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A weblog of baseball news and analysis

Thursday, February 24, 2005
2005 Season Preview (American League). Includes a paragraph on every significant player on every team. (

2005 Season Preview (National League).
RF - Brian Giles - OK, we all know the bad news. The Padres traded Jason Bay and Oliver Perez to get Giles in 2003... and you know, it's not a totally farfetched idea that Bay and Perez could be the MVP/Cy Young winners this year or next. I'm not sure what's more remarkable, that the Padres traded away two young players of such quality, or that they still have a half dozen more who may be almost as good.
Anyways, Giles had a good year in 2004, and is now 33 years old. I'm going to go out on a short limb, and say that Giles will partially redeem the trade by having a monster season in 2005. If guys like Edmonds and Finley can age well, I don't see why Giles can't.

The Biggest Difference. "An aging team should take steps to insulate itself from the potential pitfalls an older team will tend to incur. Injury risks and regression candidates abound for both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Red Sox are well prepared to withstand such potential problems while the Yankees, to say the least, are not." (The House that Dewey Built)

On Eric Byrnes. "You hardly need me to point out that the Pirates are, in John Perrotto's words, 'hot' for Eric Byrnes. Various sources are speculating that the deal will definitely happen, that it will never happen, and that the cost will be two prospects...A GM certainly can attempt to achieve many things at once, but I have no idea what Dave Littlefield is trying to achieve. The only compelling explanation for his actions that I've heard is that he's trying to 'Drive for 75' wins each year, sacrificing a little of the future and a little of the present at the same time in order to keep the Pirates from having a disasterous season and keep them from being pressured to spend money. What this means would be that the Pirates are sacrificing shots at the playoffs and the World Series just to avoid being completely abysmal." (Value Over Replacement Blog)

What to expect from the Cubs this season... "So here comes another great season of Chicago Cubs baseball and following that are the expectations of a Word Series in Chicago. Is it realistic?" (Baseball Told the Right Way)

Sign On, Harvest Moon. "Great story here. Call me ignorant - or precociously progressive - but I didn’t know Dodger prospect Ryan Ketchner was deaf." (Dodger Thoughts)

'12 Black Aces' span generations. "The label refers to the dozen African-American pitchers who have posted 20-win seasons in Major League Baseball history. That's it. Twelve. A modest number that should both stun and inspire admiration for the few who share in the accomplishment." (

Prospectus Triple Play: Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants. "[I]t might not be a bad idea for the Dodgers to pursue the Rockies' soon-to-be-free Charles Johnson, whom GM Paul DePodesta tried to acquire to replace Lo Duca at last year's trade deadline. The Rox, who were ticked that he wouldn't waive his no-trade clause to go to L.A. last year, sat Johnson in favor of rookie J.D. Closser. They reportedly plan to release Johnson at the end of spring training, despite his $9 million contract, unless they can find a trading partner in the interim. In that event, whoever picks him up will be paying only the league minimum, while the Rox eat the rest." (Baseball Prospectus)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
"Who Was Your Favorite Player Growing Up?" A "talented group of writers, analysts, and baseball executives" answers the question. Part 1 of 3. (Baseball Analysts)

Day Two: "Who Was Your Favorite Player Growing Up?" (Baseball Analysts)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Smoltz for Alexander. A great trade for the Braves and...a great trade for the Tigers. (The Hardball Times)

The Williams-Santo Cubs: 1970-1973. "If the Cubs were frustrated following 1969, they had to have been devastated following 1970. One would think they would be more motivated than ever to get it right this time. Yet their sequence of off-season transactions was bizarre, almost insane." (The Hardball Times)

Jays Roundtable - Getting Bang for the Bucks. "The Blue Jays announced that they'll have $210 million to spend on player salaries from 2005-2007...Where should the Jays try to improve with the extra money?" (Batter's Box Baseball Blog)

A spelling guide from Blue Cats and Red Sox. "Jason VARITEK. I can't believe I forgot this one, I see it all the time and it drives me bat**** insane (thanks Commentor Cathryn for the heads up. I'll even forgive the fact that she uses livejournal). People. It is is not spelled Veritek. Verily he is a good catcher, but verily his name is spelled with a frigging A. VARItek, like his manly charms are many and VARIED. So many bloggers screw this one up. Aaargh. I'm going to go break something."

Peavy has Padres believing he has the stuff of legends. "Peavy is one of baseball's scarcest commodities – a young pitcher whose performance matches his potential. He led the major leagues last season with a 2.27 earned-run average, winning 15 games despite seven missed starts. He is, consequently, a person of singular importance to the Padres." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Father, May I? "The reason the Padres are so intimidating is they don't have many candidates for decline. Maybe Mark Loretta, sure. One or two of the bullpen heads could stumble. However, the rest of the team looks to perform as well or better than last year. The team won 87 games last year, even with the injury problems they had. They didn't lose a Beltre-sized talent, and are probably going to be a better team than what they fielded last year." (The McCovey Chronicles)

Division Title, Neat. "For all of the talk about the Dodgers being the Hated Dodgers, they are absolutely necessary. They are the counterpoint, the villian, the Snidely Whiplash tying our heroines to railroad tracks...Erase the Rockies, though, and no one would notice. Stetson-bedecked wordsmith Tracy Ringolsby would wake as if from some horrible dream, and start to cover the Royals. Coors Field would take on this sort of enigmatic monument quality, as scholars would argue what it was previously used for. The 'celestial calendar'-faction would have a sizable advantage." (The McCovey Chronicles)

Big Spenders. "The Diamondbacks were broke. Real broke. Then they put a coat on they haven't worn in years, and found millions and millions of dollars. They bought Troy Glaus and Russ Ortiz, and traded for high-ticket items like Shawn Green and Javier Vazquez. But is it art? Or, rather, a good team?" (The McCovey Chronicles)

Yankees notebook: Womack assumes he'll bat leadoff. Red Sox fans cross their fingers and hope he's right. (Newark Star-Ledger)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Scoping the San Diego Rotation. (Dodger Thoughts)

The Williams-Santo Cubs: 1966-1969. (The Hardball Times)

Clemens Rocketing Up the All-Time Charts. Ranking Roger. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Santana to get four years, $40 million. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Four More Years! "For a small-market team like the Twins, committing a huge chunk of the payroll to a single player is very dangerous, regardless of how great that player is. If Santana, who had his elbow cleaned out following the 2003 playoffs, misses one season over the life of the deal, he will not only leave the Twins with a gaping hole in the starting rotation, he will wipe away as much as 20% of their total payroll. However, while this signing has a great deal of risk involved, I just don't see any way the Twins could have passed it up." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

2005: Worrysome Offseason May Be Best Season Yet. Anthony Odarczenko is optimistic about the Cubs. (The View from the Bleachers)

No Words Necessary. Yankees and Muppets: Separated at birth? (Basegirl)

Expanded Roster. More of the above. (Basegirl)

Monday, February 14, 2005
Early NL Central Preview. "The Pirates' big move this offseason was to dump one of their few unambiguously good players in Jason Kendall on the A's in exchange for some money and a few trinkets. That bad move looked even worse as February rolled around and the Pirates found themselves several million dollars under budget and with no one to spend their money on. GM Dave Littlefield has said that the Pirates plan on spending that money this year come hell or high water, so expect them to trade promising young talent for a terrible veteran who will block a better and younger player the Pirates already have." (Value Over Replacement Blog)

Boston glee party for Pauley. An interview with the 21-year-old pitcher who went from the Padres to the Red Sox in the Dave Roberts deal. (The Daily Times-Call, via Ducksnorts)

Friday, February 11, 2005
Today's Password: Evil. A Giants fan looks at the 2005 Dodgers. (McCovey Chronicles)

Your Semi-Favorite Year. Name your favorite year of Dodger baseball in which the team didn’t win a World Series. (Dodger Thoughts)

QOTD / MYOR: I'm Patient Of This Plan. "Which are the most improved offences in each league? Who let way too much talent walk? Can the Red Sox lead the Majors in runs for a 3rd straight season? Has Arizona's frenzy of maneuvers given them hope of crawling out of the offensive cellar?" (Batter's Box Baseball Blog)

The Wrong Apology. "It says something about a man when he's willing to apologize, as Jason Giambi did yesterday. It says even more when he apologizes to people whom he hasn't wronged, and doesn't apologize to those whom he has...The accounts Giambi has to settle are with his own conscience and his fellow athletes - not with you, not with me, and not with George Steinbrenner. These are not matters for press conferences, and it's unfortunate that the Yankees would trot the man out in a deeply silly attempt to pre-empt what will be a richly deserved storm of bad publicity for their organization." (New York Sun)

Thursday, February 10, 2005
I’ll Take Manhattan: Baseball’s Most Lopsided Trades. "A few hundred years ago the Yankees traded some beads to the Indians for the isle of Manhattan. They even made the Indians eat the bulk of Manhattan’s remaining contract in the deal. And yet that does not even compare to Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi. Now that was a lopsided deal if there ever was one." (Mike's Baseball Rants)

.... Sabean-izing. "Sabean has overseen the decimation of the Giants farm system by systematically working to prevent the Giants from accumulating draft choices (first-round, free agent compensation choices, in particular). In this area alone, Sabean must be taken to task, as nothing NOTHING can replace the value vs. cost of a young, talented player." (Only Baseball Matters)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Tigers close Ordonez deal. Five years, $75 million. (

Magglio's Millions. "The Tigers have made a signing that smells like summer armpits, tastes like sun-dried mayonnaise, and sounds like John Kruk’s unreleased album of Cyndi Lauper covers. Awarding Magglio Ordonez a possible $105 million, as Dave Dombrowski and company have just done, is the Ben Affleck film festival of free agent signings. Detroit has just proudly volunteered to clean the bathrooms at a frat in the aftermath of a party. It doesn’t get much worse than this." (The Hardball Times)

The Williams-Santo Cubs: 1961-1965. (The Hardball Times)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
YouNeverKnow '05: It's That Time Again. "It's Groundhog Day, and you know what that means ... it's time for 2004 pre-season nominations for the Annual Batter's Box Joaquin Andujar Award. The player who will eventually be awarded the 2005 Andujar will be the epitome, in retrospect, of a low-risk, high-reward transaction." Previous winners: Esteban Loaiza (2003); Ronnie Belliard (2004). (Batter's Box Baseball Blog)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005
A BatOpinion. "The Twins are apparently befuddled by their repeated failure to draw two million fans, despite the team's success on the field. Team Batgirl believes that the Twins can come up with all the snappy marketing campaigns they want, but marketing just isn't the issue. Back in the early '90s, this was a baseball town. Then came the strike, then the great period of Tremendous Sucking, and then just as there was a team worth rooting for, the ownership tried to kill the team for cash. That's right. Kill the team for cash. Now the Twins' brain trust sits around and wonders why people don't come to games?" (Batgirl)

Honest Appraisal. "The consensus is that the 2005 Mets are looking better on paper than the 2004 model. I'm not so sure. Despite the high profile additions and all the back page buzz, I'm not convinced this team is markedly better entering spring training than the lame-o 71-91 version that ended last season." (Flushing Local)

Interview with a former Cub. Joe Aiello talks to Brooks Kieschnick. (The View from the Bleachers)

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