Off Season Report
by Caitlen Sullivan
Vancouver Sun Sports Reporter
December 16, 2035
Today the Mounties announced they had signed free agent catcher Colby Stephens to a three-year deal ($3.0m/$2.8m/$2.6m) with the final year being a team option with a $480k buyout clause. He will battle Hotha Popo for the starting job but will likely end up as the backup. Stephens hit .257 last year for Rockville, starting 50 games while appearing in 105. He had a plus zone rating on defense, and, unusually for a backstop, he runs the bases exceptionally well and steals frequently as well. He can also play first base in a pinch.
Vancouver was desperate for a backup catcher. Three incumbents last year hit .222, .143, and .067 respectively. So desperate were the Mounties that before Stephens was signed they also successfully claimed César Barrón from Charm City. Barrón was purchased by Charm City from Yellow Springs and played at AAA Annapolis last year hitting just .208. He did hit .234 while appearing in 11 games for Yellow Springs in 2034. Defensively he does a good job wearing the tools of ignorance.
The Mounties also signed free agent outfielder Jorge Garza to a one-year deal for $3.0 million. Why is anybody’s guess. He has played the last four seasons for Seattle and can be expected to hit around .260-.270 (although he was .215 in 2034) and he is a defensive liability with his very limited range. That hardly seems worth $3.0 million to me.“. . . . . shin guards were the final pieces of the ‘tools of ignorance’, that great descriptive phrase for the catcher’s equipment. There are conflicting stories about who came up with that wonderful moniker: Some sources credit Herold ‘Muddy’ Ruel (yes, Herold is correct, it’s not Harold), a Senators catcher who caught for Walter Johnson and later became a lawyer. The more likely—and earlier—story, from the “Diamond Jargon” column in the August 1939 issue of Baseball Magazine accepts Yankee catcher Bill Dickey as the true author. Dickey supposedly coined the term while donning his gear and while brooding over why anyone would want to be a catcher in July heat. I like the Dickey story because it was published sixteen years before the Ruel claim.” —by Vince Staten in Why Is The Foul Pole Fair?, 2003
And for no apparent reason other than to add to their melting pot reputation, the Mounties also signed relief pitcher Makalani Keokia to a minor league deal. Keokia is the only player from Kiribati (population 110,000) in the ranks of the BBA. Kiribati is a nation made up of 32 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. "Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa" ("Health, Peace and Prosperity") to Keokia!