Sunday, July 1, 2012

NL SOUTH - Season #22 Preview

Atlanta Alpa Chinos

After another disappointing season in which we again just missed getting into the playoffs despite the heroics of sluggers Charlie Hull, Scot simontachi and Thom Christenson (who combined for 130 HR), our franchise hoped to rebound. We move the club from Miami to Atlanta, where the park's dimensions should help the sluggers even more, while still protecting the pitching staff.

The pitching staff is led by 17-game winner Rex Andrews, who signs on for another 5 years to keep the 1-2 punch of he and Harry Mathews togther for at least another season. The staff is also hoping to get a lift by having mid-season acquisition Dario Sasaki around for a full-season. All three heads of the back-of-the-bullpen beast return in Ratliff-Ripken-McEnroe, who have done a phenomenal job in protecting leads after the 6th for the past few seasons.

The club is also excited about rookie speedster Patrick Boyle, who is expected to make the team out of spring training, with the hopes of providing a spark at the top of the order.

Jackson Jayhawks

The Jayhawks return to Jackson after a season away from the town and the new owner hopes the fans will flock out to the ballpark to welcome the guys back.

After a disappointing campaign last season the hiring of 21-year veteran coach Bingo Harris is intended to get the rookie and big-leaguers blended together from the outset. Given a good batch of up-and-coming youngsters the spring training session did not look attractive from nthe 4-14 record. However, the experience gained should reap benefits.

The big signing is #1 starting pitcher Milt Curtis: 37-year old lefttie. If he is on form then the wins should mount up but if age is found to be catching up the nit could be a long summer. Power hitting will need to come from Roland Hartman (RF) following the season-ending injury to superstar Rob Steenstra (CF).

The owner would like to at least achieve an above-500 W/L record at the ML level with post-season play realistically not being around for a couple of years. After that, the franchise should be competing after the regular campaign at all levels.

Just hours away from the first pitch...and the owner is getting nervous.

Mexico City Hombres Azul

"The big off-season move for the Hombres Azul was the reacquisition of Milt Gagne (he owns two homes, one in Mexico and another in Baltimore and just moves between the two). Gagne is Mexico City’s single-season record holder for wins (21 wins in season 18), he replaces Cecil Holmes who suffered a shoulder aneurysm and was not offered a new contract.

There is a change at short-stop, after three years as a defensive replacement 26 year old Danys Sanchez finally gets the full-time gig. He replaces Alving Sanchez (no relation) who was part of the Gagne trade, Alving never achieved his early promise with the Mexican club, we wish him well in Rochester. The game plan for S22 is not that different to the previous two seasons – it’s speed and pitching.

If the opposition plays an offense first catcher – Mexico City will run them ragged. Reigning MVP Esteban Montero and silver slugger and golden glove winning 3B Benito Espinosa both have the power to compliment the speed in the rest of the team. This is an aging side, probably in its last couple of years at the top, there is very little in the minors to restock the big league team.

SS Flip Riske will probably be called up shortly to provide defensive cover;2B Horacio Mujica and C Ignacio Rondon are in AAA patiently waiting for an opportunity, and there are a couple of reasonable RPs. The only potential big league player in the low minors is last years first round pick 2B/CF Jake Mills."

Charlotte Chiefs