Embracing Failure: The Seamheads Near Miss League
Friend and colleague Brian Joseph has come up with another fantastic idea for a simulation league and we have another great group of team owners trying to lead their respective teams to a championship that they just missed out on in real life.
The Seamheads.com Near Miss League will be similar to the Seamheads Historical League that we ran on the site from mid-January to early April that culminated in a championship for Joe Posnanski and his beloved Cleveland Indians.Â In that league, we had 28 owners, including Bill James, Curt Schilling, Roy Firestone, John Buccigross, Jonah Keri, and Derrick Goold, select 40 players from their respective franchise’s history in an effort to build super teams that battled for a World Series crown.Â The Red Sox had Cy Young and Pedro Martinez in the rotation, with Ted Williams, Tris Speaker, and Reggie Smith playing side-by-side in the outfield.Â The Yankees’ lineup boasted Babe Ruth alongside Derek Jeter.Â The A’s had early superstars Lefty Grove and Jimmie Foxx in the same lineup with Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter.
The Near Miss League will be slightly different, though the cast of owners is just as strong, featuring ESPN columnist Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons, his buddy and ESPN colleague Dave Dameshek, ESPN senior writer and “Baseball Today” co-host Eric Karabell, Salon.com columnist King Kaufman, former major league second baseman Jack Perconte, author and Hall of Fame researcher Gabriel Schechter, and author/writer/editor/esteemed historian Gary Gillette.Â Keri and Goold are also back for another go-around, with Keri leading his Expos again, while Goold takes the reins of the St. Louis Cardinals, whom he writes about for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.Â The rest of the group is made up of intelligent baseball men who blog about, write about, talk about, eat, sleep, and drink baseball, including many colleagues from SABR.Â Needless to say, the competition should be fierce.
The teams featured in the Near Miss League are teams that were either very good or great but failed to win their division, a pennant, or a World Series for one reason or another.Â Simmons, a long time, die hard Red Sox fan, chose the 2008 team that lost to the Rays in last year’s ALCS.Â Al Yellon, co-author of Cubs By The Numbers, chose the ’69 Cubs, who sported a nine game lead over the Mets on August 16, but blew it and finished in second place, eight games out of first.Â Milo Kaminsky will be running the ’69 Orioles, a team that went 109-53 and finished 19 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers, then swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS before falling in the World Series to the “Miracle Mets.”Â Keri will be running the ’94 Expos, victims not of a late season collapse or playoff upset at the hands of an underdog, but of a work stoppage that canceled the postseason altogether and destroyed the Expos’ last best chance to bring a baseball championship to Montreal.
Below is the list of teams and team owners.Â You can find the teams’ rosters here.Â More will be posted about the league as we get closer to Opening Day.Â Stay tuned!
|1969 Baltimore Orioles||Milo Kaminsky|
|2008 Boston Red Sox||Bill Simmons|
|2007 Cleveland Indians||Jack Perconte|
|1961 Detroit Tigers||Gary Gillette|
|1954 New York Yankees||King Kaufman|
|1985 Toronto Blue Jays||Jason Bova|
|1925 Washington Senators||Joe Dimino|
|1959 Chicago White Sox||Nick Waddell|
|1977 Kansas City Royals||Joe Hamrahi/Craig Brown|
|1982 Milwaukee Brewers||Ron Anderson|
|1965 Minnesota Twins||Aaron Gleeman|
|2002 Oakland A’s||Larry Granilllo|
|2001 Seattle Mariners||John Moe|
|1922 St. Louis Browns||Mike Lynch|
|1916 Brooklyn Robins||Ron Antonucci|
|1994 Montreal Expos||Jonah Keri|
|1951 New York Giants||Mark Healey|
|1988 New York Mets||Gabriel Schechter|
|1993 Philadelphia Phillies||Eric Karabell|
|1990 Pittsburgh Pirates||Dave Dameshek|
|1996 Atlanta Braves||Paul Greco/Lenny Melnick|
|1969 Chicago Cubs||Al Yellon|
|1999 Cincinnati Reds||Mike Petraglia|
|1998 Houston Astros||Josh Lile|
|1998 San Diego Padres||Marc Aaron|
|2004 St. Louis Cardinals||Derrick Goold|