Thanks to all the owners who contributed to this piece .They are Shynet,aaronwayne,pbsilver,mikesons973, atprasad,sordie
Theres a New sherriff in town and his name is Shynet.After taking over for jdbkaput(See earlier post)he has cleaned house.This is not last years team,not by a long shot. 15 players left via Free agency, Ramon Lo and Bud Shelley are the most notable.Then shy released 6 players , Alex Torres,Sean Simmsand Dennis Langston are among them.After he was done gutting this team ,he went a Shopping!! He signed 10 Free agents ,here are a few, Wiki Arias, Macbeth Lofton, Wallace Oliver. I contacted shynet at the new Silverhawk headquarters and i asked him what he thought of his team? And what direction is he taking?? Shynet replied.
"The previous owner of my team didn't leave me much choice but to throw money around now or try to tear down right away.And since Lo and a couple others refused to resign with me, I knew I would end up with at least some draft picks once it was all said and done, so... Type A's and B's, welcome to St. Louis!"
He just echoed what I already knew.This team is tailored to shynets philosophy,and I like that. Even tho he gave up some draft picks signing his Free Agents, he also picked up some.we will know by the All-Star break weather this team will vie for the Division Championship.Right now its a toss up.
Aaronwayne is taking over this team after the departure of Rocket(See Article).This team needed a new direction and a change at the top makes sense.Aaronwayne Is new to the sport and he is still finding his way.So i'm sure the rest of you old timers will help him out a little.I caught up to Aaron at the Bun n Gun restaurant in beautiful Fargo Nodak.I asked him what he thought about his Prairie Dogs? He replied. "The everyday lineup was pretty much gutted.Only Wayne Shea , Mike McCormick , Sid Walsh , and Kenny Tucker remain as vital cogs. Tucker, Shea, and Walsh have a lot a potential, and hopefully that comes through sooner rather than later.Craig Savage was signed to provide some pop and play CF, and versatile SS's Vicente Rodriguez and Phil Dunwoody were signed to provide stability and defense for the Dogs.With not much to lose, Prairie Dog management has been aggressive claiming various players off the WW and picking up Rule 5 prospect Willie Morlan . Since this will be a year in which 70 wins may be hard to reach,the stockpiling of young talent remains critical. Watch out for kids like Walt Nation , Art Stewart , and Desi Bonilla , as these prospects hope to impress enough to get a shot at the ML level.Well, Fargo had next to nothing for established "stars", but they do have some intriguing young talent with lots of potential. Don't let the W/L record fool you, Micah Jones had an outstanding taste of the bigs last season. So much so, that he's been a popular trade target already.The Prairie Dog pitching staff will be built around young Mr. Jones. Ugueth Jimenez after pitching out of the pen will get a shot at the rotation along with newly acquired Zephyr Branson and young Chili Zheng .Veteran all-star Vic Bellhorn was signed for his leadership and ability.Bellhorn hopes to show the young kids, all 24-26, how to pitch and act at the ML's. The bullpen will be a work in progress, especially after trading closer Joseph Hyun for prospect Cesar James ."
OUT;Sid Brooks ,Mac Lee ,Chuck Gross ,Joseph Hyun ,Stuffy Knorr ,Hootie Mahaffey
IN or Promoted;Rob Smith ,Zephyr Branson ,Ben Towers ,Vicente Rodriguez ,Phil Dunwoody ,Vic Bellhorn ,Craig Savage
Summary;Even though Aaron is new to the game he has learned quickly.He jettisoned a bunch of marginal players and spent a shitload of money on some tasty Free agents.I look for this team to be vastly improved this year.And could be a surprise wild card team.Nice start Aaron!!
Pbsilver is in his fourth year at the helm of the Pandemonium,and they keep improving every year.I talked to pbsilver by phone, while on a family vacation in Tupelo, Mississippi.He only allowed me one question .Because his family had matinee tickets to Reptile Roundup Show, and they were already behind.So i asked."Are your pandemonium ready to make a run at the playoffs .or are you another year or two out in your rebuild?" "We're getting there."Pbsilver replied. "I might be one or two good pitchers from being a contender, but I think this team will show some good improvement this year."
OUT;Javier Ortiz,Craig Schofield,Bobby Guthrie
IN;Bill Rivers ,Bey Robinson and R5 pickup Benjamin Taylor.
SUMMARY;Pbsilver keeps making progress in his rebuild and soon he will compete for the division.But right now he's a longshot to grab a Wild card berth.
Kumbia is just coming off his second division Championship. But losing in the first round to the eventual WS champ left a bitter taste in his mouth.So i went to Chi-Town and caught up to Kumbia at the Noche Caliente Night Club.I asked him about the future of his team? and he had this to say; "Como Sta Muldoon.I love the Aztecs,they have really come around.And the rest of the league better watch out,Where coming for you baby." just then a fine Sinorita jumped in his lap and planted a big juicy one on his cheek.She then started dragging him to the dance floor and he yelled this to me as he was enveloped by the Crowd. " This year we go all the way Muldoon." i then went and did some research on his club.
OUT;Rickey Strange ,Paul Ryan ,Davey Solano ,Rob Smith ,Omar Piedra ,Vernon Acquilino
IN or PROMOTED;Rafael Ferrer ,Glen Cuyler ,Pete Potvin ,Javier Ortiz ,Stuffy Knorr
Summary;Kumbia didn't make a lot of changes but he did resign Cuyler and upgraded his Catching Corps.Then he solidified his CF situation and this will help out his rotation immensely.The Aztecs are the favorite to win the division again and now maybe with a little luck can go deep in the playoffs.
Ardthomp just completed his first year in Wrigleyville and his Indians finished 4th in the division.so I chased him down at the Brickyard cafe in balmy Indianapolis.And he waved me over to his table and he had this to say;
"I was just happy my Type A got signed...and one of my Type Bs too."He paused while downing a half-dozen sliders then continued. "My PR firm of Robb,Steele and Blynde has really brought in the fans with thier great promo's.My favorite is the Sitting Bull Contest.If you can knock our mascot, Chief Bongwater on his Keester. He will sit next to you for the rest of the game."With that I left the restraunt and started looking into the Indians offseason moves.
OUT;Stu Stewart ,Wes Richardson ,Wayne Myers ,Santiago Ramirez ,
IN or PROMOTED;Dan Torre ,Hector Abreu ,Glen Marte ,Tyler Carey ,Travis Duffy ,J.P. James ,Billy Ray Bryant
Summary;It seems that ardthomp is bringing this franchise along nicely.He has cut out a lot of the old players and is replacing them with talented F/A's and a quad of R5 players.IT looks like he is trying to free up some salary to go after some juicy prospects. And his high training budget suggests he is willing to develop them. It's nice to have a owner in the league who's in it for the long haul.With his 4 first round picks he will have a great crop of prospects.Seeing how he is in a rebuild. Don't look for the indians in the playoffs this season, but soon they will be.
ARomano always fields a strong team and last year the Crushers smashed thier way to 101 wins.Even though they had a great year by winning thier Division .They fell to thier nemisis the Moonbats,in the playoffs.I caught up to ARomano at the Whale Tail Club on the outskirts of Hartford and he had this to say. "You know I'm getting tired of my club getting the crap beat out of them by those pesky Moonbats." He paused to slip a Fin in the G-String of a dancer then continued. "Ah where was I ....Oh ya , I got rid of some old players and promoted a couple of good young prospects and this year we will drain the blood out of them thar Moonbats." With that two of the scantily clad cuties dragged ARomano to one of the private Booths in a dark corner of the club.I then left and looked at the off-season moves of the Hartford Club.
OUT;Dennis Burke ,Aramis Flores ,Neil Pierce ,Keith Simas ,
IN or PROMOTED;Frank Wan ,Deivi Tavarez
SUMMARY;the Crushers will win thier division again.And maybe with a little luck they will win a world series in Wrigleyville.I think It's just a matter of time!!
The Howlers had a cinderella season sneaking in as a Wild card team.Then making it all the way to the World Series and lost 2 games to 4 .Can jmuhtoff repeat his playoff sucess? That is the question I posed to him at the Three Rivers Sports Bar.and he had this to say; "I made three big trades and picked up some key free agents .This shored up my Pitching Staff and my Outfield.I also picked up a very nice SS to help my defensive numbers." He paused and poured another beer from a large frothy pitcher.then continued. " I think we have plugged in the right players to win it all this year. And i'm willing to make a deal anytime anywhere." with that I left the bar while jmuhtoff was working on a basket of chicken wings.Here are the moves he made.
OUT;Rabbit Busby ,Albert Cox ,Jude Cunningham ,Sean Haynes ,Julian Tavarez ,Albert Brito
IN or PROMOTED; Charles Suzuki ,Jason Beltran ,Harpo Westbrook ,Keith Simas ,Dion Haynes ,Frank May
SUMMARY;Jmuhtoff has brought in some pitching talent and made a few key trades.If they mesh with the rest of the team he might have something here.With that said he still has to get by the Crushers and i don't feel he is quite strong enough.But I do see another wild card berth for this team and he could get on another roll.
It's nice to see mikesons back for his second season in Wrigleyville. This team has had so many owners it's great to see some stability there.I contacted mikeson at his palacial estate on the shores of Chesapeake Bay.And I asked him? "Now that youv'e gotten your feet wet .What do you think of your squad?"He replied. "The Blue Sox will be better. We are still in the rebuild process. Not much in the cupboard left by the previous owner,but things are looking up. we will definitely be more fun to watch in Fenway this season. Some young pitchers who will probably start off in the minors but should make debuts this season in the bigs. We still really need a C and a SS."
With his statement in my notebook we said or goodbyes and i started digging in the Bluesox's offseason moves.Here is what I found.
OUT; Raymond Clapp ,Zephyr Branson ,Jim Sierra ,Alexander Duckworth and a few others.
In or promoted;Tim Towers and Mark Young
Summary;I agree with Mike .He had a weak team handed to him and he is doing a great job of making them competative.We in Wrigleyville are lucky to have him as an Owner.
Tchagnon is in his fifth year of his rebuild project and the blues are starting to look Happy.:) Even though they finished third in thier division they were competative.I caught up to TC at the T-bone Walker festival in Linden, Texas.He had this to say about his club. " We made only a couple of moves.First we released a couple of pitchers and let some low level infielder go to free agency.then we made a trade with Toledo and picked up some prospects for a pretty good Catcher.and last we signed some veteran pitchers to keep us competative till the youngsters mature." just then the song "Just call it Stormy Monday" started and that was my que to leave.Here are the moves TC talked about.
OUT;Ben Towers ,Ronnie Jones ,Woody Piersoll
IN or PROMOTED;Aramis Herrera ,Benito Lopez
SUMMARY;Look for this team to keep improving but i don,t see them in the playoffs this season .But next year look out,We may be singing the blues!!
Atprasad is starting his second year and unlike Mikesons he inherited a Juggernaught.He won this Division last year and he has made some great moves in the offseason.But before we look at that lets hear what Atprasad had to say about his team."Jackson thinks it will take a step back in reg. season wins,but still expects to compete for a WS title... big youth movement, while still remaining in contention is a tough thing to do, but I think we've done it... Rich Rando, Vic Bellhorn, Jake Womack all big names that departed via trade or FA..." Well said !! Now lets dig a little and see who's in, who's out.
Out:Mike Malloy ,Terrence Buckley ,Vic Bellhorn ,Albert Renteria ,York Phillips ,Rich Rando ,Jake Womack ,Jason Beltran
IN:Tom Henley ,Walt Hill ,Jim Sierra ,Harry Vargas ,Paul Ryan ,Santiago Ramirez
Summary; This team has indeed remained competative and with a youth movement in the works.Atprasad will be a force for years to come.
Illicit has always been a 2nd place team and missed the playoffs the last three years .Last season he missed them by a tie breaker and I know his frustration is mounting.So I went to the Posse headquarters in historic downtown Nashville.And I asked. After last seasons near miss what have you done to get over the hump?? He said. "Nice to see you doon,I'm g so glad you asked.I spent a shitload of money on Free agents and in doing so i upgraded my Catching and Out field.Also I picked up some bullpen help, so that my Posse will be looking for vengence this season.And I feel we finally have a team that will go all the way". With that statement in my pocket I headed out to research the Posse's off season moves.here is what i found.
OUT;Don Ishii ,Horacio Picasso ,Glenn May ,Tony Polanco ,Eric Kydd
IN or PROMOTED;Billy Quantrill ,Raymond Clapp ,Jeff Garland ,Davey Solano
SUMMARY;I think Illicit has indeed improved his team. But will the high priced F/A's play like they got Paid? Sometimes you can't tell till you play'em so by the All-Star break we will know. my guess is this season they will be a wild card contender.Jackson is just to strong.
nwsheehy007 has always hovered around .500 in the standings.And that is just not going to get it done in this tough division.I caught up to him at the Farmers Co-Op on old highway 27 outside Charleston.Nwsheehy was bidding on some lots of Tobacco and agreed to answer one question.So i carefully worded my one question.What are you going to do to make this team competative? he replied. "We are a competative team .We are always a smidge out of the wild card race.Listen sonny ,why don't you relax and light up a smoke." he paused and offered me a Cigar.I politely declined then he continued. "We let some dead wood go by way of free agency then we traded for a hard hitting catcher.we signed a good looking SS in free agency and captured a nice pitcher in the R5.I think that will be enough to win more games." With that I was jostled from my seat by a couple of hired goons and summarily tossed out on my Arss. well i looked at nwsheehy's moves and this is what I found.
OUT;Dennis Giles ,Howard Crespo ,Vicente Rodriguez ,Homer Williams ,Harold Palmer ,Charles Suzuki
IN or PROMOTED;Jesus Mendoza ,Douglas Saunders ,Julian Tavarez
Summary;After my Butt and pride healed i Can say for certainty that the Charleston team has their own way of feilding a team and i don;t think they are stout enough to contend with Nashville or Jackson.
This is Purple's first season in Wrigleyville and if he runs this team like his Buffalo franchise.They will be a tough bunch of ball players.That said ,Purple takes over a historic franchise that owned the South for 6 years. But under jying98's tuteledge they slipped a little and were a wild card team.So Purples task is to make them division champs again and I know he can do it.So i ventured to the New City Center Casino on the strip and found Purple playing black jack.I slid into a seat next to him and he smiled and gave me some chips.While the dealer dealt our hands i asked Purple what he thought of his brand new team?? and he said. "We lost Willie and alls we got in return were a #43 and a #80 pick.That was disapointing but I did clean out all the dead wood in the minors. And I also improved my defense and Hitting with some Free agent pickups.I also pulled off a trade with Toledo and picked up another fine SS." With that he yelled" hit me", and busted.I left the table after a hearty hand shake, and researched the Las Vegas off season moves. This is what i found
OUT;Eugene Gibbons ,Willie Hamilton ,Vic Lombardi ,Nigel Hasegawa ,Sammy Estrada
IN or PROMOTED;Tommy Nixon ,Pablo Duran ,Bud Shelley ,Tom Buckley ,Albert Guerrero
Summary;It looks like after the bad luck of losing a stud pitcher Purple went to work.And I think with added defense and a little more firepower they may make-up for his loss.Purple will contend for the division and if he falls short.He will be right in the middle of the Wild card race.
Sordie is a force in Wrigleyville. And last season it looked like the Moonbats were going to win Back to Back World Series.But they were Were spooked out of thier caveby the Cincinatti Howlers.Makes sense huh!! Moon and Howlers!!Anyways sordie released this press statement.
"Moonbats preseason assessment: We got older, but more offensively potent. Defense is taking a back seat this season,we want to outscore opponents. Our pitching staff is a notch above average, but look for an early Jeff Burnett callup to bolster the starting staff. All in all, this squad should be in a position to contend for a division title and deep playoff run."
OUT;Wallace Oliver ,Jesus Mendoza ,Wiki Arias ,Dan Torre ,
IN or PROMOTED;Victor Demaree ,Brett Woodson ,Rickey Strange ,Lorenzo Torres
SUMMARY; After losing in the ALCS sordie made a few changes but not a lot.So I think they will win thier Division and be trouble in the playoffs.Moonbat Fever..... Catch IT!!!
Jaredparventi takes over a team in turmoil. This team made the playoffs two years ago but last year they finished at .500.I caught up to jared at the Bugs Bunny Museum in downtown Albuquerque.He motioned me over while viewing the Yosimitee Sam exhibit and said he had just enough time for one quick question.so i asked him what he thought of his new team? He replied. "I Cleaned house thats what i did.I let most of the F/a's go and I replaced them with a bunch of old guys who just want a chance to play one more season.I also promoted a couple of prospects and picked up a R5 player.I think if I stock enough Geritol they may make a game of it." with that he moved on to the Wylie E Coyote exhibit, and i went to check on his transactions.this is what I found.
OUT;Malachi Christopher ,Phil Dunwoody ,Jimmie Watson ,Craig Savage ,Pablo Duran ,Marty Evans ,Spud Canseco ,Rich Ward ,Cody Sherman
IN or PROMOTED;Hootie Mahaffey ,York Phillips ,Adam Wright ,Josh Sefcik ,David Otanez ,R.J. Torres ,Tim Surhoff ,King Evans
Summary;I like what jared has done.So listen up all you Newbies.He's picked up all those free agents that were once studs but now are way past their prime.If he can squeeze one more good season out of them, he might have a winner here.I for one will be following his progress closely.I don't think the Geritol Gang will have anything for the Vegas or Cincinatti Clubs. And maybe a shot at the last W/C is within their reach.
Mdymond takes over a team that needs a lot of help.And from what I see mdymond has done with his other club.This could be something good.I caught up to him at the teams headquarters in sunny San Diego.I asked him what his plans are for turning this franchise around? He said. " Boy this team is a Mess!! I let go a bunch of dudes and brought up 4 prospects .Then plugged the holes wit a couple of Old Free Agents.I hope we can keep it a float but i think we will be rebuilding this squad for a while." with that i excused myself and this is what I found
OUT;Rod Slocumb ,Aramis Herrera ,Jeromy Hampton ,Clyde Ratliff
IN or PROMOTED;Sammy Miranda ,Rey Chen ,Sammy Miranda ,Jamey Richardson ,Josh Skinner ,Frank Dwyer ,Russell Corbin
SUMMARY;Can You say Rebuild?? This team is under construction and if you need some help mdymond.Just ask anyone in Wrigleyville we always have some extra players to send your way.Good to have you aboard.