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With talk of 7,8,9, and 10 year contracts going on for Pujols and the like I got to thinking - do these work out often or do teams really, really, really regret them.
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I have an odd theory about why the Texas Rangers, despite their current 0-1 hole, at least seem like a better baseball team than the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • Point #1: I think it's pretty clear who, given complete health, the best player on each team is. Albert Pujols (duh) and Josh Hamilton -- in fact, in the past couple of years, both have staked various claims on best player in baseball status. (And Albert may well still be That Guy.)
  • Point #2: Pitching has been discussed earlier on this very site, and given the exceptions of of the Cardinals having the better #1 starter (Carpenter) and the Rangers having the better closer (Feliz, though holy crap, Motte can make a guy re-think that!), the staffs are pretty damn well evenly matched.
  • Point #3: So here's the interesting question: who ....
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Just Tuesday of this week, on this very site, inimitable Bauxite Thomas told the world,

    Nelson Cruz continued his attempt to pry the “Mr. October” nickname away from Reggie Jackson with the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history.

While "Whoa" Nellie didn't "slam" anyone this evening, he did fire a three-run jack into the left field belachers in extra frames to propel his Texas teammates to a second-consecutive 7-3 overtime win in the ALCS. (Detroit is now Very Sad.)  And for the record, it is the first time in all of MLB history that one player has hit two extra-inning home runs in the same postseason series, so Cruz's pursuit of becoming Texas' own Senor Octubre is still very much fair game.

The Rangers, now up 3-1 in this series, look to return to the World Series this year (how preternaturally odd that sounds to anyone who's lived in North Texas for more than a year or two) -- they'd be the first AL team to do so, outside of the multi-ringed Yankees, since your 1992-93 Blue Jays.

Today's Question of the Day (essay format, no wrong answers ) ...

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First we'll play a little Snakes and Ladders, before looking at some matters relating to The Great Game Itself.
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It has long been my custom to examine some odds and ends at the conclusion of the regular season, once the final game is in the books and I've had a chance to update my Big Honking Database.
Today we'll check in with Pythagoras, ancient Sage of Samos.
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Once again, we delve into the playoff milieu with a prediction contest. Fame! Glory! Fabulous Prizes!* All await should you correctly predict who will win a series of series!

*Warning: prize is not fabulous.

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... and unfortunately that brings out the worst in some writers.
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If you believe this study, your answer is yes.
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Once more, we assess the work of This Year's Crew, and as always we salute the great Dave Till who used to provide this very service on a monthly basis. Monthly!

I know I am not worthy to... dust his keyboard?
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That's my prediction. And in truth it is not altogether obvious to me that Bautista deserves the MVP award this season.
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On Saturday the Blue Jays handed out the 2011 R Howard Webster Awards.  In addition the Jays presented several other awards to their on-field and off-field staff.

I was at the Jay's game on Saturday and I have some pictures of the winners to share.

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I've officially determined that Brett Lawrie is the most exciting Blue Jays rookie I have ever seen (and I've pretty much seen them all).

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Like I would know. I just thought I'd mess around and have some fun.
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The Toronto Farm continues its impressive ways, still holding opportunities for championships in the Northwest League, the Midwest League and the Eastern League.  Without speaking too soon, I have heard some say “nearly a coast to coast domination of Minor League baseball!”

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