Thursday, November 6, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Nashville Rebel Riders

Gorka Verdugo - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Buying Their Way to the Top
The Nashville Rebel Riders started life as the Austin Sooner Killers in season 1, and spent seasons in San Juan and Atlanta before arriving in Tennessee. Currently one of the better squads in the American League, the team has built a solid lineup centered around young players Pedro Franco and Enrique Guardado, and a veteran pitching staff. Steadily improving over the last few seasons, the Rebel Riders look like they have finally arrived and are poised to break through with a playoff run very soon.

#18 - Nashville Rebel Riders
Franchise Power Ranking: 33
Best Year: 95-67, s9 - Worst Year: 56-106, s2
Postseason Achievements: 3 Division Titles
Best Player: Mark Thomas - Thomas played for the Rebel Riders for 8 seasons, racking up 1,206 hits and 733 runs.
Best Pitcher: Gregory Hanson - Hanson was the Rookie of the Year in season 5, and has continued to impress, leading the franchise in career wins with 59.
Best International Prospect:
Jose Macias
Best Draft Pick: Kirk White
Franchise Theme Song: Money Talks by AC/DC - The franchise started off on iffy ground, but once owner snides45 started pumping in the cash, the wins started to happen. Now they have the 2nd highest payroll in the league.
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won their division in seasons 4, 5, and 9. Drafted future Fireman of the year Kirk White in season 5. Also drafted SP Jim Malone, now with the Huntington Hillbillies. Set a franchise high with 95 wins in season 9.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise recorded a 56 and 58 win years in seasons 1 & 2. Franchise has failed to sign 8 first round draft picks. Traded perhaps the best relief pitcher in league history, Kirk White, for Hayes Brinson, Mark Crespo, and Steven Floyd. Only Crespo is still with the team, and is a bench player.
Franchise Outlook: The team is performing quite well at the moment and is in the middle of what should be a good run atop the AL South. But their big spending ways are starting to show in their minor league system, so fans had better enjoy the good life now, because there isn't much on the way once this crop of players has had their day. But that's still some time off yet, so there is no reason to panic at the moment.

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