Ron Costello

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Okay, Whose Turn to Roll the Dice?

Allegedly, Junior thinks the average fan cannot  make intelligent decisions when it comes to player development, signing player contracts, and fielding a major league team.

I'm not mentioning that he took a championship team in 2009 and basically ran it into the ground — into what could be the worst team in the major leagues. On the other hand, he couldn't have predicted the injuries to key players like Howard and Utley.

So is Junior getting a bad rap? Maybe, maybe not.

That's why I've come up with a new game called, Junioropoly.

Based on the game Monopoly, Junioropoly puts you, the fan, in the drivers seat. You become, more or less, Junior. As Junior, you have to move the Phillie Phanatic around the board, so that when you pass Go, the team is ready to compete in 2016.

Get it?

But there are mine fields in many squares on the the board. For example, instead of Go to Jail, you have, Chooch Gets 21 days on the DL; or Domonic Gets another boo boo and goes straight to the DL, not passing Go.

And just like the other game, there are two stacks of cards on the board. Some cards are good, some not so good. A good one could be: St. Louis is calling you and they want to discuss Hamels. Or, Harrang just stubbed his toe and wants to skip a turn in the rotation.

How about this one: Herrera goes 4 for 4, move five spaces ahead.

The point of the game is  this: the spaces, cards, and money are all based on realistic values of the current team.

Like the bank. Since the Phillies have a $146 million payroll while fielding a crappy team, you are facing other teams such as Atlanta, $97 million; Miami, $69 million; the Mets, $101 million; Pittsburgh, $90 million; but at the same time, the Nationals' payroll at, $162 million.

See how this works?

So you get choices to make. For example, would you have Sizemore and Francoeur in the outfield, while at the same time building your club for the future? Up to you, my friend.

And how about Darrin Ruf? You have choices when it comes to Ruf,  such as, will you start him as many times as Dominic Brown, to see what he can do? Would you platoon him against southpaws with Howard? Would you go with Asche at third or bring up Franco and let him play?

Careful, Ashe is off to a good start. Maybe you'll keep Franco down an extra year or two, to let Asche play — sort of like what happened to the Big Piece way back when. In baseball, like in life, history repeats itself.

Now in Juniorolopy, there aren't houses and hotels, but there are player's salaries, which are similar to houses and hotels. Okay, more like hotels. There are hotels you've got stock in, namely, the Howard  Rizt Carlton, the Paperbon Residence Inn, the Utley Doubletree, and the Hamels Hilton.

Sorry, the Lee Courtyard, like Radio Shack, has gone under.

Now, as Junior, you can't afford these hotels. Moreover, they are  keeping some of your younger players from taking the field. After all, can't see the hotels if you don't showcase them, right? The more you showcase, the more they stink, and the longer you keep them.

See what I'm sayin'?

Now most folks, when they watch a ball game, they don't think of these things. "Lovin' eyes never see." (name the song that's from and you get to move ahead 10 spaces)

They just watch the game. But when you play Juniorolopy, you've got to not only think about them, but deal with them.

For example, you may turn over a card that says: You just got a call from the Mets, they want to trade one  pitcher of similar value for Hamels, sort of like the Rick Wise for Steve Carlton trade, one for one.

By the way, what ever happened to those kind of trades?

In Junioropoly, you'll have problems trading a 9-9  pitcher for 2 or 3 can't-miss superstars, especially when that 9-9 pitcher is giving up more taters in April than McDonalds. And especially, that you made so many mistakes, you've got to cover them up by getting half a team for Hamels.

So what do you do?

Well, you could do what Junior is doing, patch together a team of old heads, spare parts pitchers, and players that an idiot in Las Vegas wouldn't bet will play the entire season. Sure, you can do that. But then what will you do when you turn over this card.

Tonight's attendance has been announced at 8,945, not counting standing room only, of course!

Thems a lot of empty seats!

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