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July 11, 2003 12:00 am

Prospecting: Futures Game Preview


David Cameron

This Sunday at 5:30 p.m. EST, Major League Baseball will present the fifth annual showcase of the premier minor league talents in the game. It receives an ESPN2 time slot usually reserved for reruns of the 1976 World Strongest Man competition and gets about the same amount of national attention, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to watch talent assemble. There are eight major league All-Stars this year who have participated in one of the four Futures Game contests, and that number will only rise as improving players like Lance Berkman, Joel Pineiro, and Brett Myers find their way to the big stage in the coming years. However, since the game doesn't receive much in the way of promotion (shocking, I know), people still ask questions. So, here are some answers.

Why should I watch an exhibition game?

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July 9, 2003 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Digging in the Backyard


Nate Silver

Nate Silver plays cartographer in this edition of Lies, Damned Lies, in search of untapped sources of amateur talent in the U.S.

Major league teams, which collectively are responsible for drafting nearly 1500 players every year--a far bigger burden than their counterparts in other sports face--are keenly aware of the differences. It simply isn't possible, or at least not economically feasible, to develop an accurate scouting report for every amateur prospect in the country. While the top national prospects will be scouted by everyone, teams go regional as the draft moves into its later rounds, focusing on players from their home territories (as the Braves do) or on players from regions in which the level of competition if perceived to be the highest--California, Florida, and the Southwest.

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So you may have heard that the NBA is having its own small-market problem. Yes, salary cap and all, the vaunted NBA is suffering from a post-Jordan malaise that is about to take one of the league's two newest franchises, the Vancouver Grizzlies, on the road to a new home. And the league's commissioner, David Stern, expects us to buy it when he blames the whole thing on the city of Vancouver and its unloving fans.

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September 21, 2000 12:00 am

Olympic Prospectus


Derek Zumsteg

Olympic Prospectus series

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