You've heard the rumours, seen the telltale signs, read the writing on the wall. I'm here to tell you it's all true. No no no, not that bunk about the Cabal. Not the hearsay about Moffatt threatening to walk if the Cabal doesn't properly acknowledge his personal "Economic Impact" round here. Not even the gossip about Jordan’s... well, you know as well as I do, and it's pure fiction anyways.
Thanks to Gary Geiger Counter over at Primer for drawing this to my attention. The Providence Journal had a great article on Sunday
about William E. White, who was recently established by SABR researchers as the first black player in the major leagues. It was long believed that Fleet Walker of Toledo in 1884 was the first black player, but White (who previously was a "mystery player", one of those guys from the 19th century about whom nothing was known) played one National League game, at first base for the Providence Grays in 1879.
White's story is fascinating, and definitely not to be missed. Do yourself a favour and take five or ten minutes for the article. It's worth it. Incidentally, GGC's excellent blog, Baseball History
, has lots of excellent baseball history stuff in the archives.
I was a little worried that trade proposals would get lost in the noise of the other BBFL thread
, so I decided to start a new one. If you've got a team in the Alomar Division please give us your trade offers!
There's been a conspicuous lack of Blue Jays talk on Batter's Box over the last few days. I thought I'd try and change that by posting some stories you may have missed.
By a 16-2 margin, current BBFL owners chose to double the size of the league and add a 2nd 20-team division that will start play this season. Eighteen of the twenty current owners voted on all 11 propositions, with one team abstaining, and one person simply not showing up. In a rather close vote, the league decided to have three teams relegated between divisions each season.
Now on to the important information!
When it comes to fielding metrics, there seem to be more and more on the market these days. The Raindrops
is a Mets-focused blog. The author takes a look at various defensive metrics, using new Mets centrefielder Mike Cameron, and attempts to integrate them (and express the results in runs saved/cost versus average).
On the whole, he does a very good job. There are a few caveats to heed when you read through the article:
Now, I'm as big a Yankees fan as you'll find anywh ... well, here on Da Box, anyway. And in just over a month, I'll post the 2004 "Yankees Season Preview" as part of that ongoing Box series.
In the meantime, can someone please stop this "Is this the greatest offensive lineup ever put together?" hoo-ha? Or is there some chance that it actually might be?
Let's take a look, with a nod to what is generally considered the best offensive gathering of the last half of the 20th century (the 1976 Cincinnati Big Red Machine) and what is generally considered the best offensive gathering of the first half of the 20th century (the 1927 New York Murderer's Row Yankees).
That's right ...
That's what Greg Maddux might be humming to himself today, as the future Hall of Famer has returned to the windy city where his career began, signing a three-year, $24M contract
with the Cubs. Personally, I think the deal is one year too long, but the per-season price is about right for a pitcher who's still solid, but is not the Cy Young favourite he once was. The signing also has a full-circle symmetry to it that I like.
Hearty congratulations to Alexis Rios, our 2003 Batter’s Box Blue Jays Minor League Player of the Year.
Congratulations to Roy Halladay, our 2003 Batter’s Box Blue Jays Major League Player of the Year.
All the way back in October, we asked the Batter’s Box faithful to vote for our Batter’s Box Blue Jays Players Of The Year awards. Dozens of voters responded, each picking one Player of the Year from the Blue Jays, and one Player of the Year from the Blue Jays’ farm system.
Sick of the trade talk? We here at Da Box understand, so Scott Lucas and I have opened new threads. I won't speak for Lucas, ever, but no A-Rod discussion is allowed in my thread. Instead, let's return to unsubstantiated/gut-level predictions for some 2004 Blue Jays. No thinking or research required here (welcome to my world), just ol'-fashioned hunches.
With the current thread approaching a tick-like bloat of 150 posts, it's time for a new thread. Potential topics for discussion:
Is the Onion not only the most accurate newspaper in America, but also the most prescient
? Who is that guy at far-right?
How much is the deposed Dan Evans
to blame for the Dodgers’ current situation, and what can new GM Paul DePodesta
do NOW to improve the team so late in the offseason?
I got engaged on Sunday, just as my favourite team was trading the best player in baseball to my least favourite team. Should I get married this fall or next spring?
Here's a site many of you will enjoy. At JockBio.com -- their slogan is "Get a Life!" -- the latest baseball feature is on Vernon Wells
This detailed biography was written by Andy Collins, a former sportswriter who now works for a Syracuse ad agency and is a SkyChiefs season-ticket holder. It's especially good as a chronicle of Wells' long journey through the minors. About the only thing missing is Vernon's current role as Blue Jays player rep, which underscores his status as a respected team leader.
There are numerous other sports bios on the site, which also offers its books and memorabilia for sale. Among a couple of dozen on baseball players is a Carlos Delgado
feature. In addition to the bios, check out the 'Facts', 'What They Say' and 'My Say' buttons for more information and quotes. Oh, and please don't blame me if you spend a couple of hours there. Our mission here at Da Box is to reduce productivity, one workplace at a time.
No division in baseball has improved more than the AL East this winter. Most observers already considered it the best in the game, and with Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, Curt Schilling, Keith Foulke, Javy Lopez, Miguel Tejada and Rafael Palmeiro among the newest stars on display, it's not getting any easier for the budget-minded Blue Jays. Can they compete with the big spenders?
Batter’s Box caught up with J.P. Ricciardi last week in his last scheduled visit to Toronto before April. During a whirlwind day, between morning TV interviews and an evening with more than 400 season’s ticket holders, the Blue Jays GM found time to talk to us about the club’s offseason moves and take a look ahead to Dunedin and the 2004 season.