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Mr. Hicks says, “”This will be hopefully the start to getting our intangibles to work.”

The new manager, Jerry Narron, says, “We just have not played anywhere near where we’re capable of playing. It’s my job to get guys to achieve and overachieve. I don’t know at this second what we’re going to change. I want them relaxed, intense, but don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I think at times we’ve played that way.”

Needless to say, this is piffle. Narron casts himself in the mode of Dick Williams and Billy Martin. I look forward to him kicking Rafael Palmeiro’s ass.

The Rangers are a team that is too old and without a pitching staff.

So, what will change?

There don’t really seem to be any logical moves to be made. Ruben Mateo has been hurt and is off to a bad start, but Chad Curtis is on the DL, as is Rickey Ledee. The aforementioned Palmeiro is old and you always have to wonder about old guys: Has he lost it? Ken Caminitti was a useless signing, though I doubt that was Oates’ doing.

But what are they going to do? Play Catalonotto? He’s been playing.

So, the answer would appear to be to get new pitchers, or get the weak pitchers they have to suck it up. Good luck.

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I just happened to be at ESPN and they have a new feature: All Time player stats. I looked up Roger Maris and a neat little screen popped up. All of Maris’s stats were there.

Down at the bottom there is also a credit: Powered by Baseball1.

Baseball1.com used to be Sean Lahman’s site. Maybe it still is. Last I looked there hadn’t been any activity since last year. The coolest thing baseball1.com had was a database file containing all baseball stats, up to 1999. Now they’ve released a new upgrade, with 2000 stats and supposedly all sorts of fielding records. All of which are still cool.

Except that a lot of the stats are wrong. I’ve worked with the database exhaustively, we licensed it for the Rotonews Fantasy Baseball Guide 2000, and it is riddled with errors. The clearest example? Click this link and note that Mark Guthrie is listed as a righty.

Mark Guthrie Statistics – Baseball-Reference

Go to the Mark Guthrie page in ESPN’s historical database (Powered by Baseball1) and it says Mark Guthrie is a righty.

Go to the Online Database at Baseball1.com and call up Mark Guthrie and it will say he is a righty.

I’ve sent corrections to Sean Lahmans (baseball1) and Sean Forman (baseball-reference.com). I think what they’ve done, nearly, is fantastic, and I hope they figure out a way to make money with it. When the baseball-reference.com servers were overloaded and Forman’s web hosting service shut him down, I sent a little money to help.

But boys, the Guthrie example is just one of many. You’ve got to fix these errors right away.

Some are the errors in the database are biographical details. Some involve mixups between guys with similar names. Maintaining a database of this size and fluidity in any given season is clearly a huge job. I’m working with MLB right now on their new database and there are errors there, too. But they have Mark Guthrie throwing left-handed.

But

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One of the riskiest predictions I made in the preseason was calling for LaTroy Hawkins to earn $24. That’s working out. ESPN.com: MLB Boxscore: NY Yankees vs. Minnesota

One of the things I felt surest of was that Doug Mientkiewicz was not a major league hitter, all that Olympic gold notwithstanding. Yes, he put up great numbers last year in Salt Lake City, but that team’s stats are inflated. Which may be part of the reason the Twins have had some many high-flying prospects fail recently.

Minty is by all accounts an excellent fielder, but he’s showing so far that he can drive the ball, too. I’m not ready to say he’s ready to get past the first round of adjustments. I still don’t think he’s going to be able to do it.

But as a fantasy owner you have to be happier having your low-expectation guys doing well (thank you Jose Macias!) than having your high-expectation guys doing badly (even though you KNOW they’ll rebound).

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Closer in waiting Matt Anderson got a save, and lowered his ERA to, well, nearly 10. ESPN.com: MLB Boxscore: Detroit vs. Texas

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I picked up Alex Fernandez in Tout Wars because there was some word during the spring that he was throwing easily. This story ESPN.com – Major League Baseball – Marlins’ Fernandez on comeback trail to majors makes it clear that the trail is a long one. As happy a headline as this story carries, the news is pretty bad.

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This is my first blog. I promise all the rest of them will be about baseball, unless Joey Ramone dies again.