Rays Sting, Nab Angels Execs For 2011 Campaign

NEW YORK — The Yorkville Rays made waves Tuesday morning by announcing a complete front office overhaul.  After leading the Angels to a consolation championship last season, coaches Morgan Sword, Mike Maselli and Shawn Collins have been hired away to rebuild a beleaguered Rays team that counts a bed-wetter among its best players.

The coaching threesome made immense strides both on and off the field with the Angels last season, but failed to make the (real) playoffs for the second consecutive year.  While it was one of the league’s more talented teams on paper, the Angels fell victim to the upper Manhattan version of the plague: Bar Mitzvah season.  “I couldn’t believe it,” Collins said in an interview this spring.  “It wasn’t even like these kids were missing our Sunday games to attend the bar mitzvahs.  They stayed up so late chugging Pepsi, barfing pizza and doing the Soulja Boy dance that their damn parents wouldn’t let them show up the next day.”
Maselli will be immediately named the Club’s field manager, a decision that has received mixed reviews around the league.  “He rarely showers the morning of the game, and there’s this faint scent of…well…double cheeseburger all over him.  It’s really distracting for the boys.” said one parent who spoke on the condition of anonymity.  “Sure, he’s got his demons.  Who doesn’t?” replied Sword.  “The guy knows baseball and that’s why he gets the lineup card.  One time last year he let a kid pitch because his mom was hot.  Any reasonable person can and should respect that.”
Sword, despite his record of building two losing teams, will be named the Rays’ SVP of Baseball Operations/General Manager. Things got so bad last year that he drafted a player who dressed as “death” for Halloween.  All the same, he has proven to be an excellent ambassador for the Club, fielding calls and emails from maniacal parents, giving the same “We understand, it’s an important day.  He is becoming a man.” speech over and over again, and manning the team’s burgeoning Twitter account #needmorefollowers.  Sword also got married this offseason and looks forward to further confusing his players’ detached parents who can’t understand why childless, single guys are coaching a little league team.  Sword will attempt to earn his imaginary salary on September 14th when he goes head-to-head with the other coaches in a draft that will shape their season.
Collins was probably the highlight in a season of lowlights for the Angels last season and will be hired as SVP of Scouting & Player Development.  He took several players under his wing, preaching the benefits of the five o’clock shadow and the finer points of the game.  At one point, Collins helped one of the players get over his fear of the ball by personally guaranteeing he would never be hit by a pitch.  Even though the player was promptly hit squarely in the chest, Collins talked him through his subsequent nervous breakdown with ease.  Perhaps most impressively, Collins spent the entire season fighting a silent battle against Adult Picky Eating Disorder (“APED”).  “I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone, make this season about me” said Collins in an emotional confession.  “I thought it was better to just eat my chicken fingers in peace and focus on baseball.”
The staff will travel to tomorrow evening’s coaches meeting followed by the all-important skills combine this weekend in Harlem.  Sword will then travel back to Harlem next Wednesday night for the draft.  Rays fans have been cautiously optimistic about this new leadership team, leading to some potentially unrealistic expectations.  One thing’s for sure, these guys are going to eat fast food after every game, win or lose.
Fans are encouraged to follow the team’s progress on Twitter @YorkvilleRays and look for more press releases throughout the season.  Also on tap is the wildly anticipated debut of the WolfPod, a variety hour podcast.  Go Rays!
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About The Yorkville Rays Little Leaguers
The Yorkville Rays are a group of 4th and 5th grade kids who compete on Sundays in Manhattan for Little League supremacy.

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