Thursday, September 18, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Santa Fe Heat Wave

Guido Capozza - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - When Stadiums Go Bad

The Santa Fe Heat Wave suffered the same fate of every Cobb World team to attempt a run in one of the worlds most volatile stadiums, crushing defeat and fatigued pitching staffs. But it wasn't always this way for the franchise, which actually won a few division titles when it was based in Houston, and was fairly competetive during it's one year stayover in Richmond. But the lure of the offensive crackerbox that is Santa Fe drew in the team to three straight losing seasons, and some very high draft picks.

#27 - Santa Fe Heat Wave
Franchise Power Ranking: 24
Best Year: 88-74, s2 - Worst Year: 49-113, s6
Postseason Achievements: 2 Division Championships
Best Player: Javier Delgado - Delgado was the man during the then Houston Colt .45's two division championship seasons, including a .323 BA, 47 HR, 165 RBI season 1.
Best Pitcher: Ramon Li - Li is the kind of pitcher who would really just kind of fade in the the bullpen on most teams, but somehow he is the career leader in wins for the Heat Wave 49 franchise, and also racked up 21 saves.
Best International Prospect:
Hector Martinez
Best Draft Pick: Josh Price
Franchise Theme Song: Eruption by Van Halen - Perfectly encapsulates the offensive explosions that have rocked this teams pitching through the years.
Franchise Highlights: Division Champions in seasons 2 & 3, the only two times this team has made the playoffs. Won the division with a 70-92 record in season 3, the worst record for a division champion in Cobb History. Drafted future all stars Josh Price and Apollo Houston. Was managed in season 5 by joegeltz, who gave the team a the fantastic nickname of "Iron City Chip Chops."
Franchise Lowlights: Won the division in season 3 with a 70-92 record, the worst record for any division winner in Cobb history, indicative of the "Winnable AL South" era. Despite a bounty of minor league talent, the Colt .45's record never improved after season 2, including an abysmal season 4, with a franchise low 47 wins. Team was abandoned in season 6, but still won 2 more games than when the team had a manager in season 4.
Franchise Outlook: Could be worse - There are some pretty good young pitchers in the farm system, and the majority of the team is pretty young and cheap, meaning there is a lot of flexibility for the future owner to work with. While this franchise may not have the most talented major leaguers, they have enough players to win on any given day and surprise some people if they move to a park that is more pitcher friendly. If this team drafts some power hitters and another pitcher, they could be one to watch out for in 3-5 seasons.

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