Graham's SL20 thoughts

As a participant in 16+ of the 20 seasons I guess that I have gone from greenhorn to veteran. 3 Spit Cups, 7-1 career playoff record and over 2,500 games played are not bad over that stretch. While not having sustained success over the 16 years, the Spit Cup breakdown over the seasons has Ken-6, Chris-4 and me-3 as the only multiple time winners, with Greg and Dave grabbing the other two. Some high and low lights are listed below.

1999- This team was not very good at all, mostly due to drafting and some due to managing. The managing got better though and we finished strong. 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.- From season review of the Anteaters.

Biggio bad pick??? Posted a 294/359/479 line while Chipper posted a 283/364/522 line with each playing 160 games Unit with 273 Ks.

2001- This may have been one of my favorite teams. Bucking the trend of taking pitching early I was able to build an offensive juggernaut, but not quite enough pitching and still learning as a manager doomed the Showers. "Continuing his trend since reintroducing himself to the SL in '99, Graham drafted better in 2001 than the year before, and I look forward to seeing how he continues his progress in 2002. Hopefully for him, that means he strives to balance his team better. Considering how excellent his draft was in 2001, I think this means we all should be wary of him in 2002 and beyond." From Draft Notes.

OFFENSE - 282/343/491 FOR THE TEAM 3rd best in runs scored 1st in BA 4th in OBP 3rd in SLG 3rd in OPS

2004 - Steve Nostradamusing, "I think overall, Bob had the best draft and Matt and Graham had the worst. Graham - Wood, Castillo and Kendall in the 10th, 11th and 12th." I will not dispute what Steve wrote other than to say my 2004 draft was good enough to win a Spit Cup! Also a great team name as WSP was taking the year off. The Panic Hiatus will go down in history as the first team to win a Spit Cup with a manager not named Klein or Nims. Bonds (293/471/720) and Sheff (295/361/621) carried this team, but we had solid contributors in guys like Renteria, Kendall and Tike Redman was dynamite for 56 games!

2005 - Back-to-back Spit Cups and a President's Cup to boot!!! Bonds (256/434/568) was very good and Vlad had his back. Probably one of my best years in terms of limited games guys that really made an impact with Augie Ojeda (341/410/409 in 27 games) and Robb Quinlan (299/356/589 in 56 games). Konerko with 39 jacks and 102 RBIs batting in the 5 hole behind Bonds and Vlad.

Next two years featured competitive but not special teams finishing with 76 and 78 wins.

2008 - Twitchin' Dogs finish with 86 wins and miss the playoffs. From my season preview, "Prediction - If I can manage this team better than last years I see 85-77 and at least contending for the playoffs." Making this quite possibly the best prediction of win total EVER in the SL.

2009 - Coconut Grove wins 3rd Spit Cup in an EPIC 7 game finals vs Keith's Anchormen (one of my favorite SL team names). Almost as epic is the NM transcript with most of all the other GMs present and observing the games online. Loved this team with Manny, Miggy and Beltran leading the way and with 215 steals this was probably my best ever stealing team led by Kinsler (38 of 40), Rios and Beltran.

2010 - Coming off 3rd Spit Cup in 6 years and feeling good with a 6-0 playoffs record the Goodtimers win 85 and take the Hauser Division. Offense was led by Kendry Morales and Ryan Howard plus solid contributors Manny, Jeter, Zobrist and Carl Crawford. Team finished with 216 steals, so forget what I said about the Jacks in 2009. Beckett and Lincecum were very good. Led the league in average (248) and SLG (437).

Beat Jim in the semis before facing Ken for the Spit Cup. I had beaten Ken in all three years that I had won the Spit Cup (finals 1X and semis 2X) and while feeling good about my 7-0 career playoff mark at this point as we all know it doesn't last. Ken squad hammered the Goodtimers in the finals 4-1.

Nothing special for the squad over the next three years with win totals decreasing from 80-78-63. The time commitment required to suck that bad in 2013 almost meant and end to the SL for me until...

2014 - In a first ever move designed to keep both Mr. Swinea and myself in the league we came to an agreement to co-manage a team for the most recent season. And while we got off to an abysmal start the boys came around and finished 78-84. Davis was a enigma as he went like 20 games for me before his first HR and finished hitting 196 with 254 Ks, he did lead the league in HRs, but frustrated much of the year. This whole SL thing sounded like fun back in 1999 (it wasn't), but the SL became part of who I was and what enjoyed. The day the data disk arrived became something that I looked forward to every year like it was Christmas. It is not quite the same anymore as my SL career has witnessed buying two houses, getting married, having two kids, Dozer's entire life and a lot of good times. I didn't tell anyone but before a big series late this season I was at a gas station and saw some O-Ke-Doke popcorn. Played the series that night drinking beer and eating O-Ke-Doke and wearing pants that had a hole in the crotch in honor of my co-manager. Don't recall what the result was, doesn't really matter, does it? GO SL!