Viva le French! The RSL has arrived in Montreal. Freezing cold April evenings in our open-air stadium Mount Royal Park, feasting on warm cheese curds and cheap red wine, watching our slutty catholic-girl-stripper-mascot we call Youppi. Yes, fun for the whole family francophone style.
Here's what to expect from this inaugural 2023 season...
Montreal native son and all-star SS Jean-Philippe Berube. Immediately named team captain Frenchy is expected to lead off, hit .300, steal 20+ bases, and spark the offense this season.
Our Italian stallions, or as the Quebecois locals call them the 'Smoked Meat Mafia'. That would be SP Gianni Galli and corner OFs Joseph Papi and Gauthier Gruppi. All three Italian born players are on the verge of turning into legitimate superstars. So much potential. And body hair. And tight pants, always with the friggin' tight leather pants.
We have a very deep, very strong bullpen... and with our rotation we're gonna need it. Jose Santos won the closer role coming out of spring training, but closing duties could have easily been handed over to Juan Canseco, Steve Powell, or even Alberto Garcia instead. All four of them were lights out during the spring. Add in former closer Mike Snow and rookie Adrian Bermudez and we're going to be *really* tough to beat in the late innings.
2B Juan 'Ruby' Robles and that big-ass 1 year $34 million contract. He should be a force to be reckoned with, but there's never any guarantees with foreign imports. It could be arguably the most expensive bust in RSL history.
We have no true ace, and the rotation gets pretty thin after Galli and Valentin Lopez. We signed Ferneehuff or whatever his name is to eat some innings in the middle. And we have a roster of AAAA fodder to flesh it out. Mon dieu!!!
Nobody in our lineup beside Robles (we hope) takes enough pitches, we've heavy with contact guys without plate discipline. Not sure that's going to serve us well over the long term.
1B is a suckhole of mediocrity. The most underwhelming platoon in RSL history.
Last year MR Alberto Garcia was a utility infielder for the Patriots, batting .260 and playing passable defense. Barely useful, mostly harmless. This year Garcia converted to pitching and was moved into the bullpen. In spring training Garcia had 12 IP, 20 Ks, and a 2.92 ERA. Should be interesting to follow this season, a great story if we can pull it off.
SS Berube, 2B Robles, 3B McPherson, C Ingrham (yes, we've turned over 80% of our infield) SP Ferneyhough, SP Walker in the rotation, and CL Santos, MR Canseco
SS and fan favourite Bruce White, SP Larry Doyle, waste of space Bill Jackson
The surprise for us in spring training was our very strong pitching. If that's a sign of things to come we probably will challenge BAL and WAS for the division title. We also need to see growth from Galli, Gauthier, and Martinez to contend. Top prospect CF Troy Winters is ML ready now, so we will probably need to flip a good OF for a SP or 1B at some point, depending on what turns out to be our biggest need.