With my contributions to Baseball Prospectus 2004 safely behind me, it’s time to get back to filling this space with observations and analysis. Or attempts at same. I’ve missed writing my column, and while there’s no way I’ll get completely caught up on the events of the last two months, I can have fun trying.
I’m not a resolutions guy, but I am making two commitments for 2004: to emphasize a more quantitative viewpoint in my analysis, and to spend more time answering reader mail. The former I’ll just have to work on every time I write, but the latter has now been dedicated a “Task” in Outlook. Nothing in my life is real until Outlook starts nagging me about it, so hopefully that will help me be better about a weak spot in my game the last few years. I can’t answer all my e-mail, but I can get to more of it than I have been.
The big news over the weekend was that Vladimir Guerrero surprised everyone by signing with the Angels. No one saw this coming; the Angels had been rumored to be interested earlier this winter, but had faded into the background after signing Jose Guillen in December. Over the last week, the Mets and Orioles had been engaged in a low-scale bidding war for Guerrero, a weird situation in which the goal seemed to be to guarantee the fewest years and the lowest amount of money while showing the least interest. Throw in raging insecurity and a lousy sense of fashion and you’d have the way women “pursued” me in college. It was this atmosphere that allowed Moreno and the Angels to come in and pick up a Hall of Fame talent at a price that almost seems like a typo.