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Tuesday, September 21, 2004


• As a baseball fan and amateur analyst, the scary clubs in a short series are the Twins and Red Sox. Both teams have some of the top starters. The Twins will start the un-hittable Johan Santana twice and the strike zone pounding Brad Radke at least once. The same can be said for the Sox with Pedro and Schilling pitching at a minimum three games out of five. Both scenarios are scary propositions for their opponent. Let's hope the Sox don't match up with the Twinkies.

Alan Schwarz has a great article on Rocco Baldelli from Rhode Island (I am contractually bound as a New Englander to mention RI when writing about Baldelli). It describes how Baldelli has adapted this season to some physical changes (eye surgery and quad problem) by being more selective at the plate. If you recall Baldelli was a step behind Ichiro getting out of the box last season.

Ichiro is certainly amazing.

"He can get a hit on a routine grounder to short, so he can keep getting hits even when his swing is off a bit,'' Boone said. "He had four infield hits in a game -- I've had six all year. He won't get a ball out of the infield and he'll get three hits. And the next day he'll hit bullets and get five hits. He can get hits so many ways.''

Despite the loss of revenue and backlash from fans, the Mariners should seriously consider taking offers on the corner outfielder. Suzuki will be 31 next season. He has tremendously quick hands, feet and legs. It allows him to get on-base, but eventually his speed will diminish and in most players it happens quickly. Suzuki certainly could be the exception, but why take the risk when your club needs to go through a rebuilding phase. Trading Ichiro could rapidly speed up that process. Plus, he is going to make more than $30 million over the next three seasons. The Mariners should move Ichiro now in the right deal while his value is likely at its peak.

Jim Reeves has an interview with Orel Herisher on the Rangers pitching philosophy.

"We play so many games, throw so many pitches, so many balls are put into play, especially if you're not a strikeout pitcher, and we don't have many on this team. And so, if the ball is going to be put into play and the ball in the air has a chance to hurt you, better that the ball be put on the ground."

Soriano is likely out of the heart of Texass, but could DLowe surface in the Loner State?

• Laura Boswell of ESPN.com Page 3 could be my ideal woman.

Laura Boswell covers sports and the city in and around Washington, DC. Turn-ons: The Daily Show, board games and a really good vodka tonic. Turn-offs: Fur coats, diet soda and weak penalties for parole violators.

Perhaps, “ideal” was too strong. A “really good vodka tonic” is not possible. They all basically taste the same. Furthermore, one should not adulterate good vodka with tonic. I feel strongly about this and I guess the parole thing just kills the soul mate notion, anyway...just kidding.

John Sickels really likes the Sox Dustin Pedroia.

These numbers are very similar to what he did for the Sun Devils: high batting average, lots of walks, excellent OBP, and more power than you expect from a short guy. He has a quick swing, superb plate discipline, and plays the game with energy and enthusiasm…Some scouts don't think he has the arm strength to play shortstop in the majors, projecting him to move over to second base eventually. Personally, I think he would be just fine at short, although the presence of Ramirez (who played much better this year than in 2003) could very well shift Pedroia to second in the long run. Either way, I think Dustin is going to be a very effective Major League hitter.

The presence of Dustin and Hanley certainly will have the Sox brass thinking about a possible short-term solution at shortstop.

• Even though I have disagreed with Gordon Edes, I respect him and enjoy most of his work. This line in a chat is priceless. ($hit has Mastercard trademarked that yet?)

Fat Paul from Watert… - ”I tell ya' Gordon, I think trading Nomar has broken the curse.” Gordon Edes - “What curse? Shaughnessy's not running this chat!”

One word, hilarious!


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