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I Got Hosed

Merry Christmas, Capra!

I, of course, am off to a great start to the year. Part of this is all my fault, and part of it is all on the website we love to hate. Somehow, checking the site five times a day is still not enough for me to realize that I needed to protect my minor leaguers before pm today. It's been made known since the schedule came out that today was Rule 5 draft day and that I needed to protect my players. So, of course after a flurry of trades and moving around players to get who I wanted and have space for the guys on the 40-man roster (I had just traded Curtis Wood on the 21st), I went on to finalize things this afternoon about 1 pm. Imagine my surprise when I looked on the roster management page and it told me that I couldn't make any moves. Naturally, on the schedule page it tells us that the roster freeze was this morning and that the draft is tonight. My thinking was the freeze and draft were tomorrow and the best defense I can muster is that I got Christmas Eve and Christmas mixed up. My fault.

So, I did the best I could to try to protect my players. The two that I was going to add to my 38-man roster were pitchers, Jason McNamara and Anthony Canseco, both of whom I have spent the last few years grooming for the big leagues. I had no intention of trading or letting either of them go. For sure, they were going on my 40-man roster this year. I thought, anyway. To make it less likely that they be picked, I changed them to shortstops, hoping the league might miss them there. Naturally, they went in the first 18 picks of the draft, along with two other players from my franchise. Clayton Lloyd was picked late to make it five North Stars that were taken, adding insult to injury. Thank you, league, for raping my franchise and taking two more players from my team than you did from anybody else (oddly enough, two was how many roster spots I had to fill, hmm...).

Of course, I couldn't protect them all on the 40. I only had planned to keep the two of them. But, Clayton Lloyd and Stan Russell had not even played an inning for the North Stars and I gave up players hoping against hope that I would keep them. I also lost my vacuum cleaner of a shortstop at triple A. This, though, is what the Rule 5 draft is designed to do and I don't fault the website for doing that to my team. I had to decide to not keep them.

The part that really gets me is that I lost Canseco and McNamara. McNamara I desperately needed to keep because he was a big piece of The Worst Trade I Ever Made. For those keeping score at home, to recap I traded the Doubles Machine, Ernest Lamb, who has 175 doubles in his first 3 seasons. I also gave up a throw-in pitcher, and in exchange I got a horrible first baseman, Sammy De La Vega; a good prospect pitcher, Davey Rivera; and the aforementioned McNamara. Of course, De La Vega flopped, McNamara has struggled somewhat, and Rivera hasn't been as dominant as his high expectations demand. The sole consolation from that trade, the one I regret every day, is that McNamara and Rivera were going to play pro ball for me at the Metrodome. Now, they won't.

I messed up, and of course the site wouldn't let me get away with it. Capra is too competitive for me to not have to stay on my toes all the time, which is a good thing. I'm willing to try to fix my mistake but now I have to throw myself on the mercy of the league just to get back a player that I already overpaid to get.

I like the fact that the website now uses the Rule 5 draft, although it's going to burn me every time. Hopefully it will make the league more competitive, but as I said it shouldn't be possible for me to lose out on a player like McNamara or Canseco when I obviously meant to keep him. The offseason is too long and I think that's part of why I wasn't on my A-game and lost out. It also is a bit of a drag if people are gone for two days and miss arbitration and coach rehiring. They really should be able to do those kinds of things beforehand and I don't see why we need a day to do them when those could take place at any time during the offseason basically. While we are waiting for the world to roll over, we could pick up options, arbitrate, and rehire coaches during a time when the league currently is in complete hibernation. We also don't need coach hiring to be as complex and convoluted as it is. I'll get off my soapbox now; thanks for listening and I hope your Christmas is better than mine.

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Minnesota North Stars All Time Team 

Catcher

Hardball Dynasty'sJose Almonte
Jose Almonte
Years Active: -2 to 11
Years with North Stars: 0-11
Claim to fame: 1,496 consecutive games played (Capra record)
Awards: All-Star (1, 4), Silver Slugger (4)

Almonte was an on-base machine, with 7 seasons of .400 OBP or better. That was also his career mark and he had 7 100-walk seasons. He also scored 92 or more runs each of the first 5 seasons of Capra, and hit 38 doubles in season 4. A forearm nerve injury ended his record games-played streak, particularly impressive considering he was a catcher.

Hardball Dynasty'sWesley Wilson
Wesley Wilson
Years active: 27-41
Years with North Stars: 36-41
Claim to fame: 98 RBI on a dismal 96-loss team in 37

Wilson had a long career and finished it with 3 straight seasons hitting over .300 with the club. His .322/.381/.547 slash line at age 34 was impressive.

Hardball Dynasty'sJeffrey Brow
Jeffrey Brow
Years active: 3-13
Years with North Stars: 3-…