Friday, May 1, 2009

New Kids on the Block, Part One: Houston gamblers

HISTORY: mdz2221965 is just the 3rd owner in the proud history of this AL South franchise. In fact, the team has never left Texas, playing two years in Arlington before moving to Houston in Season 3. mdz takes over from rudedogg, a 9-year owner that made playoff trips in 5 straight seasons, including a World Series Appearance in Season 4.

The dog however fell on hard times after he was connected to a gambling operation with links to Michael Vick's former Bad Newz Kennels. Suddenly the Houston community didn't feel safe at Heavy Hitter games, and the dogs ridden by monkeys race promotion caused quite a stir. Rather than try to re-hab the team's image, dog sold to mdz who made his fortune franchising Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurants throughout the greater Houston area. His only non-Texas location briefly opened in New York, but closed shortly thereafter due to neighbor complaints.

OUTLOOK: All 555 of Banjo White's HR's have come for the franchise and he teams with Charles Dong to form a bopping duo. Willis Gordon remains one of Second City's greatest closers, but only 1 of last year's starter won 10 games (Adrian Smith with 11). The rotation looks to struggle again and will likely keep the Gamblers from slugging their way to a division title with a big spending Monterrey the pre-season favorite.

NAME: Many believe that the moniker pays homage to the defunct USFL Franchise by the same name. However, mdz is actually paying tribute to his all-time favorite performer - Kenny Rogers. Rogers was in fact hired as the official mascot of the USFL Houston Gamblers and was slated to perform during every half-time. He pulled out however after a dispute about locating a Roasters franchise near the stadium. mdz was of course to be the manager of said franchise. And now you know, the rest of the story.

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