Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Boise S8 Wrapup / S9 Opener Press Conference

Well, the Shadow Wolves made their first ever playoff appearance last year after finishing with their best season ever at 84-78. Unfortunately it was a short lived celebration as the Monterey Sultans beat us in three straight games. It was however a learning experience for us. It was only the first playoff appearance for Boise, and we expect to see many more over the next decade. Every year we’re improving, and this year will be no different. Speedster Hal Ball and Derrek Bedard have left via free agency, as has Ralph Wilkins who was picked up by Los Angeles. Pete Rubel was expected to sign with another club in the off season, but is still undecided about where he wants to play. There is a possibility that the Shadow Wolves could make room in the rotation for him to return for another season.

The Monster made his big league debut to fanfare and fear, raking his way to the rookie of the year title. He is expected to challenge for the MVP this season. Santiago Martin had a slow year in the long bomb department, but still finished the season with a very respectable .308 average and just under a hundred RBIs. Spooneybarger, Lee, and Hammil all had twenty plus HRs, with the latter two hitting over eighty RBIs. Spooneybarger, along with Stone and Brogna all hit over seventy RBIs, with Stone adding 35 stolen bases. Victor Neruda made the jump to the big leagues last season as well, and though his bat was disappointing, his play in the field was impeccable, earning him a golden glove at 3B. Hal Ball led the team with 52 stolen bases. The Wolves made an off season deal that saw three prospects that were getting fed up with remaining in AAA being dealt to Scranton for solid 3B Jay Walker. With the addition of Walker, added to AAA players Caruso, Mendoza, Huang, and Carrasco all ready to be called up, there will likely be a trade or two coming in the near future for the Shadow Wolves.

Armando Lopez had a great season for us last year at long relief, leading the team in both ERA and WHIP. Weaver was solid in the set-up role as well. Victor Soto made the move to the bigs, and looked decent in his seven starts. Hector Manto also made a late season move to the major leagues. Dong Wang was decent at closer with 37 saves, but could still improve his game a little. The rest of the Shadow Wolves pitching was adequate, but not great. Wilkins has already been declined a new contract, and Delgado is in the final year of his current contract and needs to improve if he wants to return next season. Gandarillas and Medrano’s positions on the team are questionable after last year’s performances with Pete Rubel still available and some great pitchers coming up through the minors including Bruce Stairs, Russel Dixon, and Mandy Wall playing in AAA and looking ready to make the move onto the big league roster at any time. For the time being, we’re going to leave them in the minors for a little added experience, but shake ups aren’t out of the question down the road. We do feel we have a stronger pitching staff this year with Soto and Manto full time starters. If Stairs doesn’t make it to the show this year though, we will definitely see him next year, with Einar Crespo right on his heels.

We already feel we have one of the best lineups in the bigs. We can compete with any team at the plate. With our young pitchers gearing up to take over, we will soon have the pitching staff to match it. The Shadow Wolves got a taste of the playoffs, and we aren’t planning on going away. Ryan Hammil has handed over the reins of the team to Barry McEnroe, and the Monster is driven. He wants a WS ring on his finger, and he’s ready to lead the team to the WS. Is this the year the Shadow Wolves win their first playoff series? Can the Wolves make a deep push into the playoffs? Do they have what it takes to not only make the world series, but to win it? Watch your Boise Shadow Wolves on Wolves TV and find out.

Thank you from Wolf Industries and the Shadow Wolves management team.

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