|Edition No. 1||
January 5, 2010
Dear Baseball Brethren:
A joyful New Year to all my brothers in the HSL! The 2010 season promises to be another fantastic year of competition for the thirteen beloved members of our glorious and, dare I say, unparalleled Hot Stove League.
Can you even believe that 2010 marks the 26th year of play in our matchless organization? How lucky we all are that Big Guy placed that phone call back in 1985 to plant the seeds which resulted in the formation of our cherished fantasy baseball league. Somebody pinch me. I thank my lucky stars at least weekly to be part of this time-honored outfit. I also thank each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment to our league, as well as your friendship. We are a Band of Brothers.
Linda has made the annual change to our home page, and I hope that you all enjoy the new look. I know that a few of you were getting tired of seeing Leo Durocher on horseback at Cooperstown. Please also note the new link entitled “Bender’s Bullshit,” where we will post his annual trip recaps, as well as Bender’s other sage and timely comments.
In addition, Linda has added a couple of other cool new features, which give all of us a daily view of the day’s date (at our ages, we need all the help we can get), as well as an updated countdown of days until Pitchers-and-Catchers-Report, the first Spring Training game, and Opening Day. Thanks to our one-person tech support team for keeping us on the cutting edge!
We will meet this coming Friday night at the Club Lounge in the Qwest Center at 6:30 p.m. for our annual Winter Meeting, to pay tribute to Brother Shamu and honor his third Hot Stove League title, two of which are entirely legitimate. Thanks to Tricko for getting us the suite and the grub. Should be fun. Looks like all thirteen of us will be in attendance.
On Saturday, April 3, 2010, beginning at 1:00 p.m., we will gather at the Pansing Hogan War Room for our 26th Annual Hot Stove League Draft. Having taken an informal poll of several league members, it appears that the 3rd is the only day that will work (certain, at this point anonymous, league members are not available the previous Saturday, March 27). Moreover, coupling this year’s Draft with a celebration of Big Guy’s birthday as well as making it an Easter Eve celebration to boot, our 2010 Draft Day promises to be the funnest day of the year and steeped with anticipation and tradition. Mark it on your calendar and plan accordingly.
There seems to be a consensus that our 2010 Trip should include a visit to brand new Target Field in Minneapolis, the new home of the Minnesota Twins. The tentative plan is to fire up the Mobile Sewage Treatment Plant and drive it from our base in Eastern Nebraska to the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, followed by a trip to the Twin Cities, potentially taking in a minor league game or an amateur league game along the way. Potential dates for this year’s junket are:
July 16-18 (Twins v. White Sox)
July 30-August 1 (Twins v. Mariners)
August 13-15 (Twins v. Athletics)
August 20-22 (Twins v. Angels)
Please check your calendars and let us know of any conflicts that might be looming on the horizon. Please be prepared to agree on a venue at our Winter Meeting on Friday night.
A while back I happened across a link on ESPN Page 2 to the Worst Calls in Sports History. The No. 1 call on this list was the phantom tag which Chuck Knoblauch applied to Jose Offerman in the 1999 American League Championship Series, in which long-time ML Umpire Tim Tschida called Offerman out. Below is a picture of how badly Knoblauch missed the tag.
The botched call ended in an inning-ending double play, instead of allowing Nomar Garciaparra to come to the plate with a runner in scoring position and two outs. Another chapter in the anti-Red Sox conspiracy.
I couldn’t believe it when I heard that the Phillies traded Cliff Lee and several top prospects (including Doug Drabek’s kid) to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. Sure, Halladay’s a stallion, but over the past four or five years, one could argue that Lee has been every bit the pitcher that Halladay has been. To give up this stud lefty and several top prospects, and then to have to pay Halladay whatever the Phillies will have to pay him over the next several years, I seriously question the judgment of the Philadelphia general manager. What do the rest of you think about this transaction?
I have mentioned to you a great article in SI this past season about Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. After reading it, I had a much better understanding of why he was able to baffle the teams he faced in the postseason, including the Phillies in the World Series. Here is a link to this fascinating article, which is required reading for all of you.
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That will close out this first 2010 issue of From the Bullpen. See you on Friday night at the Qwest.