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Two months into the baseball off-season and I am starting to get restless, itchy, looking for my baseball fix. I am not talking about baseball in the big sense of the word, I am talking the game, on the field, seeing a nasty change-up, a beautifully turned double play, a runner turning a double into a triple, an Ichiro gun to third, a Rolen laser to first, Mariano mowing them down, you get the picture.

After the intensity of the baseball playoffs I have to take a few weeks to catch up on life. In many ways my social life is put on hold through the playoffs. A movie? no time. The gym? not tonight. Quality time with the family? thereís always November. Those first two and a half weeks of the playoffs are so engrossing my non-baseball life stands still. I think itís a cruel twist of fate that thanksgiving in Canada falls in the middle of the playoffs. Whatís worse is that my family and our friends celebrate on the Sunday of the thanksgiving weekend, the first Sunday of the playoffs. Think about it, there could be four games scheduled that day, two game fives, and two game fours. There are usually at least two games to be played, sometimes three, in a great year four, and I have to miss them. Usually I find that some of the better playoff games occur earlier in the playoffs, and that first Sunday sees the most crucial games of the division series. The second cruel twist in this saga is that my friends are not big baseball fans so the TV is not left on during the festivities, and I am cut-off. I can turn it on for a minute or so, at a quiet time, to check the score, or I can deputize one of my kids to do an internet check and report back, but thatís as close as I get. The third unfortunate part of this saga is that I prefer to see games where I donít already know the score so I can experience the ebb and flow of the game. The playoffs are the climax of the baseball season, although the high point of the playoffs often comes in the division series. The world series is usually a let down, an easing into the off-season with just one game a day and a couple of travel days in between.

My baseball withdrawal starts slowly, after the playoffs I need a break to get back to real life. Then we have the end of season awards; manager hirings and firings; free agents being courted and signed, and finally the winter meetings. But what comes after the winter meetings? baseball news slows, a few more free agents sign but trades tail off until February. This is the time when my cravings start to dig deep, when I look to see where can I get a fix? But there is nothing out there for me, two long months until pitchers and catchers report, three and a half months until a meaningful game is played.

I have tried several remedies for my winters cravings. I started by taping the playoffs games I missed to watch in December but that left me unsatisfied. I remember the winners, the scores, the key events, and when I sit down to watch a playoff game it just doesnít get me involved like a real game, my memory of the playoffs is too strong. This year I happened on a new solution. I have subscribed to extra innings for the last two years and I think it is great but obviously those games parallel the season, there is no extra innings in December. But this year, in August, my DVD player died and I replaced it with a DVD recorder. I recorded about ten games in August and September, at random, and I tried hard not to pay attention to the scores. Although I say I recorded games at random I did have some methodology to my recording. I looked to tape games that had a specific interest for me, as opposed to watching a Kansas City versus Tampa Bay match-up. By coincidence the first game I taped was an AJ Burnett start, a dominating performance on August 6th against Arizona. I taped a Dodgers game, just so I could listen to Vin Scully talk his way through a game, nothing says baseball like Vin Scullyís smooth vocal tones coming from your TV or radio. Of course I had to tape a start by Felix Hernandez, the wonderkid. I taped a Brewers game, one where they faced Jake Peavy. Milwaukee has a lot of up and coming kids, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Prince Fielder, and of course Lyle Overbay, a Brewer at the time.

Because I purchased the DVD in August, and because I have to find quiet times to tape games when my kids arenít dominating the TV, I only recorded about ten games and I quickly realized that ten games to carry me through the winter just wouldnít do the job. Stage two of the cure was a recent discovery, MLBTV.com. For ten US dollars, actually $9.95, you gain access to every game played in the 2005 season. Do you want to see Lyle Overbay, AJ Burnett or BJ Ryan play? You can. I am in two DMB leagues and the rookies will be drafted or auctioned in February. If I want to see the difference between Matt Cain, Francisco Liriano, or Felix Hernandez, I can look up the dates they played in Yahooís game logs, then go to MLB and watch. I have done that and those guys are good. Liriano does remind me of Johan Santana. Cain looks really good too. MLB also has a condensed version of every game, so pick a game at random and you can see all the key plays in about ten minutes, itís like taking a Tylenol, fast, effective relief for your baseball cravings.

My winter baseball withdrawal is under control. Nothing beats seeing a game in person on a warm summer day, but when it is Ė10 outside, and there is no baseball on TV for another 90 days, MLBTV is sweet. Is Conor Jackson better than Hanley Ramirez? I wonder how Anthony Reyes looks? Gotta go.
BWS - Baseball Withdrawal Syndrome | 43 comments | Create New Account
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King Ryan - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 01:32 AM EST (#136944) #
This is when it helps to be a hockey fan as well as a baseball fan. :)

Seriously, mlb.tv sounds great. I unfortunately can't get it because I don't have a credit card and am not interested in obtaining one, but hopefully one day they allow paypal or something because I would love to check it out. Extra Innings is also not available to me so I rarely get to see much non-Jays games outside of the Braves on TBS and the playoffs.

Ron - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 01:48 AM EST (#136945) #
I'm actually holding up pretty good so far during the off-season.

If I ever need a baseball fix I just pop in ESPN MLB 2k5 or MVP baseball into my Xbox. I've even re-read parts of Liscense to Deal by Jerry Crasnick. And last week I finally watched .... (gasp) .... Fever Pitch.

The unique part about the baseball season is that it takes up so much of your time, especially if you're like me and tries to catch every single Jays game. No other sport has a 162 game regular seasons schedule. Once the season is over, I find myself having more free time to catch up on other things like watching movies that I missed.

Frankly I can't believe we're less than 2 months away from pitchers and catchers reporting.
Geoff - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 02:03 AM EST (#136946) #
I'm not sure: should we salute Gerry for his passion and dedication or hold an intervention?

Seriously, some folks may need coping strategies with such fascination but I'm curious what professional therapists would say about Gerry's solution.

TILT!
Leigh - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 08:46 AM EST (#136948) #
I am suffering from it too, Gerry.

Sometime in March, the feeling begins to set in that we are about to begin anew, all the teams are 0-0 - pure, Spring, rebirth, and all that. This is contrasted with the fall - playoff baseball, the realization that your team is not in it, misplaced guilt begins to set in for a summer's worth of baseball-gluttony. The winter is somewhere between virgin and whore, and that limbo is depressing.
Mosely - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 10:22 AM EST (#136955) #
Seriously, mlb.tv sounds great. I unfortunately can't get it because I don't have a credit card and am not interested in obtaining one, but hopefully one day they allow paypal or something because I would love to check it out.

Wow. I used to be like that too. Didn't have a credit card until my final year of university. Even then I didn't ever use it.
Then I tried to buy a car and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get a loan, and had no cred with banks, despite the fact that I had no debt, a stable job, and enough money in the bank to buy a small fishing village in Laos.
BWS causes me to write snarky, annoying, knowitall posts.
Mr. Destiny - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 10:23 AM EST (#136956) #
This is why we spend our winters asking and answering questions that we can't possibly know the answers to.

For example:

What are the Blue Jays planning on doing with their infield? They still have seven players (Koskie, Adams, Hill, Hudson, Overbay, Hinske, Hillenbrand) to fill a maximum of five lineup spots.

Why do people in Los Angeles seem to think that Grady Little is a godsend when his philosophy is basically the same as Jim Tracy's was?

Is Manny Ramirez the Ron Artest of the Major Leagues?

Should Prince Fielder play for Canada at the World baseball Classic, since he was apparently born in Canada while Big Daddy Cecil was still backing up Upshaw and/or McGriff?

How could the U.S. not find anyone with more recent experience than Buck Martinez to manage their WBC team?
Rob - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 10:35 AM EST (#136958) #
Should Prince Fielder play for Canada at the World baseball Classic, since he was apparently born in Canada while Big Daddy Cecil was still backing up Upshaw and/or McGriff?

Actually, Prince was born May of 1984 in Ontario, California, not Ontario, Canada -- while Cecil was still in A or AA.

Rob - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 10:38 AM EST (#136960) #
Of course, every baseball fan suffers from this BWS in some way. For me, I taped the Felix Hernandez near-no-hitter game back in September and I've watched it a number of times now, for no reason other than it's baseball. And I need baseball.

You should have seen the looks I got at 11 am on a Sunday when someone walked my by room and noticed a baseball game was on...
Twilight - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 10:55 AM EST (#136963) #
Oh, I understand how you feel. I am suffering from withdrawals myself. Just waiting for anything...some trade news, FA signings, just something to get me through the day.

I played baseball until I was 18, but unfortunately, that's as far as the houseleague went, and I was decent, but there was no way I'd have a pro ball future so I couldn't keep going. And I have no desire to join a slo pitch team. :(
jgadfly - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 10:58 AM EST (#136965) #
geeze Gerry..."nothing like Vin Sculley smooth vocal tones" brought back memories of Mel Allen and 1950's World Series and the CBS game of the week every Saturday with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blatner..."Hey Mabel Black Lable"...whoo time wharping in a December snow storm and what a catch by Willie Mays...baseball does have it's multilevel sensations...the smell of Dubbin on a baseball glove...the feel of catching the ball in the webbing, of hitting the ball on the sweet spot and watching it fly, of running in spikes on a dusty field, of drinking from a tincup out of a waterbucket (a William Carlos Williams' haiku?), Kinsella's Shoeless Joe and the cornfield...the Elyssian Fields of Memories and the yearning for the endless summers of our youth and where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?
VBF - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 11:09 AM EST (#136967) #
I'm itchin' just to play some ball. Seriously, they used to have a domed ballpark on the 401 by Pearson and they have a new baseball training facility in Mississauga but I don't think it has a field. A winter league mens league would be absolutely perfect.

Thanks to NFH, I have a couple DVDed games but it's just not the same. In my loserness, I might go take a tour of the RC just to re-create some sort of feel of going to an actual game, but it doesn't work and is more depressing seeing the Blue Jays Field as a big concrete slab floor hosting some sort of strange event.

sweat - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 11:16 AM EST (#136968) #
I recently moved to Calgary, and thought my days of men's league baseball were over. But I found out there is a men's league just outside of the city.
http://www.fmba.ca/home.html Since I see no mention of Age, I can only assume its a men's league.
One of the nice things about living out here is the 5pm start. That way my GF wont boot me off the TV during prime time.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 11:32 AM EST (#136970) #
The CFL and NFL usually take care of the first part of the off-season for me. Unfortunately, I cheer for the Detroit Lions so the NFL season, for me, was basically over for me in late October. The worst part of the off-season is the time between the end of the Super Bowl and the start of spring training. The NHL and NBA just don't do it for me anymore.

The two things I depend on to get me through are reading baseball America and Sports Weekly (even though they should retitle it "We're More Football Than baseball Weekly"). I almost keeled over when I saw B.J. Ryan's picture on the cover a couple of weeks ago, even if it was inset shot.

I'm already dreamming about going on a number of baseball road trips but of course I'll never get around to making most of them. Three parks I'd love to visit - Fenway, Camden Yards, and Kauffman Stadium. Camden Yards is probably the most realistic for me next season.
TimberLee - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 12:03 PM EST (#136971) #
I found a partial solution to the off-season blues some time ago. I am in a Strat-O-Matic face-to-face league with 13 other guys. We meet once a week from September through March and draft just around opening day of the next MLB season, so there is some overlap with the so-called real world, but basically it means there is not any such thing as an off-season. And TODAY is the first day to order the new cards! Yee-hah! Play Ball!
laketrout - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 12:15 PM EST (#136972) #
We have a group of 8 guys who get together once or twice a week for Dynasty baseball (same as Pursue the Pennant if anyone remembers that game). We started in October and our league will run until April. All the drafting, trading, managing and analyzing stats has kept my baseball itch well scratched.
Smithers - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 12:25 PM EST (#136973) #
I'm feeling the effects of baseball withdrawal as well - especially since spring training feels like a loooong time away here in frigid Winnipeg. The three softball leagues that I play in during the summer won't start back up until April at the earliest, and I don't have any DVDs of games to tide me over. And unfortunately the Hot Stove League that was so red hot for us Jays fans last month has been turned back down to low.

I've come up with a great idea and would like to solicit the advice of ye faithful Bauxites - I have decided to visit Florida this March (Dunedin/Clearwater/Tampa specifically) to catch my first ever taste of Grapefruit League baseball, and perhaps the World baseball Championship. I did the Cactus League way back in '92 with my family, but this time I'll be taking care of all the details myself.

I've read the reviews that were posted on this site by Jordan and Rob regarding their spring training diaries the past couple years, but I was wondering if there is any other individual resource that could help me with planning such a pilgrimage? I'm sure that numerous members of this site have been in the past and would have some helpful suggestions for a newbie, such as where to stay, other stadiums worth visiting, how to actually find Knology Park once you get to Dunedin, etc... Are there any vacation packages put together by the Jays themselves or travel agencies? I'm thinking of going for a week to 10 days, and if I can somehow see the Jays-Team Canada exhibition game in there it would make my winter.

Any advice on the topic would be greatly appreciated!
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 01:02 PM EST (#136975) #
I'm the weird guy.

I actually prefer baseball in the off-season. Everyday I hurry to the Internet and see what changes we've made and what changes the evil empires have made and either jump for joy or crawl back under my rock gnashing my teeth and sputtering expletives.

This year has been mostly jumping for joy.

Once the season starts I feel a little like Beane, in that I can't stand losing and at times I can barely look at the game. However, this year for the first time in my life I'll be getting to 8 Jays games in TO! In late April, just before I go to the UK for a month. So that should be great.

No question, I'd rather be the GM than the Manager. The off-season is where I make all the changes for the next season (with a little help from JP's brain and Ted's money).
Rob - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 01:10 PM EST (#136976) #
how to actually find Knology Park once you get to Dunedin

There's a stadium in Dunedin now? Talk about the best-kept secret in baseball...

In all seriousness, \\"Dunedin Stadium\\" is the name given to the park on most maps -- which makes little sense, but again, this is Dunedin -- and it's right off Highway 19. You'd think, by looking at the map, that there would be signs along Beltrees St showing you where to go -- but again, this is Dunedin.

Fly Southwest if you can. It's easy if you live in the GTA; just park at the Buffalo Airport and go non-stop to Tampa -- 2:30 flight time and free drinks.

I'm afraid I don't know of a travel agency or similar resource; we always booked a flight, hotel and rental car online ourselves. I'm sure there's something, somewhere, but my experience is that it's usually cheaper to do things yourself.

Jacko - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 01:54 PM EST (#136980) #
Fly Southwest if you can. It's easy if you live in the GTA; just park at the Buffalo Airport and go non-stop to Tampa -- 2:30 flight time and free drinks.

This probably deserves its own thread, but who's planning on making the trip to Florida in Spring 2006?

I'd like to go down for a week and split a beachfront condo with a bunch of people to help keep accomodation costs down.

(a) who's interested in doing this?
(b) does anyone know a good place to research accomodation in or around Dunedin/Clearwater?
(c) what is the best week to go? The earlier you go, the more kids you get to see play in the games...

JohnL - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#136984) #

The third unfortunate part of this saga is that I prefer to see games where I donít already know the score so I can experience the ebb and flow of the game.

I understand that. I had to deal with that situation on Thanksgiving weekend in 1992. My parents made the bad choice to get married exactly 50 years before Game 3 of the 1992 ALCS, so watching that game live, in its entirety was not exactly a good option.

The game was on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. I watched a bit of it live, then set the VCR on, and had the anniversary celebration. I had to make sure I didn't hear any news from the game. I wanted to see it all \\"live\\".

So, after the party, I sat down, rewound the video, and prepared to watch the game in real life. My wife, who hates the tension (she usually reads the last page of books early on), kept telling me to zip to the end. Said I was \\"sick\\". Well, that may well be true, but I loved the tension and unknowing.

Didn't have the Sunday Thanksgiving problem, since I left the next morning for a conference in San Francisco. So while others back home were peeking around the turkey to watch the Eckersley/Alomar match-up, I was yelling the Jays on at the game in Oakland.

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 02:59 PM EST (#136990) #
The Dallas Morning News is reporting:

The Rangers agreed in principle to a deal with San Diego that will bring them right-handed starter Adam Eaton and hard-throwing setup man Akinori Otsuka and a minor league prospect in exchange for pitcher Chris Young, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Terrmel Sledge, major league officials confirmed.
Jim - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 03:44 PM EST (#136997) #
Am I going crazy or is Jon Daniels just fleecing teams? Good luck Mariners, you are in for a long slumber at the bottom of that division.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 03:53 PM EST (#136999) #
Strat-O-Matic's range factors are out. These are often a tad too subjective for my tastes, but here is a sampling nonetheless:

1B - Hillenbrand 3, Hinske 4
2B - Hudson 1, Hill 3
SS - Adams 3, Hill 4
3B - Koskie 2, Hill 3, Hillenbrand 4
LF - Catalanotto 5, Johnson 2
CF - Wells 1
RF - Rios 3

Chuck - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 04:18 PM EST (#137004) #
Am I going crazy or is Jon Daniels just fleecing teams?

You're referring to the trade with SD? If so, I don't see it. I don't see Eaton as a big catch. Young had a nice rookie season. I'd rather have him than Eaton.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 04:19 PM EST (#137005) #
I think the Rangers GOT fleeced here.

Chris Young is 26, and as a rookie had a 7.49 K/9, 3.04 K/BB, and .712 opponent's OPS in 165.2 innings pitching for the Rangers last season (in the AL...in Arlington). He's already a #3 calibre pitcher based on those numbers, but put him in Petco, and he's going to blossom.

Adam Eaton has NEVER had an opponent's OPS as good as Young's in 2005, and Eaton pitches in the NL. His road ERA's since 2002 have been 6.19 (33.1 innings), 4.60, 4.21, 5.09 respectively. Eaton is going to get torched in Arlington, and he's a FA after this year.

Considering it's Young AND Adrian Gonzalez for Eaton and Otsuka, this looks like it favors the Padres on paper. Possibly by a landslide.

I'd give up Lilly, Frasor, and a prospect for that package. That's essentially what the Rangers got.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 04:31 PM EST (#137007) #
If Adam Eaton had gopher ball issues pitching his home games in PETCO, he's going to have serious problems in Texas. The over-under on his ERA is going to be in the 5's.
Jim - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 04:46 PM EST (#137009) #
I will be honest. I base a good amount of my distrust in Young on one stat. 6'10".

Looking at Eaton's numbers I will admit, I thought he was a much better pitcher then the numbers bear out.

On the Texas side: A-Gon does nothing for me, and Otsuka is a pretty good reliever, even if he is a bit on the old side.

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 07:04 PM EST (#137019) #
The thing about that trade that shocks me is, and I know people forget this, Young was almost inarguably the Rangers' returning ace.
Anders - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 07:17 PM EST (#137021) #
I understand there are issues for the Rangers - they cant slot in Gonzalez anywhere, but still. As pointed out, Eaton has been poor in the NL aside from Petco. Not only that, he wants a 3 year 27 million dollar contract. For the Eaton, the Rangers traded a quite good prospect, and probably a better pitcher. They got Otsuka, a good rp, but man, I think Texas got the short end of the stick by a fair bit.

Looking at splits, Young could actually pitch in Arlington - his home road splits were equal.
R Billie - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 08:29 PM EST (#137027) #
I'm really confused by this trade from Texas' POV. Maybe Chris Young has some injury concerns but 6'10" is not a reason to be concerned about his stats. Scouts love tall pitchers. His fastball reaches mid-90s and he seems to have had pretty decent control this past season. He may have endurance issues but he seems to be pretty good as long as he's in a game. And as has been mentioned he's pitched well in Arlington and is a couple of years from arbitration.

I do like Adam Eaton's potential but after Tommy John surgery and a mixed bag performance wise since then it's hard to say whether he'll take that step forward. And it's not like he's the picture of health either having pitched fewer innings than Young last year with a finger injury.

Factor in the home park and leagues and salary situation; on a one for one basis I don't see how Texas could believe they're getting the better end of things. They must really believe in Eaton's arm to a greater degree than the Jays believe in Burnett's arm.

Otsuka is a good pitcher and Gonzalez is a good prospect. I was expecting Texas to try and package some of their good young hitting for a better pitcher than Eaton though. And certainly not include Chris Young who is already a decent pitcher not making any money.
timpinder - Tuesday, December 20 2005 @ 11:24 PM EST (#137044) #
Yankees got Damon!
Greg - Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 12:06 AM EST (#137047) #
I don't know if no one's mentioning it because they don't think much of him, but I'm pretty sure the Padres got Sledge too
Rob - Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 12:06 AM EST (#137048) #
This probably deserves its own thread

How right you are. A Spring Training thread, right here.

Jacko - Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 01:42 AM EST (#137062) #
Florida inexplicably non-tendered Joe Dillon.

His AAA numbers from the last few seasons are pretty mind boggling:

2004 (AA): .342/.426/.684, 9 HR
2004 (AAA): .325/.400/.665, 30 HR
2005 (AAA): .360/.459/.631, 24 HR

Bats righthanded. Doesn't strike out much.

He'll be 30 next year, but he lost a few years to a serious back injury which almost ended his career.

I would _love_ it if the Jays signed brought him in for an audition next spring.
Michael - Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 03:28 AM EST (#137067) #
As Tim mentions: The Yankees get Damon (espn reports with front page story). And for only 4/52m. That's huge.

3rd looks more likely. And maybe Yankees will be able to keep up with Boston afterall.

TimberLee - Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 11:07 AM EST (#137107) #
Yes, Chuck, I saw those Strat-O range numbers the other day and The Cat's 5 rating in the outfield is almost unheard of for someone who appeared at the position in 111 games. A 5 is usually for David Ortiz at 1B or someone who fills in somewhere only occasionally. I watched FCat a lot on TV last year, and , while he certainly didn't seem to be a polished defender, I didn't think he was a disaster - and he made zero errors, apparently because he didn't get close enough to the ball to misplay it.
If this is at all accurate (and my experience is that Strat-O tries to reflect reality based on the available numbers), Frank should be strictly a DH, and Gibbons is right to pull him for Reed as early as he often does.
actionjackson - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 12:03 AM EST (#137164) #
I don't put much stock in those Strat range numbers. It seems to have been policy around there to award a 1 to gold glovers whether they deserve it or not. This year they're falling all over themselves explaining why they gave Abreu a 3 despite the fact that he won the gold glove.

Defense is terribly difficult to quantify. However, I beg to differ with the hometown scoring decision of awarding Jeter a 2 (3 maybe a 4), while giving Juan Uribe (a definite 1) and Yuniesky Betancourt (a 1 as well, perhaps not enough playing time to justify it) 2s. Memo to Strat: Get off your a---s and put in the research time. Every one knows writers give out a lot of gold gloves on the basis of offensive performance. That doesn't justify sitting back and repeating their lazy mistakes.

Strat does a lot of things really well, and served my gaming needs for a long time. There's nothing like the fresh cards arriving, or the new CD-ROMs and (evil) key disks. Although, nothing can beat the cards (MMMM! CCAARRDDSS!). Eventually for me though the things they didn't do right (don't get me started about the arrogant customer service), drew me to seek out another game after about 25 years of playing on and off.

Diamond-Mind is not everyone's cup of tea, but I appreciate not only the work they put into the actual game, but the fabulous customer service. No question is too stupid and you'll get a very quick e-mail response to whatever questions you have. I also find their range ratings to be fair, almost as if they ignored the Gold Glove announcements, and made up their own minds. Oh yea, that's what they did.
Chuck - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 08:24 AM EST (#137169) #
It seems to have been policy around there to award a 1 to gold glovers whether they deserve it or not.

I don't know that that's entirely true. Many gold glovers have received a 2, like Jeter two years in a row now. What they won't do, it seems, is give someone else a 1 when they've only given the gold glover a 2.

The Abreu gold glove came out of the blue. He may have won that with his arm. His 3 is the lowest rating I've even seen Strat assign to a gold glover. Power to them for not going crazy and handing out a 2.

I do agree that the assignment of ranges is the weakest aspect of the game.

TimberLee - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 10:20 AM EST (#137183) #
Just a couple of years ago Strat-O gave a 1 fielding rating to Miguel Tejada at SS when he didn't win the GG, and a 2 to the guy who did. Also, in more recent years, Mr. Richman, the game inventor, has posted notes on the site about some of the decisions. Those ratings are sometimes a problem, but I think it's because they go only from 1 to 5 ( and the 5 wasn't always there). There should be more differentiation.
I would be happier if they would have someone available to respond to gamers' concerns, even if it's just to show they care.
I'm afraid that the ratings are clearly showing us that they feel that Catalanotto last year was one of the absolute worst-fielding regular outfielders ever, as far as his range in LF is concerned. Do most Bauxites have that impression?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 10:34 AM EST (#137184) #
The statistics (BP's FR and Rate, Defensive Win Shares) suggest that Catalanotto was in fact an above average defensive leftfielder last year. Subjectively, he seems average to me. When healthy, as he was last year, he is not slow. He takes reasonable routes to the ball. He rarely makes the spectacular diving play, but will make nice catches over his head. His arm is perhaps below average, but it's a long way from Shannon Stewart or Mickey Rivers territory.

I have no idea where a rating of 5 on a 1-5 scale would come from. For reference, BP and Win Shares both say that Catalanotto had a better defensive season than Carl Crawford. I have doubt about that, but the contrary conclusion that he was absolutely horrible out there seems to me to be even more dubious.
Chuck - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST (#137187) #
Just a couple of years ago Strat-O gave a 1 fielding rating to Miguel Tejada at SS when he didn't win the GG, and a 2 to the guy who did.

I forgot that one. I looked it up. Rodriguez won the GG in 2002 and got a 2. Tejada got a 1.

I once again entirely concede that SOM seems not seem to address the defensive ratings with any degree of sophistication. What does seem to be the case is that they will either reward or punish players on good/bad teams to better ensure that a team will perform close to their real life counterpart in a replay season.

So, you end up with ARod getting a 2 for the 72-win Rangers and Tejada getting a 1 for the 103-win A's. And every year, the teams that have fared the best and worst always seem to have a surprise or two.

From SOM's perspective, doing things like making Catalanotto a 5 will \\"help\\" address the disparity of the Blue Jays' RF/RA and their real-life record (their strategy being, I'm speculating, to create a set of cards that matches a team's W-L, not their RF/RA). That said, I'm surprised by Adams then getting a 3 at SS and not a 4.

Mr. Destiny - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 08:21 PM EST (#137276) #
Ah, I saw he was born in "Ontario, CA" and figured that was just the sloppy website not putting Canada as the long version as opposed to the state abbreviation for California.

Ah well. I'd take Justin Morneau over him anyway, at least right now :-)
Mr. Destiny - Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 08:23 PM EST (#137277) #
Why would Chris Young at 6'10" inspire distrust in his ability?

Hasn't Randy Johnson established that a tall man can also be a dominant pitcher?
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