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The Orioles begin their search for a manager. The Rockies weren't lucky or unlucky--they were just untalented. And the Mets are trying to lure away Rick Peterson from the A's. All this and much more news from Baltimore, Colorado, and New York in your Thursday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.

  • Comings: The biggest news in Baltimore since the end of the season was the firing of Mike Hargrove and the search for a replacement. Technically, the Orioles did not need to fire Grover--his contract was going to expire at the end of October, anyway--but they did not want to repeat the experience of 2002, when their GM search lasted into the winter meetings. All of the candidates interviewed so far have strong Oriole ties, and none of them have ever managed in the majors:
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    The O's have something to look forward to in little Mike Fontenot. Colorado is more or less stuck for the time being. And Jose Reyes has been showing some nice development over the past few months for the Mets. All this and much more news from Baltimore, Colorado, and New York in your Wednesday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.

  • 29,093: That was the alleged attendance for the Orioles' game last Thursday, when they played to a 1-1 tie with the Yankees in a steady rain from the approaching Hurricane Isabel. They reported 25.857 the following night against Toronto.
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    The Orioles would do well to sell high on their first-half performers. Charles Johnson and Juan Uribe have been disappointments for the Rockies. The Mets remain in shopping mode after dealing Alomar and Burnitz.

  • First-Half Review: At the 2003 All-Star Break, the Orioles find themselves staring at a 41-50 record, 15 games behind the Yankees, fourth place in the AL East. This is a pretty familiar place for the Orioles to be; for the last five years, their break records have been:
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    I recently wrote an article on teams that have improved by 20 or more Equivalent Wins (EQW) in a single year, EQW being wins adjusted to a 162-game season. In modern non-strike seasons, EQW and wins are generally equivalent, but this simple measure allows us to compare shorter seasons more equitably. If you want to better understand the concept, just read the first few paragraphs of the

    This article will look at the reverse: clubs that have regressed by 20 EQW in a season. To illustrate, let's look at the team that suffered the biggest one-season drop-off ever, with BASE representing listed-year record, and PRIOR for prior-year record:

    BASE PRIOR Team Lg Year W-L EQW W-L EQW Loss St. Louis NL 1885 36-72 54 94-19 135 -81

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    November 7, 2001 12:00 am

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    Baseball Prospectus

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    However, several readers responded to argue that single-season contention is an anomaly, or that it's a matter of random chance that there will be "Cinderella" teams. The facts don't support this claim:

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    What I find interesting is the teams that stood pat.

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