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Bugs & Cranks
March 9, 2008 at 8:58 am ET
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What If, man…What If

It’s Spring and we just can’t get enough baseball.  Frankly, there’s only one thing better than baseball and that’s fake baseball.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably already got yourself in 3 fantasy leagues, a pick ‘em league, a Road to the Show season, an OOTP franchise, and a half dozen other forms of make believe baseball dreams.  This year, however, we’re taking it to a new level with a Bugs & Cranks WhatIf Baseball League. 

We’re using WhatIf Sports’ simulation engine to answer some of the greatest questions of a generation of baseball fans:  Who has more rage when ‘roided Roger Clemens faces ‘roided Barry Bonds?  Would the world really be a better place without the Yankees?  Would the space-time continuum tear if Rob Deer and Russell Branyan were in the same place? 

Twenty-four teams will be represented in our “theme league”, and each owner drafted from players from his team’s last 25 years.  Players are season-specific, so my beloved Cubs include 1984 Ryne Sandberg and 1998 Kerry Wood, for example.  Of course, I have to pay them and much to the Yankees’ (and virtual player’s union’s) dismay, we used a salary cap.

Imagine a team of Expos superstars throughout the ages...okay, bad example.  Though the salary cap somewhat levels the playing field, there are a couple twists to our league — hopeful David Chalk has Barry Bonds (’01) because – my God —  he’s the Devil Rays.  Since expansion teams have a smaller selection pool, they got to pick an “at large” player (which is different than Rich Garces, who is merely a large player).  Clubhouse superstar Andrea Reiher’s team is drafted of attractive men, so we’ll see if the pretty boys can really play. 

The league takes 6 division of four teams, which makes the NL Central feel slightly inadequate:

National League East  — Mets, Phillies, Braves, Nationals/Expos

National League Central — Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates, Reds

National League West — Dodgers, Padres, Rockies, Astros (Texas is in the “West”, right?)

American Patriot League East — Red Sox, Orioles, Devil Rays, Blue Jays

American Patriot League Central — Indians, White Sox, Royals, Twins

American Patriot League West — Athletics, Brewers (back in the AL), Hotties, Marlins (managed by Robboto Clemente, and frankly suffering from a lot of jetlag)

The WhatIf engine will simulate our season, one 3-game “series” per day starting today, and eventually crown a champion of the quarter-century.  We’ll keep you up to date on our rosters and simulations every Friday and throughout the season on Bugs & Cranks. 

A quarter century of baseball, 24 teams, one simulation engine – let’s find out who’s best. 

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