"He looked like someone groping around in the bottom of their closet for a shoe."

--Vin Scully, during the radio broadcast of the World Series, describing
a feeble Terry Pendleton swing at a low and outside pitch.


Thatís right, weíre back.

(OK, I could give you all the usual shit about being busy, but the truth is, Iím lazy Ė and I finished out of the money.)

Itís time to talk about dates. And Iím not talking about comparing bad college blind dates. Itís time to start planning for í97.

First, a little news. Thanks to pagers, cellular phones and fax machines, parts of Houston are getting a new area code. And Ken lives in the part of Houston that will change. Beginning shortly (Iím not sure when Ė the old one still works, for now) his new area code will be 281. His work number will remain the same. Iíll send out a complete address and phone list with the next newsletter. In the meantime, any of you who have changes or additions, let me know.

As most of you know by now, Sanford Baker and Steve Kerr are getting a divorce. Sanford is keeping the name "Thoroughbreds" and will be drafting an expansion team, kind of like Cleveland in the NFL. Kerr is keeping the players and changing the name to "Drunk and Disorderly," kind of like Edgar Allen Poe. As for the expansion team, there will be an expansion draft. The logistics of this will be outlined in the next newsletter. (And, I promise, itíll be well in advance of the expansion draft.)

Money. At this point, some of you Ė and you know who you are Ė still owe some. The bills Spencer sent said the money needed to be in by November 10. By the time you read this, Glenn should already have your check. If not, send it now Ė or you will be subject to public humiliation in the next newsletter.

Now for some important dates:

Sunday, December 1 Ė The deadline to tell me which linked players are being kept. You may recall that we said that, after the World Series, all teams with players on their reserve list Ė and, therefore, tied to active players Ė had to call me and let me know which player they wanted to keep. Well, itís after the World Series, so call me by December 1. This applies to every owner except Steves Kerr and Hutcheson. I guess they can call each other. A list of linked players is at the end of the newsletter.

Saturday, March 1 Ė Every team must have $200 to Glenn for league and stat fees. No money means Spencerís buddy gets a team before next year. Besides, itís an extra $200 you canít lose at the craps tables. (Iím figuring about $60 for stats again. And teams cost roughly $130.) Some folks may end up owing a little bit more due to off-season trades or signing bonuses, but itís easier to cough up 20 bucks in Vegas than 220. Some of you might even end up with a credit (you donít make any trades, sign anybody or spend the entire $130), but youíll end up spending the money during the season anyway.

Sunday, March 2 Ė (aka Texas Independence Day) Each team has a list of the seven players they are protecting in the expansion draft to me by 10 p.m. central time. Sanford will then have until Thursday, March 6 to let me know who he is taking in the first round. Once he has selected no more than one player from each team, I will call each owner on Friday, March 7 and let them know who Sanford selected. Those owners who lost a player will then have until Sunday, March 9 to get back with me and let me know which one additional player they have protected. Sanford will then have until Wednesday, March 12 to pick no more than one additional player from each team. Iíll go into all of the specifics in the next newsletter, but basically, no team can lose more than two players. And Sanford can only select 15 players total. (Iíll spell all this out for you guys around New Years, because youíll need to know. Besides, weíll be doing it again next season for Spencerís buddy if either the Diamondbacks or the Devil Rays end up in the National League.)

Wednesday, March 26 Ė Roster Freeze Day. Al teams must have their protected rosters, including long-term contracts, to me by then.

Tuesday, April 1 Ė Opening Day.

Saturday, April 5 Ė Draft Day.

Sunday, April 6 Ė No Pepper makes its first stupid trade of the season.

Please note that all these dates are barring stupid decisions by owners or players that would effect the seasonís opening.

And now, the linked players. (Remember, if you donít call me, you keep the active player and lose the one on your reserve list.)

Two things to keep in mind when looking at the list below:

First, there are some players not listed below who, on the final stats, appear to be linked to other players. In all of these cases, one of the players was playing out his option and is gone, so the link no longer exists. For example, Glenn has Hal Morris linked to Mark Whiten. But Morris played out his option and canít be kept anyway. So Whiten isnít linked to anyone. (Of course, he isnít in the National League Ė but he could be by roster freeze day. At that time, should Glenn decide to keep Whiten, heíd own $5 for the activation.)

Secondly, the active players are listed first..

Team 1
Alex Arias and Trinidad Hubbard
Marvin Benard and Lee Tinsley

Team 2
Chad Fonville and Todd Ziele

Team 3
Scott Bullett and Sammy Sosa
Lenny Harris and Mike Kelly

Team 4
Steve Decker and Darren Daulton
Turk Wendell and Alejandro Pena

Team 5
Tim Wallach and Quilvio Veras
Tony Fossas and Carlos Perez

Team 6

Team 7
Tyler Houston and David Justice
Dave Hansen and Matt Williams
Derrick May and Keith Williams
Vladimir Guerrero and Brett Butler and Eddie Perez

Team 8
Wayne Kirby and Mike Blowers
Robert Person and Mike Grace

Team 9
Jason Hardtke and Scott Rolen and Robby Thompson

Team 10
Kevin Mitchell and Roger Cedeno
Armando Reynoso and Sid Fernandez

Team 11

Until next time,