JOBA THE HUT CHAMBERLIN HEADS TO BETHESDA

For Immediate Release
October 14th, 2011

Bethesda, MD (MWBL PRESS) –

Some celebrated while others ran amok in the streets of Bethesda last night as the team announced its latest acquisition from the Roseville Thorns– 26-year old Yankee reliever-turned starter-turned reliever-turned Humpty Dumpty-armed Joba Chamberlain.

Chamberlain was acquired along with Roseville’s 5th and 10th round draft choices in the upcoming 2012 preseason MWBL draft in exchange for former Cinncinati Red starter Aaron Harang. Harang’s move to the San Diego Padres had rejuvenated his major league career much in the way that a farm kid might find a quarter in a pile of cow manure.

The rioting sounded within minutes of the trade announcement on local television, completely taking off guard the city’s Emergency Measures personnel as the crowds spilled into the streets, flipping over cars, smashing windows and grabbing whatever kitsch they could get their grimy hands on from the beleaguered shops along Bethesda Row.

Fortunately, as the rioters made their way through the intersection of Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue they strayed a little too close to Dunkin Donuts.

“I never saw so many cops pop up so fast,” screamed one would-be looter as he fled from the wave of riot shield-brandishing police that emerged from the double doors of the all-night coffee and donut chain.

Riot and regular police on foot were able to keep the crowd from merging with a smaller mob that had formed along Wisconsin Avenue just long enough for a white panel van from WUSA9 to roll in and over an external loudspeaker belt out “We apologize … it was Joba Chamberlain that is coming to Bethesda! Repeat … Joba Chamberlain.”

Scenes like the above immediately broke out throughout the crowd as the shouts and screams turned to cheers, laughter and audible sighs of relief.

As it turned out, the widespread panic was the result of a previously somewhat erroneous report that it was not Joba Chamberlain that was coming to Bethesda, but rather Star Wars’ biggest baddie Jabba the Hut (pictured below). Hut had last been in the city in 2003 at the massively unsuccessful Halcon ’03 Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and had apparently had left a less than favorable impression on the city.

“We’re just plain relieved,” said Nelson Juarez from the dispersing mob. “Joba’s much more welcome … I just wish his arm wasn’t quite as useless as Jabba’s right now.”

Chamberlain was 3-5 with a 5.79 ERA in 73 innings for NOR last season. His best seasons were his first two (2008-2009) with WCS whereas primarily a reliever, he was a combined 11-5 with an ERA of 2.13.

Harang, 33, was 5-8 with a 4.39 ERA for Bethesda and brings to Roseville a lifetime MWBL 67-100 record and 4.43 ERA. Harang was a 16-game winner for MID as recently as 2007 after slogging through three seasons (3-11, 2-20, and 6-15) with Coconut Creek. Roseville is Harang’s 5th team in the last five years.

Bethesda’s new GM Dan Hedaya, more popular known as Nick Tortelli from 1980s Cheers sitcom fame, hinted that the amassing of draft picks in trades in the past few days was part of the team’s commitment to future growth.

“We have a core of starting pitchers (Brandon Morrow, Ian Kennedy, Luke Hochevar) who can throw the ball almost as well as Sam Malone could and we want to build on that. We brought in (Brett Myers) from the Coconut guys almost as a “wtf – why not” kind of thing to soak up some innings. Harang pitched OK, but his ERA outside of Padre-City was like 4.70 or something and we thought he was just lucky he didn’t start on the road for San Diego more often in 2011. It looks like he’s gonna be moved in the off-season and we don’t like his chances of ever being graded as a 10 Y again. Plus, he’s older than dirt.

“Hopefully Daisuke Matsuzaka and Chamberlain can get their arms sewn back on for next season and then we’ll have something good to throw out there pretty much every day.”

Hedaya also saw Alex Sanabia’s bit role for the Marlins last in the season as a positive sign that the team may be looking at him as an end of the rotation solution for next season, which of course would translate into another starter for the Bandicoots. The addition of Chamberlain (15 YZ) adds yet another quality option to a well-stocked bullpen that includes innings eater and original Bandicoot Alfredo Aceves of Boston (18 Y G), 2010 2nd round draft pick Drew Storen of Washington (17 YZ), 2011 Waiver Draft pick up Cristhian Martinez of the Braves (14 YZ), and A’s reconstructed arm Joey Devine (13 WY H) another original Bandicoot that the team has stuck with through his uncarded days. Rounding out the bullpen will be Indians’ prospect Nick Hagadone (16 WX H), Shawn Kelley (17 YZ H) who emerged from major arm woes to toss 12+ scoreless innings at season’s end for the Mariners, and swingman Mark Lowe of Texas (9 Y). Nearly useless Jared Burton and Tony Pena Jr. are expected to be cut before the season’s start.

“I’m not gonna lie to you … the infield is pretty much for shit,” he said, spitting into a nearby potted fern. “We got more holes than that thing over there (waves his arms crazily about his head) with all the holes in it. Kelly (Johnson) is gonna be the 2nd base guy, Scotty (Sizemore) is getting the main time at 3rd, and (Chris) Davis looked promising enough for us to give him a shot at time between 1st and 3rd … but then what? Am I gonna have to get my kid to play? Stretching Iggy (Jose Iglesias) and his 6 at bats over 162 games is going to be a tough job y’know – kind of like trying to fit a thong on Roseanna Barr (shudders) if you had the nerve, the Kevlar gloves and a nasty bit of snow blindness.”

After Johnson, it does indeed look ugly and things are rotten in more places than Denmark. Sizemore and Davis are part-time plays who combined could manage enough coverage for 3rd base for the season. Shortstop is a gaping wound at the moment with 1st round pick Tsuyoshi Nishioka being the likely fill-in after a season in which he did more damage to a US city (Minneapolis) than Godzilla could ever have dreamed. Nishioka had all of five extra base hits in 221 at bats with the Twins in 2011 as part of his .524 OPS.

“I’ve seen better hitting from my 4-year-old nephew Zach, playing whiffle ball out back of the house,” lamented Hedaya. “Those other guys (utility men Jayson Nix, Joe Mather, Diory Hernandez, Adam Rosales) just plain suck. Just about anything is better and if they’re out there much at all this season or even on the team I swear I’ll go back to smoking and line dancing.” Clearly the acquisition of help at first base and shortstop are huge priorities in the coming draft. “There’s guys like (Jack) Hannahan, Luke Hughes, and Eddie Johnson who aren’t anything sexy but are available in the draft and they’ll do until Nishi gets his crap together or Iglesias is finally up with the Sox for good.”

The outfield looks a little patchwork but there should be enough quality out there that the team should be able to manage a decent improvement over 2011’s woeful offensive showing.

Left field should be the stomping grounds of Jon Jay (a 3rd round pick in 2011) with Michael Brantley (recently acquired from Motor City for Jesus Flores) getting most of the time in centrefield and Chicago Mobster castoff John Mayberry Jr. (acquired in Feb 2010 for Augie Ojeda) platooning in right field with Casper Wells (4th rounder in 2011) and Travis (Lost in Space) Snider. Lorenzo Cain will get a little bit of time and should blossom as the Royals hopefully end their love affair with Melky Cabrera.

With lean pickings throughout the league and in the draft at catching and Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Flores gone in trades, the backstop duties will likely fall to 2010 3rd rounder Josh Thole and default solution Chris Gimenez.

On trading away the 1st pick overall to Coconut Creek for Myers, Coconut Creek’s 2nd rounder and Cubs’ prospect outfielder Brett Jackson, Hedaya was almost apologetic.

“Yeah, it kinda sucks doing that, but we think Jackson is a high quality guy that we couldn’t pass up on and we only dropped like 40 picks back to get him and Myers. Besides … there’s nothing that screamed at me that was like a Strasburg, Price or whoever that was an obvious #1 choice. Let someone else look like a bozo and pick the next Pepe Frias. We have 13 picks now … we need some of those to fill in holes in the infield, pick up some at bats at DH and in the outfield and add an arm or two to the rotation … I figure between the draft and those other guys (Diory Hernandez, Joe Mather, Lastings Milledge, Jayson Nix, Wilkin Ramirez, Adam Rosales and non-carded Justin Maxwell) we have 10 major league roster holes to fill and as many as 7 prospects to pick up.

“If we use up all 7 of those uncarded slots that means we’ll have 6 picks to fill those 10 roster spots so we’ll have to carry four guys from that list (Hernandez, Mather, et al.) unless we keep Maxwell and toss him in as one of our 12 minor leaguers. We’ll see how it goes but it looks like Milledge, Mather (now with Colorado) and Ramirez will probably be back. Nix is on the bubble and Hernandez and Rosales are just too painful to watch. Man, I can’t wait for 2014!”

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