- BRASSball - Hot Stove Heaters: Stanley
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Monday, April 14, 2003
Stanley Sioux

2002 record:
100-62 (.617); 1st place in NL Central
Won NL Divisional Series over Columbus in 5 games; Lost NL Championship Series to Ocala in 6 games

Major additions:
RHP Curt Schilling, RHP Woody Williams, 3B Jose Valentin, SS/OF Tony Womack, SS Mike Bordick, RP Jose Mesa

Major loses:
3B Jeff Cirillo, SS Neifi Perez, OF Moises Alou, RHP John Burkett, LHP Eddie Guardado, RHP Antonio Alfonseca

2002 Review:
With a tremendous 100-win season,, Stanley won its third NL Central Division title in as many years in 2002. The team had no real weaknesses, as its pitching staff was third in the National League with a 4.31 ERA while its offense was second in the NL with 1,041 runs scored with a NL-leading .294 batting average. In the NL playoffs, Stanley beat division rival Columbus in five games before being defeated by Ocala in the NLCS in a tough six-game series.

Stanley's top offensive contributors were 2B Jeff Kent (.324, 35 HR, 125 RBI), OF Moises Alou (.326, 26 HR, 116 RBI) and OF Jermaine Dye (.298, 28 HR, 114 RBI). Its top pitchers were NL ace LHP Randy Johnson (21-8, 3.43 ERA, 359 K) and RHP John Burkett (19-9, 4.69 ERA).

2003 Outlook:
After falling toOcala in the NLCS, Stanley again entered the off-season with a vengeance. The team's ownership showed a fierce determination to plug its holes and make another championship run in 2002.

First, the Sioux inked RHP Curt Schilling to a 4-year deal. He and Randy Johnson will provide Stanley with perhaps the most powerful 1-2 punch of any pitching staff in BRASSball.

Then, the team bolstered its already strong lineup by trading for infielders Jose Valentin (.271, 19HR, 60 RBI) and Tony Womack (.265, 46 SB), and signing sure-fielding SS Mike Bordick.

Returning to the team are rookie prospect Joel Pineiro (7-2, 78 IP, 3.46 ERA) and veteran RHPs Rick Helling (11-9, 4.70 ERA), who add further depth to the pitching squad. Unfortunately, RHP Pat Hentgen has been lost to a possibly career-ending injury. The team has also signed the veteran Woody Williams to replace him in the rotation, although his injury-plagued career may limit his number of appearances.

With a solid top to bottom lineup and a talented pitching staff in place, Stanley will once again be a major force in the NL. In fact, another 100-win season and playoff appearance are nearly predestined. In the 2003 playoffs, with the powerful combination of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling able to pitch nearly every game, a BRASSball championship is a definite possibility.

Projected lineup
CF Bernie Williams
DH Ryan Klesko
2B Jeff Kent
1B Rafael Palmeiro
RF Jermaine Dye
3B Jose Valentin
CF Randy Winn
C Paul LoDuca
SS Tony Womack

Randy Johnson
Curt Schilling
Joel Pineiro
Woody Williams
Rick Helling

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