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Wednesday, April 27, 2005
One on One: Nothing But The Stats.
Did you think Miguel Tejada's 150 runs batted in were a fluke last year? Well, he has 25 RBI in 22 games in 2005. I know it is (really) early, but I still find it interesting that Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Hack Wilson are the only players ever to knock in 150 or more runs in consecutive seasons. Gehrig and Ruth each turned the trick three years in a row. Of note, these historical seasons were all turned in from 1929-1937.

If Tejada drives home 100 runs in 2005, he will tie Alex Rodriguez at six for the most consecutive years of reaching the century mark while playing shortstop. A 25-HR season will give the 2002 AL MVP six in a row, tying A-Rod and Cal Ripken, Jr. for second place one season behind Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.

Except for a downtick in 2003, Tejada's HR/AB ratio has gone up every year since his rookie season in 1997. The ironman shortstop is working on his fifth straight campaign of playing in every game and has played 159 or more games every year since 1999.
(The Baseball Analysts)

Prospectus Triple Play: Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, New York Mets.
In the Roberts-only division, Brian has already established his place. He's tied Dave Roberts (not the active one; follow the link) for most home runs in a month by a Roberts, and will try to knock off Leon (22 in 1978) for most home runs by a Roberts in one season. Nineteen of Dave's 21 homers in 1973 came in July, August and September, so Roberts will really have to get it in gear if he plans to have the best second half by a Roberts.

It's unlikely that the power surge is completely random--if four home runs in 641 at-bats represents Roberts' true ability, then the chance of him hitting at least seven in 69 at-bats is .00000028, or around one in 2.8 million. Roberts is 27, and may be developing some pop as his career peaks, but there's still a lot of luck in play here--Roberts is not going to finish the year with an 1187 OPS. Enjoy it while it lasts, O's fans.
(Baseball Prospectus)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
What Can Brown Do For You? "Watching Kevin Brown struggle in pinstripes again this past weekend raised the question -- at least in my mind -- is he the greatest Brown ever to play major league baseball? Raise three fingers in the air if you know the answer to that right off, as we prepare for another exciting rendition of Baseball's Hall of Names ... Woohoo!" (Batter's Box Baseball Blog)

Tek the Best Catcher, Pythagorean Standings. "Jason Varitek has to be one of the best catchers in the game. With apologies to Texas, Florida, and Detroit, it is no longer Ivan Rodriguez. With emphatic statements to New York, it is not, never will be, and never was Jorge Posada. Let’s compare." (Fire Brand of the American League)

King Kaufman reviews Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel by Steven Goldman.
"When Stengel joined the Yankees in 1949," Goldman writes, "and for most years thereafter, the team required a wise hand to smooth over its flaws. The years Stengel spent managing untalented ball clubs prepared him to recognize talent, distinguish it from the chaff, and utilize it in ways that enabled his teams to exceed the sum of their parts."

That, and not when to call for a bunt or yank a pitcher, is what makes a great manager, though Goldman shows Stengel was pretty good at those things too. "He simply ran rings around other managers," Goldman writes, detailing a few instances when Stengel outmanaged a foe. "It turns out that the class clown had been paying attention."

Monday, April 25, 2005
Chat: Joe Sheehan.
BigPapi34 (Boston): 87 wins for the Yankees? That is by far the most pessimistic forecast I've seen. I'd be giddy if it actually happened, because the headlines from New York (and Tampa) would be priceless. Defend thyself.

Joe Sheehan: Aging hitters. Aging fielders. Overrated and overpaid rotation that, aside from the tall guy, will be victimized early and often by the latter.

It's been a great run. Time to start over.
(Baseball Prospectus)

Again? Really? "I have to exercise my 'being-happy-about-a-sweep' muscle more because I'm getting a cramp here from overuse after a long period of inactivity. Second sweep in a row at home for the Diamondbacks, thanks to a 8-6 victory over the Padres Sunday afternoon, and I'm still trying to remember how I should respond." (Random Fandom)

Friday, April 22, 2005
New York Fancy Ladies 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3. "I thought earlier this week that Alex Rodriguez had been handed the plot to his inevitable cheesy Hollywood bio-pic: if I was a screenwriter given the task of writing The A-Rod Story, I would do my damnedest to hang the story around A-Rod saving the kid in Boston...[T]he pre-kid-saving blackhearted A-Rod was in full effect against the Jays last night. If it wasn't the ridiculous argument with the umpire after he ran way outside of the baseline (which, in my opinion, made him look like the biggest fancy lady on a team of fancy ladies), it was the comically A-Rod-sized bag of ice applied to his tiny little nosebleed. It was bigger than his head! Nothing appears to have changed since the girly-slap last fall, and that's a real shame, because the screenplay has potential." (Batter's Box Baseball Blog)

Blast From The Past: Wally Berger. "Wally Berger was on track for a Hall of Fame career before his injuries. Had he not been injured or even played his career on a contender, he would be likely had a plaque in Cooperstown." (The Hardball Times)

Business of Baseball Report: George Steinbrenner Stadium, Baseball in D.C., and More. "Rumors and reports are filtering out of the Yankees' front office that an agreement with the city and state is close to completion, and that the New York Yankees will have a new stadium to play in for the 2009 season. George Steinbrenner has been hot for a new, luxury box-laden stadium for quite some time, and has even played the “I’ll move the team” card on occasion by threatening to take the team to New Jersey." (The Hardball Times)

Who's who?
Another nobody failed his drug test, got suspended, and was supported by his teammates, manager and general manager yesterday. What a difference in the way the media has handled the first three steroids 'cheats,' as compared to the way they've treated Bonds for the last four seasons (who, by the way, has never failed a drug test, admitted using steroids, or been accused by anyone with first-hand knowledge of using steroids).

But Bonds hit 73 home runs in 2001, and the obviously well-informed mainstream media wants to know; how could he have had such a huge upswing in home runs without cheating? It's not possible for someone who's never hit more than 46 home runs to suddenly hit almost 30% more, is it?
(Only Baseball Matters)

Friday, April 15, 2005
The Devil's Advocate: A Major Disaster. "The problem with the Yankees has nothing to do with Joe Torre or Mel Stottlemyre. It’s not about lineup construction or bullpen usage. The Yankees are struggling because the front office did a terrible job of building a team with the resources they had. For whatever reason, they neglected their depth and their defense, they placed too high an emphasis on single-season performances rather than career progression, and have vastly overvalued veteran players, particularly veterans with postseason experience, over more promising players entering their prime. It’s made for an old, expensive, high-risk team that will impress nobody with its successes and be a target for merciless derision should it fail." (The Hardball Times)

Cooperstown Confidential: Regular Season Edition #1. The Yankees' first week; trade rumors; the 1975 World Series; Carmen Fanzone; more. (Cooperstown Confidential)

Thursday, April 14, 2005
Willis pitches second straight shutout. The Marlins' team ERA is now 1.36. They have four complete games; the other 29 teams have a grand total of two. (Yahoo!)

Roger Out. "In the best game of the young year, Kazuhisa !sh!! reined in his control to play gunslinger with official Pro-Bites sponsor Roger Clemens. The fat-headed Texan threw smoke (but no splintered bats) and shut the Mets down through seven. !sh!! did the same and should be commended for it even though the Astros have one of the worst lineups in the National League..." (East Coast Agony)

The 1957 Kansas City Athletics.
The 1957 Athletics led their league in home runs, with 166, and they led by a wide margin: the second-best team hit 153, and the average of the seven other teams in the league was 123. Yet the A’s were dead last in their league in runs scored, with 563, and by a wide margin: the next-to-worst offense scored 597, and the average of the seven other teams in the league was 664.

Question: How exactly does a team solidly lead the league in home runs, and yet solidly trail the league in runs scored? Answer: With difficulty. If it happened at any other time in major league history, I’m not aware of it, and the 1957 Athletics accomplished the feat with a flourish.
(The Hardball Times)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Sorry for the unexpected two-week absence. Back to baseball!

The Red Sox Home Opener! (4-11-05, Complete with Pictures and Videos!) (Fire Brand of the American League)

Sitting among the Fenway faithful. Bill Simmons: "I'm not claiming that I helped spawn the miracle fetus or anything, but the doctor told us that the baby was conceived shortly after the Cabrera trade. Maybe she didn't do as much as Schilling or Big Papi, but she definitely did more than Byung-Hyun Kim. Regardless, she's entering a world where the Red Sox aren't considered lovable losers, where we can watch playoff games without enduring dozens upon dozens of Babe Ruth references, where 35,000 people aren't secretly expecting the worst possible outcome in every big game. And when I carry her into Fenway some day, I'm pointing to the 2004 banner and telling her, 'That was the team that changed everything.'" (

Milton Bradley Cranks Up His Game: Dodgers 9, Giants 8. "For the Giants, it's October 2, 2004 all over again, as a 'defensive replacement' mishandles a ball and causes the team to implode. It wasn't pretty, but the Dodgers won. And Milton Bradley, for one day, can spell his name K-i-r-k G-i-b-s-o-n." (6-4-2)

Three alarm fire. "And I'm not calling the Giants firemen to put it out. After yesterday's disgusting, disheartening, destructive, derailing 9-8 loss to the despicable Dodgers, I just have to ask.... What the hell is going on here??!?!" (Only Baseball Matters)

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