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A weblog of baseball news and analysis

Thursday, September 30, 2004
Bicoastal Disorder. Jay Jaffe reports on his weekend watching and listening to Yankees and Dodgers games. (Futility Infielder)

D-back'le. The 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks, one of the worst teams of all time. (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Chat: Derek Zumsteg.
TGisriel (Baltimore): I'm surprised you listed Ichiro as your #3 MVP. Sure, he hits a lot of singles and plays good defense. But doesn't the lack of power and walks make that a relatively empty .370 (if .370 can be considered empty)

Derek Zumsteg: Nope. I think the skepticism is a little too heavy towards Ichiro! as a reaction to ... well, his over-hyped batting average.

But Ichiro's OBP is .415, after all. If he hit .270/.415/.456, I feel like people would say "he's a decent contact hitter with an outstanding batting eye and a little pop who overall manages to scrape together a terrific offensive package..."

He's what, 2nd in AL VORP for position players? And he plays good defense? I'll take two, please.

Plus he's Ichiro! What are you going to do?
(Baseball Prospectus)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Source: Expos are going to Washington. (Yahoo!)

D.C. At The Bat. "Now that everybody's cards are on the table, the question to be asked is: After two years of threats, cross-continental junkets, and messing around with Terrmel Sledge's career, what did Bud finally get for his fellow owners? And on the other side of the ledger, what kind of deal are Mayor Anthony Williams and his council cronies proposing for D.C. taxpayers?" (Baseball Prospectus)

Final DC-sion. "Baseball gets to tap into the rich baseball history in Washington. It is the third oldest baseball area after all (behind New York and Philly—check your NABBP history). Pictures of Walter Johnson and Clark Griffith will abound and expect plenty of ye olde tyme uniform appearances (unless the Twins own the rights to those). President John Kerry will get to throw out the first ball next year (if there is a god—I’m not optimistic). Hopefully, the season openers will return to Cincy and DC. And baseball gets to extort a new stadium from another community. It’s win-win all around." (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Au Revoir, Mes Amours. Jonah Keri says goodbye to the Expos. (Baseball Prospectus)

Three Thoughts: 9/29/04. Ben Jacobs on the Cardinals, Ichiro, and AL playoff scenarios. (The Hardball Times)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Cooperstown Confidential: September 27, 2004. Bruce Markusen on Derek Jeter, the Senators' last game. and Richie Scheinblum. (Baseball Think Factory)

Red Sox activate Burks, release Seibel. Christian Ruzich looks back at the career of Ellis Burks. (The Transaction Guy)

Backup keeps popping up. Bob Ryan: "Here's my description of the ideal big league backup catcher: he is smart, incredibly disciplined, extremely hard-working, a total team guy and he hits for power. In other words, Doug Mirabelli. (Boston Globe)

Monday, September 27, 2004
Three Games. "The Cubs are obviously worn out from playing 235 straight road games, but they aren’t the only ones in need of a break. I, as a fan, need a break: I need a day where I know I don’t have to worry about the Cubs driving in the runner from third or getting out of a jam. I need a day where I can let my mind wander to the simpler things in life, like paying rent and taking out the garbage. I need a day with no baseball, but like the Cubs, I’ll soldier on ‘till the season’s over." (The Cub Reporter)

Abstracts from the Abstracts. The latest in a series from Richard Lederer, who's been revisiting Bill James's old Baseball Abstract books. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Picking Your Poison. The Twins will face either the Red Sox or the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. Aaron Gleeman analyzes the two possible matchups. (The Hardball Times)

103-Win Fever. "So the Cards now have more wins than any Cardinals team in my lifetime. And if you're under 60, they've got more wins than any team in your lifetime too. I'd love to take this time to gloat in the face of all the people who didn't see this coming way back in April, but unfortunately I'd end up gloating at myself, because I sure as hell didn't predict this. I mean, I thought the Cardinals would do better than the pundits thought, but 103 wins? And counting? That's obscene." (Redbird Nation)

Thursday, September 23, 2004
Red Sox win another in last at-bat. Orlando Cabrera homered in the bottom of the 12th. Boston 7, Baltimore 6. (Yahoo!)

Mariners 16, Angels 6. Four hits for Ichiro. Six hits for Raul Ibanez. The Red Sox now lead the Wild Card race by 6 1/2 games with 11 to play. (Yahoo!)

Bartolo Colon putting on display all the reasons why giving long, big money contracts to mid-tier starting pitchers is bad bad bad. I can’t imagine the Angels could give away the 3 years and $37 million left on his contract. How bad has Colon been this year?

Colon’s VORP: 19.7. Ryan Franklin’s VORP: 19.1

(U.S.S. Mariner)

Rogers wins 17th as Rangers top A's. Texas 5, Oakland 3. The AL West is a three-team race again. The A's lead the Angels by 2 1/2 and the Rangers by 3. (Yahoo!)

Dodgers' NL West lead down to half-game. Uh-oh. The Padres shut them out; the Giants won their game; and Brad Penny is hurt. (Yahoo!)

The Wild Card. Joe Sheehan: "I think the wild card has killed more exciting races than it's created, and I'm comfortable that the evidence supports that. But because all those 'neutral' seasons are creating more hope and faith--even if the localities don't care all that much--MLB sees the experiment as a success. MLB doesn't see the things that aren't there, the races between great teams, in much the same way that baseball people often don't see all the outs a low-OBP 'RBI man' gets, or the many times caught stealing that reduce the value of Alex Sanchez or Brett Butler." (Baseball Prospectus)

Prospectus Triple Play: Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres.
Since the trade of Garciaparra, the Sox have scored exactly six runs per game (294/49). That exceeds their pre-trade average of 5.63. Credit the returns of OBP guys Bill Mueller and Trot Nixon for some of that. Kevin Millar's impersonation of Manny Ramirez has helped, although it's been negated somewhat by Ramirez simultaneously imitating Millar for two months.

Don't get lost in the hype. The Sox have an improved defense, but they still win because they have two great strikeout starters, a very good strikeout bullpen, and one of the best offenses in the game.
(Baseball Prospectus)

Inside Tommy John Surgery: Thirty Years of Fixing Pitchers. (Baseball Prospectus)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Bellhorn lifts Red Sox over O's in ninth.
BAL 000 000 002 - 2
BOS 000 000 012 - 3

Suzuki goes 5-for-5, needs 14 more hits. break the all-time record. "Suzuki" = Ichiro. I had almost forgotten he had a last name. (Yahoo!)

Feliz has four RBIs, Giants rout Astros. (Yahoo!)

Dodgers' lead slipping away. They lost to the Padres, and lead the Giants in the NL West by only 1 1/2 games. (Yahoo!)

Talkin' Some Baseball. A roundtable discussion.
David: Are the Dodgers going to hold on? The lead is down to 2½ games.

Jim: The Giants will whip the Dodgers and take the West crown the final weekend.

Eric: You can never say with these two. Even if you have, like I do right now, a sick, creeping feeling that the Dodgers are going to tank, you just can't say. These teams will be in each other's business right up until the last.

I think it's possible the Dodgers will hold on, and I'm not just thinking with my heart. I mean, of course I'm just thinking with my heart, but my heart says if Brad Penny returns, and they get some quality innings out of Edwin Jackson, and the Yhancy Brazoban-Giovanni Carrara-Eric Gagne trio keeps getting the ball with a lead, which I think is a good bet in head-to-head matchups with Giants' pitching (after Schmidt), then they could hold on.

And you're right about the rivalry: The great thing about the coming two weeks is that one of them, as you say, is going to screw the other, which is going to add a layer of pathos and bliss to the race, a mix of anguish and joy, you know? If Houston knocks out Chicago, what's the big deal? if the Dodgers hold off the Giants and Bonds misses the playoffs, it echoes across the country and across generations.

Of Spikes, and Flukes, and Grabarkewitz. Steve Treder looks at some of the most notable one-year wonder seasons of the past 70 or so years. (The Hardball Times)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Twins clinch AL Central. And they'll be a scary first-round playoff opponent for either the Red Sox or the Yankees. (Yahoo!)

Three. Peat. "Oh, Batgirl could go on and on. And in fact, she has. And she probably will, later tonight, when Jeb and the BatKitties are fast asleep, she will snuggle her bear close to her and tell him all about how the Bitch Sox weren't that good when they had their stars, how the Twins never strayed more than 2.5 games out of first even when they totally sucked. I might even mention that Carlos Silva, for being one of those players on the 'rest of the roster' than just can't cope in the postseason, sure outpitched Mr. Buehrle but good in their last two confrontations. I might mention the performance of Sweetcheeks Hunter today, or I might mention that while it would have been nice to clinch at home yesterday, there was something really really sweet about turning to the Bitch Sox and saying, 'Ha-Ha.'" Twins fans really hate the White (Bitch) Sox, don't they? (Batgirl)

Cards finally celebrate NL Central crown. Two days after they clinched it. (Yahoo!)

Red-hot Houston lusts after Giants. Calm down, Whitney. (SF Gate)

Friday, September 17, 2004
Schilling wins 20th as Red Sox roll. (Yahoo!)

Three Thoughts: 9/15/04. Ben Jacobs on Oakland's Big Three, Nomar Garciaparra's season and some impressive relievers. (The Hardball Times)

Trash Talking From Second Place (Again). Aaron Gleeman: "The bottom line is that the Twins have beaten the White Sox in each of the past three seasons and have, at different points in different seasons, been in a very heated race for the division lead with them. At the same time, the White Sox have always said similar things to the stuff coming out of their mouths right now -- they aren't worried about the Twins, the Twins are lucky, the Twins aren't very good. You can find quotes like that from each of the past three years, from Ray Durham and Billy Koch to this current group of second-place finishers. The White Sox are, without a doubt, the team with the most lopsided trash-talking-to-wins ratio in baseball." (The Hardball Times)

Joe Morgan Retirement Chat Day. Joe has followed Rob Neyer into the Insider (pay) section of "One would think that is making enough money off of the banner ads, popup ads that obscure the text of the articles, full-window ads that preceded the actual text, and ad nauseum ads scrolling by in ESPN 'Motion'. By next season, your local paper’s site will have more content than what was once the best baseball site on the web,, and you won’t have to wade through the embedded advertising to get to the scores." (Mike's Baseball Rants)

Friday, September 10, 2004
Royals pound Tigers 26-5, then lose 8-0. In Game 1, they scored the fifth-most runs in a major league game since 1900. In Game 2, Jeremy Bonderman shut them down. (Yahoo!)

Cy Downs. Alex Ciepley reacts to a Cub loss. (The Cub Reporter)

Thursday, September 09, 2004
Red Sox complete convincing sweep of A's. They've won 14 of their last 15, 20 of their last 22, and 26 of their last 31. (Yahoo!)

Red-hot Astros grab wild-card lead. They've won 12 straight. (Yahoo!)

Bing and Bob, Starring in "The Road to October." How the 1964-67-68 Cardinals were built. (The Hardball Times)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Rich’s Weeknight Baseball BEAT. "Life is good. I’m home all alone Tuesday evening, sitting on the couch watching five baseball games on the west coast—all with postseason implications." (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Prospectus Triple Play: Anaheim Angels, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers. "The Angels just made one of the better pickups for the postseason, and they didn't have to give up anyone. One of their best hitters is back from an injury, and it couldn't happen at a better time." (Baseball Prospectus)

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