Friday, February 20, 2009

Bulldog fire sale? or not?

Rumors continue to swirl that the Burlington Bulldogs are trying to move their best players. But, the Bulldogs have the biggest lead in the NL at 7 games and are the 4-time defending NL East Champs. So why would a seemingly successful franchise be so keen to rebuild?

As Bulldog player-personnel chief Jim Mora found out, team owner mike1184 is all about winning in the post-season. Winning the NL East is a little like beating up your neighbor's kid brother. Yeah, it's nice to have won the fight, but you ain't exactly Joe Frazier. The 'Dogs have knocked the aging and reeling Crownrificos out of the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years. Only in Season 7 were they also able to take out the powerful Mexico City Bandejos. Some locals refer to mike1184 as the Steinbrenner of Vermont and with a 3-time division winning manager like Bob Coppinger being let go before the season - who can blame them? In fact, Bulldog management so bad-mouthed the departing Coppinger, that he had to settle for a Low-A job with Houston.

2 - Maple Syrup?

Bulldog owner mike1184 made his fortune in the Maple Syrup business. The low-carb crazy started by the South Beach diet hit the bottom line. Now, with the economy in the tank, Aunt Jemima is finding her way onto more tables while the authentic stuff and it's higher price tag stays on grocery shelves. Could the pullback in the syrup industry be hitting the bottom line too hard for the 'Dogs to continue paying franchise legends like Patsy Lindsey.

3 - Tony Soprano?
Miguel Gutierrez recently broke his leg stealing 2b against the Mexico City Bandejos. It seemed like a freak accident, but Bandejo 2B Jalal Rivera didn't seem particularly remorseful for landing on Guitierrez' leg. There have long been whispers that Rivera is connected to organized crime. In fact, many have theorized that he moved to Mexico to escape the street gangs of Virginia. But, could there still be a connection? Auditors have noticed irregularities with the Bulldog books and it could be that the struggling owner turned to a mob loan to finance team operations. When the team couldn't pay, and trades couldn't clear enough cap room, perhaps a message had to be sent.

Sure it's all rumors, but the talk continues.

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