Blogger note: I meant to post this last Friday but sometimes life happens. Nothing changes however, my prediction stays the same. I am also happy to report the Fat Cats went 1-1 on their season opening road trip...and most importantly...we found LaDale...
The smell of freshly cut grass. The first bite of pig and cow skeletal muscle and by-products fresh from the barbecue. The sound of a Harley Davidson’s tires squealing as Grape rides off into a beautiful spring sunset. May has arrived boizzz and girls and that can only mean one thing; it’s time for Fat Cat Baseball!
Turn (down the window) back the calendar to May 2011. The Fat Cat’s were entering their second season in the Nation’s Capital. Staring toward an uncertain future with low expectations, one had to wonder if the Fat Cat’s sophomore season would be their last. A few months passed, as did a few Matt McGovern 9k, 1 run ball games and what do you know? The little team with the uncertain future would sneak into the playoffs. The cats weren’t done there. Lead by their solid pitching staff and reliable fielding, the Fat Cats would make the IBL finals only to be bested by the Brantford Red Sox. The improbable play off run by the Cats made them the talk of the city. A year older and wiser, with a strong co4re of returning players leading the TEAM, they prepare to battle a host of teams looking to take one of their 9 lives…and it all starts this weekend.
This year’s team is stocked with a healthy mix of newbie’s and familiar faces. Do the Fat Cats have what it takes to return to the IBL finals? Let’s took a closer look and see…
The Cats return 3 regulars to the 2012 roster. Veterans Matt "The Gov" McGovern, Chris "Fernando" Latimer and Cody Mombourquette man the bags (when The Gov isn’t throwing fireballs from the mound that is) while newcomer Jason Coker has the unenviable task of replacing fan favorite Mark Charette at shortstop. Chemistry amongst the infielders was key in last year’s playoff run and the cats will need to recreate the magic if they hope to return to the promise land. One big question mark surrounding the Cats infield will be the catcher position. Ricky “Big Dawg” Howroyd has moved on to a Florida Montana’s and will no longer provide a rock solid presence behind the mound. Will Etain Moaz be able to fill the Big Dawg’s size 12 Air Force II special editions? The Cats better hope had better hope so as a solid catcher is a staple in the IBL.
The outfield sees the return of more familiar faces. Kevin Detrick, last years most consistent performer, returns his steady bat and solid fielding to the line up. Joe Stone also return’s his potato gun arm; base runners beware! The success of the outfield may lie on the capable shoulders of LaDale “Say Hey!” Haynes. Although the fastest man in
has not yet arrived to be with the team, he is expected in time for opening day. The fat cats count on his knack for high light reel catches because if nothing else, they’re provocative, they get people going! Keep your eyes open for “Say Hey” LaDale, he’s not from around here and could be wandering around the city lost… Ottawa
The cats will once again rely heavily on Matt McGovern to anchor the pitching staff. He and newcomer Marc Andre Major will form a formidable 1-2 punch, giving the starting rotation more depth then in previous seasons. With “the Gov” and Major shouldering a lot of the load the Cats will also be seeking contributions from veterans Brett Sabourin, Josh “May the Beard be With You” Soffer and Danny “Evil Kenivl” Desclouds. New comers Brandon Huffman and Will Sebastien will also see some innings of work. No you’re radar is not broken Huffman has been reported to hit the low 90’s with his fastball. Can you say Dijon mustard with a dash of horse radish? Ehhh yoooooo!!!! The Cats will once again field one of the most solid bullpen’s in the league and if last year is any indication, solid pitching can bring a team a long way come July/August (Playoffs baby!)
The 2011 Fat Cat’s were team that capitalized on opportunity. The top of the order always managed to find a way on base while the power hitters did just that; hit for power. With Big Dawg and Charette having moved on to greener pastures, someone new will have to step up and get Latimer and Mombourquette circling those bags. We know Kevin Detrich is up to the task, but who else will rack up the RBI’s? This in my mind is the biggest obstacle facing the Cats. Can they find consistent offensive production? Only time will tell and that folks, is why we play the damn games.
Having no knowledge of the other teams or players I find it very difficult to tie my well respected name to a prediction. That has never stopped me before however…I predict the Fat Cat’s will finish third in the regular season and run the gantlet, sweeping the 2012 IBL playoffs and bringing the city of Ottawa it’s first IBL championship! I also predict Grape will continue his mischievous antics! The tax man will continue to offer up discounted rates on financial services alongside Sports Centre Top 10 worthy spills and crashes – can someone get the damn shopping cart some new wheels? And the Fat Cat’s faithful will continue to lead the league in alcoholic beverage consumption – I can do my part on that one and I trust our faithful readership will do the same.
Let's Go Fat Cats!!!