February 25, 2006
"This is what I do. This is who I am. I can't just go away. It's not my nature."
-- Jeff Bagwell arriving at training camp.
And off-season procrastination is my nature.† For all of you that have been calling and emailing and wondering when Iíd get off my ass and put out a newsletter, hereís something you might have missed.† I just looked back and discovered that last yearís initial newsletter was published on March 19th.† The way I see it, Iím three weeks ahead of schedule.† So, and I mean this in a nice way, STFU. ;-)
Besides, since this is the 17th year of the CRL (and we all know most 17-year olds have only one thing on their mind Ė and it sure ainít baseball) youíd think weíd all know what we need to do by now.
Seriously, I do understand the importance of communicating timelines and dates.† I know that for me, if itís not in my Outlook calendar, I donít know when itís happening.† (We can argue about whether thatís because Iím just really busy or have killed few too many brain cells some other time.)† Iím not going to bore you with tales of how busy I am, save for this observation:† Iíve set up all my bills to be paid automatically online.† I drop my clothes off at the cleaners so I donít have to iron.† I have a maid and a yard guy.† And I still donít have any freaking free time.† I did all that stuff myself last year (and all the years before) but right now I have no clue how I ever found the time to do it.
Before we get to important dates, and in light of my diatribe above, I do need to let you know about one major change in the way transactions will be handled this year.† Iím tired of giving up one seventh of my evenings to sit by the phone and wait for yíall to call.† I donít want to have to rush home from important work or social functions or pass up personal opportunities just to be here so everyone can fight over the fifth starter that sucks less.† (To those of you who said that my passing up chances to get laid just so I could be here to answer the phone on Mondays was way beyond taking one for the team and was more like stupidity, I thank you.† I realized that you are right, and Iím not willing to make that sacrifice anymore.)
So hereís the new plan.† Moves need to be submitted by email.† The deadline is still the same, 10 p.m. central time, and I will be looking at timestamps.† A lot of you are doing it this way already.† For those of you who arenít, basically, you rank the guys you want and tell me which move you want to do first, which you want in round 2, etc.† Hereís some emails from last year to give you an idea:
First Move: Waive Torres, and (1) Claim Claussen or (2) Fogg.
Second Move: Waive Ross, Activate (1) Stinnett or (2) McCann.
Third Move: Reserve Patterson, Activate Ledee from reserve.
Welder: I'll be on vacation next week, so here's my moves:
1. Waive Stinnett, Activate Valentin (Cin).
2. If one of my pitchers goes on the DL or minors or traded to the AL, etc., reserve that pitcher and activate Hampton. Otherwise, waive Walker, activate Hampton.
3. If Jose Valentin (LA) comes back, waive Edwards, Activate Valentin.
Iíll put the moves in when I have a chance.† It might be Monday night.† It might be Tuesday.† It might even be later - I have the ability to make transactions retroactively.† If your email is on the fritz, you can call and leave me a voicemail, but, as those of you who are in the PPP have heard me write, I take no responsibility should my voicemail malfunction.† (Before you mention that email can also malfunction, remember that if I donít get your email, you can always forward me a copy from your ďsent itemsĒ folder, which would contain the original time/date stamp.)
BTW, Iím not saying I wonít be here on Monday nights, Iím just saying that I donít want to HAVE to be.† If Iím here, Iíll answer the phone.† So, if you have questions, feel free to call.† But please submit all transactions via email unless it is impossible.† And that does not mean whenever your computer is in the shop Ė if you can find a computer to check the standings, you can send an email.
Now itís time to climb down off the soapbox (can you tell that was really bugging me?) and get on with bidness.
Money deadline is March 20th.† Make sure and get your initial $250 to Glenn by then.
Roster Freezes are due Friday, March 17th.† Use email.† (Do I need to rehash the above paragraphs?)† Iíll be generous, the timestamp should be by midnight, your time.† I probably wonít be here to answer the phone Ė Iím Irish and that is St. Patrickís Day, so Iíll be drinking.† Iím setting it for Friday (you can always do it earlier) because Iíll update the keepers sometime after I crawl out of the sack on Saturday (and have a Bloody Mary or two) and Iím sure everyone will want at least one weekend day to plan their strategy.† I will commit to having rosters updated by sometime Saturday (3/18) afternoon.† Donít forget to specify if you are keeping your farm guys or are signing any long-term contracts.† If you need a refresher on LTCs, read this.
Everyoneís current rosters are here.† A ď?Ē in the contract (ďConĒ) column means you need to decide whether to sign the guy to a contract, or let him play out his option.† If a guy is on your reserve roster and you keep him, you will owe a $5 activation fee to the pool.† (Iíll add my annual disclaimer here about not deleting players who have gone to the AL or are otherwise unsigned, as they could end up back in the NL before March 17th.)
As you all should know by now, Draft Day is Saturday, March 25.† The location has moved.† More on this in the next graph.† We will only be drafting players who are on current Spring-training rosters, and that have not been reassigned to minor-league camp.† One of the rules committee members will visit the hotel business center and print out the current rosters and transactions sometime Saturday morning before the draft.† In the case of any questions on draft eligibility, the printout will be the final say.
Now to the ďmore on thisĒ graph.† We will no longer be drafting at the Imperial Palace.† It seems some baseball league Ė not us Ė brought in several coolers of beer into a meeting room for a draft last year and the IP got pissed and said they would no longer host that type of ďmeeting.Ē† Glennís contact† - the one who knew how many years weíve been there - has moved on, so he does not have an understanding ear any longer.† So Glenn spent way too much time and effort trying to track down a salesrep (the guy wouldnít even call him back!) at the IP.† When he finally did talk to them, Glenn found out about the incident above.† He explained our situation and the fact that we had been good customers for years, so the IP rep relented and said we could use one of their meeting rooms - but that it would cost us an extra $100, and we would have to pay for a catered breakfast and lunch for everyone.† Breakfast would be $11 per person.† Glenn told the guy to $%#^ off and hung up before he heard how much lunch would be.† So we are at Harrahís.† The room is $425 - $36/team, to be taken out of your initial $250 - and we donít have to pay for catering.† Letís not screw this up folks Ė if you stop at McDonaldís for breakfast, please trash your bags before coming into the room.† Also, please donít bring in any alcohol Ė Harrahís has plenty of bars that will be happy to sell you drinks.† We donít want to have to find a new hotel every year.
Enough preaching, itís time to play ball.† So Glenn, please pack up the trophy so you can hand it over to Doug.
Anyone want to plan golf for Friday?
See you all four weeks from today!