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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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HOF Profiles: Travis Fryman

Travis Fryman - Third Baseman   Detroit Tigers 1990-1997 Cleveland Indians 1998-2002   Awards 1992 A.L. Silver Slugger - SS 2000 A.L. Gold Glove - 3B   All-Star Selections: 5 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000)   League Leader None of note   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance July 28, 1993 - New York at Detroit Hit for the cycle (5 for 5, 4 RBI) although in a losing effort against the Yankees.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 2 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 20 (991) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 26.4 (371) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 36.0 (491) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Ken Caminiti, Bret Boone, Vern Stephens, Miguel Tejada, Larry Parrish, Benito Santiago, Doug DeCinces, Gus Bell, Richie Hebner, Bobby Grich   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1990: 8/3.6 1991: 17/4.3 1992: 19/9.0 1993: 28/9.7 1994: 15/6.4 1995: 19/9.4 1996: 17/8.1 1997: 17/7.8 1998: 18/6.6 1999: 7/1.8 2000: 22/6.8 2001: 5/0.1 2002: 7/0.8   Career Win Shares: 198 Career WARP3: 74.4   My Stupid Opinion   He was to be the heir apparent to Alan Trammell at shortstop in Detroit but eventually ended up at hot the corner where he became a very good defensive third baseman. Outside of an outstanding 1993 season at age 24 he never quite became the offensive threat some thought he would be but was a very solid, consistent performer through out the decade. Nagging injuries cut his career short at age 33.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Shawon Dunston

Shawon Dunston - Shortstop   Chicago Cubs 1985-1995, 1997 San Francisco Giants 1996, 1998, 2001-2002 Pittsburgh Pirates 1997 Cleveland Indians 1998 St. Louis Cardinals 1999, 2000 New York Mets 1999   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 2 (1988, 1990)   League Leader None   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance June 4, 1989 - Chicago at St. Louis Hit two homeruns and a triple in a rout of the Cardinals.   Hall of Fame Stats Gray Ink: Batting - 6 (1622) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 16.9 (835) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 14.0 (950) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Jim Fregosi, Juan Samuel, Terry Steinbach, Carlos Baerga, Phil Garner, Greg Gagne, Bill Freehan, Granny Hamner, Hubie Brooks, Daimon Easley   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1985: 8/3.2 1986: 14/4.7 1987: 5/2.2 1988: 13/5.2 1989: 18/6.1 1990: 15/3.6 1991: 14/4.1 1992: 1/0.6 1993: 1/0.2 1994: 8/2.5 1995: 16/4.9 1996: 8/3.4 1997: 11/3.7 1998: 3/0.1 1999: 8/1.8 2000: 4/1.2 2001: 4/1.7 2002: 0/-0.8   Career Win Shares: 151 Career WARP3: 48.3   My Stupid Opinion   Gives Todd Stottlemyre a run for his money for the weakest player on the ballot honors. Decent player in the late 80's and early 90's but back surgery basically wiped out two seasons for him in 1992 and 1993. Had decent power for a shortstop but never saw a pitch he didn't like (.296 career OBP, 203 walks in 6276 plate appearances) and was a mediocre defensive shortstop. He lasted 18 years but the second half of his career was as a utility player and clubs loved his "veteran presence", especially the Giants.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Jose Rijo

Jose Rijo - Starting Pitcher   New York Yankees 1984 Oakland Athletics 1985-1987 Cincinnati Reds 1988-1995, 2001-2002   Awards 1990 World Series MVP   All-Star Selections: 1 (1994)   League Leader 1991: W/L Pct., WHIP 1993: Strikeouts, K/9   Career Ranks K/9: 34th K/BB: 90th   Best Performance September 25, 1993 - Cincinnati at Colorado Pitched a complete game, one hitter in Mile High Stadium with a Charlie Hayes single in the 2nd being the only hit.   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Pitching - 9 (250) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 93 (228) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 20.0 (289) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 28.0 (446) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Sid Fernandez, Bruce Kison, Gary Peters, Ray Culp, Bob Veale, Bob Ojeda, Mike Scott, Don Wilson, Sonny Siebert, Joe Horlen   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1984: 1/0.8 1985: 4/2.3 1986: 5/2.2 1987: 0/0.0 1988: 15/6.3 1989: 9/3.8 1990: 17/6.4 1991: 17/6.9 1992: 19/7.6 1993: 26/11.5 1994: 11/6.1 1995: 4/1.8 2001: 2/0.3 2002: 2/1.1   Career Win Shares: 132 Career WARP3: 57.1   My Stupid Opinion   This is Rijo's second different appearance on the HOF ballot as he was also on the 2001 ballot (received just one vote) but he made a comeback with the Reds later that year. Very good pitcher in the early 90's including a Cy Young caliber year in 1993 but the 257 innings he pitched that season probably did in him as his elbow was never the same. Ended up having four different Tommy John surgeries so he belongs in the infirmary wing of the HOF.

Bored

Bored

 

Playoff & Bowl Idea 2007

Before I get to the redux my of idea for creating a playoff system and at the same time improve the bowl selection process, I'm going to make a little comment on Hawaii. Whenever I see someone say "Hawaii should be in the BCS Championship!", I just want to pat them on the head and say "Aww, aren't you cute? Yes you are, yes you are!" In the current structure of college football, which I agree is a joke, Hawaii has no business playing for the championship.   The purpose of the BCS is purely to match-up the two most deserving teams and nothing else. Hawaii is in no way shape or form one of the two most deserving teams in the country of playing for the Mythical National Championship and they are not on the same level of Boise State last year or Utah in 2004. I know it's a tired argument but it is always worth enforcing that they played what was the weakest schedule in the country. They played a total of three teams in the BCS Top 80 this year (Fresno State, Boise State, Washington) and all three game came at home. The best team they played on the road this year was Nevada who is ranked 83rd overall by the BCS computer rankings and only the Billingsley rankings had them in the Top 80 (78th). This team is going to get flat out killed in the Sugar Bowl by Georgia and I think it's going to be a beating so bad that it could hurt the cause of the non-BCS conferences.   And that being said, Hawaii deserves to play for a National Championship...if there was a playoff. Like Boise State last year, they didn't lose a game. It's the biggest hole in the "the regular season is a playoff" argument. If you didn't lose a game, how'd you get eliminated? I'm not going to retype my whole idea from last year but here is my idea in a nutshell: Eight teams, the first round is played on the homefield of the higher seeds, while the semi-finals and finals are played on the traditional BCS bowl sites. Automatic qualifiers would be the six BCS conference champions and any undefeated non-BCS conference team. If there are any available slots after that they will go to the highest ranked team(s) that did not win their conference championship.   Now there is an argument out there that we only need a four team playoff and I'll tell that has too many problems for it to ever to work. First off the BCS conferences will never go for it. Are you gonna tell me the SEC or Big Ten would ever agree to a playoff that could leave the possibility of their champ not having a chance to win a real National Championship? Also it doesn't solve the problem of the exclusion of the Boise State's and Hawaii's of the world as no non-BCS conference team has ever finished the season ranked in the BCS Top 4. An eight team playoff gives all the BCS conferences a piece of the pie while pleasing the non-BCS conferences and the general public of giving the opportunity for those "small" schools to play for a championship. An eight team playoff is logistically possible and doesn't over bloat the season too much.   So in my hypothetical scenario this year the Sugar Bowl is the site of the National Championship while the Orange and Rose Bowls would host the semi-final games. Here's how the playoff would set up:   Hawaii at Ohio State Georgia at Oklahoma   West Virginia at LSU USC at Virginia Tech   I don't know about you but I'll take the Pepsi Challenge of these games versus the sad slate of BCS bowl games we have this year.   Now last year as well I also suggested that the whole bowl selection process has to be overhauled. Now this is an issue that obviously doesn't get much attention because the issue of actually crowning a real National Champion in major college football takes precedence. We need to junk the preset conference bids which are inherently unfair. BYU for example, who has been completely overlooked because of Hawaii, is ranked in the Top 20 of the BCS for the second straight year but once again they have to settle for the Las Vegas Bowl rather than a bigger game. Now there are certainly years where the Mountain West champ may only deserve a bowl of that caliber but the preset bids ensure that those teams will never get a better bid, unless they go undefeated and get into the BCS. The preset bids also can give us lopsided, uninteresting match-ups. Michigan is ranked 32nd in the BCS yet they will play in the biggest non-BCS bowl against Florida who is ranked 12th. Anyone remember what Dennis Dixon and company did against Michigan earlier in the year? What you think Tim Tebow is going to do them? Also we have the lameness of bowls like the Hawaii Bowl or the New Mexico Bowl that can take the home school to play creating a road game for their opponent for what is technically supposed to be a neutral site.   My idea was/is to have an actual bowl committee that assigns similar ranked teams to appropriate bowl games. Now you wouldn't want to necessarily match-up #15 vs. #16 and #21 vs. #22 automatically because obviously there would be cases where you'd have two teams from the same conference or two teams that already played each other, which funny enough even with the preset bids we have two rematches this year (Las Vegas and Motor City). You also wouldn't want to have say a Pac-10 team play a Mountain West team in the Outback Bowl in Tampa nor would you want a Big East team to play an ACC team in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Location can be important for selling tickets which is part of the reason why we have preset bids, although it would been unavoidable in some cases to have bad location match-ups and hell the ACC sends teams to San Francisco and Boise. Another advantage to getting rid of the preset bids is it would create more variety in inter-conference match-ups instead the same conferences playing each other in the same bowls for several yars. Just for example, the Pac-10 and SEC haven't played each other in a bowl game since the 1989 Freedom Bowl (Washington State vs. Florida).   One other thing for the BCS bowl who is not part of the playoff, that being the Fiesta Bowl is this scenario, they would get the two highest ranked teams not in the playoff provided those two teams aren't in the same conference which this year would be the case with Missouri and Kansas. And just to make the conference presidents fat and happy those schools would get the same payout as the playoff schools.   So here's my "fantasy booking" of the bowl games. The order I placed the bowl games are based on how the current preset bids are handed out and not necessarily how I view each bowl. Last year I wanted only 20 bowl games outside the playoffs but I know there's no chance of ever significantly shrinking the number of bowls so this year I'm including them all. One provision I didn't think of last year is that after you get past the BCS Top 25 I'd only place teams based on their overall computer ranking as otherwise you could get coaches or former players (Harris Poll) giving their school a throw away 25th place vote to get their school a better bowl game.   Fiesta: Missouri vs. Arizona State Capital One: Kansas vs. Florida Cotton: Illinois vs. Clemson Holiday: Boston College vs. BYU Chick-fil-A: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin Gator: Texas vs. South Florida Outback: Virginia vs. Cincinnati Sun: Auburn vs. Boise State Champs Sports: Connecticut vs. Wake Forest Music City: Oregon State vs. Michigan Insight: Oregon vs. Arkansas Meineke Car Care: Florida State vs. Kentucky Las Vegas: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Liberty: Penn State vs. Mississippi State Independence: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech Emerald: Utah vs. UCLA Motor City: UCF vs. Texas Tech Humanitarian: Michigan State vs. South Carolina GMAC: Maryland vs. Alabama Texas: Rutgers vs. Oklahoma State International: Colorado vs. Troy Poinsettia: California vs. New Mexico Armed Forces: Louisville vs. Purdue PapaJohns.com: Fresno State vs. Indiana Hawaii: Tulsa vs. Navy New Orleans: TCU vs. Florida Atlantic New Mexico: Central Michigan vs. East Carolina

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Robb Nen

Robb Nen - Closer   Texas Rangers 1993 Florida Marlins 1993-1997 San Francisco Giants 1998-2002   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 3 (1998, 1999, 2002)   League Leader 2001: Saves   Career Ranks Saves: 15th   Best Performance October 26, 1997 - Cleveland at Florida In Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, with the Marlins down a run he comes into the top of the 9th with runners at the corners and one out and gets the Marlins out of the jam who then tie the game in the bottom of the inning. He proceeds to strikeout the side in the 10th (Omar Vizquel, Manny Ramirez, David Justice) as the Marlins win the Series in the 11th.   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Pitching - 3 (541) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 24 (925) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 15.0 (471) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 92.0 (112) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: 1 (Bruce Sutter) Other Similar Pitchers: John Wetteland, Tom Henke, Troy Percival, Jeff Montgomery, Todd Worrell, Armando Benitez, Rod Beck, Ugueth Urbina, Jason Isringhausen   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1993: 0/-0.2 1994: 11/5.4 1995: 8/4.4 1996: 19/6.4 1997: 11/4.1 1998: 19/8.9 1999: 8/4.1 2000: 15/7.5 2001: 14/6.3 2002: 15/7.0   Career Win Shares: 120 Caeer WARP3: 53.9   My Stupid Opinion   Anyone else feeling old by the fact that someone who debuted in 1993 is already on a HOF ballot? Nen's career was cut short by a torn rotator cuff and his last appearance happened to come in the 2002 World Series. He was similar to undeserving HOF closer Bruce Sutter in that they both had short careers but were dominate in their roles while they were active. The big difference between the two is Sutter pitched in the pre-Dennis Eckersley era of closers as he threw 327 1/3 more innings than Nen in only 18 more games pitched. Given that HOF voters are more open to closers getting in now and the "heroic" nature of him pitching in the '02 World Series with his shoulder being mush I wouldn't be surprised if he received the necessary 5% to stay on the ballot.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Todd Stottlemyre

Todd Stottlemyre- Starting Pitcher   Toronto Blue Jays 1988-1994 Oakland Athletics 1995 St. Louis Cardinals 1996-1998 Texas Rangers 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks 1999-2002   Awards None   All-Star Selections: None   League Leader None   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance August 26, 1992 - Toronto at Chicago Carried a no hitter into the 8th inning before a Dan Pasqua double with one out breaks it up. Finished with a complete game, one-hitter.   Hall of Fame Stats   Gray Ink: Pitching - 28 (812) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 13.0 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 15.0 (716) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Darryl Kile, Woody Williams, Livan Hernandez, Pat Hentgen, Ron Darling, Kevin Tapani, Mike Krukow, Tim Belcher, Pedro Astacio, Mike Hampton   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacment Level (WARP3)   1988: 0/0.0 1989: 6/2.7 1990: 9/4.9 1991: 15/6.0 1992: 7/3.1 1993: 7/3.1 1994: 10/6.2 1995: 10/5.4 1996: 14/5.7 1997: 11/5.3 1998: 14/4.8 1999: 6/2.0 2000: 6/3.0 2002: 0/-0.1   Career Win Shares: 115 Career WARP3: 54.0   My Stupid Opinion   If you look up "Middle of the Rotation Starter" in the dictionary you'll probably see Stottlemyre's face. He's this year's "Why the hell is this guy on the ballot?" winner as there's nothing in his career that stands out. Now he was a better pitcher than Bobby Witt who was on last year's ballot and freakin' Gary DiSarcina was on the 2006 ballot so there have been worse nominees. He did pitch for two World Champions in Toronto (he was out for the season during the D-Backs 2001 run) but in his only World Series start he was shelled, the infamous 15-14 slugfest in Game 4 of the '93 Series.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Rod Beck

Only eleven first ballot candidates this year and I already made it known in the Hall of Fame Ballot thread that Tim Raines is the only one deserving to get in, not that that is any great insight. But I'll still run through all eleven newbies but a little different from last year when I was going through the whole ballot and ended each entry with my opinion of whether they'd get my imaginary vote or not. Instead I'll just give "My Stupid Opinion" on each player. Also this year I'll throw in a link to the boxscore of each player's "best" performance, although really I'm not putting that much research into it. For the order of players I'll again go in reverse order of career Win Shares.   Rod Beck - Closer   San Francisco Giants 1991-1997 Chicago Cubs 1998-1999 Boston Red Sox 1999-2001 San Diego Padres 2003-2004   Awards 1994 N.L. Rolaids Relief   All-Star Selections: 3 (1993, 1994, 1997)   League Leader None of note   Career Ranks Games: 78th Saves: 23rd   Best Performance April 18, 1993 - Atlanta at San Francisco Notches five strikeouts in pitching a shutout 9th and 10th (struckout the side) in a 13-12, 11 inning thriller against the Braves.   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Pitching - 1 (818) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 23 (946) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 13.0 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 63.0 (188) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Jeff Montgomery, Armando Benitez, Robb Nen, Troy Percival, Keith Foulke, Jason Isringhausen, Todd Worrell, Gregg Olson, Tom Henke, Ugueth Urbina   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacment Level (WARP3)   1991: 3/1.2 1992: 16/4.9 1993: 16/5.9 1994: 7/4.2 1995: 7/3.1 1996: 10/4.9 1997: 12/4.5 1998: 13/6.0 1999: 3/1.0 2000: 5/1.7 2001: 7/3.5 2003: 6/4.3 2004: 0/-0.1   Career Win Shares: 105 Career WARP3: 45.1   My Stupid Opinion   Due to his death earlier this year the five year rule was waived for Beck. A fan favorite who will be better known for his appearance and personality than his pitching prowess. A very good closer in his prime but rarely dominate and no where near the elite the closers of all-time. Maybe deserves a special spot in the Hall of Fame for overdosing on cocaine that he snorted off his own baseball card, which I'm pretty sure is the Score 1994 card pictured above.

Bored

Bored

 

Bowl Projections

I'm not into making projections a month into the season, basically so I won't look stupid, and I like to wait until the final week of the season to make projections. Now these are purely based on every higher ranked team winning their game next week and obviously that won't happen but it makes it easier to make projections that way. Note Navy, Southern Miss, and Memphis have already accepted invites to bowls.   BCS: Missouri vs. West Virginia Orange: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Fiesta: Kansas vs. Arizona State Sugar: LSU vs. Hawaii Rose: Ohio State vs. USC   Capital One: Florida vs. Illinois Cotton: Kansas vs. Arkansas Holiday: Oregon vs. Texas Chick-fil-A: Boston College vs. Auburn Gator: Oklahoma vs. Clemson Outback: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin Sun: South Florida vs. California Alamo: Penn State vs. Texas A&M Champs Sports: Virginia vs. Michigan Music City: Mississippi State vs. Florida State Insight: Texas Tech vs. Indiana Meineke Car Care: Cincinnati vs. Wake Forest Las Vegas: BYU vs. Oregon State Liberty: UCF vs. Alabama Independence: Kentucky vs. Colorado Emerald: UCLA vs. Maryland Motor City: Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Humanitarian: Boise State vs. Georgia Tech GMAC: Bowling Green vs. Tulsa Texas: Houston vs. New Mexico International: Rutgers vs. Ball State Poinsettia: Navy vs. Utah Armed Forces: Air Force vs. Purdue PapaJohns.com: Connecticut vs. Southern Miss Hawaii: Fresno State vs. East Carolina New Orleans: Troy vs. Memphis New Mexico: TCU vs. Louisiana Tech

Bored

Bored

 

2008 HOF Profiles: Holdovers

Next week (I think) the 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be released. Last year I did individual entries on each player on the ballot and I plan on doing the same thing this year for the first ballot players. Of course there is no point in redoing the holdovers from last year's ballot, and I'm much too lazy to update them, so here's links to each entry listed in order of the percentage of the vote they received last year. None of my opinions have changed as I would still vote Mark McGwire, Bert Blyleven, and Alan Trammell.   1. Goose Gossage 71.2% (9th year on ballot) 2. Jim Rice 63.5% (14th) 3. Andre Dawson 56.7% (7th) 4. Bert Blyleven 47.7% (11th) 5. Lee Smith 39.8% (6th) 6. Jack Morris 37.1% (9th) 7. Mark McGiwre 23.5% (2nd) 8. Tommy John 22.9% (14th) 9. Dave Concepcion 13.6% (15th and final year) 10. Alan Trammell 13.4% (7th) 11. Dave Parker 11.4% (12th) 12. Don Mattingly 9.9% (8th) 13. Dale Murphy 9.2% (10th) 14. Harold Baines 5.3% (2nd)

Bored

Bored

 

Bowl Bubble III

ACC   Bowls: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian   Locks: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Maryland, Miami, N.C. State   Maryland/N.C. State is a loser goes home game this Saturday and the winner likely goes to a bowl. I only say likely because if Miami some how gets it's shit together and upsets Boston College that will give the conference nine eligible teams with eight bids. Even if Miami upsets BC they are a longshot as they played in the Humanitarian Bowl last year so they'd have to hope the Emerald Bowl grabs them over a 7-5 team and then the Humanitarian would have to pick that team over the Maryland/N.C. State winner. You can't officially rule out any conference yet at getting two BCS bids but the only scenario the ACC has is if Virginia Tech beats Virginia this week and then loses to Boston College in the conference title game. The Hokies conceivably could still be in the Top 14 at the end of the year, and definitely Top 18 if the BCS is forced to expand the at large pool. Now assuming Miami loses and the Virginia Tech scenario plays out where they get a BCS at large bid then that would leave the Humantarian Bowl as an open bid.   Big XII   Bowls: BCS/Fiesta, Cotton, Holiday, Gator or Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska   I mistakenly said last week Oklahoma State had locked up a bid as for some reason I thought they already had six wins but they do. No changes from last week, Colorado/Nebraska will play for a bid on Friday, and Kansas State needs to beat Fresno State to become eligible. If they lose the Texas Bowl will be an open bid as there's no scenario where the Big XII doesn't get two BCS bids.   Big East   Bowls: BCS, Gator or Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, PapaJohns.com   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, South Florida, West Virginia   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Louisville   Rutgers locked up a bid with their win over Pitt. Louisville needs UConn to beat West Virginia to win the Big East as that would likely give the conference two BCS bids as the Mountaineers would probably still be around the bottom of the Top 10. Then the Cardinals need to beat Rutgers a week from Thursday to become eligible. If West Virginia wraps up the Big East this Saturday, Louisville is done.   Big Ten   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Ohio State   Near Locks: Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue   On the Bubble: None   I have the three 7-5 teams as near locks because the Big Ten as things stand at the moment won't have enough bids for all three. Now it is still possible that Illinois, if enough things go there way, can slip into a BCS bowl which then would give the conference enough bids. If that doesn't happen Purdue is probably the odd team out but they'd be a good bet to grab the likely Armed Forces Bowl open bid. What they have to worry about is if the SEC ends up with a 7-5 team without a conference bid and if the Armed Forces ends up being the only open bid which then the Boilermakers could be sitting at home.   Conference USA   Bowls: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, PapaJohns.com, Hawaii, New Orleans   Locks: East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UCF   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: None   Everything is set here beyond where everyone is going. Southern Miss and Memphis are ranked 86th and 90th respectively in the BCS yet they are locked up for bowls.   MAC   Bowls: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: Bowling Green   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Ball State, Central Michigan, Miami of Ohio   So in the MAC not everyone plays the some number of conference games, some play seven and some play eight. Now because of that the divisions are decided by divisional record only, not conference record. Follow me so far? Central Michigan and Ball State, the 1st and 2nd place teams in the West division, don't play each other this year. Who the fuck came up with this? As for the bids, Bowling Green is going, um, bowling and the rest is a mess.   Mountain West   Bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU, Utah   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: New Mexico, TCU   While Conference USA steals bids, someone in the Mountain West is probably going to have it's heart broken and it will likely be an 8-4 New Mexico team (assuming they beat 2-9 UNLV). Now you'd think New Mexico would get to go to the New Mexico Bowl but the bowl put a rule in for itself that it couldn't pick the Lobos more than onece in three years. So because of that if TCU gets win #7 as expected over San Diego State, there will likely be no bowl game for New Mexico unless there ends up being three open bids or enough of the 6-5 teams lose their last game then they'd need two as obviously Purdue would get one before them. Again Memphis is ranked 90th in the country and is going to a bowl game, while an eight win team (or maybe an 7-5 SEC or Big Ten team) probably isn't.   Pac-10   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Armed Forces   Locks: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Arizona, UCLA   Before Dennis Dixon went all Boobie Miles on Thursday, the conference seemed assured two BCS bids. Now it's still a good bet but we have to wait and see how Oregon recovers this week against UCLA. If the conference doesn't get two bids that would be bad news for the open bids hopefuls as it seemed for a while now not only the Armed Forces Bowl would be open but also the Emerald Bowl. I'm reading conflicting reports where some indicate the Emerald picks before the Las Vegas Bowl this year which would leave Vegas open but I'm not so sure about that. In any event if Oregon is a shell of it's former self now without Dixon, then UCLA can get win #6. U of A is suddenly hot but they'll need to pull off another big upset against rival ASU in order to get eligible for the first time since 1998.   SEC   Bowls: BCS/Sugar, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locks: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee   Near Locks: Arkansas, Kentucky   On the Bubble: Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina   I had Alabama as a lock the last couple of weeks as I though there was no way in hell they'd lose to ULM. Well so much for that. Now the conference is all but guaranteed two BCS bids so they'll have nine total but we could end up with nightmare scenario where we have six 7-5 teams with five available bids between them. Now any 7-5 SEC team will get picked over all others trying to get an open bid but there are scenarios where there could end up being no open bids so because of that I'm going conservative here. Auburn I have as a lock as I feel they'd be safe at 7-5 in that scenario while I could see Kentucky or Arkansas getting snubbed in this nightmare scenario. Hopefully either Auburn beats Alabama and/or Clemson beats South Carolina to send one of those schools to a very long offseason. The biggest shame would be if Mississippi State got snubbed in the nightmare scenario.   Sun Belt   Bowls: New Orleans   Locks: None   Near Locks: Troy   On the Bubble: Florida Atlantic   No changes, Troy/FAU play each other December 1st for the conference unless FAU is stunned by winless FIU this week. Hopefully Troy avoids the upset in that game as they deserve to go to a bowl game and a better one than the New Orleans Bowl against one of the awful 6-6 C-USA teams but that's not gonna happen.   WAC   Bowls: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State, Hawaii   Near Locks: Fresno State   On the Bubble: Louisiana Tech, Nevada   Of course the big game is this Friday. If your Louisiana Tech and Nevada your probably rooting for Hawaii as their chances are better than Boise's at getting into the Top 12 to get the BCS bid and a 4th bid for the conference. Neither has any business going to a bowl game mind you.

Bored

Bored

 

Bowl Bubble Update

Here's a quick revision to the Bowl Bubble entry after yesterday's results.   ACC   Bowls: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian   Locks: Boston College, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech   Near Locks: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest   On the Bubble: Maryland, Miami, N.C. State   Maryland's upset of Boston College has increased the chances of possibly ten bowl eligible teams in the conference which means getting win #7 is even more important now. I still don't see FSU getting passed over at 6-6 as at worst they'll get grabbed by the Humanitarian Bowl. Miami looks finished after last night's debacle against UVA as they show no signs that they can pull off a road upset of Virginia Tech or Boston College.   Big XII   Bowls: BCS/Fiesta, Cotton, Holiday, Gator or Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska   Colorado gets bumped down to the bubble after their loss to Iowa State, who's suddenly become a bit of a pest in the conference. Their game against Nebraska in two weeks will now be for a bowl bid for the winner. Because of the Colorado and Kansas State losses, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M have locked up bids. The conference will definitely get two teams in BCS bowls which gives them nine potential bids and that will be the maximum number of bowl eligible teams the conference can get at this point. The Texas Bowl can become an open bid of K-State fails to become bowl eligible.   Big East   Bowls: BCS, Gator or Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, PapaJohns.com   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, West Virginia   Near Locks: Rutgers   On the Bubble: Louisville, Pittsburgh   Only change here is USF locking up a bid as expected. Rutgers locks up a bid if they take care of Pitt at home next week.   Big Ten   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Ohio State   Near Locks: Iowa, Purdue   On the Bubble: Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern   Big Ten is the one conference that wraps up it's season next week so we will probably have a pretty good idea of who is going where after Saturday. The losses of Ohio State and Michigan have crippled the odds that the conference gets two BCS bids although there is still a slim chance if Michigan wins their game as OSU still could end up in the Top 14 if enough things go their way the final two weeks. Michigan winning would also be great news for the WAC, which I'll get to. If they don't get two in the BCS that means as many as three teams from the conference could be eligible but end up staying home so win #7 is an absolute must. Iowa has the easiest game with Western Michigan at home while Northwestern has the longest odds with a trip to Illinois.   Edit: I bumped Purdue down to near lock as if they lose to Indiana they drop to 7-5 and there might not be a bid available if enough of the six win teams get that seventh win.   Conference USA   Bowls: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, PapaJohns.com, Hawaii, New Orleans   Locks: Houston, Tulsa, UCF   Near Locks: East Carolina, Memphis, Southern Miss   On the Bubble: UTEP   Memphis' surprising win over Southern Miss almost assures the conference will get a very undeserving 6th bid as the Tigers finish with UAB and SMU at home. I dropped ECU to near lock after their shocking loss to pitiful Marshall but they should beat Tulane at home to get win #7.   MAC   Bowls: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: None   Near Locks: Bowling Green, Central Michigan   On the Bubble: Ball State, Buffalo, Miami of Ohio, Toledo   Only change is Ohio's bubble bursting. Buffalo is 4-6 but I think they are still mathematically alive to win the East division and I'm too lazy to look up the MAC tiebreaks so I'll just leave them there.   Mountain West   Bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU   Near Locks: New Mexico, Utah   On the Bubble: San Diego State, TCU, Wyoming   Somebody should force Conference USA to give up one of their bids to the Mountain West. There's a potentially odd situation setting up in this conference which is why I'm not locking up Utah and New Mexico just yet. TCU still has a realistic chance at seven wins which means Utah or New Mexico need to get to eight wins to breathe easy. They play each other next week and for Utah it is much more important that they win because they finish at BYU. New Mexico on the other hand finishes with UNLV at home.   Pac-10   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Armed Forces   Locks: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Arizona, UCLA, Washington State   Oregon State locked up a bid while Stanford and Washington's slim hopes ended. Already went over UCLA's plight last week and they almost beat ASU but that might have been their last hope. If Wazzu upsets the Beavers at home next week then they still would have a shot in the Apple Cup and UW might have lost Jake Locker for the season last night to a neck injury.   SEC   Bowls: BCS/Sugar, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locks: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee   Near Locks: Mississippi State   On the Bubble: Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt   Kentucky locked up a bid while South Carolina might find itself in some serious trouble now due to Mississippi State's win over Alabama. Even with the loss the Tide will pick up win #7 against UL Monroe next week so they are still a lock. I've moved the Bulldogs up to a near lock as win #7 should be a given in two weeks against Ole Miss. Arkansas is now on the bubble as if they don't beat the Bulldogs at home next week they will have to upset LSU to lock up a bid. South Carolina's bowl hopes may now rest on beating red hot Clemson at home in two weeks. Vanderbilt will have to beat Tennessee and Wake Forest to have any hope as there is no chance they grab a bid at 6-6 over any of the other teams.   Sun Belt   Bowls: New Orleans   Locks: None   Near Locks: Troy   On the Bubble: Florida Atlantic   MTSU and Arkansas State were eliminated this week so the conference title will come down to the Troy/FAU game on December 1st. Troy is at seven wins now so they would have a shot at an open bid now if they were upset.   WAC   Bowls: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State, Hawaii   Near Locks: Fresno State   On the Bubble: Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State   Only change is New Mexico State's bubble bursting. As I alluded to in the Big Ten entry, everyone in the conference should be rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State. If that happens it will all but guarantee a BCS bid for the winner of the Boise State/Hawaii game as there is a rule in the BCS that if a non-BCS conference champ finishes in the Top 16 and is ranked higher than any other BCS conference champ they get an automatic bid. Now of course either still has a shot at finishing in the Top 14 if they win out which also give them a BCS bid. All that being said the status of Colt Brennan could throw a lot of things in flux as he has to be doubtful for their game at Nevada on Friday. If he's out and they lose that game, then say Brennan comes back for the Boise State game and the Warriors win, then the WAC will screw itself out a BCS bid.

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Bowl Bubble

I decided to give up on doing a Top 25 since my Top 10 wouldn't be a whole lot different from the BCS Top 10 at this point. So instead I'm going to go conference by conference to see what teams are on the bubble to make it to a bowl game. Any BCS conference team with seven wins at this time is a lock and some with six wins are as well although it all depends on if their conference is going to have too many or too few bowl eligible teams. There are no preset open bids this year although a couple may open if a conferece can't fill it. If any bids do open up something to keep in mind is if there is an available 7-5 team, that bowl take them over a 6-6 team which is how Middle Tennessee got to the Motor City Bowl (Big Ten didn't couldn't fill their bid) last year over a few a BCS conference 6-6 teams. Of course no one should feel sorry for any team who didn't finish with a winning record being left home this holiday season.   ACC   Bowls: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian   Locks: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech   Near Locks: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest   On the Bubble: Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State   Now even though they both have six wins the reason why I have FSU as a lock and Wake Forest as a near lock is purely because of FSU's brand name. If the ACC were to end up with more than eight bowl eligible teams a 6-6 Wake Forest team could get left out but Bobby Bowden and company would definitley get an invite at 6-6. Georgia Tech has Duke and North Carolina the next two weeks so they should be fine. N.C. State has come out of no where to have a realistic shot at getting to six wins with home games against UNC and Maryland left. Maryland is reeling and I think they'll come up short. Miami is in big trouble after their loss to N.C. State as their last three games are against Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. UNC has to run the table to have a shot.   Big XII   Bowls: BCS/Fiesta, Cotton, Holiday, Gator or Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech   Near Locks: Colorado, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M   On the Bubble: Kansas State, Nebraska   Colorado has Iowa State and Nebraska left so seven wins is very realistic. A&M will end up 6-6 most likely with Missouri and Texas left so there's an oustide chance they could be left without a place to go but the Big XII might end up with two teams in BCS bowls plus the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth is likley to be open (which I'll get to in the Pac-10) so I'd be very surprised if they are staying home. Oklahoma State should pick up win #6 against Baylor in two weeks, if they don't upset Kansas, but again a small chance they might not have an available bid. K-State has Nebraska, Missouri, and Fresno State left and all bets are off after their embarrassing performance against Iowa State. Nebraska is likely toast although beating K-State could provide a glimmer of hope.   Big East   Bowls: BCS, Gator or Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, PapaJohns.com   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, West Virginia   Near Locks: Rutgers, South Florida   On the Bubble: Louisville, Pittsburgh   Again the great purge of the Big East leaves the conference with by far the most pathetic line up of bowl games of any BCS conferece. It'll get worse this year as there's a 99% chance that the Gator Bowl will excercise it's option to grab the Big XII #2 team this year. USF will get win #7 at Syracuse this week but left them out of the locks just in case the roof caves in, literally. Rutgers has Army and Pittsburgh in the next two weeks so seven wins is expected. Louisville has a tough final three games at West Virginia, at USF, and vs. Rutgers so getting that 6th win is far from guarenteed. On top of that a 6-6 Big East team without an available in conference bid is very likely to be staying home. Pitt is only alive in the most clinical of terms.   Big Ten   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State   Near Locks: Iowa   On the Bubble: Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern   Now here's a conference where it's almost a lock a 6-6 team will stay home. The mediocrity of the middle of the conference and everyone getting to beat up on sorry ass Minnesota has allowed a lot of teams to near bowl eligibility. They'll get helped out if Ohio State and Michigan both get in the BCS. Iowa looked awful most of the season but like N.C. State has turned it around and with Minnesota and Western Michigan left there's no reason they shouldn't get seven wins. Indiana could get left out in the cold if they can't pick up a 7th win and it's not a lock with a road trip to Northwestern and then at home against Purdue. They haven't been to a bowl game since 1993 so they have to be rooting for two teams from the conference to get into the BCS. Northwestern has Indiana and Illinois left while Michigan State has Purdue and Penn State left so both are longshots at this point if they don't win both games.   Conference USA   Bowls: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, PapaJohns.com, Hawaii, New Orleans   Locks: East Carolina, Houston, Tulsa, UCF   Near Locks: Southern Miss   On the Bubble: Memphis, UTEP   Reason #712 There are Way Too Many Fucking Bowl Games: Conference USA has six bids. This is a conference where half the teams aren't in the BCS Top 100. Memphis is ranked 103rd in the country yet they still have a shot at a bowl game. So since ECU, Houston, Tulsa, and UCF have six they are locks as it would be next to impossible for them not to get in that this point even if any of them lost out. Southern Miss still needs to get win #6 but they should pick it up against Memphis this week. UTEP only has four more wins and after Tulane this week they have Southern Miss and UCF left so the odds are against them which would be good news for those teams hoping for another open bid.   MAC   Bowls: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: None   Near Locks: Bowling Green, Central Michigan   On the Bubble: Ball State, Buffalo, Miami of Ohio, Ohio, Toledo   Awful, awful year for this conference as BGSU and CMU are the only two teams with winning records at the moment but both should win at least two of thier last three games to get to seven wins. After that it is anyone's guess as two gets the 3rd bid although Miami of Ohio does control their own destiny to win the East division to get to the title game but they better win their last two regular season games against Akron and Ohio or otherwise they'll be 6-6 and in a must win situation for the conference championship to remain bowl eligible.   Mountain West   Bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force   Near Locks: BYU, New Mexico, Utah   On the Bubble: San Diego State, TCU, Wyoming   BYU would have seven wins already if their game against SDSU wasn't postponed and they are a good bet to run the table in the conference. We could actually end up with more than four seven win teams in this conference which could create some problems for 6-6 BCS conference teams hanging their hat on grabbing an open bid. On the other hand one of the open bids will very likely be the Armed Forces Bowl (which again I'll get to) which will already have a Mountain West team so that will eliminate one option for this conference. There should end up being at least four seven plus win teams so any 6-6 team will definitely not be bowling.   Pac-10   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Armed Forces   Locks: Arizona State, California, Oregon, USC   Near Locks: Oregon State   On the Bubble: Arizona, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Washington State   With the conference being so top heavy this year and with the odds being very good at the moment that they will get two teams in the BCS, it is highly unlikely the Pac-10 will be able to fill all their bids. As previously mentioned the Armed Forces Bowl is pretty much a given to be open but the Emerald Bowl might also be available if UCLA fails to become bowl eligible. The Bruins have ASU, Oregon, and USC so it is looking bleak, although given their propensity to play to their competition watch them win two out of three. Oregon State has the Washington schools the next two weeks so they should win at least one of those games to become bowl eligible. The rest of the schools all need to run the table but it is unlikely any will do so.   SEC   Bowls: BCS/Sugar, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locks: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee   Near Locks: Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina   On the Bubble: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt   Picking the locks and near locks are tough here as it is possible we could get 11 bowl eligible teams here which would obviously leave some 6 win teams without a SEC tie in bowl to go to. I went with Alabama and Tennessee as locks even though they still need that important win #7 over the other three as those two would be more attractive to bowls than the other three. Of the near locks South Carolina has the toughest road to get win #7 as they have Florida and Clemson left although both games are at home. Mississippi State will at least get win #6 when they play Ole Miss but the next two weeks are huge for them against Alabama and Arkansas as they must win one of them or otherwise they are very likely staying home. Vanderbilt also has the odds stacked against them while trying to end their 24 year bowl drought as they will definitely need to get seven wins to have a shot but they have Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wake Forest left on their schedule.   Sun Belt   Bowls: New Orleans   Locks: None   Near Locks: Troy   On the Bubble: Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee   Don't look now but the Sun Belt finally has a good team in their conference, that being Troy. I only have them as a near locks simply because they have to beat MTSU and FAU still to wrap up the conference but I expect they will. It's a real shame that Troy gets stuck going to the New Orleans Bowl as they would easily be the best team in both the MAC and Conference USA. FAU and MTSU could still win the conference if they upset Troy.   WAC   Bowls: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State, Hawaii   Near Locks: Fresno State   On the Bubble: Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Nevada, San Jose State   Pretty much in the same boat as last year with this conference as a lot will depend on whether they get a team in the BCS or not. Fresno has Hawaii and Kansas State the next two weeks so their season finale against New Mexico State may have to be where they get win #7. The rest all need to become bowl eligible and hope either Hawaii or Boise gets into the BCS.

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2007 Player Rankings: Starting Pitchers

And finally wrapping up the 2007 Player Rankings with my favorite and longest list, starting pitchers. Only difference from closers is I do take into account ERA+. The list includes the top 120 pitchers in games started.   2004 1. Randy Johnson 15. Odalis Perez 30. Josh Beckett 45. Joe Kennedy 60. Randy Wolf 75. Jon Garland 90. Aaron Harang 105. Jose Acevedo 120. Brian Anderson   2005 1. Roger Clemens 15. Brandon Webb 30. Kenny Rogers 45. Derek Lowe 60. Livan Hernandez 75. Jason Marquis 90. Mike Maroth 105. Gil Meche 120. Jose Lima   2006 1. Johan Santana 15. Jered Weaver 30. Jake Peavy 45. Aaron Cook 60. Jeff Suppan 75. Matt Morris 90. Rick Nolasco 105. Casey Fossum 120. Oliver Perez   2007 1. Jake Peavy, Padres 2. C.C. Sabathia, Indians 3. Josh Beckett, Red Sox 4. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 5. Erik Bedard, Orioles 6. Johan Santana, Twins 7. John Smoltz, Braves 8. John Lackey, Angels 9. Aaron Harang, Reds 10. Javier Vazquez, White Sox 11. Dan Haren, A's 12. Cole Hamels, Phillies 13. Tim Hudson, Braves 14. Fausto Carmona, Indians 15. Roy Oswalt, Astros 16. James Shields, Devil Rays 17. Kelvim Escobar, Angels 18. Ted Lilly, Cubs 19. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays 20. Chris Young, Padres 21. Brad Penny, Dodgers 22. Justin Verlander, Tigers 23. Joe Blanton, A's 24. Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays 25. Mark Buehrle, White Sox 26. Matt Cain, Giants 27. Gil Meche, Royals 28. Rich Hill, Cubs 29. Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees 30. Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles 31. A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays 32. Dustin McGowan, Blue Jays 33. Ian Snell, Pirates 34. Greg Maddux, Padres 35. Derek Lowe, Dodgers 36. Curt Schilling, Red Sox 37. Jeff Francis, Rockies 38. Felix Hernandez, Mariners 39. Ben Sheets, Brewers 40. John Maine, Mets 41. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs 42. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 43. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox 44. Brian Bannister, Royals 45. Tim Lincecum, Giants 46. Oliver Perez, Mets 47. Tom Gorzelanny, Pirates 48. Carlos Silva, Twins 49. Andy Pettitte, Yankees 50. Orlando Hernandez, Mets 51. Jered Weaver, Angels 52. Jon Garland, White Sox 53. Scott Baker, Twins 54. Bronson Arroyo, Reds 55. Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays 56. Wandy Rodriguez, Astros 57. Kyle Kendrick, Phillies 58. Micah Owings, Diamondbacks 59. Paul Byrd, Indians 60. Kyle Lohse, Reds/Phillies 61. Aaron Cook, Rockies 62. Barry Zito, Giants 63. Tim Wakefield, Red Sox 64. Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers 65. Jarrod Washburn, Mariners 66. Doug Davis, Diamondbacks 67. Miguel Batista, Mariners 68. Jake Westbrook, Indians 69. Chuck James, Braves 70. Jeff Suppan, Brewers 71. Jason Bergmann, Nationals 72. Tom Glavine, Mets 73. Dave Bush, Brewers 74. Justin Germano, Padres 75. Mike Mussina, Yankees 76. Chad Gaudin, A's 77. Jason Marquis, Cubs 78. Nate Robertson, Tigers 79. Braden Looper, Cardinals 80. Noah Lowry, Giants 81. Matt Belisle, Reds 82. Jamie Moyer, Phillies 83. Sergio Mitre, Marlins 84. Andy Sonnanstine, Devil Rays 85. Jesse Litsch, Blue Jays 86. Paul Maholm, Pirates 87. Chris Capuano, Brewers 88. Matt Morris, Giants/Pirates 89. Lenny DiNardo, A's 90. Josh Fogg, Rockies 91. Boof Bosner, Twins 92. Livan Hernandez, Diamondbacks 93. Buddy Carlyle, Braves 94. Claudio Vargas, Brewers 95. Kevin Millwood, Rangers 96. Woody Williams, Astros 97. Daniel Cabrera, Orioles 98. Julian Tavarez, Red Sox 99. Jose Contreras, White Sox 100. Steve Trachsel, Orioles/Cubs 101. Matt Chico, Nationals 102. David Wells, Padres/Dodgers 103. Dontrelle Willis, Marlins 104. John Danks, White Sox 105. Brandon McCarthy, Rangers 106. Ervin Santana, Angels 107. Kameron Loe, Rangers 108. Anthony Reyes, Cardinals 109. Kip Wells, Cardinals 110. Jeff Weaver, Mariners 111. Mike Bacsik, Nationals 112. Odalis Perez, Royals 113. Jorge De La Rosa, Royals 114. Edwin Jackson, Devil Rays 115. Vincente Padilla, Rangers 116. Scott Olsen, Marlins 117. Adam Eaton, Phillies 118. Kyle Davies, Braves/Royals 119. Byung-Hyun Kim, Rockies/Diamondbacks/Marlins 120. Mike Maroth, Tigers/Cardinals

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 Boring November Edition

This was actually relatively uneventful Saturday and after all the chaos in the previous weeks I get the feeling we may have a boring November. We're down to only 10 BCS conference teams with one loss or less compared to 18 at this time last year so I think law of averages this past week might be a sign of things to come. Even now in the era of a 12 game regular season and conference championships I still don't see us having the first two loss, post-bowls national champion. Believe me though I would love a two loss champion as it would even further kill the argument that the regular season is one big playoff.   Almost made it through October without ranking any three loss teams but as the SEC continues to cannibalize itself I have no other choice.   1. Ohio State 2. Arizona State 3. Boston College 4. Kansas 5. LSU 6. West Virginia 7. Oklahoma 8. Oregon 9. Missouri 10. Georgia 11. Connecticut 12. Alabama 13. Virginia Tech 14. South Florida 15. Wake Forest 16. Auburn 17. Florida 18. Michigan 19. Tennessee 20. Wisconsin 21. South Carolina 22. USC 23. Kentucky 24. Hawaii 25. Boise State

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2007 Player Rankings: Closers

For closers the list includes the top 30 in Saves. Only difference from middle relievers is I do take into account Win Shares.   2004 1. Brad Lidge 15. Octavio Dotel 30. Shawn Chacon   2005 1. Mariano Rivera 15. Jason Isringhausen 30. Keith Foulke   2006 1. Jonathan Papelbon 15. Francisco Cordero 30. Derrick Turnbow   2007 1. J.J. Putz, Mariners 2. Takashi Saito, Dodgers 3. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox 4. Joe Nathan, Twins 5. Bobby Jenks, White Sox 6. Joakim Soria, Royals 7. Matt Capps, Pirates 8. Manny Corpas, Rockies 9. Francisco Cordero, Brewers 10. Mariano Rivera, Yankees 11. Jeremy Accardo, Blue Jays 12. Huston Street, A's 13. Billy Wagner, Mets 14. Jason Isringhausen, Cardinals 15. Francisco Rodriguez, Angels 16. Jose Valverde, Diamondbacks 17. Trevor Hoffman, Padres 18. Kevin Gregg, Marlins 19. David Weathers, Reds 20. Brad Lidge, Astros 21. Alan Embree, A's 22. Brian Fuentes, Rockies 23. Brett Myers, Phillies 24. Chad Cordero, Nationals 25. Al Reyes, Devil Rays 26. Brad Hennessey, Giants 27. Todd Jones, Tigers 28. Joe Borowski, Indians 29. Ryan Dempster, Cubs 30. Bob Wickman, Braves/Diamondbacks

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2007 Player Rankings: Middle Relievers

For middle relievers, the first two years I took the top 60 in games pitched and then last year I did the top 60 in Holds. This time around I tried to get a combination of both and put an arbitrary number of at least 70 games pitched or at least 15 Holds to work with at first and purely by accident I ended up with exactly 60 relievers. This of course excludes those who will appear on the Closers list.   I take into account six statistical categories: Component ERA, K/BB Ratio, WHIP, VORP, Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), and Pitching Runs Created.   2004 1. Tom Gordon 30. Jim Mecir 60. John Rielding   2005 1. Justin Duchscherer 30. Duaner Sanchez 60. Dan Kolb   2006 1. Cla Meredith 30. Francisco Rodney 60. Ray King   2007 1. Rafael Betancourt, Indians 2. Heath Bell, Padres 3. Hideki Okajima, Red Sox 4. Russ Springer, Cardinals 5. Carlos Marmol, Cubs 6. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers 7. Joaquin Benoit, Rangers 8. Matt Guerrier, Twins 9. George Sherrill, Mariners 10. Peter Moylan, Braves 11. Ryan Franklin, Cardinals 12. Rafael Soriano, Braves 13. Bob Howry, Cubs 14. Pat Neshek, Twins 15. Jon Rauch, Nationals 16. Scott Downs, Blue Jays 17. Justin Speier, Angels 18. Damaso Marte, Pirates 19. Aaron Heilman, Mets 20. Casey Janssen, Blue Jays 21. Chad Qualls, Astros 22. Brandon Lyon, Diamondbacks 23. Tony Pena, Diamondbacks 24. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins 25. Justin Miller, Marlins 26. C.J. Wilson, Rangers 27. Pedro Feliciano, Mets 28. David Riske, Royals 29. Brian Shouse, Brewers 30. Saul Rivera, Nationals 31. Scot Shields, Angels 32. Michael Wuertz, Cubs 33. Cla Meredith, Padres 34. Jamie Walker, Orioles 35. Joe Beimel, Dodgers 36. Carlos Villanueva, Brewers 37. J.C. Romero, Red Sox/Phillies 38. Rudy Seanez, Dodgers 39. Derrick Turnbow, Brewers 40. Dan Wheeler, Astros/Devil Rays 41. Jeremy Affeldt, Rockies 42. Chad Bradford, Orioles 43. Randy Flores, Cardinals 44. Matt Thornton, White Sox 45. Tyler Yates, Braves 46. Scott Linebrink, Padres/Brewers 47. Scott Proctor, Yankees/Dodgers 48. Jimmy Gobble, Royals 49. Renyel Pinto, Marlins 50. Luis Vizcaino, Yankees 51. Brandon Morrow, Mariners 52. Taylor Tankersley, Marlins 53. Trever Miller, Astros 54. Frank Francisco, Rangers 55. Kyle Farnsworth, Yankees 56. Jorge Julio, Marlins/Rockies 57. Scott Schoenweis, Mets 58. Mike Myers, Yankees/White Sox 59. Antonio Alfonseco, Phillies 60. Mike MacDougal, White Sox

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 Cal is heading to El Paso Edition

Much kudos to UCLA this week for ending Cal's Rose Bowl hopes and thus extending their drought to 49 years. I wish I had been bold enough to make the proclamation a few weeks ago but there was almost no doubt in my mind the Bruins would lose to Notre Dame but beat Cal. If they played a high school Powder Puff team next week they'd lose but put up against a strong opponent and they usually win.   Top 25, you know the drill. I can hold off on ranking any three loss teams for at least another week. Sure there's an argument for Auburn but they could easily have five losses as well. I might become really ambitious this week and try to make bowl projections but usually I'm way too lazy to do such a thing.   1. Ohio State 2. Boston College 3. Arizona State 4. Kansas 5. LSU 6. Oklahoma 7. South Florida 8. West Virginia 9. Oregon 10. Missouri 11. Virginia Tech 12. Florida 13. South Carolina 14. Kentucky 15. USC 16. Virginia 17. Georgia 18. Connecticut 19. Wake Forest 20. Alabama 21. Michigan 22. Texas Tech 23. Penn State 24. Hawaii 25. Boise State

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2007 Player Rankings: Rightfielders

Rightfielders   2004 1. Bobby Abreu 15. Jermaine Dye 30. Abraham Nunez   2005 1. Brian Giles 15. Jason Lane 30. Sammy Sosa   2006 1. Jermaine Dye 15. Geoff Jenkins 30. Jose Guillen   2007 1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 2. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 3. Corey Hart, Brewers 4. Brad Hawpe, Rockies 5. Alex Rios, Blue Jays 6. Nick Markakis, Orioles 7. Jose Guillen, Mariners 8. Bobby Abreu, Yankees 9. Ken Griffey Jr., Reds 10. Jeremy Hermida, Marlins 11. Randy Winn, Giants 12. Jeff Francoeur, Braves 13. Michael Cuddyer, Twins 14. Matt Kemp, Dodgers 15. Travis Buck, A's 16. Austin Kearns, Nationals 17. Luke Scott, Astros 18. Brian Giles, Padres 19. Shawn Green, Mets 20. Andre Ethier, Dodgers 21. J.D. Drew, Red Sox 22. Shane Victorino, Phillies 23. Delmon Young, Devil Rays 24. Xavier Nady, Pirates 25. Mark Teahan, Royals 26. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 27. Cliff Floyd, Cubs 28. Juan Encarnacion, Cardinals 29. Trot Nixon, Indians 30. Nelson Cruz, Rangers

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2007 Player Rankings: Centerfielders

Centerfielders   2004 1. Jim Edmonds 15. Milton Bradley 30. Marlon Byrd   2005 1. Jim Edmonds 15. Milton Bradley 30. Corey Patterson   2006 1. Carlos Beltran 15. Juan Pierre 30. Reggie Ambercrombie   2007 1. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 2. Grady Sizemore, Indians 3. Curtis Granderson, Tigers 4. Carlos Beltran, Mets 5. B.J. Upton, Devil Rays 6. Aaron Rowand, Phillies 7. Torii Hunter, Twins 8. Hunter Pence, Astros 9. Nick Swisher, A's 10. Mike Cameron, Padres 11. Kenny Lofton, Rangers/Indians 12. Johnny Damon, Yankees 13. Marlon Byrd, Rangers 14. Nate McLouth, Pirates 15. David DeJesus, Royals 16. Chris Young, Diamondbacks 17. Gary Matthews Jr., Angels 18. Andruw Jones, Braves 19. Melky Cabrera, Yankees 20. Willy Taveres, Rockies 21. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 22. Juan Pierre, Dodgers 23. Jacque Jones, Cubs 24. Bill Hall, Brewers 25. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 26. Dave Roberts, Giants 27. Jim Edmonds, Cardinals 28. Corey Patterson, Orioles 29. Alfredo Amezaga, Marlins 30. Jerry Owens, White Sox

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The Greatest World Series Game Never Played

I'd figured I'd take a break from the usual lists to tell a quick story about the only World Series game I ever had the chance to attend. It's a pretty well known game because it didn't end being played as scheduled and it was 18 years ago today. It was Tuesday, October 17th, 1989 as the Oakland A's were to play the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 of their Bay Bridge World Series at Candlestick Park.   My Dad had bought tickets from Game 3 and 4 at Candlestick and he was going to take me to Game 3 and my brother to Game 4. Now you might wonder why as A's fans we'd have tickets to games in San Francisco and not Oakland but then you'd have to realize what a dump Candlestick Park was/is. The Oakland Coliseum today is thought of as one the worst ballparks around but at the time it was still regarded as good park and might as well have been Candem Yards compared to Candlestick. The A's had a larger season ticket base than the Giants at the time and with having the much nicer stadium the four games scheduled for Oakland were gone in an instant. Of course the games for Candlestick were gone quickly as well but there was actually people willing to give up those tickets for the right price unlike the games at the Coliseum. If I remember right I believe my Dad was able to buy our tickets off someone from he knew at work at $50 a piece in the nosebleed section. I don't think my Dad let me actually know how bad the seats really were but in the end would just be happy to be going to a World Series game especially with the A's out to a 2-0 series lead.   My memories of the day are pretty sketchy. I remember my Dad had bought a World Series program for me before hand for me to read on the way to the game. With the early 5:15 start time start time to get the game in east coast primetime we only got there probably about 20 minutes before the first pitch. Since we were so close to the game starting we decided to grab food before we got to the seats since there was no way I'd leave my seat during the game. Just as we got on line for food the stadium started shaking. We were on a concession line that was below the upper deck of the stadium and I remember just looking up as I guess that was my natural instinct was to see if anything was gonna fall. My Dad grabbed and rushed me to the little overhang by the concessions. Just a hunch if the stadium actually collapsed we'd be dead but if we actually survived what a better place to be trapped than by the food? For those of us who were not in their seats there wasn't even 100% certainty that it was earthquake or if the fans shook stadium. I remember right after the stadium stoppedd shaking a loud roar went up in the stadium and I heard a Giants fan near by yell "that's how you start a fucking game!" It was definately felt like a big earhtquake but it went by so quick and everything pretty much seemed fine. I was scared shitless but at least I was still going to see a World Series game.   Our seats were out towards rightfield and when we got to them I could see the leftfield foul pole was still shaking. I looked straight down the rightfield foul pole but one problem, you couldn't see rightfield at all from the angle of our seats and god damn did the field look far away. But again at least I was going to see a World Series game, if not really see the whole game itself with our view. Everyone seemed to think the game would be played although clearly delayed at that point. I can't remember at what time they called the game but shortly before that the gravity of the situation hit us when someone with a radio near by said this:   "The Bay Bridge collapsed."   That's a shit your pants moment right there. The image that went through my head was that the bridge went into the fucking water. What about the other bridges? How do we get home? As it turned out it was just a single portion of the upper deck of the bridge that collapse but at this point there was obvoiously going to be no baseball played that night. The rest of the night is a complete blur. I think my 11 year old brain had exploded that night and I was just worried about us getting home, although part of me was also excited by the prospect I might not have to school the next day. Although the Bay Bridge was the only bridge with major damage, all bridges were closed so we had to head south towards Santa Clara and go around the Bay to get home. This would normally be about a 40 minute drive but with so many people either trying to get home or get out of the city this turned into about a four hour trip just to get to the South Bay. Another problem that night was that because of the quake a lot of gas stations closed and we ended running out of gas in Santa Clara by the Great America theme park. On fumes my Dad got us into a hotel parking lot but as you can imagine that night all hotels were booked up. It was a very large hotel with a huge lobby and they were allowing people to come in without a room and sleep in the lobby which it appeared we'd end up doing. But my Dad was able to buy some gas from a gardner at the hotel from a lawnmower and enough to fill up to find an open gas station and get home. So about seven hours after the earthquake we were finally home. And I had to go to school. Fuck.   So at the start of this I mentioned that this would be about the only chance I had to go to a World Series game. Of course everyone the series resumed 10 days later but I didn't go. Why? Becuase I was a big fucking pussy. Okay I guess in reality i was just a scared kid who was going through some post traumatic shit but on the other hand I was just a pussy, who also watched way too much of the post-earthquake news coverage. I'm one of those people who will watch non-stop disaster news coverage. I remember for weeks after 9/11 watching the footage of the planes going into the WTC over and over and over and over again no matter how tough it was to watch. Every 9/11 when that footage starts getting replayed on t.v. again I always end up watching it. Back in '89 after the earthquake I just kept watching the news coverage of the earthquake and the home video footage shot in the immediate aftermath of the quake. This in particular of a car falling down the collapsed portion of the bridge was played non-stop and I ended up just scaring myself into not going to the next game. To this day I'm actually not scared of earthquakes at all but I was then. So I regret that I've never had another chance since to go to a World Series game but I suppose also I should be happy the earthquake didn't last longer or otherwise I might have been a Candlestick Park sandwich.

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2007 Player Rankings: Leftfielders

Leftfielders   2004 1. Barry Bonds 15. Pat Burrell 30. Reed Johnson   2005 1. Manny Ramirez 15. Rondell White 30. Larry Bigbie   2006 1. Manny Ramirez 15. David DeJesus 30. Brad Wilkerson   2007 1. Matt Holliday, Rockies 2. Adam Dunn, Reds 3. Barry Bonds, Giants 4. Carlos Lee, Astros 5. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs 6. Pat Burrell, Phillies 7. Raul Ibanez, Mariners 8. Carl Crawford, Devil Rays 9. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks 10. Josh Willingham, Marlins 11. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 12. Hideki Matsui, Yankees 13. Moises Alou, Mets 14. Ryan Church, Nationals 15. Chris Duncan, Cardinals 16. Matt Diaz, Braves 17. Garret Anderson, Angels 18. Reggie Willits, Angels 19. Luis Gonzalez, Dodgers 20. Jason Kubel, Twins 21. Shannon Stewart, A's 22. Geoff Jenkins, Brewers 23. Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals 24. Jason Bay, Pirates 25. Willie Harris, Braves 26. Frank Catalanotto, Blue Jays 27. Jay Payton, Orioles 28. Emil Brown, Royals 29. Rob Mackowiak, White Sox/Padres 30. Craig Monroe, Tigers/Cubs

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 USF/Kansas BCS Title Game Edition

Thank you to Oregon State Vanessa Hudgens I do not have to worry about a Cal national championship, although still need to some help to avoid them getting to the Rose Bowl.   With the BCS Rankings out I probably shouldn't even bother with this anymore but maybe one more week. Pretty simple there are five undefeated BCS teams so they make up my Top 5. This week though I now have to include two loss teams in the rankings and even rank some of them above one loss teams but I will rank all one loss teams. Now one rule that I always stick by is if you have two teams with the same number of losses and who have played each other, you must rank the winner of the head-to-head match-up higher. As much as I hate Cal there is no justifying ranking them below Oregon. Of course this rule has to be thrown out when you have a situation like with LSU, South Carolina, and Kentucky. LSU beat South Carolina, South Carolina beat Kentucky, Kentucky beat LSU. In this case given that yesterday's game could have gone either way and that LSU beat South Carolina convincingly, I've ranked LSU above Kentucky.   1. Ohio State 2. South Florida 3. Boston College 4. Arizona State 5. Kansas 6. LSU 7. South Carolina 8. Oklahoma 9. Kentucky 10. West Virginia 11. California 12. Oregon 13. Missouri 14. Virginia Tech 15. Auburn 16. Florida 17. Cincinnati 18. Texas Tech 19. Tennessee 20. USC 21. Virginia 22. Kansas State 23. Connecticut 24. Hawaii 25. Boise State

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2007 Player Rankings: Shortstops

Shortstops   2004 1. Miguel Tejada 15. Kazuo Matsui 30. Alex S Gonzalez   2005 1. Michael Young 15. Carlos Guillen 30. Cristian Guzman   2006 1. Derek Jeter 15. Jhonny Peralta 30. Angel Berroa   2007 1. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins 2. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 3. Derek Jeter, Yankees 4. Jose Reyes, Mets 5. Carlos Guillen, Tigers 6. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 7. Edgar Renteria, Braves 8. Michael Young, Rangers 9. Orlando Cabrera, Angels 10. Jhonny Peralta, Indians 11. Miguel Tejada, Orioles 12. J.J. Hardy, Brewers 13. Jack Wilson, Pirates 14. Khalil Greene, Padres 15. Brendan Harris, Devil Rays 16. Yuniesky Betancourt, Mariners 17. Jason Bartlett, Twins 18. David Eckstein, Cardinals 19. Rafael Furcal, Dodgers 20. Mark Loretta, Astros 21. Alex Gonzalez, Reds 22. Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks 23. Ryan Theriot, Cubs 24. Felipe Lopez, Nationals 25. Julio Lugo, Red Sox 26. Juan Uribe, White Sox 27. Marco Scutaro, A's 28. Omar Vizquel, Giants 29. Tony Pena Jr., Royals 30. Bobby Crosby, A's

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2007 Player Rankings: Third Basemen

Third Basemen   2004 1. Adrian Beltre 15. Corey Koskie 30. Mark DeRosa   2005 1. Alex Rodriguez 15. Joe Crede 30. Sean Burroughs   2006 1. Miguel Cabrera 15. Morgan Ensberg 30. Vinny Castilla   2007 1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 2. David Wright, Mets 3. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins 4. Chipper Jones, Braves 5. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 6. Ryan Braun, Brewers 7. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs 8. Chone Figgins, Angels 9. Garrett Atkins, Rockies 10. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 11. Adrian Beltre, Mariners 12. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres 13. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays 14. Edwin Encarnacion, Reds 15. Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks 16. Akinori Iwamura, Devil Rays 17. Mike Lamb, Astros 18. Maicer Izturis, Angels 19. Casey Blake, Indians 20. Ty Wigginton, Devil Rays/Astros 21. Jose Bautista, Pirates 22. Melvin Mora, Orioles 23. Josh Fields, White Sox 24. Pedro Feliz, Giants 25. Brandon Inge, Tigers 26. Alex Gordon, Royals 27. Gregg Dobbs, Phillies 28. Scott Rolen, Cardinals 29. Eric Chavez, A's 30. Nick Punto, Twins

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2007 Player Rankings: Second Basemen

Second Basemen   2004 1. Mark Loretta 15. Orlando Hudson 30. Enrique Wilson   2005 1. Brian Roberts 15. Tony Graffanino 30. Miguel Cairo   2006 1. Chase Utley 15. Ian Kinsler 30. Jose Castillo   2007 1. Chase Utley, Phillies 2. Placido Polanco, Tigers 3. Brian Roberts, Orioles 4. Robinson Cano, Yankees 5. Kelly Johnson, Braves 6. Jeff Kent, Dodgers 7. Orlando Hudson, Diamondbacks 8. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 9. Freddy Sanchez, Pirates 10. Dan Uggla, Marlins 11. Brandon Phillips, Reds 12. Aaron Hill, Blue Jays 13. Mark Ellis, A's 14. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 15. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 16. Mark DeRosa, Cubs 17. Ronnie Belliard, Nationals 18. Luis Castillo, Twins/Mets 19. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox/Phillies 20. Mark Grudzielanek, Royals 21. Kazuo Matsui, Rockies 22. Aaron Miles, Cardinals 23. Esteban German, Royals 24. Geoff Blum, Padres 25. Marcus Giles, Padres 26. Jose Lopez, Mariners 27. Craig Biggio, Astros 28. Chris Burke, Astros 29. Ray Durham, Giants 30. Josh Barfield, Indians

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