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It was an innocent enough question. When I did my column comparing Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel as regards their Hall of Fame resumes (or lack thereof), out of the blue the query came: is Larry Walker a Hall of Famer?
In the last installment of DTN, we examined the topic of whether left-handed pitchers take longer to have a breakout season than right-handers do. In the process, we had to define exactly what a “breakout” season is. I used a series of qualifiers to define the term, and it worked pretty well. But there is a much simpler definition:
A breakout season is what Roy Halladay had in 2001.
Many of the arguments for changing baseball’s economic structure refer to the NFL as the model for a new one. The NFL has a payroll cap and appears to lack the revenue disparities of MLB, and is quite successful and popular, so why shouldn’t MLB implement the tools that they use?
The type of salary cap that is likely to be proposed by management in upcoming labor negotiations is probably a bad idea. But two recent articles at the Baseball Prospectus Web site overstate the case against salary caps in general.
One of the nice things I’m seeing this spring is the lack of nonsense about how only a small handful of teams have a chance to win the playoffs. Maybe I’m just tuning it out, but it certainly seems like last year the bleating about competitive imbalance peaked, and this year it’s been reduced to a quiet murmur.
Well, whaddaya know? There are Angels fans.
Before Tuesday, I thought they were a myth, some kind of Disney creation that didn’t really exist. Turns out, there are actually people who care about this team, and they have some pretty strong feelings about their chances this year.
Sometime towards the end of production on Baseball Prospectus 2002, a regular correspondent dropped me an e-mail:
Who won the 2001 DiSar Awards?
One of the things I’m really looking forward to this year is the American League West. The two best teams in baseball played here last season, and both the A’s and Mariners can be expected to break 90 wins in 2002. Add in the much-improved Texas Rangers, and there’s the potential for a three-team race among very good teams that will provide suspense even with the wild card guaranteeing two of them spots in the postseason.
The week in quotes, featuring Gary Carter, Theo Epstein, J.P. Ricciardi, and more.