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A few of you have asked me what a blog is (though most of you thought the name was utterly appropriate).

The name comes from BLOGGER, a website that offers up diary-writing software, on the web. While the diary aspect of the blog is appealing, what really makes it sing for my purposes is the way the software is accessed.

While I’m browsing, reading about Steve Parris’ tough luck against Oakland, or Frank Thomas’s tough luck in this world, all I have to do is right click. One of the right-click menu choices is “Blog This”. I select it and a little wordprocessing window opens up.

Actually, there are no formatting helpers here, though I can insert html code if I remember how. Anyway, I can write what I will, press “post and publish” and the site is updated.

Which is a whole lot more immediate and friendly than trying to get the same material posted using Front Page.

Something else you should know: The Blog page isn’t password protected. It doesn’t have to be since no one but members know about it. The URL is www.peter.kreutzer.com/blogger.htm

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Geez, why won’t the Cards send him down and give him a chance to succeed? This must be tough love, right? It isn’t like he’s helping them win games. But as much as he might hate riding the busses of Double-A for a month or three, wouldn’t that be preferable to this?

Stop the madness. Sometimes a shrink isn’t enough.

Major League Baseball News

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My American Dreams League team has been pretty dismal. I’m playing for next year, I had no keeps to speak of going into the draft.

On problem was that I bought Nomar for $15. Not a problem if he comes back July 1, as they’re saying in Boston now, but a problem in that is money spent that has no return.

Unfortunately, I also spent what seemed like a quite reasonable $28 on Derek Lowe. So that makes $43 without return. And I spent $8 or so on Glenallen HIll, not for next year but to help me get into the middle of the pack. In the ADL you get fewer freezes the lower you finish (4 for last, 5, for 11th, 6 for 10th, 7 for 9th, 8 for 5th-8th. This butte works at the high end, too.

But the real problem has been my pitching. Eric Milton has been as good as hoped for, but Brian Moehler didn’t last long before going down, and Dave Mlicki and Steve Parris got off to awful starts. For a while I was so far out in the qualitatives I considered dumping them, in April.

But instead I special reserved Mlicki, traded for Reichert and added a bunch of middle relievers. All of whom immediately stank. Meanwhile, Mlicki’s first start after I reserved him was against… Tampa Bay!

Idiot! I said to myself. The next week I checked the probables and his next start was against Texas in Texas. No thank you. Of course, he did quite nicely. The next week I didn’t activate Jon Garland off my reserve because he was hit so hard in his first start. But he did fine and won, too.

And I activated James Baldwin when he came off the DL, missing his first (good) start, absorbing his second (bad) start.

All of which brings us to last night: Milton and Baldwin pitched shutouts. Lowe even tossed in 2 scoreless innings (earned scoreless, anyway), and I’m in 9th place in ERA now.

Tonight I have Mlicki and Reichert going. As I write this Mlicki has 2 hit the Rangers through 4. At Comerica. Reichert has allowed 3 runs through 4, but at least all of them were driven in by Russell Branyan, one of my guys.

If only the Royals could hit Sabathia…
ESPN.com: MLB Scoreboard

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I updated the pitcher and hitter price posts today. The numbers at the top of the column represent each of the weeks of the season. We’re starting to get enough of them that it’s interesting to see how value ebbs and flows.

mlb.com is getting a subset of this data.

Brian Boehringer increased his value $23 last week. That feels like a mistake, but as a BB owner, the save was fantastic.

Chuck Finley raised his $10.

Pedro jumped $11. Mussina $14.

Ryan Glynn’s good game earned him an additional $10.

These prices are scaled so that they are like full season prices. This isn’t necessarily as informative as showing what the players have actually earned (calculate their earnings each week and divide by 26, roughly). But this way you get to see that your $20 relievers is either earning you an additional $20 or costing you $14. The price you paid (in a $260 4×4 single league) is directly comparable.

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Here’s a page that has the lyrics to all the Ramones songs, in English, but the page itself is in Portuguese.

Ramones

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Oates Sacrifices Job for Rangers’ Future

You’ll have to register to read this (before Tuesday, I think), from Sunday’s NY Times.

Murray Chass makes it sound as if Johnny Oates quit altruistically. “In the interests of the organization…” he says, before suggesting he be replaced.

The story goes on to note that not only has the Ranger pitching been terrible, but the defense has been awful, too. How often these things go together! And how ironic, since when Oates and Melvin arrived in Texas their stated aim was to improve the pitching by improving the defense.

Somehow it never occured to them that an infield where three of the four positions are filled with someone more than 35 years old, where the top reserve is a mediocre fielder at all positions he plays except first base, maybe, and the crown jewel, Alex Rodriguez, is a big man with a big stick who has never been noted for his glovework.

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ESPN.com: MLB Boxscore: Chicago WS vs. Texas

It would be too easy to say this had nothing to do with the managerial change.

In his previous four starts Ryan Glynn gave up 5, 6, 7 and 4 ER in a total of 16.1 innings. Johnny Oates made him a reliever. Now Glynn has thrown the sort of game as a starter that has been expected of him for years.

Coincidence?

Never. A new found determination to concentrate and play tough, hard-nosed, good-basics baseball has paid off.

Look out, Seattle.

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ESPN.com: MLB Boxscore: NY Yankees vs. Baltimore

In the American Dreams League I own Josh Towers. I activated him this week, at least in part because I hoped he would take Chuck McElroy’s spot in the rotation. I’m in desperate need of innings, since I inopportunely benched Dave Mlicki and I lost Moehler to the DL.

But I’m not unhappy that Mike Hargrove is using Towers in relief. I strongly believe that young pitchers need to learn that they can get major leaguers out, and the best way to get that experience is by pitching out of the bullpen.

Once Matt Riley burned out (or in, as you may) Towers is probably the best prospect the Orioles have. (I happen to have some hope for John Parrish, but I’m not trying to sell him.) He has yet to give up a run, which I’m appreciative of, but as an investor in the 2002 stats for the players on my team, I hope he’s brought along slowly and given every chance to succeed.

He has great control, and four good pitches. That doesn’t mean he’ll get major leaguers out (ask Chad Durbin), but he’ll have a much better chance of learning how to leap that hurdle if he’s taught how to do it, rather than facing a Durbin-esque task of winning a big league game.

There is little evidence that these young pitchers will succeed enough to be on our roster, at least if we have to pay for them, but there are exceptions that we can’t be unaware of the potential.

Right now I’m glad my money is on Towers. And I’m glad that money consists of one reserve pick.

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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