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A Notes From Nowhere pinch-hit today, as I did some thinking about HACKING MASS and a couple other things pinging around my head.
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Watching MLB.tv while working has to be the greatest thing since air conditioning. Sliced bread? Meh. Given that these days eating bread is akin to being a liberal in the United States, I'll take my AC, thank you. So, yeah. I'm watchin' while workin', and the good tax-payers of Washington are payin' while I'm watchin'.
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A little break between now and Game 2, so here is some (mostly) non-Jays material to ponder:
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A few slip-shod briefs from around the majors.
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Ah, the weekend. The time for all of us to say thanks and offer panegyrics to the good people behind the labour movement, without whom we'd all be toiling away in sugar factories on Saturday instead of enjoying some yerba mate, some Liquid Paper, a few calendars, an apple, myriad envelopes, a five-line telephone, UW directories . . . wait a second. Those are the contents of my desk! Ugh. It was a long week. Count me amongst the grateful masses for having two days of semi-freedom—though I'm not always as grateful as I should be.

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So spring training got under way yesterday, and in case you missed the thrilling news, the Washington Nationals won their “first game.” Never mind that the Expos, or the Team Formerly Known as The Expos, played a few thousand games. Real ones, even. Worse, I have actually seen the Nationals referred to as an “expansion team.” Granted, some of their players are expansion-esque, but that is another matter. On the other hand, are they really expansion-esque? Yes, they are.
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OK, so now it’s in my house. Right next to me, in fact, on my couch, alongside “The Simpsons and Philosophy.” Why do I mention that latter book? If you were to buy ONE book this year, possibly I would recommend the “Simpsons and Philosophy.” I say “possibly,” because if I had only $18 to spend on a book, I’d still choose Baseball Prospectus. Heck, I did choose BP: I bought the book, I renewed my BP Premium subscription. I’m down with the program. So I’ll save the platitudes. What follows is a mini-polemic.
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Meaning what, exactly? You got me; the editorial board comes up with these headlines. Probably that “Mick” fellow, specifically. Whatever the case, I don’t have any “notes” to offer for today. I'm working on a dozen previews and stuff for other Web sites (yes, including this one), so my creative juices are dried up. For proof I offer that previous line, which is perhaps what the word "cliche" was invented for.
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Apropos of some writing I’m doing for another Web site, I have been skating through last year’s statistics. While it’s always best to look forward, the past is unavoidable when you’re preparing for the new season. Re-hashing the previous season’s numbers is always a re-learning experience for me; it’s astonishing how much I forget from October to February.

Some notable failed recollections:
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If you're one of our U.S. visitors, hopefully you're enjoying a nice day off, and we thank you for spending some time with us. But if you're old enough, probably you remember the glory days when Lincoln's b-day and Washington's b-day were celebrated as separate holidays. Merge them into one? What an outrage! Imagine your parents deciding to celebrate you and your sister's b-day on the same day.
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Quick, what's the first thing you think of when you hear the words "spring training"? I bet it isn't "Charles Dickens." Well, in truth it's not my first thought either, but let's pretend it is. And no, I'm not thinking about Great Expectations, but about a well-known opening line to another Dickens tale: "It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times . . . you stupid monkeys!"
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