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Hey, we're not the only ones remembering Cito...

I came across the following over at the Tao of Stieb:
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We've written about Baseball Withdrawal here before, a grim topic to be sure. The first week of March, however, represents the tantalizing near-end of the anticipation, the sun's teasing peak from behind the cloud, that here-comes-the-waiter-and-I-think-that's-my-Reuben-sandwich-he's-carrying feeling. This is the post-adjustment, pre-resolution stage of Baseball Withdrawal Syndrome. I freakin' love this part.
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This an exercise we went through last spring. This is last year's Predictions Thread! Not this Year's

Anyway, how did we do?
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Spring Training nears and roster-filling moves start to come around the majors; just in the last day ...

  • The Marlins signed LF Luis Gonzalez and 3B Dallas McPherson;
  • The Mariners signed OF-1B Brad Wilkerson.

And in the "minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training" category ...

  • The Yankees signed 3B Morgan Ensberg;
  • The Indians signed P Jorge Julio.

A few thoughts ...

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The folks over at The Sporting News have noticed the nice little starting rotation the Jays have assembled. The current issue of TSN magazine boasts a two-page spread entitled "Focus on A.L.Rotations" that, among other things, ranks the league from 1-14. Let's take a look at some of the highlights of that story, which has the Jay quintet ranked fourth (you guessed that from the headline, right?), nestled between the #3 Angels and the #5 Tigers ...
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So the Glaus-for-Rolen deal has dominated the pages and polls of Da Box for a day or more now, and it has been, correctly, labeled a true "challenge" trade.

Challenge trades are straight-up, one-for-one deals, usually involving two guys who play the same position. The first such trade I can remember is the legendary My-Bobby-For-Yours deal of 1974 when the Giants sent Bonds to the Bronx for Murcer. The most legendary such deal is one that actually never happened, when (legend has it) the owners of the Red Sox and Yankees got their drink on and agreed to deal Joe DiMaggio for Ted Williams before both backed out the next, more sober day.

So here are your questions for the day ...

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Bauxites, it's that time of year again ... time for the Batter's Box Roster to reach out through the magic of the Interwebs to recruit new contributors to "Baseball from a Canadian Perspective."

Want to contribute to Batter's Box? Read on ...

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Yep -- as you will no doubt have noticed from the previous feature (oh, and billions of other media outlets), it's New Year's Eve. And that means one thing around North America -- making resolutions.

Now's your chance to share either your own baseball-related resolution, posted in public where you'll have no choice but to own up to it a year from now, or -- if you want to go for the cheap laugh, to post a resolution "on behalf of" someone in MLB.

That said, a few pointers ...

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Future Hall of Fame lefty Tom Glavine agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract with the Braves yesterday, returning to the city he always called home even while pitching the last five years in New York.

Glavine has 242 of his 303 career wins with the Braves, including five 20-win seasons. The 242 wins is fourth on the all-time franchise list (Smoltz and Maddux are fifth and sixth, respectively) and just 26 wins behind Phil Niekro's all-time Atlanta record.

What else is going on?

Free agency is now open to all 30 teams.  It's a good time to be a free agent.
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The Jays bullpen looks like it will be a strength for the team next year and at the very least it won't be a weakness.. It has a strong back end of the bullpen with Jeremy Accardo, Scott Downs and Casey Janssen. Although not household names the three of them did an admirable job this year and even if they donít repeat their performance in 2008, none of them look to be a flash in the pan. After those three will come some combination of Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brian Wolfe, Brandon League, Joe Kennedy, Mike Gosling, Davis Romero, Josh Banks and any other free agent signings. Even with the inherent variance found in the performance of many relievers year-to-year I am reasonably confident the Jays will be able to find seven serviceable arms out of that group. Oh yeah, and BJ Ryan will be back, and presumably as good as new, by the middle of the year.

So why do I want the team to team to spend millions on a 33-year-old reliever who has never pitched in the majors before?

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Time's ripe for a discussion based on Blue Jay history (props to Matthew E. for his great start down that road) and Hot Stove memories ... the question on the table is this: What is the dumbest move (transaction or game/season management -- both are open topics) in Toronto Blue Jays history?

Michael Young for Esteban Loaiza? David Wells for Mike Sirotka? Letting Cecil Fielder escape to Japan? The Sil Campusano Project? Name the players -- and give your reasons.

To be fair ...

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Here's what everyone remembers about the 1988 Blue Jays.

They remember that the Jays lost the last seven games of the 1987 season, allowing the Tigers to win the division. They remember that the team tried to shift McGriff and Fielder to first, George Bell to DH and Moseby to left field, so that Silvestre Campusano could take over in centerfield. They remember that Bell didn't like it, that it caused dissension on the team, and that this would contribute to Jimy Williams's firing a year later. They might remember that Bell hit three home runs against the Royals on opening day. They certainly remember that the Jays didn't win the division that year, but were somewhere vaguely near the top of the standings, and they certainly remember that Dave Stieb pitched two one-hitters in his last two starts of the season, with both hits coming with two outs in the ninth.

And if that's all they remember, they don't remember the best part.

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It was reported earlier this afternoon that Matt Stairs signed a 2-year, $3.5 million contract with the Blue Jays. Time to deal with some of the questions arising from this news.
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It's that time of year again ... time to select candidates for the 2008 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a baseball broadcaster for major contributions to the game.

As the online ballot explains, "Three of the 10 names on the final Frick Award ballot will be chosen by fans throughout the month of November. Select up to three (3) candidates from the ballot ... You may vote once each day during the month of November. The final 10-name ballot, featuring the three fan selections, will be announced on December 5, 2007. Click a name to see a brief biography of [each] broadcaster."

Yes, Jerry Howarth is on the ballot. So are some other names you'll recgonize. You can cast up to 30 votes, people ... don't waste this opportunity! Vote now!