Monday, February 26, 2007

T(or)onto! Jump on it! Jump on it! Jump on it!

Conor dit:

Ever heard of light disappearing back up a tunnel? That's what JP Ricciardi must have been experiencing this summer. Just when he had his squad make a major breakthrough and guzzump one of the lofty two in the AL East, the team he beat goes and spends a tonne of money on pitching, shores up its bull pen, becomes offensively better and generally sticks its two fingers up at the Canadians. With all due respect to Toronto, there's just no way they can overcome their two competitors for silver ware. They have money again after the shaving measures of recent years, but in a buy buy buy situation, they will lose literally every time.


Well as I see it the Blue Jays have some very good players offensively. They have the big slugger in Troy Glaus at third, the five tool centre fielder in Vernon Wells (who is probably one of the more underrated players in the league although not according to his contract haha), a solid catcher in Zaun and I really like the corner outfielders' potential. Alex Rios is a great hitter who is really developing power at a nice steady level. Could this be his breakout year? Reed Johnson is a solid if not spectacular left fielder and will contribute both with the long and shorter balls.

Lyle Overbay must also be exciting Bue Jays fans at first base as he continue his march towards being one of the better first basemen around, and he has the potential to be a he power hitter. He was truly a great pick up and he should really start to get the recognition he deserves this season.

Aaron Hill is a nice contact hitter and is the sort of guy who can make a difference either at the top or bottom of the line up. While he doesn't have fence traversing power, his speed can turn a lot of long singles into doubles with in the end is every bit as useful (although the Jays don't really tend to run). Finally at short stop Royce Clayton is slightly out of the mould of offensively minded number 6s that we normally expect from an AL side, but he is a very solid defender.


Well the rotation isn't very exciting. It contains a good one-two punch, enough to put a stop on any skid the team might find themselves on, but realistically it isn't good enough to compete. The biggest free agent farce in terms of pitching I can remember was the clubs queued up to sign Tomo Ohka. The Jays 'won' the war to vastly overpay a guy who has only ever once come even close to pitching 200 innings. Seriously I can't start to put into words how much I hated this signing for the Jays. They can't even try to ship him without eating a huge part of his contract when he goes down injured again (and while it's not something I wish on any player, it's just difficult to believe that he's healthy).

Well enough downside (until I get torn into Chacin in a minute!!), let's talk about Ray Halladay and AJ Burnett. Halladay is a true ace, stopper, go to guy, whatever you want to call him. I like his pitching a lot and I think he deserves the money that he's getting from the Jays. He should be good for 16-20 wins again as his ability merits and on a personal note for him, maybe a ticket to a contender at the deadline if the Jays are way out of the race. Burnett has yet to really prove (to me anyway) that he was worth the money the Jays invested in him. Yeah he's solid and reliable, but was he really the number free agent pitcher just one short year ago?? I'd really like to see him do well because I have a soft spot for that 2003 Marlins team, but I can't see it happening, nor can I see him sticking injury free.

Well in the pen lies BJ Ryan, a solid closer, ever reliable and a good pro. It seems a bit weird for me to be writing this piece evaluating a spate of recent FA signings for a team that isn't the Yankees, but Ryan has been worth the money. The rest of the bull pen is take it or leave it really with the only I really like being Jason Frasor. However maybe Pete can enlighten us further. I meant to keep this short because I knew Pete'd likely have a lot to say about his own team!! Oh well !!

Pete informs :

I'm really not sure whats going to happen in the East this year as both Boston and Toronto have a lot of question marks about their teams whilst having plenty of potential to be amongst the wild card race. Of course the advantage Boston has is greater 'depth' due to deeper pockets but there is plenty of youth in the Jays system and many of their vaunted arms are coming to the point where they need to show if they really have what it takes.
The offence is probably the teams strongest suit. Reed Johnson did a great job once inserted into the leadoff spot at getting on base but it's uncertain if he's a late bloomer or a flash in the pan. Even if he can't repeat last years successes the team is very deep with big boppers and the addition of Frank Thomas means the team has a contingency plan in case the injury bug hits Troy Glaus again and if both go down then that'll make things tough for the talented outfield duo of Alexis Rios and Vernon Wells.
It gets trickier once you get into the pitching and the team is blssed with possibly the best pitcher in baseball not called Santana and the only problem is Halladay's durability. Every year he's a Cy Young candidate and that is impressive when you play in the same league as that guy Minnesota.
Behind Halladay you will have one of the biggest wastes of money in baseball in A.J. Burnett who is as good an example of how pitching is about more than numbers on a radar gun. Blessed with a great curve and what is likely the best fastball in baseball, he stil contrives to be a middle of the road guy. If he ever sorted out his control then the league will have to watch out but he hasn't done that in eight years so why would he start now?
Gustavo Chacin sits nicely in the middle of the rotation and after pitching with a few knocks and scrapes last year we should see the real him this season (alas that won't be as good as his rookie year but won't be as bad as last) and if Tomo Okha can last a full season without snagging a nail he gives the team a wily southpaw at the back end who has a good feel for pitching even if his lack of stuff leaves him a small margin for error (if only we could combine him and Burnett, what a pitcher that would be).
John Thomson adds a bit of grit but is coming off some major injury problems (like pretty much every Blue Jay starter to an extent) but I'm hopeful that Dustin McGowan gets a look in. Even if the results so far have been less than awe inspiring, the guy is still only 25 and has a very lively assortment of pitches and just the look of someone who belongs on the mound.
The effectiveness of the pen is pretty much dependent upon how many innings the starters can log. With the likes of Scott Downs, Brian Tallet and Jason Frasor setting up left handed powerhouse B.J. Ryan (why do parents name their kids B.J?) there is more than strong enough foundation and if Brandon League finally realises that most hitters struggle against 100mph fastballs then the late innings will be tough for opponents.
So what will become of the Jays this year? I honestly can see another second place finish because I'm not at all convinced by Boston but if both teams play to their potential then status quo will likely return and Toronto will be back in third. No matter what happens, a lot will have to go right for them to make the post-season.

And finally :

Seems we agree about much in terms of the Jay's performance. I can't say I have much hope for this team, but one nevers knows! Respect the power of Moneyball and what JP can do with this team !!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Standing on the shoulders of Bonds... *ahem* Giants?

Fish rants :

Oh my it's very difficult to remain professional when you have to preview a season of a team you hope falls off the end of the earth (well it's not entirely impossible haha!). The media circus around you-know-who will be of course a huge distraction to this team. They let one ace go and gained a lesser more injury prone one, and pretty much failed to strengthen the rotation at all. It seems I say this at the start of every season by dammit this team is TOO OLD!!! There's not a single guy in a starting field position under the age of thirty and most of them are on the decline.

Barry Bonds is losing power, Dave Roberts is losing speed, Randy Winn never had either of those to things to begin with and that's just the outfield. Omar Vizquel is the model pro, but damn he can't lead this rabble to anywhere out of the basement in this division. The Giants are again going to have to try to play small ball with long ball players on the decline

Barry Zito is of course a good pitcher but it's difficult to figure out how he's going to translate into AT&T Park. He gives up a lot of hits to lefties, but power wise he gets blown out by righties, so it'll be interesting to see how he copes with the new boundaries in the Bay. Matt Cain must have 'frisco fans in a frenzy of excitement, but let's face it, there's only one show in town for at least one more season. With some offence Matt Morris and Noah Lowry could be good tail enders in a rotation but where that offence is going to come from is hard to see. More uncertainties lie in the Armando Benitez led bull pen which includes a bunch of has beens and never was-es.

I almost wish I'd got someone else to write this and then added my two cents after. I hate this club, I hate their lack of ambition, I hate their shear greed in milking the media circus around you-know-who, and most of all I hate Barry Bonds!!

Pete, the voice of reason says:

OK, for starters its not a lack of ambition or greed that has driven this club to attempt to bank on Bonds its the fact that he has been one of the greatest players of all time and the face of the franchise for over a decade. If you don't feel it prudent to build around such a player then I don't know who you build around. That all said I do feel sorry for GM Brian Sabean because he really went all in to try and get that championship with Bonds and they fell just short and we are now in the fall out. Baseball is the greatest sport in the world for celebrating its heroes and Bonds must retire a Giant so the team will remain in limbo for another year.
Like you said, the team is too old and has too many has beens on the roster and unless Bonds can stay healthy there is no big bat anywhere on the team to anchor the team. Roberts can still do a job at the top of the order and the ever green Vizquel batting behind him will see that they are able to scratch out enough wins to be a respectable team but there is nothing that makes you think they can elevate themselves into anything like a pennant race.
Losing Mike Matheny to his injury induced retirement will hurt them big time too as Bengie Molina has slipped in recent years in terms of D (he's still pretty good but not exactly great) and also the leadership and you do wonder if this clubhouse will implode at some point.
Matheny would have been the only reason I would have thought that letting Schmidt go and getting Zito would be a good trade off but alas he is gone and Zito will likely do an reasonable job in between seeing balls that drop into outfield gloves in Oakland, sail into the stands in AT&T.
For the bullpen to work they really have to hope that they can catch lightning in a bottle because it looks a bit messy to me.
Matt Cain is the only real bright spark I can see and any impact prospects are a ways away (possibly Sabean stockpiling for an onslaught in the post-Bonds era). This year will all be about Bonds going for that record (and 2,000 RBI which is none too shabby either) and the Giants standing pat till next year...oh and Bruce Bochy being picked up to manage is an interesting move too.

Conor C-omesback:

I think we're in agreement about this state of this club. You just seem to be more of the opinion that this is the result of putting all the eggs in the Barry Championship Ring basket. Maybe you're not wrong, but to be honest I dislike Barry so much and think he's such a cheat and an asshole that I'm glad he never got his ring, and I'm glad he's going to play out the last year of his career and not win a thing. It's exactly what he deserves, but not what Brian Sabean deserves for being put in the impossible situation of having a player who was bigger than the club, maybe even bigger than the game itself.

They may not know how to pronounce 'Louis', but they're not half good!

Conor C-ez :

The Cardinals will have a tough job recreating the same level of pitching that they've come to expect in recent seasons. Chris Carpenter coming off the back of another MVP type season will be the number one guyonce again for this rotation and he will have to become a calming influence around the club house to several young pitcher with limited experience. Kip
Wells, a young pitcher who has never quite lived up to his potential due to injuries has come on board from Pittsburgh via Texas between which he made 8 starts last season. Wells hasn't been fully healthy since 2003, but the one year contract seems to be a good deal for both parties. Adam Wainwright (alas no relation to my favourite singer!) will make the step to the rotation from the bull pen this season after a successful season in 2006, while Anthony Reyes will hope to improve on a mediocre (5-8/5.08 ERA) campaign. Brad Thompson who has spent most of his major league career sitting in the bull pen will also hope to challenge for a starters role come Spring. The resigning of Mark Mulder late in the FA quagmire could prove to be very important as is adds depth an experience to what is essentially a very young staff.

Offensively the Cards are well equipped. They have the best player in baseball at first base. Pujols, should he stay healthy all season could start so simply scare people in a way that only the words 'Barry Bonds' have before. Adam Kennedy will be an exciting new double play partner for World Series MVP David Eckstein, although one problem this combo presents is their lack of power. Scott Rolen is perhaps surprisingly back at third base having not spoken to manager Tony LaRussa through the entire off season. This follows their play-off bust up which led to Rolen being benched for not declaring an injury. It will be interesting to see how the situation between the two plays itself out.

Roaming the outfield will once again be perennial gold glover and all round pro Jim Edmonds, one of the most likeable guys in the Majors. Chris Duncan had a great season last time around in left field, but it will be interesting to see how he adapts, as the league adapts to him. The Cards
seem to be really up on his potential and he could become a significant contributor to the HR tally for this team. Juan Encarnacion remains one of those guys who is just solid if not spectacular. You know what you're going to get from him season after season and that can either please the fans or exasperate them. I wouldn't be surprised to see him shifted before the trade

A far as back ups go, St Louis have some of the best about. So Taguchi is one of the most solid fourth outfielders in the league and only for his lack of pop would probably be an everyday player. Preston Wilson is also a useful man in the wings.

The bullpen is probably the most unstable part of this team with the possibility of Wainwright and Brad Thompson moving to the rotation, and the uncertainty surrounding Jason Isringhausen and just how healthy he will be. Izzy should resume the closer's role if he's healthy. Aside from those guys, Braden Looper is one of the few on staff who performed reasonably last
season. Ricardo Rincon could be a useful component coming off the back of an injury plagued season, but just how strong this pen is remains to be seen.

In summary, overall this team has good depth, but it really doesn't have the pitching to repeat a World Series victory, or even to repeat an NL Central clinching season. If Pujols goes down again this season it's difficult to see where the offence is going to come from. Rolen may not last the season if his spat with LaRussa continues, and while they have great depth, they
may struggle.

Pete J thinks :
OK, we'll bash one thing on the head and that's to say that any team that has Albert Pujols in it will score runs. He is a phenomenon as a hitter and truly mesmerising to watch. Add to that the ever estute David Eckstein at the top of the order and you have enough grit to grind out runs in the close games.
Really the whole offence is just built to score enough runs to be a tough team to beat and the addition of the under-rated Adam Kennedy should make them a tough team to shut out even if they won't blow too many teams away with the ageing an inconsistant Rolen and Edmonds.
Defensively they always put out a solid side and Edmonds still manages to do a great job whilst posing for cameras.
The real questions are with the pitching and how it all stacks up. Fortunately they have one of the best pitching coaches in Dave Duncan to sort it out.
The pen will only be as good as the guy at the end of it and I really am not sure if Izzy will rebound or not. I am tempted to think that niggling injuries were what stopped him really being effective last year and his track record shows is so good that last year could have been just a blip but elbow problems for a guy who relies on a curveball could be a problem.
The safest bet would be to keep Wainwright in the role that he excelled in last year (mainly because I'm not sure his repertoire is varied enough to be a starter), what they want to do is not allow Looper to be the closer and keep him in the set-up role alongside the outstanding Ricardo Rincon and one way or another this pen will be good but it could be a rocky road early on as things settle into place.
Every time we go into the season I keep thinking that this has to be the year that Chris Carpenter has another elbow injury and misses a couple of months like he used to every year in Toronto. Of course if he's there all year then he'll be Cy nominated and carry the rotation and the team into playoff contention but the real problem is the state of the guys behind him. Yes Kip Wells has had injuries which has slowed him down but its only slowed him down from putting up the average numbers that he's always put up on the few occasions he has been healthy and Mark Mulder really hasn't been what the Cards expected when they signed him a couple years back (what is it with starters who leave Oakland?).
The guy to watch will be Anthony Reyes who really looked like he was figuring out what he needed to do to be successful in the Majors towards the end of last year and that culminated with a tremendous performance in the World Series. As he gets stronger he will be more consistant and will be a big producer for this team.
In summary, this team and the irritating Tony La Russa will have to work hard but everything is there for another NL Central crown and who knows what come the playoffs. Their pitching might not be overwhelming but it doesn't have an obvious weakness (unless Izzy is done and Wainwright proves himself a valuable starter which I doubt) and they have some guy named Albert once again gunning for 200 RBI. Still the team everyone needs to stack up to in the NL if they want to go the distance.

Conor C decides :

La Russa? quirky, not irritating
Dave Duncan ? genius
Eckstein? so annoying I want to punch him
Albert? Pujols ('nuff said!)
Cards? Very good

'Insert crude Steve Irwin joke here' but the Rays still blow

Conor C says:

There's a lot of hope n Tropicana Field this year. It might not mean that success will be now or even next season, but there is a real feeling that if the front office can keep this squad of youngsters together, they may just be able to make a run at a division title a few years down the line.

There is little or no point in talking about Scott Kazmir because everything that needs to be said has already been. He spearheads another young rotation but unfortunately for Kazmir, the rest of the five isn't really up to much. Jae Seo who bounced around last season (from Mets to Dodgers to Tampa) is one of the most inconsistent pitchers around. With him as number two starter it's difficult to see anything happening for this team. James Shields could be a great prospect and has fared well throughout his young career.

Offensively they have the potential to produce within a year or two. We all know about the Spurious obsession with Mr 'E6' Upton, but it will be interesting to see how much he's allowed to run. He could break out big time this season and Rays fas will have to fancy him to produce. At third the latest Japanese import to grace the big leagues Akinori Iwamura will be
first choice. He had a major break out year last season with Yakult (what a bizarre name for a team btw!!) with 44 homers. The D Rays would probably be content to see him nail half that total this year.

Dioner Navarro is a solid if not spectacular catcher. He has impressed many older pitchers with his ability to call the game. Offensively he provides limited resources, but one thing is that he's really bulked out over the break, so perhaps one can expect more bang for the D Ray's buck in the coming season in 10-15 homers.

The outfield looks extremely exciting. Crawford is proven while still young and is one of a handul or TRUE five tool players. This guy can hurt you anyway you can think; let the ball bounce around in the outfield and you might just see him standing at third. Rocco Baldelli would have had a third straight career year without injury causing him to miss nearly half the season, but most people will want to read about Delmon Young. This sprog can do it all and Rays fans must be licking their lips a the prospect of seeing him up in the majors for a full season. Let's hope he doesn't do things the 'Milton Bradley' way.

The 'pen is very weak, mainly full of an overstock of starters although Dan Miceli will probably inherit the closer's role. Seth McClung and Edwin Jackson may contest for starters jobs later this week but it is looking increasingly unlikely that they'll be successful.

Petahhhhh says :
We all know just how exciting this team can be offensively and they may well have the best outfield in the Majors now as Carl Crawford again will go out and prove he truly is one of the very elite players around (he's up there in the pack right behind Phat Albert) and Delmon Young an obvious Rookie of the Year favourite.
The infield D could be better but they're waiting for Brignac and the very exciting Evan Longoria to come through the system. The problem is that while Kazmir is possibly the best lefty pitcher not called Santana, they just don't have another dependable arm. Twelve different guys started games for Tampa last year and the team leader in innings pitched (unsurprisingly Kazmir) notched up just 144 2/3 innings (that is awful). And it doesn't get better in the pen where six guys recorded saves and the lead was 10 which is bad even for a team that lost 101 games.
Of course this could be the year that Jeff Niemann finally shakes off the injuries and gets to the Bigs but even if he makes a successful jump (with his health record its far from clear what will happen) they still have huuuuuuuge holes in their pitching. Any help from within is a long way off with their best pitching prospects in LoA but even if they deal a guy like Elijah Dukes (quite a good bargaining chip) they can't expect to be able to fill enough of those holes to even think about getting into third in the East and even fourth will take some doing right now.
If anyone can make a winner of this team and find ways to get some pitching its Gerry Hunsicker but even with a huge amount of young and exciting players which includes two guys who would be stars on any Major League roster, it will still be tough for them to avoid losing 100 games again. Decisions need to be made now as to whether they really want to be taken seriously or are they just going to wait it out until they can move to Portland?

Conor C-oncludes:
This team is young and full of energy and at best will have one of those heroic 'Marlins' type seasons from last year. Unfortunately in the AL that means if they're lucky they'll finish somehwere in the top half of the bottom third (if that makes any sense at all!!).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

New Standards Set For Yankee Outfielders

Alas that's the best headline I could come up with seeing as 'Weekends Without Bernie' was taken (actually I'm just losing the energy to think of those witty headlines).

Anyway, Bernie Williams has turned down a minor league contract and invite to ST for the Yanks and it looks like he's played his final game in pinstripes. The big question now is, what now for Bernie?

The main reason he stuck with the Yankees last year was more or less down to rewarding him for years of service and thats the same reason they even offered him the deal they did this year but Bernie could tell they didn't really want him and, if we are to believe the latest reports about the roster set up the Yankees want to go with, he was unlikely to make the team.

Basically it's unlikely they'll come back with an improved deal unless something drastic happens (like they decide they can carry another no arm outfielder who is passed his prime and now only an average hitter).

So what now? Allen Baird is no longer in a position to offer preposterous deals to aging vets and the catch-22 deal with Bernie is that he will still command a salary due to his rep but at best he's a 20 HR and .300 hitter these days and you'd have to carry him with his diminishing outfield tools (he's not a bad outfielder, his body just doesn't work the way it used to). Is that worth $10m a year, even in this climate?

Of course there is no real reason for him to come back. He's pretty much done it all, is in a position to look after several generations of his family and a musical career to fall back on. He's not going to do anything thats going to get him into the Hall of Fame unless he miraculously starts hitting 70 HR a year.

Even though he's a Yankee I've always sort of liked Bernie Williams. He's always been one of those players who goes to the park every day and gives you game day in and day out and plays the game the smart way, knowing exactly what the situation calls for. I can't help but think his best option would be to call it a day and wait for them to retire his number and possibly look for work as a bench coach (if thats what he wants to do). His legacy is secure and the one team player is always a good story.

All that's left to say is Bernie Williams we salute you, now go sit in that swing chair on your porch in your white picket fenced house with your guitar and strum away whilst everyone else worries about how the Yankees will win the next World Series. You've earned the easy life.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Houston Astros

The Astros finished last season with an 82-80 record that amazingly was good enough for second in the Central and almost snuck them into the post-season.

Pete J Says : The Astros were a very average team last year and the only reason they hung around in the playoff run so long was because there was a lot of mediocrity in the NL last year.

Of course its always a little unfair to blame one person for a team finishing with less wins than they should but Brad Lidge certainly made a good case for it. His ERA went up by 2.99 runs last year and 2.99 alone is about what you'd expect from an elite closer on a bad year and Lidge certainly was that before last year.The rest of the pen was pretty good with Wheeler, Qualls and Trever Miller all putting up good numbers before handing it over to Lidge to blow it and the support staff could be even better this year if Rick White and Scaott Sauerbeck make the team this Spring.

Elsewhere the rotation will once again be anchored by the under-appreciated Roy Oswalt and All Spurious team member Jason Jennings looking to build on what was a great year last season (he won't be that good this year I'm sure).

They struggled to score runs last season and while Carlos Lee will certainly beef up the heart of the order, if Morgan Ensberg can't get back on track this will still be a very average line-up with a lot of so-so hitters batting behind Berkman.

Of course it also doesn't help that they traded away their only genuine base stealing threat which should further clog up the bases and while Biggio can still find ways to get on base on his march for 3,000 hits, he's not the sparkplug he used to be.This is still a very average team with a great starter in Oswalt who will stop them going on any serious losing streaks. This team's only chance is that Lidge regains his form and the Wild Card is another battle between mediocre teams and sadly I don't see that being the case...there's not even a likely candidate to make the jump from the minors now they've dealt Hirsch.

Conor C Says : Well that about sums it up. It's been a tough fall from the (almost) top after their WS appearance in 2005.

It's hard to talk positively at all about the Astros this season. They've lost two out of arguably the best 1,2 3 starting pitcher punches in the league (Pettitte and Clemens) and its very unlikely that Clemens will come back to Houston this year since surely this will be his last year and he'll want to have a shot at a pennant. The Jason Jennings trade was an absolute disaster for this team. Jennings is a decent pitcher and will probably do alright in Minute Maid, but let's face it, he's not a superstar and there were other pitchers available that maybe would have commanded bigger salaries, but wouldn't have meant giving up their only speedster and their best pitching prospect.

Lidge and Ensberg just seem to have lost the spark, but who knows what the new season will bring. Either way, this team will be fighting it out in the cellar of the Central.

Pete J Says : Well that was simple, even if I'm not as grim about their chances as you seem to be. They should be a .500 team unless Berkman or Oswalt gets injured but its amazing how one deal can really cause more holes than it fills and while Jason Jennings will help their rotation, Jason Hirsch could have done a similar job and Taveras would still be in town to at least give the team some speed.

Of course now Jason Jennings will win the Cy and Hirsch will be the next Scott Elarton.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Mike Matheny Calls It A Day

Due to post-concussion symptoms, Spurious Baseball favourite, Mike Matheny has had to call time on his career and its been a great career but many will just dust it under the carpet. In this day and age where numbers are crunched and double crunched before anyone can formulate their own opinion, Matheny's .239 and 67 career homeruns will likely see that he doesn't quite make the Hall of Fame but that was never going to be his legacy.

Long ago, as we travel through the mists of yore, the position of catcher used to be a true defensive position. He was the general on the field, dictating to his team what was needed to cut down opposing hitters.

Catcher was the toughest position to play and day in and day out you would take a beating from foul tips, over-swings and baserunners charging down the line looking to maim you and it would beyour job to take it, dust yourself off and ask for seconds. Mike Matheny was one of those players.

Watching him don the tools of ignorance was sheer poetry in motion. The way he would shift his weight behind the hitter, the speed of his feet as he gunned down wouldbe base stealers and the way he would work with pitchers to baffle and bemuse hitters. All of the things you would need from a catcher, he was it.

It was inevitable in hindsight owing to the fearless nature with which he would block balls that he would eventually have to call it quits due to some related injury but its the measure of the man that even after he took those foul tips to the mask he still expected to be playing the next day and not being able to play again must have been a bitter pill to swallow. But it also says a lot that he has offered himself up for medical testing on the impact of concussions on athletes and, in particular, ball players.

I will certainly miss the opportunity of seeing him go after his fifth Gold Glove (even though they are bunk he still could have done it) and it only makes me feel like he should have played more while in his days in Milwaukee and Toronto and earned himself more silverware.

Its always a sad day when your heroes come to the end of their careers and he certainly was one for me and with the way the game is changing (some would say evolving but I wouldn't) it could be a very long time till we see another Mike Matheny.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Blog update - Feb 2007

Just some brief points!

1) Welcome to Conor C!

2) Nice to see the previews back .... don't worry if you've missed one, you can always click the 2007 Previews link on the right hand side, and get a direct link to your fav teams review

3) The 2007 Predictions are now also available ... as well as the Spurious blog team, i've included the previews from the Spurious Myspace members ... should be a bit more interesting this year!

4) If any other peeps want to get involved, write articles, or just contact us for any reason, use the Contact the Blog link on the right hand side

Anyway, back to Pete and Conor .....