Bill Ziem- West Oakland


It's been a very good beginning to what I hope is a long relationship with Brassworld.  Being my first salary league, I was apprehensive regarding my GM skills.  Frankly, I had no clue as to how to draft an entire league and assign salaries to players.  I wish I could say I've learned alot.  Instead I can only say that I believe I've made quite a few mistakes.  Most of the problems are with over-paying players.


Some rather glaring mistakes-  Jose Hernandez will receive $3,000,000 for 2004 and 2005.  He hit .225 in 2003 and was cut by the Pirates.  Tony Batista will be paid $1.9 million for 2 years.  Not bad for a .235 hitter (.195 v lefties).  This is the left side of my infield!


Even some of the 'stars' are probably overpaid.  I get Kerry Wood, Richie Sexson and Bobby Abreu for 4 more years.  The problem is that they account for 42% of my yearly gate receipts at $7 Million apiece.  They are decent players, but not exactly Pedro, A-Rod and Vlad.


My lack of computer expertise has cost me a nuisance fine.  Getting used to a new computer has cost me time that could have been used to write $300,000 articles.  I had one written (in my head) when Masato Yoshii squared off against Kaz Ishii in May. How about 2 Japanese starters going against one another so early in our league?  Being a member of another league, having 2 teams in that league, has made life interesting.


All in all, though, I was fairly satisfied with 84 wins in the NL Mays division.  But, losing to Bill Galanis' Maryland club in the playoffs was disappointing.  Not that Bill didn't have a better team, but the matchup was terrible.  My club struggled with lefties all year.  Bill knew this and threw 4 lefties in 5 games.  I hate saying this, but Galanis is a very good owner/manager/general manager.


West Oaklands should be better in 2004.  We have made 2 trades, both of which may come back to haunt us in the future.  Gone are youngsters Carl Crawford and Jason Phillips.  Jerome Williams and Mike Mussina were acquired and will combine with Wood and Roy Oswalt to give the Wolves a decent core of starters.  One more solid starter is needed.  Mark Hendrickson is a year away.


I'm looking forward to free agency season. I'm not sure I haven't spent more than I should have.  Mistakes will be made, but I think that's the fun of learning a system such as we have in Brassworld.  Stay tuned.