"I am your champion." -- Ric Flair, as quoted by Greg Fisher.
Gee. These guys win two abbreviated seasons and suddenly they're taking humility lessons from the WWF. But that's OK, because the rest of us don't have anything to worry about this year. The big leagues are planning to play a full 162 games this year, (what a novel idea) so Ken and Greg will have to save the whip for the homestretch. Besides, both of them will be at the draft this year. And in their case, two heads are not better than one. But I do hope they are comfortable sharing the heart-shaped bed in the "Love Palace."
Which brings me to the topic of accommodations. Ken and Greg will be staying at Balley's, in the room originally reserved by Steve Farabee. Farabee is moving across the strip to the Mirage. Jim Fraser is booked at Treasure Island, while Steve Kerr, Glenn, Steve Torrens, et al., are at the Sahara. Spencer, Cordova, Burchfield, Hutcheson and myself are going to be at the Trop. I'm getting a rental car, and Scott will have his Bronco, so we can work out the logistics of getting around. But it would be easier with at least one more rental car.
As to the social events calendar, Spencer, Cordova, Kerr and myself are playing golf Thursday. The same four plus Ken, Glenn and Hutcheson are going to the Stars' game Thursday night. For golf on Friday, we've got those seven, plus Farabee, Fraser and Burchfield. If you were not listed in any of those events and would like to be a part of them, let me know ASAP.
And don't forget about pizza about 8 p.m. Friday at Bautista's.
And now the news.
We've had two name changes so far. Glenn, realizing that his team was indeed bad, is now calling his charges the Lost Boys and, as is their custom, Spencer and his gang will be known as One To Soon.
As you may recall, most teams had to call me and choose between the players on their reserve lists and their counterparts on the active rosters. Here are the results: Use the Whip saved Aude and Longmire and waived Jody Reed and Simms. Otis kept Harnisch and dumped Bochtler. Johnny Green saved Mark Lewis and waived Lou Frazier. Doug activated Mark Johnson and waived Sweeny. I activated Hudek and threw Dishman back. Jim Fraser dumped Rijo and Dewey and kept Vanlandingham and Sid Fernandez and Hutcheson saved Ericks and Leskanic and dropped Harvey and Henry.
We've also had four trades since our last meeting. I swapped infielders with Kerr, sending him Roberto Petagene for Rey Sanchez. Johnny Green shipped Jeff King to the Thoroughbreds for Jim Bullinger and Mike Perez. Fraser and I traded pitchers, he got Xavier Hernandez and I got Greg Swindell. Then Steve Kerr called Johnny Green again and swapped Royce Clayton and Ryan Thompson for Cliff Floyd and Tony Tarasco --one day before the Expos traded Tarasco to Baltimore. (Kerr, obviously pleased by the Expos' move, answered my congratulatory call the next morning with, "Twenty-three fucking hours.")
Stat fee is $60 per team. (I know it was about $5 cheaper last year, but All Star Stats gave us a break because of the shortened season.) This is given that everyone will be getting their stats via modem, except Johnny Green, who will get the league copy via fax. (Don't worry Johnny, one faxed copy of the stats is included in the cost.) All Star Stats will have a web site this year. If you want access to it, the cost is $40 per team wanting such access. For those teams with multiple owners, you can get an additional mailing of the stats for $60.
Don't forget to call me Mon., Apr. 1 with your roster freezes or you'll be starting the season with nobody on your team.
I've included a positional eligibility list and updated address and phone list for all owners. I've included home and work phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses if I know them. If you want to add other numbers to the list, let me know. Some things to note, Ken has a new address and phone number as does Hutcheson. Burchfield moved last year, but I don't remember if I gave you his new address then or not. It is, of course, included here. One other new feature is the "significant other" line. Now when you call another owner and somebody else answers the phone, you've got a name to put with the voice.
Since Otis, Johnny and Doug will be joining us again by speakerphone from Otis' kitchen, one owner was wondering if Otis has a bad habit of leaving the gas on in his kitchen. This owner pointed out that teams drafting from that location always finish near the bottom of the standings. "Last year, Otis had his best season in years -- and he drafted at your house," the owner said.
Save me a seat at Olympic Gardens.