While rumors swirled all season about Cheddar’s future, when the announcement came it was still a shock. One of BoPo’s legends, a sure-fire Hall of Famer, wasn’t switching teams to play with a lady. He was moving back to Wisconsin, land of bratwursts and bowling. A stunning development, and one that will have ripple effects throughout BowlPortland as the league enters a 6th season.
“The first time I met Cheddar was opening night of BowlPortland” said B.E.E.R. Captain Karl Hungus. “He will go down as one of the early legends of BoPo, and elevated the B.E.E.R. franchise to a championship level. Two finals appearances, one BoPo title, one Draft League title, and MVP award and the first 300 at Bayside. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
How does a team replace that kind of a player? Well, rumors had been circulating about that for the last two months. Names like Gutterboy, Gutterslut and Cookie were all heard in connection with trade rumors. But one name was heard the most often, and in this case the rumor mill had it right. B.E.E.R. has signed Natro.
Two years ago Natro and Coco jumped from their original team to join The Walkaways. He has made it clear he was just looking for a title. It took a year longer than expected, but The Walkaways got the title, and Natro shook any doubts about clutch performance with a monster 230+ game in the Finals. Natro and The Walkaways seemed like a match made in bowling heaven.
Teammate Booth seemed unmoved. “I heard he wasn’t making any progress with contract negotiations. I think he wanted more guaranteed years because of his age, but then again it could have been a money issue too. He was a great leader and teammate, nothing but positive things to say about the guy, but at the end of the day we understand these things, it’s just business.”
Danny Diesel seemed somewhat excited about it. He gets to put more of his imprint on the team, and now gets to dabble in the free agent pool. A lot of bowlers would be pretty excited to get an offer to join the defending champs. Who signs with The Walkaways could be the next major shakeup in BoPo.
Natro’s new teammates seem cautiously optimistic about the new guy. There was some concern in team circles that he may not be around for the long haul after his hisotry of short stays, but also agreement that while he was with B.E.E.R. good things could happen.
“He’s a great guy, and I think he’ll bring something new to the team. He’ll have statistics about things we didn’t even know existed, and, well, knowledge is power”, noted B.E.E.R. roller Filthy. “But he ain’t taking my leadoff spot!”
Most observers think it’s a good move for B.E.E.R. They had a huge hole to fill with Cheddar’s retirement. They get an all-star caliber bowler/drinker coming off his best playoff run without giving up anything.
With BoPo consolidating this year there are fewer places for bowlers to go. No new teams, so the trade and free agent market should be a roller coaster ride. Usually it doesn’t pick up til Draft League, but B.E.E.R.’s early move could start the whole process a lot earlier. Check back often for updates.