Portland Killer Whales

by 3:39 PM 0 comments
We live in a world defined by violence: wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, continued skirmishes in Israel and Palestine, Grand Theft Auto I, II, & III, and the occasional handgun at a health care town hall meeting. But nobody wants to see violence celebrated by their pro sports nicknames or mascots. No, we are much more amenable to the actual athletes committing the acts of violence. So it is not surprising that the same forces that turned the Washington Bullets into the Wizards (even before there was a Harry Potter) are protesting relentlessly to see the Portland franchise change its nickname. So far, the Portland Killer Whales have not budged.

On the field, however, change has been in the air the past few seasons, with new ownership showing a willingness to wheel and deal, scramble pennies at the last minute to keep a franchise one more year, and even launch a blog with an average readership per article of 7! And the team has totally retooled the pitching staff, bringing in several free agent arms and adding a nice young starter named Miguel Maranon. Add him to veteran Rey Ven Hekken (who is on the trade block), Manny Paquette, and Ed Cannon, and the Whales have a solid rotation. The bullpen is on the thin side however, without a dominant closer but with Chavez, Gonzalez, and Santana each able to contribute.

Offensively, the team is less developed. The lineup is laced with good hitters without a great deal of power to drive the ball, including Trot Hughes (also rumored to be on the trade block), Rock Ellenwood, Andres Rivera, and Ricardo Pineda. Only Rivera and Julio Figureoa of all the hitters managed to slug over .425 last season. Some promising offensive players are in the minors, but they can't get to the big show too soon if Portland is going to outlast her non-violent critics and make a real run in the AL.

ttjackson@yahoo.com

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Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111

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