Friday, March 27, 2009
Seaon Preview of The Cleveland Bootleggers
GM/Manager Meteu40 has been running The Bootleggers since the league's inception and is hoping to continue the franchise's success in season 12. They bring back many familiar faces to the people of Cleveland and the rest of the National League, with some promising rookies who should make their Major League debut during the year.
1B- Posiedon Price came over in a mid-season trade from the Austin Argonauts and continued his torrid production from the American League (83 Games, .329/.421/.749, 35 HR, 90 RBI) really sparking The Bootlegger's offense on the way to their 3rd World Series title. Entrance Song: Stay High, Three 6 Mafia.
2B-3rd year player Al Neill continued his fantastic play at 2B last season, netting his second consecutive All-Star selection and 3rd NL award winning his 1st Gold Glove at 2B. He should bounce back offensively from last season's "Sophomore Slump" (.299/.363/.595, 39 HR, 116 RBI, 37 for 41 SB) to potentially be a MVP Candidate this season. Entrance Song: 99 Ways To Die, Megadeath.
SS-Geraldo Herrara had a solid season both offensively and defensively in his 3rd ML year, staying in the top half of all SS in both offensive (.269/.353/.468, 25 HR, 92 RBI) and defensive (.952 FLD%, 5.93 RNG). He should continue his rock solid play this year. Entrance Song: Private Eyes, Hall and Oates.
3B-Andres Lugo continued his 6th season of excellent play on the left side of the infield. Producing offensively at a high rate (.312/.380/.566, 29 HR, 92 RBI) while bettering his Gold Glove Def from Season 10 (.968 FLD%, 2.55 RNG, 7 +plays) but he got snubbed by the BBWAA. He is in a contract year, and showed up to Spring Training in the best shape of his career. Entrance Song: Fly To The Angels, Slaughter.
LF-The Captain of The Bootleggers is back for his 11th season on the big league club. He is a steadying force in the locker room and at the plate as well, having another of his typically productive seasons last year (.301/.387./.540, 30HR, 96RBI). His main goal is to incorporate the young players into the the team seamlessly and hopefully get the team to it's 6th consecutive NLCS appearance. Entrance Song: Limit, Diechkind.
CF-"The Diesel Destroyer" finished up last season, his 6th, in the same spot as the 3 seasons prior, with an All-Star selection and the NL Gold Glove for CF. While he had a down year at the plate (.266/.389/.458, 24 HR, 79 RBI, 29 SB) he made up for it with his league leading defense (.995 FLD%, 2.89 RNG, 34 +plays) and got white hot at the plate come playoff time (14 games ,.412/.481/.868, 9HR, 29RBI) cementing his clutch reputation. Entrance Song: Dangerous, Busta Rhymes.
RF-Damion Hasegawa had another outstanding year in season 11, winning the rare double award of Gold Glove and Silver Slugger at his RF spot. He was steady as a clock at the plate, posting his 5th consecutive season with a 1.000+ OPS (.334/.397/.681, 50 HR, 154 RBI) hitting the 50 Hr plateau for the second time and setting his career high in RBI. He signed a 5-year deal in the offseason and is happy to stay in Cleveland for years to come. Entrance Song: Number One Spot, Ludacris.
C-With the Trade of Neifi Gongora Al Santos will be a place holder at C until Louie Alomar is ready to make his big league debut. Santos will mostly play vs LH pitching and as a late inning Defensive replacement.Entrance Song: Bottom, Tool.
Bootlegger "Future Stars"
The Bootleggers have high hopes for former 1st overall draft pick Joaquin Valentin. He will start the season with the big league club and is slated to fill a "super-sub" role, probably getting 400 total AB at every position save for C. In the coming seasons he is likely to play mostly at SS and has the potential for many 30-30 seasons. Entrance song: Drag The Waters, Pantera.
Louie Alomar has been one of the top C prospects the past 4 seasons and The Bootlegger management is hoping that his minor league production translates to the big leagues. Alomar has the rare combination of DH-Level hitting ratings paired with very good def C ratings. He will be mentored by Jose Almanza and has a long bright future. Entrance Song: Infected, Bad Religion.
Antonio Terry is the consumate leadoff man. He gets on base, slugs in the low to medium range and can steal bases in bunches. Combine that with his excellent defensive skills and he'll get plenty of time on the field to show what he can do. Entrance Song: Lobster & Scrimp, Timbaland f. Jay-Z.
The Bootleggers return familiar faces to thier bench, most will spot start on occasion and provide late inning defensive help, along with quality ABs off of the bench. The are connsumate team players and are hoping to help return the club to continued postseason success.
The same rotation that led The Bootleggers to thier 3rd World Series Championship returns for another year. The bullpen will se some new faces, but the National League is all too familiar with these quality arms.
Sp1-Ivan Perez starts his 9th season with th Big League club and has been the staff ace since he was slotted into the rotation. He is a straigh power pitcher and is playing in a contract year. The rumor is he spent his offseason really refining his curveball so he can have another out pitch to complement his change up.
Sp2-Bart Nitkowski has been consitently the best SP stat wise when he is able to stay off the injury list and in the rotation. Bart Averages a 1.22 WHIP an 3.11 ERA in his 5 seasons, and since he just signed a fresh 5-year deal to stay with the team, he plans to continue that production into his mid-30's.
Sp3-Vinny Nitkowski (Bart's brother) is the second half of the most productive brothers in Banks history. V. Nit is entering his 4th season with the Big League club. Much like his older brother, V. Nit averages a 1.23 WHIP and 3.43 ERA in his ML career. Unlike his brother he has never spent significant time on the IR and also averages 226 IP a season.
Sp4-R.J. Lima is the wise veteran of the raotation and aslo it's only southpaw. He's also plaing in a contract year and has put in extra time over the offseason to bounce back from his sub-standard season 11 campaign which saw him in a much dimminished role during the postseason. He has been instrumental in helping the young pitchers when they get the call up from the Minors and will continue to do so this season.
Sp5-Fransico James is starting his second season at ML and is hoping to continue his exellent rookie campaign (1.33 WHIP, 3.70 ERA). "Frankie Four-Fingers" attributes much of his success to the missing ring finger on his right hand, he lost it in an unfortuante wolverine trapping accident at age 14, which he belives allows him to get more break on all his pitches.
The Bullpen lost some of last season's regulars and there is a highly anticipated battle in spring training to see who will fill the reamining 3 spots.