"The publications had high hopes for this team coming into the Summer League 2000 season, which have been damaged by their 17-23 start. While struggling through what is definitely the worst record any incarnation of the franchise has had at this point of the year, management has yet to panic and looks forward to widespread success in the next 122 games."
If the above passage sounds familiar, that's because it's what Greg Nims wrote about his 17-23 Grand Junction Skillet in July of '98, two months before the Skillet drank from the Spit Cup as Summer League champions.
Like Greg, I will agree that I haven't run the team very well to this point, and like the Skillet, one of the major areas of concern is the use of the bullpen. In addition to keeping opponents from knocking the ball out of Corsican Brothers Coliseum, these two areas will be among the main focuses of the final 122 games.
I am prepared to go down in flames those final 122, but I am not prepared to panic.
Interestingly, the biggest lowlight of the season did not happen on the field. In trying to better my bullpen, I sought out Joe to see what it would take to get Billy Wagner onto the Devils roster. I told him, though, I am not John Bryant or Ken from a few years back, panicking and having a fire sale after they lost two games in a row or some nonsense like that. Long story short, it was (a) no deal, (b) a waste of a time, and (c) a new lesson in player evaluation. Dealing with Steve in trying to wrest a reliever from him was surprisingly kinder and gentler, but just as fruitless. Alas, Corsica will likely close the season without a new bullpen ace.
To me, the good news is the atmosphere SL 2000 has taken on. Going into the season, I was one looking for more of a balance between fun and competition. Oke-dokee popcorn, kegs and the like have definitely made me nostalgic for the days of Maddux-vs.-Bere-and-a-dozen-donuts and those Sunday nights in '95(A) where the six of us would play, drink and be merry.
Good luck to all for the remainder of the season, except Bob.