2005 Season

                                        Official Publication of

                                        The Bronx Bombers

                                                                    Special Edition of

                                      From the Bullpen

                                                  Guest Editor:  Mouse

   2005 Season

Edition No. 8

   April 26, 2005     

 

THE TIME OF MY LIFE

 

As I sit down to scribe my first edition of the 2005 Bullpen, I am still replaying all the great moments in Wells' 12-year-old team (the Yankees, of course) hard-fought victory over the KWAA Cardinals 9-5 earlier tonight.  There were plenty of good and bad plays made by both teams, a lot of rivalry between the teams as we play in the Omaha Suburban Athletic Association and the Cardinals had invited us to play them on their home field, and several of the boys on both teams go to school or church together.  Pregame bragging rights and banter was rampant with plenty of "ribbing" going on during the game.  A little blood was spilled on the field due to some rough tags but at the end of the game, they were all still friends and the game was behind us.  As all of  you who coach or have coached your son or daughter know, it is so rewarding to see the look or smile on the face of a player who just successfully executed in the game what you have been working on and teaching them in practice.  Ah, if life could always be so simple and we could be so easily amused!!

 WHATíS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

With three weeks under our belt for the 2005 season, it just seems to me that something isn't right!  The Chicago White Sox have the best record in Major League Baseball, the Baltimore Orioles are leading the AL East Division, and the Yankees are tied for last in their division with Tampa Bay.  In the HSL, the Kansas City Blues continue to lead the way, Brian Roberts is the leading point machine, and the Lincoln Tribe are last in hitting points but fifth in pitching points!  Oh, what a season we have to look forward to.

DRAFT PERSPECTIVE

Somewhere during my pre-draft preparation I ran across a certain periodicalís "Ten Commandments" for their fantasy baseball draft which I thought was rather funny and appropriate, so I will use part of that to issue my perspective on our draft.  And maybe, just maybe, I could get some divine intervention to take me "...to the top of the mountain..."  So without further adieu:

MOUSE'S TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE HSL DRAFT

1.

Thou shalt not draft injury-prone players.  The Tribe taking Nomar "ER" Garciaparra in the second round certainly would break this commandment. Throw in Prior and Wood in the 5th and 6th round and Bob should be drafting a team trainer.

2.

Thou shalt take A-Rod's name in vain.  The Senators kept us guessing right up to that first selection before his hand wrote Pujols!  And then A-Rod fell to the Skipjacks in round five.

3.

Thou shalt not worship closers.  The Kansas City Blues couldn't wait to grab Francisco Rodriguez in the 3rd round, maybe a little early, but hey, he's still in first place!

4.

Remember Draft Day and keep it holy.  The Cubs certainly came prepared this year and to make the drive from Des Moines and back in the same day just for our draft certainly warrants our kudos.

5.

Thou shalt steal.  No, not from your buddy but in the draft and at this point it looks like the Irates might have committed Grand Theft Larceny with their pick of Brian Roberts in the 11th round.

6.

Thou shalt draft the most Yankees in the first five rounds.  Although one of my sentimental favorites, the Reds actually matched me this year by drafting Matsui in the 3rd and Posada in the 5th.

7.

Allow neighbors to covet thy players.  This commandment certainly goes to the Wahoos this year as he complained several times of "having his grass mowed" by the Tigers on one side and the Skipjacks on the other side.

8.

Thou shalt not covet rookie pitchers.  Although they are not rookie pitchers, the Tigersí drafting of Santana in the 1st round coming off a career year, Beckett in the 7th round always fighting health issues but with great unfulfilled potential, and Kolb in the 8th round after his first good year as a closer, may lead to some interesting moments.

9.

Thou shalt not overpay.   With the Skipjacksí drafting of Teixeira in the 3rd round and A. Jones in the 5th, he might have jumped a little too early and committed a Steinbrennerish type moment.

10.

Thou shalt not make foolish bets.  The Redbirds and Chiefs, albeit under previous management, fill this role as they enter the final year of a bet made several years ago under the fog of Mr. Budweiser himself.  May this be the year the Redbirds  break the "10 Year Bet" hex.

After three weeks of baseball the standings are as follows:

 

WEEK 3 POINT TOTALS

 

1.

Omaha Skipjacks

455.5

2.

Lincoln Chiefs

440.5

3.

Bronx Bombers

439.5

4.

Omaha Senators

425.5

5.

Des Moines Cubs*

419.5

6.

River City Reds

374.5

7.

K.C. Blues

371.0

8.

Omaha Redbirds

370.5

9.

Hanover Wahoos

367.5

10.

Lincoln Irates

347.0

11.

Lincoln Tribe

306.5

12.

Detroit Tigers

286.5

 

 

TOP 10 HITTERS

 

1.

Brian Roberts

132

2.

Jeff Kent

122

3.

Clint Barmes

118

4.

Chipper Jones

101

(T)

Derek Lee

101

6.

Derek Jeter

98

(T)

Milton Bradley

98

8.

Miguel Tejada

96

9.

Manny Ramirez

95

10.

Vladdy Guerrero

94

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STANDINGS THROUGH

APRIL 24, 2005

 

1.

River City Reds

1145.5

2.

Redbirds

1112.5

3.

Lincoln Chiefs

1112.0

4.

Lincoln Irates

1089.5

5.

Hanover Wahoos

1082.5

6.

Des Moines Cubs*

1065.0

7.

Omaha Skipjacks

1044.0

8.

Bronx Bombers

1008.0

9.

River City Reds

975.0

10.

Detroit Tigers

938.0

11.

Omaha Senators

936.0

12.

Lincoln Tribe

859.5

 

TOP 10 PITCHERS

 

1.

Dontrelle Willis

104

2.

Pedro Martinez

102

3.

Roger Clemens

98

4.

Jake Peavy

95

5.

Josh Beckett

91

6.

Mark Buehrle

90

7.

Jaime Moyer

87

8.

Tim Hudson

86

9.

Mike Hampton

85

10.

Francisco Cordero

80

 

Mouse's Minute

**

 As always, it's fun to reflect on certain events and laugh at oneís self, particularly when you have the benefit of "20-20 hindsight," and looking at this week's trade transactions, we see that Kevin Mench has departed the reigning Champion Senators to join the always typing/talking Wahoos.  Hmmmmm,

 

 

**

The Irates releasing both Jaret Wright and Bobby Madritsch, who, if memory serves me right, both received some sort of kudos, great pick, "Oh, I wanted him," or similar type of response at the draft.

 

 

**

The Redbirds and the Bronx Bombers were the only teams not to participate in the week three free agent draft....Is that good or bad?

 

 

**

Did I hear right that our very own Screech is the official Mascot for the Washington Nationals?

 

 

**

Who's a bigger surprise, Greg Zaun being the highest rated catcher, Brian Roberts being the highest rated player, or Clint Barmes being the highest rated shortstop by 20 points?  Any wagers on how long that lasts?

 

 

**

Biggest disappointments so far?  Smoltz, Rivera, the Yankees in general, Boston fans, Zito, or Nomar.  

 

 

As a closing reminder, if anyone is interested in purchasing a General Admission ticket book for the College World Series I am now an "official seller" of them and would be more than happy to help you out.  Each book costs $50.00 for ten general admission tickets. 

Till the next time we talk, may the sun in your universe shine bright!

 

 

 

SKIPíS BLIPS AND BLATHER

Check out the new link to The Outhouse Oracle.  Not to slight any of the rest of you, who are all great authors in your own right and in your own way, but I think we can all agree that Underbelly seems to find a way to put on paper some of the funniest damned stuff that we have ever read.  So that all of you will have easy access to it, we will collect and post the best of the Best of Bob (from his marvelous ďBellyflopĒ guest articles) here.  I thought that the heading The Outhouse Oracle was especially appropriate for this section, since U-Bob must spend a lot of time on the family commode thinking up all his hilarious musings, but also because his team quite frequently is in the league outhouse.   In any event, enjoy Bobís best. 

 

Now that I am finally able to admit some of the deficiencies of my public school education, I am trying to make up some lost ground by reading some of the literary classics, such as Catcher in the Rye and Don Quixote.  Having just finished the former while I continue to muddle through the latter, you will please forgive me if I seem to be caught up in J.D. Salingerís unique writing style.  Since finishing this book, I even seem to find myself thinking in line with his meter and method of writing.  I really do. 

 

I hate it when phony intellectuals try to advertise their intelligence by name-dropping their latest high-brow read.  I mean it.  It drives me crazy.  Iím telling you the truth.  It makes me want to vomit. 

 

I must confess, I actually once thought that Catcher in the Rye was about a baseball backstop who spent too much time consuming hard liquor.  I did.  I was a little bit disappointed to learn that it is instead about a young lunatic named Holden Caufield, whose ambition in life is to catch young kids running out of a rye field before they fly off of a cliff to their death.  I really was.  I hate it when kookie writers like Salinger write nutty books about crazy loons like Holden who dream about catching kids running out of fields of rye to keep them from plunging off of cliffs.  I mean it. 

 

I wish I could stop thinking and writing like this.  Iím telling you the truth.  I really hate it when reading a book like Catcher in the Rye makes me think and write in the same style as the author.  Iím not kidding. 

 

For those of you who have never read Don Quixote, I heartily recommend it to you, although the unabridged version that I am reading is a discouraging 900+ pages.  For those of you whose eyes glaze over before you get to the second paragraph of a piece of Possumís blither-blather, I do not recommend DQ to you.  The book is as funny as a side-splitter from The Bellyflop, but longer than one of Stretchís most prolific, door-opening snores.  It really is. 

 

I just got back from a deposition trip to Oakland, during which I made my second visit to the Oakland Coliseum, now known as the McAfee Coliseum.  In fact, the name change is so fresh that my Hertz map still refers to it as Network Associates Coliseum, which was last seasonís name du jour (Possum isnít the only cultured HSL guy who can toss around phony French phrases with impunity), and I hate that.  I really do.  Anyway, while I was tickled green and gold to be able to walk right up to the box office and buy a ticket in Section 118 (Row 20, behind home plate), I was less than pleased to watch Senator draft boo-boo Barry Zito implode in the 7th inning to take the loss.  Locked in a beautiful pitcherís duel with Jon Garland of the Palehose, Zito managed to hold the ChiSox to 2 hits and no runs through the first six innings with his killer hook and other tantalizing (66 mph, on one pitch) off-speed stuff.  It took future Hall-of-Famer (not) Chris Widgerís (didnít even know he was still in the Majors) first home run in five years (I really mean it) all of about six nanoseconds to leave the Yard, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead and taking any remaining starch right out of Zito.  Did I mention that my third round pick is now 0-and-4 on the season?  That kills me.  It really does. 

 

It didnít help my mood that newly-acquired Skipjack Jon Garland twirled a shutout for the ShyTown Sox against Zito.  And by the way, on Sunday night I put in for Victor Santos instead of Garland since I knew that U-Bob -- in 12th place, with the top pick of the Free Agent Draft -- would take the best and only obvious choice, Garland.  EXCEPT THAT HE DIDNíT!!  So I get a guy named Victor and J.T. has Garland plop into his lap.  I hate it when guys like Bob donít draft the guys I think they should and it messes up my draft strategy and forces me to outsmart myself.  I mean it. 

 

I donít give a dang what they call it, the Oakland Coliseum is a good place to see a baseball game.  It goes against all conventional logic, it being an old football/dual purpose facility and all, but itís as green a cathedral inside the park as I have ever been to, and it just feels downright intimate and nice.  At least in Section 118, it does. 

 

I should mention that if you are the thrifty sort, you wonít want to go see a game at the Coliseum.  It costs 14 bucks to park your car, and a 12-ounce beer runs $7.50.  The polish dog that I had was one of the best ever, but at $6.50 a copy, it should have been. 

 

How many of you knew that ex-guv Jerry Brown is the current mayor of Oakland?  Donít lie to yourself.  Sorry to report that there were no Brown-Linda Ronstadt sightings at the Coliseum. 

 

Three Aís have had their numbers retired:  Rollie Fingers (34); Reggie Jackson (9); and Catfish Hunter (27).  Damn, I bet the Coliseum was an exciting place to be during the Aís three-year World Series run from 1971 to 1973, when Charlie Finley owned the city of Oakland. 

 

The Athletics have won a total of nine World Series, tied with the Cardinals for the second most, behind the Yankees with 26.  In addition to their í71-í73 skein and the 1989 Earthquake Series victory over San Francisco, the Athletics won it all five different times in Philadelphia:  1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 and 1930.  A very proud and storied franchise. 

 

 

My apologies for the sheer length of the foregoing Blips and Blather -- I had a lot of time to kill on my flight back from Oakland. 

 

 

THE TRIP

 

To close, just this:  Any volunteers to organize this yearís trip to Philadelphia in August or September?  Going twice. 

 

* * * * *

 

As that French-flinging phony Possum would say --

 

                                                          Au revoir

 

                                                                   Skipper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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