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Old 01-22-2012, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Orcin's Story

January 1, 1981

Rumors of labor problems and the potential of a disrupted MLB season provided the perfect opportunity for an international group of investors to launch their new venture. The Continental Baseball Association would begin play in April of 1981. The association would field fledgling teams in 30 U.S. cities, organized into two leagues. Rosters were assembled, stadium leases were procured, and the league rolled into its first spring training to a mix of curious onlookers and scoffing detractors.

The league started slowly but quickly gained attention when MLB play was interrupted by a work stoppage in late May. School was out, and CBA tickets were cheap. The league gained young fans by the droves. The CBA stadiums became the chic place to be in a similar fashion to the more recent rise of Facebook over older social networks that were plagued by parents. The first season was not a great financial success, but the groundwork was laid for future seasons. The league was certain to survive, despite MLB’s attempts to crush it in the courts and in Congress.

**********

One of the new CBA franchises began play in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonels had a young roster and finished in fourth place in 1981, but there was promise for the future. The Louisville team would go on to finish either first or second for the rest of the decade, winning their division four times with one World Series appearance (a loss).

Otto Orcin was 6 years old in April of 1981 and, like many young boys, was fascinated with sports. The new baseball team in town captured his imagination, and he knew as much about it as any fan – unlike MLB whose history belonged to the adults. Young Otto became an avid Colonels fan and attended as many games as his parents would allow. Otto’s father had given him a copy of the Bill James Baseball Abstract last Christmas, and now he had a place to apply this knowledge where even Bill James himself had yet to tread. He studied the Louisville players and applied the new science of sabermetrics to his team, boring his schoolmates to death with his conclusions.

The Colonels were competitive, and it was a great time to be a young baseball fan in Louisville. The scenario played out in a similar fashion all over the United States in the summer of 1981.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Henry Cooper was a successful businessman in his home city of Toronto, and he loved baseball. Cooper missed out on a chance to own a franchise in the late seventies when MLB expanded into Canada. He vowed not to make the mistake of bidding low again. Thus, he was among the first applicants to acquire a CBA franchise, despite the fact that he would have to locate it in a U.S. city. He was awarded the Louisville franchise in the pot-luck drawing for owners that had no location preference.

Cooper was viewed suspiciously by the locals at first, but they began to warm up when he moved his entire family to Louisville. He also invested in Hillerich & Bradsby, figuring that his boys would break a lot of those bats so he might as well get them at a discount. Cooper enrolled his children in the local public schools, joined several public service organizations, and became a pillar of the community. Cooper was understanding and generous, admirable traits in a parent or friend – maybe not so good in a sports owner.

The Louisville Colonels began to decline in the late 1980’s and began a streak of five sub-.500 seasons. Cooper fired his first General Manager in 1990 and he hated to do it. He filled the position with Shawn Harrison, who had led the Orlando Sharks to three division titles in the 1980’s before getting fired after a poor 1990 season. Harrison promoted bench coach Jesus Perez to manager. Harrison and Perez were still on the job in April 2000. The Colonels were 692-766 during the pair’s first nine seasons at the helm with no division titles. It had been four years since the team finished over .500 and attendance was declining each year. Cooper was under pressure from the fans to do something, but he was an understanding man. Maybe this year would be different.

**********

Otto Orcin graduated in May of 1998 with a BBA/MBA in Finance from the University of Louisville. The 24-year-old Orcin did the only thing that he had ever intended to do; he applied for work with the Louisville Colonels and was hired as an assistant to the GM. Orcin helped Shawn Harrison with contracts, vendor negotiations, and even prepared a few reports on potential draft picks in his spare time.

One of these reports covered an infield prospect named Manuel Fernandez. Orcin nearly got thrown out of the war room when he pestered Harrison to use his first-round pick on Fernandez. Harrison took a different infielder and the Seattle Falcons took Fernandez with the very next pick. A few members of the Colonels’ inner circle remembered this incident when BNN named Fernandez the #33 prospect in the CBA prior to the 2000 season. Harrison’s pick was not rated in the top 100 prospects.

One of these insiders was Gordon Cooper, Louisville MBA and investment advisor to his father. The younger Cooper was anxious to get some new blood into the decision process. Orcin was able to make sense of all that VORP & WAR nonsense and seemed to have an eye for talent. It didn’t matter though. Shawn Harrison was signed through the 2001 season, and his father was an understanding man.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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October 9, 2000

Henry Cooper gathered his family together for a grand dinner to celebrate the Louisville Colonels’ great 2000 season. The Colonels finished 86-76 to win the Federal League’s Midwest Division by eight games. Yes, they came up short in the post-season, but the team was clearly on the way up. Life was good!

Gordon Cooper sat brooding at the other end of the table. He later admitted to having too much wine, but he couldn’t stand this ignorant optimism any longer. Gordon quieted the room with his announcement that he was very disappointed by this season. The loss to Houston in the first round of the playoffs proved that the division title was “fool’s gold”. The team was aging fast and the competition in their division was weak (no other team finished above .500). There was nothing to celebrate here.

Henry sat in stunned silence while Gordon proceeded to tell the hushed audience that the successful season would only serve to doom the franchise to another decade of mediocrity. The current management team would be given contract extensions, and the fluke season would fade into a memory as the team returned to its former lifeless state. A bad contract here, a poor trade there, more mediocre drafts, and a manager with a career losing record would combine to create apathy and boredom for anyone who was formerly passionate about the product on the field.

Henry Cooper, an understanding man, gave his son a puzzled look and quietly contemplated this new information. The table was silent for what seemed to be an eternity. No one dared touch a fork or glass. Finally, Henry spoke.

“Gordon, I am seventy-two years old. In 1981, I wanted to own a baseball team and I was fortunate to realize that dream. I have enjoyed this endeavor for twenty years, and I am proud to say that I did it my way. But, times change and people change. You are right. I no longer have the passion to win at all costs. I am content to enjoy my life and my family, and I don’t really want the conflict and turmoil that comes with managing a baseball team any longer.”

Henry paused to give his family some time to soak in this rare glimpse of his private thoughts. He continued with a more determined and upbeat tone.

“It is with this in mind that I have decided it is time to pass the torch. Gordon Cooper will soon be appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Louisville Colonels. The announcement will be made immediately after the World Series. Gordon, you have approximately two weeks to prepare your plans to take this franchise where your heart wants it to go. You don’t need to have anything approved by me, except the budget. And, as you have pointed out before, I am a generous man. Good luck, my son.”

Dinner moved on to dessert and coffee and brandy. The conversation was happy, but Gordon didn’t remember much about it after that speech. His mind was on other things.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A brief interlude to present some details about the history of the league…

CBA: The First Twenty Years




Louisville Colonels Franchise History 1981-2000




And now… back to our story.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great Stuff !!

Great stuff---I remember your dynasty from the other game----its the only dynasty I have ever followed.Looking forward to this one.
Gil The Ancient One
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Glad to see a Louisville dynasty back and running. I was also a person that followed you in the other game's dynasty reports.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Later that night…

Gordon Cooper knew that he wanted to shake things up. GM Shawn Harrison had to go and Manager Jesus Perez should be out the door right behind him. That was the only way to move the team into a new era. He needed his own leadership team in charge.

Cooper sat at his desk, in the middle of the night, muttering to himself, “Great… who is my leadership team? I don’t have a team. I have always worked alone. Besides, what do investment advisors know about baseball?”

Cooper was intrigued by the “moneyball” management style and thought it could work in Louisville. He liked the concept of using numbers to make decisions as opposed to “gut feel” or the subjective opinion of scouts. He wanted someone who could make decisions and manage the team with the use of empirical data instead of emotion. This someone must also be qualified to handle the business side and keep the budget balanced. He didn’t want to exceed the one limitation that had been placed on him by his father/boss.

Cooper thought about it all night, and there was only one candidate known to him that fit the qualifications. This candidate had the advantage of being internal and thus already knew something about the organization and the personnel. Gordon had known this candidate for a couple of years now and liked his style. He decided they would make a good team. He also knew the candidate well enough to be confident that he could keep a secret for a few weeks while they put the new plans together.

Early the next morning, Gordon Cooper called a young man into his office to give him the opportunity of a lifetime. He had no idea how badly the young man wanted the job.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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October 28, 2000 (BNN)

Subject: Louisville Selects Orcin to Make It Happen

Newly installed GM Otto Orcin was spotted in the clubhouse at 7:00 AM, meeting with new team president, Gordon Cooper. Orcin was set to meet with his new front office staff later in the morning.

"I want to be sure they know where we stand," he explained. "I'm not sure how it worked with the last guy, but as long as I'm around I need everyone to be on the same page. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with All-Stars or rookies, talent will only take you so far."

Orcin would not reveal any of his plans, only saying that every aspect of the club will be examined with a fresh perspective. “Any changes will be made with the goal of turning this franchise into a perennial winner. We plan to accept nothing less. Mediocrity will no longer be tolerated in Louisville.”
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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First day on the job:
So many things to do, so little time! The top priorities as I see them:

• Make decisions on team personnel.
• Review open contract offers, free agent list, and arbitration-eligible list.
• Evaluate roster to prepare for winter meetings and the Rule 5 draft.

The field manager decision is the most crucial. Actually, there is no decision to make. I have already decided to fire manager Jesus Perez and his brother, bench coach Jose Perez. My top priority is to quickly make an offer to a manager and make decisions on the other major league personnel spots (some open, some soon-to-be open) before the best available personnel are hired by other teams.

The Philadelphia Firebirds just fired their manager, Chad Byrne. He is the perfect man for our job. Byrne has a career managerial record of 1013-770 with Washington, Dallas, and Philadelphia. He has made the playoffs in eight of his eleven seasons. So how does a manager with a record like that get fired three times?

Bum Phillips, legendary football coach, said that there are only two kinds of coaches… “them that’s been fired, and them that’s gonna be fired”. Byrne was fired by Philadelphia after an 86-76 season, his worst record there. In his previous job, he was fired by Dallas after a 102-60 season because he lost in the playoffs. His first job, with Washington, ended when he recorded his only losing season ever at 79-83. It seems to me that Byrne has been a victim of his own success.

Reviewing the salary obligations and contract status, I was surprised to see a four-year extension offer pending. The player involved is a key young player, and the offer would buy out his last two years of arbitration and first two years of free agency. I questioned the offer because the first year is 40% higher than his arbitration estimate. That’s just bad negotiating, but it is out there now so there is really no choice. The player involved is one of the few real keepers on this team, and we will find a way to work around it in the budget rather than risk alienating him. Fortunately, the other two open offers were only one year deals.

There are some expiring contracts and arbitration tenders to consider, but those can wait for a few days. I need to stay focused on the team personnel right now.

Otto Orcin
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Please endure another brief interruption here to mention a few of the key settings for this fictional league… (you did know this was fictional, right?)

Trade settings: Average / Hard / Neutral
I prefer average for fictional leagues over a lower frequency because average seems closer to real life. However, in real life leagues, average results in too much player movement for my tastes. Don’t ask me to explain this.

Scouting Accuracy: Normal
I don’t like more accurate scouting. I prefer the fog of war, but not so much that my scout is misleading. I like the “wrong sometimes” setting.

Coaching system = on

Personality / morale = on

Ratings scales: 1-10; ratings > max = no; stars = yes

Injury frequency = normal with delayed diagnosis on; injury rating shown

Fatigue = average

Designated hitter = off in all leagues including minors

Minor leagues (roster limit) = AAA (30), AA (30), A (30), Rookie (40)

Financials = see screenshot below




And now, I will continue with the analysis of my inherited roster as promised. Please excuse the shorthand format, but I am basically just reproducing my notes.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Starting Pitchers

The first three spots in the rotation are set:

Todd Fletcher (27, throws R) – All-Star in 1999 & 2000, 41-31 over past three seasons, signed for next season at $6M, solid ace and must be signed to a long-term deal soon

Adam Burleigh (33, throws L) – signed as a free agent prior to 2000 season, will make $45M over next three years and the contract scares me, 12-12 with 3.38 ERA in 2000, solid #2 if healthy, could be good trade bait in July if we are out of the race

Ron McLain (27, throws R) – third year in rotation, 13-10 with 3.44 ERA in 2000, arbitration eligible with $4.2M estimate, a keeper, good candidate for an extension

Remaining starting pitchers under contract:

Jim Poole (25, throws R) – was 8-5 with 3.37 ERA in 28 AAA starts, should have been pitching in the majors last year, could be the fourth starter

Ron Sims (24, throws R) – missed entire 2000 season with torn labrum, could be a mid-rotation starter with four pitches and good control but he gives up a lot of home runs

Hector Ortiz (22, throws R) – a good starter prospect, missed most of 2000 season with injuries, 6-2 with 2.59 ERA in 11 starts at AAA, could be in rotation if healthy

Andrew Clark (31, throws R) – journeyman pitcher who has spent most of career in AAA, 2000 stats: 6-11 with 5.10 ERA in 22 starts, minimum contract, out of options

Aurelio Diaz (26, throws L) – in 2000 was 4-9 with 4.60 ERA as a swing man, no upside, poor third pitch, looks to be minor league filler but might make it as a reliever

Tom Gilbert (30, throws L) – claimed off waivers at mid-season, went 6-6 with 4.90 ERA in 19 starts for Louisville, looks like an older version of Diaz

Ned Hayes (32, throws L) – 15-7 with 3.62 ERA in AAA, poor stuff but good movement and control, arbitration eligible with $1.7M estimate, possible second lefty starter?

Robbie Tinsdale (25, throws R) – was 10-12 with 4.07 ERA in 26 AAA starts, out of options and rule 5 eligible, control is an issue and he gives up a lot of homers

Bottom line: I would like to keep eight starters on the 40-man roster. Fletcher, Burleigh, and McLain are a solid front three in the rotation. The rest are all candidates for the remaining five spots, but there is no guarantee that other pitchers won’t be brought in to compete. I won’t make any final decisions until the new scout is hired and gets a look at all of them.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Relief Pitchers

Matt “Hawkeye’ Head (27, throws R) – closer acquired in mid-season trade, shutdown stuff and movement, decent control, keeps the ball down (76% GB), signed for one more year at $10M, should be an All-Star for somebody but maybe not us at that price

Mike MacIntosh (29, throws R) – closer ratings, both pitches are 10’s, could make Head an expendable trade asset, arbitration eligible and offered $1.7M for one year extension by prior GM, good candidate for a long-term extension

Josh Atkins (34, throws R) – solid middle reliever who could pass for a setup man but he has a hefty contract ($6.5M for 2 more years) for a middle reliever

Kaz Mizuno (27, throws R) – another pitcher with elite stuff and movement but only average control, groundball pitcher (72%), could easily fill setup role

David O’Daniel (24, throws R) – this guy may eventually be the best of the bunch, still developing, combines devastating stuff/movement with very good control

Kelly Dean (24, throws R) – a clone of O’Daniel minus 10-15% stuff but still really good

Jason Gray (26, throws L) – could be a good LOOGY but is prone to homers, has yet to get out of AAA

Chris Patterson (26, throws L) – really is a good LOOGY with low WHIP and high GB%

Bottom line: This has the potential to be a great bullpen if organized properly, but it is missing a solid lefty option. Head and Atkins are almost certain to be traded because they are just too expensive at a combined $16M. Head should bring us a major league starter or a very good prospect.

The projected six-man bullpen would be MacIntosh (closer), Mizuno (setup), O’Daniel, Dean, a lefty to be named later, and Patterson. The seventh spot (I will carry twelve pitchers) will probably be filled by the sixth starter in a swingman role. I like to have a long man for extra innings and early-game injuries.

I will be on the lookout for a strong late-inning lefty reliever.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Catchers

The ideal catcher for my system has a strong arm and great defensive skills. Offense is a plus but not required. Faster than a snail would be a nice feature but it’s hard to find.

Rodolphe Murat (28, bats R) – the incumbent starter, defensive ratings 10/10/10, hit .209 last year with 12 HR in 97 games, slower than a snail, free agent demanding 3 years at $1.4M/year, love the defense but .209?

Troy Daniels (24, bats R) – defensive 10/9/9, even worse at the plate than Murat, decent speed for a catcher

Andres Guzman (26, bats R) – poor offense, terrible defense, great speed, doesn’t fit my system, other teams seem to think he is great because he runs fast, good trade bait

Bottom line: My best strategy would be to acquire a starting catcher, sign Murat to be the backup, and keep Daniels as the third catcher in AAA (he has options). At this point, my inclination is to offer Head in trade for a catcher. I can include a starting pitcher and Atkins in a package, and maybe get a star catcher that can help offensively also.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Corner Infielders

I want the corners occupied by power hitters and the middle of the diamond filled with defensive leadoff types with speed. We don’t always get what we want.

1B/3B Shumei Kimura (33, bats R) – lifetime .284/.330/.443 hitter on the back side of his career arc, free agent asking $11.5M for five years, can also play third base

1B David Harris (30, bats L) – was a big star for us in the mid-90’s hitting 30 HR per year and driving in 100 runs, was traded to acquire prospects (including MacIntosh), fell off dramatically after he left and returned last year as a free agent bench player, a cheap one year option at $1.1M and maybe has something left in the tank

1B Brian Lott (28, bats L) – claimed off waivers in July 2000, has never been given a major league job, might be a good hitter but a bigger risk than Harris, out of options, could be cheap insurance if he clears waivers or worth keeping as a lefty pinch-hitter, no outfield skills but could play second or third base in a pinch

1B/3B Juan Aponte (24, bats R) – backup corner infielder with no power, not much to see here

3B David Rojas (30, bats R) – great AAA player who has never been given a shot in the majors, looks like a .270/.340/.470 hitter with ordinary speed, plus defense with a rocket arm, also plays first base

3B/1B Ray Conley (26, bats R) – pretty good backup corner infielder, does everything fairly well

Bottom line: I want to keep three players on the active roster for these two spots. I have to let Kimura walk because he is too expensive for his production. Harris and Rojas project to be the starters. Conley will compete for both spots and the loser will be a pinch-hitter off the bench. Lott will be gambled through waivers and stashed at AAA.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Middle Infielders

I will start with the incumbents and work down. Most of these guys can play multiple positions.

2B Rodney Wright (25, bats R) – All-Star second baseman hit .292/.360/.495 with 16 SB, has the speed to steal 40 bases, might win the Gold Glove at second base and plays shortstop equally well, arbitration eligible at $5.8M estimate, prior GM offered a 4-year deal worth $41M and Wright favors the offer; could bat leadoff for us

SS Raul Martinez (25, bats R) – starts at shortstop and also plays third, prior GM offered him a one-year deal at $3.2M (same as arbitration estimate), hit .225/.325/.387 last year but has some power (20 HR) and decent speed (16 SB), excellent defense but his bat is questionable

2B Julian Mejia (30, bats R) – star player for us in 1996-98 but slumped in past two years, played part-time in 2000 with .230/.285/.360 line, Type B free agent and wants $5M

SS Royce Jones (27, bats R) – backup shortstop and third baseman that doesn’t play second base well, can’t hit, VORP of -10 in 2000, cleared waivers last year and was sent down (yet prior GM was planning to offer arbitration?)

2B Juan Garcia (26, bats R) – plays a variety of infield and outfield spots well, doesn’t appear to be able to hit well enough to hold a job, not a good option to keep as a utility man because his arm is too weak to play shortstop

SS Ben Thomas (26, bats R) – classic backup middle infielder, might hit well enough to stay on the roster, decent speed, outstanding defense at shortstop and second base


Bottom line: Wright is the real deal and will play second base. Martinez is probably the best option at shortstop. Mejia will be offered arbitration to get the sandwich pick. I like Thomas to win the backup job.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Outfielders

My system calls for a center fielder that is superb defensively with speed. Ideally he bats at the top of the order somewhere (1, 2, or 3). I want corner outfielders with power to bat in the middle of the order. You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes…

RF Silas Campbell (33, bats R) – there had to be a “best player” in here somewhere, career stats: 1600 games, 346 HR, 987 RBI, .277/.359/.501, three-time All-Star, drafted 1989 round 1 by Louisville, signed a five-year contract extension in May 2000 for $90M, now the good news… 2000 stat line .278/.354/.524, All-Star, VORP of 37.8 – so he has not declined a bit, range is gone but still a good defender, a classic middle of the order run producer

LF Harry Hall (24, bats L) – was drafted #1 in 1997 by Louisville and has all the tools except a weak arm, rushed through the minors and has yet to put it together in the majors, projects as a #3 hitter but I want my new scout to have a good look at him before I attempt to buyout his arbitration years with a long-term extension

I wish the rest of the news were this good. I am just going to list the next best 5-6 outfielders in no particular order.

LF Ron Schultz (29, bats L) – last 3 years stat line is .270/.360/.460, great defense, below average speed, Type B free agent who made $10M in 2000 and wants 9 years at $18M, greed rating is “very high”, Hall makes Schultz expendable so will offer arbitration at 10M to get the draft pick

CF/RF Marcos Sosa (25, bats L) – career stats .259/.309/.354 in 500 games, 148 career steals with 81% success rate, great defense, could be a #2 hitter but needs a better OBP, prior GM offered arbitration at $3.9M estimate but I am not keen on that

CF Brian Smith (25, bats R) – has most of what I want in a CF: very good speed, great defense, high contact and low K’s, good power too, but… terrible eye and has yet to hit for a decent average, CBA stat line: 167 games, .219/.254/.348 with 6 SB

CF Mark Mann (25, bats R) – decent contact hitter with average power and speed, great defense, plays all three outfield spots well, could be a great fifth outfielder, looked good in late season call-up

RF Salvador Dias (25, bats R) – Cuban defector with better than average ratings, looks to have some power potential, no speed, might be a good bench player


Bottom line: Campbell and Hall will start at the corners. Sosa might be the best option in center field, but Smith and Mann will compete for the spot. A trade for a top-shelf center fielder might be an option also. I would like to find a fourth outfielder that bats left to come off the bench. Sosa could be that player if he doesn’t start but the price is high.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Player Analysis: Summary

I am pretty happy with the pitching staff, especially the front end of the rotation and the back end of the bullpen. One or two relievers can be traded for help elsewhere and to lighten the payroll a little. The offense needs some work, but at least there is one young star (Wright) plus a veteran star (Campbell) to anchor the lineup. The offense was near the bottom of the league last year, so it takes priority over upgrading the pitching. The most glaring need is catcher. I will head to the winter meetings with a collection of assets looking to land a quality catcher.

You may notice that I have yet to mention the minor league talent. That’s because I haven’t even looked. I need to get my new scout on board first, and give him some time to evaluate things. It will be tight to get that done before the Rule 5 draft, so protecting the older players in the system will get priority.

Urgent Task List:
1. Negotiate an extension with Murat (can’t go with only one catcher!)
2. Make a decision on a second left-handed starter (Hayes or Gilbert or neither)
3. Negotiate a long-term extension with SP Ron McLain
4. Organize the 40-man roster for Rule 5 draft risks/opportunities
5. Complete team personnel hiring (offers have been made)
6. Study the possible free agent list for catcher, center fielder, lefty pitchers
7. Work on a trade for a catcher if no obvious free agent to be available

Otto Orcin
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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October 30, 2000 (BNN)

Subject: Louisville Hires Candelaria as Scouting Director

The Louisville Colonels have announced the appointment of Fernando Candelaria to the position of Scouting Director.

Candelaria, 56, was the Scouting Director of the Indianapolis Indians from 1988-2000, and has been a scout in the CBA since its inception in 1981. Candelaria is said to favor "tools" in a young player and has been responsible for finding several superstars during his career. The Indians have the #2 ranked minor league system according to BNN.

Candelaria signed a five-year contract but the financial terms were not disclosed.

**********

My first meeting with Candelaria:

The advantage of hiring a veteran scout is that he hits the ground running with a complete knowledge of the major leagues. Candelaria gave me a few surprises.

He said that I have completely underestimated SS Raul Martinez. He projects Martinez to be a star and says that Wright and Martinez could be an All-Star caliber double-play combination for years to come. He urges me to consider offering Martinez a long-term deal, but definitely don’t cancel the current pending one-year offer.

He also said that I have over-shot the mark on LF Harry Hall. He doesn’t see Hall as a star or a major league #3 hitter. He doesn’t see an alternative to Hall in our system right now, but says we shouldn’t stop looking. He also expects Hall to be injury-prone and warns against a long-term commitment.

Regarding the candidates for the bottom of the starting rotation, Candelaria said that I have oversold Jim Poole and significantly underestimated Ron Sims.

The major surprise was 1B/3B prospect Juan Aponte. Candelaria suggests converting Aponte to a middle infielder and keeping him as the backup over the other pedestrian options on our roster. I should have noticed that BNN has Aponte ranked as the #66 prospect. Aponte hit .337/.406/.380 in 88 AAA games last season, and his base stealing speed is above average. He says Aponte could challenge the starters at third base.

I discussed the catcher position with Candelaria, and he gave me some suggestions to pursue in a trade. Candelaria says not to worry about trading Head and/or Atkins in a deal for a catcher because both MacIntosh and Mizuno are potential shutdown closers.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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November 1, 2000 (cbatraderumors.com)

Subject: Wright Signs Contract Extension with Louisville

All-Star second baseman Rodney Wright has signed a four-year contract extension with the Louisville Colonels. The new deal is worth $41 million over the life of the contract. Wright hit .292 with 19 home runs for the Colonels last season.

Louisville fans were buzzing on local talk shows about the signing of this extremely popular player, saying that new GM Otto Orcin seems to have his priorities in order.

**********

I inherited this contract offer from the prior GM. I originally thought the deal was overvalued, but the new arbitration estimate for Wright is $12M. Fan interest increased from 81 to 86 after the announcement. This deal is looking better every day.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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ORCINASTIC ...

I was so surprised that the Cardinals Organization gave me a great discount for the box seat behind the third base dugout ... I guess I must've had a reputation while I used to lived in Boston ... anyway, here I am giving my full support and expecting great things ... oops, I got to go ... for I see Gil and Taz ... guess they wanted me to buy Killian or two with them ... catch ya later ...
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