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Not Your Father's Cardinals

In the summer of 1961, if it was daylight, I was playing ball. Most nights, I pretended to be asleep while listening to broadcasts on the earphone of my transistor radio and reading by flashlight about the Pastime and its history. I was a good reader for an eight-year-old, and there weren't enough books in the local library to satisfy my curiosity about Ruth, Cobb and DiMaggio. I liked aggressive players and "characters," so the Gashouse Gang had special appeal.
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When Joe Jackson wrote "You Can't Get What You Want ('Til You Know What You Want)", we doubt he had the Pittsburgh Pirates in mind. The team could never decide if wanted to try for one last gasp at a division title, or rebuild. In trying to meet both goals, it accomplished neither. The team has averaged a 71-91 record over the last 6 seasons and has finished higher than fourth only once since 1998.
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The Houston Astros might be the best franchise never to win a World Series. That should change this year.

Yes, thatís high, out-on-a-limb praise, but as Lou Brock once said, show me a man whoís afraid to look bad and Iíll show you a man you can beat every time. As my track record of predictions has clearly established, I have absolutely no fear of looking bad, repeatedly so in fact. All the same, the 2004 Astros have the look of a team thatís geared for a championship run. They need do only three things to achieve greatness: win the season series with the Cubs, fire their manager in May, and bench their incumbent centerfielder in June.
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Here's the Milwaukee Brewers preview for 2004.
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Can the Cubs reverse the Bartman Curse this season?
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