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Anticipation in Nevada
by Mr. Ice Cream
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x Mr. Ice Cream   - at 9:51 pm on Sunday January 20‚ 2002 x
x The consumate .500 team, Nevada feature perhaps the best player in the game and a invicible bullpen, but have never won a championship despite their talent. x
x Mr. Ice Cream Nevada embedded in the wall of Wordolg Aside from Louisville, who have not won even the NL Championship despite being one of the original four teams from Wordolg's debut in 1984, Nevada are the only pre-1990s team that has yet to conquer Wordolg's greatest stage. They haven't even made a serious attempt at the Desert League Championship, appearing once (in 1998), swept in four games by what was the last great Muttford team.

Since Nevada entered the league in 1988 (with New York), they played in 2088 games up to the end of last season. Remarkably the model of consistency, a vast stream of 76-80 and 79-77 years left them scraping against the .500 mark overall, with 1025 wins against 1063 losses.

They have not always drafted well, and have been reluctant to make the huge trade that could soak them in eternal talent, but they have always been one of the most difficult teams to play (ask any DL champion), and many other teams have attempted to model their bullpens on the exquisite formula that the Cubs have crafted so well over the years.

This season, there was a slight front-line turnaround, with St.Bernard becoming the on-field manager, leaving Orré to run the team and handle the business aspects of a modern franchise. Not a drastic change, but one that has seemingly been a step in the right direction, with the lovable but firm St.Bernard appealing more to a younger, growing team, than the stern and calculated Orré did during his time.

"A minor change, but it provided me with the opportunity to observe the more complete aspect of our team and who plays for us, and what we need to finally win the big thing," remarked Orré, who has progressively built Nevada away from a one-dimensional team, towards a more balanced, exciting team to watch.

Arguably the best player in the game (with apologies to Milwaukee, Athansor, Pintscher and the like), Battle has already booked his passage into the Park of Fame, striking fear into more opposing pitchers that anybody in recent memory. Even the grand old Drexall, Wordolg's all-time home run and doubles hitter, didn't force enemy hurlers to study weeks - not days - prior to their next meeting, to try to gain the upper hand.

Complimenting him is the best young starter in baseball, Vathon, who has matured from a flame-throwing youngster into one of the most devastating pitchers in Wordolg history. Place him on the mound in a crucial game, and, more often than not, the Cubs will come out on top.

Their elite bullpen structure relies on a core of three top-drawer set-up pitchers, Stevens (the best in the DL), Dayley and Count, who are each rotated between the seventh and ninth innings, setting the stage for Jones to pitch the final out or two, relatively painlessly and incredibly methodical in nature. This year, Nevada added rookie Borrelly to focus on sixth and seventh inning duties, which has worked like a charm, and the part-timers and position players take the share of long relief, as there are few opportunites for them to pitch later in games.

"If it passes the sixth inning in game we're winning, I head to the dugout from the bullpen and relax, because our guys don't blow games," long-time Nevada star South, now used in long relief and as a back up infielder, told us about regular life in the Cubs' 'pen.

One reason Nevada have blossomed so far in 2002, could be that their rotation has never been stronger. Holzman is one of the top second starters in baseball, and with Kelsey as solid middle-rotation pitcher, two rookies, Robbins and Halley, have contributed towards the second best record in the DL, by working deep into games and letting the phenomenal bullpen take over.

Nevada have always suffered from a thin lineup and an often-aenemic offence - despite Battle and a regular Supernova (wordolg "all star") at first base, Titan, in the lineup - but appear to have aided the problem with the drafting of monster designated hitter, Glock, and some timely hits from their young infield duo, Schofield and Dahl, Ebony at catcher, and Nahm in the outfield. Not to mention old-timers North and Central holding up the rear.

Could 2002 be the year Nevada finally breaks out of their string of .500 seasons and live up to their abilities?

"I hate playing Vathon and that team the last weekend of every season so much," growled Muttford's Park-of-Fame manager, Xerox, "but if they keep playing like this, they will have long passed everybody and that series won't really mean so much. They have such a great core, a really, really tough team, and I suppose if we can't win this year, why shouldn't they?"

Their start to this season has certainly warranted a serious look at their chances, and if they can pull everything together, would be a deserving Wordolg champion, fourteen years later, in the summer of 2002.
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