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Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

My Twins lost two out of three to lowly Kansas City and got swept in a two-game set at home by the Indians. They’ve lost four of five, and to the teams I picked to finish 4th and 5th in their division. Okay, it’s still early. Still I’m concerned about one Justin Morneau.
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If this weather keeps up, the surprise of 2007 is going to be the havoc created for baseball’s schedulers.
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Every year there are surprises in baseball. The homeruns fly out of parks prompting speculation the ball is “juiced.” A team expected to do poorly does well, like last year’s Tigers. I have a few theories on what might change in baseball this year.
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Here are the brackets I have for the NL for this year’s baseball pool. I find the National League more difficult to handicap than the AL, and it isn’t only because they throw two more teams into the mix. Too many teams in the NL have a mix of mediocre to good talent, so it’s hard to place them. A few middling infielders and outfielders have career years and they can be hitting with the best. Otherwise, they remain mired at or below .500. What to do with that? (more…)

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I participate in a baseball pool. We play for “pride units.” The point is to pick how good (or bad) all of the teams in major league baseball will be — two lists for each league. It’s very simple on it’s face — the devil is in detailing in March how a team will perform over the six month season.

Every so often my shrewd judgment is rewarded and I do well in the pool. When that doesn’t happen, of course it’s bad luck or the players’ and managers’ fault. (more…)

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Every so often you read or hear a story about someone who has life by the tail. They’re living the dream, life is all beer and skittles. Southerners refer to it as being in high cotton, dairy farmers hoping for rich milk noted when the cows were in deep clover.

I heard once that Mickey Mantle occasionally walked to work, using shoeleather for his commute from midtown Manhattan up to Yankee stadium in the Bronx. I’ve no idea if he did it often or even did it once, but it’s so striking to consider.

Can you imagine how cool it must have been to be Mickey Mantle walking from midtown Manhattan to Yankee stadium some sublime late summer afternoon, on your way to a ballgame as not only a Yankee but as their biggest star? (more…)

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The Minnesota Twins have a gaping hole in their rotation and the maddening thing is that the slot is filled. Just not this season. Next year, we hope. But not this.

It’s easy to be excited about the Twins this year; unlike prior years where the team had numerous good to very good players but no everyday stars and only a couple playoff caliber pitchers, the team now has the stars they’ve lacked. A Twins fan might ask for a little more at third base or left field, but given their small to medium-sized market, it would be expecting a lot to ask for superior talent at all positions. (more…)

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Anyone who enjoys both the national pastime and jawing about it (and here we are in “hot stove league” season) knows there are many ways of measuring ballplayer performance, and it’s fine that a new crop of statisticians has emerged recently with their own measures — but it’s odd how these SABRmetricians denigrate the old measures. (more…)

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I follow two baseball teams, one in the AL which at the end of the ’06 season was a few key pieces short of being able to contend deep into the playoffs and the other in the NL which I believe was a few players shy of contending in the regular season. (more…)

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When I was a kid we squandered our allowances on baseball cards. Okay, candy too. But hot summer days (which attain a sunny, cotton-candy clouds benevolence in memory, probably far removed from the actual worries and dreams of adult freedom and abilities), nostalgic summer days we would ride bikes or walk down to the Ranch Market and buy nickel packs bubble gum cards, which is where I made some of the best real estate purchases of my life (more…)

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