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Los Malos Muchachos

It began with me collecting baseball cards, and learning that Roberto Clemente and I shared the same birthday month.  The Pittsburgh Pirates were a fun team to watch in those days, and Roberto Clemente was a special player – even to one who was playing little league ball with his friends.  Who could not see the joy at which Roberto played the game?  His spinning throws from right field to on target to catch a base runner at first base where unlike anything I had ever seen.  For such a great ball player, he always seemed modest.  When it was my turn to put a uniform on and play a game for the Cubs with my friend Scott Doll, I would put a spare Roberto Clemente baseball card in my back pocket (no way I was going to ruin a good one) and head to the ball park.

We lived just outside San Antonio Texas in Universal City and I played ball in the Live Oak Little League.  Scott Doll introduced me to baseball cards and while I was impressed with Scott’s stories of Carl Yastrzemski and the Boston Red Sox, I fell in love with Roberto Clemente and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Packs of baseball cards were 10 cents, and we could afford maybe two packs a week.  The day we could ride our bikes to the drug store to buy our pack of cards – and get a piece of the hard bubble gum – was always fun.  Johnny Bench and the Cincinnati Reds where beginning to assemble good teams, and the Oakland A’s with their owner Charlie O’Finley were entertaining.

I still remember the Sunday white uniforms that the Oakland A’s would wear when they played on Sunday afternoons.  Charlie may have been the first owner to have his team play in three different uniforms.  Now even the Atlanta Braves take to the field on Sunday’s at Turner Field in their Red topped shirts.  Charlie O and the A’s brought a new style of baseball to the League in the early 1970’s.  Of course having players by the name of Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi, Vida Blue and Blue Moon Odem also didn’t hurt either.  They were good – and mimicking the pitching motion of Vida Blue was what most kids tried to do in the neighborhood.  It was easier to try to throw like Vida Blue than raising the leg high in the air like Juan Marichal!

But the Pittsburgh Pirates and Roberto Clemente were my team.

When it came time to pick a team name for the fantasy baseball league in 2005, I was probably like ever other guy – not wanting to select a silly sounding name.  Now in Fantasy Baseball, the silly names are those “normal” sounding names like – the Houston Astros, or even the St. Louis Cardinals.  Maybe it’s that they are too similar to the Big League teams, or maybe the other managers want to be a little more creative and choose a name that causes the other managers to smile or think “huh”?

You know these finance type guys that always seem to enjoy these fantasy leagues are not really known as the most creative type of individual – at least at work.  But in our fantasy leagues, they can be the some of the most creative and funny guys I have seen.

There is usually a story behind every team name.  Some guys keep the same name year to year, and others like to change their team name depending on their mood.  When their season is not going well, they have been known to change a name in mid-season – like Team DL or Team Awful.

The Yankee Clippers became “The Kid” this year to honor Gary Carter who passed away this year.  I think that is great, and I won’t see The Kids this year and not picture Gary Carter in is Montreal Expos catching gear.  The K-Braves took their name when the manager moved to Knoxville Tennessee.  The Dallas Dawgs are from Texas and root in the fall for the University of Georgia Bulldogs.  “I Said No Salt” is a team of a manager who likes to cook, and the Singapore Thai-gers are bridging two countries in a most creative way.

My team is the Los Malos Muchachos.  To get at the K-Braves one season I translated all my english to spanish to completely assume a Latin identity for my team.  Why not?  With players like Moises Alou, Robinson Cano, Ramon Hernandez, Victor Martinez, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Villanueva how else could I get them all to play together?  Nunca dejado en ése yo utilicé el Internet para traducir mi inglés-español.  De hecho, nunca estoy seguro si realmente estoy consiguiendo todas las palabras corrects.  Pero es diversión para hacer que el K-Braves se pregunta hasta cuáles soy!

So with that in mind, I will let the k-Braves try to figure out what this poster for my team is saying!

¡Van los toros rojos!

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