Griswold Press Conference

GRISWOLD, IOWA (UPI): During a hastily called news conference at the Griswold Casey's General Store, former Woollum Mammoth owner/GM/manager David Basler announced that his team had relocated to Griswold, Iowa for the 2001 Summer League Season. The announcement came as a surprise to the three reporters in attendance, who had been expecting information on pork bellies and corn yields. Apparently, in a move reminiscent of the NFL's Baltimore Colts, Basler loaded all of the Woollum Mammoths' equipment into a 1983 Wagon Queen Family Truckster and departed Woollum at midnight on Sunday, November 26. Upon arriving in Griswold approximately 17 hours later, Basler abandoned the car in the Casey's parking lot and commented to the clerk: "You think you hate it now? Wait until you drive it."

With former Mammoths Robb Nen, Gary Sheffield and Jeff Bagwell looking on, Basler proudly announced the name of the new Griswold franchise: the Griswold Rust. The players were so impressed with the new franchise's rust-colored jerseys and caps that they immediately pledged that they would refuse to play for anyone other than Basler in 2001. It is also rumored that strikeout kings Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson want to sign with Griswold. "I hear Basler is masterful with his pitching staff and a genius with food additives," commented Martinez.

Whether a change of scenery will help the former Woollum franchise improve on its disappointing record in 2000 remains to be seen. Basler told onlookers that the team would be playing its games in a 100,000 seat underground stadium, which he predicted would be "the Biggest Goddamn Hole in the World." After his wife sharply rebuked Basler for using such language, Basler quickly corrected himself: "Make that the second biggest."

"The Griswold Rust will be built around a simple credo: Go For It!", Basler told the media. He then added: "Everyone needs a credo."

Experts predict that relocating his franchise to Griswold will allow Basler, who lives in West Des Moines, to take a more active role in the management of his second-year SL entry. Experts are sharply divided, however, on whether this will be good or bad for the team. "I personally consider Dave to be a baseball genius and he is a hero to me and my kids," said cagey SL veteran Keith Klein. "I expect nothing but good things from Griswold this year." Greg Nims sees things differently: "Basler has too much Cubs fan in him to ever be successful. He is always talking about things like leadership and loyalty. I predict another second-division finish for him in 2001."

Whatever happens in 2001, Basler seems ready to get started. "Who needs a data disc?", he confidently asked reporters. "Let's start the draft today."