Today we sit down with psanders84, one of the original owners in Alexander and longtime manager of the Colorado Springs Field Mice. The Field Mice have been one of Alexander's top teams since the world began, having won at least 89 games in each of the world's first 8 seasons, and having made 7 playoff appearances and one World Series appearance. This year, the Field Mice are 58-52, two games behind the Honolulu Tsunami in the NL West and a game ahead of the Vancouver City Slickers for the last wild card spot in the AL. Key to the Field Mice's success has been the continued dominance of 4-time All Star Placido Pena and the continued success of young RF Jorge Park.
Q: How do you feel about the season so far? Has your team exceeded your expectations or disappointed you?
I think we've made decent strides on the mound, with a solid starting rotation of Placido Pena, Carlos Franco, and Earl Webster. But on offense, we've been awful. I've never seen so many solo home runs and men left on base. With barely 30 games left, I don't have anyone with more than 72 RBIs or 73 runs.
Q: Who on your team has disappointed you, and who do you feel has been overperforming?
There's a long line of disappointments. Will Rolison muffed another shot at closer, but he's done decently well as a setup man. Pitcher Michael Connelly took a big step back this year. SS/CF Davey Murray and DH Mariano Mercado are having sophomore slumps, and CF Luke Lincoln lost his starting job because he can't hit the ball. At all.
For overperformers, Bingo Peterson has been a shock. He was happily enjoying his fifth year in AAA, a career minor leaguer earning a paycheck, until he got called up to the big club to cover for Mercado's injury. In about 150 ABs, he crushed 8 homers and hit .290. Not bad at all.
Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses? Do you plan on making any moves to eliminate those weaknesses?
Offense is my biggest weakness, but I don't think I have the horses in the minors to make any more moves. So I'll try to compensate with pitching and defense. Expect to see slick-fielding Aaron Toombs and Luke Lincoln at SS and CF for much of the year, despite their batting averages. And we'll try going to a four-man rotation when possible.
Q: How do you see the rest of the season shaking out? Do you think the Field Mice will hold on to make the playoffs after missing them for the first time last season?
I think we'll squeeze in, either as the No. 4 seed or as the No. 6 if we lose the division. Either way, I'd like to think we'll be a tough out in the first round.
Q: How does the long-term future of the Field Mice organization look? Is your future bright, or are you in a win-now-at-all-costs mentality? Do you have a specific plan? If so, what is it?
I have a lot of young guys in the lineup, but very expensive pitching. Pena's agent is demanding a four-year contract, but he's 36, so he's likely headed to free agency. I'm also losing the contracts of long-reliever Henry Anderson and minor league bust Roger Saipe, so I should have some cash to reload.
Q: Who do you pick to win it all in season 9? Why?
Buffalo. That team is built to win the postseason.