For those of you keeping score, don't try all of this at home.
So, I admit it, I do some of the things that I shouldn't do behind the wheel. Consider my lot yesterday-running late because of that compulsive need to finish yesterday's article, I'm driving down 31st Street and crossing the Dan Ryan before hanging that eventual left that puts me in the promised land of Parking Lot A (easy in, easy out) and a quick run to the elevator and the press box to follow Game Four of the ALDS, and Ed Farmer's announcing the lineups on the radio, and I realize that there's just no way I'll make it in time. I keep score as another matter of compulsiveness, and I realize that the school bus that's parked in the left turn lane isn't going to evaporate no matter how much I expend telekinetic energy in that direction.
So, waiting for the indolent traffic cop to eventually feel inspired to unsnarl the same snag that's been there for the last 10 minutes, I reach to my bag, fetch a pen, unsling my scorebook, and get the lineups down in my book. It's Ed at his most cooperative, and I'm reassured that, yes indeedy, neither Ozzie Guillen or Joe Maddon is doing anything funky in Game Four in the ALDS. It's another Hinske-free day, another moment for Dewayne Wise to try and enjoy the benefits of the BP reverse curse.
A fragile outfielder joins Matt Garza on Tampa Bay's shelf, while the Mets get bad news about their 42-year-old pitcher and the Braves' closer hits the DL.
If the Trop didn't have a dome, I think Joe Maddon might be looking to the heavens, waiting for frogs to fall from the sky. The latest victim of the injury streak is Cliff Floyd. Now, it's no stunner that Floyd is injured, but the injury stacking that the team has had makes even an expected injury tougher to deal with. Floyd has a small tear in his meniscus that will be fixed with a quick scope. He'll miss roughly a month, maybe a bit more. I'm setting this at 40 DXL because with turf and Floyd's history, I think the Rays will be conservative here and keep him towards the far end of the range. Floyd, for his part, thinks he'll be back in three weeks, which is possible. Once back, Floyd should be a bit more comfortable, but remains injury-prone. In the meantime, Maddon will use Justin Ruggiano to keep Jonny Gomes from getting exposed defensively as the team really tests its outfield depth.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
How is Jim Hendry's spending spree working out so far?
The Chicago Cubs are trying to answer the following riddle over the course of the 2007: What do you get for spending $296.05 million on free agents in one offseason? It wasn't much in the first month, as the Cubs finished April with a 10-14 record. The team has picked up the pace in May, going 5-1.
"We're playing more relaxed now and everyone is having fun," said Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, their biggest off-season catch. "I don't think we were relaxed early in the season. I think it's taken us a while to kind of put everything together."
Launching his column's sixth year, Will delivers a supersized edition of the essential injury watch by checking in on Spring Training developments.
As injury analysis has become more accepted, there's more of an acknowledgement by the so-called mainstream that injuries are not only important, but interesting stories. They're noted more, written about more, and more mainstream writers are following the stories more closely. That makes my job a little easier in some ways, but harder in others. We'll also be challenged by the new media reporting rules that baseball has in place, more by the confusion they create than because of their limitations.
A Game Seven that went completely against the expected storylines put the Cardinals into the World Series for the second time in three years.
After a run-up to the game that included one starter being dubbed the worst ever to start a Game Seven, and speculation has to how soon the bullpens would get involved, and the notion that maybe the Mets could start Steve Trachsel and pull him quickly passed around, and Jeff Suppan's road ERA mentioned more than once...we got a pitchers' duel decided in the ninth inning.
Two wounded rotations, two bullpens likely to work early to often and up to the challenge... will the difference be the Mets' eight-deep attack, or the Cardinals' power of one at the plate?
The beginning of the postseason marked a chance for Willie Randolph's Mets to consummate something the baseball world had anticipated for at least four months, the chance to show that their regular-season dominance was no fluke. Yet the run-up to the Division Series against the Dodgers brought disturbing news. Not only was ace Pedro Martinez, the symbol of the team's resurgence under Randolph and GM Omar Minaya, likely to miss a start due to his calf strain, but he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff that would knock him out into the middle of next year. The team's next pick to open the series, Orlando Hernandez, tore a calf muscle running in the outfield, knocking him out of consideration as well. Undeterred, the Mets retooled their postseason roster to play to their strength, a deep bullpen, and Randolph ably improvised his way through the series while the lineup punished nearly every mistake the Dodgers made. The result was a victory in straight sets, confirming that at the very least, the road to the NL pennant runs through the Big Apple.
Notebook is optimistic about at least one player in Colorado, and has lineup breakdowns of both New York teams.
All is not lost, though, as here at Prospectus Notebook we unofficially begin the "Reasons to Be Optimistic in Sub-.500 Cities" series. We begin our Denver optimism, oddly enough, with a young Rockie who probably has no future with the Rockies organization.