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As promised on Christmas Eve: don't worry, the annual New year's resolutions thread comes next week -- no need to commit early!

Okay, it's no longer "early" ... Today is New Year's Eve. So right here on Battter's Box it's time to comment and commit to a couple of different kinds of New year's Resolutions.

  • Start a post here by taking on the persona of an MLB player (Blue Jay or otherwise, your decision) and post a note about what they should be resolving. Rules here -- keep it on-the-baseball-field related (e.g. no drug or marriage jokes)  and keep them at least viable, RESolutions, not REVolutions. (e.g. don't post "I, Adam Dunn, resolve to stop striking out. Completely.") or post ridiculous projections (like "I, Ricky Romero, resolve to win thirty-five games and pitch eight no-hitters.") Keep it real!
  • The other kind of post -- now, if you want to engage in REVolution-making this new year, here's your chance. Tell us, share with all of Da Baux, what your own personal resolution for 2012 will be. No mocking or taunting -- sometimes a resolution can be embarrassing ("I will finally lose that forty pounds that drags me down") or even downright humilating ("Since I turn 30 this year, I resolve to finally get a girlfriend.") So again, NO taunting, NO mocking -- just an opportunity to share with the internets what your goals are for the coming year.

Ready? Go!!!

We ask this every year as Christmas comes (and if I read my watch right, in Toronto this year, that's in about 20 minutes!) so ...


That's right, we want to know ... was Baseball Santa good to you this year? You can brag on other non-great-game-related givts, too, but we are most interested in the cards, tickets, regalia and memorabilia (or whatever else) you received that would make Bill James smile and little Robbie Neyer insanely jealous. This is also a place to, if you really want to, post your Christmas holiday wishes to others on this site (don't worry, the annual New year's resolutions thread comes next week -- no need to commit early!) .....

On Monday, we will present the first-ever award recognizing the best post to the Christmas thread (this one), as selected by a committee of one (me) -- the selection criteria are as yet undetermined and likely will be just north of random, so get your creativity bootstraps a-working! That's right, on Dec. 26, someone will be the proud owner of the inaugural Batter's Boxing Day Award.

[12/26: and the winner is ... melondough!!! Congratulations. Official announcement in comments within ...]

Ready? Go!

It's time, surely, to change the subject?
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For your consideration this morning, Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) has tweeted (in two parts):
If the Jays are, in fact, the winning bidders for Darvish -- as many execs believe -- they will continue to develop into a very dangerous team.The Jays would have a full season of Lawrie, plus Bautista, plus Santos, plus Romero. And they have nice core of prospects on the way.
Any thoughts on this, Bauxites?
I hate to be contrary... ah, who am I kidding? I love to be contrary! But I have to say it - I'm really looking forward to watching Jeff Mathis play.  There are things I'm keen to know...
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With Jamey Carroll signing with Minnesota, Mark Ellis signing with the Dodgers, Aaron Hill returning to Arizona and the Jays looking increasingly likely to let Kelly Johnson go elsewhere and gain picks in return, the options at second base are shrinking. Some of the biggest names still left in free agency include Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Miles, Ramon Santiago and Nick Punto. With that list of less inspiring names, the suggestion has been the Jays will try to acquire a second baseman through trade with Brandon Phillips being a rumoured target. However, there may be one option at second base that we aren’t discussing.
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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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