March 27, 2000
"They have lots of good information about hitting and pitching." Ė

Mickey Herskowitz quoting former Astro Doug Rader, who, during a radio
interview, advised children to eat baseball cards.  Not the gum, the cards.

 So if you guys need any help, try munching on a new pack of Topps.

Well gang, itís almost that time of year again. Weíre down to the Final Four, Opening Day is less than a week away, Cliff Floyd is hurt again, Ricky Henderson is pissed off at his Manager, and Steve Kerr has already said, "My team sucks."

Iím not going to be real wordy this time, but we do have a few items to discuss.

Remember to email or call me by Saturday, April 1 with your protected lists. If I donít hear from you, you donít keep anybody. Everyone can keep a maximum of 15 players from last year, with the exception of the top four teams. I get to keep 11 (fat chance), Ken gets to protect 12, Doug 13 and Kerr 14. Farm guys donít count against your protection limit, but if you save them, you pay $5 into the prize pool. Also, if you protect one of the guys on your reserve roster, you pay a $5 activation fee. Rosters are here.

Saturday is also the day you will need to tell me if you are signing any guys to long-term contracts. Players you have to decide on are those with an "O" in the CO column. Thanks to creating this website, I no longer have to retype the entire part of the Constitution dealing with long-term contracts. If you need a refresher, go here.

As we begin the CRLís second decade (I was going to say something about the last season of the Millennium Ė there was no year zero, do the math Ė but I got tired of listening to all that stuff last year, even if it was wrong), we welcome four new owners into the CRL. Steve Torrensí father, Vern is teaming up with Steve to take over the Thoroughbreds. (Iím not going to make any editorial comments about how their new moniker "Iron Horses" keeps alive the equine theme and fairly accurately describes the way Sanford Bakerís charges sprinted down the home stretch every year.)

As you all know by now, we have also added two expansion teams. Marcus Cathey is now the proud owner of the "Red Hot Chili Peppers," which, I think, is a reflection on his taste in condiments and not music.

Rich VanBuskirk, who is Terryís son-in-law, and Keith Oltman are the braintrust behind the "Sactown Shaggers," which represent yet another indication of the continued proliferation of teams up and down the left coast. Rich and Keith live outside Sacramento, which is where Steve Torrens has relocated one of the former So-Cal teams. At least Steve has Vern to instill some good, old-fashioned Midwest values into his team. And, even though Bill Fleisig doesnít actually live in Sacramento, heís closer to Gov. Pete Wilsonís house than he is to his partner Terryís.

This gives California the edge over Texas in owners, 11-9 (with Vern in Illinois), although Texas still has the edge in teams 8-6. For those of you interested (and I donít know why you would be Ė except to prove that Vegas is a nice, central location for the draft) So-Cal is the geographical region with the most owners (7) followed by Austin (6), No-Cal (4) and Houston (2). Dallas and Central Illinois have one apiece.

You probably all also know (and if you donít, you should pay more attention), We are adding Milwaukee to the available draft pool.

We have a trade to report. Iíve shipped Sammy Sosa to Marcus for Tom Galvine and Daryle Ward. Remember, no trades between Saturdays April 1 and 8.

Thatís because Draft Day is Saturday, April 8. I only say that because one owner thought it was the week before and another thought it was a week later. Good thing they werenít planning on going to Vegas. The draft site is still TBD. Terry is checking this week to see if he can upgrade to a suite, if he canít, I guess, as defending champion (had to work that in somewhere) I guess Iíll sacrifice my hotel room. I just love the smell of stale potato chips and beer.

Stat fee is the same $60 it has been the past several years. Of that, $45 goes to Allstar Stats, 10 goes to the draft host for their expenses (Room service for chairs, etc, tipping the maids for late, heavy cleanup, etc.) and $5 goes to general league expanses.

Golf on Friday is still TBD as they only take tee times a week in advance. Weíve got 16 players for Friday. Ken, Mike Look, Steve Kerr and Mike Thompson are golfing on Friday. Rich and Keith want to play, also, but they are looking for two more folks. Contact Rich if interested.

Donít forget about pizza at Bautistaís Friday about 8.

One final thought, if Harry Caray were still alive and accompanied the Cubs to Japan for their opening two game series with the Mets, would he talk about Kirin beer and give a plug to some Sushi restaurant he dined at the night before?