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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chicago Longshoremen

Provided by majesty95

Poor drafts, shoddy managing and ill-advised trades have contributed to this franchise being the league’s worst for the past three seasons. A combined 150 and 336 record during that span and earning the league’s #1 or #2 pick in the amateur draft each of the past three seasons makes it hard to argue with that distinction. Current owner majesty95 has undertaken a huge rebuilding project and has promised the fans of Chicago stability and competitiveness in the near future.

The first step for the new owner, who took over the team midway through season 4, is to make use of the team’s third straight Top 2 draft pick. The team’s #1 and #2 picks from season 3 were dealt recently to bolster the ML roster. Only one other player from the season 3 draft, reliever Bernie Jacome, is considered a potential contributor at the major league level. Season 4’s #1 overall pick, Fred Little, was the only legitimate prospect taken by the franchise but wasn’t even a Top 5 pick on most draft boards, a product of poor commitment to the draft.

Only two players from the organization’s first two drafts are considered future major leaguers, catchers Al Veras and Buck Burks, and only two others still with the organization are playing above AA. Majesty95 has refocused the team’s resources on the draft this season and is hoping to make the team’s second straight #1 overall pick a significant one.

Aside from capitalizing on high draft choices and rebuilding the minor league system, the team’s ownership has made winning a priority. The former Florida-Syracuse-now Chicago franchise signed eight free agents during the offseason that have contributed at the major league level this season. In addition, the Longshoremen have acquired seven new players, including five on the ML roster, through trades. They also selected three players in the Rule 5 draft who are on the active roster. In all, 14 players on the current 25 man roster are in their first season with the franchise.

The season has started out slower than the organization had hoped as the team holds one of the league’s worst records. However, part of the team’s poor performance can be attributed to the lack of a true signal caller behind the plate. Designated hitter Harvey Miller has handled the catching duties much of the past season or so but is considered below average both defensively and at calling games. That is the likely cause of a mostly veteran pitching staff ranking fourth worst in the majors. The recent promotion of Burks, along with the acquisition of first baseman Jimmy Sosa, has the team and fans excited about a potential turnaround in the near future though. One thing is for certain…it can’t get any worse.

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