A couple of very minor links:
-P- If you happen to be in North Carolina late this month and you'd like to ask Cam Bonifay some uncomfortable questions, here's your chance.
I hadn't realized someone (I'm not sure who; stop writing in passive voice, people!) named Bonifay "General Manager of the year" after the 1997 Freakshow season. I guess it goes to show how fragile reputations can be. The weird thing is that by all appearances, at the end of 1997, there was reason to think that Bonifay was doing pretty well. He'd grabbed Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon out of Mexico, he got a young Jason Schmidt and a then-promising prospect in Ron Wright for Denny Neagle, he'd signed Aramis Ramirez and traded for Craig Wilson. A ridiculously cheap team led by Jason Kendall, scrap-heap guy Kevin Young and a young rotation ended up contending almost accidentally.
But then it turned out Bonifay's drafting to that point had been mediocre, that he couldn't stop himself from promoting players to the big leagues too quickly, and that the surprise run in 1997 led him to pull the trigger on some hideous trades. And most of his high-profile prospects to that point (Chad Hermansen, Kris Benson, Wright) turned out to be disappointing.
By the way, the autotagger (the thing that creates links for all the players' names) gives me a weird little Bonifay diaspora. Benson and Cordova are listed as Rangers (Cordova played in the Rangers organization in 2002 but pitched in Mexico for several years after that), Wilson is a Mariner, Hermansen is an Angel (he was in Spring Training with them in 2008), Schmidt is a Dodger, Ramirez is of course a Cub, and Rincon is a Met (he had a bit part in New York's desperate 2008 bullpen shuffle before he headed back to Mexico).
-P- If you've ever wondered how many comments show up here at Bucs Dugout each year, or who the most prolific commenters are, here's some info for you.