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News and Notes from Around the League

-11/26/04 - Keith - Kendall traded to Oakland Pittsburgh finally managed to rid themselves of Jason Kendall's salary
over Thanksgiving weekend.  Jason's .387 career OBP is fifth all-time among catchers (sixth, if you count Frank
Chance) and he immediately becomes Oakland's best leadoff hitter since Rickey Henderson's heyday.  Meanwhile,
Mark Redman and Arthur Rhodes join Pittsburgh's Oliver Perez, Dave Williams, and Mike Gonzalez to form the NL's
most formidable left-handed pitching staff, pending a trade of the Big Unit.  Read
Asher's thoughts on the trade.

- 11/17/04 -
Asher - The Expos Sign Two The Washington/Montreal/Puerto Rico Expos/Senators/Greys/Nationals
snatched up Cristian Guzman and Vinny Castilla on Tuesday. While Guzman appears passed his prime already at the
age of 27, and Castilla has proven that he can only succeed as a Colorado Rockie, this is a solid showing for a team
which has been handcuffed in the off-season the last three years. The Expos won't be helped, however, by Vinny
Castilla's double play rate, however. Interestingly, it was his fourth straight season with exactly 22 double plays

- 11/17/04 -
Scott Defends Gil McDougald

- 11/16/04 - If there is anything that the BaseballEvolution staff can agree on, it is the greatness of Pedro Martinez. It in
generally agreed that Pedro Martinez's 2000 season is one of the all time great pitching seasons ever. But Scott has
noticed something to indicate that
Pedro may be coming to the end of the line , something the Yankees might want to
take note of if they are thinking about signing the future Hall of Famer.

- 11/16/04 -
Asher - In part because he was tired of playing in front of no one, and perhaps in part because he was
tired of being over shadowed by Barry Bonds, Vlad Guerrero switched teams and leagues this season, and it paid off
as he was rewarded with his first MVP award. Unable for years to best seven time winner Bonds in the NL, Vlad easily
beat out Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz for the AL Award.

- 11/14/04 -
 Asher - Johann Santana has exactly one season as a full time starter under his belt, and that season was
a dandy. Santana won the 2004 AL Cy Young Award today, and if comparisons to Pedro Martinez have any merit, this
will not be his last. Santana's only real competition was Curt Schilling, and even Schilling's stellar season for the World
Champion Red Sox could not stop Santana from taking the award unanimously. And Santana's unanimous award
further guarantees that he will not make Scott's list of
Pitchers That Make You Go Hmmm...

- 11/13/04 -  Asher - Roger Clemens, who won his unprecedented seventh Cy Young Award yesterday, has won a Cy
Young for all four teams he has played on. He won the award twice in two  years in Toronto, also winning the pitching
triple in crown both years, and if he retires this off-season, he'll have taken the award in his only season as an Astro.
He also joins Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Gaylord Perry as the only pitchers to win the award in both leagues.

- 11/3/04 -
Scott's response to Top Ten Rookie of the Year Busts - Mark "The Bird" Fidrych's career was parlty
curtailed because, during his second season, he injured himself by horsing around whilst shagging fly balls in the
outfield prior to a game.  His stuff and confidence both took a hit.

And his stuff was mainly confidence.  He didn't do much that fancy.  He just kept the ball low.

- 11/3/04 -
Keith - Burnitz and Clayton actually got thank-you cards from Rockies managment for their fine seasons.
The notes went on to talk about Colorado's commitment to a youth movement. Point being, Burnitz will not re-sign with

- 10/10/2004 -
Asher reveals some interesting season-end statistics, including some disparate salary-to-performance
ratios for Carlos Zambrano and Darren Dreifort.

- 9/19/2004 -
Scott - In January, 1923, a flu attack aggravated George Sisler's sinuses so severely that he was left
with a permanent case of double vision. He sat out the entire 1923 season, trained himself to hit the two balls crossing
the plate, and managed to hit better than .300 in six of his last seven seasons.

- 5/5/2004 -
Asher - "The Mets played Saturday's game at San Diego under protest after Padres reliever Akinori
Otsuka threw one pitch in the eighth inning. The Mets said that Otsuka balks with each pitch."

So, "playing under protest."

That's actually a thing.

You learn something new everyday.

- 5/1/2004 -
Asher - Okay, it is May 1, 2004, and I am officially calling it. The San Francisco Giants are misusing Barry
Bonds. He just got intentionally walked for the second time today, with one out and no one on.

If pitchers are going to resolutely take the bat of his hands, then he should be batting in spots which score runs, not
spots which drive in runs. No pitchers are going to give him the opportunity to drive in runs. It would be one thing if he
were only gonna get walked in situations where guys were on base, but now he is getting walked with no one on. Which
means other teams are willing to put him on base rather than pitch to him everytime. In my mind, they is no reason
whatsoever that he should be hitting anywhere other than the number two spot, if not leadoff. If he is going to
automatically end up on first, then he should have the teams best hitters trying to drive him in. He is definitely a waste
of time at cleanup, and would likely be a waste of time in the three spot. He should be hitting second if not first.

- 5/1/2004 -
Asher - I would like to point out that in the off-season when everybody was falling all over themselves
about Miguel Cabrera, I was saying, "Yeah, he was hot on the National Stage for three weeks; let's see how he does
when the season begins to grind on him. Let's see how he handles the old mid-May slump; let's see if he can "stay hot"
for a whole season, or even half of a season."

He's gotten off to a great start, much to my chagrin, but somewhat symbolically, today is May 1st, and Miguel Cabrera
just went 0-4 with three strikeouts. Stay tuned

- 4/28/2004 -
Keith analysed this dialogue, and confronted Dusty with his findings.

- 4/26/2004 - Check out this pre-game
dialogue between Dusty Baker and Grady Little caught on tape by the FBI.

- 4/15/2004 -
Asher - Apparently, Grudzie is hurt for a couple of weeks, so the job is Walker's. Ramon E. Martinez is
still on the bench, though, so all bets are not off. Walker led off today's game with a single and scored on Aramis' third
homer in two games. Which of course means Walker may not get off the bench once Grudzie returns.

- 4/14/2004 -
Asher -Todd Walker just led off the game with a double to deep left. I smell a substitution coming.

- 4/12/2004
Asher -See if you can spot the baseball oddity in the following box score:

Final                1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  R  H  E  
Pittsburgh        0 5 0 1 1 0 1 2 3 13 17 4  
Chicago Cubs  0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  2   3  1

W: Benson (1-0) L: Maddux (0-2) S: Meadows (1)
HR: Pit- None ChC- None

That's right - Meadows got a save in a 13-2 game.  

- 4/8/2004 -
Asher -The effect of Grady Little on the Cubs was BEAUTIFULLY evident in todays game.

Todd Walker gets the start against the righty Jose Acevedo. He bats leadoff.

In the fourth inning, Matt Clement is having a rough go of it, though not a disaster. He's given up four runs in four
innings. In the top of the fifth, Derrek Lee ends up on third with two out in a 4-1 game and the pitcher's spot due up.
Getting the run would be great, but with two outs and the top of the order due up, its not crucial at this moment. But
Dusty (Grady?) lifts Clemente for a pinch hitter after FOUR innings of work. The pinch hitter, Todd Hollandsworth
promptly pops out to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Reds work the bases full and then Kent Mercker

At this point I should mention that the one run the Cubs have to this point was scored when Todd Walker hit a double
and two batters later Sosa brought him in. The rest of the lineup is stinking.

So, the top of the seventh rolls around, and Derrek Lee once again gets on base (HBP). Alex "Strikeout" Gonzalez lives
up to his billing, and the catcher pops up, which brings us to the pitcher spot again. Obviously, this time you pinch hit.
So, in comes Grudzielanek to pinch hit for the pitcher against the Reds' righty pitcher, and he gets a hit sending Lee to
second. The Reds sub in a lefty reliever as Walker's spot comes up, and Dusty (Grady) promptly puts in a pinch hitter
for Todd Walker. Now, having already USED our top pinch hitter, Todd Hollandsworth to bat for Clemente in the fifth,
Dusty must bring in Ramon "offensive liability" Martinez to hit for Walker, the only guy doing anything today, so that he
can play the matchup game, and he promptly STRIKES OUT SWINGING. Its going to be a long year.

Isn't it great, though, that we get to watch the Cubs, the Grady Little-Todd Walker drama, and Derrek Lee all on the
same team this year?!

- 3/20/2004 - from ESPN: Barry Bonds explained why he asked manager Felipe Alou  to bat him fourth. "I can't be up
there in the early part of that lineup running around the bases. I'll end up in a coffin," Bonds told the San Francisco
Chronicle. "If the first two guys get on, (the other team) has to make a decision with that No. 3 hitter.
If one guy gets on and the No. 3 guy gets on, if they want to walk me at least it puts the bases loaded and
gives us opportunities to score some runs. If they don't want to walk me, the score's going to be 3-0.
That's the bottom line."

- 2/28/2004 - BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Raul Mondesi is guaranteed $1.75 million under his contract with the
Pittsburgh Pirates.

The outfielder, who signed Monday, will get $1.15 million this year. Pittsburgh holds an $8 million option for 2005 with a
$600,000 buyout.

The 33-year-old Mondesi passed a physical Monday, and Pittsburgh finalized the deal.

He hit .272 with 24 homers, 71 RBIs and 22 steals in143 games with the New York Yankees and Arizona last year.


- 1/14/2004 - Asher -Here's a funny, "Sign of the times" stat for you: Vlad Guerrero, one of the truly premiere young
stars in baseball, just signed a contract for $14 million, far and away the most a player will be signed for these days,
while Richard Hidalgo, who is maybe one of the top thirty outfielders in baseball, will be making $12 million next year
and has an option for $15 million the year after that. Oh those late 1990's contracts.

- Asher - 1/14/2004 - Runner up for absurdly bad idea of the week: Astros sign Roger Clemens. Prediction: Pettitte
and Clemens combine for 20 victories next season. More on that later.

- Asher - 12/11/2003 - on the record: this Andy Pettitte thing is going to be one of the most overrated deals of next

- 11/26/2003 - Linda Cohn said tonite on Sportscenter - "If Curt Schilling joins the Red Sox, they'll have two pitchers at
the top of their rotation that (something incredible that I didn't hear). We haven't seen that since the 2003

Asher - Clever.

- 11/26/2003 - Derrek Lee is a Cub!!
Derrek Lee is a Cub!!
Derrek Lee is a Cub!!
Derrek Lee is a Cub!!

- 11/13/2003 - From the New York Times:
"Major League Baseball is expected to announce the results of its 2003 drug testing on Thursday. If more than 5
percent of the players tested positive, baseball will begin testing every player, and those who test positive will be
identified and face disciplinary action. If fewer than 5 percent tested positive, the anonymous survey testing used this
year will be repeated next season."

Asher - Let's see if we can guess how this one's going to turn out.

- 11/12/2003 -
Asher - It seems the Rangers are trying to trade ARod. Seems that whole, "Give all of our money to one
guy" plan didn't pan out. ARod said he would wave his no-trade clause if he could play for a winner. Wait a minute.
Didn't he sign with the Rangers because he thought that they were going to be a contending team? So, let me get this
straight. Great players don't make winning teams, they sign with them. IDEAL SCENARIO: Yeah, let's trade ARod.
Maybe to the Cubs for Kerry Wood, or to the D'Backs for Schilling. Rangers trade away one star, get one star in return,
and about 18 million dollars with which to sign several solid players, and Rangers contend next year. It'll be great to
watch the wake of winning teams ARod leaves behind allegedly in pursuit of a winning team to play for. First the
Mariners, then the Rangers, then the next team and the next.

- Asher - 11/12/2003 - I don't want Hideki Matsui to win the Rookie of the Year because, frankly, I hate the Yankees,
but props to George Steinbrenner (i'm sorry, what?) for pointing out to people who think Matsui shouldn't qualify for the
R.O.Y. that Jackie Robinson was the first EVER Rookie of the Year, and the person for whom the award is named, and
he came over from the Negro leagues, which were at least as good as baseball in Japan.

- Asher - 11/3/2003 - The Wagner Trade: this is a real "end of an era" type thing in Houston. I'll be telling my
grandkids about watching Blly Wagner come out at Enron Field and shut down the Cubs without so much as a foul tip,

- 10/24/2003 -
Asher - A funny note: Since 1993, only four teams have made multiple World Series: Yankees, Braves,
Indians, and Marlins. The Yankees, Braves, and Indians were the dominant teams in the 1990's. From 1995-1999,
each team was in the playoffs every year, with New York and Atlanta also making it from 1999-present.

The Marlins, after winning it all in 1997, posted the following W-L records:
1998: 54-108
1999: 64-98
2000: 79-82
2001: 76-86
2002: 79-83
2003: 91-71
Of the players on the roster in 1997, only Luis Castillo remains. Jeff Conine, of course, was on that team, but left the
following year and just returned this year.
I'm sure you've heard, but that 1997 team was STACKED! Get a load of this:
Jeff Conine, Luis Castillo, Bobby Bonilla (in 1988, Bonilla was the better of two great young Pirate outfielders. The
other was Barry Bonds), Edger Renteria, Moises Alou, Gary Sheffield, Cliff Floyd, Kevin Brown, Livan Hernandez, Robb
Nen, Antonio Alfonseca (who was very good before he came to the Cubs), Al Leiter, and a young man from Louisiana
just starting out by the name of Josh Booty.
Point being, while the Braves and Yankees have been minorly tweeking for a decade, the Marlins have managed to
build two completely different World Series teams.

- 9/22/2003 -
Asher and Keith - Juan Pierre posted an amazing 34 K in 646 AB this season. Similar seasons:

Randall Simon '02 - 30 in 482
Jason Kendall '02 - 29 in 545
Orlando Cabrera '00 - 28 in 422
Nomar Garciaparra '99 - 39 in 532
Lance Johnson '94 - 23 in 412
Lance Johnson '95 - 31 in 607
Mark Grace '93 - 32 in 594
Brian Harper '92 - 22 in 502
Tony Gwynn '84 - 23 in 606
Tony Gwynn '85 - 33 in 622
Tony Gwynn '86 - 35 in 642
Tony Gwynn '97 - 28 in 592
Carney Lansford '89 - 25 in 551
Barry Larkin '88 - 24 in 588
Wade Boggs '88 - 34 in 584
Marty Barrett '86 - 31 in 635
Johnny Ray '85 - 24 in 594
Ozzie Smith '84 - 17 in 412
Mike Hargrove '80 - 36 in 589
Bob Bailor '78 21 in 621
Manny Sanguillen '74 27 in 596
Glenn Beckert '68 - 20 in 643
Glenn Beckert '72 - 17 in 474
Billy Goodman '53 - 11 in 514
Red Shoendienst '48 18 in 640
Red Shoendienst '54 22 in 610
Lou Boudreau '46 - 14 in 515
Lou Boudreau '47 - 10 in 538
Lou Boudreau '48 - 9 in 560
Luke Appling '42 - 23 in 543
Dixie Walker '41 - 18 in 531
Dixie Walker '45 - 16 in 607
Stan Hack '35 - 17 in 427
Stan Hack '40 - 24 in 603
Joe DiMaggio '38 - 21 in 599
Ernie Lombardi '38 - 14 in 489
Lloyd Waner '33 - 8 in 500
Lloyd Waner '36 - 5 in 414
Lloyd Waner '38 - 11 in 619
Bill Dickey '33 - 14 in 478
Bill Dickey '35 - 11 in 448
Charlie Gehringer '29 - 19 in 634
Charlie Gehringer '30 - 17 in 610
Charlie Gehringer '36 - 13 in 641
Mickey Cochrane '29 - 8 in 514
Paul Waner '27 - 14 in 623
Joe Sewell '25 - 4 in 608
Joe Sewell '26 - 6 in 578
Joe Sewell '29 - 4 in 578