March 28, 1998


"He should be pitching better on 3,195 days rest."

--Pittsburgh broadcaster Steve Blass, on the March 13, 1995 outing by Pirate
replacement player Jimmy Boudreau, who had last pitched professionally in 1986


CRL NEWS

 Sound like heíd fit right in on my staff.

Yes, itís that time of year again. The season hasnít even started. and the shit is already flying. Weíve got bets on who gets the most Rookie-of-the-Year votes, and a bottle of Johnny Walker on finishes higher in the standings. (One guess as to who made that bet. Hint: Johnny Walker was his best friend last year in Vegas.)

This is going to be short. The primary function of this mailing is so everybody has a hard copy of protected rosters (which are enclosed) and an updated CRL address and phone list (also enclosed.) Check your entry, let me know if I need to add (Mike Look, are you reading this?) or change anything.

There is some news to report, because Iíve been a lazy ass and havenít put out a newsletter in a couple of months. (Speaking of being a lazy ass, the new nominee for best place to park your butt on a barstool is John Krukís bar, Third Base, in Keyster, West Virginia. According to Peter Gammons, Kruk named his bar Third Base because "itís the last place you stop on your way home.")

This just in: We didnít expand.

We have had some ownership changes in the past two months. Johnny Green said adios to the CRL, but not before cashing a fourth-place check. Hereís hoping Johnny has much success in his future endeavors. Greg Fisher, likewise, has moved on to life beyond Rotisserie. Itís tough to see an original CRL member go, but looking at Kenís performance last season, you wonder if Greg was already gone.

Terry Pederson and Bill Fleisig have taken over Johnnyís old team and renamed it "Bambi Slayers." Kenís new partner is Mike Look. Mikeís never been to Vegas. He said he was going to be in bed by 10:30 every night. Of course, his wife was standing right there when he said it.

Oh yeah, one last bit of news resulting from not expanding. We are excluding Milwaukee from our draft.

Some general observations:

Itís gonna be a real thin draft.

Why did three teams that finished out of the money, Otis, Kerr and Hutch, save the bulk of their teams? On a related note, If my big guns of Bonds, Bagwell, et.al., could do no better than finish third amidst the flotsam and jetsam of the rest of my team, what makes me think Iíll do any better this year? Am I really going to surround that nucleus with a quality supporting cast of 11 players with only 38 bucks? Maybe if I just close our eyes and wish real hard...

Sanford really likes Willie Green. He told me that, last spring, even though he was officially a CRL owner, he didnít have a team. Then there was a trade and he had player. "I suddenly had a team. I had Willie Green, my first player," Sanford reminisced.

Some other news and notes:

Stat fees are $55 this year, down $5 from last season. Stats will be available on the web at: www.allstarstats.com/baseball/0231.

The draft will be Saturday in Terryís suite (thanks Terry) at the Imperial Palace. Weíll start about 10. Otis and Doug will be joining us by speakerphone from Otisí kitchen. (Not exactly Third Base, but it sounds like a cool name for a bar - or a band.)

Pizza at Bautistaís will be Friday around 7:30 or 8:00. Iíll collect $5 from everybody at that time so that I can get beer and chips for the draft.

Ken, Look, Glenn, Dennis, Torrens, Terry, Bill, Farabee, Spencer, Cordova, Fraser, Hutcheson, and myself are playing Black Mountain at 12:15 Friday. Green fee is $52. Black Mountain is a spikeless course, so no metal spikes.

Remember to bring money to the draft. Everybody has paid at least $200, but stat fees and off-season transactions - trades, activations, signing bonuses, contract buyouts - have eaten away at everybodyís initial deposit. Money for all of these transactions, plus your $130 you spend on salaries, is due at the draft

We had a vote on the proposed rule change regarding protected farm guys who end up making the opening-day roster. Should a farm player who was protected on roster-freeze day subsequently make the opening-day roster of his NL club, his CRL owner has the choice of waiving that player or adding him to the ownerís pre-draft roster at a $5 salary. This is a change from last year, but should Travis Lee, Branden Looper, Richard Hidalgo, Derrick Gibson or Robing Jennings open the season in the majors, their owners will have to choose between adding the player(s) to their respective rosters, or waiving the player(s). For the record, the vote was 7-1, with two abstentions, and two owners unpolled because a majority had already been established.

Hereís a list of topics for which a pre-draft vote has been requested this year:

1. Changing the <1000 innings pitched penalty so that wins and saves are unaffected.

2. Eliminating the "dump a player who hasnít appeared in two weeks" loophole.

3. Doubling the cost of trades made after the All-Star break.

4. Chipping in $10 each so one owner can get a suite.

5. Expansion for next year.

6. Site of future drafts.

7. Executive Committee membership.

Thatís all I can think of right now. Thatís not to say that there are no other topics to discuss, but please, letís keep it short.

Speaking of short, this newsletter was supposed to be. Itís not.

See ya.

Jim.