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Friday, October 24, 2003
Marlins move within one win of title. They took a 6-2 lead into the ninth and went on to win 6-4. (Yahoo!)

Larry Mahnken: "If you're going to focus on one reason the Yankees are one game away from losing the World Series to a vastly inferior team, look at the offense. They've failed to come through with clutch hits time and again this series, failed to score nearly as many runs as they reasonably should have expected to. There's been bad defense, and some poor managerial decisions, but if the Yankees were hitting anywhere near as well as they should be, it wouldn't matter." (Replacement Level Yankees Weblog)

Down the Wells. Mike analyzes Game 5. (Mike's Baseball Rants)

King Kaufman: "This is just a hunch, but it feels like McKeon is leaning toward starting Beckett in Game 6. Managers get understandably enamored with their aces in the postseason, and keep running them out there on three days' rest despite overwhelming evidence that this is a bad idea. Simply put, Josh Beckett -- to use the example at hand -- on three days' rest isn't Josh Beckett. He's a guy in Beckett's uniform who doesn't pitch as well. Especially with a game in hand, McKeon should take his chances with the struggling Willis, who has pitched well in relief in the World Series, and have a rested Beckett available if Game 7 becomes necessary." (Salon.com)

Prospectus Triple Play: Orioles, Rockies, Mets. "Last time, we acknowledged that Colorado is stuck in a bit of rut, not being quite bad enough to tear down and rebuild, but not being quite good enough to make a few small changes to get back into contention. Perhaps, however, Colorado really is closer to contention than we gave them credit for last time." (Baseball Prospectus)

Cubs' season over, but scams go on and on. Season ticket holders who paid for World Series ticket won't get their money back - it'll be applied to next year's ticket purchase. A nice interest-free loan from the fans to the team. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Building an Ass-kicking Cubs team. Part I: Sustainability. "Before we start handicapping 2004, let's get one thing straight. The 2003 Cubs were fun and exciting, and they nearly made it to the World Series. But they did not kick ass. And whatever success that roster had, it was not sustainable." (The Cub Reporter)

Building an Ass-kicking Cubs team. Part II: The Starting Pitching. "The NLCS is now officially spilt milk, but we are left to wonder what the long-term effects are going to be on these guys. The Cubs had four starters throw over 200 IP for the first time since 1975, and the two youngest (Prior and Zambrano) far exceeded their career highs while the other two (Wood and Matt Clement) came very close. The question now is whether this will this carry over, in terms of injury or loss of effectiveness, into 2004." (The Cub Reporter)

Building an Ass-kicking Cubs team. Part III: The Bullpen. "I think Hendry has an opportunity to save about $5 million on next year's bullpen, and at the same time actually improve it, but I expect him to waste money on shiny baubles that would be better spent on the offense or on a fifth starter. Overall, bullpens are very hard to handicap, but I see the Cubs fielding a bullpen in 2004 that is no worse than this year's, and perhaps significantly improved." (The Cub Reporter)



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