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Fans have the opportunity to vote for the ten finalists for the Ford C. Frick award for baseball broadcasters.  Many Bauxites voted many times for Tom Cheek last year, and we have the opportunity to do so again this year.  You can link to the ballot here.
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According to bluejays.com, the Jays have declined Bengie Molina's seven and a half million dollar option for next season and bought him out for half a million dollars.

Gregg Zaun filed for free agency two days ago as well -- the team has an exclusive window to negotiate with its free agents until November 12th, after which they're fair game, however there's no deadline for a player to re-sign with their former team.


Will the Jays end up with an entirely new catching crew for next year?

And who's out there to be had this off-season?
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The Elias Sports Bureau player rankings for 2006 have been released. These rankings used to determine the compensation that will be awarded to a team who loses a player through free agency.
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I'll admit that I was rooting for the Tigers, but there are not really any sour grapes involved here -- I found the World Series between Detroit and St. Louis to be downright boring.
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There will be no labour dispute this time around as the owners and players agreed to a 5 year deal.  The deal essentially continues the status quo, with a few minor changes. Elements of the deal include:

1.   no contraction during the life of the deal,
2.   thresholds for the competitive balance tax were raised significantly,
3.   there will be compensation for clubs that fail to sign a first or second round pick, and
4.   free agent compensation was reduced in a number of ways- no type C free agents; the compensation for type B free agents is changed to a sandwich pick only, and fewer type A and type B free agents by tightening the performance criteria.

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Thanks to scms for pointing out the breaking news -- the A's have fired Ken Macha.

Tough gig! Four seasons, two first place finishes, two second place finishes, finally got past the first round ... hit the road, sir!

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According to reports I've been hearing on the FAN, the plane that hit an apartment building today in New York City was registered to ex-Jay and current Yankee Cory Lidle.

There has been a report that Lidle was the pilot of the plane. I'm going to look for links now, and will add them to the body of the article as I find them. Please contribute links to anything you can find out about this breaking story.

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So you (like everyone, pretty much) figured Florida's Joe Girardi would be the first manager dismissed after the end of the regular season? No so fast my friend ... this morning the loveable, loseable Cubbies axed Dusty Baker to start what may or may not be an off-season managerial merry-go-round.

  • Late Update: Dusty's old team, the Giants, hurried into second place in the axe-the-skip sweepstakes by firing Felipe Alou.
  • Still Later Update: And Girardi, as expected, is gone -- the fourth skipper to get a pink slip, along with Alou, Baker and Frank Robinson on Saturday. ESPN.com is tracking all the 2006 MLB managerial changes.
  • Yep, A Still Later Later Update: The Rangers say Bye-Bye, Buck and bring to five the number of '06 managers now out of work.

So ...

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I'm rolling thunder, pouring rain
I'm coming on like a hurricane
My lightning's flashing across the sky
-- AC/DC, Hell's Bells

It's not overly presumptious to say that the "save" is one of the most overblown statistics in Major League Baseball history.

It's also not a great leap of faith to point out that while pitching the era of Eckersley, Wetteland, Smoltz, Gagne and Rivera, the unassuming Trevor Hoffman -- who has led his league in saves precisely once in 14 big league seasons -- has never been considered "The Man" when it comes to closers.

Until today.
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Keith Law reported on his ESPN.com blog that Vernon Wells has informed the Jays that he has 'no intention of signing a contract extension to stay in Toronto'.
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