Friday, January 24, 2020

Charter Owner Interview Series: Wolfhoundkl

As mentioned in my prior post there are still 8 owners around from season 1 of Hunter. The first person in this series is Wolfhoundkl. Wolf is in his 3rd stint with Hunter, he played seasons 1-19 are the Texas Beefeaters in the AL South, which is now Tropicana's Little Rock Returns. Then returned for a short stint S23-25 in the NL East as Tampa Bay Manatees which is now Bluenoser's Syrcacuse Sultan of Swat before finally rejoining us in the NL north as the Toronto Trashpandas his current team.

I will get into the interview shortly but just to add a little colour I personally know Wolf as he was a housemate from my university years at McMaster University. Him and I were really big fans of a simulation game called baseball mogul, once HBD launched he was the first person I knew that I tried to get to join and we went head to head for 19 seasons in the AL south and not to boast but I hold a career record of 131-65 versus Wolf's teams (Okay maybe that was meant as a boast. Which might explain why his last two returns have been the Louisville free confines of the NL. All kidding aside time to start the interview

Real Name : Kristian

How did you find out about HBD and how did you end up in Hunter? Jahu and I go way, way back, to undergrad actually. I have a hard time saying no to the guy, so I was sort of an easy mark when he presented the idea to me. Back in the day I remembered him playing the NCAA basketball version and thinking it seemed kind of neat but that's not a sport or league/association I understood very well at the time; baseball was way more accessible for me.

City: Toronto


Description of where you were in your life when you joined Hunter (mid to late 2006): Eesh. Uh, I guess that was early law school for me, so I had a LOT of spare time to fill* at my computer having just moved to a new city and not having a lot of friends.
*work smart, not hard, folks

Do you know any Hunter members in real life, present or past?: Jahu and I lived together in iundergrad and are fortunately still tight to this day. A couple other owners in the league I know from that period of my life but haven't really kept up with (you know who you are) and ex-owner shmish0 and I have known each other since grade 4 and still play squash every other week or so!

Comish Edit: For those that don't remember shmish0 was a great owner and playing as the Salt Lake City Mormons from S6 to S34 winning two titles. Making him one of only 6 owners with multiple titles. I bug Kristian every season to get him to return.

Favorite Player and Favorite pitcher that played for your team and why?: Glenn McCarty (https://www.whatifsports.com/hbd/Pages/Popups/PlayerRatings.aspx?pid=61690) was my personal hero the first dozen seasons I played. He's still who I wanna be when I grow up. Didn't have much in the way of pitchers back in the day but Jose Diaz
(https://www.whatifsports.com/hbd/Pages/Popups/PlayerStats.aspx?pid=732353) despite never quite living up to the hype at least felt like a potential elite arm at a stage in the game I needed one.

Comish Edit: I thought for sure Kristian pick was going to be Bruce Kaufman and his 632 career HR, 1669 RBIs, .923 OPS and MVP and only Beefeater HOFer. That said Glen Mccarty is 2nd all time in OBP with .451 and 4th all time in batting average with .342 career marks

Favorite Player and pitcher that never played for your team and why?: Basically anyone good jahu ever had because he wouldn't shut up about them and he made me jealous. Actually no, almost forgot...Who here remembers Dusty Nation? Best name in the history of virtual sports, right there.

Comish Edit: This story checks out

Least Favorite Hunter Owner (Only accepting owners that no longer play HBD) and why, don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but like to add spice: I don't really remember the league makeup from ~30, 40 seasons ago when I was really active and engaged. (but really it's jahu)

Comish Edit: Dude?!

Biggest Hunter Rivals and why: Freakin' louisville, again, for the aforementioned reasons

Best Hunter Moment: Honestly? coming back last season. I was never any good at the game but just having the menus back on my screen after most of a decade away felt like pulling on a cozy pair of slippers.

Favorite Hunter Owner by whatever definition you want to use: Definitely not jahu, going to have to go with Bjb always respected his never ending stream of Cy young pitchers

What is the best part of Hunter?: it seems to be like the best hobbies in that it will expand to fill as much time as you need it to, buti f you're just in it for a lark it needn't be a chore.
After 13 years where are you in your life now? (age, martial status, childern job etc?): 36, running my own law practice in toronto, living the good life on my own in a new place. Been a messy few years but things are starting to fall into place little by little.
Any words to celebrate Hunter 50? : I can't believe I'm back doing this. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment...and THIS will be the year I hand-rank all the top 500 prospects for the draft. Definitely. For sure. Maybe. I think.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Welcome to Hunter's 50th Anniversary Season

50 seasons....…. that's a long time, by my recollection and perhaps someone can correct me I believe Hunter launched in the fall of 2006  which is crazy to think about.

During this anniversary season I am going to try and run a few different features in addition to the Power Rankings on the blog. The first that I'm going to run is to celebrate the thing that makes Hunter so great and that's YOU the owners. In the first series I will be running  will focus on those that have been here from the start. The owners that were here in Season 1...…….. 14 years ago.

So look for posts on the blog about the following owners, some have been with us for all 50 seasons others have left only to find their way home.

We have 8 owners from season 1

tbook
mdukes
dufferman
dizzlebob
bjb2378
pfontaine
jahu43
wolfhoundkl

Pretty incredible to have 25% of the owners from season 1 still in the league

Look for the first post to go up tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

S49 Power Ranks Start of Season:

10. Montreal Rippers: Last Season (96-66) Last Rank: 2

As Ferris Bueller once said life comes at your fast...… Life has definitely came at the Rippers quickly. This is an extremely talented roster but has an unbelievable 14 players on their ML roster that are 33 or older. The plus side for the Rippers is these are still talented players but the Rippers farm is bare and they are up against the cap. Unless the GM can get very creative this might be the Rippers last ride. 

9. Iowa Cornhuskers: Last Season (88-74) Last Rank: Honourable Mention (HM)

The Cornhuskers crack the top 10 for the first time. Last season they rode the HM train start to finish but manage to jump Atlanta and Montreal's aging teams. Once again this team will go as Cristobel Baerga goes who unbelievably didn't win the MVP last season with a 1.126 OPS. The NL MVP race last season was historic. Following two first round exits Iowa looks poised to make a deeper run

8. Jacksonville Juicers: Last Season (97-66) Last Rank: 5

The Juices won their division for the 8th straight time last year and advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs. This team still boosts one of the top rotations in Hunter however while not as dramatic as Montreal who has installed oxygen tanks on the bench this season, the Juicers average age is drifting up north of 30. This Juicers team every time I look at it I'm shocked they haven't won the championship. The window isn't closed yet but father time is undefeated. 

7. Louisville Sluggers: Last Season (94-68) Last Rank: 7

Expect more of the same from Louisville this season, returning almost an identical roster. The next wave of Sluggers won't be arriving until end of season call-ups. With half the roster under 30, any progression this season will have to come from within.

6. Monterrey Heat: Last Season (105-57) Last Rank: 6

The Heat finished last season with the best record in Hunter but for the 2nd straight season did not manage to win a playoff round. The Heat's roster from last season returns mostly in tact however they did lose Jionvanni Guyer to Scranton, while he was probably the top FA pitcher he did not manage to crack the Heat playoff rotation. For the first season since joining Hunter Mjs22 has had a quiet off-season. It likely he's confident in a team that managed to win 105 games last season

5.Vancouver Lumberjacks: Last Season (97-65) Last Rank: 4

Vancouver's lineup in absolutely loaded and Duster Lester pickedup a Co-MVP but perhaps the Lumberjacks best player wasn't even nominated.....Hector Peters hit 60 HR and had 140 RBIs while playing 2nd best and could not find his way on to the ballot. If Peters comes into the season with a chip on his shoulder the NL should be very worried. 

4. Scottsdale Dawgs: Last Season (101-61) Last Rank: 3

The Dawgs made a nice run to the NLCS last season before eventually falling in 6 to the eventual champions NY. The Dawgs look to build on that success from last season and is the same for most of the top teams they return virtually the same roster. I joked last season that Phillip Goodwin spent his off days flying to Iowa to rip Cristol Baegara posters off water towers. It turns out this was an effective strategy because at the tender age of 25 Goodwin picked up his first MVP

3. New York Yankees: Last Season (101-61) Last Rank: 10

It's a good thing I'm hungry because it's time to eat crow. This is what I wrote just before the playoffs started

"Sooo you know it's going to get spicy when a 100W team is the 10th spot...… I predicted that New York would fade in the 2nd half but they didn't. Just when I look at the roster I see a deep roster that is very good but doesn't make the "jump" when the roster gets trimmed down. " 

Well it's clear I don't know anything as the Yanks went on to the World series. Hat tip Shucky. I won't make the same mistake this season. Welcome to the top 3 :)

2. Washington DC Generals: Last Season (95-67) Last Rank: 9

The Generals in the Power Ranks have been a lot like the elevator industry..... it has it's ups and downs. Last season the Generals started as the 1 team and then stumbled out of the gate only to rebound and make a run to the ALCS. So the talent I saw on the roster came to play once weight of lofty Power Rank expectations were removed. Let's see if they are better able to handle the pressure this season. 

1. San Francisco Night Demons: Last Seaon (100-62) Last Rank; 1

Despite losing the 7th game of the World Series I still have to give SF the top spot. The Night Demons rotation is truly frightening. This rotation will continue to anchor the team for the next 3-4 season. The light at the end of the tunnel is Yadeil Molina and his 7 Cy Youngs has turned 36....the downside is he has a makeup of 89 and hasn't started to fade yet.




Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Beginning of Season 49: Honourable Mention

Sorry for the delay in getting these up have been traveling the last two weeks. Without further ado

Honourable Mentions:

New Britain Yorkies: Last Season (79-83) Last Rank: Honourable Mention (HM)

Believe in the infrastructure Dj has been able to reload and retool on the fly and has been a model of success every since moving his team to the NL in season S22 and hasn't missed the playoff since season 25.  He also picked up 3 WS titles before jumping to the NL. Having reviewed this years roster it appears the Yorkies last season was there bottom and they are about to begin what will likely be a long cycle up.

Altanta Cheesgrits: Last Season (91-71) Last Rank: 8

Early in the off-season Atlanta announced that they were open to trading their veteran players however in an uncharacteristic pre-season the trade market stayed relative quiet. Atlanta comes into the season with a strong team full of grizzled but still good veterans who are currently looking to make once last run together after their S47 championship. This remains a dangerous team that will be hunting for a playoff spot.

Boston Minutemen: Last Season (81-81) Last Rank: Not Ranked (NR)

The Minutemen have been lurking around the fringes of the NL playoff race for the last 2-3 seasons I suspect this will be the season they jump into full blown contention. They are off to a great start in S49 and their lineupe is lead by perennial All-Star Lou Lindor and Dean Zeid. Most importantly they will have a full season of future ace Tito Donald.

Scranton Tailgaters: Last Season (85-77) Last Rank: HM

Last season the Tailgators kept all AL playoff teams on their toes until the final week of the season. While it has been a quiet off season for most of Hunter. The Tailgators have been sneakily shopping in the free agency bargain bin. In all the Tailgators signed 3 type A FA and 3 type B FA, included in this haul was in my opinion the best FA available Jioyer Guyer who along with Benji Thornton bolsters the rotation. The remaining for signings were all good stick flexible defenders. I don't rank the Honourable Mentions but Scranton was my number 11 and I fully expect them to battle the Rippers for the AL North title.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Power Ranks- Top 10 End of season

This is being done following game 159...…. the only mystery left in the season is whether Montreal or Washington will finish 3rd in the AL and who will grab the 5-seed in the AL, Atlanta or Lousiville. 

This is not intended to shoot sunshine up anyone's ass but it would not surprise me if any of the top 10 took home the title this year. It's been a long time since I felt the playoff field was this deep. When I did these rankings I had a team drop 5 spots when looking into underlying stats...…. and another jump 3..... It's going to be a very tight playoff. 


10. New York Yankees: 100-59, Last Rank: 8, First Rank 9

Sooo you know it's going to get spicy when a 100W team is the 10th spot...… I predicted that New York would fade in the 2nd half but they didn't. Just when I look at the roster I see a deep roster that is very good but doesn't make the "jump" when the roster gets trimmed down. 

This is a good time to point out that this is shucky's 7th divison title in 8 seasons since joining Hunter

9. Washington Generals:  93-66, Last Rank: HM, First Rank 1

Well the Generals have been the most interesting Power Ranking team...… they re-enter the top 10 as they cruise to their 4th straight division crown and with a 22 game division lead. With three games left they will end the season with the 3rd to 6th best AL record which highlights the parity in the AL

8. Altanta Cheese Grits: 90-69, Last Rank: 4, First Rank: 5

The defending champs faded a bit in the 2nd half but still posses a roster that will DEFEND their title. No one will be happy when they see the Cheese Grits on their schedule. Also I mentioned 2 NL divisons that may have all 4 teams finish .500 or above. Which would make most think those were the top 2 divisions in Hunter...… I've been making Thunderdome jokes all year and the AL South leads all other divisions by a cumulative 20 wins and is sending 3 teams to the playoffs for the 3nd straight year.  If your in the AL better win your division. 

7. Louisville Sluggers: 92-67, Last Rank: 5, First Rank: 7

This is a roster built more for the playoffs than the regular season. The delta between pitchers to who in the regular season but disappear for the playoffs may not be larger. 

6. Monterray Heat: 104-55, Last Rank: 6, First Rank: 8

Mjs22 entered Hunter by kicking down the door to the playoffs and Thunderdome. This season marks the 3rd straight playoffs and 2nd straight division title. At this point in the standing you need to pick nits. While the pitching is improved I still see a team that's better suited for the regular season than the playoffs but I could also be very wrong. 

5. Jacksonville Juicers: 92-67   Last Rank: 9, First Rank: 3

Had a strong second half and lead the NL in expected win %. The Juicers pitching staff is likely the top staff in all of Hunter. Will be a formidable playoff opponent to face. 

4. Vancouver Lumberjacks:95-64    Last Rank: 3, First Rank: 10

Ownership stayed engaged all season. Hector Peters the Hunter man of mystery ends the season with 60 HR and 140 RBIs which may not be enough for the NL MVP buy losing the division the Lumberjacks have to chop a lot more wood to win the series

3. Scottsdale Dawgs: 100-58  Last Rank: 2, First Rank: 6

Philip Goodin decided he was sick of Cristobel Baerga mug and put together a historic 2nd half. The Dawgs held off the Lumberjacks to win their 2nd straight NL West title. Scottsdale enters the playoff as the favorite from the NL

2. Montreal Rippers: 95-64 Last Rank: 7, First Rank: 4

For a large portion of the 2nd half the AL MVP was dominated by Rippers with their holy trinity. Jonathan Griffin is looking to add his 2nd World Series ring to his overstuffed trophy case. The Rippers path likely includes a stop the next town.

1. San Francisco: 99- 60 Last Rank: 1, First Rank: 2

So permeant marker it is...…… will anyone stop the mad titan or is he truly inevitable