As I've discussed on the world chat, we unfortunately had two members pass the 200 loss mark over two seasons and came up for review. Below is the decisions on each member:
Abesmem has been granted probation by a vote of 5 in favor and 0 against. He will have to reach 70 wins next season or it will be automatic expulsion. Below is each committee member's reasoning...
Abesmem's Defense: In defense of my Crimson Tide squad and my own GM methods over the past two years, I have 4 basic factors for your consideration. First, I was dealt a pretty bad hand to start. Second, my rule 5’s are ready to help. Third, young pitchers from the minors are also now ready and 4th, we have some solid ML hitters in place for next season.
On the first issue, the pitching staff that was presented to me at the start was by far the worst I have ever seen. The closest thing I had to a SP was Steve Vina (still on board) who has the remarkable control rating of “6”. So, I went out into the Free Agent market and picked up Kendry Gonzalez (who is still on the team). Still, the pitching staff was very, very weak. As the record reflected, my offense was also suspect. But, I decided to try and build a pitching staff.
In year 2, the plan was to focus on talent thru Rule 5 acquisitions. In this manner, I was able to pick up starters Sweeney and Hill, reliever Smart and CF Julio Fuentes. While all 4 were not quite ready for prime time this year, they all should be positive contributors next year. Sweeney projects to have 62/63 splits with 5 pitches (4 average or better). Hill projects to have 71/72 splits with 77 control and 4 pitches. Lefty, Smart will have 70/50 splits with 2 pitches over 80 and 88 control. In CF, Fuentes is simply going to be an excellent defensive CF with very good speed, but a relatively weak bat. He can play every day however and should shore up the defense for the developing pitching staff. Clearly he was not ready this year. All 4 of these guys should be much better next year.
As an aside, the team actually got off to a pretty good start, as I recall. Unfortunately, our closer (Jackson Black) also a developing young player, went down with a season ending injury about a month into the season. This put way too much stress on an already questionable staff and they simply collapsed. Jackson will be back and improved in year 3.
I purposely held on to Kendry Gonzalez, even though logic told me to trade him, since I was trying very hard to win as many games as I could. I executed a couple of trades that brought some offense and needed bullpen help mid season, to try and right the ship. I even altered management strategies twice to light a fire under the team, which had only temporary effects.
While the record this year was poor, well, very poor. The pieces are in place to see significant improvement next year. There are some very solid hitters here and Encarnacion is ready to be an elite leadoff hitter. Hector Zorrilla and Ted Spivey, both up from AAA, will be in the rotation or battling for spots with the rule 5 guys. The bullpen will be better and deeper and there’s Bronson Chiba in AAA that could compete for a spot in the pen, as well.
Finally, for next year, I will make every effort to add one big arm to the rotation. With Gonzalez back, the continued improvement of the 4 young starters (plus Vina, he’s interesting as a 4th or 5th SP) and one significant free agent, the staff should be set.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need any clarifications. I believe this team is on the right track and will continue to improve every year from now on.
Hopkinsheel: I've known abesmem for a long time now and I know he is not a tanker. While his strategy isn't something I'd recommend and believe if he had a chance to do it over, he's go in a different direction, I also don't believe he was purposefully tanking. He has a great track record in my worlds and I'm inclined to vote for probation.
Train: So there might be some holes in his logic, such as relying on rule 5 guys as a competitive strategy, but I certainly don't believe he's tanking.
He kept an 80+ mil payroll both seasons and added large salary guys in a deal this year (ironically from a brisque dump). Not a tanking strategy.
Also, I'm a firm proponent in keeping talented owners who WANT to be in the league. He fits in this category so this is an easy yes for me.
tk21775: While abesmem's plan might not have been the best approach, it's not like he went way over the 200 mark and different approaches are what make this game interesting. It sounds like he has a plan in line for what he wants to do with his team next season, he's a good owner who wants to be here by outlining his defense quickly for us, and next season it's either make it or not so I say let him try.
ajwalton: I do think that he employed some poor strategy (relying on Rule 5 is a bad idea--especially when he knew he'd be close to the 200 loss mark), but I also don't think he was trying to lose.
My only concern is that if you are dealt a poor hand in season 1 of a new league (which he undoubtedly was), you should not get worse, and markedly worse, in season 2. There are limited opportunities to improve in year 1, but you can definitely take steps to improve (or at least match season 1 production) by season 2.
Ultimately, as you said, he is a good, reliable owner, and he put forth some effort to defend himself (showing that he wants to be here) For that reason, I'm inclined to say yes.
mcbain: Vote is for abesmem to stay
Brisque was not granted probation by a vote of 5 against to 0 for. Brisque chose not to give a defense. We thank him for his time in NCAA II and wish him the best of luck moving forward. Below is each committee member's reasoning...
Brisque's Defense: None given
Hopkinsheel: In my opinion, it is relatively easy to avoid 200 losses over two seasons. I believe it is pretty easy to avoid 100 losses per season. That is how I came up with my rule set. I HATE going through this process. I HATE having to go through the deliberations. I love it when no one hits the mark. Its proof of a well balanced world. I was dealt a very poor hand in this world and turned over practically my entire roster to get it competitive so the argument about "being dealt a bad hand" only takes you so far. Brisque came highly recommended from an owner I trust so I was pretty disappointed when he rolled out in season one with 120 losses. I don't think that is possible unless you are actively trying not to win. Brisque did a decent job of improving the win total in season 2, however he did a poor job budgeting which lead to some embrassing games the last stretch of the season. Again, thats indefensible. He didn't even make an attempt to fix it. Trades could have been made to at least make an effort. Furthermore, he is the first person that has ever chosen NOT to submit a defense. I was pretty shocked with that decision and made me feel like he had no interest in the well being of the world. With all of the said, I feel like its in the best interests of everyone to go our separate ways.
Train: Well its gonna take one hell of an argument from him to sway my opinion. 120 losses in season 1 followed by zero stamina pitching the last 20 games of season 2 is unacceptable. All he had to do was roll out 100% arms the last 20 games and he had a shot at .500, which would have possibly been enough for me to overlook his tankalicious first season. Alas, he blew it.
tk21775: As far as Richmond, looking at the two week window for him I come up with a record of 2-15, being outscored 271-78. The 2nd highest runs allowed (Richmond being 1st), was Crimson Tide at 957 for the entire season. Richmond gave up 28% of what the 2nd highest runs allowed team did but in 17 games. Throw in the fact it was with fatigued pitchers when he should have been doing everything he could to win and it won't matter what his arguement is for me. Luckily it didn't affect any playoff races but still an easy no for me.
ajwalton: I don't know what he could say to get me to vote yes. 120 games is absolutely ridiculous, but I could MAYBE buy an argument that he improved 30 games, is on the right track, etc.....IF he hadn't failed to field a competitive team for the last few weeks of this season. To me, that is inexusable, and I think it would be reasonable to ask him to move on just for that (even if he didn't have 210 losses). So, I guess we owe him the opportunity to defend himself, but I'm not sure that it will matter...at least for me.
mcbain: Vote is for Brisque to be evicted.