Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Season, Part 19

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Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
Part 18

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The Season, Part 19

Newspaper Articles by beat writer Dick Holt of Note:

Trade Bait, but No One’s Biting (12 June)

Rumors swirling around an impending trade involving center fielder Bran Stromer came to a head yesterday as an official with the California Diablos stated that the team would not be interested in Stromer without the addition of utility infielder Kent Andrews to the deal. The Sparatans had been hoping in a package that would have centered around Diablos’ relief pitcher Josè Morenas; the deal had been considered one of the most likely to occur as the trade deadline approaches at the end of this month.

The Spartans’ need for a long man in the bullpen is well known. The Haus brothers, who own and general manage the Spartans, are willing to trade with a center fielder that many believe to be a future all-star in order to get Jeff Martin, Eduardo Gomez and Cory Daniels some much needed rest. Though Monty Allison’s starts have been better than most—including Spartans’ manager Pete Towers—expected, the chasm left by his absence in the bullpen has yet to be filled.

However, Stromer’s performance the last month has been lacking. When asked about his recent slump, Stromer did admit that a combination of factors including the trade rumors and the expecting of his first child with his wife, have become a distraction.

“It’s not right,” he told reporters, speaking after yesterday’s win over Florida, “I know I need to focus more. Everyone goes through slumps, but it’s up to me to get myself out of it.” When asked about this being a move to stonewall a trade, Stromer responded in the negative. “No, man, I wouldn’t do anything like that. I don’t want to be traded, of course, but if they send me somewhere, they send me somewhere.”

Despite the rumors and the slump, however, Stromer is still having a strong showing in all-star voting. He is currently in sixth place in voting for the outfield positions, out of 24 outfield spots for the Eastern team, which takes players from the East division as well as Memphis, Cleveland and Detroit.

New York, New York (June 15)

The Spartans lost a heartbreaker to the New York Knights yesterday, four to three, after giving up a two run home run from Jeff Pullman in the top of the ninth. Cory Daniels, who had only one blown save the entire season prior to yesterday, took the loss. He had not given up an earned run since the end of May.

The loss is especially heartbreaking as it means that New York can sweep the Spartans’ home series with a win tomorrow, putting them in a solid second place in the division. Both Hope City and New York currently trail New England, who is having a much better season than most expected. The Spartans have not taken a road series in New York since last June, and they have not taken a home series yet this year.

“It happens,” Daniels said after the game. “You win some, you lose some, but games like this hurt the most, because we’re the home team and we should win these games, especially given how close the standings are.”

Daniels attempted to take the blame for the loss after the game, but manager Pete Towers was quick to cut in saying that it was a hard loss to take, and Daniels had a pitch get away from him. Daniels, known for being ultra-competitive, however, refused to speak to the media after that, but instead was seen talking to pitching coach Steven King. Given King’s recent excommunication by much of the team, that the conversation happened at all is telling.

Daniels, however, is not the only one that should be at fault for the Spartans’ loss. Richie Haus struck out twice, once with two men on and only one out, and Adrian Martinez, who currently leads all-star vote getters, had bobbled a line drive in the third that lead to the Knights’ first run.

Despite Willy’s overall strong start, the Spartans were not able to muster much in terms of offense, though it is of note that Bran Stromer did have two hits and a walk, a sign, perhaps, that he is about to break out of his recent slump.

The game was briefly delayed in the fifth inning when a fan ran onto the field. He was quickly apprehended by security personnel and escorted off; he had been wearing a Spartans’ home jersey, with Leo Castiglione’s name and number on the reverse.

Pete Towers in Trouble over Adultery Scandal (June 18)

Tabloid reports of long-time Spartans’ manager Pete Towers’ rumored affair with the model Lily May were confirmed yesterday by Towers himself. Towers, who has been married to childhood sweetheart and grade school teacher Anne Towers (nee Gibbons) for twenty three years, admitted the affair when speaking to the media yesterday. In true Pete Towers form, he did not elaborate on the situation, but rather simply answered the question as it was asked

The question—is there any truth to the rumors concerning Lilly May—was answered with a simple “Yes, next question.” Towers refused to discuss anything else concerning the rumors, instead preferring to take questions on the Spartans’ prospects for the second half of the season. After he was done taking questions, he retreated into his office and did not leave until long after the media had been asked to leave the premises.

The admission comes as a shock to Spartan players and officials, but most of all to the fans, who have long prided Towers as a bastion of integrity. Indeed, local religious groups have often hired Towers in the off-season as a speaker at dinners and conferences for a considerable price tag. That reputation now is gone, and leaves Towers in a limbo that can likely only be remedied with a Championship win.

Anne Towers could not be reached for comment, though it is rumored she has retained Courtney Sellack, a premiere divorce attorney based out of New York.


  1. I love the way you write the newspaper entries. Poor Pete sounds in trouble. Hope it was worth it! I'm surprised he confirmed it though.

    Can't believe New England is in first! That is unacceptable!

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