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Old 01-30-2013, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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North American Baseball Assoc. (NABA)

Present Day
Las Vegas, NV

It was getting stuffy in the office, and even though I longed to turn on the new-fangled electric fan, I knew from previous experience it would do nothing but scatter the papers lying on my desk across the office.

Instead, I walked over to my window and opened it, standing there enjoying the lite cool breeze that came through. Along with the breeze came the sounds of a mitt popping, and the crack of a bat. I looked down upon the field, and could see the players warming up, preparing for today’s game. Watching them took me back, and I allowed myself to reminisce, going back to that fateful day in Reno………….
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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January 1898
Reno, NV

I was never one to plan ahead, or think things through. No, that took too much effort, and probably explained why my last scheme had failed. I had come to the Squealing Pig Saloon to drink my troubles away, only to discover, I had not a cent in either pocket to pay for the shot of rye whiskey I had ordered, or any additional shots for that matter.

So, there I sat, the only patron in the saloon, at nine in the morning, nursing a whiskey shot. I sensed the barkeep also knew that I had no means to pay for the drink, as he stood just off to the right, drying the same beer mug for the fifth time. I knew that he knew I had no way to pay for the shot, and I wondered how long this game of cat and mouse would go on.

I felt a blast of cold air hit me, from the saloon door being opened, and the barkeep acknowledged the new customer, “whattaya have,” without taking his eyes off me.

“I am looking for someone to manage a baseball team” was the response.
“But if one cannot be found here, then a glass of your best whiskey.”

I turned my head slightly, and noticed the finally dressed gentleman. Shoes, even though covered with a slight layer of dust from the Reno streets, still showed a meticulous shine, his walking stick topped by the golden head of an eagle, and the hint of a gold chain for his pocket watch peeking out from his coat.

“What about you good sir, do you know of the game of baseball?”

It took me a moment to realize he was speaking to me, and I turned slightly to face him. “I have seen a game or two played.” I replied.

“Ah very good.” Was his response, “How would you like to be the general manager my professional baseball team?”

“Professional baseball team?” I inquired back. “No such thing exists, only the traveling teams play for monies, and then only to swindle the small town teams they face, by promising them a chance to win a sum of money in return should they win the game.“

“True” was his reply, “But, a new professional league is forming, and as such, I have staked ownership in a team in Reno.”

“So, do you want the job?”

“Or do I need to continue my search?”

Now, my paw didn’t teach me much in life, but he did tell me that when an opportunity presents itself, grab it by the horns and take it. So, I downed the last of my whiskey, stood up, and put out my hand. “Well, I guess you have your man then.”

With that, he stood up, finished his shot of whiskey and tossed a gold dollar on the bar, “I think that will cover both our drinks” and as we walked out, I glanced back at the barkeep with a smug smile, enjoying the look of dismay on his face that I was one patron that he would not get to beat and toss out of his Squealing Pig Saloon.

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was brought back to present day with a knock on my office door.

It was Mabel, the team’s secretary. “Mr. Smith, the paymaster is here with the team’s weekly payroll.”

“Send him in Mabel.” I replied, “And if you don’t mind, could you bring us two glasses of your remarkable lemonade. Thank you.”

A few minutes later, Bill Topin, the team’s paymaster entered my office. Bill was as regular as my watch. I could count on him to be in my office by 10 A.M. every Monday, with the players and staffs pay for the week.

“Bill, how the hell are you.”

“Fair to middlin Mr. Smith, Fair to middlin.”

A knock on the door briefly interrupted us. It was Mabel returning with two glasses of her lemonade. “Excuse me Mr. Smith; I have those drinks you requested.”

“Thank you Mabel. Please Bring them in” Mabel quickly brought in both glasses, handing one to Bill and the other to me. “Anything else?”
“No Mabel, please shut the door behind you.” I replied

“I have the team payroll for you to verify and sign for before I head down to the field.“

Each players pay was contained in a separate sealed envelope, with his name on the front, and the team’s owner’s initials across the seal. As usual, I checked the names on the envelopes, and compared them to the roster, verifying that each pay envelope was present.

“Looks good Bill, everything is here as usual.”

“Very good sir, I will head down to the field and get these to the players and staff.” “It sounds like the team is finishing its pregame warm-ups.”

Bill finished the last of his lemonade, “that is the finest lemonade around, I truly wish my wife could make lemonade like that,” and turned to leave.

“Bill, speaking of the family, are you all coming to the game today?”

“Yessir, we surely are. That boy of mine loves this team, and has watched more games through that knotty hole in the left field fence then he probably should. I figured it was time to let him see a game from the inside of the stadium.”

“Well, why don’t you all stop by my seat behind home plate, I will buy you all a bag of fresh roasted peanuts. My treat.”

“That’s mighty kind of you Mr. Smith. I will surely take you up on that offer.”

After Bill Topin had left to make his rounds, I leaned back into my overstuffed leather chair, took another sip of that fine lemonade, and slowly turned it in my hand, staring at it, allowing myself to once again drift back to that day in Reno………
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What an intriguing start!
I'm really looking forward to seeing where this is going.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Hankyu Braves View Post
What an intriguing start!
I'm really looking forward to seeing where this is going.
Thanks for the kind words
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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January 1898
Reno, NV.

“Excuse me for failing to introduce myself,” the finely dressed owner of the Reno Robbers said, “Jody Strong is the name, and you are?”

“Smith. John Smith.” I replied

Mr. Strong stared at me intently, as the horse drawn buggy slowly made its way down Reno’s Main Street. I matched his stare, never allowing my eyes to waiver. With this he broke into a hearty laugh, and gave my knee a slap.

“Mr. Smith it is then. Tell me; is your family in the blacksmithing business?”

“No,” I replied, “My father was a farmer in Kansas.”

Though this was not entirely true, you see, my father was a farmer briefly in Kansas, until my mother passed away when I was about 8. Then my father turned to the drink and farming was the last thing on his mind. At the age of 11, I left the family farm, having taken one too many beatings from my drunkard of a father, and headed west to make my own lot.

Initially, I had tried to make an honest day’s pay, working as a ranch hand in Texas and for the railroad laying track in Utah, but low pay and hard work did not agree with my constitution as it were. I soon turned to peddling “Herbal remedies,” which turned to just plain trying to swindle people.

I hadn’t lied to Mr. Strong about seeing a game of Baseball, I had seen two or three, even participated once. But I found that the physical nature of the game left me tired, and it too, did not agree with me.

“Mr. Smith, some would say I am crazy for spending my hard earned money on a game, such as baseball. But I truly believe that it is a game that can and will appeal to the masses of this great country, and as such will grow as our nation grows.”

The carriage stopped.

“Ah, we have arrived at our destination. Please, join me for lunch, and we will discuss further the league, my team, and your job responsibilities.”

I stepped out of carriage, and noticed we had stopped in front of one of Reno’s finest homes.

“Welcome to my humble home, Mr. Smith. Please allow James to take your coat.”

I handed my tattered and worn coat to the house servant, and Mr. Strong lead me to the dining room. The wonderful aroma of sweet potato and roasted chicken caused my stomach to rumble; reminding me it had been days since my last good meal. Even though I was following him, I could tell Mr. Strong had heard my stomach, from the slight twitch of his ears from the smile he was surely sporting.

“Have a seat Mr. Smith, Eva makes the finest roast chicken in the country.”

Mr. Strong would not have to ask me twice, and I winced with the knowledge that I had shown to much eagerness. Mr. Strong just laughed.

“Don’t worry Mr. Smith; there need be no formalities this afternoon. We are here to talk baseball, more importantly Robbers baseball!” Mr. Strong continued to chuckle, and with that, I tore into my roasted chicken.

“So, tell me about this new professional baseball league” I said through mouthfuls of the most succulent chicken that ever crossed my lips.

“Well” Mr. Strong started, “the North American Baseball Association or NABA as we will call it for short is………..”
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I took my customary seat behind home plate to watch the upcoming game against the Bentonville Loggers. I suspected it would be a very good game, as Bentonville was throwing their best pitcher today, and Hector Hernandez was to start for us. I found myself somewhat saddened by the knowledge that this would be the last game of the season. I was hoping that the team could finish with a win, as they currently rode a five game losing streak.

“Excuse me Mr. Smith, you said to stop by.”

I glanced up and saw Bill Topin, with his wife and son, Charlie.

“Why yes Bill, glad to see you taking up my offer.” I called out to the Peanut vendor, “Mike, let me get 4 bags of roasted peanuts over here.”

“Sure enough Mr. Smith.”

“Charlie, I hear you love to watch the Mafia baseball team. Your dad tells me you have seen more games through that hole in the left field fence than anybody else.”

“Yes sir, I love watching Earl Barber out there.”

“Earl is quite the player. Tell you what, how about after the game I take you down onto the field and you can meet Earl. If it’s ok with your folks.”

“Can I dad?”

“Sure thing son, as long as it’s not an inconvenience for Mr. Smith.”

“Oh no Bill, not an inconvenience at all.”

“Heck, maybe ole Charlie here will be roaming leftfield once Earl retires.“

Bill Topin and his wife broke out in a light laughter, and little Charlie Topin’s face turned beet red, but he sported a smile from ear to ear with that comment.

Bill and his family headed to their seats, and once again I sat back to watch the game.

Hector Hernandez pitched a whale of a game, but Bentonville’s pitcher was a run better, and the 1905 season would find the Mafia finishing up on a six game losing streak.

I sighed, got up out of my seat, and headed over to take young Charlie Topin down to the field and meet Earl Barber, with the knowledge it was going to be a long off-season and that I had a tough decision ahead of me concerning one of the Mafia’s star players.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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January 1898
Reno, NV

“The NABA will be made up of 16 total teams, Mr. Smith, two leagues, each with two divisions of four teams.”

“The two leagues have been separated by the Mason-Dixon Line, and thus, we will have a League named the Yankee League, and the other league will be called the Dixie League.”

Mr. Strong continued “The two divisions will be called East and West. My team, the Reno Robbers, will be placed in the Dixie League’s West division.”

Mr. Strong then showed me a list of the teams and the divisions they would be playing in

Yankee League / East Division: Boston Jets / Columbus Cruize / Philadelphia Liberty / Buffalo Thrust

Yankee League / West Division: Boulder Canyons / Kansas City Gunslingers / Sioux Falls Cowboys / Portland Sounds

Dixie League / East Division: Bentonville Loggers / Raleigh Rebels / New Orleans VooDoo / Memphis Gamblers

Dixie League / Reno Robbers / Las Vegas Mafia / Dallas Texans / Salt Lake City Miners

“You Mr. Smith, will be responsible for the acquisition of players, negotiating their contacts, hiring and firing staff members, and the day to day operations for the club. I have already taken the liberty of hiring your staff, and thus we already have a manager, pitching coach, hitting coach, trainer and scout in place, along with a bench coach. Your title will be General Manager of the Reno Robbers.”

“I see, so, currently I have no work to do?”

“Nonsense Mr. Smith, we have a lot of work to do to get ready for the dispersal draft.”

“Dispersal draft?”

“Yep, you will be working many a late night with your staff preparing for the draft. EVERY traveling team ball player is available to be drafted, the league will hold tryouts across the nation to find additional players. The league starts play in 1900, at the turn of the century. You have one year to get a roster assembled of the best players in the country and get them signed. Can you handle that Mr. Smith?”

“Yes, I can handle that Mr. Strong.”

“Very good Mr. Smith. I expect a winner, and nothing less sir. Now, here is a hundred dollar advance on your salary. Meet with my tailor and get some new suits and boots. I can’t have the Reno Robbers new general manager looking like he just rolled off a chuck wagon.”

“Thank you Mr. Strong.”

I walked out of Mr. Strong’s house that night wondering what I had just agreed to, and if this new sport of baseball was a new opportunity for me to make my mark in life.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Present Day
Las Vegas, NV

Pedro Torres was the Mafia's current scout. I like working with Pedro, as I found with his accent and sense of humor he could be both funny and serious at the same time. Pedro had a keen eye for talent, with a majority of his family still south of the border, he had a nice network of family and friends who had no problem telling him of some fresh young face’s prowess on the diamond when he visited.

“Pedro” I started off, “Tyler Young, I need your opinion on his current ability.”

Tyler Young was the Mafia’s star second baseman, and his contract would soon be expiring. I had to make a decision if I was going to let a favorite of the fans walk or re-sign him. Young would be 35 years old when the 1906 season starts. He had been an outstanding player prior to this season, when he spent multiple stints on the disabled list.

“I thinkz his age iz catching up to him Senor Smith.” Pedro said, “He still haz a keen eye and the ability to swingz the bat, though I thinks he iz swinging the bat a tic slower than in seaszonz past. I thinkz he still playz a solid second base too, only with hiz slowing down, he not so quick to get to the bag on ze double play.”

“Can Luis Salas or Albert Campbell handle the second base job if we let Tyler Young walk?”

“Luis will be solid in ze field, he turns the double play better then Young, and iz slightly better fielder. But Young iz still mucho better hitter then Salas. “

“And Campbell? What are your thoughts on him? Can the youngster handle the job?”

“I think Campbell, he iz close. But, he no can hit all the time. He iz the best fielder at second base, but he not yet best hitter. Young best hitter, Campbell best fielder, and Salas he good solid, how you say, all round second baseman.”

“So, can we live with a combination of Salas and Campbell, or do we invest a lot of money into Young?” I inquired.

“If me, I would let Young walk. But that iz your choice Senor Smith.”

After Torres left, I stood at the office window to contemplate how to handle the situation with Tyler Young and came to the conclusion that the decision I would soon make would not be a popular one.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Usually, Mabel will knock on my office door and announce my visitor, but in this case, she had neither the time to re-act, nor an inclination to do so, as Steven Boyer, the owner of the Las Vegas Mafia burst through the door.


“John, What in the hell is going on around here? Why is Tyler Young a free agent?”


I could tell Mr. Boyer was extremely upset with my having allowed the face of the franchise to file for free agency a week earlier, his face was beat red, and he had a shortness of breath from his harried pace to my office.


“Mr. Boyer, sir, with all due respect, Tyler Young is 34 years old, becoming injury prone, and his numbers were down last year.”


“I don’t care what his numbers where, Tyler Young is the face of the Mafia Franchise. You do whatever it takes to get him signed back on this team, or you can plan on finding another job.”


“Yes Sir” I replied.


Steven Boyer turned to leave, and stopped at the door, with his back to me. “Oh, and John, you are on a short leash this season. If this team doesn’t finish with a record above five hundred, you will be looking for a job even if Tyler Young re-signs with us. Do I make myself clear?” And with that Steven Boyer walked out the office, never turning to look back.


“Mabel, reach Tyler Young’s agent, I need talk to him right away. And Mabel, get Pedro Torres up to my office right away, tell him to bring his scouting reports”


“Yes Mr. Smith.”


I sat back in my chair, and contemplated the upcoming off-season. It looked like Tyler Young was going to be a part of this team after all.

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Old 02-05-2013, 11:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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From the Robbers to the Mafia, was that a promotion?

Anyway, it really is enjoyable to follow. Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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From the Robbers to the Mafia, was that a promotion?

Anyway, it really is enjoyable to follow. Keep up the good work.
Nope, that little transition will be covered in another "reflection" post coming up.

I wanted to build some league and character history before I started this thread.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I was on the phone with Tyler Young’s agent, when Pedro Torres entered the office. I motioned for him to have a seat.


“Robert, let’s cut to the heart of the matter, what will it take to get Tyler to re-sign with the team. Uh-huh, a 3 year offer? We can do that. $22,500! Robert that is highway robbery, have you seen your client’s numbers from last season? What, you heard that huh. Ok, Ok, $22,500 over three years. I will have the contract ran over to your office by tonight, have Tyler look it over, and if he agrees to it, put his John Hancock on it. Look forward to hearing from you in the morning.


I hung up the phone.


“I thought you weren’t going to re-sign Young.” Torres stated.


“Change of direction Pedro.” I replied. “Mr. Boyer wants Young re-signed at any cost. And if he isn’t.” I left the last part hanging in the air; Torres knew exactly what I meant.


“You have those scouting reports?”


“Right here.” Torres replied


“Good, let’s get started we have a team to re-asses."


" Mabel, can you bring us a pot of coffee, and I need this contract ran over to Robert Shyster’s office right away.”
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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“Pedro lets cover the starting rotation first.” I said, “Did you get that brief summary of each starter together?”

“Si, Senor Smith. I have their last seasonz numberz along with ze zummary ofz each pitcher.”

Pedro handed me that sheet with the information, and I carefully looked it over.
L.V. Mafia Starting Pitcherz Scouting Summary
Prepared by Pedro Torres L.V. Mafia Director of Scouting

Jose Rocha 27yo (15-17 2.80 ERA): Four pitchez, all below average, which he makez up for in his ability to spot them. Fastball and splitter have slightly above average movement.

Hogai Kawamura 22yo (11-7 1.68 ERA): Four pitchez, above average fastball, slider iz considered one of the ze best in the league, ACE potential. Fastball lackz movement and he suffer from control izzuez.

Hector Hernandez 31yo (14-11 1.66 ERA): Four pitchez, with hiz slightly above average sinker being hiz best pitch. Other 3 pitchez below average, but makez up for it with above average control.

David Martinez 23yo (2-5 1.80 ERA): Four pitchez, with outstanding movement on fastball and splitter. Exhibitz above average control. Curveball is flat, and changeup ineffective when thrown.

Roberto Madrigal 23yo (4-4 2.24 ERA): Three pitches, all average or above, with fastball being ze best. Pitchez have outstanding movement and he showz to have above average control.

Wayne Hubbard 22yo (4-10 3.54 ERA): Three pitches, but changeup no good. Fastball and sinker average. He have average control but excellent movement on fastball when he don’t overthrow.

Pat McPherson 20yo (2-4 3.81 ERA): Three pitches, only fastball iz good. He haz pinpoint control and able to spot fastball and below average changeup. Ze curveball has decent downward break.

The rotation was young, other than Hector Hernandez who was the statesman of the rotation. I had to agree with Pedro, Kawamura was developing into an ace, and should anchor the staff for a long time. I like Hernandez as the teams #3 starter, as he was as reliable as the sun coming up in the morning. I had some concerns for Rocha though, and Pedro’s report verified my feelings, Rocha was not suited to be the #1 on this staff, and would be best suited at the back end of our rotation. I made a note on the report to talk to Manager Kit Dellas about this.

I wondered if Madrigal could handle being the teams #2 starter.

“Pedro, what do you think of Madrigal being the #2 starter in the rotation?”

“He iz young Senor Smith. I do not think he iz mature likez Kawamura, he may struggle very bad in the beginning. But…” Pedro paused “I thinkz if Dellas stick wit him, he can handle ze spot.”

“Martinez looks like he is coming along nicely, though I think he is better suited to pitch out of the #5 slot.”

“Si, Martinez he is doing good. I say two more seasonz, and he be ready to take Hernandez’s spot.”

“I’m concerned about Hubbard Pedro; he is 12-31 the last two seasons, and not showing any signs of getting better.”

“Hubbard hard worker, but, he just no getting better. I think he haz value in a trade, he iz young. But, he keep putting up bad numberz, he have no more value I thinkz.”

Pedro had a point regarding Hubbard. I liked the young man, and thought he had a breakout season in 1904 when he posted a 9-2 record for us after coming into the starting rotation at the midway point of the season. I had considered trading him in the past, but based on Pedro’s report and recommendation, it was apparent a change of scenery was needed.

“McPherson? Should I try and move him also, or hang on to him Pedro.”

“I like him, he gotz gud control, I thinkz he iz still workable, and maybe use him in long relief and spot startz.”

“I will talk to Dellas later today and let him know your recommendations for the starting staff Pedro.”

“Now, let me see that report on the Bullpen, and let’s go over it.”
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Las Vegas Mafia Relief Pitcher Scouting Report
Prepared by Pedro Torres Director of Scouting L.V. Mafia Director of Scouting

Nick Brown 32yo (3-2 2.43 ERA): Throwz two pitches, Fastball and ze Curve, both above average pitchez. Fastball has outstanding movement, Curveball falls like drop off table.

Andres Padilla 31yo (1-0 1.32 ERA): Throwz three pitchez, only fastball average. Control iz good, pitchez have above average movement.

Juan Castillo 20yo (0-0 1.33 ERA): Fastball & slider, Fastball average, slider still developing. Slightly above average movement on pitchez, but control still developing.

Martin Romo 32yo (0-2 5.68 ERA): Throwz fastball and change, change no good. Fastball average. Makes up for with excellent ability to spot his pitches.

Fernando Melendez 26yo (3-5 4.23 ERA): Throwz four pitchez, Fastball average, Forkball, very gud. Curve not so gud. Excellent control. Fernandeo had been used last season as a spot starter and long reliever and was solid in that role.

Shigochiyo Ageda 23yo (3-1 2Sv 3.00 ERA): Fastball & Changeup. Combinez devastating fastball movement with pinpoint control of changeup. He ze best relief pitcher on ze staff.

After glancing through Pedro’s report, it was apparent that Martin Romo was no longer effective. I also felt that now might be the time to try and move Nick Brown as his age would certainly have to be catching up to him.

“Pedro, Do we have anyone down on the minor league team that can fill in for Romo or Brown if I should decide to move them?” I asked.

“No Senor Smith, We have mucho young armz, but, they no ready yet, 2 years at earliest.” Pedro replied.

I was on a short leash with the owner, so who knew if I had two years to wait. It was evident that I would have to move Brown and Romo via trade and fill the gaps with free agents or via acquiring the bullpen help by trade.

“Can Ageda be stretched out in the spring, learn a new pitch and converted to a starter?”

“Si, I thinkz he can. He need third pitch though, hard to learn third pitch in the proz, he will struggle with it, but I thinkz over time, he get gud.”

After reviewing the reports prepared by Pedro on the staff, it became apparent that the mafia needed some upgrades to the starting rotation and relief corps. I noted on the report that I need to move Romo, with Brown also being a possibility.

“Pedro, let me see the reports on the position players”

I had a feeling that we had holes here as well, and that the team was not as solid as I hoped or thought.

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Las Vegas Mafia Position Players Evaluation
Prepared by Pedro Torres Director of Scouting L.V. Mafia Director of Scouting

Catchers
Jose Corticelli 23yo (.249/1/36): Solid defensive catcher, with average arm. Excellent contact hitter with Gap power. Average speed on basepath. Good game caller.

Manuel Moran 23yo (.182/0/1): He too, solid behind plate, arm not az gud az Corticilli. No gud hitter. No see the ball, no hit the ball. Not gud.

David Shafto 28yo (.266/4/32): Still developing hitting ability. Gud defensive catcher and game caller. No speed. Much slow. Station to Station runner.

First base
Bill Kessler 29yo (.252/4/52): Playz all four infield positionz, all excellent. Above average contact and gap hitter. Doez gud yob avoiding strike out. Outstanding arm. An asset in the infield.

Dylan Delaney 26yo (.186/0/4): Solid hitter, with gud gap power. Would benefit from regular playing time. Average first baseman, with average range. Station to Station runner.

Second Base

Tyler Young 34yo (.279/0/21): Gap to Gap hitter with excellent contact, though bat iz slowing down. Average second baseman, whose range is declining, az iz hiz ability to turn ze double play.

Luis Salas 27yo (.249/1/25): Above average contact hitter with some pop. Plays a solid second base and third base, along with a below average shortstop. Very good at turning double play.

Albert Campbell 23yo (.236/0/19): Still developing as a hitter. Minimal power. Outstanding glove man at second base with exceptional range. Also playz a solid third base and shortstop.

Third Base

Ken Finch 23yo (.195/1/28): Above average hitter. Exceptional range and arm. Can play both middle infield positionz and third base.

Luis Ortiz 32yo (.206/0/17): Average hitter, with above average power to the gapz. One of ze best armz at third base in the league. Outstanding range at third base.

Pancho Valdez 21yo (.091/0/2): Poor hitter, no ability to hit the ball, terriable swing. He best bet iz to bunt to get on. Playz all five infield positionz, only value to team. Arm as good as Ortiz.

Shortstop

Jose Perez 23yo (No stats): Perez iz below average hitter, but with gud gap power. Playz both middle infield positionz very gud. Also, play very gud third base. Gud no hit defensive player.

Antonio Calderon 31yo (.199/0/13): Average contact hitter, but bat iz slowing down. No longer as great speed. Still playz both middle infield positionz very gud, with exceptional range.

Enrique Soto 21yo (.265/0/32): Gud hitter with decent gap power. He no gud in field. He play both middle infield positionz and third base. He play all them bad. Noodle arm, only turnz a gud double play.

Leftfield

Domingo Jimenez 25yo (.187/0/4): Jimenez playz outstanding leftfield, with great range. He save pitcherz a hit or two per game. He also play center and right very gud. He no hit. Ever. Did I say he no hit?

Ricardo Nunez 31yo (.230/0/13): Bat slowing down. No longer has any power. Excellent base stealer and runner. Plays excellent Leftfield and Rightfield, can be used in Centerfield if need briefly.

Centerfield

Pete Ankers 24yo (.230/0/25): Average hitter with average gap power. Exceptional speed, base stealing ability and base running instinctz. Playz all three outfield positionz very gud, and plays firstbase and second base. Gud at firstbase, not so gud at second though.

Jason Lalor 25yo (.283/3/60): Very gud hitter. Can do anything with bat, from bunting to driving ze ball to the gap. Excellent base runner and stealer. Outfield range outstanding and play all three positions very very gud.

Rightfield

Javier Sanchez 29yo (.299/0/37): Sanchez good hitter, with above average gap power. Outstanding speed and gud base runner. Playz excellent defense in Right or Left field. Cannon for an arm.

Edgar Aguilar 24yo (.286/0/2): Still developing hitting stroke. Outstanding power from gap to gap. Gud speed. Playz solid right field. Below average fielder in left field.

Tony Soto 26yo (.230/0/18): Soto solid hitter and fielder, but he always hurt. Swingz at a lot of bad pitches and getz self out. Needz better discipline. No fast, but smart base stealer and runner.

Earl Barber 31yo (.268/1/21): Still gud contact hitter, but power no longer there. Not fast base runner, but smart. Still very good right fielder and left fielder.

After reading Pedro’s report, I sat back in my chair and contemplated the changes that I would need to make and who fit where on the team.

I liked the outfield of Barber, Lalor and Sanchez as it gave us three solid starters. I thought to myself that Aquilar and Ankers had a lot of value for their ability to play all three outfield positions and be solid hitters. That left the other three for me to try and move.

On the infield I knew what Kessler me at first base, he had the best power on the team, and was a gold glover. Tyler Young I was stuck with, as the owner had mandated he be re-signed, and he was ; to a very expensive three year contract. I did not have many options that I liked at shortstop. Soto was a liability in the field, even though he was a solid hitter.

“ Pedro, what did you think of Albert Campbell’s play at short, when he filled in last season?”

Pedro thought for a moment,” Senor Smith, I no think playing Albert at shortstop help team long term.”

Pedro went on, “I think he ok there in a, how you say? Pinch. But, no gud there everyday.”

I trusted Pedro’s ability to read players, and if he say’s Albert is not a long term solution, that meant I would need to find one.

“Finch did a solid job at Third base last year, don’t you think Pedro?” I asked.

“Si, Finch did gud in the field. But his bat, still developing. He may be better hitter this year I thinkz.” Pedro replied.

I continued to glance at the scouting report of Pedro’s and mulled over my options. We had big issues on the left side of the infield, I realized. I need a shortstop, no question about it, but I was going to hope that Finch would continue to develop and hold down third base for us.

“Pedro, thanks for the report on the roster. Now, let’s see the scouting reports on the other teams rosters, we need to find a shortstop, and a few other pieces before this season starts.”

Pedro handed over a stack of reports on the other 15 teams rosters in the league.

Yep, it was definitely turning into a long off-season.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I was sitting on the train platform, waiting, as one might, for the 5:10 to Raleigh, when a gentleman approached me and introduced himself.

“Sir, the name is Hank, I own Braves Hardware down on Third Street. I was wondering if you might be John Smith the general manger of the Mafia baseball team.” He said.

“That I am sir; it’s a pleasure to meet you.” I stuck out my hand and he took it, giving it a firm shake.

“I was passing by, on my way to meet a friend for supper, when I saw you sitting on the bench.” He stated, “I hope you don’t mind, I don’t mean to be a bother.”

“No sir, no bother atall. What can I do for you?” I inquired.

“Well, I was just wondering how one becomes a general manager of a baseball team, and how you came to be in Las Vegas.” He asked.

“Well good sir, if you have a moment, I would be most happy to bend your ear as I wait on the train to arrive.” I replied.

He took a seat on the bench next to me and I started “You see, I was initially the general manager of the Reno Robbers, this was back in 1900, but as usual, things did not work out as I had foreseen…..
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Reno NV
May 31st,1900

They say the human mind tends to remember dates of life altering events. For the second time in two years, I would experience a life altering event.

It was not uncommon for the Reno Robbers owner Jody Strong to request that I meet with him and fill him in on the team’s activities, and so it did not come as a surprise when I received such a request to meet with Mr. Strong at his residence.

This being an off day for the Robbers players and staff, I headed from the ballpark over to Mr. Strong’s residence late that afternoon.

I arrived at Mr. Strong’s residence and was promptly led by James, his servant to the library. There sitting across from Mr. Strong, in deep conversation was Thomas Dillon the teams manager.

“Ah, John, good to see you got my message.” said Mr. Strong.

“Yes, well, when the owner of the Robbers requests a meeting, what is one to do but show up for the meeting as requested.” I responded.

Mr. Strong let out one of his hearty laughs, along with a slight chuckle from Thomas Dillon.

“Myself and Tom were having a glass of brandy, and discussing the make up the team, along with their current performance.”

Now, normally, the manager Tom Dillon was not present when Mr. Strong and I discussed the team, so it took me aback that he was present now.

Having spent many years of my adult life reading people, to determine possible marks to be swindled in the future, I quickly summed up that this was not going to be one of our typical meetings.

“Would you like a drink John?” Mr. Strong inquired.

“No thank you, Mr. Strong.” I replied

“Please, have a seat then and make yourself comfortable.” Mr. Strong said.

I took a seat across from the two of them, and patiently waited for Mr. Strong to speak.

“John, I am a man who believes that when one makes a mistake, one must correct said mistake, learn from it and move on.” He continued “As such, I feel that it may have been a mistake to hire someone, such as yourself, with little knowledge or experience with the game of baseball. When I hired you, I believe I made it quite clear that I wanted the Robbers to be a winner, and you agreed to build me such a team. Right now, we stand at 22-33, over 17 games back of Salt Lake City, a sum of games by any stretch of the imagination that would be insurmountable.”

“Thus John, I think the time has come for yourself and the Robbers to part ways. I would prefer you resign, then have to fire you. In return, I will put out the word that you are a hard worker and good general manager, and maybe another opportunity will present itself in the near future for you to be a general manager of another team.”

I stood up, shaken, though I expected something was amiss, I did not expect to this. I looked at Tom, and he looked down at his glass of brandy, saying not a word.

I looked at Mr. Strong and stated “You will have my resignation on your desk tonight. Thank you for the opportunity to run your baseball team.” And with that, I walked out of Mr. Strong’s residence and back to the office to write out my resignation.

The Robbers would go on to finish in second place that inaugural season. I spent a majority of my time, scouting the other teams as I realized that I had come to love the sport of baseball. I kept my ear to the ground and when the 1900 season concluded, I learned that two teams were looking for new General Managers, the Dallas Texans and the Las Vegas Mafia.

The Las Vegas Mafia was in the same division as the Reno Robbers, and thus, it was a natural fit for me to sign with them.

The train whistle signaled the approaching 5.10 to Raleigh, and I could hear the hiss of steam and the grinding of the brakes as it pulled into the station.

“I hope that answers your question on how I came to be in Las Vegas good sir.” I said, and with that I stood up, gave Hank one last hand shake and headed to the passenger car.

“Good luck this upcoming season, Mr. Smith. Good Luck.” was his reply as I walked away.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Raleigh, N.C.
Present Day

I arrived in Raleigh a few days later.

I checked into the Grand Palace hotel, and placed my bag on the bed. I had only brought a fresh change of clothes, as I had no intention of staying in Raleigh long.

I then proceeded to the barbershop to get a hot bath and shave. As I sat in the chair, I listened to the banter between the barber, who I gathered was Mel, and another patron, concerning the upcoming Rebels baseball season.

“I tell you, if the Rebels can get some help at 2nd base and a good relief pitcher we could win a championship”

“Ah, your nuts Mel. That team aint going to win nuttin.”

“I bet ya a bottle of my famous sour mash they do win the championship.”

“What ya say mister, do you think the Rebels can win it.” Mel asked, as he stood over me with a straight razor.

I gave a light chuckle, recalling one of my daddy’s other few precious words of wisdom, that being, don’t disagree with a barber holding a straight edge when he is standing over you.

“I think your right Mel, a 2nd baseman and a solid middle relief pitcher could put the Rebels on top.” I said

“See, even he agrees with me.”

“Mel, I tell ya, your crazy. But, I have a hankerin for some of your fine sour mash, so, you got a bet. And if I lose, I will have Mama cook you up some of her fine peach cobbler.”

The mention of peach cobbler quickly turned the conversation away from baseball, I was quite happy to leave with my head still attached to my neck.

Last edited by Koprnkc; 02-12-2013 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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After a hot bath, and fresh shave, I quickly changed into my fresh suit, and headed over to the Rebels Stadium to meet with Alfred Williams, their General Manager.

Mr. William’s secretary was kind enough to show me to his office for the meeting.

“Ah, John, what a pleasant surprise.” Williams said “I didn’t expect you to come out here from Las Vegas.”

“Well Alfred, I think trying to work out a trade via telegram was just to complicated. When your going to trade, I think its always better to do it face to face, whether its horses or ballplayers.”
Williams smiled at that. “Very good, so, you obviously have a keen interest in Geoffrey Williams, to come all the way to Raleigh.”

I knew it was a gamble, coming to Raleigh, to try and land the young starting pitcher Geoffrey Williams. I had hinted at him possibly being available through telegrams, and what it would take to get him, but Williams would never give me a definitive answer.

What I did have was a consensus list from my manager, Kitt Dellas and scout Pedro Torres on players we could give up that we felt would not hurt our team.

“I have a keen interest in several players, with Williams being one of them.” I replied. “But, since you mentioned Williams, what would it take to pry him away from the Rebels.”

Williams sat back in his chair, as if in reflective thought. I knew he had a list of players he wanted already in mind. “I have a few areas that could use some veteran upgrades, one of them being the bullpen. Would you be willing to let go of Brown and Ageda, to start?”

“To start?” I caught those words, and it told me that this trade was going to be costly in talent.

“I think we can let Nick Brown go, but we plan on starting Ageda In the rotation this year.” I responded.

The discussion went back and forth for several hours, until finally, we came to an agreement. The Rebels would send us starting pitcher Geoffrey Williams and in exchange, we would be sending Middle Relievers Nick Brown, Martin Romo, and Gregorie Brunelleschi, with starting pitcher Wayne Hubbard and second baseman Russ Townsend.

“I will have the deal telegraphed to the league office in the morning John, if that is ok with you?”

“Sounds good Alfred. Good luck this season.” I replied

“Have a safe journey back to Las Vegas.” Was his response.
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