Saturday, February 9, 2008

The New Bracket

VEB has the new bracket up for the All-Time Sim Tournament. The 1885 Browns have the number one seed and take on the 2006 Miracle Cardinals. The 1888 Browns are in their half of the bracket, are seeded fifth, and get the 1968 Cards. I think you have to root for that series to go seven games so that we can see Bob Gibson versus Silver King in the deciding game. The 1886 Browns are in the other side of the bracket, seeded sixth, and are taking on the 1934 Cards. Good luck to the various incarnations of the Four Time Champions.

Looking at the bracket, my final four picks are the 1885 Browns, the 1943 Cards, the 1985 Cards (Go Crazy, Folks!), and the 1886 Champions of the World Browns. While I'd love to see a final between the 1885 and 1886 Browns, I think the more interesting final would be between the 1885 Browns and the 1985 Cards.

If you're looking for a dark horse pick (and do I really need to say that if you're gambling on VEB's All-Time Sim Tournament, seek help immediately), I think both the 13th seeded 1926 Rogers Hornsby/Pete Alexander Cards and the 14th seeded 1964 Ken Boyer/Bob Gibson Cards could both make some noise. Yankee Killers both are they.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see someone really appreciate the 1880 Browns. Ironically, I found your blog because I was researching material for the series write ups.

I'd love to know your opinion on the lead-in to tomorrow's 1885v.2006 game 2.


Jeff Kittel said...


Thanks for visiting the site. You guys are doing a great job on the sim tourney. I'm really enjoying it and hoping that the Browns continue to make some noise (for purely selfish reasons; it gives me something quick and easy to post about).

Game 1 of the series was disappointing for the 1885's but I guess Carpenter was due and Caruthers didn't know that he isn't suppossed to give Pujols anything to hit. Oh well, live and learn.

In general I'd say that there's no way the 06 Cards can match up with the 1885's over a seven game series. Caruthers, Foutz, and McGinnis should be more than enough to stop the Cards. The problem for the Browns (as it has been throughout the whole tourney) is defense and the running game. The advantages that they have by nature of being the better team (in a historical context) is being taken away by the computer. They're running into too many outs on the base paths and giving away too many in the field. Within the context of 19th century baseball this isn't a problem but trying to put them in the modern era without correcting for this is a serious handicap.

Of course, without handicapping the Four Time Champions they would have probably dominated the tourney so maybe it's good for balance. I honestly believed that the 1887 team (with Foutz, Caruthers, and King pitching) was going to take the tournament. Little did I know that the computer was going to take em out at the knees by not allowing Foutz and Caruthers to pitch.

I think if you look at the two teams position by position, the 1885's are much better team than the 06 Cards. From an offensive standpoint, they're better at C, 2b, SS, and all three OF positions. They don't have Pujols but their offense is much more balanced. Pitching is no contest. I hesitate to say that the Browns have deeper pitching since they're only carrying three guys but those three guys are pretty darn good. Foutz and McGinnis are much better than Soup and whoever (and please don't let Marquis pitch-none of us want to live through that again).

One thing that you might want to mention is that Comiskey and Von der Ahe get the credit for the Browns success, Ted Sullivan was the guy who really put the team together. In the late 1870's, Sullivan put together a team in Dubuque, Iowa called the Rabbits. Among the players that he signed for the Dubuque Rabbits were Comiskey, Tom Loftus, and Bill and Jack Gleason. In 1882, Sullivan was hired to manage the Browns and he brought those players with him. After he left the Browns, being unable to deal with Von der Ahe, Sullivan basicly acted as scout or birddog for the team, finding players and sending them to the Browns. Comiskey, when talking about the Four Time Champions, has been quoted as saying something along the lines of "Ted found all the players."

The best quote I've ever read about the Browns also comes from Comiskey and was quoted in G.W. Axelson's book Commy. Speaking of his team Comiskey said this: "I have been asked many times to compare the Browns and Anson's White Stockings of '85 and '86. Comparisons being odious I hesitate to go into details. Anson had a great team, one of the best I have ever seen. He had men of brains and originality in that outfit, men who could field and hit the ball with the best in the land. In Clarkson and Kelly he had one of the greatest batteries of all times, and Anson himself had demonstrated his right to lead the team.

"I also commanded a good team, I would even call it great, but perhaps, with not quite as many outstanding stars as in the Chicago aggregation. We met in '85 and it was a draw and a good many of the St. Louis fans regarded it as a victory for us. Again we clashed in 1886 and the Browns won decisively. Anson in his own book has passed judgment on his own team. I shall let the series of 4 to 2 speak for mine."

After that, what else is there to say?

Zubin said...

I agree that feilding really should be normalized across eras in the SIM. In fact, a lot of users at WhatifSports feel the same way. As far as running into outs, well that is just part of the team. You could also argue that the 2000s hit to many flyballs out- its just the way they played the game.