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Why does baseball have the best all-star game?
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After the Cardinals dispatched the Brewers in the LCS, a considerable fuss was made of Tony LaRussa's managing of the Cardinals bullpen.
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Consider Brandon Morrow.
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Not that long ago, a disgruntled Bauxite wondered if Frank Francisco was about to set a new team record for Blown Saves in a season.
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So does this recycling of managers ever work?

Not very often.
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If the players who are the core of a great team are not worthy of Hall of Fame selection, then who is?
-- Bill James, Historical Baseball Abstract (first edition)

I think that's a hell of a question.
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On the off chance that people want to rehash this old history (gee, why would that happen?), let's have the facts in place.
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As promised, the American League!
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It was Tuesday night. While I waited for Roy Halladay to throw the first pitch, I dutifully pored over the Pre-Game Notes, because I am a conscientious sort of fellow. And in the fine print, I noted that the Blue Jays were slowly closing in on victory number 2300.

A little more than two hours later (Doc probably had dinner reservations somewhere), win number 2293 was in the books, and the team's overall log stood at 2293-2344.
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Who am I to argue with Jordan?

Finally, some home run power out of the shortstop position tonight....

With Ted Lilly on the mound, it seemed reasonable to expect that most of the plays would be made by the outfielders. Against Freddy (7-1) Garcia, having nine real hitters seemed a wise policy.
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Baseball deceives us, constantly, and in countless ways. This is its essential nature.

There is, of course, the eternal, teasing illusion that we can actually understand this game, that we can know the correct decisions to make and anticipate how events will unfold.

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They went from fifth place to a world championship. Their manager had taken over the team for the last two months of the previous seasons. They were a team with two, but only two bonafide stars - a starting pitcher and an outfielder. They also featured a switch-hitting second baseman who provided outstanding defense, but the rest of the lineup consisted of solid journeymen and a few youngsters...

This all sounds strangely familiar, for some reason.

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The spectacular World Series that just concluded with Boston coming from behind in the tenth inning to snatch the championship away from New York went a long way indeed to redeeming a season that had been, in all honesty, rather disappointing.

The Series, however, and the final game in particular, was filled with drama and tension to a degree that was - well, frankly it was excessive. It was as if all the excitement and pleasure that one normally derives in the course of the long season had instead been crammed into these eight unforgettable games.

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On Thursday, in his Chicago Cubs Preview, Rob delivered the bad news. This isnít going to be the year, Cub fans. Your team is good, just not good enough. There will be no championship banner flying on the north side of Chicago.

There has never been a championship banner flying on the north side of Chicago.

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Back in the dark days of January, Mick Doherty posted a cunning Question of the Day.

"Your life depends on this game (again?) and you trail by one with two down in the bottom of the ninth. You have runners -- Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock, actually -- on second and third and you can pick one hitter, from any team, any era, to stride to the plate to take his whacks against Dennis Eckersley. A walk does you no good, as the only other hitter available to you is Bob Buhl. Who do you tell to grab a bat?"

Bauxites, as always, rose to the challenge.

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