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A special St. Jean Baptiste Day edition of the Advance Scout. The Fighting Jays take on the FIghting Reds in an epic battle between two middle eastern teams (in the context of North America). On to the Advance Scout!
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It's been a bad 24 hours for people involved in running 100 million dollar teams, as the Mets have fired Willie Randolph overnight and the Mariners let GM Bill Bavasi go yesterday afternoon.
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Let me give you a preview of something I'm working on, and call for suggestions!
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It's happened before, it'll happen again.

That's what I always tell myself, anyway.
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Does it make any sense to choose a high school pitcher in the first round?
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LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.... in this corner.... representing the Toronto Blue Jays... the 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner... a four-time All-Star.... from Denver Colorado... give it up for the Doc... ROY HALLDAY!!!

(frenzied cheering)

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Well that was pretty neat and tidy. The Jays now sit at 30-26, their best record of the season, and are three back of Tampa for the division lead, two back of Boston for the wild card. Jesse Litsch was masterful and now hasn't allowed a run in 16 innings. Rod Barajas hit three doubles, Shannon Stewart was 3 for 5 with a homer and six Jays had multi-hit games as the good guys rapped out 17 hits and 13 runs, both season bests.
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Ball players have been calling the official scorer to complain for... oh, more than a century. Still doesn't make it likeable.
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Yesterday, in my e-mailbox, I found my daily Newberg Report (archived at here) from one of the deans of independent Internet baseball journalists, Dallas lawyer Jamey Newberg.

You may have encountered Jamey here on Batter's Box previously -- he is a registered member, mostly for the purpose of sharing his Ranger Expertise -- like team previews in '07 and '08 -- here for the benefit of the majority of Bauxites, living in a whole 'nother country far, far away from the Lone Star State.

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Me, I'm still on the road
Heading for another joint

It's Bob Dylan's birthday today. He's 67 years old. I'd say this should be a global holiday, and it already is in our northern land although I believe that's supposed to be in honour of Queen Victoria, or possibly my mother, who were also born on May 24.

Somehow, I'll tie this into baseball...

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There is absolutely no end to the fun one can have with Retrosheet.
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Sorry about the title. Oh well, sue me. Unless your name is Arthur C. Clarke.
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In a follow-up to yesterday's post I decided to look at the strength of each AL division from 1994 (the first year of the 3-division setup) to present. Below the cut is the data.
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This website was born at around the time the Blue Jays introduced new General Manager J.P. Ricciardi. Most of us remember the dark times of the Ash regime, particularly how the team spun its wheels with overpaid veterans and mostly disappointing young players. J.P.'s arrival from the Oakland Athletics front office lifted our hopes. We believed that J.P. would rebuild the organisation utilizing "sabermetric"-inspired ideas, as his mentor Billy Beane had done in Oakland. The immediate future would be a tough transition due to budget cuts, but the following years would be glorious.
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