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Remember when the A's "stole" Bradley from the Dodgers, giving up Grade B prospect Andre Ethier? Apparently they felt so guilty about their thievery they've decided to let other teams reap the enormous rewards of having Milton Bradley on their roster. How generous of the A's. Or maybe it was because Bradley missed 117 games in the last two years and was generally mediocre when he did play. You decide.

Question for Bauxites: Is Bradley worth a roster spot? Is Elijah Dukes? I've said this before, and so have others, but if you're going to have as many issues as Bradley -- in addition to his propensity to get hurt -- you'd better be Barry Bonds. And Bradley's not Barry Bonds.

Other opinions?

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Sometimes, stories write themselves. Today I was looking at the various men in baseball history named (first/middle name) Philip and (last/family name) Phillips and I ran across one Deacon Phillippe, a name I knew only in passing from reading about the Great Game's early years.

In scanning Phillippe's page, I noticed that he had been part of what I can only describe as The Biggest Trade in Baseball History. How did I not know about this trade before now? Consider ...
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In a column at Baseball Prospectus yesterday, Joe Sheehan was highly critical of Jays’ General Manager J.P. Ricciardi.

I am not here to “take sides” on this, save for one of Sheehan’s statements that I will present research on below.

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Intrepid reporter Rob couldn't resist a Kitchener Panthers game featuring a Ferguson Jenkins personal appearance. These days "Fergie" and "64" in the same sentence would usually suggest a bad Black-Eyed Peas cover of a Beatles' tune, but not this time. Take it away, Rob.

So how many people spent their Sunday night
a) waiting an hour for the home team's #5 hitter to bat for the first time;
b) watching 23 runs cross the plate; and
c) meeting a Hall of Famer?
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Tomo Okha has been designated for assignment today and the Jays now have ten days to trade him, release him, or send him to the minors.  Josh Towers is back in the rotation and will start next monday in San Francisco.  Home run hitter Barry Bonds will look forward to facing the home run prone Towers.
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Steady Lyle Overbay was injured when he was hit by a pitch from Chicago rookie LHSP John Danks in the yesterday's game.  Overbay is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand.

Hello, Matt Stairs, starting first baseman? What does this portend for the '07 Jays?

Two hits, two runs.  Game time:  One hour & 50 minutes. 

Gotta love the Buerhle / Halladay matchup.

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So, let's move on from our all-time rotation to picking the greatest double play combination of all-time. Let's be clear -- we're looking for an actual combo of teammates, so Trammell/Whitaker and Concepcion/Morgan are eligible (heck, so is Biancalana/White!) but Trammell/Morgan is NOT an option, nor is Smith/Sandberg or Rizzuto/Gehringer or anything like that.

So, who's your favourite-slash-choice-for-best-ever 6-4 combination? You may vote for as many as three, but please rank them in order of preference. Consider defense, offense, intangibles, whatever you want ... and feel free to campaign for and/or defend your choice(s).

P.S. ....

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Yesterday, we posted a "thought experiment" here on Batter's Box, in which we asked users to name what their all-time starting rotation would be. That's not necessarily "the five best starting pitchers ever" (though some took it that way) but rather a true five-man rotation.

As of this writing, and obviously in the online world results can change rapidly, more than two dozen Bauxites have stepped up to answer the challenge. Actually, 27 folks chose a five-man rotation (okay, one guy named six, so there is a split vote in the results) naming no less than 25 pitchers, a list that could fill FIVE rotations.

Only one man cracked even the two-thirds barrier in vote total (Roger Clemens, 77.8 percent), but seven received double digit support. Fortuitously, two of our top five vote-getters are/were lefties, while interestingly, four of the top five are active. That said, let's meet ...

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Hi Alex. It's been a while since we talked last. At least, it's been a while since I sat near third base and shouted stuff at you.
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Thought experiment:

You are the GM of the All-Time All-Star team and get to pick your own personal five-man rotation for the Eternal Season. Consider mitigating factors -- type of pitcher, righty/lefty -- but don't worry about "salary" or "contract status." Important tie-breaker: all else being equal, pick your favorites. Only Major League pitchers are eligible for this team, so if you want Satchel, you get the wily vet, not the fireballing youngster. Oh, your bullpen consists of a variety of league-average clones, so get the guys who can go deep into games!

As they say in the TV commercial, who's in your five?

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The affiliates went 0-4 last night.  However, a successful Litsch debut makes it a good night.
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After not getting to Alliance Bank Stadium in our baseball travels last season, my girlfriend and I made sure we got there this season as we spent our week-end in sunny Syracuse, New York to catch a pair of Chiefs games against the Yankees new Triple-A affliate, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  The trip was also an attempt  to take our minds off the struggling and all of a sudden, less than truthful, big club.  However, Saturday's game at the Bank didn't help matters.  Here's a rundown of what went on during the week-end along with some pictures too.

Update:  I had some earlier problems with the photos link but it appears to be fine now!!

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Yesterday, former Batter's Box author and University of Waterloo math student Rob Pettapiece inexplicably found himself at Opening Day for the Intercounty Baseball League's Kitchener Panthers. Was he bored with the Jays? Really hard-core about baseball? Just happened to be in the area? I guess you'll have to read on to find out. Take it away, Rob!

Photographs courtesy of Brock McNichols.

Apparently the press box at Jack Couch Park is "usually unbearably hot and humid" but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn't shivering up there yesterday. During the third inning, the smell of fried onions from the concession stand below drifted up, leading one reporter to remark not that he was hungry, but that those onions could be used for warmth.

Outside yesterday in the 14-degree sun, the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League played their home opener against the Guelph Royals. Kitchener lost the first game of the home-and-home in Guelph on Saturday by a score of 10-0, so they were looking to at least push one across and keep the other team in single digits. Or win, I suppose.
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Ok, enough with the Indians.

Bring on the Rangers!
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