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Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Clemens wins record seventh Cy Young Award.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Roger Clemens could have ended his career last year in the World Series, just like Sandy Koufax. Now, he might join Koufax as the only defending Cy Young Award winners to call it quits.

As dominant as ever after reversing his decision to retire, the 42-year-old Rocket easily won his record seventh Cy Young on Tuesday -- first in the National League -- after taking the Houston Astros within one win of the World Series.

He received 23 of 32 first-place votes and 140 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, becoming the oldest pitcher to win a Cy Young. Gaylord Perry was 40 when he won in 1978.

Crosby cruises to AL Rookie of the Year, Bay wins NL honor. (Yahoo!)

Varitek's terms could be tough to meet.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- As much as the Red Sox hope to persuade Jason Varitek to stay in Boston, they face a mighty challenge since Varitek's agent, Scott Boras, said last night the catcher expects to receive a five-year contract with a no-trade clause that compensates him as lucratively as the top catchers in the game.

Varitek's proposal poses several potential problems for the Sox. It would clash with the team's unofficial policy of not granting contracts longer than four years. It also could violate the club's official policy against awarding full no-trade provisions and automatically trigger a no-trade clause for Manny Ramirez for the next four years. And it could require a financial commitment of $50 million or more.
(Boston Globe)

Rivals in Exile: Looking Back. Ben Jacobs and Larry Mahnken on the 2004 Red Sox and Yankees. (The Hardball Times)

The 1960s Dodgers: Two Parts Patience, One Part Creative Insanity.
Earlier, we examined the situations of the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants in the 1960s. Those organizations in that decade presented very different scenarios: the Cardinals parlayed good-but-not-great home-grown talent into a three-time champion through extremely astute trades; the Giants managed just one pennant despite a staggering bounty from the farm system, because of highly questionable choices and ill-conceived trades.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the other team to finish on top in the National League between 1962 and 1968 - like the Cards, they were a three-time champ in those years - and they demonstrated neither such extreme. But the Dodgers in this period did exhibit sound organizational principles: excellent talent development, prudence and patience in deploying it, and wisdom in trading when the situation called for it.
(The Hardball Times)

Prospectus Triple Play: Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies. "Even if they retain Cormier and one of Lidle or Milton, the Phillies still stand to save a significant amount by getting Millwood’s $11MM off the books. The question is: where do they spend it? As mentioned, the offense is mostly set for next year. Mike Lieberthal, Jim Thome, Jimmy Rollins, David Bell, Burrell and Bobby Abreu will all be back, leaving second base and center field as questions. The two easy answers to those questions are Chase Utley and some combination of Byrd and Jason Michaels." (Baseball Prospectus)

ACES Book Completed. An interview with Mychael Urban, who has written a book on the 2004 journey of the Oakland Big Three, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito.
Blez: Do you think the A's will keep any of the Big Three or do you think Billy Beane is leaning toward rebuilding with younger guys like Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Brad Knox and Jason Windsor?

MU: Depends on what you mean by "keep." They'll almost certainly have two or three of The Big Three around next year, and Mark and Barry have pretty inexpensive club options for 2006. Beyond that, I'd just be guessing as to what the A's are thinking regarding the rotation. Harden is about to blow up into a star, no doubt, but I'm not sold on any of the other guys as bonafide big-league starters. Blanton got roughed up pretty good at Triple-A at times this year, and if he were as talented at any of The Big Three or Harden, he'd have made it to The Show at 22 or 23 like those guys did. Knox and Windsor are even bigger question marks for the time being. I think they might make a decent rotation by 2007, but they'll never be as special as what we're seeing in Oakland right now.
(Athletics Nation)

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