Friday, August 8, 2008

Flashback to Season 2

Picking up where pvc left off, I review below Camp season 2, in which an upstart owner took over a fledgling 70-92 franchise and turned it into the World Champs in his first season.

Season 2 Recap

When a franchise relocates under new management after 1 season, it typically means that the franchise is destined for a few years of mediocrity at best. Not so in Camp season 2. Taking over a fledging Mexico City franchise run by a mysterious owner named "dwaskos," TxLnghrn jumped into HBD by naming his franchise the Austin Chin Music. The Chin Music went from 70-92 in season 1 to 98-64, largely because of one key trade mentioned below. Surprisingly, Austin swept through the first two playoff rounds, beating season 1 champ San Diego in the Divison Series, and the (then) Philadelphia Athletics in the LCS. The World Series paired the Augusta Pounders, winners of 106 games on the regular season, against Austin. In a thrilling 7-game series, Austin come out victorious. How did Austin go from the celler to the penthouse in one season? See the "Key Trades" below.


The league MVPs were Jamie Hillenbrand in the AL and Alex Rodriguez in the NL. Hillenbrand hit .377, hit 34 HRs, drove in 124 runs, and scored 166. The ironic thing about Hillenbrand is that he'd been traded in the pre-season from Austin to Colorado (see the trade details below), and yet Austin was a better team after the deal. Rodriguez, playing for Toronto, hit .345 with 50 HRs and 188 RBIs and an OPS near 1.200. Ronnie Walton of Augusta won the NL Cy Young, going 23-3 with a 3.48 ERA. Sid Tanner of Austin won the AL Cy, having gone 20-7 3.67 after being acquired from Colorado in the deal for Hillenbrand.

Key Trades

Which leads me to the key trades of season 2. Prior to the beginning of the season, Colorado proposed a deal that would send P - Sid Tanner, OF - Vic Hafner, and 1B - Julian Sanchez to Austin in exchange for OF - Jamie Hillenbrand and P - Rob Sanders. After hesitating to part with Hillenbrand (the best player on his team in season 1), Austin elected to go for it and strengthen his team in 3 areas. As noted above, Tanner went on to win the Cy and go 4-0 with a 0.57 ERA in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Hafner hit .294 with 41 HRs and 153 RBIs and made the all-star game, and Sanchez hit .333 with 17 HRs and 96 RBIs. So, even though Hillenbrand won the MVP, Austin made out like bandits on this one.

Another key trade was Toronto sending P - Enrique Gomez to New Orleans in exchange for 1B - Evan Harrison. While Gomez did go on to save 27 games for NO in season 4, Harrison has become a key cog in Toronto's current juggernaut. Finally, the Huntingon Hillbillies showed their deliverance-ness by trading 1B - Denny Spence to Arizona in exchange for two scrubs. All Spence went on to do was to average .340 for the next 6 seasons for the Chicks.