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Thursday, June 19, 2003

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. Central

The A.L. Central through June 17th.





































































MINNESOTA TWINS (38-31 ? 1st Place)

What happened since the last "Bi-Weekly Review":

The Twins went 6-6, including taking 2/3 from both San Diego and Colorado and then losing 2/3 to Arizona.


Minnesota called up who they hope will be their franchise player of the future, Justin Morneau.  Morneau was hitting .297/.377/.623 with 13 homers in 37 Triple-A games before the call-up and hit .329/.384/.620 with 6 homers in 20 Double-A games before that.  So far, Morneau has started five games (all against right-handers) and has appeared twice as a pinch-hitter.  He is batting .364/.391/.545 in 23 plate appearances.  Morneau had the honor of being intentionally walked to load the bases for Torii Hunter in just his second career game and his first career homer came as a pinch-hitter against the Royals on June 17th.

Who?s playing (and where) and who?s not (and why):

Veteran infielder Chris Gomez had started to take away playing time from Luis Rivas early this month and the Twins were publicly talking about their displeasure with Rivas? play, specifically his defense.  But then Gomez went down with a serious knee injury and the everyday second base job was once again all Rivas?.  To his credit, Rivas has played much better of late.  After drawing just five walks in the first two months of the season, Rivas has already drawn eight walks in 12 June games.  He has a beautiful .409 on-base percentage and a .278 batting average, but just two extra-base hits and slugging percentage of .361.


Rivas also hit .300/.329/.371 in May, which is both a massive improvement for him and possibly the most empty .300 batting average in a month in the history of baseball.  Still, he is definitely playing better of late and I think all Twins fans are happy about that.


The Twins sent Todd Sears down at the end of last month and called up player number 1,246,540 on their major league-caliber-hitters-without-jobs list, Lew Ford.  Ford has occasionally spelled Minnesota outfielders, specifically Torii Hunter in centerfield, and is hitting .455/.538/.818 with two homers, two doubles, five RBIs and six runs scored in 26 plate appearances.


Matthew LeCroy has slowly started to take time away from Tom Prince as the backup catcher to A.J. Pierzynski.  This is good news, not only because Matthew LeCroy is about 50 times the hitter Tom Prince is and not only because he may actually be a part of the team?s future, but also because it helps alleviate some of the problems with finding at bats for all of these hitters the Twins have.


Rick Reed went on the DL with a sore back and Johan Santana filled in for him and made two starts, going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings.  He struck out 14, walked two and made Twins fans all over the country drool.  Of course, Reed is now healthy and it?s back to the pen for Johan.  To make room for Reed, the Twins sent struggling reliever Tony Fiore down to Triple-A.

Hey now, you?re an all-star?:

After starting last year?s all-star game and providing one of the game?s most memorable moments (besides the game having no actual winner) with his homer-robbing catch off Barry Bonds, Torii Hunter is currently third among AL outfielders in the voting for this year?s game.  With 275,158 votes, Hunter is a little more than 25,000 ahead of Bernie Williams.  Unless Hideki Matsui makes a sudden surge (which is possible, since I?m not sure when they tabulate the international voting), I think Hunter is likely going to make his second-straight start as the centerfielder for the American League.


No other Twin is in any serious danger of being voted as an all-star starter.  For some reason, Luis Rivas is actually fifth among AL second basemen, but he has just 53,644 votes ? or less than 10% of Alfonso Soriano?s total.  A.J Pierzynski is third among AL catchers and only 6,000 votes behind the number two guy, Jason Varitek, but he is also about 300,000 votes behind Jorge Posada.


So, Torii Hunter is Minnesota?s only chance at a starter, but the Twins could have some other representatives…


A.J. Pierzynski leads all AL catchers in RBIs with 45, is fourth in homers (9) and doubles (11), and fifth in runs scored (22).  He is also second to only Greg Myers in batting average (.299) and fourth in slugging percentage (.490).  Pierzynski?s main competition for the backup catcher spot(s) are Varitek and Myers.


I know this sounds crazy, but Doug Mientkiewicz might have a shot at the all-star team this year.  Everyone knows about his phenomenal defense, but Mientkiewicz is actually hitting this year too.  He?s at .299/.364/.492 right now and is tied for seventh among AL first basemen in homers (7), tied for fourth in doubles (17) and is seventh in batting average (.299) and OPS (.848).


With Eric Chavez slumping (.251/.326/.464), Corey Koskie has a real shot at making the team too.  Koskie is hitting .291/.394/.444, is tied for fifth among third basemen in doubles (13), seventh in homers (7), fourth in runs scored (36) and RBIs (39).  He is also fourth in batting average (.291), third in on-base percentage (.394), sixth in slugging percentage (.444) and fifth in OPS (.838).  Plus, he plays Gold Glove-caliber defense at the hot-corner.


Jacque Jones might also have a shot at the team, although the backup outfield spots in the AL are looking like they?ll be used to fill the at-least-one-player-from-every-team quota (yes, I?m looking at you Dmitri).


On the pitching side of things, the Twins have no less than four legit candidates.  Kyle Lohse has been Minnesota?s best starter this year by far and is currently 6-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 95 innings of work.  Johan Santana has been splitting his time between the pen and the rotation and has a 2.32 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 50 innings.  Latroy Hawkins has struggled this month, but is 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA and a 36/7 K/BB ratio in 33 innings.  Eddie Guardado leads the AL in saves with 19 and has a 3.03 ERA and a 28/5 K/BB ratio in 30 innings.

Fun with paces:

Cristian Guzman ? 627 at bats, 0 homers, 21 doubles, 21 triples, 21 walks

Jacque Jones ? 605 at bats, 186 hits, 19 homers, 43 doubles, 17 walks, 129 strikeouts

Torii Hunter ? 584 at bats, 21 homers, 29 doubles, 5 triples, 100 RBIs, 69 walks

A.J Pierzynski ? 486 at bats, 19 homers, 107 RBIs, 21 walks, 45 strikeouts

Brad Radke ? 33 starts, 200 innings, 257 hits, 107 strikeouts, 41 walks, 41 homers

Johan Santana ? 119 innings, 86 hits, 129 strikeouts, 48 walks, 5 homers, 10 wins, 7 starts

Coming up:

6/20-6/22 ? @Milwaukee

6/23 ? Off Day

6/24-6/26 ? Chicago

6/27-6/29 ? Milwaukee

6/30-7/2 ? @Chicago


Oh yippee!  That exciting inter-league match-up between the Twins and the team that some people used to care about!  It?s so good we get it twice in two weeks!


KANSAS CITY ROYALS (35-32 ? 2nd Place)

What happened since the last "Bi-Weekly Review":

The Royals went 7-4, including taking 2/3 from Colorado and San Francisco, and gained a game and half on the Twins in the divisional race.


In a move perhaps meant to off-set their winning ways, similar to the management-wants-the-team-to-lose plotline in "Major League,"the Royals signed Jose "Life to Flying Things" Lima and actually gave him a start against Barry Bonds and the Giants.  Jose served up a massive homer to Barry and ended up pitching six innings, allowing four runs in a no-decision.  No word yet on whether or not there is a life-sized cardboard cutout of Royals owner David Glass in just his skivvies in the KC locker room.


Lima Time! was 17-34 with a 6.40 ERA in 430 innings pitched from 2000-2002, giving up 95 homers (or one every 4.5 innings).

Who?s playing (and where) and who?s not (and why):

Ken Harvey is officially losing playing time at DH.  After serving as the team?s every DH for the first two months of the year, Harvey has just 18 at bats in June and has started just five of KC?s 14 games.  In his place, Raul Ibanez has been getting more time at DH, with Aaron Guiel taking over for him in the outfield.  Harvey is hitting .238/.294/.384 on the year.


Jeremy Affeldt missed more time with blister problems, but is now back in the rotation.  When blister-free, Affeldt has been very good this year.  He is 3-3 with a 4.11 ERA in 12 starts and has a 46/18 K/BB ratio.


The Royals have been shuffling the deck at the back of the rotation all month.  Nate Field, Rick DeHart, Brad Voyles, Les Walrond, Jason Gilfillan ? pick a card, any card.


Rule V draftee D.J Carrasco, who has been great out of the bullpen this year, has made two starts this month, going 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA in 8 1/3 innings.  For the year, he is 3-4 with a 3.76 ERA and has a 32/22 K/BB ratio in 38 innings.

Hey now, you?re an all-star?:

With only one Royal (Mike Sweeney, 4th among AL 1B) in the top 5 in voting (or the top 15 for outfielders) at their position, Kansas City won?t be getting any starters in the all-star game this year.  They may, however, get more than one player for just the second time since 1990.  Jermaine Dye and Mike Sweeney made the AL squad in 2000, but before that the last KC team to have more than one all-star was the 1989 team, with Bo Jackson and Mark Gubicza.


Sweeney, who has made the AL team each of the past three seasons, is almost a lock to make the team this year.  He is hitting .322/.442/.542 and leads all AL first basemen in batting average (.322) and on-base percentage (.442), ranks fourth in homers (12), second in RBIs (50) and second in slugging percentage (.542).


And don?t look now, but Angel Berroa (yes, Angel Berroa) is having an all-star type season.  Berroa is hitting .358/.414/.774 this month and has raised his season stats to .281/.344/.473 with seven homers, 16 doubles and three triples in 224 at bats.  He?s fourth among AL shortstops in batting average (.281) and OBP (.344), and third in slugging percentage (.473).


Carlos Beltran is also playing at an all-star level, but he missed about two weeks at the start of the season and may not get serious consideration for the team.  He is hitting .309/.417/.528 in 50 games.


Among pitchers, the Royals don?t really have a good candidate, although, depending on how obsessed with saves the people picking the all-star pitchers are, Mike MacDougal could have a very outside shot.  He is sixth in the AL in saves with 14, but has a 3.52 ERA and a 24/16 K/BB ratio, and has already blown five saves.

Fun with paces:

Angel Berroa ? 540 at bats, 17 homers, 39 doubles, 7 triples, 29 walks, 106 strikeouts, 26 HBPs

Mike Sweeney ? 515 at bats, 29 homers, 25 doubles, 118 RBIs, 113 walks, 69 strikeouts

Carlos Beltran ? 427 at bats, 27 homers, 10 doubles, 79 walks, 69 strikeouts, 42/44 SBs

Mike MacDougal ? 79 appearances, 76 innings, 76 hits, 59 strikeouts, 39 walks, 34/46 saves

Darrell May ? 37 appearances, 29 starts, 191 innings, 0 wins, 7 losses

Coming up:

6/20-6/22 ? @St. Louis

6/23 ? Off Day

6/24-6/26 ? @Cleveland

6/27-6/29 ? St. Louis

6/30-7/2 ? Cleveland


Ah, the beauty of inter-league play.  While the Twins get two series against their "rivals" ? the 28-41 Brewers ? the Royals get to play two sets against their "rivals" ? the 36-33 Cardinals.


CHICAGO WHITE SOX (32-38 ? 3rd Place)

What happened since the last "Bi-Weekly Review":

The White Sox went 7-5, including taking 2/3 from the Dodgers and the Padres, while dropping 2/3 to the Giants in-between.

Who?s playing (and where) and who?s not (and why):

Paul Konerko has had a lot of time on the bench in June.  The combination of his season-long struggles (.195/.272/.280) and the lack of a DH in inter-league road games, has caused Konerko to be benched in favor of Frank Thomas and Brian Daubach quite a bit this month.  Konerko only has 30 at bats in June and the ChiSox have played 16 games.  He is hitting .133/.229/.133.  Daubach is hitting .429/.529/1.000 in 14 June at bats and The Big Hurt has been on fire (more on that in a moment).


Meanwhile, Chicago?s revolving door in centerfield continues to spin.  Joe Borchard, Armando Rios, Aaron Rowand and Willie Harris have all gotten time out there this month and Magglio Ordonez spent a few games there earlier in the year.  Borchard has been sent back down to Triple-A, Rowand has been recalled and Harris is back from his shoulder injury.  At this point, it?s like shuffling the deck-chairs on the Titanic.  Chicago CFs are hitting .214/.254/.286 as a unit this year.


Sandy Alomar Jr. has been out of action the whole month, so Miguel Olivo has gotten almost all of the playing time at catcher.  Olivo is hitting .209/.277/.372 in June and .240/.288/.384 on the year.  Josh "Runs Well for a Catcher" Paul was called up from Triple-A to serve as Olivo?s backup.


Mark Buehrle has started to turn it around a little bit this month.  He is 1-2 with a 4.38 ERA in four June starts, after posting a 7.16 ERA in May.  He is also 3-10 on the year, putting him on pace for 23 losses.

Hey now, you?re an all-star?:

The White Sox are going to struggle to get more than the mandatory one all-star this year.  Magglio Ordonez, who made the AL squad in 1999, 2000 and 2001, is hitting just .272/.337/.486 and has almost no shot of making the team this season.  2002 all-star Paul Konerko wouldn?t make the team if they took 15 first basemen and Carlos Lee isn?t hitting all that well either.


On the pitching side of things, Mark Buehrle, who made the AL team last year, is a mess and Bartolo Colon is 6-7 with a 4.19 ERA.  Damaso Marte has been very good, but it?s unlikely he?ll be given a serious look.


The White Sox really only have two legit all-star candidates:  Esteban Loaiza and Frank Thomas.


Now, depending on your view of who should make the all-star team, Loaiza is either a shoe-in or someone completely undeserving.  If you go entirely by a player?s performance in the first three months of this season to determine this year?s all-stars, Loaiza has been the best pitcher in the AL and should start the game.  If you go partly by this season, but mostly by a player?s history, Loaiza is about as good a candidate as a hundred other pitchers in the AL this year. 


I tend to go for the latter, taking into account what a player is doing this season, but remembering that a good three months does not a great player make.  And, in Loaiza?s case, a good two or three months does not make a whole career of mediocrity vanish.  That said, I am guessing Mike Scioscia and the rest of the guys choosing the AL team will see Loaiza?s 2003 numbers and take him, but I could be wrong.


Meanwhile, Frank Thomas is having a vintage Frank Thomas season, or at least something very close to one.  The Big Hurt is hitting .276/.411/.560 and is on pace for 37 homers, 37 doubles and 106 walks.  The Chicago offense has been so bad that Thomas only has 36 RBIs, despite hitting .298/.465/.553 with runners on base, so his RBI totals may turn off the AL choosers.  Thomas is hitting .339/.431/.768 in June and, if the AL team has more than one DH (Edgar!), Frank Thomas should be a 2003 all-star.

Fun with paces:

Magglio Ordonez ? 594 at bats, 28 homers, 33 doubles, 49 walks, 82 strikeouts

Frank Thomas ? 521 at bats, 37 homers, 37 doubles, 106 walks, 111 strikeouts, 83 RBIs

Paul Konerko ? 460 at bats, 7 homers, 19 doubles, 40 RBIs, 38 runs

Mark Buehrle ? 230 innings, 110 strikeouts, 82 walks, 31 homers, 7 wins, 23 losses

Esteban Loaiza ? 216 innings, 169 hits, 183 strikeouts, 56 walks, 14 homers, 21 wins, 5 losses

Tom Gordon ? 70 appearances, 77 innings, 106 strikeouts, 40 walks, 9 wins, 12 losses

Billy Koch ? 73 appearances, 69 innings, 54 strikeouts, 33 walks, 14 homers, 19/24 saves

Coming up:

6/20-6/22 ? @Chicago

6/23 ? Off Day

6/24-6/26 ? @Minnesota

6/27-6/29 ? Chicago

6/30-6/2 ? Minnesota


Tough two-week stretch for the White Sox, as they try to claw their way back to .500 playing the Central division(s) leaders.


CLEVELAND INDIANS (27-41 ? 4th Place)

What happened since the last "Bi-Weekly Review":

The Indians went 4-7 and lost their best hitter, Ellis Burks, to a season-ending (and possibly career-threatening) injury.  Burks? injury is called "ulnar neuritis" of the right elbow and involves a bone spur making contact with a nerve.  That contact caused numbness and a deterioration of muscles in his hand, which in turn made it difficult for him to even grip or swing a bat.  The recovery time is said to be from 2-4 months and this is the final season of Burks? contract, meaning his career in Cleveland may be over.


Meanwhile, the Indians also lost Omar Vizquel to a serious injury.  Vizquel tore the "meniscus" of his right knee during an early June game against the Diamondbacks, played several more games on the injured knee and then went on the DL and had surgery on the 12th.  Vizquel is expected to miss, at minimum, 3-4 weeks.

Who?s playing (and where) and who?s not (and why):

With Burks and Vizquel out, the Indians called up Jhonny Peralta and Coco Crisp from the minors.  Peralta and John McDonald are expected to share shortstop duties while Vizquel is out and, thus far, the DH spot has been filled by various players ? Matt Lawton, Shane Spencer, Jody Gerut ? and Crisp has gotten extended time in the outfield.  Crisp was hitting .360/.434/.511 at Triple-A before the call-up, while Peralta was batting just .256/.310/.335.


Jody Gerut has established himself as an everyday player for the Tribe.  Gerut, who was called up in late April, is batting .273/.313/.526 in 40 games, including .296/.377/.630 thus far in June.


Ben Broussard took over first base-duties when Travis Hafner went on the DL and has done pretty well.  In 29 games, Broussard is batting .290/.350/.527 with five homers and five doubles.  Hafner hit .206/.280/.392 in 30 games with Cleveland.

Hey now, you?re an all-star?:

The Cleveland Indians will have one all-star this season, that much is definite.  What isn?t quite so clear is who that all-star will be.  Burks and Vizquel, who may have been selected because of the "old veteran" factor, are both out.  Matt Lawton, an all-star with the Twins in 2000, has been awful all season long.  The only healthy Cleveland hitter having even a remotely good offensive season is Milton Bradley.  Bradley is hitting .330/.433/.505 in 53 games   He missed about two weeks of action with an injury earlier this year, but ranks eighth in the AL batting average (.330) and third in OBP (.433).


If Bradley isn?t the choice, the only other likely candidate is C.C. Sabathia.  Sabathia is 6-3 with a 3.44 ERA this year.  It?ll probably come down to which spot the AL has an "opening" at.  If it?s a position player, Bradley?s the pick, if it?s a pitcher, it?ll be C.C.

Fun with paces:

Brandon Phillips ? 501 at bats, 10 homers, 22 doubles, 19 walks, 87 strikeouts

Milton Bradley ? 462 at bats, 12 homers, 46 doubles, 80 walks, 94 strikeouts

C.C. Sabathia ? 33 starts, 212 innings, 138 strikeouts, 69 walks, 17 homers, 14 wins, 7 losses

Danys Baez ? 75 appearances, 77 innings, 58 hits, 60 strikeouts, 27 walks, 7 homers, 34 saves

Coming up:

6/20-6/22 ? @Pittsburgh

6/23 ? Off Day

6/24-6/26 ? Kansas City

6/27-6/29 ? Cincinnati

6/30-7/2 ? @Kansas City


DETROIT TIGERS (17-50 ? 5th Place)

What happened since the last "Bi-Weekly Review":

Well, the Tigers were playing well.  After putting together a .500 two-week stretch leading up to the last "Bi-Weekly Review," the Tigers are 1-10 since, including dropping eight straight inter-league games (one to San Diego, three each to San Francisco and LA, and one to Colorado).

Who?s playing (and where) and who?s not (and why):

If I hadn?t already used that deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic line for the White Sox, I would use it here.  The Tigers have continued to do what they?ve done all season, which is burn through players.


The latest set of comings and goings include Gene Kingsale going on the disabled list and Ernie Young and Warren Morris being called up from Triple-A.  Combine those moves with Alex Sanchez coming over in a trade and Craig Monroe and Kevin Witt being called up from Toledo earlier in the year and you have a Tigers team that doesn?t particularly resemble the one that started the season.  Well, the players don?t have a resemblance at least ? the losing still does.


Warren Morris, who finished third to Scott Williamson and Preston Wilson in the 1999 NL Rookie of the Year balloting while with the Pirates, has been on fire since joining the Tigers.  He joined Detroit on June 5th and spent most of the first week as a pinch-hitter.  Then he went 4-5 with a homer and three runs scored on the 14th against the Rockies and followed that up with a 3-5 with a triple against Colorado the next day.  Morris is batting .333/.333/.542 in 24 at bats.  He has three RBIs already, which is just two fewer than Ramon Santiago has all season and Santiago has played in 53 games and totaled 208 plate appearances.


Alex Sanchez is the new every centerfielder and, although he isn?t hitting well (.221/.268/.260 with Detroit), he?s running like crazy.  Despite having only 17 hits and four walks, Sanchez already has 12 stolen bases in 17 games with the Tigers.  He had just eight steals in 43 games with Milwaukee.  After just 23 games in the league, Sanchez is already tied for seventh in the AL in stolen bases and is just seven steals behind the league-leader, Alfonso Soriano.

Hey now, you?re an all-star?:

After a god-awful start to the season, Dmitri Young has been awesome for the last two months…


April - .182/.250/.312

May - .355/.417/.636

June - .319/.429/.681


Da Meat Hook did something in May that seems almost impossible given his teammates: he drove in 25 runs in 29 games!  And so far this month he?s already got nine RBIs in 13 games.  Perhaps even more amazing is that Dmitri?s 25 RBIs in the month of May would rank second on the entire Detroit team, behind only his own season-total (41), of course.  Plus, Dmitri?s brother Delmon was the #1 pick in draft earlier in June, so it?s been a pretty good month for the Youngs.


So, if there is any justice in the world of American League all-star selections, Dmitri Young will be the man chosen from the Tigers to represent the AL.  He?s hitting .285/.360/.528 on the season, which, considering his home ballpark, is pretty darn good, regardless of what team he?s on.  The Tigers don?t have any other hitters with an OPS over .700 (think about that for a minute) and the only pitcher who is even close to an all-star is Nate Cornejo and that depends entirely on how loose you want to play with the meaning of "even close."  Cornejo is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 77 innings and has amazingly struck out only 14 batters the entire season.

Fun with paces:

Dmitri Young ? 569 at bats, 32 homers, 25 doubles, 10 triples, 101 RBIs

Bobby Higginson ? 560 at bats, 10 homers, 22 doubles, 79 walks, 52 RBIs

Omar Infante ? 457 at bats, 0 homers, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 17 RBIs

Ramon Santiago ? 437 at bats, 0 homers, 17 doubles, 0 triples, 12 RBIs

Mike Maroth ? 34 starts, 194 innings, 91 strikeouts, 47 walks, 2 wins, 27 losses

Nate Cornejo ? 32 starts, 190 innings, 34 strikeouts, 52 walks, 22 homers

Coming up:

6/20-6/22 ? @Colorado

6/23-6/26 ? @Boston

6/27-6/29 ? Arizona

6/30-7/2 ? Toronto


The good news is that the Tigers have twice as many road wins as home wins this year.  The bad news is that they are still the Tigers, the Rockies are 25-12 at home, the Red Sox are 22-11 at home, and the then the Blue Jays come to town and the Tigers? ERAs take a beating.


Aaron Gleeman Posted: June 19, 2003 at 06:00 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jason Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:19 AM (#611722)
Hey cut it with the interleague garabage. I get to watch my Brewers embarass the Twinkies on TV Friday night and I don't have to go home to WI to do it. I can sit in the comfort of my own home and do it. Who knows maybe I'll even be inspired to buy a couple of tickets for the series like I did last year and watched my Brewers pummel the "what excuse do we have for not drawing well now" Twins. And of course it's worth noting that when the Brewers aren't throwing the worst starter by far in the NL out there they are only 3 games under .500. And said starter almost certainly won't see another start in a Brewer uniform. Meanwhile the Brewers managed to knock Jim edmonds onto the day to day list.
   2. Jason Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:19 AM (#611727)
Of course the Twins will out draw the Brewers this year, the salient point is that according to the theories winning increases attendnace and is the panacea, except the Twins are having a hard time drawing anything that approaches good attendance. Last time I saw there numbers were barely ahead of last years "contraction impaired" figures. How can you have a winner and not be able to regularily pack more than 25K into the seats? That's just sad.
   3. Aaron Gleeman Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#611733)
Of course the Twins will out draw the Brewers this year, the salient point is that according to the theories winning increases attendnace and is the panacea, except the Twins are having a hard time drawing anything that approaches good attendance. Last time I saw there numbers were barely ahead of last years "contraction impaired" figures. How can you have a winner and not be able to regularily pack more than 25K into the seats? That's just sad.

The Twins are about 10% ahead of where they were in attendance last season.

And you should probably ask Oakland, Toronto and Philadelphia about the whole winning and not drawing more than 25K thing too.
   4. Jason Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#611735)
As for Oakland, Toronto, and Philly the acknowledged empirical data is that during a teams 1st good year they get a modest boost, and it's the next year generall due to more season tickets that you get a bigger boost. Philly and Tor fit under that model, while Oakland is clearly mired in a Twins like problem of winning and they still don't come. I would have brought them up before, but that risked taking the topic far affield.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#611736)
Forgive me if I'm not up-to-date on Cleveland's situation (and really, who would be?). But why aren't they shifting Brandon Phillips over to SS with Vizquel injured?

Because the Indians would be playing the McDonald/Peralta combo regardless of Phillips's position (those two guys are the 2B backups, also), so why mess with two positions? Phillips is going to be the 2B as long as Vizquel can play, and maybe even after that.

-- MWE
   6. Jason Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#611738)
I wasn't the one that took lame thinly veiled cheap shots at interleague play as devil inspired filth and silmultaneously denigrating Bud through the Brewers. And the Brewers packed a lot more than 17K into the stadium when it was brand new.

And nothing makes a series interesting like animosity and thousands of opposing fans filling the other stadium. Of course I'm sure that the Brewers would rather have another series against the Padres and the Twins can take another swing at the D-rays. Can't wait for those marquee match-ups
   7. Jason Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#611740)
We're from wisconsin we suffered a lot longer for our Packers than a platry bad decade, and the reward has been sweet. If you haven't suffered for your team you can't truly enjoy the success
   8. Aaron Gleeman Posted: June 19, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#611755)
Tom -

Thanks for all the comments.

I said what I did about Loaiza because he is being talked about all over the place as not only an all-star, but as the game's starter. Whereas Lohse, Berroa and Mientkiewicz are unlikely selections and Pierzynski seems to be a pretty deserving backup catcher.

As for me choosing Hudson, Wells and Sabathia over Loaiza...

Hudson has proven that he is an all-star pitcher. Sabathia has not (in my opinion), but I chose him to represent the Indians. That said, I might take him over Loaiza anyway. As for Wells not being "dominant" before, he has 190+ career wins, has been on 3 AS teams previously and has finished in the top 3 of the CY Young balloting twice in the last 5 years. Esteban Loaiza has a career ERA of 4.88.

I have said on my blog (and here) that I do not base my AS selections on what someone has done for 2 months of the current season, but that I take that into account and base it more on their history as a player. That's why I would take Hudson, Wells and possibly even Sabathia over Loaiza.

What he has done so far this year is incredible and he has been one of the best (if not the best) pitcher in the AL this year. But baseball history is filled with guys who have had 2 good months and I choose not to make my AS selections on the basis of that, but rather on what a player has done over the long-haul (if such information is available, which it is in Loaiza's case).
   9. Paul Posted: June 25, 2003 at 02:22 AM (#611867)
"I have said on my blog (and here) that I do not base my AS selections on what someone has done for 2 months of the current season, but that I take that into account and base it more on their history as a player. That's why I would take Hudson, Wells and possibly even Sabathia over Loaiza."

With all due respect, this is silly. They have an All-Star game every year so that you can continue to just use the first half of the season to judge the players that belong in. If they had an All Star game every 3 or 5 years only, then you'd be on to something. Esteban Loaiza deserves not only to be in, but to start. Only Roy Halladay has a case near or over him to start. His career previous to 2003 has nothing to do with the All Star game of... 2003! It's as simple as that. The silver lining to Cal Ripken retiring was that moronic fans could no longer vote in the undeserving Cal to start the AS Game. Maybe a sort of honorary selection type deal could've been set up for he and Gwynn and other vets that have been staples of the game, but I think the All Star starters should be the best at their position from April to June of that season.

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