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As RBillie noted in another thread, the Blue Jays have made some coaching changes in their farm system. There's already some controversy over the choice of new Syracuse pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, who was fired by the Marlins along with Jeff Torborg earlier this year, a parting that did not go well: GM Larry Beinfest accused Arnsberg of being "abusive ... clearly unprofessional ... bordering on violent" when he received the news (Arnsberg denies the last part at least). He was associated, some say wrongly, with the overwork of the Marlins' young staff under Torborg, but most of his young pitchers have nothing bad to say about him. Arnsberg is apparently a fiery guy who builds close personal bonds with his pitchers and demands the utmost from them. He'll now be in charge of developing and protecting three of the organization's most important assets: Dustin McGowan, David Bush and Jason Arnold.

Also of interest, but generating less attention, is the promotion of New Haven manager Marty Pevey to manage Syracuse. This is no mere organizational shuffle: he did an excellent job developing the tremendous talent at Double-A in 2003, delivering a division championship. Pevey's regarded as one of the top coaching talents in the minors and as a future big-league manager. He's a name to add to the list of potential future Jays managers and someone to keep an eye on.
The AL Gold Gloves were announced today, congratulations to all the winners.

Vernon Wells - or possibly Carlos Beltran - was robbed absolutely blind. I don't know what kind of magic pixie dust Ichiro sprinkles over people, but if you think Ichiro (who is a good outfielder) is as good an outfielder as either of those guys then we should do business.
Two very important baseball games are being played tonight and tomorrow night in the Estadio Nacional in far-off Panama City, Panama.
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Some love for one of my favourite websites. Click on the title or here to take you there.
Roy Halladay is discussing a multi-year deal with the Blue Jays that should net him at least $30 million guaranteed. Kelvim Escobar is poised to be one of the most attractive free-agent starters entering a pitching-starved market and can reasonably expect a deal worth between $15 and $20 million. And the third member of the Blue Jays' much-discussed young pitching triumvirate, Chris Carpenter, has been released by the St. Louis Cardinals with a $200,000 contract buyout. This won't be the end of the line for Carp -- some team, not the Jays, will take a chance on him -- but you know he'll always think about what might have been but for a lot of things, principally an injured Opening Day start in Fenway Park in 2002.
The off-season has officially begun with the news (courtesy of Pistol) that Houston has dealt closer Billy Wagner to the Phillies in exchange for Brandon Duckworth and player(s) to be named later. Wagner is in the final year of a $9M contract that was too rich for the Astros; Duckworth is a young right-hander who has struggled but has loads of potential; Jays fans have coveted him for some time. Will this trigger corresponding moves from the Braves? And will it affect the already tumultuous off-seasons of the Marlins and Expos?

It's nice to get a prediction mostly correct, even if it was right church, wrong pew, although the two teams have yet to name the P(s)TNBLs (Entry #43, Point #1).
A thread on Baseball Primer led me to think up this little puzzler.
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If you're not an armchair GM and manager, just ignore this thread. If you're in the BBFL, if you're an owner looking for a new league, or a Commissioner looking for new owners, read on.
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Sadly, fellow baseball blogger Christian Ruzich (he's "The Cub Reporter") has lost his home in the California wildfires. Our thoughts are with him.
We'll know by later today whether Cito Gaston, six years after being fired as Blue Jays' manager with just three days left in the 1997 season, is returning to the managerial ranks. The Chicago White Sox are reportedly set to hire either Gaston or Ozzie Guillen as their field boss, but it seems that Cito is the favourite. The White Sox apparently would like to bring in Guillen to be a bench coach and manager-in-training, but the Oz likes it in Miami and isn't leaving for anything but the top job. We'll update you when the announcement is made.

The Jays have had a number of managers over the years, and the remarkable thing to me is how many are still active. Bobby Cox continues to build a Hall of Fame career in Atlanta, while Jimy Williams is still improbably employed in Houston; Gaston may be about to join them. Add in the fact that Jim Fregosi's name is being tossed around as a possibility in Boston and that even Tim Johnson is managing in the independent leagues, and we may see a situation where five of the six Jays managers who preceded Carlos Tosca are all gainfully re-employed. The exception? Some analyst for ESPN.
Old friend Cito Gaston will not be managing the Chicago White Sox. Ozzie Guillen is the new skipper, as his ultimatum -- "manager or nothing" -- was agreed to by Reinsdorf et al. Cito remains available to clubs searching for a manager.

Question: Will Guillen install a Marlins-type attack in the American League, with his lumbering White Sox lineup?
Here's a link and a shout-out to the absolute best source for statistical data about baseball on the Internet: Baseball Reference. In the best news November has to offer a baseball fan, the 2003 stats are up! A few interesting tidbits from the Blue Jays' point of view:

* Vernon Wells' most similar batter at age 24: Enos Slaughter.
* Carlos Delgado posted an OPS+ of more than 125 for the seventh straight year.
* Roy Halladay made $3.825 million last season. Did we know this? The salary increase he'll get with his long-term contract might be smaller than previously imagined.

Feel free to post your own most intriguing statistical observation about the 2003 Jays. And many thanks to BB-Ref guru Sean Forman for his outstanding contribution to baseball scholarship!
"In God We Trust. All Others Must Have Data."

Thanks to Homsar for providing us with this material.
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Great stuff from Peter Gammons:

What the Red Sox pulled has been widely applauded across baseball. "First of all," says an American League general manager, "it sends a message to Manny to shut up and stop talking about a trade because no one wants him at that price. For anyone associated with Manny to say 'the Red Sox should eat some of the money' is a joke. He wants out, the agent wants out, they should eat the money."

In addition to a better-than-usual PG rumour mill, he takes a look at 20 other players who "would go unclaimed" if placed on irrevocable waivers, including Jason Giambi, Shawn Green, and of course, Chan Ho Park, who will "earn" $42.3 million over the next three years as "the guy...who kills the Rangers."

As usual, the J.P. Jays were ahead of the curve, while at least half the other teams are saddled with these expensive underachievers. The trend to fiscal responsibility began last winter for most clubs, but Ricciardi got out from under his worst inherited deals just in time.

My terrier thinks she's in charge of keeping everything the same, so Halloween isn't her favourite day. Ketzel is a Miniature Schnauzer, with a personality many times larger than her 15 pounds. Every ghost and princess coming to the door would have triggered a barking frenzy, so when the first trick-or-treater arrived Friday night, it was time for a long walk.

For us, that meant a trip to Christie Pits, which in keeping with the ghoulish festivities, seemed darker and more deserted than usual. As we crossed Barton, the dog was excited, but I couldn’t help thinking about another evening in the park, a couple of months ago.
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