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Thursday, November 20, 2003
Ken Brett, youngest World Series pitcher, dead at 55.
Brett pitched 14 years in the major leagues, going 83-85 with a 3.93 ERA. He was the winner in the 1974 All-Star game, twice lost no-hit bids in the ninth inning and gave up Hank Aaron's 700th home run.

He also was known for his outstanding hitting.

Brett set a record for pitchers by hitting a home run in four straight starts for the Phillies in 1973. He batted .262 lifetime with 10 homers.

Brett was 19 years, 1 month when he pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in the 1967 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

He had pitched in only one big league game before the Series, going two innings against Cleveland during the final week of the season.

Peter Gammons: "There is a special personality trait that goes with being a Brett, part impish, fun-loving, clever, loyal to the end." (

May 27, 1974. "The Pirates Ken Brett no-hits the Padres until the 9th inning, settling for a 2-hit 6–0 shutout in the first game of the doubleheader. In the 2nd game, Brett's 2-run pinch triple gives the Bucs an 8–7 win." (

Astros sign Ausmus to $4 million, two-year deal. (Yahoo!)

Dan Szymborski: "Maybe the Tribune is right about not needing to increase payroll much - the Astros are improving the relative strength of the Cubs without the Trib spending a dime. If the Cards end up signing Millwood and dumping Jimmy Edmonds, the Cubs will be the most improved team in baseball." (Transaction Oracle)

Get Your MVP Shortstops Here! - The insane plot to trade Alex Rodriguez.
[T]he Rangers didn't exactly reach into their pockets to pay Rodriguez. They had the money for his contract because Fox Sports Net bought the 10-year cable rights to the Rangers and Dallas Stars hockey games for $250 million, and paid another $250 million for both teams' local broadcast rights for 15 years, according to some sources (Forbes reported the latter deal at $300 million). The Rangers, presumably, got the lion's share of that money. The TV deals boosted the value of the team, as reported in Forbes, by 16 percent, and the addition of A-Rod beefed up their revenues considerably. The Rangers jacked up their ticket prices by an average of 10 percent for Rodriguez's first season, 2001, and finessed several new endorsement deals, including a sponsorship pact with Radio Shack.

The question that should have been asked three years ago was not "How can the Rangers afford to pay Alex Rodriguez $250 million?" but "Why don't the Rangers use some of the money produced by those deals and the acquisition of Rodriguez to buy some pitching?"

Chat wrap with Jonah Keri. "I don't see why the Cards, at least if the headlines are an indicator, are in such a rush to deal Edmonds. There's been talk both in St. Louis and previously in Anaheim that he's a me-first guy, but dude can mash, he's a great fielder whether or not he slows down to dive for balls, and he's less brittle than he used to be. Everyone keeps waiting for The Big Drew Breakout, but frankly if St. Louis can get a quality starting pitcher for J.D. at this juncture, that'd be a tough one to turn down." (Baseball Prospectus)

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