" … Jennifer, filed for divorce from her husband, Steve Swindal, in the
family law division of Hillsborough County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Swindal was arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the
influence, and the divorce would end any chance he had of succeeding
Steinbrenner in running the Yankees, as Steinbrenner had said he would do in June 2005."
So who should be next in line for the job?
My vote? Waylon Smithers
The Baseball Prospectus crew has put up their 2007 "Predictatron" contest, where you can enter your guesses for the season records of all the teams, and maybe win a decent prize.
So here is my entry ….
*** means "mortal lock" …. a team you guarantee to win less than 72 or more than 90 (worth double the "points" of all your other choices)
<– means "division winner" selection
<~ means "wild card" selection
|American League East|
|Baltimore Orioles||66 – 96|
|Boston Red Sox||92 – 70||<–|
|New York Yankees||90 – 72|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||71 – 91|
|Toronto Blue Jays||86 – 76|
|American League Central|
|Chicago White Sox||83 – 79|
|Cleveland Indians||91 – 71||<~|
|Detroit Tigers||94 – 68||<– ***|
|Kansas City Royals||68 – 94|
|Minnesota Twins||85 – 77|
|American League West|
|Anaheim Angels||93 – 69||<–|
|Oakland Athletics||87 – 75|
|Seattle Mariners||75 – 87|
|Texas Rangers||83 – 79|
|National League East|
|Atlanta Braves||82 – 80|
|Florida Marlins||70 – 92|
|New York Mets||87 – 75||<~|
|Philadelphia Phillies||88 – 74||<–|
|Washington Nationals||60 – 102||***|
|National League Central|
|Chicago Cubs||87 – 75|
|Cincinnati Reds||79 – 83|
|Houston Astros||73 – 89|
|Milwaukee Brewers||89 – 73||<–|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||70 – 92|
|St. Louis Cardinals||81 – 81|
|National League West|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||85 – 77|
|Colorado Rockies||73 – 89|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||90 – 72||<–|
|San Diego Padres||87 – 75|
|San Francisco Giants||65 – 97|
American League Division Series:
Anaheim Angels over Cleveland Indians in 5 games
Detroit Tigers over Boston Red Sox in 4 games
National League Division Series:
Milwaukee Brewers over Philadelphia Phillies in 5 games
Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Mets in 4 games
American League Championship Series:
Detroit Tigers over Anaheim Angels in 6 games
National League Championship Series:
Milwaukee Brewers over Los Angeles Dodgers in 6 games
Detroit Tigers over Milwaukee Brewers in 5 games
My reasoning for these picks will come in a future post (or not).
"Craig Biggio was angry at the commissioner’s officeThursday night after he was told to stop wearing a pin on his cap that bears the
logo of a foundation that helps children with cancer.
The Houston Astros star said he has worn the bright yellow, sun-shaped pin,
featuring the logo for the Sunshine Kids foundation, on his hat during spring
training games for the past 20 years without a problem. He is the national
spokesman for the foundation and is very active in its work. "I’m not a disrespectful person and I don’t disrespect the game," Biggio
said. "But I’ve been wearing this pin for 20 years because it puts smiles on
20,000-something cancer patients’ faces."
Biggio said someone in the commissioner’s office contacted the Astros about
instructing him to remove the pin, but he wasn’t sure who it was. He said
Houston general manager Tim Purpura was sent a fax with a picture of Biggio from
Wednesday night’s game.
"Major League Baseball does a lot of good things, but this is one of the
stupid things," Biggio said.
The 41-year-old second baseman, who is 70 hits shy of 3,000, said he wears
the pin in spring training because many of the pictures for baseball cards are
taken during those games and the children like seeing the pin on those cards.
"That’s what it’s about," he said. "If somebody wants to sit in an office
and feel good about themselves, they should feel real bad about this one. They
didn’t think about all the cancer kids that get enjoyment out of it."
Biggio said he was told before the game that he couldn’t wear the pin, and
the umpires approached him on the field to make sure it was gone.
Astros manager Phil Garner was also unsure who contacted the team about the
"The league has a code where they watch what’s on the uniforms and I don’t
know the full extent of it, but evidently the Sunshine Kids pin is not part of
it," he said."
Now …. I can sort of see a need for SOME standards as to what you can and can’t wear on the field. If Biggio was wearing a "Ku Klux Klan" pin on his cap, there would certainly be some uproar. Legally speaking, Biggio is at his "job", and there is a "dress code" for the job. But this smacks of pettiness and over-regulation.
Let’s also remember that a few years ago, MLB was willing to deface the bases during regular season games with Spiderman logos in a promotion for the movie, till they got enough negative publicity about it. So there seems to be a bit of a double-standard.
Anyhow …. if you’d like to contribute to Biggio’s cause, visit The Sunshine Kids website.
Joe Mauer, the Twins All-Star catcher and reigning AL batting champ, has been diagnosed with a stress reaction (the pre-cursor to a stress fracture) in his left leg. Given his special talents with the bat, and his height (6’4"), there has been talk of eventually moving him out from behind the plate. The wear and tear of the position is bad enough for anyone, but the toll is greatened based on the height of the backstop.
Add to those considerations the unforgiving artificial turf in the Metrodome (which certainly hasn’t helped players like Torii Hunter and ex-Twins Shannon Stewart and Cristian Guzman), and the injury risk is heightened further. Given that the Twins will be moving into their new stadium in a couple of years, its doubtful that the present turf will be replaced.
So, can the Twins afford to leave Mauer behind the plate? History seems to say "no". Below is the list of most games appeared in for players 6’4" or greater.
|Sandy Alomar Jr.||1353||6’5"|
Not the most auspicious list … is it?
Mauer has been behind the plate for 268 games to this point. The clock is ticking.
" …. you walk into your local bagel shop and blurt out ‘Everything Bagel for a buck’."
(my thanks to fellow Scrabble freak and Fantasy Guru writer Scott Pianowski for the chuckle)
When MLB announced its DirecTV deal for "exclusive" carrying of Extra Innings, it was announced that InDemand and DISH Network had a 3-week window to match DirecTV’s carriage promises for the 2009 debut of "The Baseball Channel" if it wanted to continue to carry EI.
It was a bit of an olive branch thrown out by MLB, perhaps to appease the irate rabid fan base of EI cable subscribers, perhaps to get the FCC and Sen. Kerry and Specter off their backs. It also allowed MLB to say to their fans … "hey, we gave cable and DISH the chance to match the DirecTV offer, and they wouldn’t, so don’t scream at us."
So … now … with less than 2 weeks till Opening Day, InDemand announces that it will carry the "Baseball Channel" in ’09, and that it will be match the DirecTV EI offer. But MLB doesn’t believe InDemand met all the criteria set forth.
"IN Demand said Wednesday it will offer to match the terms of DirecTV’s $700 million, seven-year deal with Major League Baseball on behalf its owners, who are affiliates of the companies that own Time Warner, Comcast and Cox cable systems.
As part of the offer, iN Demand also said it would carry The Baseball Channel when it launches in 2009 to at least the same number of subscribers who will get the channel on DirecTV.
"As the current home for ‘Extra Innings’ for more than 200,000 cable subscribers, we have extended ourselves to do our best to be able to continue to provide this package to baseball fans and our customers," iN Demand president Robert Jacobson said. "This offer meets all the conditions set forth by MLB last week."
Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer, issued a statement responding to the offer Wednesday.
"The offer to match the terms of the agreement reached by MLB and DirecTV remains open to iN Demand and Dish until the deadline of March 31, 2007," DuPuy said in the statement. "The communication sent to our office today by iN Demand is not responsive to that offer. In spite of their public comments, the response falls short of nearly all of the material conditions (among them requirements for carriage of The Baseball Channel and their share of the rights fees for Extra Innings) set forth in the Major League Baseball offer made to them on March 9."
"Major League Baseball … I haggle for this …"
Nats’ president Stan Kasten is interviewed by a local Palm Beach reporter. The conversation turns to a name for the new Nats stadium being built.
Q. Is there a name for the park? Stan Kasten Stadium? A. Not yet. It’ll be someone deserving, who has demonstrated that they are deserving by paying a lot of money! ============================== Apparently Kasten wasn’t around for Enron Field. Hmmm …. "Halliburton Stadium" …. "AETNA Park" … "Bristol-Myers Field" …. the possibilities are endless …
Q. Is there a name for the park? Stan Kasten Stadium?
A. Not yet. It’ll be someone deserving, who has demonstrated that they are deserving by paying a lot of money!
Apparently Kasten wasn’t around for Enron Field.
Hmmm …. "Halliburton Stadium" …. "AETNA Park" … "Bristol-Myers Field" …. the possibilities are endless …
"Our surveys show fans don’t identify with players now as when they were on a first-name basis. Certainly, they haven’t developed love for Jose Guillen and Jose Vidro. There’s only a little bit of love for Jose Lopez. It’s starting to happen for Richie Sexson and Andre Beltre."
– Chuck Armstrong, President of the Seattle Mariners
Ummm … Chuck …. ? Speaking of first names, Mr. Beltre’s first name is Adrian, not Andre.
(boy am I hoping it was a transcription/editing error in the article, rather than a goof from the team president!)
Thanks to Alex Carnevale of Baseball Prospectus for the original quote citation.
BP’s 2007 Prospectus clocks in at over 600 pages, and there is very little fluff within those pages.
Are there typos, omissions and proof-reading/editing gaffes as in past years? Yes, though they seem to have dwindled in # and severity.
I too wish they would delay the book a few days and really go over it with a fine-tooth comb, but given the voluminous data presented, and the public clamoring for an early publication date, I guess something has to give.
For those critical of the paper quality (and I was one such person), please note that I e-mailed the editor at the publishing house, and was told that given the # of pages, some consideration for the paper weight had to be made, lest the book become a literal paperweight. The tannish color of the paper comes along with the lighter paper weight.
(If you’ve ever seen the annual editions of the Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, which run well over 800 pages, you’ll recognize the paper weight and color. So it seems to be an industry standard for certain encyclopedic page-size tomes over X pages).
As for the actual content, well its everything you’ve come to expect from BP …. the wit, the confidence and skill in their projections, the candor to admit when they’ve blown a projection, the team essays which nail the critical aspects of why the team ended 2006 as they did, and what 2007 may hold for them. The essays in the back of the book are as thought-provoking as as diverse as ever.
Count me in as a continuing fan of BP and their annual.