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A weblog of baseball news and analysis

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Alan Schwarz interviews Hank Blalock, who's hitting .387. (

A View to a Thrill. "It's a lot of cash. But man, this is wicked sick. Anybody who's sitting anywhere else is a sucker." - Kevin Connor, a fan who flew from Miami to spend the day atop the Green Monster. (

Advance Scout: Devil Rays, May 13-15. "Tampa has a banged-up lineup that should be contained by the Jays' starters this week -- although all bets are off in Joe Kennedy starts, as far as the Jays are concerned. The cross-body-throwing lefty has been pure Kryptonite to the Blue Jays since he entered the league." (Batter's Box)

Prospectus Triple Play: Expos, Giants, Blue Jays. "The adroit snarfing of Doug Davis off the waiver wire has sent the winds of change blowing through the [Toronto] rotation. Davis, a soft-tossing former Ranger, is by no means a great pitcher, but he's a perfectly respectable bottom-of-the-rotation innings sponge. He's also 27 and he works cheap, so at this point, you make the move, hope for a performance spike, and worst-case you've got a replacement for Mark (Don't call him Lance) Hendrickson or Pete Walker in place." (Baseball Prospectus)

Allen St. John profiles Rickey Henderson of the Newark Bears. (Village Voice)

Art Martone on the Red Sox' greatest strength: depth.
It's counter to the way Sox teams traditionally have been built, and it's a little too esoteric for the average fan to grasp. Many of us, as kids, would compare the Red Sox to other teams -- usually the Yankees -- position-by-position, but it's a little hard to do these days. ("You have Jason Giambi at first base, and we have Kevin Millar and David Ortiz and Shea Hillenbrand. You have Alfonso Soriano at second, and we have Todd Walker and Bill Mueller and Damian Jackson. You have . . . ") Most fans don't like it, because most fans don't equate quantity with quality.

Epstein -- or the Sox' management team -- made the decision, though, that this team needed quantity. That's why they wouldn't pay Ugueth Urbina the $8 million it would have cost, via arbitration, to retain him. That's why they were delighted when Cliff Floyd rejected Boston's three-year, $22 million offer; they get the draft choices, and the Mets get an injury prone corner outfielder who's heading into his 30s. That's why they wouldn't trade for Bartolo Colon, he of the $8 million salary and impending free agency. (Anyone notice, by the way, that Colon is 2-3 with a 4.37 E.R.A. and Fossum is 3-1 with a 4.38 E.R.A.?) The $15-16 million the Sox would have had to have paid for any two of those players is about what they paying for Millar, Walker, Mendoza, Embree and Mueller combined. And it's not costing them a whole lot more for Giambi ($2 million), Mike Timlin ($1.85 million) and Ortiz ($1.25 million). Even more importantly: There's money left over to make a trading-deadline acquisition, and maybe even a big one, come July.
(Providence Journal)

Dan McLaughlin on the 1974 Dodgers, 1988 Mets and 1998 Astros, excellent teams that are now almost forgotten. (Providence Journal)

David Cameron: "There simply isn't a better hitter in the American League than Edgar Martinez right now. What Edgar Martinez is doing at the age of 40 is historic. Remarkably, no one is noticing, because we've all learned to take him for granted." (U.S.S. Mariner, May 13 entry)

Phillies enter new arena: Selling new ballpark's name.
In Phoenix, the executives of Bank One can't be too thrilled that virtually everyone calls the Diamondbacks' home the BOB, rather than Bank One Ballpark, a name for which they're paying $2.2 million a year...In Philadelphia, marketing experts say that if Citizens Bank turns out to be the buyer, the question will arise: Should the ballpark be labeled Citizens Park, which sounds civic-minded but could strike bank officials as too vague, or Citizens Bank Park, which could come across as too mercenary?
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Fish Fry, Week 6. Don Malcolm on the Marlins. "[Josh] Beckett, an impetuous young man of 23, was concealing his arm problems from his manager and his pitching coach. This was a far more troubling problem than pitch counts. If a manager and pitching coach could not establish a forthcoming relationship with their pitchers, then they would be putting their pitchers at undue risk, simply due to the 'failure to communcate' (yes, that misspelling is intentional; and good night, Strother Martin, wherever your ectoplasm may be)." (Big Bad Baseball)

Blue Jays $2 Wednesdays with Expedite Plus. Wrigley Premium in reverse. (Toronto Blue Jays News)

Happy Mother's Joe Morgan Chat Day! (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Rob Neyer tries to assemble a competitive team out of the Tigers', Devil Rays', and Brewers' best players. Is it possible? (

Aaron Gleeman takes an in-depth look at Rafael Palmeiro's career. "He began as a sweet-swinging singles hitter whom many thought would never develop power and transformed himself into one of the most consistent power hitters of his era and one of only 19 players in major league history with 500+ career home runs. The end result is a remarkably productive and consistently good career that out-classes the careers of perhaps anyone that is not in the Hall of Fame and certainly compares to many of those in the Hall of Fame." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Prospectus Triple Play: Astros, Brewers, A's. "People will come to watch good baseball anywhere, but they'll only pay for bad baseball when the park is pleasant. Not many people outside of Wisconsin would have cause to know this, and not many within the organization would have the stomach to admit it, but Miller Park just isn't particularly nice. It's New Comiskey North." (Baseball Prospectus)

T.R. Sullivan on the disappointing White Sox, the resurgent Reds, and more, including possibly the worst limerick ever written. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Greg Cote on Jack McKeon, the third-oldest manager in baseball history (behind Connie Mack and Casey Stengel). (Miami Herald)

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