Long Awaited Day…
…Arrived for General managers all over Brassball world on Saturday March 2,2002. Lists were prepared, scouting reports and statistics were compiled, the chat room was set up for all the teams to join in one place, anticipation rose after months of preparation. Morning came only to find that all was not well in Brassball land for during the night something had happened to the chat room. What was the trouble? No one knew, not in the east, mid west, south or even the west coast. Was this merely a coincidence of modern technology or was it the curse of some drunkard soccer fan from over seas that infiltrated our territory last year? No answers are evident but the draft must go on so to plan B. Download more technology, come on faster, the hour is drawing near; hurry up, the clock strikes 11:00AM on the east coast. Waiting for instant messenger to download was stressful as the minute’s passed, finally on-line, try to catch up. Regain composure for first pick, need shortstop since Omar Vizquel moved away, Uribe, Eckstein and Berroa gone before I even got on-line. Next on Mets list, Ramon Vazquez SD traded from Seattle because the Padres needed a young shortstop with good defense and potential to put up some offensive numbers. No help this year, but good minor league selection.
As names are selected they were scratched off my master list, some surprises for me in round #1, but most top picks taken as we move into the second column. A pair of Zambano pitchers head the list, finally my turn. Another minor leaguer Orlando Hudson 2B from Toronto, could be leadoff hitter in future and set table for Albert and Friends nest year. A short relief period ended abruptly as #68 Cook County selected Fernando Tatis. “Adios Amigo!” After two years of injuries, could he return to All-Star form away from Glen Allen? Early spring reports from Florida showed some tightness in that torn muscle, so now the Maulers will worry about the recovery. This was the first time any of the Mets unprotected players had ever been taken in the rookie draft. Does Kevin know something that I missed or was he gambling on a quick recovery? Time will tell. Mets next pick at #76 Morgan Ensberg 3B Houston a great hitter, but will he win the full time job? Ripken is retiring after this year, Tatis in Cook County; will Albert migrate around the field again or settle at third? One could DH and the better fielder plays the position, no worries now, good prospect. Time for another pick @ #81 Jason Lane OF Houston, another hitter with potential will he get a chance this year? One report said candidate for rookie of the year, another good prospect.
Hey what about pitching prospects a lot of the big names are already gone. Pick #91 Colby Lewis P Texas another prospect with a good report and Rangers always go through pitchers so patience for a year or so. Moving to round #4 Mets still have need for infield help this year so pick #114 Brian Roberts Baltimore. Could help out if needed or maybe will get more experience and be valuable as utility backup next year. Another pick @119 how about Victor Martinez C Cleveland, Class A player of the year. Should spend couple more years in minors before overtaking incumbent of Indians, could not pass him up. All amateurs’ spots filled so take away this list and Delete All A from master list. Back for some more pitchers @ #128 Brian Reith Cincinnati and #133 Luis Vizciano Oakland. Who can help this year and have potential for the future? How about #162 Kerry Robinson Of St. Louis with speed and defense, average hitter, no power, but chance for part-time play in Lf. Maybe.
Now to reclaim those unprotected souls: Fordyce, Cook, Colbrunn. Round #10 Hector Ortiz to Charlevoix, I lost another one! Ten picks before I can recover so #254 Vance Wilson NYM catcher a back up to the big guy, but Hector was not guaranteed a job in KC so could turn out alright or at least be a wash. Last spot @ #273 McElroy returns to Glen Allen rather than Charles Nagy. Sorry Chuck! The numbers were not there, had to do what was best for the team.
Secondary free agent draft gave a chance to many players without jobs and homes. Mets wound up getting Jason Philips C NYM line drive hitter with good Defense, but a couple years away. Tike Redman OF pirates with a chance to play centerfield, maybe platoon, speed and defense no power. Brandon Knight NYY P, I know there starters are old so maybe he has a chance. Mark Lukasiewicz ANA relief pitcher may get a crack at a job with a good spring performance.
So ends this segment in the life of a Brassball General Manager with the drafts and free agent process behind us. Now I must change hats to that of the field manager for spring training in Florida. The Mets are looking for their third NL east title this year.
The starting rotation is set and the bullpen looks strong with a couple roles still up in the air. The infield defense is obviously weaker without Omar, but the outfield’s should improve. Hitting should be lead by Albert and Trot with help from their friends so the games should be close for the fans to enjoy.