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Monday, June 30, 2003
Prospectus Triple Play: Indians, Dodgers, Mariners: "After a slow start, Ichiro’s been on an insane tear (May .389/.415/.558, June .440/.463/.604). In June, there have been only seven games where he hasn’t gotten two or more hits. Ichiro is leading All Star outfielders in balloting, and while many may argue he’s overrated, our own park-adjusted stats show Ichiro as the AL’s best right fielder. And the ladies love him." (Baseball Prospectus)

Thanks to Mets, Boss can't whine.
It was only three weeks ago that George Steinbrenner railed against the brutality of interleague play - a Bud Selig-sanctioned conspiracy which, The Boss believes, is specifically designed to sabotage the Yankees.

According to The Boss' us-against-them view of the baseball world, Selig knew the Cubs and Reds would be tougher opponents than the Brewers and Pirates this year, and that the commissioner willfully gave the Red Sox the easier crossover to the National League's Central Division.
But George didn't mention the Mets, who did a nice Yanni/Arli$$/Geraldo Rivera/Rocky V/Carrot Top/Chevy Vega imitation against the Yankees over the last two weekends. The Yankees are 15-2 since they were no-hit by the Astros (4-0 against teams that don't suck). (

Friday, June 27, 2003
Cards move into tie for first. "Rookie second baseman Bo Hart extended his extraordinary breakout with three hits, leaving him with a seven-game hitting streak and a .514 average to begin his major-league career." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Goin' to Kansas City? Be nice, hug a Royals fan. Jeff Gordon responds to Joe Posnanski's column about Cardinals fans. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Bi-Weekly Review N.L. Central. "Rumors persist that J.D. Drew will soon be traded. There are two reasons to believe these rumors might have a grain of truth: the Cardinals and their semi-official mouthpiece and co-owner, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, have never seemed to like Drew very much; and Drew is one of the only players with any actual trade value who is actually expendable." (Baseball Primer)

Bruce Markusen's Cooperstown Confidential for June 27. Leonard Koppett; trade rumors; David Clyde; and more. (Baseball Primer)

Tim Kurkjian on Roy Halliday. (

Thursday, June 26, 2003
Willis keeps it herky, perky for Marlins. Alan Schwarz on the Marlins' 21-year-old phenom. (

Rob Neyer: "While the world may well be overrun with unimaginative pitching coaches and by-the-numbers instructional videos, there will always be the occasional pitcher who insists on doing things his way. And as baseball fans, we can only be grateful." (

Prospectus Triple Play: Braves, Twins, Devil Rays. "[Aubrey] Huff has quietly developed into a potent force in the middle of a punchless lineup, a la Brian Giles. Right now, he trails only Ichiro Suzuki as the best right fielder in the AL this season." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Diamondbacks, Royals, Phillies. "Six weeks ago, as the Royals headed into the toughest portion of their schedule, we wrote in this space: 'If the Royals are still in first place on June 22nd, you can start taking their playoff aspirations seriously.' You can start taking their playoff aspirations seriously." (Baseball Prospectus)

Ben Jacobs: "I believe that if they go about it the right way, the Orioles could put together a team that would contend for a winning record next year and contend for a playoff spot in 2004 or 2005." (Universal Baseball Blog, Inc.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Juan stays? Ranger likely to reject Expos trade.
The Montreal Expos reached agreement Tuesday to acquire two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez from Texas -- but his attorney said the Rangers' star "in all likelihood'' would reject the trade.

According to one baseball official, Gonzalez's agent, Jeff Moorad, is telling people Gonzalez is reluctant to play in the National League because he's never played there, and he's reluctant to play on the AstroTurf in Montreal,'s Jayson Stark reported.

Prospectus Triple Play: White Sox, Cardinals, Rangers. "He's likely to get hot and run off a streak at some point, but [Mark] Buehrle's not as good a pitcher as he looked during his first two years in the league, and if the White Sox are counting on him being a legitimate #1 starter, they're probably overestimating what they've got in hand." (Baseball Prospectus)

Derek Zumsteg: "Edgar Martinez's Hall of Fame candidacy remains controversial, judging by my e-mail, which baffles me. He's one of the 50 best hitters baseball's ever seen, and I don't see how any argument mitigates that. Possibly 'he's not actually human.'" (Baseball Prospectus)

Bryan Smith on Roy Halladay's 11-start winning streak. (Bryball, June 25)

Boston Red Sox: Signed OF Gabe Kapler to a minor-league contract. Dan Szymborski: "[Trot Nixon is] 29 now, is a 213/299/333 career hitter against lefties and the Red Sox look to be into a very vigorous pennant race down the stretch with the Yankees and Blue Jays. When you play Nixon full-time, you're essentially starting Rey Ordonez in leftfield for 50 games a year, not a good situation for a contending team to be in." (Transaction Oracle)

The Bizarro World All-Stars (Part One: The American League). "With his offense at an all-time low and his defense in right field still suffering, [Jermaine] Dye has started to lose playing time to Chris Singleton, Terrence Long and Billy McMillon, which must be pretty depressing for him." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

The Bizarro World All-Stars (Part Two: The National League). "If Tony Womack deserves some sort of a Lifetime Bizarro Achievement Award, the award he receives should be named after Roger Cedeno. Perhaps the 'Roger Cedeno Award for Complete Suckiness.' The RCACS, that has a nice ring to it, no?" (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

2003 All-Hoosier Team.
Now, to most people, a hoosier is someone from Indiana. But to St. Louisans it means something very different. See, a hoosier (someone who is hooze) is a man or woman with a certain kind of low-brow taste. Think of Sammy Hagar or Tom Arnold or Kurt Warner: a little bit trashy, a little bit country, all ugly. Some tell-tale signs of hoosiers: Oakley sunglasses, two or more Jimmy Buffett CDs, bi-level hair cuts (also known as "mullets," but I will not make a mullet joke, even though I just kinda did), having extra-long sideburns, having no sideburns at all, a neon beer sign hanging in your house, any shirt without sleeves -- you get the idea.
(Redbird Nation)


New weblog:

     El Guapo's Ghost (Red Sox)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Blue Jays climb within one game of Yankees. They beat Baltimore 13-4. Carlos Delgado picked up his 80th RBI. (

Ben Jacobs compares the offenses of this year's Blue Jays and the 1992-93 World Series champs. (Universal Baseball Blog, Inc.)

Now he's stuck on 300: Clemens loses to Devil Rays. Damian Rolls hit two homers for Tampa Bay. (

Yanks willing to deal Weaver, and Pirates are interested. Why? (Newark Star-Ledger)

A's rally in ninth, take Zito off hook. Trailing 1-0 in the 9th, the A's won on a three-run double by Scott Hatteberg. The Rangers have lost 20 of their last 22. (

Rob Neyer: "[Mike] MacDougal might have a better arm than anybody who's pitched for the Royals. Ever." (

Bryan Smith: "The Chicago White Sox are still in the thick of things in baseball’s worst division. The Twins aren’t playing well, and the Royals are just good enough to hang around. But its Chicago that really intrigues me, as they are yet to play good baseball." (Bryball, June 24)

Everybody Seems So Happy To-Joe-Morgan-Chat-Day—It's a Sunshine Joe Morgan Chat Day! (Mike's Baseball Rants, June 23)

Doug Pappas on the Cubs' Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Service scam. "In reality, most or all of the tickets sold by WFPTS would otherwise have been sold at face value by the Cubs ticket office. Whether or not this practice is legal (a trial is scheduled for mid-August), it's a contemptible abuse of the club's best customers. Season ticketholders who for years had been given first shot at extra single-game seats were told that none were available for the most desirable series, the games against the Yankees, White Sox and Cardinals. Loyal fans who stood in line for hours, during a freezing Chicago winter, to buy tickets for these games as soon as they went on sale went home empty-handed." (Doug's Business of Baseball Weblog)

New weblog:

     and another thing! (Cubs)

Monday, June 23, 2003
Prospectus Triple Play: Astros, Brewers, Athletics. "If [Adam] Everett improves with the bat, he could be a real asset. If he doesn't, the Astros may end up with the next Rey Ordonez--only Everett would be earning those Gold Gloves. " (Baseball Prospectus)

Mugs: "I was sad when my Jays scrapped [the four-man rotation]...See, the Jays are shelling out roughly $100 million a year less to their players than the Yankees are. In order to compete with the Yanks, they need to be lucky and they need to find different and cheaper ways to win. Four starting pitchers are cheaper than five. So, yeah, it was a gamble, but it would have been different and I don’t see the Jays beating the Yanks if they do everything the exact same way as the Yanks." (Mugs' Thoughts on Baseball, June 21)

Chris: "For all the negative writing and posting going on out in the world, people forget the Cubs lost 95 games last season. As I sit back and look I am happy with the season so far. We are contenders." (Yarbage Cub Review)

Joe Posnanski: "Most Cardinals fans will tell you that Cardinals fans are the best because they are the most knowledgeable. They understand the intricacies of the game. For instance, when Cardinals pitcher Cal Eldred walked Royals pitcher Jeremy Affeldt on four pitches Sunday, many of the fans booed. They knew, without anyone telling them, that this was not a good move." (Kansas City Star)

Aaron Gleeman: "Okay, so we've established that Joe Morgan often says things that don't make a whole lot of sense. But now, I think Joe Morgan has officially started to lose his marbles." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Derek Milhous Zumsteg: "Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Who's got the better Japanese player? We do, that's right, you whiny New Yorkers." (U.S.S. Mariner)

Marlins' Cabrera off to a smashing start. He hit an 11th-inning walk-off homer in his first major league game. (Orlando Sun-Sentinel)

Happy Halladay: Roy wins 11th consecutive start.
Pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his 100 career starts, Halladay (11-2) extended his team-record streak and the longest in the majors in six years.

"I felt the same," said Halladay, who pitched into the ninth inning. "We backed off on some of the work we do inbetween starts and some of the throwing, I think that might have had something to do with it, but I felt really good. I felt locked in and physically I felt as good as normal."

Rookie Myers shuts out BoSox at soldout Veterans. Boston's 2-3-4-5 hitters went a combined 0-14. (

Friday, June 20, 2003
Slumping Bellhorn shipped out for whiffmaster Hernandez.
The Colorado Rockies traded All-Star shortstop Jose Hernandez to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night for infielder Mark Bellhorn and minor league pitcher Travis Anderson.

Hernandez was an All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers last season, when he had 24 homers and 78 RBIs. He also struck out a major league-leading 188 times, one short of Bobby Bonds' single-season record set in 1970.

"I think it is exciting," Hernandez said. "They are in first place right now. It's not bad. I'm a bit shocked right now."

Brad Zellar: "I almost can't believe what I've seen over the last four days, and I desperately need somebody to cough up some reasonable explanation for the insane brand of baseball the Twins played in Kansas City. How the hell does a team bang out 62 hits and 37 runs over four games and still find a way to lose three-out-of-four to such a thoroughly mediocre club? Beats the living hell out of me, but no, it really doesn't. The pitching sucks." (Yard: The Blog)

Doug: "Dear Jerry Colangelo: I hate you. Matt Williams was one of my all time favorite ball players and I hold you personally responsible for Matty's early retirement...I hope you get trapped in an elevator. With Rob Dibble. And Rick Sutcliffe." (Westwood Blues, June 18)

Rob Neyer: "Developing All-Star caliber major-league starting pitchers isn't easy, for anybody. But the Braves have featured a number of great pitching prospects since Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone took the reins in 1990. And it's at least a bit surprising that not even one of those prospects has, in the years since, totaled even 100 victories in the major leagues." (

Al: "Aaron Gleeman seems surprised Torri Hunter is "struggling", but Torri is just hitting his career norms...Bobby Kielty is every bit as good, much cheaper, and dealing Torri would have allowed the Twins to add a piece to the puzzle without losing a thing (much like BOS did by sending Hillenbrand to ARI)." (Al's Baseball Ramblings, June 20, 06:07:13 AM)

Peter White: "There no question in my mind that the acquisition of John Olerud had a devastating cascade effect on the Mets while a gloriously positive one for the Mariners. As Pat Gillick watched Ken Griffey and Alex Rodriguez flee for greener pastures, he was able to find a way to replace them with pieces like Olerud, Mike Cameron, Bret Boone and Ichiro that were a greater sum together than the void left behind. Pat Gillick efficiently replaced two MVP-caliber players. Steve Phillips couldn’t even replace John Olerud." (Mariner Musings)

Shawn Weaver: "[Ryne] Sandberg's a great player. He belongs in the Hall of Fame. But he's no Joe Morgan." (Cincinnati Reds Blog)

Prospectus Triple Play: Expos, Giants, Blue Jays. "The Expos' continued refusal to promote [Terrmel] Sledge, despite his league-leading performance and the Expos' awful major league roster, has gone from cute Free Erubiel Durazo takeoffs to downright astounding and punched-hole-through-the-keyboard-inducing. At press time, the Expos were reporting that they'll consider calling up Sledge if he hits for the cycle in his next at-bat, ends three-and-a-half decades of political strife and language wars in Quebec, and raises the dead." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Angels, Cubs, Tigers. "Why mess with success? When you've got Alan Trammell and Lance Parrish in the lineup, and a rotation anchored by Jack Morris and Dan Petry... Oh, wait, that's the 1984 Tigers. This year's model looks a little different, and injuries and lackluster performance have resulted in many shifts over the last two weeks." (Baseball Prospectus)

Lovable Losers. Steven Goldman on the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked - the 19 teams since 1901 that have won fewer than 30% of their games. This year's Tigers could make it 20. The Padres could make it 21. (Baseball Prospectus)

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Doby was AL's first African-American player. He died Wednesday at age 78. (ESPN Classic)

Jay Jaffe on Doby. (Futility Infielder)

Gregg Rosenthal: "I will say that the Brian Daubach storyline has gone stale. Daubach doubled home the go ahead run in Chicago’s numbing 3-1 win over the Red Sox Wednesday night. Incidentally, Daubach expressed regret over pumping his first after his Tuesday night home run. No apologies necessary. Please, Brian enjoy what moments you can while playing in moribound U.S.S Cellular field. Going from Fenway to there is like moving from Rome to Worcester." (Gregg's Baseball, etc., June 19 entry)

Adam Dennis on the latest Cubs trade rumors. (Cubrants)

Bernie Miklasz: "It's too late to turn back now. The Cardinals are stuck with a pricey, veteran team, and they're still trying to get a new ballpark off the ground. To reach October, the owners must reach into their pockets." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Josh on last night's doubleheader sweep of the Expos by the Pirates. "OK, enough complaining - this is a happy day, and here's why. Of their 11 hits, the Buccos recorded 4 of them in the bottom of the 9th against that paragon of pitching prowess Rocky Biddle. Exactly. That's what double-headers do to a bullpen." (The Baseball Boys)

Arizona rallies with two runs in ninth. Billy Wagner blew the save for the Astros, but it was still a good day for him - his wife gave birth to a girl. They tried to give her a pacifier, but she threw it across the room at 100 mph. (

Steve: "There is something about the D'backs taking down big time closers. Add Billy Wagner to this list of names: Eric Gagne, John Smoltz, Rob Nen, Armando Benitez and Trevor Hoffman. I'm not sure but the D'backs may be the only team to have beaten all of these guys at some point." (Diamondback Bites)

Prospectus Triple Play: Orioles, Rockies, Mets. "This year Mike Scioscia could very well give the Orioles two All-Stars for the first time this millennium. The surprising Melvin Mora is a virtual lock (leading the AL in batting average and, much more importantly, Equivalent Average) and provides positional flexibility galore (and who knows how important that might be under the new All-Star rules?). Also presenting himself for consideration is Sir Sidney Ponson." (Baseball Prospectus)

Joe Sheehan on pitcher workloads, today and in the past. "That's the thing that baseball people over the age of 45 do not get. Their experience is not transferable to today's game, because while it looks the same, it is completely different for pitchers. They have to work much harder to get comparable results; not because the old guys were better, but because circumstances have changed. What Bob Feller, or Warren Spahn, or Juan Marichal, or Steve Carlton did is completely irrelevant to what the expectations should be for Mark Prior." (Baseball Prospectus)

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. West. "The A’s have played fast and loose with the schedule the last two seasons, playing .700 ball after June to make up for lackluster starts. Is it in the cards for 2003?" (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. Central. "And don’t look now, but Angel Berroa (yes, Angel Berroa) is having an all-star type season. Berroa is hitting .358/.414/.774 this month and has raised his season stats to .281/.344/.473 with seven homers, 16 doubles and three triples in 224 at bats. He’s fourth among AL shortstops in batting average (.281) and OBP (.344), and third in slugging percentage (.473)." (Baseball Primer)

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Another hip-hop hooray: Casey's 2-out hit knocks off Cubs in 10th inning. More than half of the Reds' wins (18/35) have come in their last at-bat. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Masterful work by Burkett. He gave up doubles to the first four hitters, then retired the next eighteen. Red Sox 7, White Sox 4. (Boston Globe)

Rob Neyer: "The Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, and Chicago White Sox have (at least) two things in common. The first thing is that they all were picked by a foolish columnist named Rob Neyer to finish this season in first place. The second thing is that they all, at this moment, would have trouble seeing first place on a crystal-clear day...Oh, and these teams all have a third thing in common: their pitching's been fine (or better), but they've not been able to hit their way out of a wet paper sack." (

Derek Zumsteg has assembled a series of selling points for baseball to use in its marketing campaign. Example: "For your safety, outside food and drink is greatly restricted so that baseball can guarantee you're only eating the finest concessions possible. Trained attendants will search your bags to ensure you haven't inadvertently chosen food or beverages that don't meet our rigorous standards of safety and quality." (Baseball Prospectus)

Bryan Smith: "The Yankees have a chance to run away with the AL East, and it will start in the next 15 games." They are all against the Devil Rays, Mets and Orioles, and Bryan predicts the Yankees will win at least 13 of them. (Bryball, June 18 entry)

Brian Carstens on the Cubs: "I see a GM who seems reluctant to take charge of the team and a manager who's no more capable of putting the best possible lineup on the field than his predecessor. I see a team that has severe offensive problems, with few signs that the team management even recognizes the problems, much less any solutions. And most importantly, I see a team that can't figure out how to get its young players, which it took years to accumulate and nurture, on the field." (The [Untitled] Cubs Page)

Travis Nelson: "The Orioles saying that Melvin Mora is the perfect example of what your team is trying to do is like a homeless guy saying that winning the lottery is the perfect example of what he's trying to do. Like I mentioned the other day, if you've got a 31-year old with a career .262 EqA (read: mediocre) and he goes on a tear and hits like the second coming of Babe Ruth for a couple of months, you count your blessings and maybe you reward him with praise and/or a bonus, but you can't expect anyone to take you seriously when you parade him around and toot your own horn as though you knew he was gonna do that." (Boy of Summer, June 16 entry)

Derek: "I hate interleague play because it makes me care less about baseball. And what the hell good is baseball if it doesn't turn me into an irrational, obsessive, opinionated lunatic who scares the hell out of everyone who knows me?" (Let's Play Two)

Al offers some random thoughts from Monday's Brewers/Cardinals game. "SL fans were very vocal in their approval [of Miller Park], I overheard several say something to the effect of 'nicest place I've been' (often followed by the disclaimer, 'other than Busch'), and one pair of gents talked about how they hope the next SL park has a roof of some type, and said 'if they do, I hope it's as nice as this one.'...Once again, I can't say I've heard a negative word from someone who has seen it firsthand, it's all people who have a grudge to bear, or simply show their ignorance." (Al's Baseball Ramblings)

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Dontrelle Willis: Simply 'electric'. The 21-year-old Marlins rookie pitched a 1-hitter against the Mets. (Miami Herald)

Ben Jacobs on Maddux and Ichiro. (Universal Baseball Blog, Inc.)

Is the Rocket the best pitcher ever? A two-part series. (The New York Yankees Report, June 14 and June 15 entries)

Pujols definitely something special by Rob Neyer. (

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. East. "There is light at the end of this tunnel, granted it's a really long tunnel, and there might be an accident blocking the left lane up ahead, but the Orioles appear to finally be starting to turn the corner. They are no longer a candidate for the worst team in the league, and that is progress." (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: NL East. "So far in June, the Braves have posted an OPS of .929. Javy Lopez has had a resurgence that baffles everyone. Okay, I thought it was a slump for a year and a half, but this season is making a lot of Braves fans take back those 'Why did we keep Javy?' comments. Lopez is currently third in the league in home runs, one ahead of Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield." (Baseball Primer)

Prospectus Triple Play: Red Sox, Reds, Padres. "Despite a truly frightening number of runs allowed, the Reds stand just four games out of the NL Central lead after Monday night's loss to the Cubs. The four-week stretch between now and the All-Star Game will be crucial for the Reds' quixotic playoff hopes." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Marlins, Yankees, Pirates. "Alex Gonzalez is even more of a surprise. He had regressed considerably since his fine rookie season in 1999, and he missed most of last season with a separated shoulder. This season he hitting .332/.375/.594, and is on pace for 23 home runs and 106 RBI. His production is straight out of Derek Jeter's peak, while Jeter is hitting like the old Alex Gonzalez." (Baseball Prospectus)

Mike argues that Ryne Sandberg was a better player than Joe Morgan. (94 Years and Counting, June 16 entry)

A sampling of the wonder of Busch Stadium in its waning days of Astroturf-ness and multi-purpose glory, from a former usher. "Lee Smith on Sunday mornings, being driven around in a golf cart with a China plate of bacon on his lap… Picture that again: Lee Smith, in baseball pants and a T-shirt, riding shotgun on a golf cart through the bowels of Busch at 11:00 AM on a Sunday with a mound of bacon on a plate in his lap. No drink, no eggs, no biscuit, just bacon." (Redbird Nation)

New weblog:


Monday, June 16, 2003
Prospectus Triple Play: Indians, Dodgers, Mariners. "The Giants haven't exactly been blowing teams away since their scorching April. If the Dodger bats can supply enough runs over the next few weeks, there's no reason to think that Kevin Brown and his cronies can't be the division-leaders going into the All-Star break." (Baseball Prospectus)

How Tigers tumbled from stellar to the cellar. Lynn Henning on their 15-year decline. (Detroit News)

Derek Milhous Zumsteg on the Mariners' outfield defense. "On a philosophical bent, defense is hugely underrated in the stathead community, of which I am one. I used to think you should always punt defense, but I've come around entirely." (U.S.S. Mariner)

Friday, June 13, 2003
Bruce Markusen on Graig Nettles's Superballs, the Yankee rumor mill, the '73 A's, and more. (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: N.L. Central. "The Cardinals are finding themselves needing to win slugfests, because the pitchers have been struggling. Even reliable Matt Morris was lit up by the Orioles, although the Cards ending up winning that game anyway. Tony LaRussa has been leaving his starters in the game longer than usual, because no one in the bullpen has shown any ability to shut down the opposition consistently, although Eldred seems to have settled in as the closer." (Baseball Primer)

Prospectus Triple Play: Diamondbacks, Royals, Phillies. "With the Royals trailing the Twins by just 3.5 games, they're still not in any position to trade [Carlos] Beltran under the guise of rebuilding, not unless the Glass family wants to provoke a fan reaction rivaling the uproar in Chicago following the 'White Flag' trade of five years ago. But if and when he is forced to make a move, Allard Baird would do well to remember that Beltran is not only a better player than Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye were when he shipped them out of town. At barely 26 years old, Beltran's younger, too." (Baseball Prospectus)

William: "Joe Torre must have given a good speech last night because the Yankees came from behind and won tonight for the first time all year. In a spectacularly poor statistic, they were 0-20 in games where they were behind after the sixth inning." (The Flagrant Fan)

Eric McErlain: "Let's shout it from the rooftops -- the Montreal Expos aren't coming to Washington, D.C. Not next season, and unless something changes radically in the next few months, probably not ever. After last night, it's clear that the political support to build a new stadium in the District just doesn't exist." (Off Wing Opinion)

Bud a bit blurred as a visionary. Rob Neyer:
Oh, here's another Seligian brainstorm: All-Star uniforms. Yeah, that's right ... Commissioner Bud would like to legislate one of the best things about the All-Star Game -- getting to see all those different uniforms on the field at the same time -- out of existence.

Why on earth would he want to do that? It's all about the money, friends. MLB introduced special All-Star workout jerseys a few years ago, and naturally you could purchase these jerseys for home use. Granted, you don't see a lot of those jerseys actually being worn ... but what if special All-Star jerseys were worn during the game?

That ka-ching you just heard was the cash register that's always powered up inside Commissioner Bud's "brain."

The C & C Baseball Factory, Mach II (A Free-Form Jazz Exploration). Things that make Will Carroll and Christian Ruzich go "Hmm." (The Cub Reporter)

Thursday, June 12, 2003
Six Astros pitchers combine to no-hit Yankees. (

David Brazeal interviews Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball. (Baseball Primer)

James Surowiecki interviews Bill James.
There's a general perception in baseball that players are now aging differently and continuing to perform better for longer (players like Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds being obvious examples). Do you think this is actually true, or is it simply a matter of a few extraordinary outliers?

It's just outliers. Randy Johnson and Clemens and Bonds are not only the obvious examples; they are the whole basis of the argument. Clemens and Johnson were born in 1962, 1963, and are still pitching well, and this focuses attention on them. But if you make a complete list of pitchers born in 1962 and 1963, their value peaked in 1990 and has declined by more than 80 percent. Other pitchers of the same age include Mark Gubicza, Doug Drabek, Jeff Montgomery, Randy Myers, Sid Fernandez, Danny Jackson, Chris Bosio, Mark Portugal, Jeff Brantley, Eric Plunk, Bill Wegman, Bobby Thigpen, Jose Guzman, Scott Bankhead, Greg Harris, Les Lancaster, Greg Cadaret, Todd Frohwirth, Jay Tibbs, John Dopson, Jeff Ballard, Charlie Kerfeld, Urbano Lugo, and Calvin Schiraldi. Have you seen Chris Bosio lately? He's a pitching coach somewhere. ... Looks like he's about 63.

Derek Zumsteg on Edgar Martinez's Hall of Fame qualifications. "Edgar's pennant races performance are almost legend in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, his game-winning doubles down the line. There is an expectation when Edgar comes up that something exciting is going to happen. Edgar is the horror story told to American League rookie pitchers around bars in spring training towns like Tempe ('And then the rookie tried to bust Edgar inside...' 'Wha-wha-what happened?' 'Game-winning three-run home run, and the ball...' 'Yes?' 'The ball was never found...')." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: White Sox, Cardinals, Rangers. "[Texas GM] John Hart performed some advanced math--addition by subtraction--by sending Ruben Sierra to the Yankees for minor-league outfielder Marcus Thames. Sierra was using at-bats better given to Mark Teixeira and fresh-off-the-DL Kevin Mench, and not using them well: .263/.333/.398 before the trade." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Braves, Twins, Devil Rays. "As soon as Doug Mientkiewicz turns back into a pumpkin, [Justin] Morneau should take Minnesota's first base job and never look back. " (Baseball Prospectus)

Bryan Smith on how MLB has ruined the Expos. (Bryball)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Edward Cossette: "Twenty games. Twenty days. It's a true fact, to use the vernacular of freshman composition students, that the pennant cannot be won in the next twenty days, but it sure can be lost. This is a time for brave hearts, Red Sox fans." (Bambino's Curse)

This trip appeals to Astros. They're going to New York and Boston for the first time. (Houston Chronicle)

Chat wrap: Rob Neyer, June 6.
Big bad wolf: Hi Rob - what about the Jays? Riccardi strikes me as an excellent GM with a current 2 year plan. Given their hitting so far this year, do you think he might change gears and be a pitching buyer this summer?

Rob Neyer: I doubt it. In fact, I suspect the opposite. Corey Lidle's going to get pretty expensive after this season, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Blue Jays traded him for prospects. Maybe if the Jays were in the Central they'd shoot for 90 wins and the division title. But they're in the East, so they have to stick to their plan.

Cotton-Eyed Joe Morgan Chat Day.
Brian (NYC): In your opinion, who is the best of all time at robbing homeruns in the outfield? To me that is the most exciting play in baseball.

Joe Morgan: You have to remember they just lowered the fences to those dimensions in recent years. When I played in Cincinnati, the fence was 12-13 feet high. But now you can jump over them. Probably Mike Cameron and Torii Hunter are the two best. Had they been lower all the time, Eric Davis would be in that category. You couldn't jump over the Astrodome fence, that's for sure.

Mike: Ah, Joe the fences at Riverfront were 12 feet from 1970 to 1983 but were lowered to 8 feet in 1984. Of course, that was after you left, but it was twenty years ago.

By the way, my pick is Timmy Lupus. That catch in The Bad News Bears was amazing. Runner up? Jeffrey Maier.
(Mike's Baseball Rants, June 9 entry)

Jon Weisman: "As far as the Dodgers tying the Giants and then falling five games behind, it recalls what I wrote April 22 when the Dodgers fell behind by 8 1/2 games early this season, but pledged they could make up the difference. It's not enough to merely be able to make up the difference. The problem with making up such a deficit is that all it gets you to is square one. That said, the Dodgers remain only 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot right now..." (Dodger Thoughts)

John J Perricone: "I was just looking through the hitting statistics of all the National League teams, and I was wondering if anyone but me has noticed what a bunch of weak singles hitters the Giants seem to have become?" (Only Baseball Matters)

Monday, June 09, 2003
Cubs take series from Yanks amid Series atmosphere. Mark Prior struck out 10 in six innings. (

Christian Ruzich: "I wish George Steinbrenner owned the Cubs." (Bronx Banter, June 9 entry)

Millar homers twice as Lowe stymies Brewers. The Red Sox are back in first place. (

Prospectus Triple Play: Expos, Giants, Blue Jays. "Fernando Tatis is a serious contender for the title of worst regular in the majors. Tatis has put up a mesmerizing line of .211/.281/.299 this season while playing third base with the range of Steve Balboni and the arm of...what has no arm?...a snake, that'll do." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Astros, Brewers, Athletics. "'Bad' Ausmus never has much chance of being even an average catcher offensively, but this is ridiculous. Ausmus recently pulled into the lead in the race for worst regular catcher in the majors (as rated by VORP), underpowering the likes of Michael Barrett and Brandon Inge." (Baseball Prospectus)

Joe Sheehan: "Last week, Joe Garagiola Jr. made the latest in a long series of heavily-criticized trades in which he gave up young players developed by the Diamondbacks for older talent...This isn't the first time he's made a trade that left me shaking my head, and yet, the Diamondbacks have been one of the most successful franchises in baseball since they entered the league." (Baseball Prospectus)

Baseball's Dream Teams. One all-time team for each franchise, by Rob Neyer. For the Angels, it goes:
DH-Don Baylor
C- Bob Boone
1B- Wally Joyner
2B- Bobby Grich
SS- Jim Fregosi
3B- Troy Glaus
LF- Brian Downing
CF- Jim Edmonds
RF- Tim Salmon
SP1- Chuck Finley
SP2- Nolan Ryan
SP3- Frank Tanana
SP4- Mike Witt
RP- Troy Percival

Rob Neyer on the four-and-a-half-man rotation. Hey, they changed his picture. (

New weblog:

     Gregg's Baseball, etc. (Red Sox)

Friday, June 06, 2003
Contreras' gem helps Yanks avoid being swept by Reds. Hideki Matsui had a good game, too. The Yankees are back in first place. (

Late heroics earn M's 13th straight road victory. Mike Cameron came up in the ninth with two runners on. He tried to bunt them over, but fouled off the first two tries. So he did the next best thing - he hit a game-winning three-run home run. (

Prospectus Triple Play: Angels, Cubs, Tigers. "A fortnight ago, we reported that third baseman Dave Kelton was mashing the ball in Iowa and might get a shot to fill the Cubs' hole at the hot corner. Um, scratch that. Kelton is still mashing the ball, but he is now a left fielder, apparently at his own request, a la Chipper Jones. He had made 11 errors for Iowa in the first six weeks of the season, and the belief that he was hurting the team was weighing heavily on him. He ought to know, but this undoubtedly significantly delays his arrival at Wrigley Field, as Moises Alou is signed through 2004." (Baseball Prospectus)

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. West. "Jeff 'Who?' DaVanon has ten hits, including six home runs, in the Angels' last three games. He had nine career home runs before that. I don't know what the record is for consecutive two-home-run games, but I do know that it's a shame that this story has gotten lost in the Sammy Sosa corked bat controversy. ESPN should break away from their coverage of sawing Sammy's bats in half to show DaVanon's at bats." (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. Central. "In an effort to find the single best speedy centerfielder who can’t hit in the entire universe, the Tigers have gone through Gene Kingsale and Andres Torres and have been forced to go outside their own organization to bring in Alex Sanchez, whom they believe has a chance to be the speediest and suckiest of all." (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. East. "When the #2 offense (Red Sox) visited the #1 offense in the league (Blue Jays) over the weekend, G.M. J.P. Ricciardi likened it to 'Arena baseball.' That Sunday, Toronto and Boston hit 8 doubles…each." (Baseball Primer)

New weblog:

     Pinstripe News (Yankees)

Thursday, June 05, 2003
Kim, Lowe pace Red Sox sweep of Pirates. Boston is back in first place. (

Kim Deal a Success Breeder? "It's just one start, but still it feels like the acquisition of Kim has added some much needed ballast to the club. As a fan, I certainly feel much better today than I did yesterday." (Bambino's Curse) (good headline)

AL notebook: Jeter named Yankees captain.
The honorary title wasn't a surprise. The way it was bestowed, and where, was curious.

Instead of waiting for the Yankees to return home to introduce him as captain, owner George Steinbrenner informed Jeter of his decision by telephone yesterday.

Why not wait until they got home?

"You've got me, really," Jeter said. "He said, 'Captain.' I said, 'Wot?' He said, 'Captain.' I said, 'Wot you want?'"
(Seattle Times)

John J Perricone: "Simply, the Yankees are fielding a defense that features a DH at first base (Giambi), a shortstop at second (Soriano), a third baseman at short (Jeter), and a left fielder in center (Bernie Williams). That's far too many question marks in the middle of the diamond, and David [Pinto] is right, whenever you watch the Yanks, you hear and see so many balls falling fair in the center of the field." (Only Baseball Matters)

Prospectus Triple Play: Orioles, Rockies, Mets. "We've said it before, but paying too much attention to performance in April is a good way to make bad decisions. Armando Benitez is just the latest example." (Baseball Prospectus)

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
BK Kim 101. Tim looks at Byung-Hyun Kim's seven starts this season, and concludes that he could easily be 5-2 instead of 1-5. (Musings from RSN)

StatsGuru: "Joe Torre has managerial skills that work great when he has talented, intelligent, self motivated players. In that case, all he has to manage is their personalities. But when he has players who actually need to be coached, who need strategy laid out for them, who need a field general, he's not very good. So Steinbrenner is calling him on it. Good for Steinbrenner for not being fooled by the reasons for success." (Baseball Musings)

The Score Bard Joe Morgan Chat Wrap #2.
JB (Danville, CA): Score Bard - Did you enjoy Diana Krall last night? I thought she sounded great! The A's offense is scuffling, Dye comes back this weekend and Tejada is starting to hit a little. If you're Billy Beane where do you look to add some pop? I'd love to see them go after a corner outfielder or even a move for Roberto Alomar (the Mets have to be looking to dump salary). Thoughts?

The A's aren't in much a position
To make a big payroll addition.
They'll take Long out of action
And thus add by subtraction.
Yes, Krall is a gifted musician.
(The Humbug Journal, May 30 entry)

Sosa's legacy could be broken beyond repair. He was caught using a corked bat. (

Christian Ruzich: "Here's the interesting thing: corking a bat doesn't make the ball travel farther. It does increase your bat speed by making the bat lighter, but as Robert Kemp Adair proved in The Physics of Baseball, it does some other things that adversely affect how far the ball travels." (The Cub Reporter)

Interleague interference: DH Edgar Martinez takes a seat during NL play. Losing the DH will probably hurt the Mariners more than any other team. (Seattle Times)

Moyer-ly, M's still row along. Jamie Moyer shut out the Phillies, 4-0. Edgar wasn't needed. (Seattle Times)

Injured Jones comes through in clutch. Andruw pinch-hit a home run in the 8th to win the game for the Braves. (

Devil Rays select Young with first overall pick. Recap of the baseball draft. (

John Sickels analyzes the draft. "The Devil Rays added a power bat to their already deep stock of talented young outfielders. Young has enormous power, good overall tools, and has strong bloodlines. He is more advanced than his brother Dmitri was at the same stage of development, and he should move quickly for a high school player. A legitimate pick at first overall, though some observers feel the D-Rays should have picked Rickie Weeks due to Tampa's positional needs." (

Alan Schwarz on Roger Jongewaard: "The Mariners' longtime scouting and player development chief is baseball's unquestioned expert in using baseball's top draft selection -- which isn't as easy as it looks. There have been 38 No. 1 picks in draft history, and Jongewaard has made the best two: Alex Rodriguez (1993) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1987). Throw in Darryl Strawberry (1980) from his days crosschecking with the Mets, and Jongewaard has hit big where so many others have flailed miserably." (

The Southpaw has some ideas on how to revamp the draft. (The Southpaw, June 3 entry)

Loose cannons sometimes go astray. Rob Neyer on pitchers with control problems on and off the field: Ryne Duren, John Rocker, etc. (

Mudville Magazine has a new issue, including an interview with Michael Lewis.

New weblog:

     Birdseed (Orioles)

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Advance Scout: Cardinals, June 3-5. "Make no mistake -- the Cardinals remain an extraordinarily gifted and dangerous team. But they haven't yet amounted to the sum of their parts, even factoring for their various injuries." (Batter's Box)

Derek Milhous Zumsteg: "That the Mariners have consistently seen fit to extravagently reward Dan Wilson for his popularity while at the same time playing hardball with fan favorite Edgar Martinez at every turn speaks a great deal about the organization's biases and priorities when it comes to making decisions on what kind of a team they're going to field, and how pound-foolish they really are." (U.S.S. Mariner)

Report: Steinbrenner no longer fan of interleague play. "The Boss is unhappy about New York's road trip this week, when interleague games begin. His problem: While the Yankees are in Cincinnati and Chicago, the rival Boston Red Sox play Pittsburgh and Milwaukee -- two of the three worst teams in the National League." (

Tom Tippett: "If George really wants fair competition, he should lobby Selig to put a third team in the New York metropolitan area, push for a hard salary cap, or voluntarily cut his payroll by about $60 million." (Thoughts from Diamond Mind, June 3 entry)

Ben Jacobs on the 1998 AL East. (Universal Baseball Blog, Inc.)

Just Another Manic Mon-Joe-Morgan-Chat-Day from Mike's Baseball Rants.

Travis Nelson: "Baseball writing is such a great gig because as soon as you're convinced that you'll never have anything to write about again, Joe Morgan rattles off a column that begs to be shredded. Oh goody." (Boy of Summer, May 29 entry)

Aaron Gleeman: "At what point is it okay to call Joe Morgan an idiot? I mean, it is obvious from listening to Joe that he is a fairly smart guy. He speaks well, he has quite a lot of intelligent thoughts and he generally comes off as a person of above-average intelligence. But c'mon Joe! Not only does Joe have his facts wrong about Billy Beane and Moneyball, he is now making a big deal about the situation, based on his incorrect facts. It is to the point that Joe bashes the A's/Billy Beane/Moneyball at every possible opportunity he gets, whether it is on ESPN,, ESPN Radio, wherever. It is almost an obsession. And I think it is all based on Joe being incredibly offended by Billy Beane writing a book that Billy Beane didn't even write!" (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Eric: "OK, Twins' fans, simmah down now. Yes, the Twins just lost four in a row to the Seattle Mariners, but let's just chill out a little bit. Don't let your Minnesota-bred inner fatalist take over. Things are going to be just fine." (The Baseball Boys)

Prospectus Triple Play: Marlins, Yankees, Pirates. "This is probably not earth shattering news to you, but there is no plan. Every decision the Marlins make seems unconnected to anything else. The off-season signing of catcher Ivan Rodriguez--what exactly was the point?" (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Red Sox, Reds, Padres. "[Rod] Beck immediately steps to the front of the line for whatever save opportunities the Padres can scrounge up. Whatever happens, he's a tremendously fun pitcher to watch, and he'll give fans of this moribund Padres team something else to root for in 2003." (Baseball Prospectus)

Dan Werr on Wiffle Ball. "By naming our team the First-Half Energizers, we ensured that we would always bat in the top of the first. That provided a tremendous Wiffle Ball advantage because (A) games of Wiffle Ball basically ended when it got dark and (B) that frequently occurred before the top of the first was over." (Baseball Primer)

Chris Dial on the 16-inning Cubs/Astros game, the 17-inning Yankees/Tigers game, and more. (Baseball Primer)

Soft-tossing Rueter, Cornejo defying odds. They don't strike anyone out, but they pitch effectively anyway. Can it last? (

New weblog:

     Musings from RSN (Red Sox)

Monday, June 02, 2003
Chat wrap: Rob Neyer, May 30.
Darrin (Chicago): In 50 years will Mark Prior be in the same league as Cy Young, Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax? I ask this because he is so dominant and mature at such a young age. It's really amazing!

Rob Neyer: If he keeps his head in the game and his body off the operating table, he's got a real good chance to win 200 games. Beyond that, it's up to the Gods.
Bruce Markusen's Cooperstown Confidential for May 30. Players who wore glasses, how to fix the Yankees, and more. (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: N.L. Central. "The Cubs get a chance to catch their breath with the Devil Rays coming to town, and really need to avoid looking ahead to the Bronx Bombers' first visit to Wrigley Field since the 1938 World Series. The pitchers are starting to show some signs of wear and tear, and since they are the strength of the team there's cause for concern there." (Baseball Primer)

Bi-Weekly Review: N.L. West. "The Colorado Rockies should lobby the league to be the 'Home Team.' They are simply destroying teams at Coors and getting destroyed on the road. This has always been the case with the Rockies and that’s for a significant player turnover." (Baseball Primer)

The Baseball Crank: "Baseball Prospectus lists most-similar players to each guy at same age. [Shea] Hillenbrand's #1 is Frank Malzone, but #4 is more intriguing for history-minded Sox fans: Danny Cater. Think he'd be worth dealing for a closer?"

Thanks for visiting.