Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dateline: Hickory - Husker GM Too Frazzled to Come Up With Clever Headline

The dismantling of the first playoff team in Hickory history began this week, as the Huskers dealt veteran lefty closer Harold Beeks to division rival Seattle. Acquired in a midseason trade with River Cities in 2014, the 33-year old Beeks helped Hickory seal its wild-card run by saving 21 games in the second half. This season, Beeks has been one of the few bright spots for the Huskers, converting all 14 save opportunities to date, but his productivity has been limited on a disappointing team that sits 16 games behind the first place Monarchs.

"Am I worried about helping the competition?" asked incredulous Husker GM Frank Ferrara at a press conference announcing the trade. "We are 16 games behind them. We're only their competition in the sense that Pompeii competed with Vesuvius. We'll be sorry to see Harold go, but there's not much point holding onto an elite closer at this point." Added veteran manager Todd Lee, "Yeah, and also, we're thinking about letting Frank Osborne close on the days when he's not starting." The press conference was then briefly halted as Ferrara repeatedly struck Lee about the head and shoulders.

Coming to Hickory in the deal are catcher Kareem King (.312/.352/.531 in limited time behind Seattle starter Alberto Grenado) and lefty reliever Jacobo Centeno (0-3, 3.86, 14 strikeouts in 21 innings at AAA Tacoma). At 28, King is old for a prospect, but the Huskers hope his outstanding defensive reputation and plus plate discipline will make him an immediate starter behind the plate.

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