My first exposure to Bill James was in 1988, via his last Baseball Abstract. My friend Eddie Kneafsey lent it to me that summer. It remains my favorite Abstract, my favorite James book, really. It wasn’t just the ideas, but the writing style, the humor, and the love for baseball evident throughout the work. I read it and re-read it, finally giving it back to Eddie only because he was headed to Providence College that fall.
People complain that it’s unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with “natural rivalries” and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window.
For the third straight year, the two best players in the American League–and the two best candidates for AL MVP–are the same guys: Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi. They lead the league in RARP and VORP, and it’s not all that close.
Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a three-year period in which the MVP argument–the real one, not the media-looking-for-the-best-story one–came down to the same two players each time. I’m leaning toward Rodriguez, the best player in the league, right now, but I don’t think it’s a lock just yet. The respective positions of the Yankees and Rangers are not a factor in my decision-making.
The unbalanced schedule rules. People complain that it’s unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window. At least divisional play can make for great matchups, unlike, say, the thrilling mid-week sweep of the Brewers by the A’s in…
Before the Chuck Finley deal, the Cardinals had only one hitting prospect. Now they have none.
In 1994, I never did believe there was going to be a strike. I was wrong, of course, and in the process of being wrong learned a lot about labor relations, economics, and how those things apply to baseball.
Before the Chuck Finley deal, the Cardinals had only one hitting prospect. Now they have none. They tried to trade their only pitching prospect, but he had the bad manners to hit the DL at the All-Star Break. They managed to complete the Scott Rolen deal by trading two major leaguers (Bud Smith‘s 132 2/3…
In 1994, I never did believe there was going to be a strike. It was inconceivable to me that such an amazing season could be interrupted, or that the World Series could go unplayed. That was the kind of thing that happened in the formative days of baseball, certainly not something to worry about in…