Profile on the upcoming close of the 2009 Tri-City season.
Sports Editor Mark McGuire:
Maybe there's a more meaningless game than the Tri-City ValleyCats facing the Aberdeen IronBirds tonight at Bruno Stadium. Perhaps the Tuesday night game. That's the best I can do.
ValleyCats manager Jim Pankovits:
"Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to play a lot of meaningful games involving a pennant race. We struggled in just about every phase of the game. They certainly have a body of work that is full of adversity that they can call on down the road -- how they dealt with it positively or negatively. Certainly it was a learning experience in that respect."
For all the ineptitude, you can't say the ValleyCats underachieved; that would presume talent. While a small handful of players such as third baseman Erik Castro and shortstop Barry Butera may have gotten themselves on the radar of the parent club, the ValleyCats are too starved for power, speed and pitching to ever have been considered a contender.
And then this:
Enough. The fans and local management (which has no say on player personnel) deserve better.
The ValleyCats' franchise agreement with the Astros expires after 2010. Consider next season a make-or-break one -- not just for the to-be-determined players, but the Astros-ValleyCats union. Granted, the won-loss record of a Class A team is not paramount to the Major League club. But unless the Astros make demonstrable strides in getting some talent -- any talent -- to Troy (start by improving college scouting), then Tri-City owner Bill Gladstone should be looking elsewhere for a big-league affiliation.
So this morning we hear from Justice that Round Rock sucks enough to perhaps get taken away from the Astros. And that the NYPL team might suck enough to get taken away from the Astros after 2010. Rough year, huh?