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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

Entries in this blog

 

Top 100 MLB Players of My Lifetime: #40 - #21

Yes, Pujols is too low but again I was conservative with players who still have several years left in their career.   #40 Jeff Kent, 2B   #39 Will Clark, 1B   #38 Carlos Beltran, CF   #37 Vladimir Guerrero, RF   #36 John Smoltz, SP/RP   #35 Tom Glavine, SP   #34 Alan Trammell, SS   #33 Jim Edmonds, CF   #32 Curt Schilling, SP   #31 Ozzie Smith, SS   #30 Derek Jeter, SS   #29 Lou Whitaker, 2B   #28 Mike Mussina, SP   #27 Albert Pujols, 1B/LF   #26 Jim Thome, 1B/DH/3B   #25 Paul Molitor, DH/3B/2B   #24 Tim Raines, LF   #23 Craig Biggio, 2B   #22 Ryne Sandberg, 2B   #21 Ivan Rodriguez, C

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Top 100 MLB Players of My Lifetime: #60 - #41

Now we start to get to the meat of the list and I swear that's not a crack at the next player on the list.   #60 Andruw Jones, CF   #59 Bret Saberhagen, SP   #58 Kenny Lofton, CF   #57 Robin Ventura, 3B   #56 Albert Belle, LF   #55 Kevin Brown, SP   #54 Fred McGriff, 1B   #53 Sammy Sosa, RF   #52 Jorge Posada, C   #51 Jason Giambi, 1B   #50 Lance Berkman, OF/1B   #49 Larry Walker, RF   #48 Kirby Puckett, CF   #47 Brian Giles, OF   #46 Bobby Abreu, RF   #45 Mariano Rivera, RP   #44 Bernie Williams, CF   #43 Scott Rolen, 3B   #42 Edgar Martinez, DH   #41 Rafael Palmeiro, 1B

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Top 100 MLB Players of My Lifetime: #80 - #61

See the first entry as to why certain players won't be on the list. And I think I should be commended for my courage in putting a certain someone on this list.   #80 Rat Piece of Shit, DH/RF   #79 Tony Phillips, 2B/LF/3B   #78 Matt Williams, 3B   #77 Mike Cameron, CF   #76 Tim Salmon, RF   #75 Lenny Dykstra, CF   #74 Johnny Damon, CF   #73 Miguel Tejada, SS   #72 Dave Stieb, SP   #71 Don Mattingly, 1B   #70 John Olerud, 1B   #69 Paul O'Neill, RF   #68 Brett Butler, CF   #67 Nomar Garciaparra, SS   #66 Moises Alou, LF   #65 Tony Fernandez, SS   #64 Ichiro Suzuki, RF   #63 Luis Gonzalez, LF   #62 David Cone, SP   #61 Carlos Delgado, 1B

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Team USA 2009

Quicky entry here. First off I'm currently working on a list of the 100 greatest baseball players of my lifetime. Whether I actually finish it is another story as I've tried to do similar lists like this before and always ended up chucking the whole thing.   Hey it's World Baseball Classic time and for this entry just going to very quickly put together my own Team USA. I did this a for 2006 (LOLZ Dontrelle Willis) so might as well do it for 2009 since I need an excuse for an entry. This time around though I'm going construct a roster based on a more standard baseball roster rather than the extreme reliever heavy WBC rosters. This is totally based if no one was injured and if Alex Rodriguez wasn't a TRAITOR TO OUR COUNTRY!   Starters C.C. Sabathia Brandon Webb Tim Lincecum Roy Halladay   Relievers Joe Nathan Jonathan Papelbon Brian Fuentes Brad Lidge Heath Bell David Price   C: Joe Mauer 1B: Mark Texeira 2B: Chase Utley 3B: David Wright SS: Alex Rodriguez LF: Matt Holliday CF: Grady Sizemore RF: Nick Markakis DH: Chipper Jones   Bench Brian McCann Lance Berkman Dustin Pedroia Jimmy Rollins Evan Longoria Curtis Granderson

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Roy Oswalt Tests Positive for Hyperbole

Roy Oswalt is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore!   Okay first off this is just silly. You're an active player and a very good one at that. A-Rod hasn't cost you a spot in the Majors, hell he's not even a pitcher!   So why did God let these heathens have their performance enhancing drugs? Jesus didn't need steroids to hit a curveball!   Hmm, interesting considering they've never even played in the same league together but they have faced off in three games in interleague play so let's go to the video tape! Or let's go to baseball-reference.   June 8, 2001 Oswalt failed to retire Rodriguez in three plate appearances as he doubled, walked, and doubled. Obviously those doubles would have been infield pop outs without steroids. Oswalt also gave up home runs to Ivan Rodriguez and Rusty Greer and I now demand both have their records removed the books as obviously Oswalt's God given gifts would not surrender home runs to clean players. Oswalt got a no decision but the Astros won, but who cares because A-ROD COULD HAVE COST HIM MONEY!!!   June 28, 2002 In this game Oswalt did get the better of Rodriguez in two of his at bats but in the 4th inning A-Fraud hit a home run off our hero and if I were Roy I would demand that MLB lower his ERA for the 2002 season immediately! But our hero did win the game but hey he could have also lost it which means A-ROD COULD HAVE COST HIM MONEY!!!   June 15, 2008 Rodriguez reached base only once against Oswalt on a walk. But with these new fangled PEDs they keep coming up with who knows they might actually give players telekinesis. I think A-Fraud may have caused Roy's pitches to land out of the strikezone with his mind! Oswalt lost this game and this certainly means that A-ROD COST HIM MONEY!!!   For those scoring at home Roy Oswalt has made $46,950,000 in his career and his current contract will guarantee him another $45 million over the next three seasons. And you know what he deserves it, he's a fantastic pitcher and I'm just having some fun here. He has a right to be pissed that there will be a cloud over all players who played in the last 15 years. But he really comes off like a sanctimonious crybaby in this and does anyone really want to hear a millionaire whine about possibly being cost money? Also if Roger Clemens is ever "proven" to have used PEDs in his career, I hope Roy has the same conviction that he has with A-Rod and demand the Astros be stripped of their 2005 National League Championship.

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The 30+ Years of Misery Club

In a couple of weeks we have the chance to witness something none of us have seen before (I assume we have no one in their 60's on this board) and that is see the Cardinals as champions of the NFL. This got me to wonder about how many franchises in the four major North American professional sports leagues have never won their league's championship in my lifetime. I also wanted to know who would replace the Cardinals as the most moribund franchise in the NFL (I know you will all be shocked!) and who in the NBA and NHL have the longest run since their last championship.   In total there are 47 teams who have failed to win a single "world" championship in the last 30 years, of course that does not include expansion franchises who have come into existence since. Note I do count championships won in the AFL, ABA, and WHA for those franchises who were grandfathered in to their current leagues. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Phoenix Coyotes (won the last ever Avco Cup in the WHA as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979) are set to join this list after this year. The Seattle Supersonics would have also joined the list if they hadn't had their franchise stolen away.   1. Chicago Cubs - 100 years 1908 World Series Champions Misery Fun Fact: Have not played in a World Series since 1945 which is a longer drought for playing for a championship than any other franchise has gone without winning a championship (current streak).   2. Arizona Cardinals (Chicago/St. Louis) - 61 years 1947 NFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: Before this year had won one playoff game since last championship.   3. Cleveland Indians - 60 years 1948 World Series Champions Misery Fun Fact: Had a 41 year World Series drought between 1954 and 1995.   4. Sacramento Kings (Rochester Royals/Cincinnati Royals/Kansas City) - 57 years 1951 NBA Champions Misery Fun Fact: Haven't played in a NBA Finals since '51 championship.   5. San Francisco Giants (New York) - 54 years 1954 World Series Champions Misery Fun Fact: Haven't won a championship since moving to San Francisco in 1958 and hopefully never will.   6. Detroit Lions - 51 years 1957 NFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: One playoff win since last championship.   7. Atlanta Hawks (St. Louis) - 50 years 1958 NBA Champions Misery Fun Fact: Last conference/division finals appearance was in 1970.   8. Philadelphia Eagles - 48 years 1960 NFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: Have now lost four conference championship games this decade.   9t. Chicago Blackhawks - 47 years 1961 Stanley Cup Champions Misery Fun Fact: Only one playoff appearance in last 11 years, although that will change this year.   9t. Minnesota Vikings - 47 years Misery Fun Fact: 0-4 in Super Bowls and 0-4 in conference championship games since their last Super Bowl in 1976.   9t. Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers) - 47 Years 1961 AFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: 1-4 in conference championship games.   9t. Texas Rangers (Washington Senators) - 47 years Misery Fun Fact: Oldest franchise in the Big Four leagues to never reach the championship round of it's sport. Zero playoff series wins.   13. Houston Astros - 46 years Misery Fun Fact: Took 43 years win their only NL pennant.   14. San Diego Chargers - 45 years 1963 AFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: 1-5 in AFL/AFC Championship games since '63.   15. Cleveland Browns - 44 years 1964 NFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: 0-6 in NFL/AFC Championship games since '64.   16. Buffalo Bills - 43 years 1965 AFL Champions Misery Fun Fact: Only franchise in the Big Four to lose in the championship round of it's sport in four consecutive years.   17. Atlanta Falcons - 42 years Misery Fun Fact: Advanced past divisional round of playoffs only twice.   18t. New Orleans Saints - 41 years Misery Fun Fact: Did not win a playoff game in their first 33 years of existence.   18t. Toronto Maple Leafs - 41 years 1967 Stanley Cup Champions Misery Fun Fact: Haven't played in a Cup Final since '67 championship.   20t. Cincinnati Bengals - 40 years Misery Fun Fact: One playoff appearance in last 18 years.   20t. Denver Nuggets - 40 years Misery Fun Fact: Have yet to reach the NBA Finals since merger in '76-'77.   20t. Los Angeles Kings - 40 years Misery Fun Fact: Reached Cup Finals only once.   20t. New York Jets - 40 years Misery Fun Fact: If Brett Favre couldn't bring them a Super Bowl, who can????   20t. St. Louis Blues - 40 years Misery Fun Fact: Last Cup Finals appearance was in 1970.   25t. Kansas City Chiefs - 39 years Super Bowl IV Champions Misery Fun Fact: Have only reached conference championship game once since Super Bowl IV win.   25t. Milwaukee Brewers (Seattle Pilots) - 39 years Misery Fun Fact: Won only two division championships.   25t. Phoenix Suns - 39 years Misery Fun Fact: Despite a .559 all-time winning pct., only reached NBA Finals twice.   25t. San Diego Padres - 39 years Misery Fun Fact: 1-8 in World Series games.   25t. Washington Nationals (Montreal Expos) - 39 years Misery Fun Fact: Only playoff appearance was in the bizarre '81 split season.   30t. Buffalo Sabers - 37 years Misery Fun Fact: Only two Stanley Cup Finals appearances.   30t. Cleveland Cavaliers - 37 years Misery Fun Fact: 35 year wait for their only NBA Finals appearance.   30t. Los Angeles Clippers (Buffalo Braves/San Diego) - 37 years Misery Fun Fact: .364 all-time winning percentage and never reached a conference final.   30t. Milwaukee Bucks - 37 years 1971 NBA Champions Misery Fun Fact: Advanced past first around of playoffs only once in last 19 years.   30t. Vancouver Canucks - 37 years Misery Fun Fact: Their two Stanley Cup Finals appearances are the only two years they've reached the conference finals.   35. Boston Bruins - 36 years 1972 Stanley Cup Champions Misery Fun Fact: Only one playoff series win since 1995.   36t. Indiana Pacers - 35 years 1973 ABA Champions Misery Fun Fact: 1-5 in Eastern Conference finals series.   36t. Miami Dolphins - 35 years Super Bowl VIII Champions Misery Fun Fact: Best all-time winning pct. of any active NFL franchise (.583) but haven't played in a Super Bowl in 24 years.   36t. New York Knicks - 35 years 1973 NBA Champions Misery Fun Fact: Seven straight losing seasons.   39t. Golden State Warriors - 33 years 1975 NBA Champions Misery Fun Fact: Haven't reached conference finals in 32 years.   39t. Philadelphia Flyers - 33 years 1975 Stanley Cup Champions Misery Fun Fact: 0-5 in Stanley Finals series since '75 championship.   39t. Utah Jazz (New Orleans) - 33 years Misery Fun Fact: Only one losing in last 25 years but only two NBA Finals appearances to show for it.   39t. Washington Capitals - 33 years Misery Fun Fact: Reached conference finals only once.   43t. New Jersey Nets (New York) - 32 years 1976 ABA Champions Misery Fun Fact: Only advanced past first round of playoffs six times since NBA merger.   43t. Seattle Seahawks - 32 years Misery Fun Fact: Just two conference championship game appearances.   45t. Portland Trail Blazers - 31 years 1977 NBA Champions Misery Fun Fact: 8-17 in first round playoff series since '77 championship.   45t. Seattle Mariners - 31 years Misery Fun Fact: 14 straight losing seasons at their inception and played in the ALCS only twice.   47. Washington Wizards (Bullets) - 30 years 1978 NBA Champions Miser Fun Fact: Advanced past first round of playoffs only three time since '78 championship.

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HOF Profile: Rickey Henderson

Rickey Henderson, Left Fielder   Oakland Athletics 1979-1984, 1989-1993, 1994-1995, 1998 New York Yankees 1985-1989 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 San Diego Padres 1996-1997, 2001 Anaheim Angels 1997 New York Mets 1999-2000 Seattle Mariners 2000 Boston Red Sox 2002 Los Angeles Dodgers 2003   Awards 1981 AL Gold Glove - OF 1981 AL Silver Slugger - OF 1985 AL Silver Slugger - OF 1989 ALCS MVP 1990 AL MVP 1990 AL Silver Slugger - OF   League Leader 1980: Stolen Bases 1981: Runs, Hits, Stolen Bases 1982: Walks, Stolen Bases 1983: Walks, Stolen Bases 1984: Stolen Bases 1985: Runs, Stolen Bases 1986: Runs, Stolen Bases 1988: Stolen Bases 1989: Runs, Walks, Stolen Bases 1990: OBP, Runs, Stolen Bases, OPS, OPS+, Runs Created 1991: Stolen Bases 1998: Walks, Stolen Bases   Career Ranks OBP: 56th Games: 4th AB: 10th PA: 4th Runs: 1st Hits: 21st TB: 35th BB: 2nd SB: 1st RC: 10th   Best Performance October 5, 1991 - Oakland at Texas 4 for 4, three runs, three rbi, two doubles, home run, two walks, four stolen bases. Total domination.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 50 (26) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 143 (105) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 52.6 (62) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 183.5 (52) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 5 (Paul Molitor, Lou Brock, Joe Morgan, Robin Yount, Al Kaline) Other Similar Batters: Craig Biggio, Rusty Staub, Steve Finley, Tim Raines, Vada Pinson   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1979: 10/1.3 1980: 34/10.7 1981: 27/12.1 1982: 28/8.0 1983: 30/10.0 1984: 28/9.0 1985: 38/13.2 1986: 26/10.6 1987: 20/7.0 1988: 28/9.3 1989: 30/11.1 1990: 39/15.3 1991: 25/9.7 1992: 25/9.6 1993: 25/10.0 1994: 11/6.4 1995: 19/5.8 1996: 16/6.0 1997: 15/4.6 1998: 20/7.2 1999: 16/5.9 2000: 8/3.7 2001: 12/1.9 2002: 4/1.3 2003: 1/0.1   Career Win Shares: 535 Career WARP3: 189.8   Bored's Stupid Opinion   Bored knows that Lou Brock was overrated and that RICKEY~ is the greatest of all-time.

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HOF Profile: Mark Grace

Mark Grace, First Baseman   Chicago Cubs 1988-2000 Arizona Diamondbacks 2001-2003   Awards 1992 NL Gold Glove - 1B 1993 NL Gold Glove - 1B 1995 NL Gold Glove - 1B 1996 NL Gold Glove - 1B   All-Star Selections: 3 (1993, 1995, 1997)   League Leader 1995: Doubles   Career Ranks Doubles: 39th Walks: 79th Runs Created: 98th   Best Performance July 7, 1989 - San Diego at Chicago Goes 4 for 4 with three doubles and a home run.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 3 (507) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 86 (265) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 38.0 (165) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 60.5 (309) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 1 (Enos Slaughter) Other Similar Batters: Keith Hernandez, Mickey Vernon, John Olerud, Hal McRae, Wally Joyner, Bill Buckner, Al Oliver, Joe Judge, Joe Kuhel   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1988: 16/4.3 1989: 25/7.6 1990: 22/6.4 1991: 17/5.4 1992: 25/8.0 1993: 23/7.6 1994: 12/4.3 1995: 23/6.9 1996: 20/5.7 1997: 20/6.8 1998: 27/6.4 1999: 21/5.2 2000: 18/4.8 2001: 16/4.8 2002: 8/2.0 2003: 1/-0.1   Career Win Shares: 294 Career WARP: 86.2   My Stupid Opinion   Grace always hit for a good average (Top 10 in N.L. batting average nine times), get on base at a good rate (Top 10 in OBP seven times), and was a superb defensive first baseman. Problem with him though is that he had very little power and the standards for HOF first basemen are higher than any other position and he just doesn't really have much of a case. Among first basemen who had a minimum of 3000 plate appearances between 1988 and 2003 (when Grace was active), he ranks only 17th in OPS+

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HOF Profile: Ron Gant

Ron Gant, Left Fielder   Atlanta Braves 1987-1993 Cincinnati Reds 1995 St. Louis Cardinals 1996-1998 Philadelphia Phillies 1999-2000 Anaheim Angels 2000 Colorado Rockies 2001 Oakland Athletics 2001, 2003 San Diego Padres 2002   Awards 1991 NL Silver Slugger - OF   All-Star Selections: 2 (1992, 1995)   League Leader None   Career Ranks Home Runs: 96th   Best Performance July 5, 1990 - New York at Atlanta Easy pick as he matches he career high in hits (four), home runs (two), RBI (six), and total bases (eleven) in the same game.   Hall of Fame Stats Gray Ink: Batting - 52 (477) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 26.0 (377) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 41.5 (441) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Reggie Sanders, Jeromy Burnitz, Jimmy Wynn, Andruw Jones, Bobby Bonds, Roy Sievers, Greg Vaughn, Darryl Strawberry, Bobby Thomson, Frank J. Thomas   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1987: 1/0.4 1988: 16/5.3 1989: 1/0.1 1990: 21/7.4 1991: 25/8.6 1992: 17/3.8 1993: 25/6.0 1995: 21/6.1 1996: 18/5.8 1997: 11/3.3 1998: 11/2.5 1999: 16/5.3 2000: 7/3.9 2001: 4/1.4 2002: 12/3.3 2003: 0/-0.4   Career Win Shares: 206 Career WARP3: 62.9   My Stupid Opinion   Had a nice combination of power and speed in his prime but was never among the best players in the game in any particular year. Don't think the dirt bike accident he had in '94 where he broke his leg, costing him the entire season and a contract with the Braves that he just signed a week before (oops!), hurt him too much as he followed that up with of his best seasons in '95. His #1 comp of Reggie Sanders is one of the more apt comparisons I've seen with the Similar Batters tool.

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HOF Profile: Mo Vaughn

Mo Vaughn, First Baseman   Boston Red Sox 1991-1998 Anaheim Angels 1999-2001 New York Mets 2002-2003   Awards 1995 AL MVP 1995 AL Silver Slugger - 1B   All-Star Selections: 3 (1995, 1996, 1998)   League Leader 1995: RBI 1996: Runs Created   Career Ranks Homeruns: 91st SLG%: 56th OPS: 59th   Best Performance September 24, 1996 - Baltimore at Boston Hits three homeruns against the Orioles, all of them off of David Wells.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 4 (405) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 78 (301) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 29.9 (274) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 86.5 (191) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Paul Konerko, Ted Kluszewski, David Justice, Kent Hrbek, Carlos Lee, Derrek Lee, Hal Trosky, Joe Adcock, David Ortiz, Richie Sexson   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1991: 6/1.3 1992: 7/1.8 1993: 19/6.3 1994: 17/6.8 1995: 24/7.3 1996: 29/8.1 1997: 22/7.4 1998: 25/9.3 1999: 19/4.3 2000: 17/4.9 2002: 15/3.5 2003: 1/0.1   Career Win Shares: 201 Career WARP3: 61.2   My Stupid Opinion   Although his 1995 AL MVP was a complete joke, Vaughn did have a nice little run with the Red Sox. But it was not surprising that a man of his, um, girth did not age well at all. He was already in the middle of perpetual decline when he missed the whole 2001 season due to a ruptured tendon in his left arm. Fun Fact: Vaughn was the highest paid player in baseball during his final active season where he hit .190/.323/.329 in 27 games. Remember kids, it pays to have a good agent.

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HOF Profile: Jesse Orosco

Jesse Orosco, Relief Pitcher   New York Mets 1979-1987 Los Angeles Dodgers 1988, 2001-2002 Cleveland Indians 1989-1991 Milwaukee Brewers 1992-1994 Baltimore Orioles 1995-1999 St. Louis Cardinals 2000 San Diego Padres 2003 New York Yankees 2003 Minnesota Twins 2003   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 2 (1983, 1984)   League Leader Games: 1995   Career Ranks Games: 1st Saves: 69th ERA+: 62nd K/9: 23rd H/9: 24th   Best Performance October 27, 1986 - Boston at New York (N) In Game 7 of the '86 World Series, comes in the 8th inning with none out after a Dwight Evans' two-run double off Roger McDowell pulls the Red Sox with a run. Orosco strands the tying run at 2nd by retiring Rich Gedman, Dave Henderson, and Don Baylor in order and then pitches a perfect 9th to clinch the championship for the Mets.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Pitching - 1 (822) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 17 (1143) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 13.0 (589) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 62.0 (199) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Tug McGraw, Don McMahon, Gary Lavelle, John Hiller, Dan Plesac, Kent Tekulve, Darold Knowles, Mike Timlin, Mike Stanton, Ron Perranoski   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1979: 0/0.4 1981: 2/0.9 1982: 9/4.5 1983: 20/8.0 1984: 17/6.3 1985: 10/4.5 1986: 13/5.4 1987: 5/2.3 1988: 6/2.0 1989: 10/4.1 1990: 3/1.8 1991: 3/1.4 1992: 3/1.4 1993: 7/3.4 1994: 2/1.0 1995: 6/2.9 1996: 6/2.3 1997: 7/3.5 1998: 7/2.9 1999: 1/0.6 2000: 0/0.0 2001: 1/0.5 2002: 3/1.0 2003: 0/-0.2   Career Win Shares: 141 Career WARP3: 60.9   My Stupid Opinion   I have to say it's remarkable a player from the 19th century is a first time nominee on the writer's ballot. Okay not quite, but Orosco and Rickey Henderson will be the last players to make their MLB debut in the 1970s and be a first timer on the ballot. Orosco is purely on the ballot due to his longevity and his career games pitched record might stand for a while but obviously he's not a HOF.

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Bowl Projections

I don't know why anyone does bowl projections as they are almost impossible to predict until the final week of the season, which is why I wait that long. Now I normally cheat and peak at other bowl projections or Google various local newspapers to see where schools are likely going to end up but this time it's almost total guess work. Note I'm going under the assumption Oklahoma will finish #2 in the BCS when they are released in a couple of hours. Also I'm making the prediction that the WAC allows Boise State to accept an at large invite from the Motor City Bowl since the conference has enough eligible teams to fill their four bids to set up an all undefeated match-up against Ball State.   Edited due to blogger stupidity.   Congressional: Navy vs. Maryland New Mexico: Colorado State vs. Louisiana Tech St. Petersburg: South Florida vs. Memphis Las Vegas: BYU vs. Arizona New Orleans: Troy vs. Southern Miss Poinsettia: TCU vs. Fresno State Hawaii: Hawaii vs. Central Michigan Motor City: Ball State vs. Boise State Meineke Car Care: Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh Champs Sports: Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin Emerald: California vs. Miami Independence: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Notre Dame PapaJohns.com: Rutgers vs. Arkansas State Alamo: Missouri vs. Northwestern Humanitarian: Nevada vs. Clemson Holiday: Oregon vs. Oklahoma State Texas: Rice vs. N.C. State Armed Forces: Air Force vs. Houston Sun: Oregon State vs. West Virginia Music City: Vanderbilt vs. North Carolina Insight: Minnesota vs. Kansas Chick-Fil-A: Georgia Tech vs. LSU Outback: Iowa vs. South Carolina Gator: Nebraska vs. Florida State Capital One: Michigan State vs. Georgia Rose: Penn State vs. USC Orange: Cincinnati vs. Boston College Cotton: Texas Tech vs. Mississippi Liberty: Tulsa vs. Kentucky Sugar: Alabama vs. Ohio State International: Buffalo vs. Connecticut Fiesta: Texas vs. Utah GMAC: East Carolina vs. Western Michigan BCS: Oklahoma vs. Florida

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2008 Bowl Bubble #3

ACC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian, EagleBank   Locks: Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech   Bowl Eligible: Wake Forest   Bubble Teams: Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia   We finally had a team be eliminated for bowl consideration this week, that being Duke. N.C. State stayed alive with a stunning blowout win over North Carolina and they finish with a home game against Miami on Saturday. I misspoke last week I said the winner of the Clemson/Virginia game would become bowl eligible. Clemson actually needed two wins since they've played two I-AA teams this year and you can only count one of those games towards bowl eligibility. Their last game will be at home against South Carolina. Wake Forest could be in trouble if they don't beat Vanderbilt this week to pick up win #7 and if there ends up being more eligible teams than bids for this conference, they likely will have to go hunting for an at large bid which could be tough with a 6-6 record.   Notre Dame   Bowl Tie-ins: Cotton, Gator, Sun   Wow, don't think anyone anticipated them losing to Syracuse. This puts the USC game as almost a must win for the Irish or they could be staying home for bowl season. You can forget about the Gator Bowl if they finish 6-6 but the Sun Bowl would still be possible. Remember they are considered a Big East team when it comes to bowl selections and the rule is bowls must invite 7+ win teams over 6 win teams if there are not enough available slots in a conference. The Big East has six bids and currently four teams with 7+ wins. If Rutgers and South Florida pickup win #7 that would fill of the Big East slots and Notre Dame would have no where to go except hope for an at large bid although the same 7+ win rule applies for at large bids as well.   Big East   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS, Gator/Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, Papajohns.com, St. Petersburg   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, West Virginia   Bowl Eligible: Rutgers, South Florida   Bubble Teams: Louisville   So with Notre Dame's bowl hopes in doubt, the Big East might get to keep all six of their bids. Very big game for USF against UConn tonight to get that all important win #7 because the following week they are at West Virginia. Louisville's season will be on the line in two weeks at Rutgers.   Big Ten   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin   I was a bit presumptuous last week in stating that if Ohio State won they were on their way to a BCS bowl and the reason is because of what is happening in the Pac-10. Oregon State is one win away from getting the Rose Bowl bid which would put USC into the at large pool and the Fiesta Bowl would likely jump all over them. That would send Ohio State off to the Capital One Bowl. It then remains to be seen if the Motor City Bowl will be an open bid or not.   Big XII   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Fiesta (two bids), Cotton, Holiday, Gator/Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech   Bubble Teams: Colorado   There are no changes in this conference. Again Colorado must beat Nebraska on Friday to keep their season going or then the Independence Bowl becomes an open bid.   Conference USA   Bowl Tie-ins: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, Armed Forces, New Orleans, St. Petersburg   Locks: East Carolina, Houston, Rice, Tulsa   Bubble Teams: Memphis, Southern Miss, UTEP   Marshall was eliminated yesterday with a loss to Rice. Of the three bubble teams, UTEP has the longest odds as they finish the season at East Carolina. Memphis and Southern Miss play conference bottom feeders Tulane and SMU respectively.   MAC   Bowl Tie-ins: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: Ball State   Bowl Eligible: Buffalo, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan   Bubble Teams: Akron, Bowling Green   I can now safely call Ball State a lock after they beat CMU on Wednesday thus eliminating any chance that they will have to rely on an at large bid. CMU and WMU may have to sweat a little because Buffalo will be attractive to the International Bowl.   Mountain West   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS, Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, TCU, Utah   Utah is on their way to the BCS now so the conference will get five bids. I was probably the only one watching UNLV last night blow their chance at their first bowl bid in eight years as they were stunned by lowly San Diego State and their season is now over. UNLV's loss ends up being Colorado State's gain as they became bowl eligible with a win over Wyoming.   Pac-10   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Holiday, Sun, Emerald, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Poinsettia   Locks: Arizona, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Bubble Teams: Arizona State, UCLA   As covered in the Big Ten section, Oregon State is a win away from going to the Rose Bowl and likely giving the conference two BCS bids assuming that USC beats Notre Dame and UCLA. Stanford broke my heart yesterday with a listless performance against Cal and has been eliminated. The conference now will have no more than six eligible teams at the most with the ASU/UCLA elimination game this week. The winner of that game will still need another win the following week in their rivalry game to become bowl eligible. Poinsettia Bowl is now a WAC bid.   SEC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Sugar (two bids), Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence, Papajohns.com   Locks: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Vanderbilt   Bubble Teams: Auburn   Arkansas was eliminated yesterday with a loss to Mississippi State. Auburn will have to shock the world against Alabama this week to become bowl eligible or the Independence Bowl becomes an open bid.   Sun Belt   Bowl Tie-in: New Orleans, PapaJohns.com?   Locks: Troy   Bowl Eligible: None   Bubble Teams: Arkansas State, FIU, Florida Atlantic, UL Lafayette, Middle Tennessee   Troy crushed ULL yesterday but they haven't officially won the conference yet. I think that Arkansas State can still win the conference by tiebreak if they win this week against a horrific North Texas team and then upset Troy in two weeks. But even if that scenario plays out, Troy is a lock for a bowl bid because the PapaJohns.com would then become a Sun Belt bid since the SEC will not fill it and the conference had a contingency bid. I'm still not 100% sure if the Sun Belt needs a 7+ win team to be pick up that bid officially though so if the Arkansas State scenario doesn't play out, there wouldn't be another 7+ win team in the conference.   WAC   Bowl Tie-ins: Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico, Poinsettia   Locks: Boise State   Bowl Eligible: Fresno State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State   Boise State can still get a BCS at large invite but you can forget about them getting invited over Ohio State and now possibly USC. The conference did officially pickup the Poinsettia Bowl with Stanford's elimination in the Pac-10. The rest of the conference is still a mess but I think it's safe to assume at 6-6 that San Jose State will definitely not be getting a bid.

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2008 Bowl Bubble #2

Aww the Congressional Bowl sold it's naming rights and is now the EagleBank Bowl. I'm shocked the St. Petersburg Bowl still hasn't sold theirs as that always seemed like a generic placeholder bowl name.   ACC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian, EagleBank   Locks: Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina   Bowl Eligible: Virginia Tech, Wake Forest   Bubble Teams: Clemson, Duke, N.C. State, Virginia   Everyone is technically still alive but highly unlikely Duke or N.C. State win their last two games. The winner of the Clemson/Virginia game this week will become bowl eligible while the loser will have to pull of an upset in a rivalry game the following week.   Notre Dame   Bowl Tie-ins: Cotton, Gator, Sun   Irish barely avoid disaster at the end of the Navy game to become bowl eligible. Should lock up a bid with an easy win against Syracuse this week which will have them on their way to the Gator or Sun Bowl. Upset USC the following week and they will end up in the Cotton Bowl.   Big East   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS, Gator/Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, Papajohns.com, St. Petersburg   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Pittsburgh   Bowl Eligible: South Florida, West Virginia   Bubble Teams: Louisville, Rutgers   As covered last week the Big East will lose a bid to Notre Dame if they finish 7-5 leaving the conference with five bids. Rutgers crushed a reeling USF team and can become bowl eligible with a win over Army this week which is quite the surprise considering how bad they played the first half of the year. With that in mind, there will be at least one team in this conference needing to find an open bid if they want to go bowling so it is very important to get seven wins.   Big Ten   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State   Bowl Eligible: Wisconsin   Bubble Teams: Illinois   The Big Ten's season is over after this week and if Penn State and Ohio State win, they are both on their way to BCS bowls. Illinois needs to win at Northwestern this week or otherwise the Motor City Bowl will become an open bid.   Big XII   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Fiesta (two bids), Cotton, Holiday, Gator/Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech   Bubble Teams: Colorado   There is no scenario where this conference doesn't put two teams in the BCS so you can put them down for nine bids which also locks Kansas up for a bid even they still sit on six wins. With Kansas State and Texas A&M being eliminated from bowl consideration, the Texas Bowl is now an open bid and if Colorado doesn't win at Nebraska in two weeks then the Independence Bowl will also be an open bid.   Conference USA   Bowl Tie-ins: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, Armed Forces, New Orleans, St. Petersburg   Locks: Rice, Tulsa   Bowl Eligible: East Carolina, Houston   Bubble Teams: Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UTEP   Only change was Houston became bowl eligible with a drubbing of Tulsa. Southern Miss scored a big win over East Carolina and now only has to beat an awful SMU team to become bowl eligible.   MAC   Bowl Tie-ins: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: None   Bowl Eligible: Ball State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Western Michigan   Bubble Teams: Akron, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois   The odds of Ball State getting into the BCS are now zilch as they were passed by BYU in the BCS standings. See last week's entry as to why there is a really small chance Ball State could not go bowling but it gets slimmer and slimmer with the the growing number of open bids there will be.   Mountain West   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS?, Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU, TCU, Utah   Bubble Teams: Colorado State, UNLV   There's a story out there that I don't think has received any attention yet and that is if BYU beats Utah this week, they and not Boise State could end up with the Fiesta Bowl invite. There's nothing in the BCS rules that requires the highest ranked non-BCS conference team to be taken, if there is another eligible non-BCS team who can be chosen. Boise getting passed over for a one loss non-BCS team could be a nice shitstorm. UNLV should become bowl eligible with a win over San Diego State this week while Colorado State will play at Wyoming with a chance to become bowl eligible as well. Popular belief is that the New Mexico Bowl would invite the Rebels over CSU.   Pac-10   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Holiday, Sun, Emerald, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Poinsettia   Locks: Arizona, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Bubble Teams: Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA   No changes this week as every favorite won. Stanford's season is on the line in the Big Game on Saturday and they will win. They just have to. ASU and UCLA are both idle before their elimination game in two weeks. Still seems likely that at least the Poinsettia Bowl will be an open bid which would go to a WAC team.   SEC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Sugar (two bids), Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence, Papajohns.com   Locks: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Vanderbilt   Bubble Teams: Arkansas, Auburn   Since the conference is pretty much assured to BCS bids at this point which pushes the conference to ten bids, every eligible team is now a lock including Vanderbilt will be going to their first bowl in 26 years. Both Arkansas and Auburn are longshots to become bowl eligible which would leave the Independence and the Papajohns.com Bowl as open bids. I'm sure the Independence Bowl is just giddy over the possibility of instead of having an SEC/Big XII match-up they may end up with a MAC/Sun Belt showdown.   Sun Belt   Bowl Tie-in: New Orleans   Locks: None   Bowl Eligible: Troy   Bubble Teams: Arkansas State, FIU, Florida Atlantic, UL Lafayette, Middle Tennessee   The winner of the ULL/Troy game this week all but clinches the conference title and the New Orleans Bowl bid. Because of contingency bids and other open bids this sad sack of conference could conceivably end up sending four teams to bowls when all is said and done.   WAC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State   Bowl Eligible: Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State   Bubble Teams: Hawaii   As I already covered, Boise State's odds of landing a BCS bid could even longer than you think. Fresno, LA Tech, and Nevada all became bowl eligible this week but there is still way too many things that can happen to figure out who is going where and who is staying home. Again the Poinsettia Bowl will likely be added as a 4th bid for the conference, assuming the Pac-10 doesn't fill.

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2008 Bowl Bubble

Did this the last couple of years so might as well keep doing. This is just a conference-by-conference breakdown (plus Notre Dame) of where everyone stands when it comes to making bowl games.   I know last year you were all thinkg, "Hey they just aren't enough bowl games and I was outraged that 6-6 South Carolina didn't go to a bowl game last year." My friends, the NCAA and ESPN have listened to you and they added two more bowl games (Congressional and St. Petersburg Bowls) bringing the total number of bowl games to 34. That increases the odds even further this year that if you are 6-6 and play in a BCS conference, you will probably find a bowl bid some where. But for the sake of taking into account all possible scenarios I'm not going to consider all six win teams as locks just yet to make bowl games except in certain conferences which I'll get to.   Note Navy has already accepted a bid to the Congressional Bowl.   ACC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian, Congressional   Locks: Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina   Bowl Eligible: Boston College, Maryland, Miami, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest   Bubble Teams: Clemson, Duke, N.C. State, Virginia   As usual the ACC is just one big entertaining, clusterfuck. Technically it is possible that all 12 teams will become bowl eligible as there just isn't a whole lot of difference in talent from 1 to 12 but the odds of that are very, very slim. The most important game among the bubble teams will be two weeks from now when Virginia hosts Clemson. Duke and N.C. State are both longshots.   Notre Dame   Bowl Tie-ins: Cotton, Gator, Sun   I'm going to mention the Irish before the Big East since what happens to them directly effects the Big East bids. With their loss last night the Irish's were officially eliminated from BCS consideration but if they run the table they could still get into the Cotton Bowl (note this would take away a bid from the SEC) although they'd have to win at USC to do so. 7-5 is more realistic but that also means beating Navy this week which isn't a given and if they do end up 7-5 they probably get an invite to the Gator Bowl or at worst the Sun Bowl, which if either happens the Big East loses a bid. At 6-6 it then gets a bit dicey for them as they then would need to rely on an open bid and hope they don't get gobbled up by 7-5 teams who don't have a bid. By rule any bowl that has a bid that couldn't be filled by one of their conference affiliations, they must invite an available 7+ win team over a 6 win team. If this happens and Notre Dame gets shutout of a bowl at 6-6, expect that rule to change.   Big East   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS, Gator/Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, Papajohns.com, St. Petersburg   Locks: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh   Bowl Eligible: Connecticut, South Florida, West Virginia   Bubble Teams: Louisville, Rutgers   Now that I've covered Notre Dame, it's very likely the Big East will have only five available bids instead of six so 7+ wins might be a must in this conference to go bowling. If everything goes to form, the Louisville/Rutgers game on 12/4 will be an elimination game for bowl eligibility. The Cardinals do have Cincinnati and West Virginia at home before then and its not out of the question they could spring an upset in one of those games.   Big Ten   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State   Bowl Eligible: Iowa   Bubble Teams: Illinois, Wisconsin   As long as Ohio State avoids an upset in their final two games against Illinois and Michigan, they will give the conference a second team in a BCS bowl. Wisconsin has some bizarre scheduling this year as they finish the year against I-AA Cal Poly so you can put them down for win #6 there, if they don't do it this week against Minnesota. Illinois has much longer odds as they finish at home against Ohio State and then at Northwestern.   Big XII   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Fiesta (two bids?), Cotton, Holiday, Gator/Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech   Bowl Eligible: Kansas, Nebraska   Bubble Teams: Colorado, Kansas State, Texas A&M   Unless something truly shocking happens, this conference will send two teams into the BCS. That also means that it doesn't look they'll fill the Texas Bowl bid and possibly not the Independence Bowl bid either. Kansas State has the easier road of the three bubble teams as they have Nebraska and Iowa State at home but a loss in either eliminates them.   Conference USA   Bowl Tie-ins: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, Armed Forces, New Orleans, St. Petersburg   Locks: Rice, Tulsa   Bowl Eligible: East Carolina   Bubble Teams: Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UTEP   Outside chance that the conference won't fill the illustrious St. Petersburg Bowl bid as Marshall, Southern Miss, and UTEP all need two wins and they will all need to spring an upset to do so. Memphis is a near lock with only home dates against UCF and Tulane remaining.   MAC   Bowl Tie-ins: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: None   Bowl Eligible: BCS?, Ball State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan   Bubble Teams: Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Temple   The MAC is kind of a poor man's Big XII this year because the three best teams in the conference all play in the same division, that being the West divison. Now you probably are wondering how the hell can I say Ball State isn't a lock? Yes they are undefeated and it is not impossible that they could sneak into the BCS if both Utah and Boise State lose. But the problem is, is that they still have to play CMU and WMU. If they were to lose both games and then say the East division champ were to upset the West division champ in the MAC title game then Ball State could find themselves without a MAC affiliated bowl game to go to, if both CMU and WMU were invited over them. The odds are strongly against this and they likely find an open bid somewhere but again have to take into account all possible scenarios, however unlikely. This is also why CMU and WMU are not locks either in case there is a huge upset in the title game.   Mountain West   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS?, Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU, TCU, Utah   Bubble Teams: Colorado State, UNLV, Wyoming   As we all know, Utah will be going to a BCS Bowl (likely the Fiesta) if they finish undefeated which would give the conference five bids. UNLV and Wyoming will play an elimination game this week. The Rebels will be in great shape if they win as they finish the season against lowly San Diego State. Since all three bubble teams are 4-6, it is possible that the New Mexico Bowl will become an open bid if Utah does end up in the BCS.   Pac-10   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Holiday, Sun, Emerald, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Poinsettia   Locks: Arizona, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Bubble Teams: Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA   The reason why all eligible teams are already locks in this conference is because UCLA and ASU play an elimination game on 11/28 thus there can be no more than seven eligible teams for the conference. There is an outside shot at the Pac-10 getting two teams in the BCS because if Oregon State wins out, they win the conference by tiebreak over USC and get the Rose Bowl bid. The odds are against this because the Beavers still have Cal, Arizona, and Oregon left to play but it's certainly not impossible. Also, STANFORD~ will beat Cal to become bowl eligible...or at least they better win.   SEC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Sugar (two bids?), Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence, Papajohns.com   Locks: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina   Bowl Eligible: Kentucky, LSU   Bubble Teams: Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt   Just like the Big XII, it would be a shocker if the SEC doesn't send two teams into the BCS so you can put them down for ten bids. Now they might not fill them all as Mississippi State for one will need pull off the upset of the year at Alabama this week just to stay alive and Auburn will have to upset Georgia or Alabama to become bowl eligible. Mississippi should pick up win #6 against UL Monroe this week.   Sun Belt   Bowl Tie-in: New Orleans   Locks: None   Bowl Eligible: Troy   Bubble Teams: Arkansas State, FIU, Florida Atlantic, UL Lafayette, Middle Tennessee   Barring something unforeseen, the conference title should come down to the ULL/Troy game on 11/22. The conference this year does now have contingency bids with the Congressional Bowl, Papajohns.com Bowl and the Independence Bowl where if those bids are not filled by the primary conference, a Sun Belt team will be taken although I think they have to be 7-5 or better but I could be wrong about that.   WAC   Bowl Tie-ins: BCS, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State   Bowl Eligible: San Jose State   Bubble Teams: Fresno State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State   Boise State will be huge BYU fans on 11/22 as they need Utah to lose that game to get into the BCS, otherwise they play another glorified home game against a 6-6 ACC team in the Humanitarian Bowl. Now the conference does have a contingency bid with the Poinsettia Bowl if the Pac-10 doesn't fill it and popular speculation is that they will invite the Broncos to play BYU. Not sure that is much of a consolation prize though. The rest of this conference is a complete mess and I'm not even going to attempt to figure out how it will shakeout.

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Why I Didn't Give a Shit about the Last Ten World Series

Finally. Finally, finally, finally, finally I am excited about a World Series. I don't give a shit about the predictions of this being lowest rated World Series ever. If this ends up being true, then it's Fox and MLB's fault (and by proxy the WWL) for programing casual fans to think that only the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs matter. I personally have not watched the majority of a World Series since 1997 and let me run down each year as to why I didn't care.   1998: New York Yankees vs. San Diego Padres   At this time I was fairly indifferent towards the Yankees but I was always partial to the Padres because I liked Tony Gwynn. This was clearly a huge mismatch and I knew the Padres had no chance but I did tune into Game 1, which I was into until the bottom of the 7th when Tino Martinez took a pitch right down the middle (or at least that's what I remember) that should been a called strike three against Mark Langston to strand the bases loaded and keep the game tied. Next pitch, grand slam, and I tuned out from the rest of the series after that.   1999: New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves   Already saw them play in '96 and had no desire to see them play again. I think I watched about five minutes of Game 1 and that was it.   2000: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets   I like most people outside of New York and Bristol, CT didn't give a shit. Did not watch a single second of the series.   2001: New York Yankees vs. Arizona Diamondbacks   Now this one I think I will have to revisit some day but at the time I couldn't be bothered to watch any of it, not even Game 7. The Yankees had eliminated the A's for the second straight and this time in heartbreaking fashion in part to the most overrated defensive play in baseball history because some fat fuck didn't slide...not that I'm still bitter. I wanted to no part of the Yankees or any sort of baseball after that.   2002: Anaheim Angels vs. San Francisco Giants   Finally the Yankees reign of terror is stopped but instead we get the Rally Monkey against the Assholes by the Bay. Giants fans are the most smug group of fans in sports, with no real reason to be, and this didn't help matters. I think briefly tuned into Game 6 to torture myself but that was it.   2003: New York Yankees vs. Florida Marlins   Once again the Yankees were back to poison us all so once again I didn't tune in, although I think I did flip on the end of Game 6 due primarily to this board.   2004: Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals   Now I was genuinely intrigued by this series, for a brief moment. If had to say who my N.L. team is, it'd probably be the Cardinals because I did pretty much adopt them as my second favorite team and followed them pretty closely when Mark McGwire played there. I really thought it would be a good series and since it was the Red Sox, it would end with Boston have their hearts ripped out which is always fun. How wrong I was. I watched most of Game 1 and then quickly lost interest.   2005: Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros   Now this series was kinda similar to this year because it was a very fresh match-up. But 2005 was all about LOLZ OZZIEBALL > MONEYBALL and Joe Morgan and the usual band of idiots slobbering all over the White Sox ability to "manufacture runs." If it had ended up being a competitive series I might have tuned for a Game 6 or 7 but it wasn't, so I didn't watch any of it.   2006: Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals   Now I'm going to contradict myself with the "Caridnals are my N.L. team" thing because I really didn't want them to win this series. The baseball elitist in me simply didn't want to see an 83 win team win a World Series because I felt it cheapened the whole season. I didn't have any real animosity towards the Tigers for shitkicking the A's right out of the ALCS but I was disappointed that I wouldn't get use my World Series tickets so really wasn't up for watching the series. I think I tuned in every once in a while during the series but overall the whole thing fell flat and I could only put up with so much "David Eckstein is clutch and scrappy" talk.   2007: Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies   God damn did the 2007 postseason suck ass or what? Didn't watch a single second of the series.

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'08 Player Rankings: Closers

List contains the top 30 in Saves. I know you will all be shocked that K-Rod isn't #1.   Closer Rankings   1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees   17.3 Win Shares 34.0 VORP 10.3 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 38 NYY AL   6   5  64   0   0   0  60 39   70.7   41   11   11   4    6   77   2   1   259   0   0  1.40  4.44  317 0.665     2. Joe Nathan, Twins 3. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox 4. Joakim Soria, Royals 5. Kerry Wood, Cubs 6. Brian Fuentes, Rockies 7. Brad Lidge, Phillies 8. Francisco Rodriguez, Angels 9. Bobby Jenks, White Sox 10. Takashi Saito, Dodgers 11. Jose Valverde, Astros 12. Billy Wagner, Mets 13. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers 14. Matt Capps, Pirates 15. Huston Street, A's 16. Trevor Hoffman, Padres 17. Francisco Cordero, Reds 18. B.J. Ryan, Blue Jays 19. Kevin Gregg, Marlins 20. Jon Rauch, Nationals/Diamondbacks 21. Salomon Torres, Brewers 22. Brian Wilson, Giants 23. Ryan Franklin, Cardinals 24. Mike Gonzalez, Braves 25. J.J. Putz, Mariners 26. Brandon Lyon, Diamondbacks   27. George Sherrill, Orioles   5.0 Win Shares 5.8 VORP 3.4 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 31 BAL AL   3   5  57   0   0   0  49 31   53.3   47   28   28   6   33   58   1   1   239   6   0  4.73  4.53   96 1.500   28. Troy Percival, Rays 29. Todd Jones, Tigers 30. C.J. Wilson, Rangers

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'08 Player Rankings: Middle Relievers

It's the list you've all been waiting for...the guys who aren't good enough be starting pitchers or closers!!!!   I almost decided to skip doing middle relievers this year as I'm rarely satisfied with the final rankings and always change the guidelines that I use for who I include in the rankings. This year I opted for the top 60 in relief appearance, excluding those who will be on the closer list. I should probably do more than 60 as there's a few good ones that don't qualify (Grant Balfour and Brad Ziegler for example) but there's only so much time want to spend looking at stats for set up men.   Middle Relievers   1. Matt Thornton, White Sox   23.3 VORP 2.11 ERC 2.75 FIP 48 PRC   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 31 CHW AL   5   3  74   0   0   0  12  1   67.3   48   20   20   5   19   77   2   3   268   2   0  2.67  4.57  171 0.995     2. Carlos Marmol, Cubs 3. Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks 4. Jesse Carlson, Blue Jays 5. Scott Downs, Blue Jays 6. J.P. Howell, Rays 7. Manny Delcarmen, Red Sox 8. Ramon Ramirez, Royals 9. Ryan Madson, Phillies 10. Hideki Okajima, Red Sox 11. Rafael Perez, Indians 12. Heath Bell, Padres 13. Russ Springer, Cardinals 14. Dennys Reyes, Twins 15. Damaso Marte, Pirates/Yankees 16. Dan Wheeler, Rays 17. Chad Durbin, Phillies 18. Doug Brocail, Astros 19. Jeremy Affeldt, Reds 20. Will Ohman, Braves 21. Brian Shouse, Brewers 22. Octavio Dotel, White Sox 23. John Grabow, Pirates 24. Joel Hanrahan, Nationals 25. Tony Pena, Diamondbacks 26. Joe Beimel, Dodgers 27. Chad Bradford, Orioles/Rays 28. Scot Shields, Angels 29. Joe Smith, Mets 30. Jeff Bennett, Braves 31. Eddie Guardado, Rangers/Twins 32. Javier Lopez, Red Sox 33. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins 34. J.C. Romero, Phillies 35. Saul Rivera, Nationals 36. Jesse Crain, Twins 37. Kyle McClellan, Cardinals 38. Trever Miller, Rays 39. Mike Lincoln, Reds 40. Tyler Walker, Giants 41. Manuel Corpas, Rockies 42. Duaner Sanchez, Mets 43. David Weathers, Reds 44. Rafael Betancourt, Indians 45. Blaine Boyer, Braves 46. Cla Meredith, Padres 47. Sean Green, Mariners 48. Bob Howry, Cubs 49. Scott Schoeneweis, Mets 50. Tyler Yates, Pirates 51. Pedro Feliciano, Mets 52. Alan Embree, A's 53. Jamey Wright, Rangers 54. Renyel Pinto, Rays 55. Luis Ayala, Nationals/Mets 56. Wesley Wright, Astros 57. Matt Guerrier, Twins   58. Aaron Heilman, Mets   -1.1 VORP 5.45 ERC 4.66 FIP 24 PRC   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 29 NYM NL   3   8  78   0   0   0  23  3   76.0   75   48   44  10   46   80   9   2   356   8   0  5.21  4.21   81 1.592   59. Ron Villone, Cardinals 60. Jack Taschner, Giants

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'08 Player Rankings: Right Fielders

This list lives up to Smues' hype!   Also...Ryan Ludwick: Big Fluke or Biggest Fluke Ever?   Right Fielder Rankings   1. Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals   26.4 Win Shares 53.6 VORP 10.9 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 29 STL NL 152  538  104  161  40  3  37  113   4  4  62 146  .299  .375  .591  150  318   1   8   3   8   8     2. Nick Markakis, Orioles 3. Brian Giles, Padres 4. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 5. Andre Ethier, Dodgers 6. Xavier Nady, Pirates/Yankees 7. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 8. Bobby Abreu, Yankees 9. Alexis Rios, Blue Jays 10. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 11. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 12. Randy Winn, Giants 13. Jayson Werth, Phillies 14. J.D. Drew, Red Sox 15. Hunter Pence, Astros 16. Brad Hawpe, Rockies 17. Ken Griffey Jr., Reds/White Sox 18. Corey Hart, Brewers 19. David Murphy, Rangers 20. Eric Hinske, Rays 21. Ryan Sweeney, A's 22. Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs 23. Jose Guillen, Royals 24. Jeremy Hermida, Marlins 25. Mark Teahen, Royals 26. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks 27. Jay Bruce, Reds 28. Franklin Gutierrez, Indians 29. Gary Matthews Jr., Angels   30. Jeff Francoeur, Braves   6.0 Win Shares -17.3 VORP 3.2 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 24 ATL NL 155  599   70  143  33  3  11   71   0  1  39 111  .239  .294  .359   73  215   0   4   5  10  18

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'08 Player Rankings: Center Fielders

Center Fielders   1. Carlos Beltran, Mets   32.6 Win Shares 57.6 VORP 10.4 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 31 NYM NL 161  606  116  172  40  5  27  112  25  3  92  96  .284  .376  .500  131  303   1   6  13   1  11     2. Grady Sizemore, Indians 3. Josh Hamilton, Rangers 4. Nate McLouth, Pirates 5. Curtis Granderson, Tigers 6. B.J. Upton, Rays 7. Torii Hunter, Angels 8. Shane Victorino, Phillies 9. Matt Kemp, Dodgers 10. Cody Ross, Marlins 11. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 12. Mike Cameron, Brewers 13. Marlon Byrd, Rangers 14. Chris Young, Diamondbacks 15. Skip Schumaker, Cardinals 16. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 17. Rick Ankiel, Cardinals 18. Aaron Rowand, Giants 19. Jim Edmonds, Padres/Cubs 20. Scott Hairsotn, Padres 21. Carlos Gomez, Twins 22. Lastings Milledge, Nationals 23. Reed Johnson, Cubs 24. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 25. Adam Jones, Orioles 26. Mark Kotsay, Braves/Red Sox 27. Willy Taveras, Rockies   28. Michael Bourn, Astros   7.6 Win Shares -12.0 VORP 2.5 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 25 HOU NL 138  467   57  107  10  4   5   29  41 10  37 111  .229  .288  .300   56  140   7   1   0   2   3   29. Melky Cabrera, Yankees 30. Corey Patterson, Reds

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'08 Player Rankings: Left Fielders

Tim McCarver's hatred for this man almost made me want to root for the Dodgers.   Left Fielder Rankings   1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox/Dodgers   33.4 Win Shares 83.5 VORP 10.8 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 36 TOT    153  552  102  183  36  1  37  121   3  0  87 124  .332  .430  .601  164  332   0   4  24  11  17     2. Carlos Quentin, White Sox 3. Matt Holliday, Rockies 4. Jason Bay, Pirates/Red Sox 5. Ryan Braun, Brewers 6. Johnny Damon, Yankees 7. Raul Ibanez, Mariners 8. Carlos Lee, Astros 9. Adam Dunn, Reds/Diamondbacks 10. Dave DeJesus, Royals 11. Jack Cust, A's 12. Pat Burrell, Phillies 13. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs 14. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks 15. Garret Anderson, Angels 16. Luke Scott, Orioles 17. Fred Lewis, Giants 18. Josh Willingham, Marlins 19. Delmon Young, Twins 20. Willie Harris, Nationals 21. Ben Francisco, Indians 22. Carl Crawford, Rays   23. Gregor Blanco, Braves   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 24 ATL NL 144  430   52  108  14  4   1   38  13  5  74  99  .251  .366  .309   83  133   6   3   2   6   3   24. Chase Headley, Padres 25. Luis Gonzalez, Marlins 26. Adam Lind, Blue Jays 27. Juan Pierre, Dodgers 28. Emil Brown, A's 29. David Dellucci, Indians 30. Jay Payton, Orioles

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Another Pointless Top 25 Poll #2

So I waited two weeks before doing my 2nd Pointless Top 25 because I wanted to do some hard research on all 119 I-A teams...or I just didn't feel like it last week. You make the call!   Again I spend about ten minutes doing this so don't bother spending more than ten seconds reading it.   1. Texas 2. Alabama 3. Penn State 4. Oklahoma State 5. Oklahoma 6. Georgia 7. Missouri 8. Florida 9. Utah 10. BYU 11. USC 12. LSU 13. Texas Tech 14. Virginia Tech 15. Ohio State 16. North Carolina 17. California 18. Michigan State 19. Wake Forest 20. Boise State 21. Pittsburgh 22. South Florida 23. Kansas 24. Ball State 25. Tulsa

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2008 MLB Television Standings

OMG two entries in one day, I'm out of control! This year I decided to track the number of games that each team had televised by MLB's three television partners. The final week's schedule was finalized today so figured I'd actually post the final "standings" for the year. I thought it'd be better to post it on the blog rather than the TWiB form because we don't need another debate of the overexposure of two certain teams from the Northeast and God knows I've instigated a few of those debates.   Note there was only one team in MLB that did not have a single game televised by ESPN, FOX, or TBS. Try to guess before scrolling down to find out who. Really shouldn't surprise anyone.   ESPN (76 Games)   17 Games: Cubs, Red Sox 15: Yankees 11: Phillies 10: Dodgers, Mets 9: Rays 7: Angels, Brewers 6: Cardinals, Tigers, White Sox 5: Twins 4: Astros, Braves, Indians 2: Athletics, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rangers 1: Giants, Nationals, Orioles, Rockies   FOX (66 Games)   10: Phillies 9: Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees 8: Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers 7: Angels, Cubs, Mets 6: Diamondbacks, Twins, White Sox 5: Brewers, Indians 3: Mariners, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies 2: Orioles, Royals 1: Athletics, Marlins, Nationals   TBS (26 Games)   8: Red Sox 5: White Sox, Yankees 4: Phillies 3: Blue Jays, Cardinals, Cubs, Marlins 2: Angels, Braves, Dodgers, Mets 1: Athletics, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Indians, Mariners, Orioles, Rays, Reds, Tigers, Twins   Totals   34: Red Sox 29: Yankees 27: Cubs 25: Phillies 20: Dodgers 19: Mets 17: Cardinals, White Sox 16: Angels, Tigers 14: Braves, Twins 13: Brewers, Rays 10: Indians 9: Diamondbacks 5: Blue Jays, Padres 4: Astros, Athletics, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles, Reds, Rockies 2: Nationals, Rangers, Royals 1: Giants 0: Pirates

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Best SP Seasons since 1979

And I'm finally done with the best lists, just two days before they are out of date! It is pretty amazing to think that the best season by a pitcher in the last 30 years was by a guy who peaked at age 20.   Top 20 Starting Pitcher Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Dwight Gooden, 1985 - New York Mets 32.9 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  ERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 1985 20 NYM NL  24   4  35  35  16   8   0  0  276.7  198   51   47  13   69  268   2   6  1065  4  1.53   228 0.965   2. Roger Clemens, 1997 - Toronto Blue Jays 31.9 3. Greg Maddux, 1995 - Atlanta Braves 29.9 4. Pedro Martinez, 2000 - Boston Red Sox 28.9 5. Roger Clemens, 1986 - Boston Red Sox 28.8 6. Randy Johnson, 2002 - Arizona Diamondbacks 28.7 7. Steve Carlton, 1980 - Philadelphia Phillies 28.6 8. Brett Saberhagen, 1989 - Kansas City Royals 28.3 9. Roger Clemens, 1990 - Boston Red Sox 28.1 10. Roger Clemens, 1987 - Boston Red Sox 27.7 11. Greg Maddux, 1992 - Chicago Cubs 27.4 12. Johan Santana, 2004 - Minnesota Twins 27.2 13. John Smoltz, 1996 - Atlanta Braves 27.1 14. John Tudor, 1985 - St. Louis Cardinals 27.1 15. Kevin Appier, 1993 - Kansas City Royals 27.0 16. Pedro Martinez, 1999 - Boston Red Sox 26.9 17. Mike Scott, 1986 - Houston Astros 26.8 18. Pedro Martinez, 1997 - Montreal Expos 26.4 19. Randy Johnson, 1999 - Arizona Diamondbacks 26.2 20. Greg Maddux, 1994 - Atlanta Braves 26.0

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Best DH Seasons since 1979

You know I should probably finish this up this week being that the 2008 season ends on Sunday which will make these lists out of date. But hey that also means it'll be time to work on my "famous" Bored Player Rankings which will just serve as a painful reminder of how bad the A's offense was this year.   Top 20 Designated Hitter Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Frank Thomas, 1991 - Chicago White Sox 33.8 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1991 23 CHW AL 158  559  104  178  31  2  32  109   1  2 138 112  .318  .453  .553  180  309   0   2  13   1  20   2. Frank Thomas, 2000 - Chicago White Sox 33.7 3. Edgar Martinez, 1995 - Seattle Mariners 31.7 4. David Ortiz, 2005 - Boston Red Sox 31.6 5. Rafael Palmeiro, 1999 - Texas Rangers 31.1 6. Paul Molitor, 1991 - Milwaukee Brewers 29.6 7. David Ortiz, 2006 - Boston Red Sox 29.4 8. Paul Molitor, 1993 - Toronto Blue Jays 29.4 9. David Ortiz, 2007 - Boston Red Sox 28.9 10. Paul Molitor, 1987 - Milwaukee Brewers 28.6 11. Paul Molitor, 1992 - Milwaukee Brewers 28.4 12. Edgar Martinez, 2000 - Seattle Mariners 28.2 13. Dave Winfield, 1992 - Toronto Blue Jays 26.7 14. Edgar Martinez, 1997 - Seattle Mariners 26.6 15. Hal McRae, 1982 - Kansas City Royals 26.1 16. Jim Thome, 2006 - Chicago White Sox 26.0 17. Manny Ramirez, 2001 - Boston Red Sox 25.1 18. David Ortiz, 2004 - Boston Red Sox 25.1 19. Travis Hafner, 2006 - Cleveland Indians 25.0 20. Frank Thomas, 1998 - Chicago White Sox 24.7

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