October, 1997


New Franchises

Midwest, McGraw, Canyon Country, Crown Point and Ann Arbor will all be thrown into a pool and re-drafted in a couple weeks.  We will have five new owners (one-actually a holdover—Eric Spitz).  Since there is a disparity in talent of these five teams, I felt it was most fair to divide the commodities from all five teams among the new owners.  Each team will start with the same amount of money as well, which was divided equally.  The draft picks of these teams will also be available to be drafted.  By next month, all 5 new rosters should be set, and ready to go through with free agency.  I’ll keep you all posted.


November, 1997


New Teams

This past month there was a re-draft involving the teams formerly known as Midwest, McGraw, Ann Arbor, Crown Point and Canyon Country.  To no one’s surprise, Ken Griffey Jr. was the first player selected, followed by Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Jim Thome and Ben Grieve.  All five teams did a good job of positioning themselves to compete in the near future.  With each “new” team having over 30 million (after noting that each club was significantly short on innings and PAs, through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN—previous owners left little in the cupboard to draft from—I decided to give each team and additional 5 million to ensure these teams do not blow their bankroll simply trying to field a team) and a supply of draft picks, there is no reason to believe each of these clubs cannot compete for the post-season within a couple years.  Among the new teams are the Florida Hurricanes, owned by Eric Spitz.  The Hurricanes will play in the AL East, along with fellow Floridians St. Lucie and Hessville, as well as Minnesota.  Florida was the luckiest franchise, winning the right to draft Griffey, Jr.  In addition, the ‘Canes added players such as Jeff Kent and Marquis Grissom, as well as fireballing relievers Rick Bottalico and Billy Wagner.  Denny Neagle will provide the ‘Canes with some needed leadership in the rotation, while joined by steady Tim Wakefield and 1997 Rookie of the Year contender Omar Olivares.  Youngsters Pokey Reese, Dmitiri Young and Yamil Benitez give Florida some hope for the future, as does five open slots for amateurs in the upcoming rookie draft.


The Milwaukee Tailgaters, owned by Tony Cieszynski, sport a bevy of sluggers (Thome, Greer, Huskey), some nice young arms (Loaiza, D’Amico, Mendoza, Person, Coppinger), and some veteran talent (Offerman, Beck, Burba, Molitor) as well.  The Tailgaters, to compete in the NL West will play ball in Arlington Stadium


Don Leigers, owner of the Hanover Hangmen, will also make his team’s home in the NL WEST.  The Hangmen sport an impressive infield, with Jeter, Eric Young, and Cal Ripken around the horn.  Youngsters like Armando Benitez, Doug Glanville, Rich Hidalgo, and Russ Branyan give much hope for the future, as do current stars like Tony Gwynn (RFA), BJ Surhoff, and Ismael Valdes.


Mike Thomas (team unnamed), is one of our new owners in the AL WEST.  Thomas went young in the redraft, grabbing young Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Ben Grieve as his outfield of the future.  James Baldwin, Andy Ashby, and Jason Isringhausen could be a major part of a solid rotation in the near future.  Veterans Brad Ausmus, Carlos Baerga, Chili Davis, and Joe Carter give Thomas something to work with in the short term.


Team X consists of a terrific infield of Chipper Jones, Jay Bell, Quilvio Veras, and young Travis Lee.  The outfield could consist of a Will Cordero, Matt Stairs and Devon White.  Ace Brad Radke will be helped by Ben McDonald, Kevin Tapani, Jeff Juden (RFA), and Terry Mulholland (RFA), to form a solid, if unspectacular pitching staff. 


Good luck to all of you newcomers.  Welcome!