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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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Where'd They Go? 1995 Philadelphia Phillies

This week the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu for some magic beans and Chase Utley was the talk of baseball with his assault on Joe DiMaggio’s consecutive hitting streak record, so the Phillies are having the best week ever! Oh Utley’s streak ended last night…but hey at least they got rid of Lazy Abreu. You know what rhymes with Abreu? Poo. That’s the kind of hard hitting analysis that you can also get from the TWiB thread.   So with the Phillies in the news the past week I figured might as well make them the next WTG? feature and the subject will be the Fightins’ from 1995. The Phillies that year stormed out of the gate after the delayed start to the season, winning 23 of their first 31 games. After beating the Cardinals 5-3 on June 25th they were 37-18, the best record in the National League with a 4 ½ game lead over the Braves in the East. Two weeks later at the All-Star Break they would be 4 ½ games behind the Braves. The Phillies lost 17 out of 20 games after June 25th and by August 10th they were under .500 after capping an eight game losing streak. After hitting rock bottom less than a week later the Phillies showed signs of life going through a stretch where they won 10 of 12 games and grabbed the Wild Card lead. But it turned out to be one big tease to a young Al Keiper as the Phillies would lose 21 of their last 31 games, finishing six games under .500. Several injuries to key players and a punchless line-up that had a MLB worst 94 homeruns were too much for the Phillies to overcome.   C: Darren Daulton (.249/.359/.401, 12.8 VORP, 12 Win Shares) – Daulton tore knee ligaments in a game against the Dodgers on August 25th which was just about when the Phillies started their collapse after taking the Wild Card lead. That would be the last game he would ever play at catcher. He only played five games the following season and was traded to the Marlins midseason in 1997 where he would pick up a World Series before retiring. It was also in 1997 when Daulton began to fucking nuts. 1B: Gregg Jefferies (.306/.349/.448, 14.7 VORP, 10 Win Shares) – Jefferies spent the first half of the year in left field and then the second at first after Dave Hollins was traded to Boston. After two very good years in St. Louis it had appeared that he might start living up to the hype he received as a prospect for the Mets but it never happened with the Phillies. They traded him a waiver deal to the Angels in 1998 and then spent two seasons as a part time player with the Tigers.   2B: Mickey Morandini (.283/.350/.417, 21.2 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – Morandini was one of six Phillies to make the All-Star team based on their hot start that was fading by the break. After a down year in 1997 he was traded to the Cubs for Doug Glanville and would have a career year in 1998. Too bad for him it wasn’t a contract year so wasn’t in a position to cash in on it and fell off a cliff after that. He signed with the Expos before 2000 but never played a game with them as he was reacquired by the Phillies before the season started. He would be traded in a waiver deal to the Blue Jays. He’d be re-signed by the Jays after the season but did not make the club for 2001.   3B: Charlie Hayes (.276/.340/.406, 10.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares) – This was second go around with the Phillies for Hayes, which would be the first of three times he’d return to a team he used to play for. He signed with the Pirates after the season who would trade him at the waiver deadline to the Yankees where he lucked out and got to catch the final out of the World Series without doing anything else of note. Yankees traded him after 1997 to the Giants where he’d spend two seasons. Spent 2000 with the Brewers and then signed with the Astros who released him midseason in 2001.   SS: Kevin Stocker (.218/.304/.274, -7.4 VORP, 8 Win Shares) – Stocker pretty much pissed away all good feelings about him when he was an important midseason season call up for the Phillies during their 1993 championship season. Was traded after 1997 to the expansion Devil Rays for Mr. Poo which set the tone for the future the of the D-Rays franchise. They released him during the 2000 season and was picked up by the Angels to finish his career.   LF/RF: Jim Eisenreich (.316/.375/.464, 22.3 VORP, 13 Win Shares) – As a kid I was never an autograph seeker but one of the few autographs I ever got was Jim Eisenreich in 1992 when he was with the Royals and I’m not really sure why. The Phillies had nine different players make 20 or more starts in the outfield in ’95 with Eisenreich leading the way with 90 total starts, the majority in right. Signed with Marlins after 1996 where he picked up a World Series ring. Traded to the Dodgers midseason in 1998 in the monster Mike Piazza/Gary Sheffield deal but Eisenreich was washed up and it would be his last stop.   CF: Andy Van Slyke (.243/.333/.350, 2.4 VORP, 3 Win Shares) – Phillies stats only, acquired in June due to Lenny Dykstra’s injury problems. Van Slyke had hit the career wall the year before and it wasn’t getting any better this year which would be his last.   CF: Lenny Dykstra (.264/.353/.354, 2.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares) – Dykstra was pretty much crippled at this point by knee and back problems, he played in only 62 games. Many thought his career was finished at this point and they were almost right as he tried to gut it out the following year but only lasted 40 games although with decent numbers (.261/.387/.418). Missed all of 1997 and tried to make a comeback in ’98 but was injured again in Spring Training, then officially retiring.   RF: Mark Whiten (.269/.365/.481, 10.8 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – Phillies stats only, acquired for Dave Hollins from the Red Sox in July. Whiten only played in 60 games for the Phillies yet he tied for the team lead in homeruns with 11. The well traveled Whiten would be released during the following season then picked up by Atlanta who would trade him a couple of months later to Seattle. Spent 1997 with the Yankees and then had a second stint with the Indians for one full season and a couple of cameo appearances the following two years.   Rotation   Paul Quantrill (92 ERA+, 13.5 VORP, 7 Win Shares) – This was Quantrill’s only full year as a starting pitcher and it’s not hard to see why. Traded after the season to Toronto and was in their rotation at the start of the year but was removed from it by midseason. It’d be the following year he’d begin a nice run as one of the better middle relievers in the game. With the Jays thru 2001 before being traded to the Dodgers with Cesar Izturis. Signed with the Yankees after 2003 but unfortunately for them he started to suck at that point and gave up the game winning homerun to THE GREATEST CLUTCHIEST HITTER WHOEVER CLUTCHED WHO ISN’T DEREK JETER in Game 4 of the ALCS that year that sparked the Red Sox comeback. Yankees traded him midseason in 2005 to the Padres who would release him in August and was picked up by the Marlins to finish the season. Announced his retirement last March.   Tyler Green (81 ERA+, 5.2 VORP, 5 Win Shares) – The former much hyped first round pick, Green’s MLB future was already bleak at this point with major arm problems although he was, believe it or not, selected to the All-Star team. He went into the break with a 2.75 ERA but those arm problems popped up again soon after. Just a hunch Jim Fregosi having him throw three complete games in a span of five starts might not have helped his situation. Spent two more injury plagued years and then was out of the Majors.   Mike Mimbs (104 ERA+, 18.3 VORP, 8 Win Shares) – Mimbs was a 26 year old rookie who posted a decent ERA despite walking 75 batters in 136 2/3 innings pitched. Not surprisingly a man with that kind of command didn’t last long in the Majors, last appearing in 1997.   Curt Schilling (121 ERA+, 22.8 VORP, 8 Win Shares) – Schilling’s sock wasn’t bloody and wasn’t red yet but I’m sure he was just as annoying as he is today. Wait, wait Curt just IM’d me and he’s insisting typing his own profile as he wants to mention how great his 9/11 speech was, talk about steroids, and I’m sure throw in his opinion on the war in Lebanon because god damnit the world is waiting for Curt’s opinion on any every subject because he said so. Well not on my watch Schilling! Go verbally masturbate yourself some more on the SOSH boards.   Closer: Heathcliff Slocumb (149 ERA+, 15.2 VORP, 11 Win Shares) – This was Slocumb’s first year as a closer and hey he managed a good ERA despite a 1.51 WHIP. Traded to the Red Sox after the season and again got by on giving up tons of baserunners but not a lot of runs. In 1997 though all those baserunners finally started touching homeplate more often but he at this point he was a PVC~ so the bullpen starved Mariners traded prospects Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for him in a deadline deal. Remember kids trading prospects for mediocre relievers never ends well. Signed with the Orioles in 1998 who released him a month into the season and was picked up by the Cardinals. Traded the Padres in another deadline deal in 2000 and they released him during the offseason.

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World Series DVDs: Game 5

Starting off topic, but are the Red Sox cursed again or something? Seriously stop with this “Boston Massacre” shit ESPN. Oh my god they won’t win the East…just like the last 10 years. They still have a shot at the Wild Card and a shot at ruining the playoffs for me again with another Yankees/Red Sox ALCS.   1975 World Series Game 5 - Reds 6, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)   -As mentioned before the video quality of these games has not held up very well. The first few innings of this game the video is waaaaaaaaay too bright but the quality is fairly decent the rest of the game.   -Graphic flashes that Joe Morgan has led the league in “on base average” three of the last four years. Gowdy brings up a quote from during the year, or supposedly it was, that a writer saying something to Joe in the effect of “you get on base a lot” and Joe replied “that’s what I get paid to do.” Wait it’s not hitting a ground ball to the right with a runner on first and less than two out? Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so.   -What the hell died on Tom Brenneman’s head?   -In the 6th with Morgan on first, Red Sox starter Reggie Cleveland throws over to first base 15 times. Ya that’s just a bit excessive. Not surprisingly Cleveland gives up a single to Bench and then a homerun to Perez and gets knocked out of the game, no doubt tiring after all those throws to first.   -Hey a Dick Pole sighting. The announcers mention that Pole had his jaw broken earlier in the year by a line drive. Got to watch out for those balls to the face Dick.   -They bring up that Don Gullet once scored 11 touchdowns in a high school football game. I wonder if Don does any Al Bundy type reminiscing about that game or pitching in four World Series?   1979 World Series Game 5 - Pirates 7, Orioles 1 (boxscore and play account)   -Yay, the original network graphics show up on this game’s footage after they were missing from Game’s 2 thru 4.   -Jim Rooker was the surprise starter over Game 1 starter Bruce Kison for the Pirates. Quite the risk going against the eventual A.L. Cy Young winner in Mike Flannagan with the Pirates season on the line. Rooker kept them in the game though and then Bert Blyleven, who apparently has never been good a big game supposedly or whatever lame reason he’s kept out of the HOF, pitched four shutout innings out of the bullpen to pick up the win.   -The special Sunday Night Football game on ABC that night between the Rams and Cowboys is hyped through the whole game. Dallas blew out the eventual NFC champs 30-6.   -ABC producers for no apparent reason go back to their Game 1 strategy of showing every single player’s wife that they can. Cosell I’m pretty sure got fully aroused when showing Rich Dauer’s wife as went into creepy old man mode about how he’d like to sit next to the wives.   -Fidel Castro apparently picked the Pirates to win the Series. And who says communism doesn’t work?   -Chuck Tanner’s mom died the morning of this game. Now in none of these DVD sets is any pregame coverage included but in the actual game they don’t mention this until the 5th inning. Can you imagine if a manger or player’s mom died the morning of a World Series game today how much Fox would play up that angle through the whole game? A little later Cosell accidentally says that Tanner’s wife died and takes a little bit before he (or probably a producer) corrected him.   -Cosell’s gushing over Willie Stargell through out this series really reached Tim McCarver/Derek Jeter type levels. Funny enough though late in the game with Stargell up and Cosell in the middle of again talking about how Stargell is saving the city of Pittsburgh or something, he brings up Stargell being 0 for 6 with RISP so far. So in one minute he goes from being Jeter to A-Rod.   -Here’s a rule change, in the bottom of the 8th with runners on first and second Doug Stanhouse’s pick off throw trying to get Tim Foli hits Foli in the helmet and bounces all the way into the crowd. The runners are only awarded one base while today it would have been two bases.   1986 World Series Game 5 - Red Sox 4, Mets 2 (boxscore and play account)   -I guess in 1986 they still weren’t having the ceremonial first pitch be thrown for the mound as Ted Williams throws it here from the stands. Williams as you see was with his son John Henry. Did they freeze his head too?   -Another lackluster outing for Gooden here. He never gets in any rhythm as he seems bothered by the relatively cold weather as he’s constantly blowing on his hands after almost every pitch. He takes so much time the Red Sox hitters then start to mess with him in the 4th and 5th but constantly stepping out of box right before he gets set.   -Dave Henderson was a having a huge series to this point going 8 for 18 with a two homeruns and then adding a double and a triple (although should have been a double as Strawberry made a weak effort to get to the ball) in this game. He likely wouldn’t have been playing if Tony Armas wasn’t hurt even though he was the better player at this point.   -Overmatch of the Night: Sid Fernandez vs. Rich Gedman. Six pitches, six swings, six strikes.   -After Strawberry pops out to end a mild Mets rally in the 8th the Sox fans greet him with the “Darrrrrrrrrrrryl” chant. He mockingly tips his cap to them. Joe Garagiola says he hates to see this happen to a young player and wonder what it does to him. Trust me Joe he had bigger problems.   -After three straight drama free games, Mets bring the tying run to the plate in the 9th with a two out rally but Dykstra goes down swinging   -Red Sox up 3-2, Clemens going in Game 6. This one is in the bag…

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Award Redo: 1991 A.L. MVP

Since my 1991 Mariners entry was flushed and I doubt I’ll try to type it again anytime soon so I might as well do 1991 A.L. MVP redo which does feature a Mariner player being underrated by the voters. But the main reason this particular MVP was interesting is that it’s one of those cases with where player on a losing team won the award. Now in the 1987 N.L. MVP redo Andre Dawson was shown to be one of the worst choices ever, nevermind that he played on a last place team. For the 2003 A.L. MVP redo A-Rod was shown to be perfectly acceptable choice for the award but just not my choice.   In 1991 Cal Ripken had the best year offensively of his career and won the MVP by somewhat of a close margin over Cecil Fielder despite playing on a Orioles team that lost 95 games, the next to worst record in the league. What likely helped Ripken win the award was that the two division winners, Minnesota and Toronto, lacked a standout candidate. Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar both received first place votes but neither cracked the top 4 and really neither should have received a first place vote. Kirby Puckett was the only Twins player in the Top 10 and did not receive a first place vote. The rest of the A.L. after that was highly competitive as nine teams won between 81 and 87 games that season.   Looking at the basic, writer friendly numbers my guess as to why Ripken won the award over the likes of Fielder and Jose Canseco was due to both Fielder and Canseco having batting averages in the .260’s so they gave the nod to Ripken even though those two both topped Ripken in homeruns and RBI. It’s a good thing that the writers did vote Ripken over Fielder as he would have been a terrible choice and the classic case of writers giving the award to a player simply because he lead the league in RBI, which nine voters used that line of thinking and chose Fielder as their MVP. Despite his prodigious counting stats Fielder only finished 9th in the league in slugging and that was while playing in a hitter’s park. Per Win Shares and VORP, Mickey Tettleton was the best player on the Tigers that year but he didn’t receive a single vote. Sandwiched between Fielder and Canseco was the White Sox young slugger Frank Thomas who was in his first full season. Thomas led the league in OBP and OPS but managed just one first place vote. The most surprising snub in the voting was Ken Griffey Jr. who already had emerged as one of the best and most popular players in baseball while helping the Mariners to their first ever winning record yet he only placed 9th. My only guess is he got penalized for not being a power hitter at that point as he hit only 22 homeruns but did hit 42 doubles.   Actual Results 1) Cal Ripken 2) Cecil Fielder 3) Frank Thomas 4) Jose Canseco 5) Joe Carter 6) Roberto Alomar 7) Kirby Puckett 8) Ruben Sierra 9) Ken Griffey Jr. 10) Roger Clemens 11) Pal Molitor 12) Danny Tartabull 13) Jack Morris 14) Chili Davis 15) Julio Franco 16) Devon White 17) Scott Erickson 18) Rick Aguilera 19) Rafael Palmeiro 20) Robin Ventura 21) Dave Henderson   #10 .307/.357/.502, 120 RC, 138 OPS+, .316 EQA, 52.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #9 .322/.389/.532, 130 RC, 155 OPS+, .333 EQA, 69.5 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #8 164 ERA+, 3.71 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 74.8 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #7 .341/.408/.474, 113 RC, 146 OPS+, .332 EQA, 70.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #6 .316/.397/.593, 114 RC, 171 OPS+, .346 EQA, 62.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #5 .325/.399/.489, 128 RC, 147 OPS+, .328 EQA, 64.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #4 .266/.359/.556, 113 RC, 157 OPS+, .333 EQA, 59.0 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #3 .327/.399/.527, 117 RC, 155 OPS+, .334 EQA, 68.2 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #2 .323/.374/.566, 138 RC, 162 OPS+, .337 EQA, 94.8 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 .318/.453/.553, 140 RC, 180 OPS+, .365 EQA, 81.9 VORP, 34 Win Shares   This was like the 2003 A.L. MVP as neither of the Top 2 is a wrong pick and when you have two evenly matched candidates like this I do give the nod to the player who played on a winning team. I also gave Thomas the 1992 A.L. MVP and he won the ’93 & ’94 awards in real life. I haven’t put the numbers in for those two years but I think I’ll have to look into that and see if the Big Hurt should have had four straight MVP awards. This was a tough ballot to put together as I changed 3 thru 9 a few times and even looking at it now I’m not entirely settled on it.

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College Football Wrap Up 9/3

This may or may not become a regular feature. Probably do entries on Sunday's about the previous day in college football until I run of out of mildly interesting things to say which will probably happen a week from now.   Game of the Day: Tennessee 35, California 18. Oh ya that hit the spot. As I said in the TWiCFB thread this was a game that could give Cal that signature non-conference win that can take a program to the next level. Now I wasn't going to put up with a year's worth Cal in the national title picture. I would have been happy with any Cal defeat here but Tennessee flat out embarrassed them on the national stage. Now if Minnesota can pull off the upset next week and kill Cal's chances at a BCS bowl two weeks into the season then I'll be able to ruly enjoy this season.   The WTF Score of the Day: Montana State 19, Colorado 10. Now listen Dan, you ain't in Boise no more. If you want to win Boulder your gonna have to recruit some rapists. You're gonna have to find that special prospect who will one day put a hit on his pregnent girlfriend to avoid paying child support. Also if you have a daughter, that's a plus as you can have the players run the train on her.   The You Could See That Coming Game of the Day: Richmond 13, Duke 0. Should we start a pool as to when Duke scores their first point of the year?   The I Thought This Was The Year Game of the Day: LSU 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 3. Aww there goes the Sun Belt's best hope at a BCS bowl. Damn and I really thought they had a chance.   Bad Idea of the Week: ESPN on ABC. A few weeks ago I saw an entry on Deadspin about ABC Sports being dead but I completely glossed over it and little did I know what this would wrought. ESPN has taken over ABC Sports. Every sporting event on ABC will now have the ESPN logo on it which as unveiled yesterday on the first Saturday of college football. This is really fucking stupid. Why would a network want to present themself as a basic cable station? ESPN may be universally recognized as the leader in sports but it's still cable. As bad as Fox's presentation is you at least know when your watching a Fox Sports presenation. You know when you're watching NBC Sports and you know when you're watching CBS Sports. Call me old fashion but a network sporting event has a bigger feel to it then anything on ESPN. I can understand from a way to limit expenses to just have ESPN produce the events but completely abandoning the ABC brand name is ridiculous. Why would they want the primetime feature game on ABC to look exactly like the third choice Big Ten game on ESPN2?   Wack Pac Wrap Up   USC 50, Arkansas 14. You know I actually that the Hogs would make this more interesting than the ESPN hype machine would want but the Trojans humiliated them again. You could argue this was worse than the 70-17 defeat at the Coliseum last year. They had all Summer to prepare for this game against a USC team with a ton of new players on offense and have them on their homefield to get some sort redemption for the previous year but they failed miserably.   UCLA 31, Utah 10. If you asked me what team that I thought might fall on their face this year in the Pac-10 I would have said UCLA but they surprised me yesterday. Utah isn't as a good as they were a few years ago but they aren't a pushover.   Arizona State 35, Northern Arizona 14. Of course as we know this was 14-14 going into the 3rd quarter before ASU woke up. Somewhere in Lincoln Sam Keller must have been laughing his ass for the first three quarters.   Oregon State 56, Eastern Washington 17. Considering how some BCS confernece teams struggled against I-AA teams yesterday I guess you have to give the Beavers for kicking the shit out of one of them.   Auburn 40, Washington State 14. Wazzu hung around for a short time but the inevitable happened. Is Auburn going to Pullman next year? Can anyone find Pullman?   Washington 36, San Jose State 29. The Huskies are a looong way from the days when they'd murder a team like the Spartans 70-7.   Arizona 16, BYU 13. Ya I bought into to the Willie Tuitama hype too but maybe U of A isn't getting back to a bowl game this year.   And the Stanford game I'll just pretend didn't happen.

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NFL Random List: Super Bowl winners in Week 1

I realized that I haven't done a single entry on the NFL out of the first 90. That mainly has to do with that the NFL doesn't interest me nearly as much as it used too. And a lot of that has to do with the current state of my San Francisco 49ers. It's tough to get too inerested when you're force fed your terrible team every Sunday in which I can't typically make it through an entire a game before changing the channel. When your team is this bad there's no point in paying much attention to other scores as every other game is inconsequential when your team has no shot at the playoffs.   So I decided I'll every once a while during the season come up with some total random list of useless NFL facts and useless facts is the true heart of this blog. So this week, since it is Week 1, I give you the Week 1 results of every eventual Super Bowl champion. Before the list here are a few useless facts to throw out.   -Eventual Super Bowl champions are 33-6-1 overall in Week 1.   -1981 49ers were the first eventual Super Bowl champ to lose their Week 1 game.   -Of the six teams who have defeated the eventual Super Bowl champ in Week 1, none of them made the playoffs.   -Only once has the eventual Super Bowl champion played the defending Super Bowl champion, 1976 when the Raiders beat the Steelers.   -For three straights from 2001-2003 the eventual Super Bowl champion lost it's Week 1 game, matching the total number of times the eventual Super Bowl champ had lost the previous 35 years.   1966 Packers 24, Colts 3   1967 Packers 17, Lions 17 tie   1968 Jets 20, Chiefs 19   1969 Chiefs 27, Chargers 9   1970 Colts 16, Chargers 14   1971 Cowboys 49, Bills 37   1972 Dolphins 20, Chiefs 10   1973 Dolphins 21, 49ers 13   1974 Steelers 30, Colts 0   1975 Steelers 37, Chargers 0   1976 Raiders 31, Steelers 28   1977 Cowboys 16, Vikings 10   1978 Steelers 28, Bills 17   1979 Steelers 16, Patriots 13   1980 Raiders 27, Chiefs 14   1981 Lions 24, 49ers 17   1982 Redskins 37, Eagles 34   1983 Raiders 20, Bengals 10   1984 49ers 30, Lions 27   1985 Bears 38, Bucs 28   1986 Cowboys 31, Giants 28   1987 Redskins 34, Eagles 24   1988 49ers 34, Saints 33   1989 49ers 30, Colts 24   1990 Giants 27, Eagles 20   1991 Redskins 45, Lions 0   1992 Cowboys 23, Redskins 10   1993 Redskins 35, Cowboys 16   1994 49ers 44, Raiders 14   1995 Cowboys 35, Giants 0   1996 Packers 34, Bucs 3   1997 Broncos 19, Chiefs 3   1998 Broncos 27, Patriots 21   1999 Rams 27, Ravens 10   2000 Ravens 16, Steelers 0   2001 Bengals 23, Patriots 17   2002 Saints 26, Bucs 20   2003 Bills 31, Patriots 0   2004 Patriots 27, Colts 24   2005 Steelers 34, Titans 7

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Choke?

Well I'm going to use the blog for venting my frustrations about the A's right now rather than subject the TWiB thread to it. Hey fine give the Angels credit for not laying down this weekend after an emotional 12 inning game on Friday. BUT YOU DO NOT BLOW A SIX RUN LEAD TO THE FUCKING MARINERS YOU CHOKING DOGS!!!!! Fuck, all I wanted you assholes to do is not make those last four games count and you are really fucking close to fucking this all up. Don't think for a second the Angels can't sweep you in four in Anaheim if you don't take care of your fucking shit right now in Seattle. Win these next two god dammit because you ain't getting any help from the Rangers.   See the worst thing about this is that the longer this goes on the longer Ken Macha continues to run this team into the ground. He's on pretty much a no day off policy for this month until they clinch and there are some guys, including Frank Thomas, who are really dragging out there right now and could use some rest before the playoffs. After tonight that feeling that this was all over on Friday is gone. This is still a race and I'm hating every second of it.   Ya, ya I'd hate to be Cardinals fan right now more and this post could look silly 24 hours from now but fuck it this loss tonight was unacceptable.

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Much better

After the 2001, 2002, 2003 ALDS and a choke the last week of the season in 2004 I'm a little weary whenever the A's make things more interesting than it neeeds to be as I showed last night. But tonight they made it easy. Angels lose before the A's game ends and the A's crush the Mariners 12-3 for division title #14. Congratulations to Jason Kendall and Mark Kotsay on their first trip to the postseason.   For work and family reasons I can't make it to the ALDS but I am going to purchase ALCS tickets just in case. Hey they got to get out the division series eventually, right?

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Bored's 2006 MLB Awards

For my 100th entry I originally planned on doing a comprehensive list of the 100 Greatest Oakland A's players of all-time and wouldn't just be simply be a career list of Win Shares as that wouldn't really work. I never got Bored enough to start working on it though so maybe sometime in the offseason I'll get around to it. But I guess doing my awards for the 2006 season works as an 100th entry since I've been tracking the MVP award most of the year and I'm sure the three of you are on the edge of your seat as to what my final ballot looks like.   Before I get to the awards this week I'll start working on the Bored's 2006 MLB Player Rankings this week that will be BLOG EXCLUSIVE~ this year. You know the last two years how I posted them on the board to tell. No? Oh well, I'm still doing them.   Starting with the N.L. and no I won't be doing Manager of the Year which I've explained before why I don't care about the award. Instead of my normal, pointless talking before I post my "ballot" this time I'll post my picks for each award and then briefly explain my picks.   N.L. Cy Young   3. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals 144 ERA+, 4.28 K/BB, 1.07 WHIP, 67.2 VORP, 19 Win Shares   2. Roy Oswalt, Astros 150 ERA+, 4.37 K/BB, 1.17 WHIP, 71.8 VORP, 21 Win Shares   1. 153 ERA+, 3.56 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 68.6 VORP, 22 Win Shares   This was a really tight race but I felt Webb was just a cut above the rest over the course of the season. There isn't a bad choice here but it does appear Webb will end up winning the writer award. I gave Bronson Arroyo and Carlos Zambrano consideration for the 3rd spot as well. And no Trevor Hoffman should not win it as some lifetime achievement award just because no won in the N.L. won more than 16 games.   N.L. Rookie of the Year   3. Dan Uggla, Marlins .282/.339/.480, 104 RC, .281 EQA, 40.0 VORP, 22 Win Shares   2. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals .287/.351/.471, 107 RC, .283 EQA, 27.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares   1. .292/.353/.480, 108 RC, .290 EQA, 55.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares   About a month ago this was probably Uggla's award to lose and well, he lost it. Uggla completely faded at the end of the season while Ramirez only seemed to get stronger. I really hope the media took notice as it seemed like the award was being conceded to Uggla. You can look at Ramirez's basic numbers and know that he clearly had the better year.   N.L. Most Valuable Player   10. Garrett Atkins, Rockies .329/.409/.556, 119 RC, .310 EQA, 61.5 VORP, 26 Win Shares   9. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .277/.351/.560, 121 RC, .300 EQA, 49.2 VORP, 30 Win Shares   8. Chase Utley, Phillies .309/.379/.527, 122 RC, .298 EQA, 65.0 VORP, 28 Win Shares   7. Jose Reyes, Mets .300/.354/.487, 124 RC, .289 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 29 Win Shares   6. David Wright, Mets .311/.381/.531, 123 RC, .307 EQA, 53.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares   5. Lance Berkman, Astros .315/.420/.621, 141 RC, .331 EQA, 71.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares   4. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .339/.431/.568, 141 RC, .333 EQA, 79.1 VORP, 34 Win Shares   3. Ryan Howard, Phillies .313/.425/.659, 137 RC, .337 EQA, 81.3 VORP, 31 Win Shares   2. Carlos Beltran, Mets .275/.388/.594, 125 RC, .320 EQA, 67.6 VORP, 38 Win Shares   1. .331/.431/.671, 150 RC, .346 EQA, 86.6 VORP, 39 Win Shares   About a month ago I had Pujols and Beltran neck and neck but Pujols pulls away in September. After knocking the hype surrounding his chase for the "non-steroid" homerun record I give Howard the #3 slot and he wouldn't be as bad a pick as the potential A.L. winner could end up being. But it does seem the last week Pujols had regained favor in the media as the choice.   A.L. Cy Young   3. C.C. Sabathia, Indians 138 ERA+, 3.91 K/BB, 1.17 WHIP, 46.0 VORP, 14 Win Shares   2. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays 147 ERA+, 3.88 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 68.2 VORP, 21 Win Shares   1. 164 ERA+, 5.21 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP, 79.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares   The toughest ballot decision out there is by far 3rd place in the A.L. Cy Young race. Santana will win the award unanimously and Halladay should be the unanimous #2. I went with Sabathia due to his strong peripherals although VORP and Win Shares didn't particularly like him this year. By the time I get around to starting pitchers on my player rankings C.C. might not be ranked #3 among A.L. starters but I wanted to get this done tonight so I gave him the nod over Chien-ming Wang and John Lackey. You could even make strong arguments for injured rookies Liriano and Papelbon. Speaking of which...   A.L. Rookie of the Year   3. Justin Verlander, Tigers 122 ERA+, 2.07 K/BB, 1.33 WHIP, 47.0 VORP, 15 Win Shares   2. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox 505 ERA+, 5.77 K/BB, 0.78 WHIP, 38.6 VORP, 18 Win Shares   1. 211 ERA+, 4.50 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP, 51.1 VORP, 16 Win Shares   Yes they both got hurt by the dominance of these two is too much to overlook and you could make arguments for both. I went with Verlander for 3rd giving him credit for being solid over the full season instead of another dominant pitcher with a small sample in Jered Weaver.   A.L. Most Valuable Player   10. Carlos Guillen, Tigers .320/.400/.519, 106 RC, .310 EQA, 67.0 VORP, 26 Win Shares   9. Justin Morenau, Twins .321/.375/.559, 120 RC, .308 EQA, 51.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares   8. Jim Thome, White Sox .288/.416/.598, 123 RC, .328 EQA, 63.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares   7. Jermaine Dye, White Sox .315/.385/.622, 119 RC, .320 EQA, 65.4 VORP, 26 Win Shares   6. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .321/.439/.619, 111 RC, .342 EQA, 65.3 VORP, 29 Win Shares   5. Travis Hafner, Indians .308/.439/.659, 124 RC, .355 EQA, 80.4 VORP, 25 Win Shares   4. Johan Santana, Twins   3. David Oritz, Red Sox .287/.413/.636, 126 RC, .334 EQA, 75.8 VORP, 29 Win Shares   2. Joe Mauer, Twins .347/.429/.507, 104 RC, .321 EQA, 66.6 VORP, 31 Win Shares   1. .344/.417/.483, 138 RC, .316 EQA, 79.2 VORP, 33 Win Shares   If you told me in my first MVP Watch that I'd be picking Jeter at the end of the year as my choice for MVP, and not even have a second thought about it, I would have laughed. I hate the media's infatuation with Jeter as much as anyone but the guy was king sized this year. Of course the media has now become infatuated with Justin Morneau for some ungodly reason. I don't see how anyone can look at the Twins and come away thinking Morneau is the MVP of that team. Anyone arguing Morneau for MVP of the league is out of their mind. Unrelated I should note that I slammed the David Oritz support when the media was ready to give him the award in early August but now with the Red Sox fade and his playing for himself comments he killed his chances. Now though I kinda like the guy and his tear down the stretch, meaningless or not, gives him the 3rd spot. He'd be a hell of a lot better choice than Morneau.

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2006 Player Rankings: Designated Hitters

For those who don't remember here were my 2004 and 2005 player rankings I posted on the forums.   2004   2005   These rankings are purely based on what the player did this past season. Past performance and potential future value are not taken into account. For hitters I take into account five statiscal compotents: OPS, Value Over Replacment Player (VORP), Equivalent Average (EQA), Runs Created, and Win Shares.   Now with the regular position lists I take the top 30 players at each position in games started which means not necessarily every team will have a player on the list. But I decided to get DH's out of the way because it's the shortest list and if you looked at my A.L. MVP ballot you already see the Top 3. In 2004 I did a normal DH list but last year with a complete lack of everyday DH's outside Oritz and Hafner I did combo list of DH's and players who played a lot but didn't fit into of the position lists. But this year we had at least a few more everyday DH's and there actually wasn't that many players this year who played a lot but didn't fit into the other lists. In fact the only player that had more than 500 plate appearances but wasn't in the Top 30 in games started at any position was Jay Payton who played 40+ games at every outfield position so I'm going to throw him in the leftfielders list.   So now onto the DH list which again isn't very interesting and once you get past the Big 5 there is a big drop off with a lot part-time/injured players and a couple of guys who were released. I took only the Top 14 in games started at DH. Jason Giambi played a few more games at DH than first base so that's why he's on it. Also for each position I'll list who I had as the Top 3 in 2004 and 2005 before the 2006 rankings.   2004 Top 3 DH's   1. Travis Hafner 2. David Ortiz 3. Erubiel Durazo   2005 Top 3 DH's   1. David Ortiz 2. Travis Hafner 3. Mike Sweeney   2006 Designated Hitter Rankings   1. David Ortiz, Red Sox 2. Travis Hafner, Indians 3. Jim Thome, White Sox 4. Jason Giambi, Yankees 5. Frank Thomas, A's 6. Jay Gibbons, Orioles 7. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays 8. Tim Salmon, Angels 9. Mike Sweeney, Royals 10. Matt Stairs, Royals/Rangers/Tigers 11. Phil Nevin, Rangers/Cubs/Twins 12. Javy Lopez, Orioles/Red Sox 13. Carl Everett, Mariners 14. Rondell White, Twins   I think White produced more for the Twins today than he did for the entire season.

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2006 Player Rankings: 2nd Basemen

No College Football Wrap Up today as I was out of town yesterday and missed the majority of the games, not that any of my "insights" ever require watching the games. On to the next rankings...   2004 Top 3 1. Mark Loretta 2. Jeff Kent 3. Ray Durham   2005 Top 3 1. Brian Roberts 2. Jeff Kent 3. Chase Utley   2006 2nd Basemen Rankings   1. Chase Utley, Phillies 2. Ray Durham, Giants 3. Dan Uggla, Marlins 4. Robinson Cano, Yankees 5. Jeff Kent, Dodgers 6. Orlando Hudson, Diamondbacks 7. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox 8. Josh Barfield, Padres 9. Brian Roberts, Orioles 10. Luis Castillo, Twins 11. Jose Valentin, Mets 12. Jose Lopez, Mariners 13. Brandon Phillips, Reds 14. Marcus Giles, Braves 15. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 16. Aaron Hill, Blue Jays 17. Mark Grudzielanek, Royals 18. Jamey Carroll, Rockies 19. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 20. Mark Loretta, Red Sox 21. Adam Kennedy, Angels 22. Jose Vidro, Nationals 23. Tony Graffanino, Royals/Brewers 24. Mark Ellis, A's 25. Placido Polanco, Tigers 26. Ronnie Belliard, Indians/Cardinals 27. Craig Biggio, Astros 28. Aaron Miles, Cardinals 29. Jorge Cantu, Devil Rays 30. Jose Castillo, Pirates

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2006 Player Rankings: 3rd Basemen

2004 Top 3 1. Adrian Beltre 2. Scott Rolen 3. Melvin Mora   2005 Top 3 1. Alex Rodriguez 2. Morgan Ensberg 3. David Wright   2006 3rd Basemen Rankings   1. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins 2. David Wright, Mets 3. Garett Atkins, Rockies 4. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 5. Chipper Jones, Braves 6. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs 7. Freddy Sanchez, Pirates 8. Scott Rolen, Cardinals 9. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 10. Mark Teahen, Royals 11. Joe Crede, White Sox 12. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays 13. Adrian Beltre, Mariners 14. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 15. Morgan Ensberg, Astros 16. Eric Chavez, A's 17. Brandon Inge, Tigers 18. Edwin Encarnacion, Reds 19. Melvin Mora, Orioles 20. Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks 21. Macier Izturis, Angels 22. Aubrey Huff, Devil Rays/Astros 23. Corey Koskie, Brewers 24. David Bell, Phillies/Brewers 25. Hank Blalock, Rangers 26. Nick Punto, Twins 27. Pedro Feliz, Giants 28. Aaron Boone, Indians 29. Abraham Nunez, Phillies 30. Vinny Castilla, Padres/Rockies

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2006 Player Rankings: Shortstops

2004 Top 3 1. Miguel Tejada 2. Carlos Guillen 3. Michael Young   2005 Top 3 1. Michael Young 2. Miguel Tejada 3. Derek Jeter   2006 Shortstop Rankings   1. Derek Jeter, Yankees 2. Jose Reyes, Mets 3. Carlos Guillen, Tigers 4. Rafael Furcal, Dodgers 5. Miguel Tejada, Orioles 6. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins 7. Michael Young, Rangers 8. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 9. Bill Hall, Brewers 10. Orlando Cabrera, Angels 11. Edgar Renteria, Braves 12. Omar Vizquel, Giants 13. Felipe Lopez, Reds/Nationals 14. Jason Bartlett, Twins 15. Jhonny Peralta, Indians 16. Khalil Greene, Paders 17. Julio Lugo, Devil Rays/Dodgers 18. Yuniesky Betancourt, Mariners 19. David Eckstein, Cardinals 20. Jack Wilson, Pirates 21. Juan Uribe, White Sox 22. Adam Everett, Astros 23. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox 24. Craig Counsell, Diamondbacks 25. Bobby Crosby, A's 26. Royce Clayton, Nationals/Reds 27. Clint Barmes, Rockies 28. Ronny Cedeno, Cubs 29. John McDonald, Blue Jays 30. Angel Berroa, Royals

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2006 Player Rankings: Leftfielders

2004 Top 3 1. Barry Bonds 2. Manny Ramirez 3. Adam Dunn   2005 Top 3 1. Manny Ramirez 2. Jason Bay 3. Miguel Cabrera   2006 Leftfielder Rankings   1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 2. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals 3. Barry Bonds, Giants 4. Jason Bay, Pirates 5. Carlos Lee, Brewers/Rangers 6. Matt Holliday, Rockies 7. Raul Ibanez, Mariners 8. Carl Crawford, Devil Rays 9. Juan Rivera, Angels 10. Adam Dunn, Reds 11. Reed Johnson, Blue Jays 12. Pat Burrell, Phillies 13. Dave Roberts, Padres 14. Josh Willingham, Marlins 15. Davd DeJesus, Royals 16. Emil Brown, Royals 17. Frank Catalanotto, Blue Jays 18. Jay Payton, A's 19. Craig Monroe, Tigers 20. Matt Murton, Cubs 21. Andre Ethier, Dodgers 22. Luis Gonzalez, Diamondbacks 23. Garret Anderson, Angels 24. Melky Cabrera, Yankees 25. Preston Wilson, Astros/Cardinals 26. Cliff Floyd, Mets 27. Ryan Langerhans, Braves 28. Jason Michaels, Indians 29. Scott Podsednik, White Sox 30. Brad Wilkerson, Rangers

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2006 Player Rankings: Centerfielders

2004 Top 3 1. Jim Edmonds 2. Carlos Beltran 3. Johnny Damon   2005 Top 3 1. Jim Edmonds 2. Grady Sizemore 3. Andruw Jones   2006 Centerfielder Rankings   1. Carlos Beltran, Mets 2. Grady Sizemore, Indians 3. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 4. Andruw Jones, Braves 5. Mike Cameron, Padres 6. Johnny Damon, Yankees 7. Gary Matthews Jr., Rangers 8. Torii Hunter, Twins 9. Curtis Granderson, Tigers 10. Rocco Baldelli, Devil Rays 11. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks 12. Kenny Lofton, Dodgers 13. Corey Patterson, Orioles 14. Chone Figgins, Angels 15. Juan Pierre, Cubs 16. Jim Edmonds, Cardinals 17. Shane Victorino, Phillies 18. Ken Griffey Jr., Reds 19. Mark Kotsay, A's 20. Willy Taveras, Astros 21. Steve Finley, Giants 22. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 23. Aaron Rowand, Phillies 24. Brady Clark, Brewers 25. Cory Sullivan, Rockies 26. Chris Duffy, Pirates 27. Joey Gathright, Devil Rays/Royals 28. Alfredo Amezaga, Marlins 29. Brian Anderson, White Sox 30. Reggie Abercrombie, Marlins

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2006 Player Rankings: Middle Relievers

Now moving on to pitchers, starting with the middle men. Now the previous two years I took the top 60 in relief apperances, not counting closers, to put the list together. This time around though I took the top 60 in that most meaningless of stats, Holds. But as worthless as it is at least helps identify who managers trusted to use when their team had a lead since the majority of managers have a phobia when it comes to using their best relievers when they are trailing or tied.   Now for middle relievers I will take into account these statistics: Component ERA (ERC), K/BB Ratio, WHIP, VORP, Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), and Pitching Runs Created (PRC). I don't use Win Shares when it comes to middle men because the majority of them don't get very many of them. I also don't use ERA+ for middle relievers or closers as I feel a relievers ERA can be very deceiving with the smaller sample size and the specialization of their use.   2004 Top 5 1. Tom Gordon 2. Francisco Rodriguez 3. B.J. Ryan 4. Akinori Otsuka 5. Juan Rincon   2005 Top 5 1. Justin Duchscherer 2. Scott Linebrink 3. Dan Wheeler 4. Al Reyes 5. Bob Howry   2006 Middle Reliever Rankings   1. Cla Meredith, Padres 2. Scot Shields, Angels 3. Dennys Reyes, Twins 4. Joel Zumaya, Tigers 5. Dan Wheeler, Astros 6. Rafael Soriano, Mariners 7. Scott Proctor, Yankees 8. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers 9. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 10. Bob Howry, Cubs 11. Justin Duchscherer, A's 12. Geoff Geary, Phillies 13. Aaron Heilman, Mets 14. Juan Rincon, Twins 15. Jon Rauch, Nationals 16. Scott Linebrink, Padres 17. Chad Qualls, Astros 18. Kiko Calero, A's 19. Trever Miller, Astros 20. Luis Vizcaino, Diamondbacks 21. Matt Capps, Pirates 22. Salomon Torres, Pirates 23. Braden Looper, Cardinals 24. Duaner Sanchez, Mets 25. Todd Coffey, Reds 26. Matt Thornton, White Sox 27. Alan Embree, Padres 28. Justin Speier, Blue Jays 29. Rheal Cormier, Phillies/Reds 30. Francisco Rodney, Tigers 31. Joel Peralta, Royals 32. Brandon Lyon, Diamondbacks 33. Scott Eyre, Cubs 34. Mike Stanton, Nationals/Giants 35. Joe Kennedy, A's 36. Kyle Farnsworth, Yankees 37. Elmer Dessens, Royals/Dodgers 38. Jose Mesa, Rockies 39. Scott Schoeneweis, Blue Jays/Reds 40. Taylor Tankersley, Marlins 41. Jose Capellan, Brewers 42. Keith Foulke, Red Sox 43. Damaso Marte, Pirates 44. George Sherrill, Mariners 45. Roberto Hernandez, Pirates/Mets 46. Danys Baez, Dodgers/Braves 47. LaTroy Hawkins, Orioles 48. Mike Timlin, Red Sox 49. Shawn Camp, Devil Rays 50. Manny Delcarmen, Red Sox 51. Mike Myers, Yankees 52. Steve Kline, Giants 53. Logan Kensing, Marlins 54. Brian Shouse, Rangers/Brewers 55. Matt Wise, Brewers 56. Arthur Rhodes, Phillies 57. Neal Cotts, White Sox 58. Randy Flores, Cardinals 59. Todd Williams, Orioles 60. Ray King, Rockies

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WS DVDs: 1986, Game 6

Well it's been a while since I did one of these. Once I finished the Game 5's I wanted to sit down and watch both Game 6's for 1975 and 1986 in one sitting. With all the other games I'd watch them half hour or an hour at a time but for obvious reasons I wanted to be able to watch those two games without interruption. Problem was I never found a chance to watch either game in it's entirety and ended up forgetting about it for a while but with the 20th anniversary of the Bill Buckner play being today I figured I'd skip ahead to '86 to do an entry on the game and finally got around to watching it yesterday.   1986 World Series Game 6 - Mets 6, Red Sox 5 10 Innings (boxscore and play account)   -With Buckner up in the first we have the apperance of the parachuter with the "Go Mets" banner. If this were today there'd be phony moral outrage by Joe Buck, or any other announcer, about a fan pulling off such a stunt and they'd make sure to have the cameras shoot something else but here the announcers love it. Ron Darling even gives the guy a little dap while he's being escorted away by the cops.   -Good omens for the Red Sox as they score in the 1st and the first five games the team that scored first won. Also Roger Clemens was 9-0 on five days rest.   -The Mets on the other hand could not feel good about their chances early on as Clemens was dominating striking out six through three and didn't give up a hit in the first four. Even though effective, he was incredibly inefficient with his pitch count, throwing 73 pitches in the first four. He'd throw 137 pitches in seven innings.   -In the 5th after a Darry Strawberry walk, just the Mets second baserunner of the game at that moment, they shoot some crowd shots and to a couple of fans who at first glance of foam "#1" fingers but they are actually foam middle fingers that I think said "Boston Sucks." The announcers don't mention it of course.   -In the 6th with Wally Backman on first, Buckner attempts to deek Backman on a throw to first by pretending it got by him with an laughably bad acting job. He wouldn't have to fake it later.   -In the 8th the announcers for the first time mention the Red Sox last World Series win. As I mentioned in a prior DVD entry not in this series or the '75 series do the announcers ever bring up the "curse." Very much in stark contrast to FOX's coverage of the 2004 series.   -In the bottom of the inning we had a mini, but not really, controversy. With the Mets down by a run, with a runner on first and no out, Dykstra lays down a bunt. Calvin Schiraldi tries to get the lead runner, Lee Mazzilli, at 2nd but his throw pulls Spike Owen off the bag. Owen pitches a fit and John McNamara joins him but replays clearly show Owen's foot off the bag when Mazzilli slid in. Mazzilli would eventually score the tying run on a Gary Carter sac fly.   -In the bottom of the 9th the Mets got the first two runners on. Davey Johnson elected to pinch hit for a 22-year old Kevin Elster (who subbed for Rafael Santana after being pinch hit for earlier) with Howard Johnson. Scully and Garagiola assume he's going to have him bunt, which is silly to think because why waste a pinch hitter to bunt? Johnson strikes out and the Mets end up failing to score. Scully especially harps on this for the rest of the game until of course you know what happened. My thought is Johnson didn't trust Elster to even bunt who looked rattled in the field after misplaying two balls (just one scored an error).   -You know whenever a player who's hit a past, "clutch" homerun and he comes up again in said situation they always play the clip of the past homerun. What usually happens is the player doesn't do it again. So they play Dave Henderson's Game 5, Donnie Moore killing (awww) homerun in the ALCS as he leads off the 10th in this game. Two pitches later...gone. Really cool, completely forgotten moment (Hendu had the best homerun trot) and would have likely won the World Series MVP for Hendu.   -And of course you know what happens in the bottom of the inning to cap one of the most exciting innings in baseball history. By now everyone knows that Buckner could hardly be blamed for everything that happened. If Schiraldi just manages to get one more out it was over. If Bob Stanley doesn't throw a wild pitch to let the tying run score, the sequence of events would changed dramatically. Also even if Buckner fields the ball, there's a 50/50 chance Mookie Wilson beats a throw to first and nevermind that even if he's out the game still goes on to the 11th. But in the end it was that moment that I'm guessing that the "curse" talk picked up steam and the Red Sox fans made themselves into martyrs for the next 18 years.   -Having this game (and the others) on DVD is simply awesome and I'm sure I'll be replaying it in the future. I could listen to Scully's call of the final play forever. The great thing about Scully is that after Knight scores he just shuts up. There's dead air for three and a half minutes with just the sights and sounds of the what just happened playing out. There was no need for words, something today's announcers should learn.

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Bowwwlllsss, Part 2

MAC   Conference bids: Motor City, GMAC or MPC Computers, International   Locked up a bid: None   Near locks: Ohio   On the bubble: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan   The MAC is very hard to figure out when it comes to bowl bids because outside of the MAC title game winner, no one is guarenteed a bowl. In the past the loser of the MAC title game has often been passed up for the MAC's other bowl bid. This year they now have three bids so I would figure that both division winners will go to bowl games but I don't know that for sure. Now the reason why I picked Ohio as the one near lock is they are a good bet to run the table through the rest of the regular season with Miami U. and Eastern Michigan (2-15 combined) still on the schedule and Akron at home as being the only potential stumbling block. Considering they haven't been to a bowl game since 1968 I figure even if they lose the title game, at 9 wins they'll get one of the other two bids. If Kent State hadn't lost to Ohio at home last week they would all but locked up the East division but they probably are the next best bet to get a bowl bid. The winner of the CMU/WMU game on November 10th will likely decide the West division champ. The Garrett Wolfe factor makes NIU an attractive team but at 5-4 and still with CMU on the schedule I don't think a 7-5 record will get the job done although they could get an at large bid. Akron, Ball State, and Bowling Green are all likely done but are still mathematically alive in their division.   Mountain West   Conference bids: Las Vegas, Armed Forces, Poinsettia, New Mexico   Locked up a bid: BYU   Near locks: TCU   On the bubble: Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming   Now with non-BCS conference teams getting in with a 6-6 record will be a dicey proposition but the odds that BYU will collapse and lose four in a row is just about zilch. TCU still has five games left to get to seven wins and they very likely will get to 9 or 10 wins. Utah should get to that all important seven wins although an upset at Air Force could be possible and they'd be in trouble trying to get win #7 against BYU. For a very obvious reason New Mexico has the best shot at getting in at 6-6 if no more than three teams in the conference finish with a winning record, which is very possible. Wyoming has San Diego State and UNLV left but a trip to BYU will doom their bowl chances. Air Force has a must win this week against Army to have any hope at a bowl as they still have Notre Dame, Utah, and TCU still on the schedule. Colorado State has BYU, Utah, and TCU the next three weeks so they're toast.   Pac-10   Conference bids: Rose/BCS, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Hawaii   Locked up a bid: California, Oregon, USC, Washington State   Near locks: None   On the bubble: Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington   Now how could I list Oregon State on the bubble after beating USC? It's pretty easy. For one before this past weekend they were probably considered the 8th best team in the confernece. Second because of a trip to Hawaii they have a 13 game schedule so that means still need two more wins to go bowling. They have one guarenteed win against Stanford but none besides that. Beat ASU this week and then they are a lock but have a letdown and it could get interesting but I'd say they are very good bet to pick up the two wins. If ASU wins Saturday then they lock up a bid but then they get Wazzu and UCLA at home before their rivalry game against U of A. UCLA has a very tough schedule left with road dates to Berkely and Tempe left, then of course USC. They have to beat the Beavers at home on November 11th to have a prayer. Washington has Stanford still left but appears done without Isaiah Stanback and they'll need to upset Oregon or Wazzu on the road to get in. U of A is listed simply because they are technically still alive.   SEC   Conference bids: Sugar/BCS, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A (double ugh), Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locked up a bid: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee   Near locks: South Carolina   On the bubble: Kentucky, Vanderbilt   You know I admit the SEC in terms of overall consistency of putting a large number of teams in the Top 25 every year, they are the best conference and I admit their fans travel better than any conference. But god damn it's almost unfair how they get so many of top non-BCS bowls. Anyways the Gamecocks have Middle Tennessee left on their scheduled so they will get win #6 but that might be it for them especially if they don't beat Arkansas this week. Kentucky has a better shot than one would think but they still have UL Monroe and they get Vandy at home. Beat Vandy and they'll be bowling although might have to get an at large bid. Vanderbilt on the other hand has to beat Kentucky and then pull off an upset of Florida or Tennessee. Just a hunch the Vols will be looking to put a beating on them for last year's upset that cost them a bowl game.   Sun Belt   Conference bids: New Orleans   Locked up a bid: None   Near locks: None   On the bubble: Arkanas State, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee, Troy, UL Lafayette   Awww my favorite conference. It's simple win the conference, you go to New Orleans. By pure luck a couple of years ago they got two teams into bowls but don't expect that to happen even with a record 62 bids now. Everyone listed is still alive in the title race but it likely will come down to the MTSU/Troy game on November 25th as to who gets the bid.   WAC   Conference bids: BCS?, MPC Computers or GMAC, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locked up a bid: Boise State   Near locks: Hawaii, Nevada   On the bubble: Idaho, San Jose State   Obviously a lot is riding on Boise State getting into the BCS as it will give the conference four bids if they do. Hawaii should lock up a bid this week against Utah State and we know what bowl they are going to. There is a scenerio where Nevada could get left out if they get upset by Idaho and somehow San Jose State upsets Boise thus killing the chance of four bids but it's a longshot. Now who would have thought San Jose State would be in a good position to get a bowl bid while Fresno State would already be dead at the end of October? It's a shame for the Spartans that the Silicon Valley Bowl doesn't still exsist. Their most important game left is a trip to Idaho on November 25th which could decide the final bid. If BSU gets upset by Nevada though then they are both screwed.   Independents   Conditional bids: BCS/Cotton/Gator/Sun/Houston/All Other Big East bids (Notre Dame), Car Care (Navy), Poinsettia (Army)   Locked up a bid: Notre Dame   Near locks: Navy   On the bubble: Army   Navy and Army are pretty much like BCS conference teams in that if they get to 6-6 they are going bowling. Navy has Duke, Eastern Michigan, and Temple before the Army game so just a hunch they'll pick up at least one more win. Now what will be interesting is their conditional bid with the Car Care Bowl because that could be where Rutgers would go and it might cause some CONTROVERSY~ if the they would pass on a 9-2 Scarlet Knights team to take Navy but that is likely what will happen. Army has to run the table which includes winning at Notre Dame so the Poinsettia Bowl will be looking elsewhere for an at large team.

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Award Redo: 1999 N.L. MVP

Even with the baseball season over I'm always looking for an excuse to do a redo and resident Astros fan vivalaultra gave me one while lamenting over the end of Jeff Bagwell's career in Houston: Well god dammit I have to solve this quandry!   Jeff Bagwell finished second in the 1999 N.L. MVP voting but he wasn't even close to winning it. Chipper Jones had the best year of his career hitting .319 with 45 homeruns while helping the Braves to a league best 103 wins and would receive 29 of the 32 first place votes. The tightest competition was for the second place spot as Bagwell finished with only seven points more than the 3rd place Matt Williams. Bagwell had better numbers than Williams almost across the board (including 30 stolen bases which is a ton for a first baseman) except in one category. Guess which one? If you said RBI then you know your baseball writer voting tendencies very well. Williams actually received two first place votes to Bagwell's one I suppose because he was a "gritty veteran" who was the "heart and soul" of the Diamondbacks who shocked the baseball world with a 100 win season in just their 2nd year of exsistence. After those three no other player received any real consideration for the award with Greg Vaughn leading the pack but he was a dubious choice for 4th. Of note in 1999 was also the McGwire/Sosa Homerun Chase II but like most blockbuster sequels it was just more of the same and kind of took away from the memories of the original.   Actual Results 1) Chipper Jones 2) Jeff Bagwell 3) Matt Williams 4) Greg Vaughn 5) Mark McGwire 6) Robin Ventura 7) Mike Piazza 8) Edgardo Alfonzo 9) Sammy Sosa 10) Larry Walker 11) Vladimir Guerrero 12) Craig Biggio 13) Jay Bell 14) Sean Casey 15) Randy Johnson 16) Billy Wagner 17) Carl Everett 18) Luis Gonzalez 19t) Brian Giles 19t) Brain Jordan 21) Mike Hampton 22) Barry Larkin 23) Bobby Abreu 24t) Barry Bonds 24t) Matt Mantei 26t) Jeff Kent 26t) Kevin Millwood 28) Trevor Hoffman   #10 .379/.458/.710, 140 RC, 162 OPS+, .334 EQA, 68.1 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #9 .294/.386/.457, 111 RC, 118 OPS+, .286 EQA, 48.3 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #8 .335/.446/.549, 134 RC, 149 OPS+, .326 EQA, 64.3 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #7 .301/.379/.529, 118 RC, 132 OPS+, .300 EQA, 53.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #6 150 ERA+, 1.75 K/BB, 1.29 WHIP, 76.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #5 .315/.418/.614, 135 RC, 157 OPS+, .328 EQA, 74.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #4 .278/.424/.697, 154 RC, 178 OPS+, .344 EQA, 81.2 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #3 178 ERA+, 5.20 K/BB, 1.02 WHIP, 99.3 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #2 .304/.454/.591, 149 RC, 169 OPS+, .341 EQA, 84.9 VORP, 37 Win Shares   #1 .319/.441/.633, 159 RC, 175 OPS+, .344 EQA, 104.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares   Bobby Abreu a gamer? HA!   So I agreed with the writers here even though Win Shares overwhelming loved Bagwell. I feel real good about the Top 5 but after that I could have gone about 20 different directions with 6 thru 10. Along those five I also could easily put Luis Gonzalez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Sammy Sosa, Andruw Jones (who didn't receive a single vote), and Vladimir Guerrero in the Top 10 as well.

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Bowl Projections...sort of

As I mentioned last week in my bowls entry I wasn't going to be doing any projections as there is still way too many games left to make any solid projections that go beyond guess work. If you want to try to predict how the ACC will shake out the rest of the way, be my guest. But I need content and even though I hate the current state of the bowl system, I love looking at potential match-ups. So in this entry I'm going to do what I've done a few times in the past in the College Football threads and jumble together bowl projections from various sites to give you an idea of where your favorite or hated team might be playing a meaningless game in late December. I'll take projections from ESPN.com, CFN.com, CBS Sportsline, CollegeBCS.com, and SI.com and throw little comments that will provide little to no insight.   December 19th - Poinsettia Bowl (Mountain West #3 vs. at-large) Utah/Air Force/Wyoming vs. Kansas/Northern Illinois/UCLA/Ohio   Army had a conditional bid here but their incredibly slim bowl chances went up in smoke when they get blown by Air Force so it's anyones guess as to who gets the at-large bid but will likely go to a 6-6 BCS conference team or someone from the MAC.   December 21st - Las Vegas Bowl (Mountain West #1 vs. Pac-10 #4) BYU vs. Oregon State/Washington State/Oregon   I should have corrected bravesfan, or whatever his name is now, in the College Football thread as he was under the impression that the Hawaii is the Pac-10's #4 choice but it's actually their last one. In any event BYU will lock up the Mountain West this week with a win over Wyoming and the greatest a trip a Mormon can have, Las Vegas. I'd say most likely the loser of the Civil War ends up here as the opponent.   December 22nd - New Orleans Bowl (Sun Belt #1 vs. Conference USA #5) Middle Tennesse/Troy vs. UTEP/SMU/Rice   Obviously God caused Hurricane Katrina to prevent New Oreleans from being subjected to another Sun Belt bowl game but it's back this year. At least the Sun Belt will manage to end up with more than one winning team this year. MTSU hosts Troy on November 25th and that will decide the conference and I'm soooooo tempted to break my no Sun Belt games rule in my pick 'em contest for that game. UTEP was the popular choice here but I'm pulling for SMU as they have an outside shot at their first bowl game since the death penalty.   December 23rd - Birmingham Bowl Bowl (Conference USA #3 vs. Big East #5/6) Southern Miss vs. South Florida/Pittsburgh   Now raise your hand if you actually knew there was something called the Birmingham Bowl this year? The projections were unanimous for Southern Miss and only one picked Pittsburgh instead of USF.   December 23rd - New Mexico Bowl (WAC #3 vs. Mountain West #4) Nevada/San Jose State vs. New Mexico   Okay now raise your hand if you actually knew there was something called the New Mexico Bowl this year? See this is the problem with a lot of these little bowls as they can only hope to get a decent crowd if the home team becomes bowl eligible and then really is it even a bowl game at that point or just a glorified home game? New Mexico will have to sweat a little for a bowl eligiblity as they play BYU and TCU next but finish the season at home against awful San Diego State. Now the WAC projections are split down the middle which is odd because I'd think Nevada would definately take Boise State's spot in the MPC Computers Bowl but half of them think San Jose State will but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.   December 23rd - Armed Forces Bowl (Mountain West #2 vs. Conference USA #4) TCU vs. Tulsa/UTEP/SMU/East Carolina   This is actually not a new bowl but the bowl formerly known as the Fort Worth Bowl and I know you are all appalled that such a historic bowl would go corporate, sort of. Oddly enough Navy and Army didn't have any sort of conditional bid here. TCU is the unanimous choice since it played on their homefield and have in the past rejected other invites just to stay home although this year they get their by default. Projections have no clue who goes from Conference USA here.   December 24th - Hawaii Bowl (WAC #2 vs. Pac-10 #6) Hawaii vs. Arizona State/Washington State   Again this week's big story was the shocking news that Hawaii accepted an invite to the Hawaii Bowl. All but one of the projections had ASU going here.   December 26th - Motor City Bowl (MAC #1 vs. Big Ten #7) Central Michigan/Ohio/Western Michigan vs. Cincinnati/Iowa/Middle Tennessee   CMU has emerged as this week's favorite to win the MAC but that conference has been impossible to figure out this year. Now with it almost a lock that Ohio State and Michigan will give the Big Ten BCS bids there's a very good chance the Big Ten won't fill their last bid and Cincinnati for geographic reasons, and because the Big East is losing a bid which I'll get to, was the popular choice. CollegeBCS.com was the one who picked MTSU and I don't know what they are thinking there.   December 27th - Emerald Bowl (Pac-10 #5 vs. ACC #7) Washington State/Oregon/Arizona State vs. Florida State/Boston College/Maryland   It's still incredibly stupid to have a bowl game in an area as indifferent towards college sports as the Bay Area but at least they have the Pac-10 on board now so Stanford will have a bowl game to go to if they ever become bowl eligible again this decade. FSU is the odds on favorite to go here and watching them travel across the country for a game they won't give a shit about will be fun.   December 28th - Independence Bowl (Big XII #7 vs. SEC #8) Oklahoma State/Kansas State/Texas Tech vs. Alabama/Georgia/South Carolina/Kentucky   The Big XII bowl picture is fairly unsettled so tough to guess here. One of the dissapointing 6-6 SEC teams will end up here.   December 28th - Texas Bowl (Big East #3/#4 vs. Big XII #8) Rutgers vs. Kansas State/Oklahoma State   This is technically a new bowl game but it was the replacement for the Houston Bowl that went belly up but is being played in...Houston. Confused? Anyways that is correct what you read, Rutgers even with probably a 10-2 record will end up in a nothing bowl game against 6-6 Big XII team. Basically no bowls wanted the Big East after the purge a couple of years ago, which in hindsight hasn't hurt the conference at all, and this is the result of it.   December 28th - Holiday Bowl (Pac-10 #2 vs. Big XII #3) USC/California vs. Texas A&M/Missouri/Nebraska   Holiday Bowl has really emerged as one of the biggest non-BCS bowls in recent years and it should be no different this year. But man fuck all these projections as only one has USC getting to the Rose Bowl which means most think Cal will win their match-up. USC likely killed their BCS at-large chances with the loss to Oregon State although there is a slim chance that they could get in if a lot of things break their way, one being Boise State failing to get into the BCS. Obviously if USC ends up here, Nebraksa wouldn't be the selection from the Big XII.   December 29th - Music City Bowl (ACC #5 vs. SEC #6) Wake Forest/Virginia Tech/Boston College/Maryland/Miami vs. South Carolina/Kentucky/Alabama   Again the ACC is impossible to figure out who is going where right now as Wake Forest was the only team that showed up on two of the projections although I'd say Miami is a longshot here.   December 29th - Sun Bowl (Pac-10 #3 vs. Big XII #5/Big East #2) Oregon/Oregon State/Washington State vs. Missouri/West Virginia   Yup the complete lack of wanting the Big East strikes again. The Gator Bowl has a deal this year where they can pick a Big XII team over the second place Big East team. Big XII fans travel very well so don't be shocked if an 11-1 Big East team gets passed over and sent to El Paso, especially if the Gator Bowl has a shot at getting Nebraska who's fans can almost sell out bowl games on their own. The Civil War winner likely goes here from the Pac-10.   December 29th - Liberty Bowl (Conference USA #1 vs. SEC #7) Houston/Tulsa vs. Kentucky/Alabama   Houston's mild upset of Tulsa this week makes them the run away favorite now to win Conference USA.   December 29th - Champs Sports Bowl (ACC #4 vs. Big Ten #5) Boston College/Virginia Tech/Maryland/Florida State vs. Iowa/Minnesota   No bowl game that gets BCS conference teams every year produces more lackluster games than the Champs Sports Bowl and this year should be no different. CFN.com is the one that picked Minnesota so obviously Vern has been bribing them.   December 29th - Insight Bowl (Big XII #6 vs. Big Ten #6) Texas Tech/Oklahoma State vs. Indiana/Wyoming/Central Michigan/Utah   Again because both Ohio State and Michigan are going to be the BCS and because the Big Ten is incredibly mediocre once you get past the top three teams, this bid might not be filled by their conference. Texas Tech was the almost unanimous pick here for the Big XII. I'm still trying to figure out why the Insight parted ways with the Pac-10 when it's natural fit for the Arizona schools.   That's enough for tonight, cover the rest tommorrow.

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HOF Profile: Gary Sheffield

In my need to always find content after the 2007 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is released I plan on doing individual entries on each player on the ballot, even the ones that have no business being on it. The profiles will mainly just be useless information on each player and then a short opinion by me on whether or not I'd vote for them into the Hall of Fame. So as a test run I decided to do one on an active player and Gary Sheffield seemed like a good choice since he has recently been in the news.   Gary Sheffield - Outfielder/Third Baseman   Milwaukee Brewers 1989-1991 San Diego Padres 1992-1993 Florida Marlins 1993-1998 Los Angeles Dodgers 1998-2001 Atlanta Braves 2002-2003 New York Yankees 2004-2006 Detroit Tigers 2007-   Awards 1992 Sporting News ML Player of the Year 1992 NL Silver Slugger - 3B 1996 NL Silver Slugger - OF 2003 NL Silver Slugger - OF 2004 AL Silver Slugger - OF 2005 AL Silver Slugger - OF   All-Star Selections: 9 (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005)   League Leader 1992: Batting Average, Total Bases 1996: On Base Pct., OPS, OPS+   Career Ranks OBP: 64th SLG: 52nd OPS: 47th Runs: 70th TB: 54th HR: 31st RBI: 46th BB: 37th OPS+: 48th RC: 39th   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Batting - 4 (401) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 118 (164) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 57.7 (37) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 132.0 (98) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 5 (Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews) Other Similar Batters: Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Fred McGriff, Frank Thomas, Jim Rice   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacment Level (WARP3)   1988: 2/0.3 1989: 6/1.8 1990: 20/5.2 1991: 1/0.2 1992: 32/11.9 1993: 16/4.9 1994: 15/5.0 1995: 13/4.3 1996: 34/10.6 1997: 22/7.1 1998: 30/7.7 1999: 24/7.7 2000: 31/8.8 2001: 30/8.8 2002: 26/6.8 2003: 35/11.0 2004: 30/8.5 2005: 31/8.4 2006: 3/1.2   Total Wins Shares: 401 Total WARP3: 120.3   Would he get my vote?   Yes. Whether your a career voter or a peak voter Sheffield measures up. Although he never won an MVP and his black ink number is very low, the overall consistentcy of performing at a high level is deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame. On the other hand because of his personality and some steroid questions due to his brief association with BALCO he might not be a slam dunk in the view of the baseball writers. But with now over 400 career Win Shares he should be.

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Bowl Projections, for real this time

The likely outcome of who will face Ohio State in the Fiest Bowl, part II is just depressing for me. Either we'll get a traditional Rose Bowl match-up, except not in the Rose Bowl, or we'll get the always lame rematch of a game already played. But now with only two weeks left in the season I can actually make an attempt to make my own projections that go beyond guessing. When it cames to the ACC though it will still be guess work as there is still way too much unresolved business in that conference. Also projecting the non-confernece winner besides Michigan to get into the BCS is tough but I'm picking West Virginia for now. For open bids the Big Ten won't be able to fill the Motor City Bowl and the ACC might not be able to fill the MPC Computers Bowl.   One thing I should point out in regards to the Gator Bowl that I wasn't aware of. Now in my previous bowl entries I brought up how they have the option now of passing on the Big East #2 selection (sending them to the Sun Bowl) and going with a Big XII team. What was not aware of that they have the option of taking the Big XII #2 pick one time in the next four years. So because of that I, and others, are projecting Oklahoma to get snatched up by the Gator Bowl. This would cost the Sooners $500k as the Gator pays out $2.5 million compared to Cotton Bowl which pays out $3 million. Are bowl politics fun?   Also the Birmingham Bowl has been named the PapaJohns.com Bowl. Why exactly did they need the .com part?   Poinsettia: TCU vs. Washington State Las Vegas: BYU vs. Oregon New Orleans: Middle Tennessee vs. East Carolina PapaJohns.com Bowl: Tulsa vs. Pittsburgh New Mexico: New Mexico vs. San Jose State Armed Forces: Utah vs. Rice Hawaii: Hawaii vs. UCLA Motor City: Central Michigan vs. South Carolina Emerald: Arizona vs. Florida State Independence: Kansas State vs. Alabama Texas: Cincinnati vs. Oklahoma State Holiday: California vs. Texas A&M Music City: Georgia vs. Clemson Sun: Oregon State vs. Rutgers Liberty: Houston vs. Kentucky Champs Sports: Maryland vs. Purdue Insight: Texas Tech vs. Minnesota Car Care: Wake Forest vs. Navy Alamo: Missouri vs. Iowa Chick-fil-A: Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee MPC Computers: Nevada vs. Kansas Gator: Boston College vs. Oklahoma Outback: Penn State vs. LSU Cotton: Nebraska vs. Auburn Capital One: Wisconsin vs. Arkansas Rose: Michigan vs. West Virginia Fiesta: Texas vs. Boise State Orange: Georgia Tech vs. Louisville Sugar: Florida vs. Notre Dame International: South Florida vs. Northern Illinois GMAC: Southern Miss vs. Ohio BCS: Ohio State vs. USC

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Bowl Projections 11/25

Jumping the gun here a bit but things seem fairly clear to me. I am holding out hope the Rose Bowl has the good sense not to pick Notre Dame for a rematch against Michigan but I might be wrong on that. Obviously a lot things can change with the title games next week but at that point there will be no need for projections.   One thing I learned tonight, the rule where bowls can not take a 6-6 team over a 7-5 team to fill a conference bid also applies to at-large bids which means Washington State, Arizona, Kansas, and Pittsburgh are all likely staying home while the MAC and Sun Belt will pick up extra bids.   Poinsettia: TCU vs. Western Michigan Las Vegas: BYU vs. Oregon New Orleans: Troy vs. East Carolina PapaJohns.com Bowl: Tulsa vs. South Florida New Mexico: New Mexico vs. San Jose State Armed Forces: Utah vs. Rice Hawaii: Hawaii vs. UCLA Motor City: Central Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee Emerald: Arizona State vs. Florida State Independence: Kansas State vs. Alabama Texas: Rutgers vs. Oklahoma State Holiday: California vs. Texas A&M Music City: Kentucky vs. Maryland Sun: Oregon State vs. West Virginia Liberty: Houston vs. South Carolina Champs Sports: Wake Forest vs. Purdue Insight: Texas Tech vs. Minnesota Car Care: Clemson vs. Navy Alamo: Missouri vs. Iowa Chick-fil-A: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia MPC Computers: Nevada vs. Miami Gator: Boston College vs. Texas Outback: Penn State vs. Tennessee Cotton: Nebraska vs. Auburn Capital One: Wisconsin vs. Arkansas Rose: Michigan vs. LSU Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Boise State Orange: Georgia Tech vs. Louisville Sugar: Florida vs. Notre Dame International: Cincinnati vs. Northern Illinois GMAC: Southern Miss vs. Ohio BCS: Ohio State vs. USC

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Award Redo Recap

This is a bit of a throw away entry but I had been wanting to rundown the 23 MVP redos I've done entries for. I have other redos that I've done (including the entire decade of the 80's) but haven't done entries for yet. What I decided to do is group the redos into categories in terms of how good or bad the choice was by the writers. Thought it would be a good time to do this after the writer's awful choice of Justin Morneau. I had Morneau 9th on my 2006 A.L. MVP mock ballot.   Writers Made the Right Choice   1980 A.L. George Brett 1989 A.L. Robin Yount 1999 N.L. Chipper Jones   Writers Choice was Pefectly Acceptable (Writer's Pick/My Pick)   1985 N.L. Willie McGee/Dwight Gooden 1986 A.L. Roger Clemens/Don Mattingly 1988 N.L. Kirk Gibson/Will Clark 1991 A.L. Cal Ripken/Frank Thomas 1995 N.L. Barry Larkin/Greg Maddux 2003 A.L. Alex Rodriguez/Carlos Delgado   Writers Made the Right & Wrong Choice (Writer's Picks/My Pick)   1979 N.L. Keith Hernandez & Willie Stargell/Keith Hernandez   Bad Choices by the Writers (Writer's Pick/My Pick)   1979 A.L. Don Baylor/Fred Lynn 1987 A.L. George Bell/Alan Trammell 1991 N.L. Terry Pendleton/Barry Bonds 1998 N.L. Sammy Sosa/Mark McGwire   The Justin Morneau Achievement Awards (Writer's Pick/My Pick)   1960 N.L. Dick Groat/Eddie Mathews 1974 N.L. Steve Garvey/Joe Morgan 1981 A.L. Rollie Fingers/Dwight Evans 1984 A.L. Willie Hernandez/Cal Ripken 1987 N.L. Andre Dawson/Tim Raines 1992 A.L. Dennis Eckersley/Frank Thomas 1995 A.L. Mo Vaughn/Edgar Martinez 1996 A.L. Juan Gonzalez/Alex Rodriguez 1999 A.L. Ivan Rodriguez/Derek Jeter

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HOF Profile: Bobby Witt

2007 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is out so as planned I'm going to do individual profiles on each player on the ballot. I'll go in the order of career Win Shares starting at the bottom. No player on this year's ballot is nearly bad as Gary DiSarcina being on last year's ballot and there are quite a few Hall of Very Good players making their first appearance on the ballot. But we start off with a very dubious addition to this year's ballot.   Bobby Witt - Starting Pitcher   Texas Rangers 1986-1992, 1995-1998 Oakland Athletics 1992-1994 Florida Marlins 1995 St. Louis Cardinals 1998 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1999 Cleveland Indians 2000 Arizona Diamondbacks 2001   Awards None   League Leader None   Career Ranks K: 69th K/9: 64th   Hall of Fame Stats   Gray Ink: Pitching - 33 (696) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 11.0 (696) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 7.0 (1050) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Kevin Gross, Mike Moore, Jim Clancy, Steve Renko, Scott Erickson, Steve Trachsel, Bump Hadley, Tim Belcher, Floyd Bannister, Tom Candiotti   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacment Level (WARP3)   1986: 3/2.0 1987: 6/3.9 1988: 10/3.8 1989: 5/2.0 1990: 17/6.4 1991: 0/0.2 1992: 8/4.5 1993: 11/5.8 1994: 4/2.8 1995: 9/4.4 1996: 10/4.7 1997: 11/5.4 1998: 1/0.3 1999: 8/2.8 2000: 0/0.0 2001: 2/1.1   Career Win Shares: 102 Career WARP3: 49.9   Would He Get My Vote?   No, shockingly as that might seem. Only had one good year in 1990 when he went 17-10 with a 3.36 ERA which was one of only four seasons that he had an ERA+ of 100 or better. Now any player who played at least 10 years can appear on the ballot but there is still a nomination process where a handful of players don't get on the ballot but there is always a few that make no sense as to why anyone would nominate them and Witt is definately one this year. If you're going to include Bobby Witt on the ballot why even bother with a nomination process? Not that it really matters in the end.

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HOF Profile: Scott Brosius

Scott Brosius - Third Baseman   Oakland Athletics 1991-1997 New York Yankees 1998-2001   Awards 1998 World Series MVP 1999 AL Gold Glove - 3B   All-Star Selections: 1 (1998)   League Leader None   Career Ranks None of note   Hall of Fame Stats   HOF Standards: Batting - 12.6 (1349) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 19.0 (780) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Ed Sprague, Bill Melton, Mike Pagliarulo, Scott Spiezio, Tom Tresh, Jim Presley, Steve Buechele, Dave Hollins, Aaron Boone, Jim Tabor   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Leve (WARP3)   1991: 1/0.8 1992: 2/0.3 1993: 5/1.5 1994: 6/4.1 1995: 10/3.2 1996: 19/7.9 1997: 5/2.1 1998: 27/9.3 1999: 13/5.5 2000: 8/4.1 2001: 15/5.6   Career Win Shares: 111 Career WARP3: 44.3   Would he get my vote?   No. Like Witt there is really no point in having Brosius on the ballot. Unlike Witt though you can figure out why he got through the nomination process, likely due to his World Series MVP in 1998. He was an excellent defensive third baseman but even if you had a Hall of Fame based soley on fielding he'd have no shot due to only being an everyday player for six years of his career, playing in more than 150 games just once.

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