As you may know, I have decided to end my tenure as the GM of the Cleveland Indians (soon to be Spider Guardians) after ten painful seasons. A tenure that almost ended before it started. I remember the first trade I made in this league was based around sending Carlos Santana to Miami for Hanley Ramirez. The reason I bring this up is because, after that trade, I saw in the chat on ProFSL at the time that our former commissioner and current Capitol Building-stormer and Tiki Torch enthusiast Sowders completely badmouthing me and my inability as a GM. Back then I wasn’t the emotionally stable winner that I am now, and I almost quit right then and there. I’m glad I didn’t though because I won 103 games that season (eat a dick Sowders) and met some people that I am now proud to call friends. I just wanted to use this space to touch on my journey a little and acknowledge a couple of people who have helped me along the way.
The initial season was my most successful. Ironically, and maybe this is the secret to success in OOTP, I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. We won 103 games (as mentioned above) and finished with the best record in MLB Pro. This was in spite of the fact that my best offensive player, Jim Thome, inexplicably retired with two weeks left in the season to “explore his career opportunities.” These career opportunites were him becoming the hitting coach of Arizona’s AAA Mobile BayBears. So that was cool. We met the eventual-champion Toronto Blue Jays in the first round. This leads to the infamous inside-the-park home run in extra innings that eliminates me and starts my disdain for this team.
While not as successful, we won 99 games in the second season, good enough for the best record in the AL once again. Of note in this season, our pitcher Tom Milone won the Cy Young award. We were awarded with a first round matchup against the Boston Red Sox and yup, they would go on to eliminate us and win the World Series.
The next three seasons would start a pattern of us winning games in the high-80’s/low-90’s but narrowly missing out on the playoffs, including the 2016 season where we won 91 games but were eliminated on the final day of the season.
This is around where the bitterness started to build up so, we decided to rebuild, and it was fun. The third year into the rebuild, we surprisingly went 81-81, finishing second in the division. Fun fact: we have never finished 5th (or 3rd) in the division. We decided that we were ready to push back all in and compete again, building around what we thought was a solid core. But the team fell into it’s old habits again, pushing hard at the start of the season, only to collapse in September. And that leads us to today.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in this league; trades I should’ve (or shouldn’t have) made; signing free agents I didn’t need; being nice to Rocky; I could go on forever. One thing I continuously did that was never a mistake was staying in this league. Maybe staying in Cleveland was, but not staying in this league.
So many of you have made these ten years so memorable and, for the most part, fun, and I can’t thank you guys enough.
Matt E, for all the hard work you put in running this league for us and emasculating Soze every year for my amusement, thank you.
Soze, for constantly allowing me to vent to you instead of me burying it deep down and eventually having an aneurysm, and for being emasculated every year by Matt E for my amusement, thank you.
Brenton, for not only providing copious amounts of entertainment with the podcasts, both sober and drunk, but for being one of the nicest guys in this league since day one, thank you.
Hodges, for always being willing to be a sounding board for my trade ideas, and putting up with me any time I needed to vent, especially last season when your team was a big reason I needed to vent, thank you.
Heinz, for being another sounding board for my trade ideas, allowing me to vent, and being one of the few GMs who would dig for prospects in a potential trade with me instead of telling me all my prospects are shit because OSA doesn’t rate them in the top 20, thank you.
Eddie, for giving me a reason to log into Slack most days by bugging me with constant trade requests. And also for showing me that there is more to a rivalry than telling someone to eat a dick, thank you.
Jabs, for being one of the nicest dudes in this entire league’s history. I miss when you used to get smashed and record podcasts where you would loudly burp into the mic. Thank you.
Brookman, for always being willing to call out some bullshit in this league and despite your blunt nature, you were always nice to me. That makes me feel special, so thank you.
I’m sorry that I can’t mention everybody here. If I didn’t mention you above, either I genuinely like you and I just forgot (I’m sorry), or I don’t like you and I didn’t forget (I’m not sorry). But for all of you, no matter which camp you fall into, if you have been even the tiniest part of my journey in MLB Pro, thank you.
I have left one GM deliberately for last and he is the main piece in my MLB Pro journey so far.
Rocky, for the record, I don’t remember how our rivalry started, but I assume it was from you being a dickhead. Our rivalry is some of the most fun I have had in the entire history of this league and I 100% truly mean that from the bottom of my cold, black heart. We may no longer be division rivals, but this doesn’t change the fact that you will always be a complete and utter fuckwit. Eat a dick Rocky.
Thoughts and Thanks from a Kiwi