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So, I sifted through the results of the past five Home Run Derbies in order to determine if there were any trends...
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OK, this doesn't really have much to do with baseball. Any possible connection is welcome!

But it was on this day fifty years ago (fifty? fifty?) when John Lennon first met Paul McCartney, at Woolton Village fete. Lennon and his Quarryman were playing; McCartney was on hand to check them out.

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Presented here, without (much) comment, are the would-be All Star rosters as contructed using 2007 Win Probability Added.
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Apparently, Nomar Garciaparra, who not long ago was considered a mortal lock for Hall of Fame enshrinement, will move over to the hot corner for the L.A. Dodgers later this week. James Loney will take over at 1B.

Known, of course, primarily as a shortstop, Garciaparra has played nothing but 1B for the Dodgers since signing as a FA before the '06 season. So this move from Garvey Gardens to 3B and Cey-derville is the second such major shift of his career.

Which leads us to these Questions of the Day:

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Recently, I figured out why people buy lottery tickets.
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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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