2012 Outlook: 20 (31st)
With holdovers from last year like Brian Roberts, Chase Utley, Magglio Ordonez, Michael Wuertz, Rickey Henderson, and Gaylord Perry, it’s bound to be a long season. Rookies like Melvin Mora’s quintuplets aren’t close to contributing. Besides, spotty recent Internet service means lineup changes may not happen regularly, and a commitment to focusing on things other than fantasy baseball means that significant trade activity is unlikely. For this season, there are very few teams with less hope.
2013+ Outlook: 20 (31st)
Next year, it’s not looking any better. Although the 34-year Gaylord Perry contract will finally (!) be off the books, the decision to extend Chipper Jones this spring means that even before the draft, the team will already be at a disadvantage. The minor league system is completely barren, mostly due to the lack of a minor league system in the league’s settings, but, still, the rules can’t take all of the blame. And for 2014 and beyond, there’s literally nobody on this team.
Financial Resources: 20 (31st)
My check bounced. It’s tough to admit it, but I wasn’t keeping good checkbook records, and I thought I had enough in my account to cover the yearly fee… but I didn’t. Which, combined with new austerity measures, limited budget for website subscriptions and pre-season annuals, and lack of ink in the toner cartridge, puts me at the bottom of the rankings in this category as well.
Baseball Operations: 20 (31st)
It’s a distracted front office, with many non-baseball demands, including the dishes in the sink and the laundry in the hamper, and, no, I don’t know why there’s that much dust under the bed. No recent investments in new technology, and the mass resignation of the fleet of unpaid interns who had expected more hands-on work have made the team office a shell of what it could be. It’s hard to imagine worse than setting lineups on a first-generation BlackBerry and using a generic spreadsheet program to prepare for the auction because we couldn’t spring for Excel.
Overall: 20 (31st)
For every positive about this team– and there are none– there are an undefined number of negatives. The current team has something like ten outfielders but no active pitchers. There’s a pile of old Baseball Prospectus annuals, but are any of them from the past six seasons? There’s plenty of charge in the BlackBerry, but there are no baseball-related applications on it. There might be light at the end of the tunnel, if I win the battle for a new stadium, er, home office, but that doesn’t seem likely. There’s really nowhere to go but up, but there’s no reason to think there will be any movement in that direction anytime soon. Another decade of last place finishes seems inevitable.
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