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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

A few things of note... 

What a difference two weeks makes ... I've been trying to catch up with the ins and outs of the baseball season these last few weeks. The Nomar trade to the Cubs has garnered a lot of attention these last two weeks in the media, but the stat-heads have been buzzing about the Dodgers wheeling and dealing, specifically with the Marlins:

Vinay Kumar wrote an interesting piece for Hardball Times analyzing Paul DePodesta's movings as the Dodgers GM, including his recent trade with the Florida Marlins. Kumar makes an interesting point when he notes that not only has the Dodgers trade left the team strong going into the pennant race, but the team will profit in the long-term, whereas the stat-skeptical Marlins made a deal that will likely come back to bite them in the behind. Larry Mahnken followed up Kumar's piece with an article arguing that DePodesta's trade highlights the differences between sabremetricians and traditionalists, although Mahnken's article focuses in on the Dodgers and basically ignores the Marlins, a team whose coach derrided stats in SI back in April, and would seem to represent the old-school establishment. If the Dodgers are the new wave and the marlins are the rear guard of the old order, I'd like to have more of a discussion about the Marlins reluctance to embrace stats ...

After reading both articles, (typically great content from Hardball Times), what intruiges me about DePodesta and his decision-making has been his boldness: trading for problem-child Milton Bradley, dealing regulars in the middle of a pennant-race with an eye to the future. It is that kind of boldness that is needed in the Phils front-office: deals for mid-level relievers in the middle of a pennant-race? C'mon,fellas!

Brian Gunn from Redbird Nation, one of the best blogs out there, wrote-up a nice article about why the Cardinals, picked to finish third or worse in the NL Central, are a juggernaut rolling towards the post-season. Brian points out the obvious: Rolen, Pujols and Edmunds are one of the best threesomes in the NL (Abreu, Thome and Burrell close behind), but also notes that the Cards are playing stunningly good defense, which has, in turn, made their pitching better. This team is my pick to win the World Series right now. I'd be surprised to see them fail.

Meanwhile, Peter Gammons recently dropped some interesting thoughts ... injuries to two A's relievers kept the Phils from dealing Polanco to the A's for Ricardo Rincon ... meanwhile, Gammons notes that the Marlins seem handicapped by their budget (or a lack of imagination) in their race to defend their world series title and look to fade down the stretch ... Gammons also praises DePodesta and Theo Epstein for their courage to make tough deals.

I enjoy Gammons writings for ESPN because he seems to be one of the few sportswriters/broadcasters who aren't wedded to traditional notions of what it takes in baseball to be successful. It is that kind of out-of-the-box thinking that is sorely needed in the sports media these days. ESPN-mate Jayson Stark, for example, takes a more traditional view of the Dodgers/ Marlins trade without diving into why the numbers said the deal made sense for the Dodgers.

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