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As Cuba celebrates their return to the top of the heap, Clay Davenport takes a look at the field they conquered and comes away less than impressed.

But how good was the level of play in a tournament that had nearly as many European teams (three) as representatives from the rest of the world (five)?

Fortunately for the answer to that question, the skill level of many of the players in the Olympic tournament was a known quantity. Most of the players for Canada, Australia, Greece and the Netherlands are or have been in the American minor leagues, and we have a very good understanding of the level of play in the minors. A few, like Dave Nilsson and Gene Kingsale, have major-league experience, but because Major League Baseball would not release anyone from their contracts to participate in the Olympics, no one on an active major-league roster was present. All of the Japanese players came from their major league, and while we aren't quite as certain about rating the Japanese leagues (see Baseball Prospectus 2004) as we are with the American minors, we still do pretty well. The Taiwanese were mostly unknown, the team drawn mainly from their professional leagues, which I have never been able to translate in either a baseball or a linguistic sense. Their top players, Chin-Feng Chen and Chin-Hui Tsao, do play in the States and are on the verge of playing in the majors. The Italians were unknown, coming from their home leagues, but a couple have played in the U.S. before. The Cubans were all unknown.

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November 25, 2003 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: October 13-November 19


Christina Kahrl

The White Sox will regret hiring Ozzie Guillen. The Astros' Brad Ausmus and Jose Vizcaino: how to flush $4 million down the toilet. The A's and Jays hook up for yet another trade. The Phillies won't solve their bullpen problem with Billy Wagner alone. The Mariners look poised for a fall. These and other news and notes in this edition of Transaction Analysis.

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Channeling the spirits of Joe Sheehan, Jackie Harvey, and Peter Gammons... Barry Bonds has a 290 point advantage in OPS over the #2 guy in MLB, Jim Thome. Dropping down another 290 points from Thome gets you to Tony Tarasco. Yeesh.

Channeling the spirits of Joe Sheehan, Jackie Harvey, and Peter Gammons...

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