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Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Go Fish: Marlins deal Lee to Cubbies. In return, they get Hee Seop Choi and a minor leaguer to be named. (Yahoo!)

Christian Ruzich: "Given that Dusty Baker was never going to play Choi, I like this trade. Lee is a very good hitter (264/353/467 career, 271/379/508 in '03) and plays Gold Glove-caliber defense. Plus he plays every day, which means there's no need to keep Randall Simon around. The role of back-up first baseman can be played by someone inexpensive, like Phil Hiatt or Dave Kelton." (The Transaction Guy)

Rob Neyer on Warren Spahn. "Warren Spahn into context? Imagine a left-handed version of Mike Mussina ... but finishing half the games he starts and pitching like a Hall of Famer well into his 40s. If you can imagine that, you've got a good start." (

Thomas Boswell on Warren Spahn. "If any of our major sports has had an almost unknown immortal, it is Spahn. He did everything. Early in his career, he had a big fastball and won strikeout titles (four in a row). Late in his career, he pitched no-hitters (two). In back-to-back World Series against the Yankees in '57 and '58, he went 3-2 in five starts with a 3.07 ERA as the Braves split the two Classics. One of his Series wins, at 37, was a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts. Ten years before, it was 'Spahn and Sain and pray for rain,' that got the Boston Braves to the Series. So, he was clutch, too." (Washington Post)

Next scheduled post: December 1.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Schilling mulls trade to Red Sox. "Schilling said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and president Larry Lucchino were heading to Phoenix to meet with him. The Red Sox asked the commissioner's office for permission to discuss a contract extension with Schilling, the 37-year-old right-hander said, a window that expires at 5 p.m. Friday." (Yahoo!)

Hall of Famer Warren Spahn dies at 82. (Yahoo!)

Mets' Piazza: 'I don't want to be traded'
Piazza said he was partially amused by the mischaracterization of his feelings in numerous reports last week. Yes, his agent, Dan Lozano, told the Mets if they were starting a youth movement and didn't believe Piazza fit into the plan, they'd be willing to listen about the possibility of a trade. Lozano wasn't asking for one, Piazza said. He wanted to be cooperative and find out what the Mets were thinking.

Lozano also told them Piazza is prepared to play some first base, as planned.
(Newark Star-Ledger)

Money for Nothing. Win Shares versus salary. (Baseball Graphs)

Monday, November 24, 2003
A-Rod's wish list reportedly Red Sox, Yankees. (

Escobar reportedly signs with Angels. 3 years, $18.75M. (

Matt Barnard: "You could do worse with $18.75 million than to secure the services of Kelvim Escobar for three years, but there's reason to question the move. There's been an awful lot of talk about how the market is taking a downturn (or about to do so) in terms of player salaries, but how much could a pitcher with Escobar's credentials have expected to get in the most free spending, player-friendly of times?" (the dump's sportslog)

Chat wrap with Chris Kahrl.
Andy (New York): What happens with Pat Burrell in 2004. Most people thought he could be a legitimate MVP candidate by now, but instead he's trying to avoid becoming Rob Deer. What's your prediction for him?

Chris Kahrl: In another organization, I think Burrell would be fixed, but it isn't going to happen through Larry Bowa's personal intervention. Beware of banjo-hitting middle infielders who claim they know something about the science of hitting."
(Baseball Prospectus)

Friday, November 21, 2003
Tampa native Martinez traded to Devil Rays. "St. Louis will pay $7 million of the remaining $8.5 million Martinez is guaranteed, a baseball official said on the condition of anonymity." (Yahoo!)

Chat wrap with Rob Neyer.
stan from baltimore: How soon, if ever, do you see the O's pulling off a trade for Derrek Lee or Richie Sexson and which one do you think is a better fit for the O's? Also, a lot of people have called the O's the favorites to land Vlad Guerrero. Truthfully, how likely are we to land him?

Rob Neyer: I think either Lee or Sexson would be a fine addition for the Orioles, though Sexson's talents might play slightly better in Oriole Park, which is a pretty good place for a right-handed power hitters. And I do think Guerrero might end up in Baltimore, him or Tejada.

Dale Robertson: "We need to prepare ourselves now for the disappointment. Andy Pettitte is extremely unlikely to become an Astro." (Houston Chronicle)

Probe into murder of Reds' player taking bizarre path.
PHOENIX - Authorities are trying to piece together whether a jilted girlfriend and $11,182 in cash seized by federal drug agents in Missouri had any connection with the execution-style slaying of Cincinnati Reds player Dernell Stenson on a quiet Chandler street two weeks ago.

Friends and family confirm the ex-girlfriend harassed Stenson across several states for at least 18 months, claiming at various times that she was pregnant by him, miscarried his child, was pregnant again and miscarried again.
(Arizona Republic)

The Worst MVP Seasons Ever. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Greg Couch: "On Monday afternoon, Judge Sophia Hall is expected to rule on a class-action suit that Cubs fans felt they had to file against their beloved team. Are the Cubs guilty of actually breaking scalping laws? That's still the million-dollar question, I suppose. But no matter what her ruling, we know what the Cubs are. Guilty." (Chicago Tribune) (HA HA - Just kidding. Chicago Sun-Times)

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)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
A's trade Lilly to Toronto for Kielty. (Yahoo!)

The Score Bard:
Beane's outfield was so bad he felt he
Should make it less Lucy Van Pelty,
While JP's poor mound
Was too Charlie Browned:
And thus was born Lilly-for-Kielty.
(The Humbug Journal)

A's looking to ship Hernandez, Long to San Diego for Kotsay. (Yahoo!)

Bryan Smith on the two Oakland deals. (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Free agent Pettitte meets with Astros. "Re-signing Pettitte is the No. 1 priority of the American League champion Yankees, who have said they expect to negotiate with him later in the offseason. Pettitte lives in the Houston area." (Yahoo!)

Back again: M's set to sign Ibanez. (Seattle Times)

David Cameron: "Bad, bad news. Not only have the Mariners decided to flush $13 million down the drain on Raul Ibanez, they're going to do so before the deadline to offer arbitration, meaning that we are voluntarily giving our first round pick to the Royals for the right to throw our money away." (U.S.S. Mariner)

Lil' Matsui's comin', lil' Matsui's comin'. Peter wants the Mariners to sign him. (Mariners Musings)

Realistic Free Agent Pick-ups. "Todd Walker is everything the Cubs need. He is a .290 career hitter with a .346 OBP. He has a BB/SO ratio similiar to Randall Simon but doesnt swing at anything and everything. Walker would fit nicely into the #2 slot hitting ahead of Sosa and possibly behind Patterson. Walker would be an excellent hit and run batter and when was the last time we had a .290 hitter in front of Sosa for an entire season? Sure would help him, instead of coming up most of the time with no one on base." (Cubs Pundit)

Barry Zito Arrested for Attempted Murder. "At least, that's the premise of this week's episode of JAG on CBS. In his latest artistic endeavor, Zito gives acting a whirl. He portrays a pitcher (what else) in the annual Navy-Marines baseball game who throws a malicious pitch and gets in trouble for it." (Barry Zito Forever)

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Bonds wins sixth NL MVP, third in a row. (Yahoo!)

A-Rod wins AL MVP, confirms trade talk. (Yahoo!)

Hentgen returns to Blue Jays. One year, $2.2 million. (Yahoo!)

The Stadium Game. Neil deMause: "Is this the end of the new-stadium era, one we'll one day look back on like the 1910-1915 era that produced the first wave of steel ballparks (if perhaps not as fondly)? Or is it just a statistical blip, a pause in the action before the next round of construction? Let's take a look at the remaining candidates..." (Baseball Prospectus)

Derek Zumsteg: "Baseball is the only major sport in America where the players are guaranteed to get dirty. Twenty-six fields are some variety of grass (see chart, below), and outfielders who make diving grabs come up smeared in green, just like we do when we play at our local fields. Slide into second in shorts and you look like Pigpen, and that's the same in every ballpark in baseball." (Baseball Prospectus)

Cy of Relief. "I think Win Shares is the shakiest ground from which to build one's argument for Gagne's Cy Young legitimacy. Gagne had a fine season, but I cannot accept an argument that his 82.1 innings were superior to Prior's 211.1 or Schmidt's 207.2 even if they came in save opportunity. And what of save opportunities? James showed in his New Historical Baseball Abstract that a closer is best used in games in which his team leads by one, the score is tied, or possibly if his team trails by one. Only one of those three would even be considered a save opportunity." (Mike's Baseball Rants)

The Red Sox...What we have so far. Jeff proposes a 25-man roster for 2004. Part 3 in a series. (The House that Dewey Built)

The Red Sox...Filling the holes. Part 4. (The House that Dewey Built)

Roger Angell looks back on the 2003 postseason. "[Mike Mordecai] compared [Josh] Beckett to a teammate of his from a decade ago, the left-handed Atlanta phenom Steve Avery, but I had a better model in mind: twenty-one-year-old Bret Saberhagen, who gave up a lone run to the Cardinals over eighteen innings during the 1985 Series, and effortlessly won the M.V.P., just as Beckett did here. Watching them both, you could see Cooperstown in the mists ahead—or else the waiting rooms of Dr. James Andrews, the celebrated Birmingham shoulder surgeon, et al., which was Saberhagen’s path, as it turned out. This is a tough trade." (The New Yorker)

King Kaufman on the steroid scandal. Is anyone else having trouble with Salon's Free Day Pass? I can't get the "ultramercial" to run, so I can't get past the first two paragraphs of this column. I couldn't access Kaufman's football column on Friday, either. (

New weblogs:

     The Transaction Guy
     Two Headed Monster (White Sox and Cubs)

New feature: "Random Blog" button. This will take you to one of 192 (at last count) baseball-related weblogs.

Monday, November 17, 2003
Bantering Throughout The Bronx With Alex Belth.
RWBB: What is it like to eat, breathe, and sleep Yankees, Yankees, Yankees?

Alex: For the most part, it's great. Sometimes it's enervating, but I really can't complain, right? I used to feel a lot of liberal guilt and angst because I rooted for U.S. Steel, but I've learned to come to grips with that. Every team has a cross to bear, and if that's the Yankees cross, so be it. That's the way they've always been. What does turn me off is the self-congratulatory schmaltz. All that **** they pump out on the YES network. It's so unnecessary. There are too many people who root for the Yanks that are simply frontrunner jerks. Some guys feel like the Yankees are entitled to win every year and that's obnoxious. I actually feel humbled and blessed to root for them.
(Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Friday, November 14, 2003
Ellis calls Brewers fiasco 'scam of the century'. Press release from Wisconsin Senator Mike Ellis, via Baseball Primer.

Report: Giants acquire C Pierzynski from Twins. They gave up reliever Joe Nathan, pitcher Boof Bonser and a minor league player to be named later. (

Case closed: Gagne easily wins NL Cy Young. (

I Love The '80s: Baseball Edition.
VH1 partly inspired this post but mostly it's the Reggie Jackson figure I received as a wedding thank-you gift. Reggie is towering over a vintage (pre-Mount Davis) Oakland Coliseum, in his gold-and-green A's uniform. The only problem I face with this is my child-of-the-1980s memory: To me,

Reggie Jackson is a California Angel.

Not an Athletic, and certainly not a Yankees, but an Angel. Not an Anaheim Angel either--a California Angel, in the same lineup with Doug DeCinces and Bobby Grich and Rod Carew. You can tell almost exactly how old I am from this impression, or at least when--to within a season or two--I became a baseball fanatic.
(Now That Everyone Else Has One)

Prospectus Triple Play: Expos, Giants, Blue Jays. "Seemingly just to rub salt in Giants fans' wounds, the team waited less than 72 hours after J.T. Snow's ill-fated dash for home plate--OK, more a saunter than a dash--to announce that ownership would be reducing payroll by around $10 million next season. That was especially tough news for diehards who had been optimistically speculating about a 2004 season featuring a Vladimir Guerrero reunion with Felipe Alou, or Gary Sheffield joining his off-season training partner Barry Bonds." (Baseball Prospectus)

Mike on the Rookie of the Year voting. (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Thursday, November 13, 2003
How low can you go with payroll? Ask Brewers. GM Doug Melvin has been asked to cut the payroll to $30 million next season, which would be the lowest in baseball. Guess they're out of the Vlad sweepstakes. (

Brewer Thoughts. "I expected a decrease, but not by 25 friggin percent...And with such a huge slash in payroll, I think the fans need some answers. The Brewers promised that Miller Park would give them additional funds to put into the team when they sought legislation for taxpayers to foot most of the bill for building the ballpark. Now, with the prospect of a very tight payroll - and almost certainly more losing seasons - many fans feel betrayed." (Cheesehead Sports)

Legislators want to audit Brewers.
[Former Governor Tommy] Thompson, a strong supporter of the Miller Park financing package that the Legislature approved in 1995, said the franchise was not keeping its commitment to the state and the taxpayers in southeastern Wisconsin.

"The Brewers made it clear that if we built a modern, state-of-the-art stadium, it would provide them with the resources to field a winning baseball team," Thompson said in a statement that his office released Wednesday night. "They promised to go out and get the star players that would allow them to compete for a World Series.

"The taxpayers stepped up, built the stadium and kept Wisconsin a major-league state. Yet the Brewers have not upgraded the quality of their team, and now they are apparently cutting their payroll further. The Brewers need to put an end to the games. They need to invest in a winning team."
(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

David Cameron: "As advertised, here is my not-comprehensive list of free agent suggestions. It includes guys that I endorse as quality acquisitions, guys I would avoid like they had the bubonic plague, and guys I can't make up my mind on." (U.S.S. Mariner)

Mickey Kaus: "In 2004, Bush will want to stay in the game and finish the job. He's Pedro Martinez. The voters have to decide whether to keep him, or thank him for several well-pitched innings and bring in a reliever. They're Grady Little." (Slate)

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Top rookies: Berroa edges Matsui; Willis wins. Controversy in both leagues. In the AL, a couple of writers - going against the rules - refused to vote for Matsui because of his Japan League experience. In the NL, Willis beat Brandon Webb despite Webb's superior numbers. (

Blue Jays' Halladay easily wins AL Cy Young. Not much controversy here. (

Red Sox have a dazzler in Zink. Rob Neyer: "I'm going to keep both eyes on him, because he's going to be a good major-league pitcher, a better major-league pitcher than the great majority of the pitchers in the Arizona Fall League who are considered better prospects...I think Zink is likely to have a career something like Tim Wakefield's. And he might be Phil Niekro." (

Monday, November 10, 2003
Why Mo Vaughn was a horrible, horrible signing, and anyone should have seen that coming. Derek Milhous Zumsteg on Bill Bavasi's big mistake. (U.S.S. Mariner)

Rich Lederer interviews Lee Sinins, creator of the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Friday, November 07, 2003
Bryan: "[I]t's said the Red Sox focus will be on pitching. But where? Pedro, Wakefield, and Lowe already have rotation spots next season. And I agree with Jacobs and Kuhn that it's ludicrous to not give Byung-Hyun Kim and Bronson Arroyo the fourth and fifth slots. Kim has #2 starter potential, and Arroyo would be much better than John Burkett. I also would go after Maels Rodriguez, the Cuban defector that is rumored to throw 100. If Maels is to be a reliever, allow him to set up Williamson. If not, send Arroyo to middle relief." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Thursday, November 06, 2003
Hampton ends Maddux's string of Gold Gloves. Other winners: Mike Matheny, Derrek Lee, Luis Castillo, Edgar Renteria, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Andruw Jones, Jose Cruz Jr. (Yahoo!)

Organizational Meeting: Red Sox. Ben Jacobs from Universal Baseball Blog Inc. and Jeff Kuhn from The House that Dewey Built answer Bryan's questions about what the Sox should do in the offseason. (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Jay Jaffe on new Yankees hitting coach Don Mattingly. "Mattingly is The Man as far as nearly every Yank fan of my generation is concerned, revered as 'Donnie Baseball' and touted as being worthy of the Hall of Fame, but I just don't feel the same way about him...[T]he real reason for that differerence is what separates me from most of your garden-variety Yankee fans: from the time I began following baseball (1977) through Mattingly's final season, I hated the Pinstripes with a passion." (Futility Infielder)

Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Martinez returns for $3 million deal. Edgar is back with the Mariners for at least one more year. (Yahoo!)

Seattle on top of Gold Glove pile. Four Mariners (Ichiro, Cameron, Boone and Olerud) won the award, along with Mike Mussina, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Chavez, Bengie Molina and Torii Hunter. (Yahoo!)

Bruce Markusen presents "a plan of action—position by position—that the Yankee brass might take during a cold, hard winter." (Baseball Primer)

The Meat Market (Part Three: Pitchers). "Pettitte has been a work-horse throughout his career, pitching 200+ innings in six of the last eight seasons. His strikeout rates over the last three years are significantly improved over his early-career numbers, and his control is dramatically better than it was years ago. I would love to sign him up to a three-year deal, stick him on a team with a solid defense and watch him rack up those ground ball outs. I could see him providing a team with 600+ innings with a 3.50-3.75 ERA over the next three years, and I think he will prove to be a bargain when compared to Colon and Millwood." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Astros trade Wagner to Phillies.
It's the first move in what could be another interesting offseason for the suddenly free-spending Phillies. Philadelphia hopes to land a top starter and setup reliever. Wagner should make the Phillies an attractive spot for free agents.

"If you're a free agent pitcher thinking about the Phillies, you know if you're walking off the mound in the seventh inning, the ninth inning is pretty well covered," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said.

John Lauck analyzes the trade from the Astros' perspective. (Astros Daily)

Guillen back with White Sox as manager. (Yahoo!)

Ortiz back for another year with Braves. The team exercised a one-year, $5.7 million option. (Yahoo!)

Lining up who will be here in 2004. Gordon Edes tries to project the Red Sox' roster. (Boston Globe)

The Meat Market (Part One: Outfielders). Aaron Gleeman looks at this year's free agents. "Vladimir Guerrero is one of the best free agents in baseball history and the team that signs him will be adding an extraordinarily valuable piece to their team. I'd bust the bank and give him just about whatever he wants if he expressed interest in signing with my team. According to everything I've been reading, I'd say about a dozen teams think they have a shot at him, which means that price-tag is going to rise pretty high. He's worth it." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

The Meat Market (Part Two: Catchers and Infielders). "I would have no hesitation signing [Pudge Rodriguez] to a two-year deal, but I suspect he is going to be looking for a lot more than that, and I bet he'll get it too. I figure Rodriguez probably made himself an extra $20 million or so by signing that one-year deal with the Marlins. Oh, and he got $10 million and a World Series ring out of the deal too." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

Organizational Meeting: Oakland A's. A Q&A with the guys from Elephants in Oakland. "If the A’s could get a lot for Lilly in trade, they should go for it. Lilly is an enigma wrapped inside a riddle, inside a fortune cookie crushed inside a spoiled brat’s clenched fist. Lilly could be had for 3 years at a $2-3 million a year. That’s rather pricey for a fourth starter considering Justin Duchscherer and Joe Blanton are on the verge of making the jump." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Organizational Meetings: Giants. A Q&A with The Southpaw, Matthew T. Durham. "[E]veryone's going to talk about Vlad and Sheffield, and while I think that the Giants have an outside chance to land one, I don't expect it at all. Vlad played for Felipe, and Sheff almost went to Oakland with Bonds a while back, but the reality is that neither will likely be in Orange and Black next season (unless they're in Baltimore)." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Organizational Meetings: Atlanta Braves. A Q&A with Brad Dowdy of No Pepper. "I'm of the opinion that John Smoltz should continue to serve as the Braves closer. With his past and present arm problems, I don't see how he could stay healthy for the 180-200 innings that would be required of him. In the closers role, he is an elite player, and I would rather see him throw 75-85 high leverage innings than risk losing him for the season - and possibly career - if he goes back to starting." (Wait 'Til Next Year)

Prospectus Triple Play: Angels, Cubs, Tigers. "If Disney's team is going to return to contention in the tightly packed AL West, they need a center fielder and a DH who can hit. It's going to be tough to compete in a free agent market thin in center fielders, though the Angels may be able to steal one once Vladimir Guerrero and Gary Sheffield empty the big wallets. Still, the Halos' best bet may come in the form of a trade. Ideally, Stoneman will find some spare cash and Allard Baird's phone number (1-800-BEL-TRAN?). If not, it's time to look for a real DH. Well, Albert Belle's contract is finally up." (Baseball Prospectus)

Thanks for visiting.