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October 30, 2010

Following are works of fiction. These, or something like them, might appear in a newspaper in a little under five years.

TORONTO - B.J.'s not a Blue Jay anymore.

In a move that has shocked baseball fans around the majors, B.J. Ryan, the closer for the Toronto Blue Jays, announced on Friday his decision to retire from baseball.
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In the midst of the weekend's free-form discussion, Bauxite Grasshopper spoke out against trading future stars for instant help, following the principle that the Blue Jays aren't going to win the World Series in 2006.

I'm not picking on you, Grasshopper - I think it's probably a widespread assumption.

Should it be?

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Giving most major league teams millions of dollars to play with and a list of available free agents is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. (Thank you, P.J. O'Rourke.)

So the madness is beginning...

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Another off-season, another NFH Challenge!

Here's what Kingsley had to say in the Josh Towers signing thread:
This contract was a nothing more than a loyalty reward for what will undoubtably go down in the books as Towers' career year. His numbers were an abberration... counting on Josh to keep it together over another season, to count on 'it' not vanishing...well, friends, that's too many what-if's for me.
...
Josh will be nothing more than the long righty out of the 'pen come mid-season.
(Read the whole post here.)

Lots of things to challenge in there, aren't there?
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The Canadian baseball team had a good and bad Olympic experience in 2004. The bad part was losing in the semi-finals to a strong Cuba team, having led late in the game. The Canadians did not expect to be playing Cuba in the semis but Australia pulled out a round robin win that helped them avoid Canada and place Cuba in the way of the Canadians. On the good side the team did make it to the semi-finals and many players still talk of qualifying for the Olympics, and the bus ride back to the hotel singing Oh Canada, as the highlight of their season. Now the Canadians get to start down the Olympic road again, the road to China in 2008 starts today in Arizona as Canada faces Nicaragua. The top four teams, out of six in this tournament, advance to the Americas Olympic qualifier next August in Havana. Last week in Arizona I talked with three of the Canadian hopefuls about their seasons.
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The Olympic qualifying tournament begins November 15, and Canada and the US announced their rosters. The usual stalwarts on the Canadian club, Stubby Clapp, Lee Delfino and Ryan Radmanovich, are joined by prospects Adam Loewen, Scott Mathieson, Russ Martin and Joey Votto. Surprisingly, there are no Jay farmhands on the squad. The Americans will field their usual powerhouse with hot prospects Billy Butler and Lastings Milledge in the outfield, catchers Jarrod Saltamacchia and Jeff Mathis, and middle infielders Howie Kendrick and Brandon Wood.
So are the White Sox the team to imitate now?
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Hudson, Hill and Adams. How do you fit them all in?

Backup catcher. What backup catcher?

Koskie: Bad year or albatross?

Rios: Will he ever get it together?

All this and more in Part II of the Roundtable discussion.

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There's lots of speculation on what free agents will go where and for how much. Here's your chance to put what you think in writing so you can say 'I told you so'.
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Hi gang! What's new?
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The first installment of this three part series focuses on pitching.
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Yes, that's your 2005 World champion Chicago White Sox. That's following on the heels of your 2004 World champion Boston Red Sox.

As the guys in Ghostbusters said so many years ago, it's "real wrath-of-God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria."

So, what's next for baseball? The 2006 World champion Cubs? In a tight seven-game series with the D-Rays? AL MVP and Triple Crown winner Dave Berg? NL Cy Young Award winner Danny Graves? The Yankees not having the highest payroll next season?

Now's your chance to look like a genius 12 months from now ... what unlikely event will take the baseball world by storm and shock us all in 2006?

A few interesting items crossing the wires... and there's a game tonight, I understand?
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Scott Podsednik hit a walk-off home run to win a World Series game tonight, making him just the 14th player ever to do so. Was it the least likely walk-off ever?
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The White Sox prevailed in a game that didn't seem to be as close as it was. Joe Crede and Bobby Jenks have the early lead in our POTG poll, I thought Contreras was only average, while Neal Cotts was outstanding.

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