Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Courtesy of John Northey.

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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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John Lott in the National Post today reports that Mickey Brantley has been told by the Jays that he will not be back.  Lott and Brantley point out that if the Jays say that injuries are the reason for their shortfall this year then how can they hold him accountable.

The reality is probably that the players need a new voice to listen to.  It will be interesting to see if the replacement coach is a potential replacement manager.

The divisional races aren't all wrapped up yet, but we have a pretty good idea of who's headed to the post-season.
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Sports Illustrated is reporting that Troy Glaus received shipments of steroids in 2003 and 2004.  The story notes that Glaus was recovering from shoulder surgery at that time.  This is the latest name to emerge from various investigations of clinics and pharmacies in the US.  It is unclear what the repercussions could be for Glaus.

I hear many voices saying: "What in the name of Ruth is he talking about?".  And that's fine with me.  The sooner the Gleeman-Green bet is forgotten, the happier I will be.
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One of da Box's founding fathers, Jordan Furlong, sends us a pinch-hit on the end of baseball in Ottawa. Thanks for everything, Jordan, and take it away.
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I was curious, so I spent a couple of hours this evening looking up this year's stats for the Jays' regular hitters, and comparing their numbers with their 2006 and career totals.

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Last night's loss to Kelvim Escobar was more than a reminder about the pitcher that management let leave Toronto while the team pursued and eventually signed Miguel Batista. Batista signed for $2 million a year less than Escobar; money which, in hindsight at least, would have been far better spent keeping Escobar in Toronto. Last night's loss also saw Escobar and Francisco Rodriguez not allow a double to Blue Jays batters. Toronto had doubled in the team's previous 32 games, which set a new franchise record. Now that itís over, letís take a closer look at a streak which provided some excitement and intrigue for Jays fans during the dog days of an August spent on the outskirts of the playoff race.

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Congratulations to the Austin Senators and the Trembling WIlburys on being the first BBFL teams of the year to clinch playoff spots.
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