The Anaheim Baja Racers finished first in the AL West last year for the first time since season 3, the year they won it all. Of course we all know in Hometown how the franchise needed to be rebuilt right after the World Series win and RandyRossac was the right man for the job. The team has constantly improved under his guidance and the team looks poised to make another run at the division title this year. Randy has done a great job of rebuilding through the draft and trade market. His first draft pick in Hometown was LF Buddy Cambell who hit 295 with 39 HR in 492 AB last year, he's clearly hoping to build on that success. His best trade was no doubt the addition of Wolf Koloff from Atlanta last year who we gave up 2 decent prospects for but will almost undoubtedly be the winner of the deal. However this year is not a lock by any stretch of the imagination even though his Anaheim team has a good mix of young talent like LF Buddy Campbell and veterans like CF Turner Ford and 2B Dude Doyle the division is still up for grabs. Injuries have already taken a very important toll on Anaheim as well. Bart Blauser has been lost for the year to have elbow surgery. It is a devastating loss to the team as he had a good season last year a 11 game winner with an ERA of only 3.76 and a dazzling WHIP of 1.25. Las Vegas, Salem and Vancouver are all very competitive and with Salem pushing out Las Vegas for second last year it will be interesting to see what happens down the road this year and if Anaheim can do something that they have never done, Win the division 2 seasons in a row. However with that being said it's my pleasure to welcome RandyRossac to the Sentinel Sitdown!
Q. So first question why Baja Racers?
A. First Thank You for taking the time and doing this on the Baja Racers, which is the first Question why Baja Racers I have named all my HBD teams after my true passion outside of my family and that is a professional Off -Road Race Car Driver primarily in Mexico and the Baja 1000
Q. Last year you guys hang on and win the division by 4 games, how happy were you?
A. I was extremely happy especially how close our division was it went down the wire. We have 4 good teams in our division and too win it this early is rewarding
Q. Did you feel prouder of the fact that when you inherited the team they were pretty much a mess and since then you have steadily improved them from a fourth place team to a third place team to ultimately a division winner?
A. very seldom do you inherit a team that can compete for a division crown so I am proud of the fact that the team can compete and win the division this early
Q. Your best move I think was the addition of Wolf Koloff. What did he mean to your team down the stretch last year? And how important is he with the Blauser injury?
A. Koloff was indeed the final piece to the puzzle but I also think the aquisition of Funaki was equally important as he gave us 7 wins down the stretch .The Blauser injury is a definite setback to repeating.We called up Marquez to occupy Blaser's spot in the rotation and keep looking for a deal if one comes our way
Q. How good can Buddy Campbell be?
A. Campbell is the cornerstone to our offense hopefully for seasons to come has good splits and is young, may wind up at first someday but yes he could be a good one
Q. Do you think your team can win the division with the roster you have right now? Or do you feel that you might have to add some talent for the stretch drive?
A. My team has a good mix of vets and youngsters and we stood pat in the off season because nothing seemed too fit can we win the division again I think we had a shot at it if everything went right, with that being said we are always looking to improve ourselves and with the Blauser injury that might alter our plans but it is along season and will be patient and not make a deal in panic mode so did I tap dance around that question
Q. Your Prediction for the Hometown World Series?
A. Thats a tough one the top teams are still strong and Cheyanne is off too a good start and OK and Tor look good,but Toronto young players may be a set back the last 2 years and you cant count out anyone in our division (yes I am a Homer) but if I had to pick without offending anyone it would be Cheyanne too repeat
The Regular 5 Questions -
Q. Whats your name - Randy Ross
Q. How old are you - 50
Q. Fav team - Los Angeles Dodgers
Q. Fav all time player - Kirk Gibson, Don Drysdale, Willie Mays
Q. do you have a franchise model - Pitching, Pitching, Pitching