January 6, 2009
It is only January, but it is starting to get very interesting for the team that plays at the Jake, now known as Progressive field. The team that plays at the Jake/Progressive field is one of those burdened with trying to obtain players within a budget that runs about two plus times less than the big guys. The big guys are those who play in stadiums on the coasts, the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, the Dodgers from Los Angeles, and a few more assorted teams that seem to have pockets full of an unending amount of money. My team belongs to that un-illustrious group of teams that come from what is called small market areas. But for what they lack in money to buy whomever they wish, they can make up in fan loyalty. The fans love their team and you have to love the fans for their devotion to the team who runs hot and cold depending, of course you know, how much money they have to spend.
But this year it is shaping up as a good collection of former star players who because of injuries cannot demand big money, so they come to our team for less money and a chance to showcase their talents. Hopefully to do so successfully and again be able to ask for the big bucks.
We also seem to be a team that handles young players well in their learning years, as they progress in their talent until they reach that magic year when their talent becomes marketable and free agency beckons. Then we lose them to those dreaded coast teams and start the whole process over. The young players never sign with us because the money being offered is so great and we cannot compete. We just lost CC Sabathia to the Yankees who gave him 161 million dollars. It's happened many times before with Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. We expect it, we don't like it, but that's the way it is.
Our General Manager is a crafty dude and gets pretty good value for the amount of money he can spend, and this winter he seems to be amassing a group that if they can grab the gold ring one more time will make a really interesting season for us fans on the north coast.
If course we will need a little help on the medical side of our former big bopper who used to hit baseballs out of the stadium with regularity, but his big body has failed him. This year he says he feels good and the body is being carefully monitored by illustrious doctors preparing him for what could be his last hurrah. A lot of fans are praying for him, and the collection of ex stars that are being accumulated for one last collective shot at the elusive post season play.