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This has already been posted as a comment, but to get it the extra attention it deserves (and to facilitate linking by some interested parties - thanks guys) we are presenting some research by Mike Green on Cory Lidle. Thanks Mike!
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It's Groundhog Day, and you know what that means ... it's time for 2004 pre-season nominations for the Annual Batter's Box Joaquin Andujar Award. The player who will eventually be awarded the 2004 Andujar will be the epitome, in retrospect, of a low-risk, high-reward transaction. (If those two sentences sound Bill Murray-esque Groundhog Day familiar, well they should.)

Batter's Box authors and readers are invited to cast their ballots for the top five pre-season candidates for the 2004 Andujar. Points will be tabulated on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis and balloting will close at midnight on Monday, February 23, at which time the pre-season list will be published.

To win an Andujar ...
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"Baseball's strongest division," says Peter Gammons in his latest column about the American League East, and who could disagree? Peter talks briefly about the Jays and how they're poised to be contenders for the next several years, and but for the fact he calls Guillermo Quiroz "Francisco," he's certainly correct. It's encouraging that the "concerns" he raises for the Jays include minor things like fifth starters and fourth outfielders -- nothing major, and frankly I'm more concerned about the left side of the infield and regression by Reed Johnson.
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Lurch, the athlete-turned-ballplayer, was impossible not to root for, and at times nearly impossible to watch. I hope he can consolidate himself in Tampa Bay; he's a hard worker and nice fellow, and if he can learn to trust his stuff and avoid getting too predictable, he still may have some success.

Please share your memories of Mark Hendrickson in this thread.
There’s more to the Box than just baseball. Not much more, but a little…
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Time for a new hijack thread as the old one has 117 posts in it. Any news you'd like to share?

First person to correctly guess what I'm referencing in the title wins a beverage at the next Cheer Club game.
Anyone who has ever implemented a technical upgrade, or been affected by one, knows they can get complicated. We've been tweaking a new design for Da Box for a few weeks now, and after a great deal of testing, we're as ready as we'll ever be to implement it. Please be patient with us tonight and tomorrow, as we go live with our new look. The site may be slow at times, because this will involve several complete rebuilds of the archives. Most glitches will be temporary, but we do appreciate bug reports if you are experiencing technical difficulties. With any luck, we'll be better than ever by Monday.

Joe Drew, who hosts the site on his server, has done yeoman work on this project. If he's the Barry Bonds of HTML, I'm a utility infielder in an independent league. On a test site, Joe has made Greymatter, our blog engine, do several things I didn't know were possible. We are also grateful to the Blue Jays communications department, which allowed us to use some player images for our new banner, and to Aaron "Named_for_Hank" Reynolds for his graphics wizardry.

I hope everyone enjoys the changes. Meet the new Box, same as the old Box...
In our final instalment, Leigh Sprague reviews the trades made by current GM J.P. Ricciardi.

Thanks to Leigh for a great week of reading.
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I think this merits a separate discussion, because it's an interesting topic that should illustrate how far the thinking of GMs has come in seven years.

In the Gord Ash trade catalogue thread, dp said that he thought the Garcia/Merced/Plesac for prospects deal was "just bad luck" in the way it didn't turn out. I'm not picking on dp, who typically gives great insight, but I have to disagree with him here -- I don't think the Jays got very much, and they should have known it at the time. Let me explain why.
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No earth shattering Blue Jays news to report today. There are, however, quite a few articles you may be interested in reading during your coffee break.
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The Batter's Box All-Prime-Minister Team
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In today's installment, the largest of all, Leigh reviews the trades from Gord Ash's tenure with the Blue Jays. What amazes me most about the Ash file is the huge number of trades; Gord Ash certainly kept himself busy.

Thanks once more to Leigh for this great project. We at Da Box are pleased to announce that Leigh will be joining Da Box's author roster, so we'll have more great articles from him like this Trade Catalogue, and his recent pieces on managers.
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In one of those baffling January moves that doesn't seem to be in anyone's best interests, the Detroit Tigers are about to confirm the signing of catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a four-year, $40 million contract. The agreement, according to the Associated Press, is conditional on the now-familiar passing of the physical (a step that one might as well refer to as a "Sirotka").

This is a decision borne of two men's desperation. One, Dave Dombrowski, is so intent on prolonging his employment that he's sinking $10M/year into an aging catcher whose best years are behind him, and whose productivity could fall off the cliff at any time. Dombrowski will be long gone from Motown before this folly expires. The other, Pudge Rodriguez, lost the game of musical chairs being played this chilly off-season, and perhaps suffered the side effects of having Scott Boras as his agent. He will finish his potential Hall of Fame career labouring in obscurity with a dreadful team bereft of runners to drive in and an organization years away from respectability. Worse, as long-suffering Detroit fans finally lose patience in a year or two, Rodriguez will be the high-priced flop who feels their wrath. Pudge has stepped into the path of the bullet Juan Gonzalez dodged.

Ever been to one of those painful weddings of two people who you knew were doomed from the start? Welcome to the reception.
January must be the quietest month in the baseball world. One of the ways newspapers and websites try to fill space is by doing things such as grading the off-season. Scott Ehrlich's grades at Fanstop.com are particularly noteworthy for Toronto fans, as he ranks the Jays #1 in the AL in terms of off-season moves.

If that's not enough excitement for you, maybe you should consider trying out for the J-Cru. If you need something to wear to the audition, how about this Jays white glitter baby doll tee, maked all the way down to $2.00.
It's hard to find a good lefthanded arm these days, but apparently the Jays are taking that notion to the extreme. According to this report from New Zealand, the Jays have offered a contract to 19-year old softball pitcher/outfielder Andrew Kirkpatrick. I haven't been able to find out too much about him, but the few pictures I've seen of him on the net indicate that he's a lefty.