Thursday, October 2, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Honolulu Islanders

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - It's a Long Way Back From the Bottom

The Honolulu Islanders seemed like they would be one of the dominant powers of the league after it's 99 win season 1 as the San Francisco Giants. Powered by a lineup of very good hitters, including MVP candidate Vasco Chantres, they looked like they would come back with a vengeance in season 2. But then original owner PitchtoBarry disappeared, and the team suffered enormously en route to a 28 win season, the worst in league history. The next year saw a horrible coaching disaster, and the total erosion of skills for most of the teams good young talent, including the ruination of Chantres (projected 93 at the time) skills. But a succession of good drafts have put the Islanders in a position to take advantage of their young talent soon, and possibly make a playoff run in the not so distant future.

#22 - Honolulu Islanders
Franchise Power Ranking: 26
Best Year: 99-63, s1 - Worst Year: 28-134, s2
Postseason Achievements: 1 Division Championship, 1 DCS victory
Best Player: Vasco Chantres - Chantres was an MVP candidate in season1, and
Best Pitcher: Rob Rubel - This is a franchise that has never been blessed with good pitching, and Rubel was the best during their only playoff season.
Best International Prospect:
Davey Silva
Best Draft Pick: Carlton Nelson
Franchise Theme Song: Alone Again by Dokken - "Alone again, without you..." is the line from this classic hair metal song that best describes this franchise that has suffered through abandonement and the loss through trades of half of it's first round picks and Davey Silva to Wichita.
Franchise Highlights: Won the NL West with a 99 wins and made it to the DCS in season 1 behind an MVP calibur season from rising star Vasco Chantres. Signed future Cy Young winner international Davey Silva in season 4. Franchise drafted future star Carlton Nelson with the #1 overall pick in season 3. Franchise also drafted future stars Milt Serafini (ROY), Jeremy Hernandez, Lawrence Shave, and Albert Burnett.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise was abandoned in season 2, finishing with a Cobb World record low of 28 wins in a season. Poor coach hiring in season 2 & 3 led to the complete destruction of rising star Vasco Chantres' skills, robbing the league of one of it's great talents. Franchise came out on the wrong end of many trades with Wichita, including the loss of Carlton Nelson, Davey Silva, Vasco Chantres, and Milt Serafini. Franchise hasn't had a winning season since season 3.
Franchise Outlook: The future is now for the Islanders as their collection of prospects are just hitting the bigs. At one point a complete disaster, this team has been carefully building through the draft for several seasons and should begin to see a payoff within 2-3 seasons as Omaha starts to age and loses steam. They aren't world beaters yet, but they have potential to be that way by season 12.

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