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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!

Which way you going, Slappy?
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Um, okay ... the Rockies' hot streak is now officially over. Red Sox win, 13-1

So here are today's questions and comments ...
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Okay, even with the World Series yet to get underway, the off-season Hot Stove League has opened in Toronto early again, continuing a streak of more than a decade that all Jays fans would like to see broken in 2008.

But let's all "play GM" for a moment and see if we can't dream up some trades that would help the Jays break that streak next season. (J.P., are you ready for some uninformed suggestions?)  Just a couple of ground rules ...

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At this writing, our two polls (see left side of this page) show Bauxites believe the Red Sox will win the World Series, but they are heavily rooting for the Rockies -- early on, even "Don't care either way" is outpacing the Sox vote.

Write whatever Series thoughts you have here, but let's start with a "fun" question/prediction. Who will win the 2007 World Series MVP? Will it be a big name like Beckett, Ramirez, Holliday or Helton? Or some lesser light, in the line of past winners like Bucky Dent, Steve Yeager and David Eckstein?

The first correct prediction will win a retro Batter's Box NO-PRIZE. Serve it up! is reporting that that Tony LaCava has been promoted to Assistant General Manager.  LaCava's name has surfaced several times as a candidate for other general manager jobs.  With most GM jobs filled for next year the Jays have moved to promote LaCava.  The promotion would not likely stop LaCava from pursuing other GM opportunities.

It is not clear how this will change LaCava's day-to-day responsibilities.  Those details will likely come out by tomorrow.

Here are some random thoughts about the 2007 season from a Blue Jays fan's perspective.
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Usually members of the Roster disappear without much fanfare. Articles with their name at the bottom simply stop appearing on Battersbox. People could get the wrong idea. So, my disappearance will be public and friendly, consistent with the truth that Battersbox is a pena, not a junta.
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Courtesy of John Northey.


I found the following information about payrolls and exchange rates:
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Got predictions? Observations? Questions, comments, concerns? Post all your Red Sox/Indians witticisms and dissertational items right here, Bauxites!

Until Damon hit that home run yesterday, I thought it was all my fault. See, going into the first round of this year's playoffs, I thought there were four teams who were clearly better than their opponents in the four series at hand.

Yup, LAA was obviously the best team in the AL, just a noodge ahead of NYY. And CHC and PHI would make for a fun traditionally-loveable-losers NLCS bracket, certainly (the NL West never wins anything, after all). Then yesterday I found myself one dominating Jake Westbrook start -- that never came, of course -- from all four being swept in the first round. 

So as we just barely avoid the first "four-sweeps-and-out" first round of the Wild Card era, here's a couple of simple questions for you ...

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Back in March, I asked all of you to foresee which teams would improve by 10 games in 2006, and which would decline by 10 games.
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There has been a lot of debate about high pitch counts for starters and injury. I thought that it might be useful to step back and look at performance.
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Wednesday's 8-5 Jay victory "clinched" at least a .500 season for the squad, which, even after last night's 8-5 loss to the Orioles, is now 81-78 heading into the final series with the Devil Rays.

Only five teams in all of baseball have a better home record than the Toronto 47-31 Rogers Centre mark, but two of them, those pesky Sox and Yanks, are also in the AL East.

Incidentally, the only other 81-78 club in the majors right now is that darling of the National League Central, the Milwaukee Brewers. Perspective alert -- it's all about the competition.

Anyway, is 81 worth, if not celebrating, at least recognizing?

So I'm watching tonight's game, and they decide to have a poll on the most memorable moment of the exercise in frustration that has been the Blue Jays 2007 season. And I went... HUH?
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