The San Francisco Fightin Friars celebrated their first ever World Series title with a parade down the streets of the city yesterday. Parades in San Francisco always bring out an interesting crew and this one was no exception.
While the fans were over-joyed at the title, many were equally concerned about the future. The Fightin Friars have a number of difficult off-season decisions to make. Two starting position players, 3B Michael Lee, RF Jose Escobar, and two key pitchers, staff ace Dude Wheeler, and 5th starter Terry Pressley are all eligible for free agency. Eleven additional players are eligible for arbitration. No matter what decisions the Friars, make, everyone expects the payroll to rise significantly from last seasons $83 million.
But today was about celebrations. One fan did appear at the parade dressed as a deranged bunny wielding a chain saw to demonstrate his belief that ownership intends to dismantle the championship team. But this team was carefully built by duece112 and dspahlinger on the strength of the high draft picks that came with early tradition of losing. Since duece arrive, that tradition has done a 180, with the squad winning 3 straight division titles. Kevin Canseco (#1 overall, season 6), Dude Wheeler, (#3, S4), and Vinny Jameson (#16, S11) are all draft picks that contributed to the title. Many others were used in deals to acquire key pieces. This is not a franchise that was built for one season, but for the long haul, so expect to see them back competing for the AL pennant this season.