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Last year around this time,
we introduced an award in honor of a player
whose aggressiveness at the plate has become legendary. And while it was a
rough year for Gary DiSarcina otherwise, the founding of the DiSar
Award was a rousing success. Not much comfort to the man who missed most of
the season with a shoulder injury, of course, but a way in which to keep
his spirit alive in his absence.

The DiSar Awards, one in each league, go to the player who accumulates the
most at-bats before taking their first walk. Last year, the winners were
Jacque Jones and Shawon Dunston. Some of you may recall that
the NL’s
Golden Crutch was actually first given to Orlando Cabrera
,
then Placido Polanco,
before Dunston slowly
but surely passed each of their marks
at midseason.

With that in mind–and with Dunston likely to play a similar role with the
Giants this season–don’t look for me to make any official announcements
until at least June, and maybe later, although we’ll have some fun tracking
the leaders along the way.

Just as I did last year, I’ll throw this open to everyone:
send me an
e-mail
predicting who this year’s honorees will be. As a tiebreaker, toss
in the number of walkless ABs for the winner. This year, we’ll even award a
copy of Baseball Prospectus 2002 to the first person who correctly pegs
both DiSar Award winners.

See, something good can come out of mindless hacking.

In other news:

  • Now that you’ve pored over your copy of Baseball Prospectus
    2001
    , bought an extra for
    the office and two or three for your buddies
    ,
    there’s another book I want to recommend. Mat Olkin, best known for his
    work with Baseball Weekly and a co-author of BP2K1, has his own
    publication out this spring. It’s called Baseball Examiner 2001, and
    is available through Mat’s Web site at http://www.matolkin.com/.

    The book has team pages with categories like "Impact Rookie" and
    "Position Battles" as well as commentary and Major League
    Equivalencies for more than 200 young players. The writing is sharp and the
    analysis solid, and the book would be a great addition to your baseball
    library.

  • With Opening Day just four days away, BP’s staff predictions are on
    their way. Look for the AL ones Friday or Saturday, with the NL ones
    arriving Sunday. In this space Thursday and Friday, I’ll offer my own
    analysis and predictions for the upcoming season.


Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Contact him by

clicking here
.