Sticking Points 2036.4: All the Chips in the Middle

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Sticking Points 2036.4: All the Chips in the Middle

Post by aaronweiner » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:49 pm

The Rockville Pikemen would have been a pretty darn good team if they had simply done nothing over the past two years to improve themselves. With a huge lineup and a rotation headed by Enrique Gomez and Arthur Dempster, the Pikemen were built for winning and won 99 games in 2034 to begin a strong three-year stretch. However, the Pikemen have recently gone even further. Rockville has dealt top prospects and even captain Andre Georges in an effort to not just secure a potential championship team but a championship nucleus for years to come.

"We've been pushing it very hard over the past few years, and we're liking the results so far," said Pikemen GM Aaron Weiner. "It's tough parting with so many players but we've figured out ways to manage and we're just so young on the field and so talented."

The key to this strategy has been pairing pitchers with superstar starting pitcher Arthur Dempster. Dempster is just 27 years old and in the prime of his career, and and he is as dominant a starter as there is in the BBA right now. However, the deals for Cannon and Martin filled a need for the Pikemen: Cannon is 28 years old, and Martin is 27, and the team will likely be grouping these three starting pitchers together for the better part of the next decade.

"Enrique is amazing, he's maybe the best pitcher in baseball, one of the best in the BBA for the last decade, but he's also 36 years old," said Weiner. "That's why our top priority was putting together a rotation that would be there with Dempster for years to come, that could grow old together, and maybe extend our championship life."

Keeping the Pikemen's nucleus of lineup members together will be a little bit more of a challenge. After all, there are only so many players a team can pay. The Pikemen are giving a big raise to Francisco Flores next year and will give one to Mario Guerrer as well. With players like Manuel Marino, Lorenzo Palacios, and Chip Puckett due to hit arbitration in 2038, the Pikemen might start to feel a bit of a budget crunch.

"Obviously we want to keep this group together as long as possible," said Weiner. "They just won two pennants in a row. These are some amazing ballplayers. It'll be interesting to see what we do long-term."

For now, the Pikemen, who now have potentially the worst farm in the BBA, have pushed all their chips into the middle to win now, down the road, and in the future. It'll be interesting to see what they can accomplish, starting with this year's Landis.

"We're young, we're hungry, and we want this bad," said Palacios. "This will validate all the hard work we've put in as individuals and as a team all year and all our lives if we win this thing. We want to win."

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