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Old 08-26-2017, 11:19 AM   #81
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September 28, 2007

We finished the season 102-60 overall. Ron Closser barely missed tying the single-season RBI record, with 162, and came close to the home run record as well, with 59. He finished in third place in batting average, at .322, and missed out on the Triple Crown as a result, but ended up with a .423 OBP and 9.6 WAR. One of the more impressive statistics he collected was walking 110 times against 74 strikeouts- he had nearly as many home runs as strikeouts!

Chris Arguello was probably our second-best player overall, and Nick Myers not far behind, with a .322 average and 21 homers. Tyler Wingler and Bryan Pedlow were great additions to the infield. The combination of aging veterans Nick Buotte and Rob Bowker was pretty good behind the plate.

For the pitching staff, Sean Heideman had 6.7 WAR and a record of 17-11, though his ERA was just 3.88. Isiah Ibeh, Jessie Puls, Greg Reck, and Tane Kunane rounded out a solid but unimpressive starting five. Josh Ralston was outstanding as the closer yet again, with 2.7 WAR, and Landon Baum was spectacular (6-0, 0.63 ERA) in limited time.

We go on to play the Bryant Warriors, who lost in the TBL Championship Series last year. The Warriors won 95 games this year, and they have a balanced team, a very good offense and good pitching staff. Second baseman Dave Guzman paced the team with 41 home runs and 106 RBI, and they had four pitchers (Josh Vitalis, Ryan Willhoite, Johnny Fout, Danny Newman) with 15 or more wins. Their bullpen (2.97 ERA) was the only one ranked better than ours. All in all, a formidable opponent.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:52 AM   #82
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October 10, 2007

The Wal Titans have won their first championship in franchise history, defeating the Bryant Warriors in six games!!! Rookie second baseman Mike Whitlock won the series MVP, hitting .350 with a home run.

Game One: Warriors 7, Titans 5. Sean Heideman gave up four runs in the first inning and Bryant had a 7-0 lead by the fifth inning before Walking made it close.

Game Two: Titans 10, Warriors 3. Tyler Wingler, Nick Myers and Matthew Kerrigan homered in the rout.

Game Three: Titans 3, Warriors 1. Jessie Puls pitched seven solid innings in the win.

Game Four: Warriors 6, Titans 4. Greg Reck had to leave the game in the first inning, and Sam Cooke took the loss.

Game Five: Titans 4, Warriors 1. Sean Heideman pitched a complete game, striking out eight.

Game Six: Titans 4, Warriors 1. Ron Closser hit a three-run homer, and Isiah Ibeh pitched six no-hit innings before Josh Ralston bailed him out of a jam in the eighth inning.

I'm thrilled to have finally brought a championship to Wal. Owner John O'Rourke Jr. was ecstatic as well and gave me a two-year contract extension. Manager Joey Schirmacher will return as well, though scouting director Chris Roberts opted not to extend his contract- which is disappointing as he was critical to our success.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:46 PM   #83
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October 24, 2007

There were two conspicuous absences to the Titans' first championship. The first was Chris Arguello, who missed the series with a concussion. The second was Tane Kunane, who was suspended eight games for fighting on the last game of the season.

We had plenty of award winners- Ron Closser obviously won the Player of the Year award. Nick Buotte won a Great Glove award at catcher, and Closser a Platinum Stick. Shortstop Tyler Wingler won the Rookie of the Year. Joey Schirmacher was the Manager of the Year. Not a bad haul for the Titans.

As we head into the offseason, it looks like nine-year veteran Kerry Hammond, once the heart and soul of the Titans, will be leaving the team. Hammond has been playing a part-time role the last three seasons or so and is asking for $12M a year, and with our outfield depth he just isn't worth that to us. I'm glad he could get a ring before he goes though.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:56 AM   #84
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2007-8 offseason

It was an eventful offseason for the Titans... I traded away Tane Kunane, our one-time ace, to the Patrick Legends for utility man Jonathan Hashagen. Kunane was scheduled to make $11M this year and the next two, and his stamina had dropped to the point that he was no longer projected as one of our top five starters. Hashagen isn't great and makes $6.1M this year and $7.7M each of the next two, but he's a switch hitter who can effectively man any infield or outfield position and hits for decent power. Sidney City also offered us a similar type of player (minus the power) in Brian Roby, who is making $880K, in exchange for outfielder Moises Castillo.

We bolstered our pitching staff with two inexpensive additions, pitchers Guillermo Iglesias and Qa'id bin Ubadah. Both are making about $2M, are coming out of the GPL, and have three option years, giving us the ability to stash them at Class V Iron Hills if necessary. Our biggest free agent signing was outfielder Ka-Fei "Trashmaster" Niu, a 35-year-old veteran who is a seven-time all-star and four-time Platinum Stick winner. The Trashmaster has 305 career home runs and 48.9 WAR, and should fit into right field for the next couple years- he signed for $8M/year for two years plus a team option for a third year. Kerry Hammond is actually still out there as a free agent, and it was hard to not sign him...

Our biggest maneuver was to bring back Chris Arguello for an additional five years at $25M/year with a vesting option for the sixth. This wraps up our best all-around player throughout his prime years. We now have core players Arguello, Ron Closser, and Sean Heideman under contract for the next seven years.

Eventually we signed a new scouting director, Mark White, as Chris Roberts maintained that he did not want to return to us. White is probably just a placeholder until someone better comes along.
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:16 AM   #85
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April 1, 2008

The Titans head into their title defense with most of last year's squad intact. We are predicted to repeat atop the TBL West, with a projected record of 99-63. Our owner expects us to return to the playoffs. We head into the season healthy, with only a couple of role players on the DL.

Our lineup is very deep at this point. Jonathan Hashagen steps in to play shortstop, and last year's TBL Championship Series MVP Mike "Flinch" Whitlock to second base, with Chris Arguello shifting back to third. This leaves $13M man Bryan Pedlow on the bench, and last year's Rookie of the Year Tyler Wingler (who admittedly played over his head) in the minor leagues! 310-pound Manny Gonzalez will split time with Jonatan Moss and Nick Myers at first base and DH. The rotation is solid from top to bottom, with Sean Heideman, Isiah Ibeh, Jessie Puls, Greg Reck, and 23-year-old William Dodge.

The minor-league system is fairly barren at this point, ranked #14 overall. Our top prospect is pitcher T.J. Saunders, the #30 prospect overall, our first round pick in 2006.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:55 AM   #86
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May 1, 2008

Off to a good start again, with an 18-9 record, one game back in the division... I traded the likely overvalued Tyler Wingler, last year's Rookie of the Year, to Uniontown for 28-year-old starting pitcher Aaron Draper, who will give us some minor-league depth. Draper actually had performed quite well with the Aces himself, going 12-6 with a 3.18 ERA two years ago, but isn't good enough to crack our rotation.

Chris Arguello is hitting .296 so far but will miss the month of May with plantar fasciitis. Bryce Pedlow has thrived in a part-time role, hitting .346. Ka-fei Niu has started strong, with a .298 average and five home runs. Sam Cooke has joined the rotation, with Greg Reck briefly on the DL, and he's gone 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA.

Kerry Hammond signed a contract with the Jinxiang Devils of the GPL for $1.9M- it's a shame to see him leave the league, but at least he'll be an all-star there.
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:10 PM   #87
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June 1, 2008

Another above-.500 month puts us at first place in the West, with a 34-21 record. Jonatan Moss is leading the way on offense with a .297 average and 12 home runs. The rest of the offense is scuffling while Chris Arguello and Ron Closser are sidelined with injuries, but they'll both return this month. Josh Ralston is doing his usual excellent work with 16 saves and a 2.18 ERA.

We drafted college right-hander Chris Parvin with our first round pick, a 20-year-old with a good chance and cracking a major league rotation at some point. High school catcher Dave New was our second round pick- he's years away but could finally be our solution to our relative weak spot at that position.
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:43 PM   #88
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July 1, 2008

A streaky month- the Titans suffered through a rough 10-game losing streak, but later rebounded by winning 10 of 11 and ultimately went 14-13 on the month. We wound up back in first place, but there are three teams nipping at our heels within three games. Fortunately, we're back at full strength on offense again, though the numbers are not what they were last year, including Ron Closser, who's hitting just .236 with 12 home runs. Surprisingly, our run prevention is actually best in baseball thus far, though without any incredible performances out of the rotation, just everyone pitching pretty well.

I'm looking to sign international amateur Kassa Mahbub, a 16-year-old out of Nyambe with outstanding power. He likely won't amount to much on defense, possibly a first baseman. I also decided to bring back our old favorite outfielder Scott Moon, who's now 35 but still plays good defense at all three outfield positions, on a minor-league deal. Moon shouldn't be crying poverty anytime soon, though, as Uniontown twice signed him for $3.5M this offseason before releasing him a week later- hopefully someone lost their job for that.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:48 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaa36 View Post
I'm looking to sign international amateur Kassa Mahbub, a 16-year-old out of Nyambe with outstanding power.
Great name, you know. Just sayin'.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:50 PM   #90
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August 1, 2008

The Titans slumped to a 12-14 record in July to land at 60-48 overall, three games behind Patrick. We had no shortage of all-stars- Sean Heideman, Josh Ralston, Nick Buotte, Jonatan Moss, Chris Arguello, Ron Closser, and Ka-fei Niu all made the team. Moss and Niu are both hitting above .300, but our run production is actually in the bottom half of the league! However, our pitching continues to impress, including fifth starter William Dodge, who leads the team with a 2.96 ERA.

A sad story: pitcher Jai McCabe, who's been with the organization since 1996, was at one point the #83 prospect in the TBL. In 2006, he tore the flexor tendon in his elbow, but he worked his way back and made the big-league club in July 2007. He allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings, then promptly tore his UCL. He then re-tore it as he was making his comeback and now again is out for 15 months. Silver lining: he did win a ring with the Titans while he was on the DL.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:28 PM   #91
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September 1, 2008

An impressive 22-6 month of August puts us three games ahead of Patrick at 82-54 overall. We reeled off an 11-game winning streak near the beginning of the month. The offense has jelled a bit better and we're back atop the leaderboard in runs scored. Ka-fei Niu has been a nice addition, with a .309 average and 23 home runs, and Jonatan Moss (.305, 25 homers) has had a bounce-back campaign after two down seasons. Chris Arguello (.304, 20 homers) is mashing as per usual. We continue to get solid performances out of the pitching staff as well, particularly the bullpen.

Silverley is in front by three games in the East at 80-56. The Mustangs have remained solid after their back-to-back TBL Championships of 2004-5, and of course defeated us in the 2005 series, so it would be nice to beat them and win back-to-back championships of our own.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:58 AM   #92
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September 29, 2008

We needed a 17-9 month and five consecutive wins to end the season, but we pulled out the division by one game over the blistering Patrick Legends, 99 wins to 98. A variety of injuries to our rotation meant that Matt Eatmon pitched in game #162 and got the win in his first start of the season. William Dodge, Greg Reck, Qa'id bin Ubadah and Sam Cooke all ended the season on the DL, though I expect Dodge and Cooke back for the championship series.

Despite a rocky first half for our offense, things came together nicely in the second half as we led the league in runs scored again. Chris Arguello, Ron Closser, Jonatan Moss, Matthew Kerrigan, and Ka-Fei Niu all had characteristically good seasons, and lumbering Manny Gonzalez had a resurgent season at DH as well. Closser, notably, had just half the RBI he had from last year, speaking to just how good he was in that season! Sean Heideman didn't win a lot of games but pitched effectively, and William Dodge was second the league in ERA at 2.90.

We head into the postseason against Silverley, who won 94 games. The Mustangs' shortstop Daniel Cover is a strong Player of the Year candidate, hitting .311 with 46 home runs and 112 RBI.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:04 AM   #93
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October 10, 2008

Holy mackerel what a series it was as the Titans won their second straight championship series, defeating the Mustangs in seven games! Ka-fei Niu won Series MVP after cracking four home runs, including one in the deciding game.

Game one: Titans 9, Mustangs 3. Niu, Chris Arguello, Jonathan Hashegan and Manny Gonzalez all homered in the easy win.

Game two: Mustangs 9, Titans 7. The Mustangs rang up a 9-run lead before the Titans made a furious comeback in the last two innings. A two-run homer by Niu brought the Titans to within two with nobody out in the ninth, but last year's series MVP Mike Whitlock grounded into a double play to end the game.

Game three: Mustangs 4, Titans 3. Silverley scored two in the seventh and then two in the eighth off ace reliever Josh Ralston to take the lead. Ron Closser homered in the ninth to cut the margin to one, but this time it was Niu's turn to ground into a double play to end the Titans' hopes in the ninth.

Game four: Titans 8, Mustangs 4. Niu and Matthew Kerrigan homered in the win, which evened the series.

Game five: Mustangs 2, Titans 0. Eric Schraffenberger outdueled Isiah Ibeh in this one, going seven shutout innings. Once again the Titans lost with the tying run on base in the ninth.

Game six: Titans 5, Mustangs 4. Also known as "The Balk Heard Round the World." This one went back and forth, with Silverley taking a 4-2 lead before Closser tied the score with a mammoth two-run shot in the sixth. Mustangs star Daniel "The General" Cover tripled in the ninth but could not come home. After a double by Nick Buotte in the bottom of the ninth, the Titans had runners on second and third with two outs. With Jonathan Hashegan at the plate, reliever Sergio Diaz balked to bring home the winning run and tie the series! Silverley fans remain appropriately outraged.

Game seven: Titans 4, Mustangs 3. Truly a game for the ages. The Titans had 19 hits but had great trouble pushing runs across, starting in the first inning when they loaded the bases but could not score. Wal starter Jessie Puls was solid, allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings. After powerful first baseman Gregg Pritchard's fourth home run of the series gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, Niu homered off Diaz to tie the score in the bottom of the inning. The ninth passed eventually, but Ralston gave up his second home run of the game in the tenth, and Silverley carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the inning. But Diaz would prove to be the goat yet again, giving up four consecutive singles to Closser, Jonatan Moss, Scott Moon (who entered the game when Kerrigan was injured), and, of course, Ka-fei Niu. At least Diaz didn't balk.

For the aging "Trashmaster," it was his first championship at the age of 36. It was nice for Scott Moon to win a ring also in his unexpected return to the team. And for the Titans in general, it was a confirmation that they truly were the best team in baseball, helping the fans forget about those 106 consecutive years that they were not. They succeeded in part by holding Mustangs star Daniel Cover to just six hits in 30 at-bats.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:26 AM   #94
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October 25, 2008

The Titans had several award winners, with manager William Schirmacher winning Manager of the Year for the second straight season. Jonatan Moss, Chris Arguello, Ron Closser and Ka-fei Niu all won Platinum Stick awards, and Matthew Kerrigan won a Great Glove in center field at the age of 34.

Bryant shortstop Ben Elsea won the Player of the Year, hitting .303 with 49 home runs and 139 RBI, and Patrick's Josh Bentz won Pitcher of the Year, going 20-4 with a 2.26 ERA. Sean Heideman actually finished second in that category.

We head into the offseason with a bit of our payroll glut- as many of our stars are now reaching 6+ years of service time. This will be Greg Reck and Josh Ralston's last year of arbitration, and we can't afford to resign them beyond this season. I also can't afford to bring back catcher Nick Buotte, and his backup Rob Bowker retired at the age of 37. I'll look to trade overpaid veterans like Bryan Pedlow if at all possible, but we're not likely to be big players on the free agent market this season.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:01 AM   #95
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2008-9 offseason

We signed a couple of inexpensive free agents, bringing in catcher Octavio Dominguez for $1.5M and pitcher Mattis "Buddha" Bjerre for $2.8M. In typical fashion for Titans signings, both are from the GPL, with Bjerre in particular pitching well as a starter for Abarca last season, going 11-5 with a 2.94 ERA last year. Sungate offered us catcher Steve Garstecki for a 37-year-old minor leaguer, giving us a little more depth at the position. We lost several free agents, including our previous starting catcher Nick Buotte and fan favorite Manny Gonzalez. Not to worry, though, as Gonzalez's shoes will be filled (so to speak) but a man nearly as large- 6' 7" 300-lb first baseman Mike Buckles, who I've offered a minor league contract to.

Chris Milner had an off season for the Bruins last year, but he remains on track for the all-time home run record, with 413 at age 30. The current record is 684, so if he can break the record within seven seasons if he can keep up his power. Interestingly, Ron Closser, our own slugger, is just about the same age, but has only half as many home runs (207) as Milner due to a late start.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:40 PM   #96
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April 1, 2009

We head into the 2009 season looking to three-peat. The BNN has us projected for 94 wins and second in the TBL West. Owner John O'Rourke Jr. expects us to make the playoffs- so do I.

We're a healthy team heading into the regular season, with no significant players injured. At the end of spring training, I sent last year's postseason MVP Ka-Fei "Trashmaster" Niu to Sungate for 30-year-old shortstop Bill Mullins. The 37-year-old Niu's rating were dropping quickly, and I didn't think it likely that he'd be worth $8M this year. Mullins, who makes $1.3M, is an excellent defender and a mediocre hitter, and will start for us at shortstop. Former fourth-round pick Kevin Garvey will replace Niu in the lineup. New acquisition Oscar Dominguez will start at catcher. Otherwise, the lineup and rotation is essentially unchanged.

Our team's prospects are ranked #13 overall this year, led by outfielder David Farmer at #32, a slick-fielding 22-year-old that will break camp with the team.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:54 PM   #97
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May 1, 2009

After a bit of a slow start the Titans caught fire, winning seven straight en route to a 19-8 April. We lead the division by four games heading into May. William Dodge won the Pitcher of the Month- actually the first time a Titan had done so on my watch- with a 4-0 record and 1.67 ERA. Chris Arguello paced the offense with a .297 average and nine home runs. We sustained a few injuries, and Ron Closser will be out for the duration of May, but we're in very good shape overall. Matthew Kerrigan agreed to another extension for well below his value, at $2M for next year; all he's doing thus far is hitting .390.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:03 AM   #98
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June 1, 2009

We went 15-13 in May to leave us at 34-21 overall, still first place. However, we suffered a spate of injuries during the month, the most serious of which was young William Dodge, who will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured UCL. Dodge, of course, was the Pitcher of the Month for April, and finishes the season with a 5-1 record and 1.76 ERA. However, Sean Heideman's been excellent also (8-2, 3.22). Mike Whitlock, Chris Arguello, and Matthew Kerrigan are all hitting above .300 thus far.

The Titans drafted high school pitcher Vince Huffman with their first pick. The right-handed Huffman has four projectable pitches and looks like a good bet to eventually join a TBL rotation. Center fielder Brian Swint is asking for the largest bonus, at $4M.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #99
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July 1, 2009

We enter the second half with a 49-33 record overall, first place in the TBL West by six games. But we are six games worse than our foe in last year's championship series, the Silverley Mustangs, paced by the extraordinary Daniel Cover (.368/30/81 and 6.1 WAR so far). Sean Heideman leads the league with 12 wins, and Josh Ralston has 18 saves and a 1.99 ERA. The offense hasn't been quite as strong this year- Chris Arguello has been good, but we have a few black holes in Jonathan Hashegan (.170, 6 HR) and Octavio Dominquez (.212, 2 HR).

Once again not a great crop of international free agents- I'm attempting to sign Gwaelen native Aongus Arkoll for $1.8M.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:06 PM   #100
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August 1, 2009

We are now 63-45, hanging onto a 4-game lead in the TBL West after another mediocre (but winning) month. Chris Arguello is having another sensational year (.292/27/80) and is on pace for his fifth consecutive 5-WAR season. Matthew Kerrigan keeps rolling along at age 35, with a .305 average, 13 home runs, and his usual outstanding defense in center field. Sean Heideman has 15 wins and the Titans are best in the league at run prevention.

Our pitching staff was nicely rewarded for its efforts, with Heideman, Jessie Puls, Isiah Ibeh, Jose Ramos and Josh Ralston all getting all-star nods, while Arguello, Kerrigan and Ron Closser made the team on offense. Ralston is asking for $18M/year as an extension, so he'll be gone at the end of the year after six seasons in the closer role.

In the sometimes I am smart department: I've been shopping around Greg Reck, who is also in the last year of his contract. Among the offers I've gotten are two former Titans: Tane Kunane and Ken Schultz. Kunane has a 6.44 ERA for Patrick and still is under contract through at least the end of next season. Schultz has been negative WAR ever since I traded him three seasons ago and is under contract through end of 2010 as well. Good thing I dumped them when I did...

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