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Old 09-20-2019, 12:43 PM   #333
pauwoo
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2077 Pre-Season

Long post alert!

On that last note… rebranding? Check. 6-team AA League? Messed this one up, will need to re-add for the 2078 season – ran into a no players / no schedule issue. Timing is everything.

So, after (not) very much deliberation – staying with the La La’s to try and make another run at the Championship seems like the way to go. I have two years left on my contract and intend to play that out – I am, after all, a man of my word (plus – the money is good). After essentially buying the 2076 Championship - Phil Murray’s words, not mine – he has reduced my yearly budget to $206M. That he did this after I had signed Pepper to a dumb contract and Michael Brisk to a fair contract, put me in a position where I’d need to dump some salary to get under the new budget. The results, while solid, have been mixed (the net result is a predicted 2nd place finish in the NL West). We now have the 5th ranked payroll & the 9th ranked budget – but, our books are balanced, so I’ll head into the 2077 campaign without Phil breathing down my neck about that. This whole debacle created a situation where, after overpaying Pepper, I had to trade him away to get under the cap. Of course, Pepper is my boy – so, I freaked out, and got him back for Ash and another solid reliever. Essentially, Pepper’s contract and my stupidity are responsible for whatever step back we take in 2077. I ended up on the wrong side of that one – I just can’t see a scenario where Pepper remains serviceable for the entirety of that contract… it will undoubtedly be the contract that hangs me in the end. But, so be it… loyalty is important.

Ch-ch-ch-changes… I’ve been busy:
Our marketing department unveiled a new hat at the start of the World Series - it was announced as a permanent change. It didn’t go over well - low adoption rate, articles in the local rags decried the move as a thinly veiled cash grab, and fans simply ignored them and went with their “throw-back” gear during the series. So - undeterred, our overconfident marketing gurus, armed only with their “big data analytics” and an overdeveloped sense of self, unveiled a new-new cap for the 2077 campaign... substituting gold for purple and incorporating the original cap logos monogram on the crown. While, a bit more kind, the local rags had a field day with this change - some started referring to us as the yellow-tops, while others, used terms for the cap that I will not repeat here. We’ll take it. Internally, despite the widespread mockery, we considered this response a win - especially given the fact that a complete rebrand to the LA Kings was on the table - with Phil’s full support - until an intern who was wise beyond her 22-years, convinced the larger team that the idea was, well, dumb.

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Meanwhile... in Minnesota, Shawna’s brain trust was busy on a rebrand of their own after their initial, and well documented, failure to ingratiate themselves with the Minneapolis community. The artist formerly known as the Timberwolves will henceforth be known as the Minnesota North Stars. This rebrand was met with some low-key fanfare and almost no mockery... it seems that the locals were happy enough with this change that they didn’t call out the fact that Shawna’s club, with the exception of some improvements to their prospect funnel, hasn’t made any significant strides towards contention.

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Lots of faces in new places - which I’ll cover as I work through the season - and we’ll turn our attention towards two, potentially generational talents, who just began their college careers in Boogie Barnett (MIT) – batting .368/1/5 through 5 games - and Bulldog Johnson (FSU) – who, by the way is out for 4-5 weeks due to an abdominal strain (too much binge drinking on Greek Row?). I probably won’t go too terribly deep into their collegiate career but will highlight them occasionally as they work their way to the majors.

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Offseason Moves:
I couldn’t resist making a play for Voorhis – I had to give up way too much to get him, but, when I want something logic tends to take a backseat to irrational thought.
  • Traded 26-year-old first baseman Ian Hanan and 25-year-old shortstop Larry Williams to the Pittsburgh Steelers, getting 29-year-old left fielder Tony Voorhis.
I’ve also overpaid Pepper & Brisky – because, why not (it’s not my money), and Brisky wanted a Lambo. Not sure why he got a vanity plate that reads “FRKBLL” considering that he doesn’t have that pitch in his arsenal. Whatever… Brisky gon’ Brisky.
  • Signed free agent 3B Pepper Grant to a 3-year contract worth a total of $72,000,000.
  • Signed free agent SP Michael Brisk to a 3-year contract worth a total of $81,300,000.
Later Nat, I hardly knew ye…
  • Traded 34-year-old starting pitcher Nat Millard and 23-year-old minor league starting pitcher Vincent Urquhart to the Philadelphia 76ers, getting 26-year-old starting pitcher Paul Yeager and 21-year-old minor league reliever Hank Wilson in return.
And, some moves I made that were of the, “Hey, I want to make a trade”, variety… net-net, I think that I’ve not gained or lost anything here…
  • Traded 27-year-old reliever Matt Olston and 21-year-old minor league reliever Hank Wilson to the Minnesota North Stars, getting 26-year-old reliever Paul Wilson and 23-year-old minor league reliever Dwight Beasley in return.
  • Traded 25-year-old shortstop Kwaku Kwaku, 25-year-old minor league closer Mickey Anzaldua, 29-year-old minor league reliever Brent Durkin and 25-year-old minor league center fielder Clint Wolf to the Montreal Impact, getting 29-year-old second baseman Chandler Bosquez and 23-year-old minor league starting pitcher Rad Taylor in return.
  • Traded 25-year-old starting pitcher Lee Myers to the Carolina Panthers, getting 26-year-old reliever Aiden Jensen in return.
  • Austin had to go – it was a money issue. Phil Murray cut my budget, I won the title overbudget last season, but it seems that the ol’ Gopher Destroyer likes to make money as much or more than he likes to win.
  • Traded 31-year-old first baseman Austin Rollins, 23-year-old minor league shortstop Michael Sutton, 22-year-old minor league third baseman Hugo Janssen, 23-year-old minor league catcher Jeff Washburn and 23-year-old minor league reliever Orian Heredia to the Montreal Impact, getting 32-year-old starting pitcher Ferdinand Loving, 23-year-old minor league second baseman Brian L. White and 21-year-old minor league shortstop Paio Olivo in return.
  • Traded 30-year-old left fielder Joshua Newman and 26-year-old minor league reliever Charles Fane to the Toronto Reds BC, getting 28-year-old first baseman Arnold Webster and 24-year-old minor league first baseman Senol Delalto in return.
And, in my finest moment, in another move inspired by my need to manage the budget allotted to me by Phil Murray, I traded Pepper – only to freak out and get him back. It was costly though as Newman is a tip-top reliever and Miyakawa is excellent as well. Whatever – I got PEPPER back, so all is right with the world.
  • Traded 33-year-old third baseman Pepper Grant and 23-year-old minor league second baseman Brian L. White to the Dallas Cowboys, getting 22-year-old minor league right fielder Lang Hammer, 22-year-old minor league left fielder Bakari Konaté and 23-year-old minor league right fielder Eric Beach in return.
  • Traded 31-year-old reliever Ash Newman and 33-year-old reliever Johnny Miyakawa to the Dallas Cowboys, getting 33-year-old third baseman Pepper Grant in return.
Lastly, I went ahead and got Hamza – not because I had to, but because I wanted too – look, after these moves, I’ll be the first to admit that this incarnation of my club only has a remote chance of repeating as champion – but we are just a tad under budget, and we will be fun.
  • Traded 29-year-old shortstop Chandler Bosquez and 26-year-old left fielder Kumar Bovie to the New York Jets, getting 26-year-old shortstop Hamza McDonnell.

The 2077 Lineup…
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  1. Hamza – Great baserunner, good fielder, and so-so hitter who flexes a mustache that rivals the one Brisky sports. He’s had some injury problems – so, I’m rolling the dice a bit here.
  2. Tony Voorhis – Here’s a guy with some pop who doesn’t fit the proto-typical LA player mold – he’s more of a lunch pail and get ‘er did type than a razzle-dazzle glamour boy tailor made for sunset strip.
  3. Ethan – killer ‘stache, timely hitting, solid fielder, and fan favorite.
  4. Dom Cooke – He’s not my favorite – too many passed balls – but solid Catchers are hard to come by, so, he’s a keeper.
  5. Otto – one of the best in the game, hasn’t been able to bring his talents to the postseason though. Your boy seems to fade into the background during our biggest moments.
  6. Oh Hong – fan fave with lots of upside who likely isn’t ready to start on the big club. But, without Austin in the fold, we’ll need him to accelerate his development… let’s just hope he isn’t ruined by the fast-track.
  7. Arnold Webster – a bootleg power bat who hit 29 dingers last season, while only batting .233 – he’s also not very good in the field, so he’ll be our DH. Meh.
  8. Pepper – a legend in everything other than consistent performance. Who cares – I love him, so he stays.
  9. Mario Marshburn – great, great fielder. So-so at everything else.

The 2077 Rotation…
  1. Paul Yeager – my 3rd Ace in three seasons… he’s basically a younger version of Nat with less long-term upside. Cheap though…
  2. Brisky – the man, the myth, the legend. He needs no introduction.
  3. Dejuan – Yeah, he’s still on the team. In a word – serviceable.
  4. Aiden Jensen – New guy, youngish, with some untapped potential.
  5. Newton Weiser – He was up and down at the end of 2076, hopefully, he will be a bit more consistent and is ready for primetime.

Key Bullpen Guys…
  1. Barbaccia – our closer who never quite returned to form late last season… let’s hope an offseason on a paleo diet with a grueling workout schedule will pay off for him.
  2. Rudolf – I mean, he breaks my heart on the regular, but I couldn’t get enough value for him in trade talks…
  3. Ferdinand Loving – he’s been a starter for his entire career… let’s hope that the transition to the pen is a smooth one for the old vet.

The TL;DR version… My budget was reduced, I made a lot of trades, we are not as good as last season, and Shawna rebranded her club… oh, and before I forget – I eliminated the wild cards from my playoff format… now the top two teams in each division will meet for a 7-game series before the LCS & WS, respectively.
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Last edited by pauwoo; 09-20-2019 at 03:45 PM.
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