Windy City Slickers Report
Slickers Win Home Opener 3-0
Veteran David Wells, in his first start as a Windy City Slicker, pitched 6 brilliant shutout innings vs. the Maine Black Flies for a 3-0 home opener win. Wells was helped out by Vinnie Chulk, and Giovannia Carrara, who notched his first save as a Slicker. Manager Dusty Bakers home opener lineup featured 5 players not on the home opener roster from 2005, including Mark Ellis (DL last season), Xavier Nady (AAA last year), Jason Phillips, Brad Ausmus, and Jose Reyes. ìWe have a bunch of new faces this year. Iím excited about our chances,î commented Baker after the home opener win.
Windy City Ends April in 1st Place
The Slickers went 8-6 both on the road and home to finish 4 games ahead of division rival Hessville. GM Dallas Green made several off season moves to improve the Slickers roster. Most notable was the release of fan favorite Sammy Sosa. ìAfter the embarrassing corked bat incident, acquisitions of steroid use, and the incessant blaring of Salsa music in the clubhouse, we felt it was time to part ways. Besides, we have several younger players coming up through the minors that deserve a shot to play in the bigs,î commented GM Dallas Green. The General Manager was referring to Ryan Church and Xavier Nady. Both players made an immediate impact during their first month in the majors. Church hit .500 (23 hits) in April, including 6 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 homers. Nady hit .385 with 8 doubles and 4 dingers. Both players are assured to see increased playing time as the year progresses. GM Green also made some shrewd roster moves during the off season, making the team younger and faster. Youngster Jose Reyes is absolutely electric on the bases, leading the team with 10 steals and 6 triples. Green solidified the roster by adding veterans Matt Lawton and David Wells. Lawton is expected to platoon in the outfield, DH, and come off the bench. Lawton hit .274 with 7 stolen bases in April. Wells is a welcome addition to the roster, and the only LH starting pitcher for the Slickers. ìPicking up Wells was critical for us. Last season we didnít have a LH starter, and we suffered for it at times,î stated Baker.
Greenís roster is not finalized, however. He would like to add a LH relief pitcher and a top notch closer. ìNo disrespect to our bullpen, but thereís always room for improvement.î When confronted by this comment, closer Dustin Hermanson fumed, ìI guess going 1-0, with 8 saves and a 1.50 ERA is not closer material for Mr. Green.î
Windy City Slicker Notes
The Slickers stole 25 bases during their first 28 games of the season . . . Lyle Overbay hit .416 with 10 2bís, 6 hrís, 16 rbiís, 16 bbís, and nobody noticed. Heís the best kept secret on the Slickers roster . . . Kevin Mench led the team with 7 homers and 21 rbiís . . . Multi-billionaire A-Rod only hit 5 hrís and 14 rbiís . . . Ace of the staff Jon Garland went 3-1 with a 6.75 ERA, including 50 hits in 40 IP, and 12 homers! Way to go Jon . . . Newly appointed ace of the staff Jeremy Bonderman led the starters with a 4-1 record and a 3.43 ERA . . . Vinnie Chulk won himself a trip to the minors with a 8.74 ERA in 9 relief appearances . . . Nick Punto may have the privilege of becoming Vinnies roommate in the minors. Punto hit .147, going 5 for 34 . . .