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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Buehrle continues dominance of Twins. The White Sox now have a two-game lead. (Yahoo!)

Dodgers' rookie outpitches Big Unit. Edwin Johnson, on his 20th birthday, beat Randy Johnson, one day before his 40th birthday. You can't make this stuff up. (Yahoo!)

Baseball Prospectus Chat: Chris Kahrl.
Jorens (Brooklyn, NY): What do you see the Mets doing in the off-season? There's rumours around here that Foulke would be added. I'm hoping for an outfielder (Beltran?) and a starting pitcher (Millwood?).

Chris Kahrl: I'm sure we can expect them to play the market, and Beltran would be a fine target. Given their investments in pitching in the past, I can't see them diving into another four-year commitment that some of the panic-stricken locals might wish for. The Mets problem is that, while they were never as good as Steve Phillips wished, they're not quite bad enough to make the decision to tear down and rebuild a no-brainer. I think now is the time to do that, but there's next to no chance they can move any of their big contracts.
(Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Red Sox, Reds, Padres. "There are always the interesting human interest stories about the man who finds a priceless copy of the Declaration of Independence or a lost Jackson Pollack painting at a garage sale. After their own version of a three day sales at Crazy Eddie's, the Reds are left with several players who could best be described as 'replacement level talent.' While not much is expected of Tim Hummel or Eric Valent, is there a gem hidden in the vein of coal? D'Angelo Jimenez (13.9 VORP) has been everything the White Sox think they got from Roberto Alomar (3.9 VORP), putting up numbers that could fade Felipe Lopez into the same sort of position Jiminez found himself in--lots of talent and perceived personality problems." (Baseball Prospectus)

Rob Neyer on the Rookie of the Year controversy.
I simply can't support a rule based on a player's nationality or his birthday. Here's something I can support, though: a rule that ties the Rookie of the Year Award to compensation. Think about it ... What distinguishes all the players who don't seem like "real" rookies? They make a lot of money. Here are the salaries of the three Japanese players who have won the award, along with this year's favorite:

Hideo Nomo      1995    $2.1 million
Kaz Sasaki      2000    $4.0 million
Ichiro Suzuki   2001    $5.7 million
Hideki Matsui   2003    $7.0 million

Essentially, these players were all paid like established stars in their rookie seasons, but the idea of "rookie" is that you're not already an established star. Granted, getting paid like a star doesn't mean you'll play like a star. But considering the high rate of success for the well-paid Japanese players -- the only notable exception is Hideki Irabu -- salary would seem to be a pretty accurate predictor of stardom.

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