Friday, May 30, 2014

This Week In Happy Jack: May 23 - May 30

To keep the blog somewhat active on a regular basis, I’ve decided to do a segment called “This Week In Happy Jack”, where I condense all the information from the “News” section of the webpage in one convenient master-list, as well as other goings-on of note from the past calendar week. This segment will appear every Friday (or maybe Saturday, but it will consider games from Saturday AM to Friday PM2).

Heating Up: 32 teams tied for the best winning percentage, at .000 (0-0)
Cooling Off: 32 teams tied for the words winning percentage, at .000 (0-0)

Game Highlights
886 players tied for the league lead with 0 Game Highlights this week

Free Agency:

DL Report
Placed on the DL this week:
Returned from the DL this week:

Noteworthy Games


  • jeff2106 and elgman joined our ranks, reducing our number of openings to 3 (NL West, AL North, AL South)
  • To further reduce that number I would encourage people to engineer swaps in which one of us joins another world in exchange for someone else joining us.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Who Is The Real Happy Jack MVP?

There may not be 100% agreement on how to fix the issue, but there is something very close to that when it comes to agreement among us that there is something wrong with the requirements to be considered for MVP. Jesse Walsh and Pedro Zorrilla are certainly very valuable assets and great guys to have on the field for your team, but are they really the Most Valuable Player in Happy Jack's AL & NL? I decided to find out.

In order to do so, I used the spreadsheet that I talk about here to determine a Wins Above Replacement value for every single player in Happy Jack. This way, all of the variables that people discuss in MVP voting can be accounted for and quantified into a comparable statistic. Here's a slightly more in-depth look at what this stuff really means:

For hitters, the spreadsheet uses Plate Appearances, OBP, SLG%and Position Played to generate an initial number. I then created a formula that takes into consideration the home ballpark & base running ability to supplement the initial number and create a final one. The end effect is that each player gets credit for playing more and a harder position where appropriate, all in a neutral park.

For pitchers, a simpler yet equally effective strategy was used. To start, the spreadsheet generates an initial value using the pitcher's role (starter vs. reliever), Innings Pitched and ERA. I then adjusted these numbers to account for their home ballpark as well.

In the end, I came up with the following Top 5 for each league:

American League
1. Russ Fitzgerald, C-Salem, 6.8515 WAR
2. Jesse Walsh, RF-New Britain, 6.8510 WAR (actual MVP)
3. Donaldo Lee, RF- El Paso, 6.84 WAR
4. Matty Rodriguez, DH-Arizona, 6.56 WAR
5. Marc Mattingly, SP-Fargo, 5.83 WAR

National League
1. Hector Johnson, ?-Buffalo, 7.47 WAR
2. Lonney Perez, ?-Jacksonville, 6.76 WAR
3. Pedro Zorilla, 1B-Cheyenne, 6.23 WAR (actual MVP)
4. Daniel Rey Knowles, SP-Norfolk, 6.07 WAR
5. Calvin Brown, CF-Oklahoma City, 5.79 WAR

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Guy Total Wins Update

I haven't updated the blog in awhile, and although I'm not officially in charge of this particular venture, I figured this would be a good place to start. Life's been pretty crazy for me lately, but I'm starting to have more free time again and will get the blog active again. Last we looked, colton_72, bc1985 and jbugg08 were in position to get the gift cards while dbird85, hineii and myself (bruinsfan911) were on the outside looking in. Let's see what it looks like now (after 4/5 AM2):
  1. colton_72: 300 wins
  2. bc1985: 280 wins
  3. dbird85: 264 wins
  4. jbugg08: 241 wins
  5. hineii: 197 wins
  6. bruinsfan911: 177 wins
Colton continues to lead the way, as the only one of the six of us with winning records at all levels, while dbird85 has jumped into the 3rd Gift Card spot.  At the other end of the spectrum, my hiatus last week combined with a not-so-strong farm system has caused me to fall off the pack a bit. The bright spot in OKC: our rookie club is 24-5.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bronson Arroyo Signing

Being a Red Sox fan, every member of the 2004 team has retained a special place in my heart, especially since I was only 10 when they won. This is especially true for Arroyo, whose humility, generosity, hippy-ness, all around awesomeness, plus ability as a baseball player have made him one of my favorites in the majors today.  As a result, I was watching his pursuit of a 2014 team closely and carefully until he signed a 2 yr, $23.5M deal 12 days ago. Let's take a look and see if my guitar-playing hero is worth that cash

Age: 37 --> 5 years into his "ratings decline" Man, there is a lot of love for old guys this year
MLB Years: 11
Contract: 2 years, $23.5M guaranteed, $11M club option ($4.5M buyout) That's a lot of dough for an old, off-speed type pitcher.  

Last Year:  32 starts, 14-12, 202 IP (2 CG), 3.79 ERA, 124 K,  1.15 WHIP,  3.65 K/BB

Arroyo, 2013: 3.80 WAR, worthy of $10M per year
Contract: 2 years, $23.5M guaranteed
Verdict: The trend of overpaying for old guys continues. An egregious oversight? No, but I'd love it if someone payed me $3.5 million dollars to throw a baseball, let alone $3.5 million more than I earned. That being said, if Old Reliable stays reliable, I think this is probably about as close as you're going to see to a player "getting what he deserved" in terms of money.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

AJ Burnett Signing

Recently, in real life, AJ Burnett signed a 1 year, $16M deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. My initial reaction when I heard that was that's way too much money. Let's take a look at Burnett as if he was a HBD player to see how accurate that reaction was.

Age: 37 --> he's 5 years into his "ratings decline". Not a good start for PHI.
MLB Years: 14 (irrelevant)
Contract:  1 year, $15M guaranteed. Mutual/Player option for 2nd season. (Mutual worth $15M, Player option worth anywhere from $7.5M to $12.75M). Up to $1.75M in performance bonuses each year.  Also includes a limited no-trade clause. That seems like a very generous offer from Philly...Burnett is solid, but is he worth $33.5M* at this point in his career? I certainly don't think so. *Max amount he could make under the current deal

Last Year: 30 starts, 10-11, 191 IP (1 CG), 3.30 ERA, 209 K, 1.22 WHIP, 3.12 K/BB OK, he's better than I thought even at age 36, but still, $33.5M seems excessive. 

The ultimate test: I found a spreadsheet, which can be downloaded here, that calculates Wins Above Replacement for all players, based on position and performance. It also includes a feature where you can input X amount of dollars per Win Above Replacement, and it will give you the salary the player earned. After doing a little research, in 2013, the average MLB player had a salary of $3.39M and a 1.33 WAR. So, in 2013, every Win Above Replacement was worth $2.55M. I crunched the numbers to see what sort of money Burnett deserved vs. what he got.

Burnett, 2013: 4.90 WAR, worthy of $12.8M.
Contract: $15M guarenteed
Verdict: Philly overpaid, but not by as much as I thought. I maintain my view that the incentives are excessive.

Feel free to weigh in with your opinions here or in the World Chat

Friday, February 14, 2014

Franchise Ranks: Season 1

I have just completed compiling the Season 1 data for the Franchise Rankings. Here are the top 5 teams, listed by Season 28 city. The complete list can be seen by clicking the "Franchise Rankings" list on the side of this page, or by clicking here. Without any further ado, the top 5:

5.  Durham, 150 points

This was a team that did a lot of winning (100 games to be exact) thanks to its defense. They led the league in fielding percentage and were second in ERA. They were also top-10 in +/- and captured 3 Gold Gloves as a franchise.

4. Texas, 151 points

The franchise that has become the Radios was quite balanced in Season 1, scoring 20+ points in each of the ranked categories. To put that another way, they were in the top 13 in Wins, Runs, ERA, Fielding, +/- and Farm System Wins.

3. New Britain, 164 points

This one snuck up on me a little when I was totaling the numbers. There are some teams, like Texas, where you see consistent production and know they'll contend for the title. Not so with New Britain. They weren't terrible, certainly, but I had them pegged as middle of the pack. Ooops.

2. Hartford, 180 points

Out of the Top 5, Hartford enjoyed the most playoff success. They won 2 Division Titles, and those teams went on to lose in the LCS and win the World Series. Add to that 4 Silver Sluggers, 4 Gold Gloves and 22+ points in each ranked category and you've got the Season 1 Runner-Up.

1. Oklahoma City, 184 points

OK, I really didn't see this one coming...when I picked up this project I had no idea that my franchise would top the list in Season 1. But when you finish top-6 in 5 of 6 ranked categories, have a pair of CY Young winners, the AAA World Series crown & 5 Gold Glove winners, I guess it should have been expected.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Explanation of Franchise Rankings

Franchise Rankings are something that I saw done in one league blog, and that inspired me to start some of my own for my other league, the FYC. They are essentially All-Time Power Rankings that take into account awards, playoff performance, the farm system and statistical performances to determine the most complete team for each individual season, and all-time. Below is a list of the different categories, an explanation of each and how I assign point values. I will start compiling the Happy Jack data in my spare time.

The following categories are assigned point values based on MLB rank (32 for most, 1 for least)

  • Standings (Wins) Points
  • Runs Points
  • ERA Points
  • Fielding % Points
  • +/- Points: "+" defensive plays minus "-" defensive plays; ranked
  • Minor League System Wins (Cumulative)
The remaining categories are assigned special point values (applies to all levels):

  • MVP: 2 points 
  • Fireman of the Year: 2 points 
  • Cy Young: 2 points
  • Rookie of the Year: 2 points
  • Silver Slugger: 1 point per player
  • Gold Glove: 1 point per player
  • 10 points for WS win
  • 4 points for WS loss
  • 3 points for LCS loss
  • 2 points for Division Title
  • 1 point for Wild Card berth 
***Note: LCS & WS points are added to Division Title & Wild Card points. 

Let's take a look at FYC's Durham franchise from last season to try and make this a little clearer:

  • They won 92 games, ranking them 7th = 26 points
  • They scored 899 runs, ranking them 2nd = 31 points
  • They had an ERA of 4.40, ranking them 21st = 12 points
  • They had a .986 fielding percentage, ranking them 11th = 22 points
  • They had a +/- of +39, ranking them 14th = 19 points
  • They had 172 Minor League wins, ranking them 32nd = 1 point
  • MVPs: none at any level; 0 points
  • Firemen of the Year: ML; 1 winner x 2 pts = 2 points
  • Cy Youngs: none at any level; 0 points
  • Silver Sluggers: 1 ML; 1 winner x 1 pt = 1 point
  • Rookies of the Year: none at any level; 0 points
  • Gold Glove Awards: 1 Rookie; 1 winner x 1 pt = 1 point
  • World Series Titles: ML; 1 winner x 10 pts = 10 points
  • World Series Losses: none at any level; 0 points
  • LCS Losses: none at any level; 0 points
  • Division Titles: ML; 1 winner x 2 pts = 2 points
  • Wild Card Berths: none at any level; 0 points
  • 26+31+12+22+19+1+0+2+0+1+0+1+10+0+0+2+0=127 season points
***Each season's total adds up to get an All-Time total