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Articles Tagged Workhorses 

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The Anaheim Angels finished the 2001 season 41 games out of first place, so you would be forgiven if their World Series victory last fall surprised you. It surprised all of us. All of us except Phil Rogers, that is. He saw it coming.

The Anaheim Angels finished the 2001 season 41 games out of first place, so you would be forgiven if their World Series victory last fall surprised you. It surprised all of us. All of us except Phil Rogers, that is. He saw it coming.

He saw it coming even though last spring the Angels brought back their 2001 club nearly intact--their most significant off-season pickups were two ordinary starting pitchers, Kevin Appier and Aaron Sele.

He saw it coming even when the Angels went 6-12 against their division rivals in April, after going 17-41 against them in 2001.

He saw it coming, but he didn't have the stones to call it. Instead, he pegged them for third in the West and he has been kicking himself for the last six months because of it.

According to Rogers, "It is a very good thing to go into a season with a stable of established starting pitchers coming off workhorse seasons." Such a good thing, in fact, that you can accurately predict the postseason by finding the teams that start the year with at least three starting pitchers who threw at least 190 innings in 30 or more starts the previous season. From among those teams a world champion will surely emerge.

If you have never heard of this theory and think he pulled it out of his ass, you can be forgiven for that, too. I asked around and no one at BP had heard of it. When discussing the theory Rogers sometimes uses the journalistic "we" ("we would argue that"), but it's not as if he has a corps of colleagues at his side. As best I can tell, it's all his and he made it up to support a presupposition.

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