One Very Small Step Forward

Ewell Blight Season Review

By G. M. Haas

SL 2002

One Very Small Step Forward

As I look back at it a lot of shit has happened during SL 2002. A few houses were bought, kids were conceived (his boys can swim), degrees were earned, sadly there was a departure (say it ain't so), and at the same time a celebratory unretirement (just exactly what does Steve tell Taz when he's gone until 2:00am?), CO is back up to two APBA participants and wedding plans were made (congrats! and see most of you soon). The fourth of the current Klein generation joined the ranks (welcome Matt and thanks for "letting" me take 14 from you this year) but methinks that it won't be long before another generation is ready to join. All in all not a bad year. Except that the regular season didn't wrap up until early December. As I sit here taking a break from scouting for SL 2003, I am more excited about the future than frustrated by the past, and if Taterka can make the playoffs then, hell anything can happen right? Here are some random thoughts on what went right and what went wrong with The Blight of Ewell.

Entering the draft I was definitely focused on pitching. Four of the first five picks were pitchers and on paper they were pretty good. Where this left me was a little short on offense. I'm not sure that I overreacted, but I did manage to select two players that both needed a lot of sits in attempts to bolster the O. That may or may not have been a good move. JD Drew was a stud and almost carried the team single handedly for stretches,, but his 53 sits were a lot for the heart of the order. I always wanted a catcher that was a defensive stud and I finally got one, unfortuneately his 51 sits also left me with a hole when he sat. Ultimately, needing 104 sits form 2 of my top 5 offensive picks was a little too much.

Getting back to pitching, I would have to rate starting pitching as the biggest dissappoinmet for the Blight. Mulder ended up pitching pretty good after a very rough start, but after that not a starter with an ERA under 5.28. After spending 4th and 5th round picks on Lieber and Leiter I had hoped for better pitching numbers. I guess you win some and you lose some. One definite improvement in this team from my previous teams was the bullpen. Anchored by Rhodes and with Kim 15WXY and Grimsley 14Y outperforming Levine 17 and Percival 16XY the bullpen turned in to strength for the Blight. Discounting the 13.1 IP by Borbon before he was dropped, the bullpen pitched 461.2 innings with an ERA of 3.65. Witch only leaves me asking myself, why didn't I pich these guys more?

Overall, the year had its ups and downs. I was mathematically still alive for the playoffs going into my final series against Keith, T. Nixon was a late round steal who played well begining to end, Drew, Palmeiro and Chipper were all solid all year. SP was definitely a sore spot and players such as Sheff and Cat did not live up to expectations. I was 74-68 against 7 league members and 4-16 vs the Commish who was my personal nemesis this season. The Blight finished 78-84 and 3 games out of the wildcard, but we were one game better than last year. If I do that long enough one day I'll make the post season.

With SL 2003 on the dawn the Lingering Leads will take comfort in the fact that at least they are not in the same division as Greg and Keith. They will also take inspiration from late Mikey Houser and lyrics that he wrote, "But don't give up, don't give up, no, 'Cause where there is love , there is hope." And everybody loves the Summer League, right Taz? BTW, Keith you will be on the clock in exactly 48 hours and 2 minutes.