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1996 WORLD SERIES PREVIEW

Mid-West Winter League Commissioner’s Office – Report submitted by Jarl Jackson – Fort Worth Panthers – June 15th, 2020

A rematch of the 1991 fall classic where Winnipeg swept the Quakes although all the games were decided by only one or two runs. The Goldeyes went back to back in 91 and 92 while California won a title in 94. Winnipeg won their division by an astonishing 52 games as the other three teams lost over 100 games while Winnipeg was third overall in wins in the MWWL at 112. The AL West wasn’t decided until the final series of the year as the Quakes outlasted the Panthers taking the division by just a single game while leading all of MWWL with 116 victories.

 

CATCHERS AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB OSBP
Terry Steinbach CAL .276 .330 .555 142 532 94 147 25 0 41 111 0 62.2
Javy Lopez WGE .300 .346 .426 140 446 55 134 14 0 14 72 0 59.5

Pretty competitive among starting catchers except for the power. Terry Steinbach is either taking his vitamins, eating spinach, or maybe something else – who knows? Whatever he’s doing he enjoyed what looks like a career year. Terry is a career playoff .361 hitter with 8 doubles and 3 home runs in 124 PA. This is Javy Lopez’s first World Series appearance. In 108 playoff PA, he’s a .232 hitter with 5 doubles and three home runs.    Advantage California

 

FIRST BASEMEN AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
John Olerud CAL .321 .441 .569 109 392 87 126 22 0 25 78 0
Paul Molitor CAL .319 .375 .456 112 423 72 135 22 9 6 60 18
Julio Franco WGE .357 .450 .493 112 345 48 123 20 0 9 58 2

Julio Franco’s strong .357 average can’t overcome the quantity of the Quakes 1-2 punch with Olerud providing the power and Molitor providing the thievery. John Olerud’s a pretty poor postseason performer except for the 1994 World Series where he hit .500 in 12 PA’s. In 71 postseason games, Molitor has hit .286 with 20 doubles, 3 triples, and 6 home runs. A career .290 hitter during the season Franco is pretty pedestrian during 48 playoff games, where he has hit .272 with 10 doubles and 1 dinger.      Advantage California

 

SECOND BASEMEN AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Mike Lansing CAL .294 .338 .426 147 514 67 151 45 1 7 70 12
Jeff Frye WGE .282 .362 .392 121 362 56 102 24 2 4 57 14

The starting keystone men are too close to call. Mike Lansing has more power while Jeff Frye gets on base more often. Through 43 postseason PA’s Lansing has hit .263 with 4 doubles. Frye has not had any postseason success until this year’s NLCS where he .333 in 23 PA’s. Slap hitting Bip Roberts might give the Goldeyes a slight advantage as he hit .341 during the season otherwise it’s too close to call.   Advantage Even

 

SHORTSTOPS AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
John Valentin CAL .309 .396 .447 139 459 71 142 35 5 6 62 3
Omar Vizquel WGE .290 .347 .431 147 538 79 156 41 1 11 78 22

Both players had down years defensively and are pretty similar offensively with Omar Vizquel getting the slight edge due to more homers and steals. John Valentin’s best postseason performance has come in the ALCS where he has hit .333 .392 .444 over 11 games. Vizquel also performed his best during the LCS where he has hit .288 .356 .348 in 3 seven-game NLCS series.   Advantage Winnipeg

 

THIRD BASEMEN AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Dean Palmer CAL .279 .352 .562 157 585 108 163 38 1 42 109 2
Robin Ventura WGE .298 .371 .534 156 624 127 186 36 0 37 144 1

You can’t go wrong with either hot cornerman although 127 runs scored and 144 RBI give Robin Ventura the bump. Dean Palmer has 5 career postseason home runs in 22 games but hits around the Mendoza line and much the same could be said of Ventura’s ability during the postseason.  Ventura has the longest hitting streak in the NL during the season at 23 games.   Advantage Winnipeg

 

OUTFIELDERS AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Paul O’Neill CAL .268 .387 .418 148 555 80 149 43 2 12 76 0
Bernard Gilkey CAL .263 .338 .494 152 615 109 162 43 3 31 92 14
Tim Salmon CAL .243 .353 .421 158 572 93 139 28 1 24 92 3
Rich Becker WGE .280 .355 .425 138 543 108 152 35 4 12 62 22
Kenny Lofton WGE .325 .374 .436 155 644 122 209 26 2 14 94 70
Jay Buhner WGE .304 .402 .635 154 510 102 155 31 0 46 140 1

California has some power, but overall the Goldeyes starting trio is better. Kenny Lofton was 6th in runs, 3rd in hits, and led the National League in steals. Jay Buhner was 5th in slugging, 2nd in RBI’s, and first in home runs. Bernard Gilkey hit .438 .526 .625 in the 96 ALCS while Tim Salmon hit .389 .421 .556.   Advantage Winnipeg

 

DESIGNATED HITTERS AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Jose Canseco CAL .281 .400 .625 94 331 77 93 18 0 32 78 2
Kevin Mitchell CAL .271 .387 .490 70 155 26 42 10 0 8 28 0
Mark McGwire WGE .342 .495 .681 134 404 108 138 26 0 37 114 0

Combined Jose Canseco and Kevin Mitchell hit more homers, but Mark McGwire was in another world yet still not in the orbit of Ken Caminiti who won the 1996 NL MVP voting by nearly hitting .400. Still, McGwire was 4th in average 1st in slugging 1st in OBP among NL leaders. Canseco mashed 3 homers and hit .412 during the ALCS. Mitchel has been a World Series star in 3 appearances (89,93,94) with a hitting line of .341 .448 .773.   Advantage Winnipeg

 

CAL STARTERS W-L ERA GS CG SHO QS IP H R ER HR SO/9 BB/9
Jeff Fassero-L 26-6 3.04 38 0 0 26 242.2 212 84 82 16 6.8 2.2
Alex Fernandez-R 23-6 2.52 41 1 1 28 264.1 217 84 74 25 5.3 2.7
Mark Clark-R 21-8 3.94 37 0 0 19 217 226 113 95 26 4.9 2.6
Mike Bielecki-R 10-3 3.61 15 0 0 7 92.1 76 39 37 8 6.6 3.3
WGE STARTERS W-L ERA GS CG SHO QS IP H R ER HR SO/9 BB/9
Curt Schilling-R 17-3 3.05 28 2 0 18 180 147 70 61 18 7.5 2.6
Tom Glavine-L 19-7 2.35 34 5 5 23 241 161 75 63 23 6.0 4.0
Andy Benes-R 14-9 3.36 33 3 2 23 214.1 188 86 80 24 6.5 3.0
Huck Flener-L 7-1 3.23 16 2 2 7 86.1 59 32 31 7 4.7 3.3

The two rotations are pretty close with a slight advantage to Winnipeg due to better-scheduled rotation ERA and SO/9 rate. Jeff Fassero had his best year but struggled in his 96 ALCS start. He does have a career 1.29 ERA in 7 World Series innings pitched. Fernandez also struggled in the ALCS and excels in the World Series with a 1.59 ERA in two starts for California in 1994. Bielecki did not give up a run in his ALCS start. During the season for the Goldeyes Schilling was 6th in ERA, 1st in win pct, and 5th in wins. Glavine was 2nd in wins and led the NL in ERA and IP. Benes was 2nd in QS at 23.   Advantage Winnipeg

 

CAL RELIEVERS W-L-SV ERA BS HLD G GF IP H R ER HR SO/9 BB/9
Trevor Hoffman-R 4-8-41 2.95 6 5 71 60 88.1 59 29 29 7 8.0 2.5
Ricky Bottalico-R 5-2-0 2.44 1 12 45 10 55.1 32 24 15 6 9.1 3.1
Ken Ryan-R 8-1-2 3.55 3 13 46 12 76 60 35 30 6 5.3 4.7
Mark Guthrie-L 3-2-2 2.57 1 12 57 26 73.2 55 27 21 6 6.3 2.7
Mike Trombley-R 1-1-6 2.96 2 13 44 18 54.2 42 20 18 5 6.1 2.0
Jim Poole-L 1-0-0 3.21 0 12 51 8 42 42 17 15 3 5.6 4.3
WGE RELIEVERS W-L-SV ERA BS HLD G GF IP H R ER HR SO/9 BB/9
Kent Bottenfield-R 7-0-7 2.02 1 4 46 19 49 42 11 11 2 5.0 2.0
Jeff Shaw-R 7-8-12 3.49 7 17 72 33 90.1 71 44 35 11 4.8 2.9
Rod Beck-R 3-0-3 2.56 1 9 50 18 56.1 37 16 16 5 4.6 1.9
Mike Holtz-L 2-4-13 4.22 4 6 35 20 32 29 17 15 1 6.8 4.2

The Quakes bullpen can just overpower Winnipeg due to more manpower. Ken Ryan is a little weak for California, but Mike Holtz had a 4.22 ERA during the year for Winnipeg. Hoffman did not allow a run in the ALCS but did pitch 6.1 innings Bottalico allowed a single earned run during the 96 playoffs and Ryan allowed no runs in 5.2 IP in the ALCS. For Winnipeg Bottenfield allowed one run in 6 and a third IP during the 1996 postseason. Shaw had a victory and a save with a 1.42 ERA during the NLCS.    Advantage California

 

TEAM AVG OBP SLG R/GAME 2B 3B HR SB
California (3) .279 (1) .364 (2) .476 (1) 6.0 (3) 341 (9) 23 (1) 243 (2) 97
Winnipeg (1) .293 (1) .367 (4) .446 (1) 6.2 (3) 310 (12) 11 (4) 182 (1) 167
                 
TEAM S-WINS S-ERA SHO S-OBA R-WINS SAVES R-ERA R-OBA
California (2) 93 (2) 3.32 (12) 1 (1) .233 (4) 23 (2) 57 (2) 3.11 (2) .212
Winnipeg (1) 79 (4) 3.67 (1) 14 (2) .236 (1) 33 (4) 42 (3) 3.20 (3) .234
                 
TEAM FLDG PCT OF ASSISTS DP          
California (4) .983 (11) 49 (9) 129          
Winnipeg (3) .984 (9) 36 (6) 150          

Both teams can score with ease at 6 runs a game, but applied different methods to their offensive success. The Goldeyes use a crafty approach by taking the extra base and going for the steal. They led the MWWL with 167 stolen bases while Quakes pummel you into submission as they led the AL with 243 home runs. Both teams were close in OBP while Winnipeg did hit for a better average. During the season California did have the better pitching staff, but you don’t have to rely on the 5th rotation spot during the postseason.

It should be another competitive Series between the two clubs. If the Quakes can hit some home runs with men on base and their bullpen can control the game late they might have a chance. While the Winnipeg base stealers have to be salivating thinking about running on the California catchers. The question is can the Goldeyes take away California’s power and can the Quakes snuff out Winnipeg’s running game? I think California has a hard task.   Winnipeg wins in 6.

World Series Wins

Team Wins Losses
Fort Worth 3 0
Chicago 3 4
Winnipeg 2 0
Mexico City 2 0
Germantown 2 2
Hollywood 2 3
Delcom 1 0
Gold River 1 0
Manhattan 1 0
Clovis 1 0
Rushcreek 1 0
Thendera 1 0
Washington 1 0
Blarney 1 0
California 1 1
Detroit 1 2
Missouri 1 2
Old Mill 1 2
Baton Rouge 0 1
Clem 0 1
Michigan 0 1
Punxsutawney 0 1
Roseland 0 1
Stockton 0 1
Steel City 0 2
Long Beach 0 2

1997 MWWL
DRAFT DAY
SUNDAY 09/20/2020
AT 8:00 PM - ET!

Days
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7
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