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November 17, 2000

From The Mailbag

Baseball Prospectus 2001 and Managerial Retreads

by Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus 2001

Do you know when next year's book will be published? Will it be available again for advance purchase from Amazon? Also, will your group of authors be posting any analysis of the Arizona Fall League on the web site?

--MT

We expect the book to be available at the end of January. If you want to preorder your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Chapters, you can use our order page to take you there.

As for analysis of the Arizona Fall League, it will probably be the subject of a Daily Prospectus feature or two over the next couple of months.

--Chris Kahrl

Managerial Retreads

Just read your not-so-recent column on managerial retreads. Thank you for trashing Francona! So many people think he's actually a good manager because he's a 'nice guy' and a 'player's manager,' whatever the heck that means. Thanks for seeing and preaching the truth.

--CB

It has been an interesting phenomenon to watch in baseball as the managers with the gift of gab and facility with the press get held up as talented managers by a grateful media, while the process of evaluating managers on the basis of their decisions and actions gets left out of the equation. As a result, guys like Terry Francona and Don Baylor and Phil Garner get held up as sparkling examples of major-league managing at its best, because they're each chatty and personable in their own ways.

I guess it provides another challenge for those of us more interested in the game on the field.

--Chris Kahrl

The Rest

Gentlemen, would you be able to direct me to where I could find a summary listing of all signings and trades that took place with the Angels parent club under GM Bill Bavasi (including minor leauge signings and trades)?

--GC

This probably won't have everything you need, but it's a start: Go to http://www.baseballdirect.com/scoreboard/index.html. Click on "Player Stats", then select the Angels under team stats and click "Go", then click on "Transactions". That goes back to late 1997.

--Michael Wolverton

Imagine the following situation: Tie game, bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, men on first and third (or bases loaded). The batter hits a grounder to a middle infielder moving away from first. Seeing that there's no play at first, the infielder fires to second, where the throw nips the sliding runner and sends the game into extra innings. Or perhaps the home team is down by 1, so the out at second ends the game.

In this situation (which I'm sure occurs a number of times over the course of a season), the runner has made a mistake. The runner from first should run through the second base bag because that gets him there faster. If he reaches second base safely (or in the latter situation, if he fails to), the ball game is over, and no one cares that he can be tagged out before getting back to the base. Of course, this situation isn't limited to the 9th inning (or later), but in earlier innings the runner has to weigh the odds of running his team out of an inning against the chances of ending the inning there and then without a run.

I've never seen this happen in a game, but I think it's because no one's ever thought of it.

--Bob Shore

Bob's tactic was done regularly in the Sacramento Valley Baseball League when it was still in existence. For one season, this was a completely normal tactic after a guy on our team did it for the first time. Other teams picked it up, and it was normal for about 10 weeks.

At the end of the season, the rules committee decided to fix it. It was something you really couldn't fix through a written rule, so the umpires were instructed to use their judgment to disallow runs in those cases, as people were "making a mockery" of the game.

Personally, I think it's a great idea, and would love to see someone do it during an MLB game.

--Gary Huckabay

I have finally gotten around to reading the transcript of our interview in Seattle. Thank you for spending some time with me and allowing me to speak to you frankly and honestly about my experiences in baseball. I believe that our interview was one of the best that I have had and I hope our paths cross again soon.

I was not familiar with Baseball Prospectus before our interview. I am happy to say that after reading some of the articles at the web site, I am now a fan and will pass this site on to my family and friends.

--Billy McMillon

I really enjoyed talking with you and appreciate how open and candid you were. The interview received nothing but positive responses from our readers, so I guess they appreciated it, too.

Congratulations on a great season and I look forward to seeing you again the next time you're in Seattle. You realize, of course, that the Mariners are still looking for a good left-handed hitting outfielder...

--Jeff Bower

We'd love to hear your thoughts on anything baseball-related at info@baseballprospectus.com. We'll publish the best of what we get frequently at www.baseballprospectus.com.

Related Content:  Interview

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