the 4th worst team ERA in the majors is currently 4.85)

Coming attractions: The Rangers welcome the Division rival 1968 Tigers and then the division C leading 1924 Washington Senators that they handled so well last time before heading off for a 12 game road trip which starts in Kansas City to face the 2015 Royals

Injury report Josh Hamilton Injured during a series with Boston will be back for game 2 vs the Tigers. Pitcher Matt Harrison who missed the pass 3 series with injuries suffered vs the Yankees will be available for the Cleveland series.


1954 Cleveland Indians 27-21 2nd 2 GB

The Defending AL champs find themselves in almost exactly the same sport they were in a month ago 2nd place a mere 2 games out (vs 1 1/2) holding the 1st wild card spot un-phased by the Rangers rise or the Tigers fall. Will slow and steady win the race or at least a home playoff game?

Heroes: Bobby Avila has the AL batting lead at .361 but just is tied for the lead in hits 3rd in OBP and 5th in the league in runs. Larry Doby has solid triple crown numbers .314 avg 14 HR 51 RBI putting him at or near the league lead but his 29 walks give him a .406 OBP and a 1.017 OBP good for 2nd in the league. Plus a .994 FPCT with 5 assists.

Zeroes: There not much to complain about on the mound when your team ERA is 4.10 but Hal Newhouser has posted a 5.59 ERA while blowing 3 saves in as many chances. Meanwhile Billy Glynn (.197) and Jim Hegan (.184) remain easy outs but not as easy as Wally Westlake whose .127 is as bad as it gets for an everyday player more than 50 points below the last time he made the zero list (.184)

Wild cards. Don Mossi’s ERA of 6.04 is the worst on the team and his .283 avg is the 2nd worst but at the same time he’s converted seven of eight save chances. the Indians lead the majors with 17 complete games, are 2nd in triples, 3rd in walks and 4th in runs

Coming Attractions: The Indians have three games vs the 1924 Senators at home and then hit the road for 12 games starting with 3 at Kansas City vs the 2015 Royals and then to Chicago for 3 more vs the 2005 White Sox

Injury report: Why is Wally Westlake still in the lineup likely because Vic Wertz has been out since game one vs Oakland and won’t be back until late in the Chicago White Sox series. Jim Hegan’s Backup Hal Naragon was hurt in the Nationals series as SS Sam Dente. Nagron will not back until after the Senators series while Dente will be available in game 3.


1968 Detroit Tigers 26-22 3rd 3 games back

The Tigers have played steady .500 ball since the last time we checked in, unfortunately for them both the Indians and Rangers have done better. Can the get out of neutral and get back into drive?

Heroes: Willie Horton is leading the league in HR with 19 and up there in RBI’s (49). Norm Cash is right behind with 16 and sits at 9th in RBI’s with 39. Denny McLain is tied for the league lead with 8 wins tied for 2nd in strikeouts with 77 all of this with a 3.49 ERA with 6 CG in 11 starts over 87 2/3 innings (3rd in AL)

Zeros: Earl Wilson’s mound troubles continue since 2-2 record has become 3-6 with a .296 avg against. His 6.28 ERA remains the worst of Detroit’s starters. Don Wert remains the easiest out on the Tigers hitting .187 with a .219 OBP but the saddest story is Ray Oyler whose 1 error at SS in over 100 innings. Everyone knew his .364 could not last but nobody had an idea that it would become .156 so quickly.

Wild Cards: Home is where Detroit’s heart is. They are 16-8 in Tiger Stadium. KC is the only AL team that has hit more HR than them

Coming Attractions: The Tigers go on the road 1st trying to rise again vs the 2010 Texas Rangers before heading off to Anaheim for a shot at the 2002 Angels before finishing off in NYC against the 2009 Yankees.

Injury Report: Al Kaline who has been average Al after an MVP season last year has just gone on the DL. He’ll miss the road trip and will miss the series plus a home series vs the 1998 Oakland A’s back home. He may be back for the end of their trip vs the 2013 Boston Redsox.


2013 Boston Red Sox 21-27 8 GB

Like the Indians the Redsox remain where they were a month ago at the bottom of division B. It doesn’t help that they were the only team in the division with a losing record over the last month and have been racked by injury. Will they remain in the cellar or can the start to climb back in?

Heroes: Danial Nava continues to get on base hitting .352 with an OBP of .446. Jacoby Ellsbury leads the team in runs, the AL in SB, is 5th in hits (oh and he’s hitting .314 with 8 outfield assists 3 defensive double plays and a perfect fielding percentage. Injuries have limited John Lackey but in seven starts his ERA is only 2.16.

Zeroes: Last time we checked Jon Lester was 1-2 record an ERA of 6.00 a hitting against avg of .309. It’s gotten worse. He’s now 2-7 with a 6.41 ERA with batters hitting .313. Mike Napoli is still in the dumps batting .213 but at least he has 4 HR to compensate. Will Middlebrooks may have 5 HR & 20 RBI’s but with a .172 avg & a .214 OBP he remains the easiest out on the Sox.

Wild cards: Boston has many problems but fielding isn’t one of them, their .992 fielding percentage is the Major’s best but their 5.04 ERA is tied with the Angels for the worst in the AL. At the plate no in the majors team doubles more (114) but neither does any team strike out as much .419.

Coming Attractions: With a .333 winning percentage at Fenway the Redsox are happily off on the road 1st to Aneheim to face the 2002 Angels then to the Bronx to face their hated rivals the 2009 New York Yankees and finally out west to take on the 1999 Oakland As before returning for an 18 game home stand.

Injury Report: No team has been more crippled by injury than the Red Sox. Stephen Drew will miss all of the Angels and Yankees series. Shane Victorino will not be back until more than half way through that homestand and that pales before both Andrew Miller and Clay Buchholz will miss over 30 more games each before they are back.


National League:

1985 St. Louis Cardinals 29-22 1st place

The Cardinals may not be Dominating the NL as they were were but they still hold a four game lead vs their closest rival. Now that the other teams in the division have found their legs can they keep their lead?

Heroes: Willie McGee continues to score at will while hitting .351 with 3 triples. Tom Herr is doing well a .340 avg, 45 RBI’s and 25 stolen bases with a .441 OBP. On the mound John Tudor is 9-1 with 9 complete games and ERA of 2.15 a WHIP of 0.85 with hitters only managing a .178 avg against.

Zeroes: Kurt Kepshire as a starter and reliever has been completely ineffective a 1-2 record ERA of 8.69 and a WHIP over 2 (2.03). If you’re going to be a closer you don’t want Jeff Lahti’s numbers 4 saves in seven chances and hitters hitting .291 against. Darrell Porter has not managed to work it out at the plate hitting .175 with only 2 HR in 97 AB

Wild Cards: St. Louis is leading the NL in triples and the majors in runs and stolen bases, but St. Louis is not just leading the majors in stolen bases, but with 115 is 57 higher then the next closest team.

Coming attractions: The Cards finish a short homestand against a tough 2016 Chicago Cubs team before beginning a 12 game road trip starting 1st in Philadelphia to face the 2008 Phillies before heading to Flatbush to face the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Injury Report: Willie McGee was hurt during the series against Milwaukee and will miss the series vs the Cubs but should be back before the end of the Phillies series. Pitcher Danny Cox was also hurt in that series but might just make it back before the Cubs leave time.


1957 Milwaukee Braves 25-26 2nd place 4 GB

The Braves despite losing 2 of 3 to St. Louis last week find themselves only 4 games back but hovering at .500 a game behind for the 2nd wildcard The question remains can they reach beyond the record of a fringe playoff team?

Heroes: Warren Spahn has done double duty with 10 starts & 7 relief appearances posting a 5-3 record with one save & a 3.31 ERA. With an ERA of 4.24 and a 2-1 record you wouldn’t expect Don McMahon on this list but when you’ve converted seven of eight save chances you’re generating wins. Hank Aaron continues befuddle pitchers at .344 11 HR and 44 RBI’s

Zeros: Ernie Johnson’s status as a pitching workhorse (25 appearances) hasn’t changed but neither has his ineffectiveness with a 7.14 ERA and a .323 avg against. Frank Torre remains in his rut at the Mendoza line with only 2 HR and 7 RBI’s to show in 32 games.

Wild Cards: Milwaukee leads the NL in hits and is 2nd in runs scored in the league but tend to stay where they are with 1 stolen base in 4 attempts. Alas for them they are 2nd to last in the majors in WHIP at 1.55.

Coming Attractions: Their long 27 game road trip will finally end with stops at Houston to play the 2005 Astros and San Francisco vs the 1962 Giants before finally returning to Milwaukee to host the 1975 Reds before hitting the road again.

Injury Report. Del Rice who suffered a minor scrape vs St. Louis will be back for game 2 vs Houston


1997 Florida Marlins 23-25 3rd place 4 1/2 GB

The Marlins like the braves find themselves hovering near .500 still unclear as to what kind of team they are both hitting and being hit. Will they make up their mind before the weather heats up?

Heroes: Moises Alou has the batting title currently hitting .357 while adding 12 HR and 36 RBI’s You wouldn’t think that Kevin Brown’s 3-5 record and 3.85 ERA would qualify for this list but when your team ERA (4.95) and you lead it in starts, innings and strikeouts by a large margin that sounds heroic to me

Zeros: Devon White’s .190 avg makes his 4 HR and 19 RBI look even worse Six saves in 8 chances looks pretty good for Robb Nen but couple it with a .374 avg against a 7.08 ERA and a WHIP over 2 and a save ratio like that can’t last.

Wild cards: How odd is this team? They lead the majors in OBP at .357 and their .271 avg is 2nd in the league but their .272 avg against is 2nd worst in the league along with their 4.95 ERA. They lead the Majors with 16 saves (in 21 chances) but at 1.57 have the worst WHIP as well.

Coming attractions: The fish have a home series against a tough 2016 Chicago Cubs team before going on the road for 12 starting in Philadelphia to face the 2008 Phillies and then Brooklyn to take on the 1955 Dodgers

Injury Report: Cliff Floyd who was injured early in the year will finally be returning. He is scheduled to join the Team in Philly and is expected to play before the series is over.


2019 Washington Nationals 18-30 4th place 9 1/2 GB

Washington no longer has the worst record in the majors, only the worst in the National league but if they’re going to get out of the cellar the’re going to have to start beating teams in their division.

Heroes: Trea Turner with 66 hits 17 stolen bases and 39 runs scored is setting the table for the others while hitting 6 HR and driving in 24 as well. Juan Soto has been happy to clear it at .321 12 HR and 33 RBI’s at least when he not being walked (40 2nd in the league).

Zeros: If anyone told me that after 10 starts Max Scherzer would be 1-7 averaging only 5 1/3 inning per start with hitters batting .346 vs him and an ERA of 7.88 I wouldn’t have believed you. And when he or Anibal Sanchez (2-5 5.55 ERA in 10 starts) comes out Tanner Rainey (6.91 ERA 1.90 WHIP) and Daniel Hudson (4-5 5.55 ETA 0 saves in 3 chances) don’t make things better.

Wild Cards: The Nationals are 4-14 in their division but remain a terror to NL Div a at 8-4 and absolutely destroy left handed pitching with a 12-4 record. But the worst ERA in the majors (5.29) and a horrible save percentage (10 in 18 chances) will have to change for this teams fortunes to)

Coming Attractions: the Nats continue their road trip vising Houston to take on the 2005 Astros then San Francisco for the 1962 Giants before visiting Cincinnati to play the 1975 Reds before a long home stand.

Injury Report: The one saving grace for the Nats, the whole team is healthy

The Pritzker disaster in Illinois

Apple River Fort State Historic Site last month in Elizabeth, Illinois, located in a county that has 18 reported cases of COVID-19 as of May 10, 2020.

By John Ruberry

Illinois has the wrong governor at the wrong time. 

Oh, I’m not talking about the political positions of Chicago Democrat J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire who was elected governor in 2018. 

Let’s first discuss how he was elected. Largely because of support of unions, who probably fell in love with his wallet, as well as the tacit support of the most powerful politician in Illinois, longtime state House speaker Michael Madigan, Pritzker won the Democratic gubernatorial primary. That’s quite ironic as the Pritzker family has had a troubled relationship with organized labor, starting with the Pritzker-owned Hyatt hotel chain

Pritzker largely self-funded his campaign. So did his hapless general election opponent, multi-millionaire Bruce Rauner. The one-term Republican achieved nothing as governor, other than get bested by Boss Madigan, the mother hen of Illinois’ pension bomb

Illinois’ shelter-in-place order in response to the coronavirus was eased a bit earlier this month. Golf courses, those germ cesspools, are now open. Dine-in restaurants, health clubs, hair salons and the like are closed. Nearly one million Illinoisans, including my wife and daughter, are newly out of work. 

When things get back to what we might call normal, many of businesses won’t be here anymore. Pritzker is a trust fund baby who has never had to worry about economic survival. I’m sure he’s had a few setbacks, but he could always reach into that perpetually-full cookie jar of a trust fund or his accounts in the Grand Cayman Islands. Contrast that situation to the husband and wife who met while working as servers at a restaurant twenty years ago, then saved their money and took out a second mortgage on their home to open their own restaurant. They’ve laid off their servers and bussers, and only half of their cooks kept their jobs. Revenue has plummeted. Taking a third mortgage out on their home to bail out their restaurant isn’t an option. So their dream business, their livelihood that supported children may have only one destiny. Closing down. And then they’ll have no choice but to declare bankruptcy. 

Pritzker doesn’t get it. 

Since the governor issued his shelter-in-place order nearly two months ago most state offices were shuttered. Yet every state employee is being paid. Let’s zoom in on Illinois’ secretary of state office, which is mainly what other places call the DMV. Driver’s licenses aren’t being issued or renewed, the same goes with license plates, unless, with the latter, you are buying a car as most car dealers in Illinois have the ability to provide at the very least temporary state tags. 

Why haven’t state employees like these been laid off? Union rules just might prohibit that but we are told by Pritzker that Illinois is facing an emergency. I’m sure if he wanted to he’d find a state law to justify layoffs. But Pritzker couldn’t simply buy the governor’s office two years ago, he needed votes to win and unions supply lots of voters. And Pritzker, who is not the most dynamic campaigner–he comes across as an arrogant jerk because he is one–will need labor support again if he chooses to run for reelection. 

Sales tax revenue is of course way down in Illinois. Because of that and the state’s mountain of unpaid bills and its appallingly-underfunded public worker pension plans, last month Fitch lowered Illinois’ bond to one level above junk

Unlike its governor, Illinois has no trust fund to bail it out nor does it have bank accounts in the Grand Caymans. Courtesy of Boss Madigan Illinois hasn’t had a rainy day fund for years. 

Pritzker is facing several lawsuits challenging his shelter-in-place order. But his wife violated that order by leaving the state for the refuge of their Florida equestrian estate, in the manner of a medieval royal escaping a plague. 

It’s good to be king. It’s better to be a billionaire living off a trust fund who can use that cash to be elected governor and then lecture people like me as to how I should live my life. He’s been doing so in his daily press briefings on live television that pre-empt talk shows and soap operas. What fun! The Great Oz has spoken!

Rural Illinois has been particularly devastated by Pritzker’s shutdown. Many Illinois counties have fewer than ten reported cases of COVID-19. Three of them have none. 

With great fanfare and expense–$65 million–Pritzker transformed Chicago’s cavernous McCormick Place Convention Center into a hospital because he told us our existing hospitals would be overwhelmed by the coronavirus and there’d be no more hospital beds. After treating 37 patients the McCormick Place hospital closed down. Pritzker took bad advice from so-called experts.

Whether the shelter-in-place order in Illinois and other states worked–or perhaps it was never needed–the lockdowns need to end, with exceptions such as preventing visitors at places with vulnerable people, such as nursing homes. Densely populated cities such as New York and Boston–but not Chicago–probably need to keep up additional protections against COVID-19.

As I wrote a few weeks ago here, a new epidemic is coming. Perhaps it’s here already. One consisting of addiction, spouse and child abuse, and suicide. Economic hardship often brings out the worst in people. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.