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Winning without talent: the Miracle Miami Manatees™

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
After winning it all in 2052 and making the playoffs in 2053 the Key West Pirates have been relocated to Miami and rechristened the Manatees. One year wonder Cole Trickle was fired by Marcus "Never" Rude after handing out contracts to Obke van Zon (-2.2 WAR in WBL and a wasted roster spot), Cris Carrillo (2.5 WAR season, 27HRs and 27SBs), and Petter Leafsson (0 WAR) and replaced with former McDonalds spokesman Mayor McCheese. Both drafts under Trickle and McCheese were, to put it bluntly, disappointing and resulted in netting zero potential WBL ready impact players. Signability concerns over RF Hermann "Digger" Widden (who signed with the Helsingborg Hammers for $3.4M) resulted in the Manatees selecting potential closer Kadar bin Abdul with the 14th overall pick who signed for a $1.4M signing bonus.

On the departure side the team was unable to sign contract extensions with 1B Mario Baez (2.2 WAR, 2041 IFA signing), CL Jorge Rivera (1.1 WAR, IFA 2042 signing), and Reliever Sozen Kobayashi (2.1 WAR) as a result of budget issues. Also victims of the lack of payroll flexibility were farm hand RF Diego Ramos (free agency), long time 3B Robin "Hawkeye" Marson (0.8 WAR, non-tender), and middle reliever Julio Mancuso (0.2 WAR, non-tender). While the core of the 2052 shampionship team (Francisco Rojas, Robbie Marijnissen, Brady "Rocky" Thompson, Jorge Martinez, Yasin bin Nazeeh) is currently penciled in to start spring training for the 2054 season big changes are on the horizon.
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
Finally getting the minors organized now that the dismantling of the Key West Pirates is complete. For those of you interested in why I dismantled a team that was still competitive and about to have a significant amount of salary available here's the deal. When I looked at the two drafts I did and what was in the minor system that was ready or close to being ready for WBL I didn't really see guys that would be more than role players. To augment the empty farm I had grand plans to make splashes in Free Agency and the IFA market but, since the playoff run didn't get past the first round, I was out of money and the guys in the draft that I could have drafted my scout did not like at all.Seeing little chance to improve the team with mid-level FAs and lottery pick IFAs and draft picks I decided to blow the team up and start over.

The first moves I made took place during the 2053 season with me sending OF Ryan Fuller to Helsingborg for SP Juan Sanchez and SS Hanbal Bin Kedar, both at AAA for additional seasoning before their inevitable call up to the show. Ryan Fuller was a great player but the farm being so empty and the outfield (at the time) being full I felt moving him for two solid pieces was a good move since I had already started considering a complete rebuild. After getting swept in the playoffs and, as a result, not having enough money to do the signings I wanted to this offseason I decided to throw caution to the wind and embrace my inner Riverboat Captain - the rebuild was on.

First trade of the rebuild process:

Miami sends:
Chris Carrillo, CF, WBL
2054 3rd round pick
2054 4th round pick

UK sends:
Garland McIlrath, SP, AA
Christopher Mena, SP, AA

Carrillo was one of my first FA signing ($30M/3 years) and had a solid 2.5 WAR season with the last Key West team but I didn't see him in my future plans and wanted to get some pieces for the farm and clear salary. Garland McIlrath is now in AAA (#2 SP) after his lights out performance in AA to start the season and looks to be a potential 4-5 on a future Manatees team. Christopher Mena, on the other hand, struggled at AA this season but was elevated to AAA (#5 SP) when I let the AI redo my farm after I cleaned up the guys with no future. If he has further issues I'll drop him down to AA but right now I'm giving him a long leash and will see how he does. The picks I sent in this trade, when you look at future trades and my prior drafts, I felt were fair since the picks I've made in those rounds have been awful and these guys were much better than what I would have draft. It helped that @NML also took $22M in salary in this trade so this I felt was good trade on both sides.

Second trade of the rebuild process:

Miami sends:

SP Robbie Marijnissen WBL
LF Jari Kievit WBL

Las Vegas sends:

RP Can Son (AA)
OF Niek Ploeg (AA)
RP Brad Martin (AA)
C Fernando Zacorias (A)
C Oliver Docking (I)
CF Jorge Barbosa WBL
RP Carlos Velez WBL
RP Wes Buckley (AAA)
Wu Li (WBL)
2054 3rd Round Pick (compensation for taking Wu Li)

@doh and I had hammered out a pretty insane trade similar to this one but Francsico Rojas exercised his 10-and-5 rights and we had to go back to the drawing board. A few other people made decent offers for Jari Kievit and Robbie Marijnissen (both together and individually) but I wasn't interested in WBL level talent (most didn't fit the identity I wanted) or draft picks (past two drafts have been awful and my picks were even worse) and I really wanted Niek Ploeg. After some back and forth we put together a package that I felt was really good for both sides.

Kievit, much like Turtle and Rocky, is an excellent WBL player with great contact but very little power and didn't really have enough strength at a single OF position where I felt he alone would make or break a team. If his power had been in the 55-60 range I wouldn't have moved him but with Carrillo and Fuller gone I wanted someone with power in the OF and he wasn't it. Now, a lot of people rightfully said that Niek Ploeg (the player I plan to take Kievit's place) also doesn't have an OF position but, according to my scout, his Contact, Eye, and Avoiding Ks potential are much higher than Kievit and he has options left (if needed). He may end up just being a solid, if unspectacular, DH (2-3 WAR) but I wanted to rebuild this team from the minors up and felt he was a solid piece to start with right now.

Moving Robbie Marijnissen was a difficult call given how cheap his contract is for the next three seasons and how flat out dominating he's been the past two seasons (13.6 WAR) but it netted me some pretty solid pieces that I don't think I could have gotten on my own drafting or in FA or IFA. I know that relievers aren't super valuable but my scout and I both really liked Can "Wacko" Son (currently AA) and feel that, if he develops like I hope, he can be a dominate closer in the WBL for a very long time. Brad Martin (currently at AAA) doesn't have the stuff of Can Son and struggled as a starter at AA when he was with LV but I put him as the closer at Winston-Salem and so far, so good.

The other pieces in this trade I've put as starters at the level I felt was best for them in minors and hope to see them reach their potential. Oliver Docking (A) is currently the starting C at Kenley where's struggled early (19 SO in 47 AB) but I expect that to change as the season progresses. Fernando Zacorias is currently at AA but might be dropped down to A to DH if he struggles early this season. Neither of these guys have high potential at the actual C position but I felt they were better options than what I had or could find in IFA or FA so I'm giving them a go. The WBL level guys (Wu Li, Jorge Barbosa, and Carlos Velez) are filling in great on the new Manatees squad where I suspect Wes Buckley will spend some time at some point this season as middle relief.

Third trade of the rebuild process:

Miami sends:
Yasin 'Turtle' Bin Nazeeh
2054 2nd Round Pick

Helsingborg sends:
Hammer Harris
Olav Verstraten
Jose Hernandez

This trade started out innocently enough (I wanted Hammer Harris for some solid power in the OF) and wound up turning into a pretty solid return for both teams. Turtle has put up over 10 WAR over the past two seasons (including winning the batting title in 2052) but he was going to be a free agent in two years and, as much as I would have liked to have held onto him if I could have extended him, I didn't see that happening. Hammer Harris had a horrible, injury plagued season in 2053 but is off to an ok start (3 HRs) and gives me a power threat in the OF, something missing from last years team (ignoring that bozo OBKE I signed). My scout really liked Jose Hernandez (AA, clean up hitter) but didn't like Olav Verstraten (A, #1 SP) for some reason but I did and felt that giving up this year's 2nd round pick was worth Olav. My only concern with Olav is if he never improves his control he might not make it at the WBL as a starter or as anything other than middle relief.

Fourth trade of the rebuild process:

Miami sends:
Brady "Rocky" Thompson (WBL)

Istanbul sends:
Gil "Blanks" MacDonald (AAA)
Freddy Lara (AAA)
Cesar "Trucker" Israel (AA)
Shakil "Slippery" Arfan (A)

When Yankee said he'd be willing to move Blanks for a solid WBL hitter (he had originally made a similar trade offer without Blanks for Rocky) I knew I had to make the move. Yes, Rocky is an elite hitter with outstanding gap power and speed and is going to be cheap until 2062 but Blanks (AA, #3 hitter) is really a player I felt I could build a new team around that would make serious noise in the playoffs. Given that I had already gotten a pretty solid core for the new team in the prior three trades this was an easy one to pull the trigger on. When you throw in that I also got Freddy Lara (solid LF or RF with a great eye), Cesar "Trucker" Israel (AA, leadoff hitter), and Shakil "Slippery" Arfan (A, DH/1B) that was a pretty serious haul for my farm and, if these guys develop up to their potential, should have the Miami Manatees teams of the 2060s a legit contender.
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
It was a very difficult decision to blow the team up you built but now that I've gotten a hang on how OOTP works I wanted to build my own team and, fortunately, the guys from the 2052 championship team netted me some great young talent. It's early in the season but most of the guys that I got that will be in the WBL in the next couple of seasons are really tearing it up at AA and will definitely get a call up in September. The budget and fan loyalty and interest will certainly take a huge hit as a result of these moves (just like when the Astros got sold and rebuilt) but I like a challenge and this certainly is shaping up to be one (even though we're still in the SL).
 

Orlando

Well-Known Member
Utopia Moderator
Ploeg uses a tele with a tube screamer? Maybe that guy isn't so bad after all.
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
With Opening Day 2055 here I thought I'd do a brief update (paging @Mr. Radpants to say "two sentences, max").

We're in JV so until we've been actually mathematically eliminated we still have a shot at the playoffs but this season is going to be awful. Gil "Blanks" MacDonald is up and hitting third and has some decent "protection" around him again so, while I don't expect him to put up a 5+ WAR season in the WBL, I do expect him to not spend any time down in the minors this seasons barring injury. Since we're HAVE NOTS again thanks to last season's tank job we had to get parts where we could through trades and waiver wire watching so here are the lineups for right now:

Against Right Handed Pitching:
ootpRH.png

This should be called Blanks and the AAAAs.
  • Hanbal bin Kedar: mediocre season at AAA, probably should be part of a platoon but someone has to leadoff
  • Ulisses Ferrer: part of the Raul Torres trade from last year, decent minors season last year, not promising but not completely awful
  • Blanks: the future of Miami depends on him not being a bust
  • Tien Thu: scumbag that can still hit, not even a catcher but Salgado isn't either
  • Arthur Mwangata: traded a very unhappy Mario Caro for this guy solely because he's fast and has decent ratings
  • Mike "Hammer" Harris: someone has to play RF that can hit and there's only one DH spot, acquired solely to improve attendance, though he does still have speed
  • Jason James: Contract year team, has speed, not even a CF but someone has to stand out there
  • Jose "Swampy" Wiggins: On a team full of AAAA this guy is AAAAA
  • Darren Adams: Acquired in the Stephen "0-10" Adams trade, GREAT glove, no speed, and no bat
Against Right Handed Pitching:
ootpLH.png
Same trash as against RHP with these two changes:
  • Orlando Aguilar: Will probably be released by the end of April, total bum
  • Kwang-sub Pak: Speed kills, only decent CF on team, no bat, no potential
Pitching (read: Pray the Rosary for Rain)

ootpPitching.png

I started this offseason with a really solid bullpen (Mah, Segrave, Can Son, Brad Martin) and a horrible rotation. Mah was dealt to get a solid "SS" prospect (Bjorno) and a 1st (which I used to acquire Jean "Grasshopper" Leroy and $7.5M in cash) and Segrave netted three "lottery ticket" prospects and our current #1 starter - Salvador "Funky" Garcia. There's a lot to be said about this pitching and absolutely none of it is good. Let's start with the rotation:
  • Salvador "Funky" Garcia hasn't be a regular starter since 2051, he's going to pitch at least 200 innings this season
  • Marat Aleev was a HUNGER GAMES participant
  • Ray Chapman is Barry Zito without the "stabbin' cabin" and knee buckling curve
  • Juan Sanchez would be a decent pitcher if not for his complete lack of control
  • Pedro "Rat" Ramirez had a decent 2054 and then died in Spring Training
And now the bullpen or as I like to call it - "do you need a closer when you're always down 10 runs?".
  • Abdul-Muhaimin bin Murtadi: Free agent signing during Spring Training, received this after signing him:
playerIssue.png
  • Jaime Chacon: Hunger Games pitcher I signed to an extension when I had pitching "just to be safe", look for him to serve up home runs anytime the MAAAAnAAAAtees aren't at Bay of Pigs Field at Sister Havana Stadium
  • Adrian Alonzo: I've put this guy on waivers multiple times and no one has ever claimed him, zero control
  • Nathan Wilson: demands to be traded at least four times a season, signing him to an extension as soon as the season starts
  • Brad Martin: Part of the Kievit and Robbie Ganjah trade, still has some potential yet to be realized but of the options in the minors this guy was hard to not break camp with
  • Can "Wacko" Son: Along with Niek "Nighttrain" Ploeg, a key piece of the Kievit and Robbie Ganjah trade, still has some unrealized potential (by both OSA and my scout) but I didn't want to waste him in the minors even though we probably don't need a closer given the starting pitching, an absolute stud
The fans seem pretty happy with some of the pieces I got in trades and with Blanks being in the Show but I don't see this season as anything other than shittastic. Even if we had won some the FA pitching that was out there I don't think one decent starter would be enough to right this ship, even in JV. A bad, bad, bad defense and an even worse rotation is going to result in a lot of 14-10 losses and me scouring the waiver wire after every sim for bullpen help.
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
Niek "Nighttrain" Ploeg has been called up and is now hitting second and splitting time at DH, LF, and RF. With the acquisition of Francisco Colon it was time to see if this team might actually be mediocre or if the first two weeks of the season were just a mirage. Sink or swim time.
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
It was fun being a mediocre team. Unless a miracle happens (i.e. a trade for pitching) this season's a total turd. Here we come 100 losses!
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
Over a third of the way through the season and we're at 12-24. Charles "LAST CHANCE FOR A SLOW DANCE" Bjorno has been sent back and forth from the minors multiple times and is learning a new position (third base), Niek Ploeg (0.8 WAR) and Darren Adams (0.7 WAR) are the only hitters with an OPS over 800 with more than 100 PAs, and Gil "Blanks" MacDonald is still waiting for his bat to make it to Sister Havana Stadium. In short:



But have no fear! The pitching(!) is actually decent again and that's after shipping out everyone with more than TWO STARZ! Dwaine Kidwell (who I'm trying to ship out of town for draft picks and A level bums) is at a 1.7 WAR and sub-3.00 ERA and FIP (something that he's never done before). Jose "Spider" Bernal (a part of the "ship that angry bum Salvador 'Funky' Garcia out of town" trade) looks like a solid arm but poor Louie "Gravedigger" Tregelles (part of the "$6M and Freddy Lara" trade) looks like he's heading down to AAA to figure it out. Too bad too since his sinker ball is really good, he's just been unlucky with walks and HRs so far this season.

Too many trades to go over but this about sums it up:

 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
2057 Season So Far:



Major front office shake up about to happen if some magic doesn't happen before the trade deadline.
 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.


Busy dealing with Real Life Shit® so I missed pulling an ARod and making this announcement during the WS but Mayor McCheese, as a result of his piss poor management and team record during his tenure, has been fired. His replacement will be announced soon but first:

THE BIG NEWS BABBY!!!!!!!!!!

The Miami Manatees are being relegated to our AAA affiliate and the Kansas City Katz will now be our World Baseball Level team.

This wasn't an easy decision but we haven't been drawing dick at Sister Havana Stadium and the city of Miami is just not supporting our desire for a new taxpayer only funded stadium. When talks broke with Miami-Dade on a new stadium deal the fine folks in Kansas City welcomed us with open arms (and open legs) along with a blank check for whatever we wanted. The new stadium hasn't been named yet but we're close to a deal with Garmin for multiple years of support. Unfortunately for our BUM ASS pitching staff the park factors for Garmin Connect Stadium will be the same as Sister Havana Stadium but there won't be any two or six legged cockroaches filling the seats or knifing paying customers in the parking lot.

An update of the Kansas City Katz will be made once our new GM search is complete.


 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.


BREAKING NEWZ


Irish badass and former Thin Lizzy frontman and bassist Phil Lynott has been hired as the new GM of the Miami Manatees. Yes, Lynott has been dead since 1986 but it's 2059(?) so anything is possible with modern technology, including reanimation. WELCOME PHIL!

Yes, you read that right, the team isn't moving to Kansas Shitty after all. The backroom (facials) stadium deal resulted in a recall vote and a cancellation of funding while we were loading up the Mayflours. As such, we're staying in Miami at Sister Havana Stadium. As punishment, the KC Katz will continue being our AAA affiliate and *might* end up having Nicky "Scumfuck" Suter as an instructor. I'm sure the police and DA in KCMO will enjoy dealing with that psychopath on a regular basis. YOU'RE WELCOME AZZHOLEZ.

 

TonyGin&Juice

Come into my healing basement.
2059 Review: Mount 500 again? Try winning the whole fucking thing.

At some point in July when we started looking legit:



When it was all over: Also known as - luck beats SPREADSHEET WARRIORS every time






2060 Preview: We're back babby! And we're coming for your ass.



Major Subtractions:

Parker Gordon LHP: Declined Player Option
Marvin Garner RHP: Free Agency


When the trade with False Bay for Gordon and Pentagram Ramirez was made we knew neither guy was part of our long term plans but, after winning a World Series, we had hoped Gordon would stay through the last year of his contract. Him leaving hurt our left handed heavy rotation but, to be honest, his control was a major problem in the playoffs and with Richard "Shoot out the lights" Thompson doing so well for us it wasn't a huge loss. Garner is a great BP arm but at 36 we didn't see a reason to try and extend him but may bring him back now that's a free agent if we can get the right deal. Losing both of those guys weakened our pitching significantly but it didn't cripple it. Gordon should do very well well for Buenos Aires and I wouldn't be shocked to see him pitching in the playoffs again this season.

Major Additions:

Victor Williams RHP: Left in Free Agency
Rafael Ortega DH/PH: Free Agent signing


Victor Williams was supposed to be a solid and cheap #4/#5 SP or mop-up man but, due to his mediocre control and stuff, wound up finishing out his contract in Kansas City (AAA). We gave up a lot to get him and, while he did eat a lot of innings during our first MOUNT 500 season after the rebuild, he was just terrible no matter where we tried him. Him being gone frees up both a spot on the 40-man and also on the AAA squad so we can keep arms fresh and ready after the All-Star break with some of the kids that aren't quite WBL ready. Ortega was signed for one reason and one reason only - to pinch hit against right handed pitching early on while some of the kids are still on the farm fine tuning their defense and hitting. For $1M he's a cheap way to get some offense early on as a PH/DH since we're rolling with a pretty loathsome lineup the first two months of the season.

Projected Pitching: aka this shit is weak but do enough and you'll be ok



Starting Rotation:
Raul Robles LHP
Richard "Shoot out the Lights" Thompson LHP
Dave Gamble RHP
Lee Nelson RHP
Sancho Oliveira RHP


Bullpen:
Bill Kimes RHP: Middle Relief/Mopup
Brad Martin RHP: Middle Relief/Mopup
Du Luu LHP: High Leverage LOOGY/Mopup
Nicholas Winstone RHP: Setup (6th)/High Leverage aka Stopper
Javier Mendoza RHP: Setup (7th)/High Leverage aka Stopper
Jorge Rivera LHP: Setup(8th)/Closer
Naruhiko Kobayashi LHP: Closer/High Leverage LOOGY


Our "swingmen" (aka swinging back and forth from AAA to WBL) are going to be Akke de Vos, Bruno Ralston, and Larry Haney. Our top pitching prospect Arturo Robles RHP is going to start out in AAA but should be in the WBL rotation or bullpen before the All-Star break. Otherwise we'll be looking to make a trade or signing some guys off the FA scrapheap if any major injuries happen.

Projected Lineup until mid-June: The Loathsome Bums?!?! Again?



In Spring Training we're letting the kids get some serious playing time to see who's ready-ready and who still needs some time to develop, especially on defense. Right now we're probably not going to break camp with Gold Mine, Salvador García, Bernard Lejeune, or Hadde de Beun no matter how well they do this spring but, of the big four position guys, Hadde de Beun is the player most likely to start first when we do call them up. Of course, that only happens if Luis "4.5 WARs" Reyes C doesn't have another expectations exceeding season at the plate and in the field. If Reyes starts off strong again we might move Hadde for picks or pitching.

Projected Lineup April to June

Charles "Last Chance for a Slow Dance" Bjorno - DH#
Niek Ploeg - LF*
Randy Gadd - 1B*
Luis Reyes - C#
Julian Pineda - 2B
Emilio Flores - 3B*
Thao Nguyen - RF
Kevin Fevre - SS
Eric de Keizer - CF*


Bench:
Devin Smith - 3B/2B/1B/PH
Hermann Wideen - RF/PH/DH
Rafael Ortega - PH*
Douglas Vaughn - C/PH*


* Left Handed, # Switch hitter

Projected Lineup mid-June to World Series: We runnin' this shit



Charles "Last Chance for a Slow Dance" Bjorno - 3B#
Andreas "Gold Mine" Andrade - LF*
Niek Ploeg - DH*
Randy Gadd - 1B*
Julian Pineda - 2B
Hadde de Beun - C*
Salvador Garcia - CF*

Bernard Lejeune - SS
Thao Nguyen - RF

Bench:
Emilio Flores - 3B/1B/DH/PH*
Hermann Wideen - RF/PH/DH
Rafael Ortega - PH*
Douglas Vaughn - C/PH*


* Left Handed, # Switch hitter
 
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