Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Revolutionary Offseason

Santiago Arrojo is a strange man with strange ideas. A devout Marxist who allegedly funnels the bulk of his 9.8 million dollar a year earnings to the Cuban government and describes as his hobby in the Baltimore media guide, “copying passages from Das Capital to experience writing profound words”, Arrojo’s views on baseball are understandably overshadowed at times. They wouldn’t be if he weren’t such a weirdo. Arrojo sneers at the notion that a pitcher ought to aim for spots or even know where he’s going to throw the ball. Instead Arrojo subscribes to the original idea that a pitcher should operate on “feel”. “Baseball is not an intellectual game, that is a distortion”, claims Arrojo, “propagated by the capitalist media.” A relevant question at this point would be, how did this man get a big league contract? We don’t know either, but Baltimore is ruing the day they handed him the big bucks. They even went so far as to waive him this off-season, but, for some reason, there wasn’t any interest.

However, there was more to the Baltimore off-season than trying to shed the revolutionary wing of the team. Remember our earlier column describing the rush to the end of the track by the aging Baltimore roster, along with the prediction that the Einstein heirs in the front office would pull a rabbit or two from their collective fedora? Well, there weren’t any literal rabbits, but two young stars have suddenly appeared on the Baltimore roster, that, no matter how high and low we search, don’t appear to have been there before.

Roger Miller is a 23 year old jack of all trades. He can play virtually any position on the field (excepting flamethrower and backstop), and hit 29 home-runs to go along with 92 RBIs as a 22 year old last season on the worst team in the history of organized sport, the Colorado something or others. We’re trying to forget that they ever existed. He’ll start the season in center, but projects, long-term, as Baltimore’s shortstop of the future, the heir to the throne once it’s vacated by living legend and all-around demi-god John Witt. Davey Blanco, the other young stud picked from the pocket of a wannabe rival, projects as a Pedro Martinez like ace. Expected to start the season in AAA until, at the latest, September call-ups, Blanco is projected by the Baltimore scouting department (top 2 in the league) to have five (5!) viable pitches, be equally devastating against right and left handers, and to be feared and resented by the league quite akin to the manner in which the world once cowered before the Mongol hordes.

Life once again flows through the Baltimore roster, and it is expected to last well beyond this season.

Scottsdale Elitists Aiming For The Stars

After averaging 99 victories the last 3 seasons, Scottsdale Elitists bench coach Wesley Carver decided it was time for a change. Scottsdale's offense had been the top offense of each of the last three seasons, however, their pitching was painfully average, and they never moved past the second round of the playoffs.

"It was painfully obvious that we needed to acquire some top end pitching talent," stated Carver, "We would rather have 5-1 games than 8-6 games night after night." What Carver did next was suggested to owner Leppy Kahn that they acquire three talented starting pitchers, at any price. Kahn approved the signing of Jon Jacobs, Oswaldo Osuna, and Elvis Russell.

Corey Pote was traded, and then refused the trade saying "I want to be an Elitist until I die," Pote was promptly waived by the franchise. "It was either that or shoot him," Carver noted, "As far as I'm concerned, he's dead to the Elitists. Corey, have you ever seen Logan's Run?" Also gone is 52 HR/183 RBI 1B Glen Cedeno. The team even considered moving hitting phenom William Cho, who is widely considered to be a hall of fame caliber player, even though he's only 22. The Elitists replaced the veterans Pote and Cedeno with big bat Denny Lloyd and promoted another big bat to play 1st, Pascual Romero . The move of Pote allows the Elitists to finally move 22 year old phenom Fransisco Mercado from LF to 2B. Also switching positions is Earl Hardy. Hardy moves to SS, after playing 3B, RF, 3B in the previous 3 seasons. "I'll do whatever it takes to help the team win," says Hardy. His team first attitude will be helpful with the loss of other veteran leadership on the team... Veteran leadership whose departure leaves about $15M in cap space for the Elitists. "We'll be looking to make a deal," says owner Kahn, " It's pennant season in Scottsdale. We expect a lot from the Elitists. " Indeed.

The Elitists think rather highly of themselves. This reporter however, does not.
Projection - 70-91, 4th in the AL West.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

New York Carloses Offseason

The New York Carloses made the playoffs for the third year in a row, and management seems content to roll the dice on the same core of players for Season 4. The only notable departure from the team is Jose Gonzales who played admirably last season, in what looks to be his last. He is being replaced with veteran Art Long, who is being asked to take on a utility role for the first time in his career.

The Carloses still return with veterans allstars at catcher, first base and center - but the rest of the offense is young and there are only 3 true veterans on the pitching staff.

That said, the youth has been maturing well and the team should be entering its prime, with 15 players on their active roster who are under 27. The Carloses are gambling on their few veterans being able to act as a bridge until the future stars of Beamon, Singleton, Keller and Fernandez are prepared to take over - this transition season will be interesting to watch.

Las Vegas Mets

Spring training is here and the Mets have been busy. We made an offer for free agent Gerald Ono, but he decided to go elsewhere. Decided to give 2nd baseman Placido Guitirrez an extension for 4 years and $32.30 million. As a replacement for Ono, we signed Javier Garrido who's 4 years younger has a great glove and speed to patrol the outfield, get on base and steal a few. Since you can never have enough pitching, we signed free agent Earl Buckley for 3 years and 21 million. He can give us over 200 innings, and able to induce many groundballs. Only the season will tell if we've made the right decisions. Las Vegas is rooting and watching and they expect at least a playoff entry this year.