Colorado Evil Empire -
Biggest news of the offseason was our relocating back to Fresno after three years in Colorado which saw us win two World Series trophies. We loved our time in The Mile High State, but it was time to come home.
Outlook: - It's World Series or bust once again as we are led by All-World OF- Tomas Cairo who picked up his unprecedented 10th straight MVP last year and shows no signs of slowing down. Put him in the HOF already. Within a couple of years he should hold most all of the Mike Squires offensive career records.
Ownership opened up their wallets and cleaned out the farm system with a couple of monster trades with BAL and MTY.
Alex James who was runner-up in the NL MVP race was brought in to join Cairo and Marino "The Kid" Vazquez in what has to be the best OF in all of HBD.
Benny "Pippin" Uribe and young stud Leo Conner will join Vicente "The Beast" Ciriaco and the reunited Jose Velez in what has to be our best offensive team ever. Bench players Mark Sears, Artie Bukvich, Rodrigo Campos, Mariano Terrero, Hugh Stetter and Phil O'Leary could start for any team, but as it is they will provide nice depth and injury insurance.
The biggest fish we brought in this offseason was ACE starting pitcher and 21-gm winner Harry "No Nonsense" Newman from Baltimore who joins the ageless future HOF Niko Kirby and 3-time CY winner Yuniesky Delgado in what should be a dominating rotation once again especially being back in Fresno. The bullpen also got a much needed addition in flamethrower Raymond "Lights Out" Tanner.
Losses: Many young talented prospects like Rubby Velez, Jimmy Hoffman, Jesus Delgado, Ricardo Sanchez, Hector Jacquez, Rio Maduro, and Victor Matos were traded to provide them an opportunity for regular playing time they deserve. We wish them nothing but the best with their new teams.
Trading away those quality prospects is never an easy decision, but to make those moves and still retain our two best young SP's in Alex Sojo and Yordano Uribe makes it very easy to digest.
With these moves and along with our ever increasing payroll, the days of plucking out the top IFA's appear to be coming to an end. This should make the rest of this world very happy.
Don't foresee many more changes necessary for this team, but the door is always open for trades.
Prospects: - Not much left, but guys like OF-Luis Lima and pitchers Wilin Mercado and Luis Gutierrez chould make their big league debut very soon.
Good luck to everyone in Season 33...
Portland Pines -
A view through the forrest-
From news conferences of owner Chris Hampton and manager Rob Ryan it seems the Portland fans need to be a bit more patience. While Hampton pointed out that the franchise had improved since he bought the Omaha franchise that lost 222 games in their only two seasons there (only 173 losses in his tenure as owner) that to really build a championship franchise everyone needed to be patient and build the team the right way.
Ryan picked right up on that by saying , the team might be better, but the strenght of the team was corner outfield , corner infield. Ryan's vision of a superior team is one strong down the middle and in the bull pen. So while Ryan waits on top prospect Fonzie Mahay to take over the catcher position and last years first round choice Pablo Polanco to find a postion the team must battle on.
According to unnamed sources in the Portland sport circles, minority owner Fred Snead is demanding that the Pines sign an agreement with sportingBDW agency. BDW claims that their scouts caan find cheaper and better players in Australia, China, and Scandinavia.
Even though S32 resulted in the third consecutive playoff appearance for the Seattle Somethings, the season was still considered a disappointment relative to preseason expectations. After languishing at or below .500 for the first 90-100 games, the club made yet another late run which resulted in clinching the 6th seed in NL, even without star infielder Max Cerveza due to injury. This time it resulted in an early exit to eventual champion Colorado.
In the offseason, management decided to move long-term commitments Cerveza and Osoria in a mega-blockbuster with Monterrey for SP Melky Quixote, 3B Ozzie Calderon, and OF Sidney Shields. As expected, the club suffered heavy losses in free agency, including the unexpected departure of reigning S32 NL Cy Young winner Walt Osborne. Walt had been willing to stay in S32 negotiations but his agent changed his mind at the 11th hour. Thus, Seattle was forced to re-sign Clark Hume instead.
For S33, management expects to take a slight step back but is likely to still contend for the 6th spot with typical challengers including Albuquerque (formerly Honolulu), Texas (formerly Kansas City), Montreal, and St Louis. It would not be a surprise if the club missed the playoffs for the first time in the last 4 seasons
Arrivals: SP Quixote, 3B Calderon, CF Shields (all trade w/ MTY), RP Cueto (FA- WIC), RF/1B McConnell (trade w/DET), LF Tejera (AAA- S30 R1 P10), 2B Navarre (AAA- S28 IFA), SS Anderson (AAA- S29 R1* P54), 1B Adkins (AAA- R6 P196, 257 career minor league HR), RP Quintanilla (S28- R1* P35), RP Romero (trade, AAA- S18 R1 P13)
Departures: SS Cerveza, 3B Osoria (both trade w/MTY), RF K. Martin (trade w/LR), SP Reese (trade w/DET), SP Osborne (FA- MTL), RP Stock (FA- ABQ), 1B Aquino (FA- CHI), LF Silva (FA- MTY), SP Bordick (FA- N.O.), RP Sheehan (released in arb)
Draft picks: 27, 30, 45, 48, 50, 61, 64, 68, 78, 90, 120, 122
Albuquerque Nuclear Warriors -