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Okay, Percival signs for a hundred billion dollars, Cris Guzman is headed to the Hall of Fame, Tony Batista is no Vinny Castilla ... the Hot Stove has been all about free agents in recent years. So take a step back into your childhood and answer today's ...

Question of the Day: What's the first baseball trade that you remember really catching your attention? Nothing here about lopsidedness or results ... the one that made you go "whoa! that's interesting"?
Troy Percival signs a 2 year $12 million contract with the Tigers. So, who's next?
Okay, based on yesterday's QOTD thread, today we'll host a different kind of fantasy draft, following on the concept"You're picking an all-time All-Star team for one short series. You oppenent gets first pick of the pitchers. You get first pickof the position players. Who's your choice?"

The GMs are in place; the rules follow. So today's ...

Question of the Day: Who will Mike take first?

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Blah blah blah Barry Bonds blah blah blah National League MVP blah blah seventh time overall. Blah-blah should've won at least two others. Blah. Let the great argument begin:

Question of the Day: Barry Bonds -- greatest player ever? This is not a yes/no question and is not a true/false quiz; the format is short answer essay.

Here's another way to look at it: You're picking an all-time All-Star team for one short series. You oppenent gets first pick of the pitchers. You get first pickof the position players. Who's your choice?
As the CBC is currently conducting its Greatest Canadian contest, we here at Batter's Box feel that we ought to offer our readers the baseball version. Although our version offers less production value, public debate and patent absurdity than the original, it has the potential to provoke what Batter's Box is all about - fine baseball conversation from a Canadian perspective.
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It's time for a fresh Hijack Central.

A few signings today. The Washington fill-in-the-blanks signed a left side of an infield today, signing Christian Guzman and Vinny Castilla. Castilla signed a $6.2 million, two-year contract and Guzman signed a $16.8 million, four-year deal.

Former Blue Jay Cory Lidle was re-signed with the Phillies for 2 years and $6.8 million.

**** Hijack of Hijack Central ****

My review of the best baseball reference annual around - The Bill James Handbook 2005 - is up at The Hardball Times (Robert Dudek).
The 2005 SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) convention will be held in Toronto August 4-7 at the Holiday Inn on King at 370 King Street West. The Yankees are in town August 5-7, so we should have a real party. Mark your calendars, everyone!
Da Box's own minor league guru, Gerry McDonald, reminds us that Wednesday of this week brings Baseball America's Top 10 Blue Jay Prospects list. So let's get out ahead of the curve for the next couple of days and tackle this ...

Question of the Day: Who should be on this list? Who will be on it but probably shouldn't? Let's see if we can reach a Batter's Box Consensus Projected Top 10 before it's actually posted Wednesday.
If you would lose it'd be a cryin' shame

The BBWAA appears to have gotten it right this time, with Johan Santana overwhelmingly carrying the A.L. Cy Young Award voting, announced yesterday. That leads to today's...
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We continue a Battersbox tradition with a story.
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So, you've probably heard that Bernie Williams seems cool with the idea of Carlos Beltran joining the Yankees; he probably figures he held off former All-Star Kenny Lofton in '04, why not Beltran in '05? But let's face it ... Bernie's "Most Similar By Age" comps at at have slipped in recent years from Tony Oliva, Dave Parker and Fred Lynn to Ellis Burks, Roy White and Von Hayes -- and now are at the level of Frank Welch and Rick Sofield.

Sometimes the decline, even while in progress, sneaks up on the public (an the player) "all of a sudden." Which leads to today's ...

Question of the Day: What current star or stars is going to step off the cliff into the world of mediocrity in 2005? Alternately, who's already made that step but the general baseball public won't recognize that fact until sometime next season?
Having fallen off the front page, the previous Hijack Central isn't accessable to us any more. Welcome to Hijack Central: Another New Beginning.

Oh, and you're allowed to be extra-clever in identifying today's quote, since it's extra-easy.
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According to his personal Web site,'s inimitable baseball scribe Rob Neyer will be team-teaching an online seminar called Baseball General Manager and Scouting Course.

Question of the Day: Forget about the actual course (decription follows); if you were to design a class in this area (online or otherwise), what would be your ideal list of guest speakers, and on what topics?

Be creative -- remember, you're trying to get people to sign up for this -- but also be practical, in that "Britney Spears: Lingerie Modeling" probably doesn't get to the heart of the subject matter, while "Scott Boras: Dealing with the Devil" just might.
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In his current mailbag, the nonpareil Spencer Fordin takes the following question from "John G." in Windsor:

With Woody gone, Russ Adams still adapting and Gomez not the guy we need to start at shortstop, what's going to happen next year for the Jays?

Question of the Day: How do you think Spencer answered John G.? Challenge yourself and write out your answer before going to the mailbag to read his. Now, if different, how should Fordin have answered the question?