One step forward....and two steps back

The story of the Arvada Anteaters inaugural season

By G. M. Haas

Assistant Bullpen Coach Arvada Anteaters

Stumbling out of the blocks

I wasn't sure how good my team was coming out of the blocks, but 2-18. Never. Well it happened. Needless to say, the Anteaters didn't get off to the start that I'd hoped. Where did it all go wrong? The first thing I tried to blame was under perform ance. Although, that was the case with a few, Glavine and Thome especially, it was definitely not the rule. Was it the managing? Although not a wiley veteran, I was not a complete greenhorn, and refused to believe that my team sucked solely because I w as a shitty manager. I therefore began to look at my draft. As I was drafting my team I made a lot of picks that I really thought were good picks at the time. However, as I look back, it was a nightmare. Maybe the best thing for me would have been to trade my third and fourth round picks to Steve for his third and fourth round picks as he offered. Then he could have had the Big Unit and I might have had some power. Arod, Bagwell, Ramirez, Juan Gone, Delgado, etc. were all still available and would have helped my team immensely. I do believe that this was partially due to the fact that I did not get to even look at the data disks until somewhere around round 5 or 6. I believe the first five rounds of the draft CAN make or break a team. In my case, we were in trouble after the first five rounds. The final consideration in the poor start was plain and simple bad luck. For as much good luck as Keith and Chris had, I had double the bad luck. Some of this corresponds with under performance, but the breaks were going against the boys. As I look back, all of the above contributed to the Anteaters slow start, a hole from which they would not recover.

Games 41-141

This was the long grind of the season. Every time I thought that I got something going I'd lose a couple in a row and end up losing more ground. It seemed like for every one thing that went right, at least two would go wrong. Thome and Glavine continued to struggle and frustrate me immensely. Not to mention Rivera. No matter the moves I'd make, it always came back to bite me on the ass. Over this stretch of games the Anteaters were 51-70 for a .421 winning percentage. Definitely not in contention, a slowly sinking ship.

7-0 Saturday

I do not recall the exact date, but it really doesn't matter. It was a Saturday morning late in the season, the Anteaters stood at 53-88, easily the leagues worst record and vying for worst all time. I called the club to get in some games with whoever might be around. Chris and the Red Rangers were up first. I was 5-12 vs. Chris and was hoping to take one of three (lets be realistic, my team wasn't very good) with an outside chance of two. When I swept all three, I was riding high and ready for my next victim. Only I was sure that the roof was about to cave in as it had so many times already. Doug was up next for four games and after winning game one I was ecstatic that at worst I would be 4-3 on the morning. But it didn't stop there, after a four game sweep of the Slugs I was 7-0 on the morning and on top of the world. For one glorious morning as the sun rose over the plains of eastern CO I was unblemished over a seven game span. The Arvada nine would tack on one more for an eight game winning streak before succumbing to the Tearers in game 150. A disappointing 2-5 finish against the P.L.O. left the Anteaters at 66-96, tied with the Slugs for the worst record in the league. With more time to prepare for the draft, and access to the data disk before the draft actually starts, there will be high hopes in Arvada when next season rolls around. The draft is where most teams are made or lost, and that was definitely the case with the 1999 Arvada Anteaters. The club did finish the season 13-8 over the last 21 games, more than enough to fill my sails with wind as I begin scouting for SL2K. For as we all know, hope springs eternal in the minds and hearts of Cubs fans everywhere because there's always next year!

Gratefully Dead,

Graham Haas
Beer Vendor, Sections 225-231
1999 Arvada Anteaters