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If you're looking for a San Diego baseball connection on a football Sunday, here's a fine piece by ESPN's Jim Caple on a Hall of Famer who is teaching baseball to young men before they become jaded, spoiled professionals. Eight-time batting champ Tony Gwynn could have stepped into the broadcast booth, and doesn't need any job, but he is a terrific guy, who loves the game. I agree with Caple:

With the passing of Ted Williams, there is no one on the planet who knows more about hitting than Gwynn. He knows how to teach it (and the rest of the game as well) to others.

A .338 lifetime average and 3,141 hits are amazing accomplishments, but Tony isn't done yet. He'll be a great influence on the San Diego State Aztecs, as players and as people. A tip of this old coach's cap to a class act.
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_Steve Z - Monday, January 27 2003 @ 09:33 PM EST (#98181) #
Unfortunately, Tony debuted (as a collegiate coach)
with a frustrating loss. ...

And now to my inaugural trijack:

1) Good news regarding our AA affiliate! The New Haven team has been purchased with the intent on moving the club to Manchester, N.H. (and out of disheveled Yale Stadium).

2) Jason Arnold provided the second installment of his diary today. I'm sure you're all as impressed as I am with Arnold's insightful weekly contributions.

3) (The underappreciated) Spencer Fordin enters into some circular Blue Jays lineup speculation, outlining the seemingly endless permutations that Tosca et al., will be grappling with in the not-so-distant future.

Apologies to Coach Gwynn (that "Coach" part doesn't sound right at all!) for changing subjects (thrice)!
Coach - Monday, January 27 2003 @ 10:08 PM EST (#98182) #
Steve, it's not like anybody wanted to talk about Tony Gwynn here, so thanks for the updates. You are now in the BB record book for multiple hijackings of a single thread. It's like Tippy Martinez picking off three batters in one inning!

It doesn't matter where the AA club ends up, they should put on a great show for the home fans, but the proposed move to New Hampshire needs Red Sox approval, so we'll have to keep an eye on that story.

You're right, Fordin usually does a good job on, but this piece isn't one of his best. We've discussed the Jays' 2003 batting order on BB several times, beginning when they signed Frank Catalanotto, and Spencer didn't cover the topic as thoroughly as we did. He seems overly concerned with having a RH batter in the three-hole, and jumps to the conclusion that OBP machine Cat will hit sixth, or even seventh! (I don't think that's why J.P. brought him here.) If alternating L-R-L matters so much, how about Cat-Stewart-Hinske at the top? We do agree on one thing -- Tosca has plenty of options, all better than last year's lineup.

The Jason Arnold diary is off to a good start, but I expect it to keep getting even better, as training camp is just two weeks away for pitchers and catchers, and he'll have a lot more experiences to share.
_Matthew Elmslie - Tuesday, January 28 2003 @ 08:50 AM EST (#98183) #
About the lineup... was it just my imagination, or did Carlos Tosca never see a lineup combination that he liked enough to use two days in a row? It seemed to me that he was always changing it around. I haven't actually gone back to the boxscores to check this, it's just my impression. Can anyone confirm?

Anyway, if I'm right, all this speculation is pointless; even if we come up with the perfect lineup for this team he isn't going to be using it more than three times in '03 anyway.
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