Tropical Tidbits 34.02 - In the Beginning....

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Tropical Tidbits 34.02 - In the Beginning....

Post by udlb58 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:27 pm

All of the roster configurations have a story, and all were highly influenced by a series of cohesive decisions, some even largely shaped by one single move. Many look back on one draft pick, or one trade decision that set off a string of other moves, or a single prospect booming or busting. The story of the 2031 and 2033 Hurricanes is a little different though. Yes, it was heavily influenced by the Workman trade(s), the drafting of David Noboru, the explosion of Norris Rutledge, and the many (many) 1st and 2nd round busts. But the real story of this group of Hurricanes didn't begin with any of those things.

The backbone of this roster was forged in 2026 in the Mexican state of Tobasco in a town called Paraiso. In the municipality known for oyster fishing, oil rigs, and lush vegetation, some of the main parts of this merry band of misfits forged a bond that would carry them to two Landis Cups. That team in 2026 included 19 future BBA players and coaches, including arguably four of the most important pieces of this run of success.

The new administration had tabbed winter league manager (and former Vancouver boss) Lothar Platzdasch as the manager of the future and the person who would be tasked to shepard a group of youngsters as they looked to change the foundation of a floundering organization. Platzdasch had been a solid head man for the Mounties, but a power struggle with GM Brett Schroeder saw him demoted to the minors, and seemingly blackballed in the BBA. The rag-tag group in Greenville were the only ones that appeared to be willing to take a chance on him, and to make his way back to the bright lights of the BBA, he'd have to start on the back lots of the winter league.

After determining that Lothar did, in fact, still have the ability to lead young men, he was tasked with creating a 'dream team' of coaches that would transition from working in the Greenville minors to tutoring the club's top young prospects during the winter months. Platzdasch turned to two former BBA players in pitching coach Joey Cienfuegos and hitting coach Joe Lockhart. Neither had garnered much acclaim as players, nor as coaches, but Lothar saw something in each and tabbed them to work through the minors with him, tutoring the young stars. "Joey just has a knack for figuring out how to help pitchers improve their spin-rate and issue more groundballs than usual," said Platzdasch, "While Joe has an ability to develop a personal relationship with his hitters that gives him an intimate knowledge of how they tick and how to keep them on track."

That season, those three began grooming a group of players that included uber-prospects Norris Rutledge, Vicente Chavez, and Felipe Baez (a key to the Workman deal). Also on that roster was reliever Rob Fuller, infielder Edgardo Pagan, and pitchers Steve Riley and José Rodríguez.

The team would go on to a 28-12 season and a 2nd place finish, but the results on the field were secondary to the bond that was established between those three coaches and three of the prospects who would go on to become two-time champions. Platzdasch, Lockhart, and Chavez have been nearly inseparable since. All three working in Folsom in 2027, Gotham in 2028, and making their full-season debuts in 2029, leading the club to it's first playoff appearance since 2022.
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Re: Tropical Tidbits 34.02 - In the Beginning....

Post by Ted » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:20 pm

It kind of sneaks up on me how long other teams have had a certain player core. I think it's only been a few years, and it turns out it's been half a decade or more.
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Re: Tropical Tidbits 34.02 - In the Beginning....

Post by RonCo » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:07 am

When you find a good management team, it's always a plus.
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