Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Durham Pitbulls

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Sweet Lou

The Durham Pitbulls started off life in Cobb World as the New York Mets, the team of then commissioner metsmaniac2. The team had a promising future, boasting sluggers Rob Quinn and Roosevelt Lowell, and pitchers Junior Park and Harry Feliz. But after metsmaniac ditched the league the next few seasons weren't kind to the franchise, as season 3 saw the departure of much of that talent and season 4 endured a year under the management of phillyfan33. Current manager alogman1 took over the team in season 5, and has been building through the draft ever since, and it is finally starting to pay off in wins at the ML level, with season 9 MVP Louie Tarraga leading the way.

#25 - Durham Pitbulls
Franchise Power Ranking: 24.5
Best Year: 91-71, s1 - Worst Year: 61-101, s
Postseason Achievements: 1 Division Championship
Best Player: Louie Tarraga - Tarraga has been steadily improving since making the majors for the Pitbulls in season 7, to the point where he won the season 9 MVP.
Best Pitcher: Harry Feliz - Feliz carried the franchise to a division title in season 1, and was a dominant pitcher during the early years of the league.
Best International Prospect:
Alex Liriano
Best Draft Pick: Louie Tarraga
Franchise Theme Song: Louie Louie - The Kingsmen - The franchises gradual improvement can be directly linked to the improvement of their star player, Louie Tarraga.
Franchise Highlights: Won the NL East in season 1 behind all star seasons from Harry Feliz, Rob Quinn, and Roosevelt Lowell. Drafted MVP Louie Tarraga with the #5 pick in the season 5 draft, and All Star Ernest McConnell with the #6 pick in the season 1 draft. Louie Tarraga won the NL MVP in season 9, a franchise 1st. Wiki Vazquez had a wing named after him at the Duke University Hospital in Durham.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise caused the first trade controversy in league history with the deal of Diego Nieto and parts to Fargo for Roosevelt Lowell and parts. Season 4 saw a whirlwind of talent enter and exit the franchise with trades involving Kazuhiro Ong, Sarma Inge, Ernest McConnell, and Roosevelt Lowell. Franchise has not had a winning season since season 1. Talented hitter Wiki Vazquez leads the franchise with 5 trips to the 60 day DL in his career.
Franchise Outlook: Things are looking up. The minor league system is now in much better shape and is paying dividends in the majors. Starting with Louie Tarraga, the Durham minors have produced several productive players, also including Hawk Gutierrez, and future ace Tanner Halama. With the continued improvement of it's young players, and the finacial flexibility afforded by their contracts, the Pitbulls should break .500 for the first time since season 1 very shortly. But it will be tough to make the playoffs in what is currently the hardest division in the National League.

1 comment:

SenorPloppie said...

The franchises gradual improvement can be directly linked to the improvement of their star player, Louie Tarraga. {Who was traded in the off season to Fargo -Dooming the franchise for eternity to last place finishes.}