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Jonah Keri 

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12-14

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The BP Wayback Machine: When Good GMs Go Bad
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Jonah Keri

08-10

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The BP Wayback Machine: Bill Geivett
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Jonah Keri

11-08

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The BP Wayback Machine: When Good GMs Go Bad
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Jonah Keri

06-13

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Prospectus Q&A: Dave Dombrowski
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Jonah Keri

05-24

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Prospectus Q&A: Bill Geivett
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Jonah Keri

05-10

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AL-Kings May Update
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Jonah Keri

05-05

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The Prince Is Dead
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Jonah Keri

04-19

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Prospectus Q&A: Matthew Silverman and Andrew Friedman
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Jonah Keri

03-21

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Who Are the AL-Kings?
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Jonah Keri

03-20

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2006--Setting the Stage
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Jonah Keri

03-09

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LABR of Love, v2006
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Jonah Keri

03-02

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Prospectus Q&A: Lee MacPhail IV
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Jonah Keri

02-06

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Prospectus Q&A: Mark Newman, Part Two
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Jonah Keri

02-01

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Prospectus Q&A: Mark Newman, Part One
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Jonah Keri

01-12

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What is Baseball Between the Numbers?
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Jonah Keri

11-16

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Blast from the Past: Ned Colletti Q&A
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Jonah Keri

11-11

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Blast from the Past: Kim Ng Q&A
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Jonah Keri

10-05

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Blast from the Past: Jon Daniels Q&A
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Jonah Keri

10-05

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Boston Red Sox @ Chicago White Sox, 10/04/05
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Jonah Keri

09-30

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers, 9/29/05
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Jonah Keri

09-14

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies, 9/11/05
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Jonah Keri

09-06

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Prospectus Game of the Week: St. Louis Cardinals @ Houston Astros, 9/4/05
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Jonah Keri

08-30

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Cleveland Indians @ Toronto Blue Jays, 8/28/05
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Jonah Keri

08-24

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Kansas City Royals @ Oakland A's, 8/21/05
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Jonah Keri

08-15

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Florida Marlins @ San Francisco Giants, 8/13/05
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Jonah Keri

08-10

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Prospectus Game of the Week: King Felix Arrives
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Jonah Keri

08-03

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Cincinnati Reds @ San Diego Padres, 7/31/05
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Jonah Keri

07-26

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Boston Red Sox @ Chicago White Sox, 7/24/05
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Jonah Keri

07-19

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Washington Nationals @ Milwaukee Brewers, 7/17/05
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Jonah Keri

07-13

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Cleveland Indians @ New York Yankees, 7/10/05
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Jonah Keri

07-05

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners, 7/1/05
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Jonah Keri

06-28

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Chicago Cubs @ Chicago White Sox, 6/26/05
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Jonah Keri

06-24

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Prospectus Game of the Week: New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies, 6/22/05
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Jonah Keri

06-08

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Milwaukee Brewers @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 6/5/05
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Jonah Keri

05-31

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Detroit Tigers @ Baltimore Orioles, 5/29/05
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Jonah Keri

05-24

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Prospectus Game of the Week: St. Louis Cardinals @ Kansas City Royals, 5/22/05
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Jonah Keri

05-16

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Prospectus Q&A: John Schuerholz
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Jonah Keri

05-10

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Houston Astros @ Atlanta Braves, 5/8/05
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Jonah Keri

05-03

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees, 5/2/05
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Jonah Keri

04-25

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs, 4/24/05
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Jonah Keri

04-19

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Tampa Bay Devil Rays @ Boston Red Sox, 4/17/05
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Jonah Keri

04-13

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Prospectus Game of the Week: Betting in Vegas, Saturday, April 9
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Jonah Keri

04-06

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Prospectus Game of the Week: New York Mets @ Cincinnati Reds, 4/4/05
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Jonah Keri

04-01

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2005--Setting the Stage
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Jonah Keri

03-24

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Five Players to Watch in 2005
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Jonah Keri

03-14

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LABR of Love
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Jonah Keri

03-09

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Prospectus Game of the Week: A's-Angels, Sunday March 6
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Jonah Keri

02-23

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Prospectus Q&A: Jon Daniels
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Jonah Keri

10-24

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Prospectus Today: Game 1 Ringer
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Jonah Keri

10-05

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Playoff Prospectus: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
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Jonah Keri

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Josh Beckett looks to be finally over his blister problems, as Jonah Keri checks in with the team he picked to make the World Series.

CF Randy Winn SS Omar Vizquel 1B J.T. Snow LF Pedro Feliz 3B Edgardo Alfonzo RF Todd Linden 2B Deivi Cruz C Mike Matheny P Brett Tomko That lineup won't help much. If the season ended today, a .500 record would win the NL West. Given Barry Bonds' 2004 VORP was worth more than 14 wins alone, it's fair to say a healthy Bonds all year could be enough for this ugly Giants team to win it anyway, warts and all. As is, Bonds is out for the year, their second- and third-best offensive players--Moises Alou and Ray Durham--have fought injuries all season, and perennial Cy Young candidate Jason Schmidt has turned into a pumpkin. And yet one five- or six-game winning streak--especially with underrated shortstop Khalil Greene going on the DL for the sub-.500 first-place Padres--and they'd be right back in the race. So as cruel as a Josh Beckett-Deivi Cruz matchup may be to the fine folks of San Francisco, the Giants will do as much as a team with the second-worst offense in the majors possibly can...

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Jonah witnesses the start of something great in Seattle.

Naturally, your intrepid Game of the Week correspondent was there, in you-only-live-once splurge box seats, 30 rows up and just to the third-base side of home plate. Joined by Mariner fan deluxe Derek Zumsteg, we witnessed what could one day be looked back upon as a slice of history.

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Jonah checks out two sub-.500 teams, though one has the surprising title of "division leader."

Heading into the game, the Pads owned the worst record in baseball since June 1, 16 games below .500. A loss on this day would hand the Reds their first road sweep in more than a year. Fortunately for San Diego, MLB's second-worst starting pitcher (31 homers allowed!), Eric Milton, was toeing the slab for the Reds. Could the Pads break the schneid?

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Jonah catches a game in Chicago with some fellow BP writers, and wonders about the value of Scott Podsednik's season.

Sure, Podsednik was merely responding to a softball question from Cleveland Plain-Dealer reporter Dennis Manoloff when he threw down the gauntlet. No doubt facing deadline on a slow news day, Manoloff served up the speedy left fielder's player comment from BP 2005, knowing it would elicit a reaction. We'll save you the trouble of flipping to the page: "If utilized properly, he could be a nice bench player, but as the White Sox starting left fielder, he's going to do quite well in helping Minnesota win another AL Central crown." With the Sox sporting the best record in the game, it's fair to say we whiffed, big time.

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Jonah checks up on his old favorite team, seeing two recently jettisoned pitchers square off in Milwaukee.

1B Brad Wilkerson 2B Jose Vidro RF Jose Guillen CF Preston Wilson LF Ryan Church 3B Vinny Castilla C Brian Schneider SS Cristian Guzman P Ryan Drese Other than Cristian Guzman, that's not an awful lineup. The deeper problem lies in the lack of star power, and the unlikely pace set by a few of the Nats' hitters. Jose Guillen leads the Nationals in VORP, yet he ranks just fourth among National League right fielders, let alone the league's overall elite. Meanwhile Vinny Castilla's .336 OBP may not last, given it would be his highest figure since a Coors Field-assisted .362 in 1998; Nick Johnson, the team's best hitter when healthy, isn't; and Ryan Church is a poor bet to keep going at a .316/.372/.532 clip.

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Jonah witnesses the Randy Johnson of old turning into the Randy Johnson who's just old.

Time and again during Sunday's tilt between the Indians and Yankees, Johnson got into trouble. The Indians started each of the first five innings with a runner on base. Johnson's fastball kept catching the middle of the plate, leading to several booming hits into the gaps. But just when the Tribe looked ready to blow the game open, they'd blow it by hacking at fastballs up and out of the zone, the only kind Johnson could throw by anyone. That impatience, along with Johnson's still-lethal slider, some Indians base-running blunders and some Yankee luck, combined to keep the Bombers in a game they should have lost early on. Here's what transpired:

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Jonah enlists former BPer Derek Zumsteg to help him find choice seating at Safeco Field. Oh, and the Mariners lost again.

DH David Dellucci SS Michael Young 1B Mark Teixeira 3B Hank Blalock 2B Alfonso Soriano LF Kevin Mench CF Laynce Nix RF Richard Hidalgo C Rod Barajas The Rangers rank third in the majors in runs scored per game, just behind the Yankees and Red Sox. Yes, Ameriquest Field's batter's park factor of 111 is the most hitter-friendly in the AL, 2nd in MLB. But that fact can't obscure the great seasons being forged by several Rangers hitters. According to Baseball Prospectus' new Sortable Stats feature, six of the top 30 hitters in the AL as ranked by VORP are Rangers. While you might expect big seasons out of corner infield stars Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira, the emergence of Kevin Mench (.309 EqA) and the out-of-nowhere explosion of David Dellucci (.333 EqA) have supercharged what already looked like a formidable lineup heading into the '05 season. It's Dellucci that gets the party started for Texas on this night, crushing the second pitch of the game from Aaron Sele for a near upper-deck homer.

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Jonah Keri catches a pitchers' duel between the two Second City teams in this week's Game of the Week.

Sunday's game was different. Even right off the DL Prior is a constant threat to completely dominate a game. His opponent, Jon Garland, entered Sunday's game tied with Dontrelle Willis for the best record in baseball at 12-2. You can attribute some of Garland's win barrage to luck, no question--his .253 BABIP, for one, is well below league average, and when more balls in play start to fall in for hits, that'll hurt him. His strikeout rate of less than one every other inning also portends regression, as virtually no pitchers sustain success over the long haul at that level. Still, there's a lot to be said for terrific control, which is just what Garland has shown this year. At just over a walk and a half a game, Garland's been among the stingiest in baseball with the free pass. Even with a good but not great HR rate (11 in 108 IP), that's enough to achieve success. Broadcaster turned World Series-winning manager turned broadcaster Bob Brenly notes that "Garland has been the best pitcher in baseball up to this point," a point contradicted by several Baseball Prospectus metrics--Roy Halladay and a good dozen others can make a better claim. But Garland's still ranked a respectable 15th in the majors in Expected Wins according to BP's brand spankin' new Sortable Stats, 8th if you count only pitchers with 15 starts or fewer.

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NL East rivals go at one another in a game that featured one very big late-inning rally.

Mets RF Cameron SS Reyes CF Beltran LF Floyd C Piazza 3B Wright 1B Mientkiewicz 2B Woodward P Zambrano Mets announcers Ted Robinson and Fran Healy note that Mike Cameron isn't a typical leadoff hitter, given his power and high strikeout totals. Healy neglects to mention Cameron's .426 OBP heading into Wednesday night's game, or his annual high walk totals. He's a far sight better choice for the leadoff spot than Jose Reyes, who spent most of the season batting there before being moved to #2 for this game. Reyes was getting on base at a .286 clip heading into the game, which should make Mets fans wonder why he would ever hit higher than seventh. By contrast, franchise third baseman David Wright came into the game hitting .297/.390/.513. Managers' obsessions with having bigger bats in "RBI positions" rather than getting them as many times at the plate as possible costs teams handfuls of runs through the season. It's a common refrain here at GotW, but one we'll continue to harp on as long as managers continue to bat stiffs at or near the top of the lineup.

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Few things beat a day game at Dodger Stadium narrated by Vin Scully.

He was right. Though my beloved Expos lost to the Dodgers that day, I immediately fell in love with Dodger Stadium. Having been to the home ballparks of 29 of MLB's 30 teams--I'll get you some day, Minnesota Twins!--it's hard to describe exactly what makes a park too old to be a sparkling palace and too young to be a historic treasure such a special place. Maybe it's the palm trees up on the hill behind the ballpark. Maybe it's the view of the mountains you can only get on that rare crystal-clear Los Angeles afternoon. But sitting at Dodger Stadium, with neither a giant Coke bottle nor a 37-foot wall to look at, it just feels like baseball.

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The Orioles remain atop the AL East, but struggled against one of the AL's middle class over the weekend.

3B Brandon Inge SS Ramon Martinez 1B Dmitri Young RF Craig Monroe DH Ivan Rodriguez LF Marcus Thames 2B Omar Infante C Vance Wilson CF Nook Logan More and more we're seeing non-traditional leadoff men like Brandon Inge--hitters whose game revolves more around on-base ability, and even extra-base power, rather than speed--being slotted at the top of the order, as teams begin to embrace OBP and more efficient ways of assembling a lineup. So why, then, do so many teams continue to bat Punch-and-Judy guys in the #2 hole, as if the game still revolves around bunting and playing for one run at a time? How hard is it to sit down and think to yourself "Who do I want getting more at-bats over the course of the season--Ramon Martinez or Ivan Rodriguez?" It's time to take these non-walking, powerless Mendozers and move them to the eighth and ninth spots in the order, where they belong. (Brian O'Neill, the "Stats Geek" for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and one of the best baseball columnists writing for a daily newspaper, has a good, more in-depth take on this topic.)

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It looked like a prime candidate for a blowout, and that's exactly what happened.

Unlike Jim's twice-weekly oeuvre, in which he previews both top-notch match-ups and lopsided potential laughers, GotW was meant to pick choice battles, riveting team match-ups, interesting pitching battles--something compelling. The other mandate of GotW, however, is that every team must be covered at least once during the season. Since a Royals/Devil Rays breakdown could cause narcolepsy among non-members of the Gotay and Cantu families, a Show-Me State tilt seemed appropriate.

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