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Monday, December 10
Box City Parcelmen

2001 record:
57-105 (.352); 4th place in AL Central

Major additions:
OF Darin Erstad, 2B Jose Offerman, RHP Esteban Loaiza, RHP Jimmy Haynes, LF Chuck Knoblauch, OF Troy O’Leary

Major loses:
1B Mike Sweeney, OF Ray Lankford, OF Reggie Sanders, OF Albert Belle

2001 Review:
Entering the season, the Box City Parcelmen were back-to-back BRASSball champions. Unfortunately for Box City, 2001 would not be so kind. After winning 100 games in 2001, the team fell sharply to a 57-win season. The offense certainly did not perform well, but the pitching staff was most to blame. Its 6.35 ERA was last in its league.

Box City’s best players were DH Mike Sweeney (.318, 27 HR, 87 RBI), SS Miguel Tejada (.280, 32 HR, 108 RBI) and 1B Jim Thome (.258, 25 HR, 114 BB).

2002 Outlook:
Box City’s off-season actions speak a thousand words. Those words tell us that a rebuilding process has officially begun for the Parcelmen.

First, Box City made only a small impact in the free agent market. While the team did sign OF Darin Erstad to a long contract, its other signings were relatively minor. By not spending this year, Box City has chosen to keep the money in its coffers for a time when it will prove more useful.

In addition, Box City has begun to trade veteran players for young prospects. Shortly after the free agency period concluded, Box City traded veterans OF David Justice, OF Ray Lankford and SS Abraham Nunez to Cook County for three prospects – 3B Tony Blanco, RHP Britt Reames and RHP Wes Anderson.

While the Box City lineup does contain some popular names, many of the team’s players are on the down side of their careers. Add to that a patchwork rotation, and it appears as though another long season is in store for Box City.

Rebuilding periods are never easy, but Box City’s management has proven it can build a contender in the past. Now its fans will just have to be patient while the next Box City championship team comes together.

Projected lineup
CF Kenny Lofton
DH Chuck Knoblauch
LF Darin Erstad
SS Miguel Tejada
1B Jim Thome
3B Bill Mueller
RF Troy O’Leary
C Jason Larue
2B Jose Offerman

Esteban Loaiza
Jimmy Haynes
Dave Mlicki
Andy Benes
John Halama

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