Saturday, September 7, 2013

This Weekish in CFCL History

It's been a while since we've had a "This Week..." post.  The fact is, once the trade deadline passes, there aren't many transactions of a historic nature to report on.

The late August-early September period hasn't been completely bereft of notable moments, though, so here's a little catch-up, covering the action from August 11 through September 7:

Aug 12, 1994 DA PAUL MEISTERS are crowned 1994 CFCL Champions.
See the earlier post, The 1994 Season Ends.

Aug 30, 1988 COPPERFIELDS trade Eric Davis, Lance Parrish, and Keith Moreland to DEM REBELS for David Martinez, Jody Davis, Mike Schmidt, and Dave Dravecky.
See the post Trade Deadline Review:  1988
Sept 1, 1992 LAMBCHOPS trade Andy Benes to RUFFINS for Derrick May and their 1st round Rotation Draft pick in 1993.
Made at the 1992 trade deadline, this is a puzzling one for the Ruffins. At the time of the deal, they were in 3rd place 6 points out of 1st, but only a point behind the second place Six Packs. 

The Ruffins were 2nd in the Wins category, fully 6 Wins behind the first place team in that category. So why give up a hitter for a starting pitcher with just a month to go? Benes could have only been counted on for about 6 starts the rest of the season … it would have been rather optimistic of the Ruffins to expect Benes to win them all. 

Perhaps acquiring Benes wasn’t so much about gaining a point in Wins, but about avoiding losing one to the Six Packs, who were just 2 Wins behind the Ruffins in the category. 

Understanding that the Ruffins were limited in their trade partner options (under the rules, at this time of year teams could only trade with the teams directly above or below them in the standings), it’s puzzling that the Ruffins would choose to send a hitter to the Lambchops … the two teams were tied in Home Runs AND Runs Batted In at the time. A decent month by May for the Lambchops could have cost the Ruffins a point in a tight race. 

So, how did things turn out? 

Benes pitched great for the Ruffins – posting a 2.06 ERA and 1.08 Ratio in seven starts. He won only 3 games, though, and the Six Packs ended up passing the Ruffins in Wins. Bene’s ERA and Ratio didn’t help enough to make a difference. 

May did well for the Lambchops as well, hitting .295 with 3 HR and 16 RBI for the month. Luckily for the Ruffins, the Lambchops got hardly any production from the rest of their team (only 4 HR for the rest of the team COMBINED for September), and the Ruffins were able to pull away and gain offensive points. Overall, they were able to pass the Six Packs and secure 2nd place. 

As an additional perk, the Lambchops finished in 5th place, which means the 1st round pick they traded to the Ruffins ended up being the #1 pick overall. The Ruffins used it to select minor leaguer Phil Nevin, which would have been a great pick if Nevin didn’t end up being traded to the American League before he could produce for the Ruffins.

Sept 2, 1997 COPPERFIELDS trade their 15th round Rotation Draft pick in 1998 to DEM REBELS for Ryne Sandberg.
The Rebels show that, below the redneck persona they like to promote, they're really a classy organization.  See the earlier post, Ryno Returns, for the details on this one.
Sept 6, 1994 COPPERFIELDS trade Delino DeShields and Pedro A Martinez to DOORMATTS for Brad Ausmus.
This trade was actually the first completed during the 1994-95 off-season. The player strike ended cut the 1994 season short, and once the rest of the season was officially cancelled, the off-season trading season began. 

It seems like a ton to give up for a weak hitting catching prospect, but the first thing to understand is that this wasn’t THE Pedro Martinez, but his much less-talented namesake. The DoorMatts released him at Roster Freeze before the 1995 season. 

DeShields carried a .28 salary, and the DoorMatts cut him in their initial set of Winter Waivers that year, so the DoorMatts didn’t get any return for the deal. 

The best thing about this trade is that it put Brad Ausmus onto the Copperfields roster, and later that off-season he was the key component in the first-ever internet trade in CFCL history.

Sept 6, 1994 COPPERFIELDS trade Bruce Ruffin and Larry Walker to DEM REBELS for James Mouton and their 4th round Rotation Draft pick in 1995.
The 1994 strike did the Copperfields out of the chance to make a late season comeback and pass the eventual ’94 Champion Da Paul Meisters, so they must have been itching for action – two deals as soon as the 1994 season was cancelled and the off-season started. 

The Copperfields must have thought Walker’s .36 salary was too high, but the Rebels hit the jackpot when Walker, already a great hitter, went from Montreal to Colorado during the off-season. In the shortened 1995 season, Walker hit .306 with 36 HR, 101 RBI, and 16 SB. 

Ruffin – also a Colorado Rockie – was able to somehow tame the altitude and posted a 2.12 ERA with 11 Saves for the Rebels in 1995. 

The Copperfields cut Mouton prior to the 1995 Draft, and used the 4th round pick to select reliever Tim Scott who had a 3.98 ERA but only 2 Saves in 1995.  

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