Dugout Dirt 2051.1

GM: Jack Whalen

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jjw
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Dugout Dirt 2051.1

Post by jjw » Wed May 18, 2022 12:10 pm

The Hurricanes announce the hiring of Khayyat bin Luqman as manager. bin Luqman was previously the manager of the Beirut Cedars of the UMEBA, where he compiled a record of 528-440 over 6 seasons (2044-49), leading the Cedars to the Association playoffs four times. He also has some experience in the BBA, where he was the bench coach for the Hawaii Tropics for three seasons (2040-42).

With his outstanding reputation, bin Luqman will face some challenges in the clubhouse (paging Seung-cheol Kim...) but the hope is his easy going manner will calm any troubled waters. His challenges -- and those of new GM Jack Whalen -- on the field are more daunting, however. The Hurricanes have been operating under a 'win now' strategy, and while it did get the club to the playoffs the last four seasons, including first place finishes in '48 and '49, their fourth place finish last season seems a harbinger for difficult times to come.

Jacksonville has a couple of aging and very expensive stars -- 33 year-old right fielder David Simpson is the poster boy here, with his $28M contract on which he just exercised his player option for '51, but center fielder Sawyer Slizz (age 30, and coming off a 228/297/486 season where his 36 homers provides only a little salve) is also a cause for concern -- and yet these two players are the highest ranked positionally in the league for the Hurricanes. The club's payroll leaves almost no room for free agent signings to address weakness and losses at some key positions, like catcher where the 'Canes declined to resign Pepe Prieto.

Of greatest concern, however, is the farm system, which has been given little if any attention in recent years -- it is ranked 30th in the Brewster, and the club has but one player ranked in the top 100 prospects (and listed as #97 at that).

Given these problems, it will take some time to rebuild things down on the farm (Whalen has said he will make this a top priority), to relieve the financial pressure of Simpson's oversized contract, and to create some real roster options for the club going forward. There is still an expectation of making the playoffs again in '51, but that is hardly guaranteed. The glory days of the '30s, when the Hurricanes won three championships and had six first place division finishes, seem very far behind.
Jack Whalen
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Jacksonville Hurricanes 2051-
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Re: Dugout Dirt 2051.1

Post by CTBrewCrew » Sat May 21, 2022 8:52 am

Ooof thats one expensive poster.
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