“I think managers should be required to bet on their team.”


-- Some not-remembered wag on sports talk radio in Austin.


So I haven’t written any books lately (OK, I haven’t written much of anything lately – I think my last newsletter was prior to last season) and I’m not trying to upstage the Hall of Fame balloting, but I’ll admit I was naive.  I thought, so long as Pete didn’t bet against his own team, what harm was done?


But of course, when he didn’t, he was sending a message.  So, Big Al, or whatever the guy with the Tom Waits gravely voice and the Brooklyn accent was called, was right.  I heard him say our opening quote on the radio a dozen years ago or so, and I chuckled.  Now, I realize how brutally honest the radio guy was, and how dishonest Pete Rose was.  I also wonder exactly how much he would be worth in the CRL – no power, not much speed, but he did play every day.  He was Fernando Vina with a better batting average, longevity, durability, an attitude, and publicity.  (Of course, three of those last four and $0.50 will fill out your roster.)  Oh yeah, and he had a bookie.  Or several.


But anyway, he’s not eligible in the CRL, so let’s get to what’s important  - how does Jim Fraser get Mike Stanley’s Cup through airline security?  What does he tell the guards?  I wanna hear that story at the Harrah’s sports book. (As an FYI Jim, Kerr wants his name on the cup  - solo - so bad, you can call him directly, even at 5 a.m. Cali time, should you have any holdups with the gendarmes.) 


Afterward, for entertainment, we can listen to Marcus bitch about how many of his players are now with the Yankees.  Other owners will be bemoaning their fate to all who are drunk enough to listen.  I don’t know if Glenn is playing golf, but if he isn’t, whoever would have been playing with him would miss an unparalleled opportunity to hear about who screwed up by doing, or not doing, something.


Anyway, enough small talk, let’s get down to bidness (if you’re not from Texas, you may ask).


Draft Day is Saturday, April 3.  That is also Final Four weekend.  You should probably make your reservations ASAP.  Flights ain’t cheap and neither are rooms.  (The Imperial Palace was over $100/night????!!!! - I’m at Harrah’s, but the IP was only $10 cheaper or so.  That should tell you something.)


Here’s some other important dates to remember (in no particular order):


March 1 (Monday) - Everybody needs to have $250 to Glenn.  ($70 for stats, league expenses, lap dances for the host, etc.)  If you don’t have your money to Glenn by then, you lose your position in the Minor League draft.


March 27 (Saturday) – Roster Freezes due.  OK, I don’t like the idea of sitting home on a Saturday night either, but we all need at least one day off to crunch values.  Get your saves to me by 10 pm, central time, and I’ll post protected rosters so you can all have at least a Sunday to get stuff ready before you get on a plane.


Feb 2 (Monday) – All of you need to let me know whom you want to keep between any players you have tied together.  There is a list at the end of these musings.  I know a lot of these guys are in the AL now, but I have not kept track of all of them – it’s up to you to tell me whom you are keeping.  If I do not hear from you, you are keeping the player on your active roster and the guy on your reserve roster is released.  Should you keep the guy on your reserve list, and subsequently keep him on Roster Freeze Day (March 27), you owe a $5 activation fee to the pool.


Oh yeah, it’s not on the list, but if you are interested in golf on Friday April 2 at the Badlands, let Kerr know so he can account for your tee time.


Here’s a few random bits of information:


Since we had a scratch draft last year, there is no need to worry about long-term contracts.


As we will be drafting prior to opening day, we’ll have to do the best we can in regards to opening day rosters.  We’ll say that the draft is restricted to players still in big-league camp – players who have been cut, or reassigned to minor-league camp are ineligible.  I know this will be tricky to monitor, but history tells me that if somebody brings up a guy that’s been sent down, somebody in the draft room will know it.


Of course, that also means you may draft a guy that gets sent down after the draft.  In that case, you will be able to reserve or waive him, and select another player from the Free Agent pool the first regular transaction Monday (April 12).  Yes, that means you will lose a week of stats – that means you should do your homework on who to pick up with those final picks.


This will also impact farm players who are either kept from last year or picked up in the minor-league draft.  I most years, if one of your farm keepers makes the Opening Day roster, you are required to state your intention to activate him (possibly having to waive another player if you kept the maximum allowed) or waive him.  This year, these circumstances will be treated as regular in-season farm team callups.  In the case of one of your farm guys making the opening day roster, your two weeks will start with the first transaction Monday (April 12).


Here’s how many each team can keep:

Team 6 – 11 players

Team 10 – 12 players

Team 8 – 13 players

Team 9 – 14 players

Everybody else – 15 players

(Farm keepers do not count against that total.)


Now here’s the players on reserve, and their counterparts on the active roster.  Let me know who you are keeping by Monday, Feb 2.


Team 1

Ron Villone-Orlando Hernandez


Team 2

Gary Bennett-Wiki Gonzalez


Team 3



Team 4

Robin Ventura-Daryle Ward

Kyle Farnsworth-Robb Nen


Team 5

Jeff Reboulet-Fernando Tatis

Carlos Baerga-Chris Richard

Jeff D’Amico-Mike Koplove


Team 6

Danny Bautisti-Ryan Klesko

Livan Hernandez-Scott Strickland

Curt Schilling-Gabe White

Mike Stanton-Darren Holmes


Team 7

Tony Clark-Adam Dunn

Raul Gonzalez-Corey Patterson

Rene Reyes-Ken Griffey, Jr.

Jae Seo-Tony Armas, Jr.


Team 8

Tomas Perez-David Bell

Jose Valverde-Darren Dreifort


Team 9

Fernando Vina-Jose Reyes


Team 10

Tim Hummel-Geoff Jenkins

Stirling Hitchcock-Danny Graves


Team 11

Abraham Nunez-Julio Lugo

Mark Sweeney-Austin Kearns


Team 12

Orlando Merced-Pokey Reese

Luis Ayala-Shawn Chacon

Carl Pavano-Kris Bensen


Pitchers and catchers report in less than three weeks!