Baseball Toaster The Juice Blog
Monthly archives: October 2003


2003-10-31 14:51
by Will Carroll

Without going into my whole pseudo-sappy, Pee-Wee-esque 'luckiest boy in the world' schtick again, I have to say that in many, many ways, I'm blessed. I mean, my frickin' job is to write about baseball. They pay me money for this. I'm sitting at home in front of my big screen and Tivo typing on my laptop in my underwear. (Nice image, eh?) I went to Games Six and Seven of the NLCS for free. I'm pretty much just an arrogant guy with a bit of talent, some luck, and more balls than brains.

As I've often said, the best part of this job is the people I meet - both in real life and online. To me, somehow, online has become as 'real' as anything I have locally. One of my best friends is someone I didn't physically meet until this summer after years of chatting online. There are people that, if asked, I'd drop everything to help them ... without ever having met them. I probably wouldn't recognize Alex Belth if he passed me on the street. I have a mental image of some people that often turns out to be completely off-base and occasionally dead-on.

To head off this seemingly aimless ramble, all this comes down to how lucky I feel and how helpless I feel when confronted with a situation like what Christian Ruzich is dealing with. His house - his town, actually - is gone; wiped from the earth by the fires. As with the attacks or the war, knowing someone there makes it more than Dan Rather standing in front of a smoked out forest or a pile of contextless rubble. I met Christian last year and had him on my show and now write here by the grace of Ruz.

And as he rebuilds, I'm not sure what to do. I'm not wealthy enough to cut him a check for a new house and most of what he lost can't adequately be replaced. What he didn't lose - his family, his wife, his dogs - are what's most important. The peace of mind and spirit in his home are gone and nothing brings that back but the healing of time. I'm publicly flailing and if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. BP's donating some from our subscriptions to the Red Cross, which will not only help Ruz in some small way, but many of those who may not be as "lucky" as he was.

Over on his site, The Cub Reporter, the feeling of community is palpable. What he's built here, online, cannot be burned. There's not a fire big enough to take us all down. Maybe standing next to him, figuratively, is all I can do. Maybe, that's enough.

'Roid Rage, Pt. II
2003-10-31 14:40
by Will Carroll

The article I promised and that started in this space is now up over at BP. It's a Premium article, so if you haven't paid up, well, what's your damn excuse, you lazy crap for crap? :)

Thank You Mr. Thomas
2003-10-30 14:57
by Will Carroll

Pardon me for gloating today, but by Frank re-upping with the Sox it virtually guarantees that they'll be non-contenders again in '04.

What a great world we live in!


'Roid Rage
2003-10-30 12:32
by Will Carroll

There was a steroid entry here.

There's not now.

Here's the reason why: I write for Baseball Prospectus and my primary commitment is to them. After writing the piece originally published here, I decided to write a bigger piece for my BP audience. Since the material is very similar in places, so as not to be a conflict between my site and BP, where we ask people to pay, I have removed it. I hope everyone can understand my decision.

For what it's worth, the piece for BP is much longer, much better, and I feel, makes a stronger stand. Some of you that know me personally know how close to me the issue of drug abuse is to me; I think it's important that I take this to a bigger audience and stand for what I believe. Thanks to everyone for giving me this outlet for trying things out, speaking my mind on everything, and sharing your opinions with the group.

2003-10-29 13:44
by Will Carroll

Let me say - apologies for not showing up earlier after the WS, but the day-job and family have a nasty way of interferring with blogging.

What the heck is all this talk of ITunes, Outkast, and RSS? Man I must be old, 'cus you'all lost me...

I know there's been much post-mortem on the Yanks season, but can we all finally agree that they weren't nearly the 2nd best team in the tournament? If Michael Lewis can posit that the '02 A's were clearly a better team that the '02 Twins, I can simliarly opine that the '03 Twins were a marginally better team than this version of the Yanks. Morever, if the RSox weren't so damn scared of winning the ALCS, and had the 'nads to bust out the whopping stick a little more, they would have pounded the Bronx Bombers. All credit to them for beating the dilapidated Twins and the "deer-in-headlights" RSox, but don't give me this sorrow that they lost the WS. They were overly lucky (to use a Saber term) to get there. (And NO the Bombers pitching wasn't all that!)

So, where does that leave us? Post-season awards are around the corner, and the casual baseball fan will always ask - - especially when Jack McKeon doesn't win the manager of the year award - - "Why don't they count post-season performance?" Well...because in baseball the regular-season matters. At least in the pre-Bud world of the Monarchy we now live under. The current version of the post-season tournament (and yes it is a tournament) does not give enough credit to the teams that win their division. I know, I know, this is a tired issue, right? Sheehan, Costas, Pappas, etc. have railed against this forever. Well it still pisses me off that the Marlins record in April and May can be of virtually no consequence as it comes to post-season effects. And what about the A's v. RSox? (Please don't give me the one-home game in five answer.) I may be old-fashioned, a fuddy-duddy, or downright ohmy, but winning your division should be worth more.

Am I the only one who loves the music to these Jaguar commercials?

Here in the upper-Midwest people are actually spouting off the "Sammy to NYY" rumors. Please...How tired is this. Sammy isn't going anywhere. Its bad posturing at best, but more appropriately a slap in the face to the good fans of Chicago.

I hate to disagree with Will, but I believe this latest steriod-induced-THG-subpoena craze will be HUGE. Darwinism tells me that we will adapt to what makes it more likely that our offspring will flourish. And if that includes unnatural means, well so be it.

OK to prove my coolness - any Radiohead fans out there? What did you think of that last CD? Looked to me like it was received rather cooly by everyone concerned.

That's it for now.... a commerical bird is calling.

Onward and Upward,


The Love Below
2003-10-28 12:17
by Will Carroll

I've touted the new Outkast album both here and my other outlets, but in listening late last night while writing on "STP" (as "Saving The Pitcher" will henceforth be referred to in this space), I heard something in "Hey Ya" that actually applies to baseball. I love things that I can see or hear multiple times and go back and find new things when I play them the millionth time. Bull Durham and Monty Python's Holy Grail are like that; It Takes A Nation of Millions ... and Pet Sounds are like that in spades.

In the song, Dre sings as an aside "You don't want to hear me, you just want to dance." Great line, potentially classic. Why's that have anything to do with baseball?

The best knowledge in baseball is being done by people that others really don't want to listen to. BP and the other places doing work to improve the game aren't being heard by the people that need it ... or at least, they don't want to listen. Most baseball teams don't apply the knowledge that's there for the taking and has been for years. Most fans don't want to do the work to understand the statistics, but that doesn't excuse them. It doesn't take a great math mind or a degree from MIT to follow Keith Woolner or Nate Silver's writings. Both of them USE numbers to develop knowledge about baseball. Both can write without numbers as well; Nate's piece on going to a playoff game at Wrigley ranks with the best baseball writing I've ever seen. Joe Sheehan can write circles around almost every other baseball writer I know. There's other research out there as well - TangoTiger, Aaron Gleeman, Christian Ruzich, and tons of others I don't mean to leave out have interesting things to say.

But how do we get the average fan to listen?

Some of us are blocked by our worldview. We know BP and Bill James and even more obscure sites and work. Why doesn't everyone? People are often intrigued by the idea that there is something more out there, that they really do want to learn more, but they don't really want to work to do it. Do we spoonfeed these wannabes until they're ready for the sabermetric equivalent of solid food? If so, not very well.

I may be in the minority, but someone's going to get to the announcers somehow and they'll be the vanguard. Moneyball was one heck of a first step.

What's next?

You tell me.

Crazy Cool
2003-10-27 20:15
by Will Carroll

While I'm procrastinating ...

If you don't have iTunes yet, dude, get with it. I'll still likely be dodging the RIAA for some songs and porn by the truckload *just kidding* but iTunes is a near perfect program. I use it for both Mac and PC and it's darn near the same both ways. Now, I just need an iPod.

I'm also really digging RSS Feeds. Very, very cool and you can even do it with this site. I'm hoping I can do it with most of the blogs I check out -- and yes, I'll get around to adding a blogroll at some point.

So many things to do and learn ... and only one life. I'm still the luckiest boy in the world.

2003-10-27 19:46
by Will Carroll

Gary Huckabay used the term "SOTA" in a chat not long ago - it stands for State Of The Art - and I like the term better than "saber-GM" or "stathead" since in it's 'beer and taco' state, a good front office is a 360 operation.

A comment on my last post reminds me ...

Ken Macha, Art Howe, Carlos Tosca, Eric Wedge, Grady Little

One of these things is not like the other ...

Little was full of personality, good in the clubhouse, and generally accepted to be a nice guy. He was not SOTA. I think Glenn Hoffman could be. I'm curious about the names that pop up in the impending search since managing/coaching is something of a blind spot in the sabermetric revolution. With Bill James in house, this might be something where we see his influence. This might serve as something of a wish list for organizations on the edge of trying something out of Moneyball.

While I wish Little no ill will - heck he's part of my favorite movie - I think Theo made another good move.

2003-10-27 14:20
by Will Carroll

Yep, still at work on what I'm calling the "Shadow GM" project, but that's all I'm giving away at this point.

Congrats to the Marlins and congrats to baseball. It's good for the game that we had a great post-season, no matter the outcome. People are whining about the ratings, but there's no context in the numbers - 'third lowest rated' comes in a season where viewing for everything is off. The Series was right there with CSI and ER, so don't tell me those aren't successful. The WS isn't a 'media event' like the Super Bowl or BCS, but I think MLB and Fox got what they wanted this year and in a year where it was actually all about baseball, baseball was what it was all about.

Little's gone. Zim's gone. Minaya backed out of NY.

It's going to be an interesting off-season.

Light reading
2003-10-23 14:21
by Will Carroll

Here's a good article from one of the BP interns ... we're everywhere.

2003-10-23 00:33
by Will Carroll

It's quiet in the blog because I'm working on a bigger project ... maybe for here, maybe for BP. Kind of depends on how good it comes out.

World Series is about what we expected. Yankees look terrible at the plate, but are so much better than the Marlins that they win anyway unless someone plays above their level. At least I get to have my Game Six Feed now!

If anyone has content they'd like an outlet for, I'm always looking for things to post in this humble space. Email me.

Mr. Henry
2003-10-20 16:29
by Will Carroll

This Ladies and Gentlemen is a good thing.

John W. Henry from today's Boston Globe...

"Initially, I thought New Englanders would just finally throw up their hands. But their level of commitment and resolve is astonishing and deserves our full attention to moving this franchise forward without a break. It shows you how little I know about the toughness of this region. And it shows me how tough I need to be in making sure that we accomplish our goals. So I'm riding their `wave,' so to speak. They've given me the energy to move forward without having to get away from it all. I thought I would have to get away from it all to recharge and start again. But they have refocused me. And I can tell you that Theo [Epstein] and Larry [Lucchino] did not take a one-day or even a half-day break this week. I don't think they needed an external force to recharge themselves. This franchise is in very good shape with these two leading it.....How amazing is it, that even the angriest/saddest/most broken-hearted fans offer thanks and remain determined to see this team prevail? It's astonishing. I'm not listening to the radio, so maybe things are different there. I just know what comes directly to me.....There isn't anything I wouldn't do for these people. You know, there isn't anything these people wouldn't do for the Red Sox. We owe them."


Stop for a minute and imagine 43 coming out with this kind of self-reflection about his place in the world. Or better yet the CEO of any Fortune 500 company (Scott McNeally you come to mind) with this kind of introspection.

What I really mean here is leadership and its ability to be frank and honest. ("Shows you how little I know about the thoughness of this region" - hmmm you couldn't relate that to a current foreign policy now could you?..) Yeah, yeah I understand there isn't a plantiff's bar waiting to sue JH on behalf of angry Sox Nation. And you are also right that the weight of the (entire) free world doesn't rest on what happens in one game somewhere in the northeast corner of this little land. But.....leadership is leadership wherever it happens to be. I've never met JH, and I'm sure he's capable of corporate-type spin that would bring severe blush to the face of Jack Welch (yes - YOU!), but this is real angst and a promise to get busy with results.

Admitting that he has faults and passions will endear him to the Sox faithful for a long time to come. Understanding this wasn't a moment for self-indulgant spin, and was time for - "WE OWE THEM" - should endear him to baseball fans, leadership gurus, and haughty opininated bloggers everywhere.


no title
2003-10-19 22:28
by Will Carroll

Dusty Baker is at the World Series. That's bad enough, but he's there to accept the "Manager's Move of the Year" award for putting Troy O'Leary in a game in the 14th vs. Arizona. I'd have to look, but I'm betting there wasn't much left on the bench at that time, but Dusty winning the award shows the value of this award.

MLB has done a phenomenal job with their online offerings in the offseason. Downloadable, burnable video. Internet of team's radio feeds (so I can listen to Boog and DVH). Gameday's accurate placement of pitches, including a couple instances that were marked as strikes, but out of their zone. Kudos to Bob Bowman and his staff. If he keeps doing this well, he might leapfrog Sandy Alderson as someone that needs to be considered for the next commissioner's job.

The Fish got out of the Bronx with a split and that has to be pretty good by them. Three games in Pro Player should lean to the home team, esp with the cavernous center field. I think Matsui can handle the Teal Curtain. McKeon's use of Pavano is interesting. I think he's leaning to bringing Penny back for Game Four or maybe Willis. His use of starters on the side day is making me curious - is there a real reason this can't work in the regular season? It's something I'm looking into.

Why no World Series Health Report? Because there's no health issues. It's much like last season - the Yankees have been pretty healthy all year and the Marlins were able to overcome some injuries. Health is a prime indicator of success.

I'm on The Score in Chicago tomorrow morning around 7.30 and I'll do a BP chat at noon Eastern, so plenty going on in the Will Carroll Media Empire. Apologize for the spotty posts, but I'm coming down off the Cubs losses and what for me is the end of the season. I'm interested in the World Series, but I'll admit that it's not as much as most seasons. I'll get over it soon and start cranking out work on the book and here ... and over at BP.

2003-10-17 20:54
by Will Carroll

This one stings, but it's good for baseball.

Let's face it: there's no curse, the fan interference is just a good story, and the Cubs plain got beat. I blame it ALL on Dusty and the inability of the Cubs to throw a knockout punch. Dusty was outmanaged by a guy with big swaths of senility and a team that rode it's horses better than he did. I can accept that and I don't hate the Marlins.

Being at the game was both blessing and curse. I'll figure out how to attach pictures and share soon, but it was amazing. I stood down on the field during warmups and at one point, while talking to a group that included Al Leiter, a man came up to join the conversation and was standing just to my right. I turned to see who it was and it was Ryne Sandberg.

Now, I don't hero worship so much in print, but I about wet myself. Sandberg to me is what Mickey Mantle was to my dad. He's the first player I ever followed and while his quiet excellence may be underappreciated and sabermetrics might not support my argument that he's the greatest second baseman ever, I don't give a shit and keep on saying it. If I had a son, he'd likely be named Ryne S. Carroll. I could barely talk, said nothing intelligent, and was told I looked like a deer in headlights for the five minutes he stood talking with us. It was cool.

I had good seats, up in the "auxiliary press area" - which was basically the section just to the right of the press box. I sat with's people, near the NY Times and a couple rows behind Jayson Stark. I didn't feel so bad when I saw Stark was outside with me. There was a notice that killed me - "No drinking or cheering in the press area." Man, talk about something hard to do. The drinking, ok, that's fine, but imagine me sitting on my hands as great play after great play happened.

I'll write a longer piece about this, but I wanted to get back to blogging. There was actually a time in the third inning of Game 7 when I started making notes on my scorecard, kind of blogging with a fountain pen. It does'nt work as well.

Thanks for all the notes on the outline. I caught some mistakes and am making some adjustments as I prep the data. I almost lost most of it when my laptop croaked yesterday - it's now on it's way to Apple to be fixed - but I was able to back it up, so no harm done.

2003-10-16 16:27
by Will Carroll

I'm back. I'll write more once I get my head out of the oven.

The one GOOD thing about this series is that it may have finally removed the teflon coating and the halo surrounding Dusty Baker. I just hope it's not too late.

2003-10-14 21:57
by Will Carroll

Hey its Dan here.

What can you, or anyone, say at this point. I just hope Will is nowhere near sharp objects.

What was that about goats?

The agony and the ecstasy.

Hang in there Northsiders.


The Infamous Outline
2003-10-13 19:34
by Will Carroll

I'm really hoping everyone will help make this a book you want to read and, more importantly, that will save some arms out there.

(c) Will Carroll 2003


Sports Medicine
Cost Data

Pitching Mechanics
Functional Mechanics
Assessing Mechanics
Correcting Mechanics

Pitching Conditioning
Fit To Pitch
Sport Specificity
Why Work Beats Workload

Fighting Fatigue
What is fatigue?
The advent of “prehab”
Three “P” – Prepare, Prevent, Prevail
Measuring Fatigue

Pitching Workload/.Abuse
Pitch Counts

Sports Medicine
Jobe and John
Current state of the art
Future of sports med

Role of the Medical Team
Pitching Coach
Conditioning Coach
Dieti and Supplements
Sports Psychology
Role of the catcher

Program For Pitching


2003-10-12 21:42
by Will Carroll

After reading Jay Jaffe tonight, I'm curious. I've long thought that Pedro's pitching counts signalled something; that perhaps Boston wasn't going to baby Pedro's arm any longer, wringing out whatever value they could within reason, perhaps challenging him to push by challenging his pride and fragile ego. It's not a bad plan and "when to abuse your pitcher" is a whole chapter in STP.

Now, with Theo picking up Pedro's option too early and serious concerns about a Red Sox lineup with two head cases and Nomar taking up a good chunk of payroll, could Pedro get dealt? He's 10-5 and may have a no-trade somewhere in his contract, but I can see situations where it's possible to talk him into a deal. If the Sox aren't competitive next year, if they "don't show him the love" he thinks he deserves, or just announce they're not going to be able to resign him, a la Miggy "31" Tejada this season, a deal to a contender might work. It was a great strategy for the Mariners when dealing with Randy Johnson in a similar situation, netting three good players that have contributed over the years - clearly much more than Johnson did for the Astros. I don't have the foggiest idea who might take Pedro, but there are few teams that down the stretch might not think long and hard about bringing in someone like Pedro, even the lesser Pedro we'll see next year. There are probably even situations that would move Pedro in the off-season, but I can't come up with any.

2003-10-12 20:45
by Will Carroll

Tough rainout for the ALCS. I'm not sure if the extra day favors either team. The Red Sox don't actually get an extra day's rest for Pedro and the way he pitched yesterday, I'm not sure you want him in there. (More on this in tomorrow's UTK.) If it's a wash, I think MAYBE the Sox get to regroup a little bit more and the Yanks momentum, FWIW, is slowed slightly. I'll stick with the Yanks in six, sealing it with Pettitte.

I was very conflicted watching the Cubs today. I wanted them to win, but I also wanted to go to Game Six in Chicago, where I have press credentials. I didn't get to go to Games One or Two due to extenuating circumstances, but I'll admit a selfish desire to be there when Prior clinches it. If anyone's in the Chicago area, I'm looking for a place to crash :) Yeah, Im cheap. It's honestly something I can't imagine. Not sure if I'll be able to blog from the ballpark, but I'll try.

UTK tomorrow, so be sure to check out BP. I may be back in this space later with my long promised outline.

Hey Its Dan
2003-10-11 22:38
by Will Carroll

Just catching up on some great posts on this yet unnamed blog...and everyone is adding some great comments.

If you missed "Dichotomies", I urge you to go scroll back down and read that post by Will. I've been reading him since the near-genesis of UTK, and that post was the best written vignette of his that has graced this writer's eye. All I can say is that book is going to be one good read...

All right, enough sucking-up to the owner...

If Don Zimmer threw a punch at me, I'd tumble him too. The guy is an idiot and shouldn't be on the field anyway. Pedro is a very bad man, and messing with him leads me to believe Don has more problems that just hemorrhoids.

I haven't read a lot of post-game anaylsis, but was Pedro hurt out there? Why was he throwing 85% off-speed pitches in innnings 3-6?

Spending the midday watching the unbelievably bad University of Illinois football team made me consider how mediocrity can slip into our lives and become an accepted form of performance. How is it that we humans - - and you Ron Gunther! - - can rationalize away such weekly travesties?

Seeing as we are talking literary texts, anyone read "The Corrections?" I believe it, and "Infinite Jest", will be two of the books that define this era of fiction. Care to chime in Michael?

I want to know one thing...does anyone care that Monmouth beat Wagner? Why is that on my screen? Towson v. Holy Cross?

If the New York Times' A.O. Scott thinks Sean Penn's performance in "Mystic River" is one of the defining roles of the last fifty years, we all need to see it. Tony Scott, who was hand-picked from Slate by NYT's current Executive Editor Bill Kellor, is one of the truly bright stars in the that paper's arsenal. He knows literature and film guys. Take his word and spend the $8.50 on Eastwood's latest.

Jeff Brantley is much better on BBTN than earlier in the year. However, regarding Bret Boone...Aaron are you watching a different series? I'm not sure if he's any good because half the time I can't hear him! I've noticed that Leiter has gotten much better in his broadcasting skills, but Boone is still pretty weak if you ask this fill-in blogger.

That's it for tonight, I'll be back on Tuesday.

Thanks for listening.


BTW Will...How many did those Aggies score today? Jeez...

2003-10-11 19:22
by Will Carroll

Now ... that's a good start.

Willis is really gripping. They might have to get him out of there.

Leiter's really growing on me. He's got the potential to be Steve Stone.

2003-10-11 17:45
by Will Carroll

I'm not sure that Pedro Martinez's throwdown on Don Zimmer is the worst thing I've ever seen in baseball, but it's top ten. Maybe Pedro shouldn't have been run, but he should be fined and significantly more than Robert Fick was for his sickening play in the NLDS. They had to stop beer sales in Fenway, so I'd like to see Pedro fined the equivalent of whatever the Red Sox lost in the deal. Then MLB should fine Pedro at least 50k. Even the MLBPA won't argue this one.

Better, I'd like to see the Sox "cowboy up" and throw a blanket party. Being the best pitcher in the game shouldn't give you a free pass on being an asshole.

Now, how many people want to say Jose Contreras was a bust?

2003-10-11 15:25
by Will Carroll

Like seemingly everyone else for a book that no "normal" people know about, I'm reading Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver . Good so far and it raises interesting questions about many things, but one that struck me so far is the nature of fame.

Since UTK started a couple years ago, friends and acquaintances have often joked with me that Im 'famous.' That's a joke and I realized that even with my ample ego, I'm not sure fame is something I want. I remember watching Peter Gammons walking through the hotel at the Winter Meetings last year; every third step, someone would greet him and he'd be very polite. I felt almost bad walking up to him, but he was nothing but gracious. Now, I go to a Pizza Feed and I am treated like, as one attendee said, "the only girl at a military school dance." People want to talk to me, know what I think, and they buy me beers.

But if I go to the SuperTarget, no one knows me. In my small universe, everyone knows me, but it's a relatively very small universe. Other BP writers are like that and some bloggers are becoming like that - the centers of a small universe. I remember when I found Alex Belth's site - I was searching for info on something I had been told and a quick Google led me there. Good site, I read the info, I kept reading, and still do. Why? He's funny and an extremely good writer with a singular take on baseball that is not only uniquely New York, but uniquely Alex. This is no slam on Alex, but I don't think I've ever read something on his site that I couldn't have learned somewhere else, outside of his phenomenal interviews. So why do I (and likely you) read it? He makes us laugh, think, and question ourselves. The best blogs - and there aren't many - are places we come to trust and end up as something akin to addiction.

People questioned the Pete Rose story as publicity-seeking and worse, but few realized what a risk BP took running it. BP is the most trusted site regarding baseball that I'm aware of and if we were wrong, some of that credibility would be eroded. Blogs are the same - some go bad, some just vanish, and few stay strong. In baseball and the rest of the blog-world, I'm curious where they're going. Will they overtake media in some way, or will there be something of a co-opt where traditional media gets more immediate or hires away the best bloggers? Wish I knew. Heck, I'm not even very good at winning "Will It Float?" so I don't try to predict things.

I'm just riding the wave.

Time for the Yanks-Sox game. I'm settling in for a great day of baseball.

2003-10-10 21:54
by Will Carroll

V-Loss says that Wood should have been out about halfway through Lowell. If you're in the pen, Dusty's essentially said "I have no use for you. I have no confidence in you, even with a ten run lead. There are two pitchers on this team and two other guys who throw so those two can get some rest after I rag their arm silly."

Wood's pitching on guts and the remnants of the talent his tired arm has in it. This loss is all on Baker. ALL on Baker. Worse, if you could read lips as Fox went to break, Dusty threw up his hands as Pudge's hit went to right field and mouthed "unbelievable!" No, Dusty, the word you should be using is predictable. I'm firmly convinced that Baker - a fine hitter - simply does not understand pitching in even the most basic sense and that Rothschild, for whatever reason, cannot convince Baker to listen to him ... or worse, might not understand basic fatigue theory.

I can only hope that the offense picks their guy up when their leader hung him out.

2003-10-10 20:07
by Will Carroll

Ruz points out that this blog needs a name. Good point. Even my ego doesn't need it to just be my name ...

Wait, did Wendell Kim just hold someone up? Wow. Good decision.

... anyway, I'm looking for suggestions. On the one hand, I am the brand here, even if there are occasional guests. Most people that come to the site will probably come from people that know my work on BP. BP is my primary forum and this is where I can let loose and talk about whatever or say fuck if I want, like Derek does on USS Mariner or Doug on his great site.

So while I like "Will Carroll Weblog" just fine in its simplistic, retro style, if you have a suggestion, chime in on comments. I kind of like the sound of "The Waiting Room", but a good friend suggested "Little Green Bag" which is a nice little inside joke that almost no one would get. While I like LGB, would anyone look at that in a link-list and say "Hey, I want to read that Little Green Bag site!"
Granted, I'm not sure that many people are saying "Hey, I want to read MORE by that Carroll cat!"

If you have a fantasy league were Miguel Cabrera is available, please invite me to be in it. He may not be rookie of the year, but he's the rookie I most want on my team.

initial impressions
2003-10-10 19:57
by Will Carroll

Oh - Lyons has a new toy, the little dot thing ... could be cool.

That ball was a LASER. Maybe not the 495 foot Krush Groove from Game Two, but fast. It reminded me of McGwire's shot off Trachsel for #62 just a few years back.

Kenny Lofton, a left to the jaw and DOWN GOES REDMAN! DOWN GOES REDMAN! Glad to see them point out it was not comparable to Fick's "hatchet job" on Karros.

Damn. Has Alex "Sea Bass" Gonzalez been this good defensively all along?

iTunes is insanely cool. If you don't have a Mac, you get lucky next week. Trust me - get this one and legally get your music ... not that I'm against Kazaa, I just like the opportunity to be legal when I so choose and support deserving artists. I also don't like the DMCA and the RIAA's crazy Ashcroftian policies.

There's an inverse relationship between things I'm really happy with when I write them and the number of comments.

Juan Pierre's head must be fixed.

Ok, I stand corrected. Hottest chick on TV might be on Dragnet: Roselyn Sanchez. No lie, she's perhaps the hottest woman I've seen since ... well, maybe Salma Hayek, which is kind of funny because I'm not attracted by rule to Latin women ... but I'm open minded!

Wayne Rosenthal, the Marlins pitching coach, is said by most that I've spoken to to be a competent pitching coach that communicates well with his young staff. He's not Leo Mazzone or Rick Peterson, but just competent is probably enough at this point since most pitching coaches are probably an effective negative to their organizations. He just looks like a big goofy guy, the one you probably see at the neighborhood bar and kinda hope you don't have to sit next to.

The AOL "Sting" commercial is cute, but they're advertising a PROBLEM. I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd have a major problem with them being unsupervised on a program where some random person could send them video. There's obvious security problems and a big, massive hole for the kind of child-baiting or kiddie-porn that too many people think is the sole use for the 'Net. My grandmother thinks that the only thing on the Net is porn and that anyone on their is some perv. I'm not denying there's porn - there's a lot and if that's your thing, cool - but there's also a lot of cool stuff. Information. Education. Discourse. Freedom. Opportunity (including those I am always sent from that nice man in Nigeria.) Heck, one of my fave sites is a porn review site. (Look! My first link! Don't click on it if you can't see boobs where you read this.) I'm just saying that there's serious concerns there and AOL would rather sell the feature than acknowledge the problems and encourage parents to be, well, good parents. I'm all for education, not enforcement or limiting freedoms. Just to equal out my karma, here's a phenomenal site that combats the evil of child pornography in many ways, Andrew Vachss' Zero.

Back to baseball ... Redman's not looking good. If Pavano comes in this early, then not only are the Marlins in trouble, Pavano probably can't come back if McKeon decided to push Penny out of the rotation.

Great mound points by Leiter. He's growing on me. Why isn't there some tool or template that can be placed on any mound, anywhere to ensure that there's uniformity? Seems easy enough and I can't be the only person to think of it. Remember that Mark Mulder's injury was caused by a sharply sloped mound in Philly.

Enough for now. Pizza should nearly be here. I'm powered by Sam Adams tonite, for those that care.

Game Three
2003-10-10 14:28
by Will Carroll

I just finished up recording the interviews for BPR ... great stuff. Allen Barra was classic Barra and Jon Sciambi (PBP-Marlins) was fired up. Jon had some great points and really focuses on Game Three - why am I telling you this when I know everyone will listen in tomorrow? Because, of course, Game Three will be over by then. The Marlins NEED Game Three - to beat Wood, to force the Cubs to win one from Clement or Zambrano, that might just shift the thinking and cause the Cubs to tighten up just a bit. Someone once said that in a close series, the team that's having more fun usually wins.

I got an email from someone very close to Mark Prior that gives me some hope. Prior shut it down a bit after the fourth. Maybe what we saw as fatigue was Prior being smarter than Dusty. I have pretty high confidence in the source which gives me higher confidence in Prior.

It makes me feel better to blog during games, so I'll be on tonight ...

2003-10-09 18:12
by Will Carroll

If Mussina wins last night, he's well-rested. With the loss, he's rusty. There are whole hack articles out there detailing the difference between "your team" and "my team" but dichotomies point to one source: laziness. If the same cause can have two effects, you're either dealing with quantum mechanics or you're not looking closely enough.

Mussina pitched adequately and got pounded by the Hell Hath No Fury Like A Bald Guy With A Bat Red Sox offense. Not pounded like Brad Penny did on .. well, was it normal rest? He pitched in Game Four as a reliever. Derek Lowe goes tonight and what the hell is he?

Pitching and the monitoring of pitches is still art. Not good art, but that kind you see at the museum and you wonder what the hell this thing is. Someone might like it and pay a million bucks, but to most people it looks like a bunch of spilled paint. Art like you see on display in high schools, the kind done by those tortured suburban souls dressing in black and listening a little too closely to Morrissey's lyrics.

Pitching is in a transition stage, from art to science. We can break down the mechanics in a BioDek, we can repair it using the most advanced surgical techniques, and we can judge the results using sensitive cameras and lasers. Still, at the heart of it, we have a man throwing a ball using fallible mechanics and almost by definition, doing it to failure - to the point where he can no longer do so effectively. What causes this failure? Like anything else, it's simple fatigue and when we learn that this can be measured, we can stop relying on facile cliches or throwing our hands in the air, praying to the Lords of Baseball that Our Pitcher doesn't fall apart like we hope their pitcher does.

Pitching will always be art; the analysis of the act and the defense of the pitcher is science.

"I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling your puzzles apart ..."

Things I Don't Understand
2003-10-08 21:27
by Will Carroll

* Why Mike Mussina bends so far down in the stretch.

* How you see the ball coming when you're on Waveland. Just listen for the cheer?

* Why people still reach for balls. Didn't Jeffrey Maier end this? Why isn't there an announcement at the start of a game - reach over the rail and you're gone.

* How anyone thinks Derek Jeter is a good defensive shortstop. Making unbelievable plays like the Giambi Flip doesn't make him good, just smart.

* Why Mark Prior is batting in the fifth. Oh yeah, Dusty Baker's managing.

* And he's BUNTING? Oh screw me twice and hit the snooze.

* Why does Fox show crap like "His nickname is Sea Bass" rather than something useful. I'm sure we could license VORP over to Fox pretty easily and Woolner will even go to Fenway to explain it.

* How I get better download speeds on my iBook with Wi-Fi than I do on my Compaq.

* Where the hell Steve Lyons gets most of his ideas. Or how he has a job.

* Why someone doesn't explain that Pudge Rodriguez (and Johnny Bench before him) actually hurt catching by being so good. So very few catchers can make the backhanded stabs they make, but every kid in the world thinks they can. We end up with bad footwork and passed balls out the wazoo in high school.

* Will they sell more beer in and around Wrigley Field than they do for the Indy 500? I think it's close.

* The Cure in a commercial? Tell me that when I was in high school and the kids with pink hair would have laughed at you. No, I didn't have pink hair. Purple one time, but that's a long story.

* Hottest TV Chick? I dunno. Eliza Dushku's show hasn't started yet, does that count?

Never That Long
2003-10-08 20:24
by Will Carroll

I have never seen a ball, in all my years watching baseball at Wrigley - which is actually since I got cable in 1983 - go even close to that far. He killed it. Killed it.

The five run lead doesn't make me feel confident after yesterday. As much as I hate 'gritty, gutty' talk, the Fish are indeed gritty and gutty. If teams are a reflection of their manager, I think the Marlins might be just a bit too senile to know not to keep battling.

I'll admit I watched Joe Millionaire, but isn't Fox getting a bit too misogynistic with these commercials?

And who thought Bret Boone was a good idea? Maybe it is ... I haven't switched over to listen yet.

Wait, wait, wait ... did TIM FRICKING WAKEFIELD just saw off Posada? How does that happen without the intervention of termites or wood bores?

Big Screen Blues
2003-10-08 15:09
by Will Carroll

That title's not accurate ... one of the first things I did when I started doing UTK was ask the 12 or so readers I had at that point for help selecting a big screen. It was a gift and I wanted to make sure it was a good one. I ended up getting a JVC I-Art 48" HD. Amazing picture, nice silver frame, and all the hookups and doo-dads you could imagine.

Including one I never used until Monday and will again tonight.

Instead of PIP, it turns the TV into the equivalent of two side-by-side 27" TVs. On Monday, I had the Red Sox vs A's on one screen (with sound) and the Colts getting whacked until the last two minutes on the other side. Very solid. Tonight, I'll have both LCS's going, but I know I'm one of the lucky ones. Too many people will need to flip between Fox and FX and I'll wager many still don't have FX. None of the games in HD, because Fox doesn't use HD, which sucks and should be illegal. Baseball needs a better partner. The ratings have proven that when baseball is good and when it's not anti-marketing, it beats the NBA to death. The NFL, well, it's a sport that requires no commitment and is built for those with short attention spans and America's full of that demographic. Baseball's done well with MLB.TV, so why not a Baseball Channel? There's plenty of cheap content ... or does the Extra Innings package already do this?

I love options. I love digital cable. I love baseball. I just need more eyes.

Quick Takes from Dan
2003-10-08 13:41
by Will Carroll

Hey everyone, just some quick random thoughts today..

1.) Al Leiter offered some good pitching analysis last night, but he needs a major broadcasting lesson - ASAP! Al, you are talking to millions of people, not just Thom and Psycho, please speak into the mike as such; and try not to talk over a pitch - - that's usually when the play-by-play guy talks.

2.) Thom Brennaman is trying way too hard to be majestic. Its a tough call from last night game because the Leiter insertion definitely jarred the booth's timing, but if he sticks more to just calling the game he'll be much more palatable.

3.) This Ladies and Gentlemen now serves as highly-paid, highly-visible baseball analysis. Compliments of Syd Thrift in the USA Today, "Bernie (Williams) is still a fine center fielder." I know its easy to pick on McPaper, but this kind of nonsense has to be stopped. They certainly aren't going to go hire Joe Sheehan, but the least they could do is bring in someone who has a clue about the sport they are ostensibly opining upon.

4.) My wish for all sports fans is that Terry Boers and Dan Berstein could be heard by everyone across the radio dial. Stuck right now on middays at WSCR in Chicago (I know, I know, not a small job), they are the smartest guys on radio, period.

5.) You heard it here first, but Mark Shapiro will not survive this Limbaugh/Playmakers aftermath. Now its being reported the Bucs are boycotting ESPN for interviews - which is probably false but represents a leak by someone (anyone in the league office want to step up?) The NFL is furious and even someone as high-powered as Shapiro cannot survive the wrath of NFL execs when they feel something has been done to reduce the marketability of their product.

6.) The Cubs must get one non-Wood/Prior win. Last night was a great shot, we'll see where it goes.

7.) I don't know about you but... how is it that the aforementioned Joe Sheehan isn't part of the BBWWA? Its a scary, scary world.

8.) Arnold is now the Chief Executive of the world's fifth largest economy. How does that taste all you Cali readers? Its a scary, scary world.

9.) Ratings for baseball's post-season are up, so....Let's Expand The Playoffs! I must say this is a winning idea, and a great example of a logicians nightmare. No really, the NHL's playoffs ratings are great and almost everyone makes the playoffs. So let's just totally dilute the regular season and let everyone in who doesn't finish in last place - that will really spike ratings! Bud's a scary, scary man. More on this later in a longer post.

10.) How could Alan Barra write a column more erroneous (Limbaugh flap) followed by one so dead on (Themes in Baseball's Postseason)?

Thanks for listening. Onward and Upward,


2003-10-08 06:59
by Will Carroll

Heck of a game. Didn't like the outcome, but it's hard to argue with a game that interesting. Once again, we're reminded that Dusty Baker can be outmanaged pretty easily. Still, the words that console me? "Mark Prior tomorrow, Kerry on Friday."

Doug Pappas doesn't think the Expos will end up in Vegas. Man, I hate to go against Doug on anything - no one knows more than him on baseball business topics - but I still think that Bud overrules business concerns for his friends and that Vegas remains a real possibility.

I'm going to post the initial outline for my book "Saving The Pitcher" either today or tomorrow. I hope that everyone will give me some feedback on what they want to see from the project. In a way, this blog will help you become my editor on the project and make STP the definitive resource for preventing arm injuries.

Two Good Ones
2003-10-07 09:00
by Will Carroll

You can imagine the night I had. The ALDS Game Five was just as good as everyone expected, coming down to the last two batters - Chris Singleton and Terrence Long. You can imagine those are about the last two guys the A's wanted up in that situation. Where payroll wins is in depth and not having anyone to go to in that situation is where Steve Schott will need to look in the mirror. I guess everyone gets another chance to go after Billy Beane, but this will be a big winter for Beane as he has two big free agents to deal with - Miguel Tejada, who'll probably end up in Los Angeles with boyhood hero Alfredo Griffin, and Paul DePodesta, who won't get the Seattle job that's going to go to current M's player development guy Benny Looper.

The collision last night was horrific and I talk more about it in my Playoff Health Report, up later today on BP.

The Colts game kept me up late with an improbable, near-miracle comeback by the Colts, keeping them unbeaten, even with Edge. I think the Bucs are still on the field, arguing the "leaping" call that gave Vanderjagt a second chance to miss a field goal. Doink! Games like that one get you the destiny tag they so love to give out in the NFL. Personally, I can't wait to see what NFL Films does with this one.

No rest for the wicked as Game One of the NLCS goes tonight - Zambrano vs Beckett. I didn't get media credentials for the game, which is a long and developing story, so I'll be watching it on TV with the rest of you. The crowd will be electric tonight as the lights go on at Wrigley for what I think will be a great series. I'm calling this one for the Cubs in six - winning both at home, one in Miami, then coming back to clinch with Prior on the mound in Game Six. Yanks vs Cubs? Sox vs Cubs? Who woulda thunk it?

I'm getting some good info on the Vegas connections and should have something later this week for you. That's a story I don't think is getting enough attention around baseball and could become the big off-season story.

There's No Need To Continue This Song
2003-10-06 18:53
by Will Carroll

So I do radio, pretty regularly and two different times in two different states today, someone compared the Marlins with the 86 Mets. Ok, I'll grant you the young pitching staff led by an extroverted black rookie, but if you see more than that, you're seeing more than me. I guess you could see some Pudge - Kid comparisons, but there's certainly no Straw, no Mex, and I don't think McKeon does the job Davey Johnson did with platooning and pens.

Doug Pappas - who's article on BP today was awesome as usual - agrees, responding in an email that the Mets had the vastly superior offense.

I'm slightly torn tonight. The Colts play the Bucs in what should be an interesting game, but that will be in the PIP while the A's and Sox tilt. This one should be classic. It could be as good as Game One with great pitching and timely hitting. I think defense will decide this one ... and I'm not really sure who that favors.

Twins - Cubs
2003-10-06 12:07
by Will Carroll

Well, its Dan, and I come to you with a heavy heart - - and two words...ROSTER CONSTRUCTION.

The owner of this here site has been on me all year for what Terry Ryan has wrought on the current version of the 2003 Minnesota Twins, and I've been holding out faint praise. Well the Yanks series certainly proved Will right. Yuk! Could anyone freaking get a hit please?! With all due respect to the Eastern Media Bias (EMB), the Yanks winning this series was less about their pitching than it was about the Twins inability to produce ANY kind of run. Jacque Jones showed his true colors and Gardy continued to stick with him - well past the point of reason. Matty LeCroy looked horrible, Minky had three good ABs, and Corey Koskie has never looked so lost as he did in these four games. The sign for next year is - - Help Wanted - Right Handed Clutch Hitter...We Need It NOW!

Oneother thing, can we all say this at the same time please....Indoor Baseball Blows....Indoor Baseball Blows...Indoor...Oh you get the picture.

On another note, let it be said that the biggest (my wife excluded) and wisest Cub fan I know (my wife included), who also happens to be an incredible writer, finally brought some sanity to this "Cubs win first post-season series since.." nonesense. Will, as usual, is omniscient. Stop this madness already! If they get to the WS, that's phenominal; but only a WS title will really be remebered by anyone. Bud's ludicrous playoff setup makes the Division Series win nice, but ephemeral at best. Unfortunately, as soon as Thom Brennaman started his sell/job/to/happify/FOX/MLB/bigwhigs, the shots of pent up Cubs fans had already started. Please. Stop already, beat the 'Fish and then let's start talking history. And if I see Kerry's wife once more I'm gonna.....

Its been a slice. Thanks for listening.

Onward and upward,


Cubs Win!
2003-10-05 22:32
by Will Carroll

Great win for fans, for the Cubs, for the players, for Kerry Wood, for Ron Santo, for Harry, and for the game.

But let's be clear: no one remembers who wins the NL Division Series.

Seriously - who won it last year? Did you have to stop and think who the Giants beat? Has a team ever had a "curse" because they don't win Division Series? No. And they won't. No matter what Bud's done with wild cards, the game is still about the ugly little trophy with all the flags and the ring they'll wear forever.

2003-10-05 20:47
by Will Carroll

It's not a big award like it should be. Heck, it's not even part of the Internet Baseball Awards (which you should go to BP and vote in ...), but GM's deserve some of the credit or blame and why not an award for the best?

Like many, I sure didn't like the Randall Simon deal, but I love watching that fat boy play. I wasn't sure about Lofton and Ramirez, but for just giving up Bobby Hill, I didn't hate it. That anything was recieved for Todd Hundley stunned me and while I don't like that Hee Choi wasn't given his due chances, Karros and Grudz have done a lot to get the team where it is.

Jim Hendry and his staff deserve an award. Executive Team of the Year. Sounds nice and would sure look good next to a World Series trophy.

2003-10-05 19:36
by Will Carroll

Alex Gonzalez, all is forgiven!

2003-10-05 19:29
by Will Carroll

In one of the few uses of a cell phone inside a ballpark I condone, a scout lucky enough to be behind the plate calls to let me know that Wood just threw a 99mph strike to Garry Sheffield on the first pitch. Looks like the Fox gun, for once, is true.

2003-10-05 19:10
by Will Carroll

I don't think I could be more nervous unless I was in uniform. I just hope the Cubs feel better than I do ... and that they realize winning the Division Series means something, but not very much.

Push ... Pull ... Revolving Doors
2003-10-04 23:36
by Will Carroll

I am now convinced that Dusty Baker - a man of many talents and some tendencies that simply have no explanation - has no clue, no gut instinct that tells him when his pitcher is done. How many times have we seen this season where a guy is gassed and Dusty leaves him in just that one batter too long. This in and of itself is not that big a problem bc plenty of managers also don't have the skill, but when he's paired with a pitching coach that also doesn't have that skill or the pull to convince Dusty to yank a guy, it becomes a pretty major problem. Add in that Dick Pole, the bench coach, ought to have the skill as well, there's three guys failing. They've got to get somebody there that can do it.

Fish Fever
2003-10-04 22:11
by Will Carroll

Wow, I sure didn't expect this. For the second season in a row, I picked the Giants to win the series and I was a lot closer last year. Friend and big part of BPR, Jon Sciambi, has to be loving this and its nice to see new Marlins fans showing up and cheering. That Dontrelle Willis (who's gassed) was a big part of this win is all the more sweet.

Now, let's see how the Cubs do trying to win the big one.

Clement has a funny goatee ... theres supposedly a goat curse at Wrigley. Hmmm.

Nice Start
2003-10-04 02:19
by Will Carroll

Ok, through one inning, I'm okay on my prediction of a no hitter for Prior. I'm very worried about the way the field looks. People are, as Paul Simon would say, slip-sliding away. Lofton very easily could have been both out at third and hurt on the play. You could see him thrust his back forward as he began to lose his footing, always a dangerous situation.

I'm sick of close games. Could we have a blow out please?

2003-10-03 23:22
by Will Carroll

Tie game. One out. Men on first and second. Great throwing catcher behind the plate. Marquis Grissom apparently thought this was a great time to run. He couldn't have been more wrong and if the Giants come up short, someone needs to take a hard look at starting Eric Young in CF.

And who thought that Conine trade would make so much sense?

New Glasses
2003-10-03 20:37
by Will Carroll

Maybe my new Oakley Soft Spike glasses with Transitions lenses will help me see more clearly ... or maybe my predictions are just bad again this year. I sure didn't see Oakland going up 2-0 and I didn't expect the other three series to be knotted.

I called for a Mark Prior no-hitter (and Cubs winning 1-0) on Wednesday, so I'm sticking with that. Wonder what odds I could get on that in Vegas. (Yeah, I bet on baseball occasionally. I have no "duty to perform" and don't bet on games where I have information that might be considered "insider." If I ever got a job in baseball - and you could get long odds on that in Vegas - I'll stop gambling on any sport immediately. Period.)

And I think I have SARS. It sucks to catch a cold just days after returning from Toronto.

2003-10-03 20:33
by Will Carroll

John Dowd has donated his documentation from his famous investigation to Cooperstown. Funny timing eh? I've tried to reach Mr. Dowd for a long time and have never had success, but I see this as just another step in Pete Rose's return. Dowd has stood as a lone voice of reason, but he's also a smart lawyer - faced with a "case" that he knows he'll lose, he's getting the best deal he can. The material will hopefully stand as a reminder of malfeasance and betrayal against the copper plaque in the Hall. One can only hope that there is a note on the plaque as well, but I'm not holding my breath.

Screwed Sox
2003-10-03 01:06
by Will Carroll

Yep, they're screwed. It's no curse, it's the A's this time. Doing exactly what they needed to do - surviving Pedro and getting into a bullpen that has all the confidence of Star Wars Kid at the Playboy Mansion. Today's game was more vintage A's, getting to Wakefield early and hanging on with great pitching from Barry Zito. I don't think they can sweep, but any swagger that the Sox had is gone and Todd Walker's gone from kicking ass to kicking the ball.

Ok, just how undervalued is defense and what did Paul DePodesta figure out this offseason. There's something in his secret sauce that we haven't figured out yet. With Paul D becoming a free agent this off-season, he might end up somewhere as his own boss ... or Billy Beane could end up somewhere like LA, leaving Paul to run the show with the "glory" of a low payroll.

2003-10-03 01:00
by Will Carroll

Be on the lookout ... one of my regular callers in Indy, "Dan the Twins Fan" - not his real name - is going to drop in from time to time here on the Blog To Be Named Later. I've encouraged him to write since he started giving intelligent takes on baseball when I first started on Indy radio. So, I'll give him the guest slot here as long as he wants it or until he realizes he needs his own place.

Along with "Dan", I'll still be here, blathering about all sorts of things. This is my soapbox and I'm going to use it however looks right to me at the time. I won't always be right, I won't always be entertaining, but I'll always be me.

Except when it's Dan. Or anyone else I think deserves to step up on my soapbox.

Finally for now, let me welcome Mike Carminati to I'm lucky enough to be part of the best group of writers in all of baseball AND the second-best as well. I'm the luckiest boy in the world.

Vegas, Baby
2003-10-03 00:55
by Will Carroll

Some of you may know that I'm a big advocate of baseball in Vegas, but I'm also a big advocate of cities, states, and taxpayers not paying for a ballpark. I'm caught in the middle on this issue, but apparently the city of Vegas isn't. There's a great deal of rumbling going on in Vegas about how the city will pay for a Bank One Ballpark - style retractable dome mallpark on a site known as the "railyard."

There are three major problems facing any Vegas baseball organization:

1. Gambling - using the "UNLV rule" appears to appease the Lords of Baseball. The major casinos agree not to take action on games involving a Vegas team, home or away. This isn't a real problem since baseball is a small portion of a sports book's action, especially when it is only 1/15th of the possible games. Getting MGM Mirage and Bally's to agree to the rule appears to have been agreed to in principle and once the big boys sign on, the smaller players will fall in line. Also expect MLB to adopt Arena Football's rule that the presence of a player in a casino is considered gambling. Players could go to shows, restaurants, and other facilities inside the hotels, but could not be on the floor of the casinos. Good rule but very tough to enforce.

2. Stadium - As I said before, the location is set and the city government and big casino companies appear to be on board. Once that's done, it's an easy roll, so to speak, for baseball to move in. I'm not sure what inflation, location, etc would do to the difference in the BOB and a similar park in Vegas, but the city and state have shown no problem dropping some nasty taxes on tourists. Head to Vegas and the room might cost $129 (if you're paying ... but that's a whole other column for someday soon) and the tax could hit you for another thirty or forty a day. Nevada has no income tax, making one popular source of tax money impossible, but hotel or restaurant taxes would be more than sufficient. The question is more what does Vegas as a city have to give up? Clark County is growing by leaps and bounds, taxing infrastructure, schools, and water supply. If the tax money is new and sufficient, that's one thing, but that's for the Mayor to determine and sell to his constituents. I'd like to see Steve Stone turn into Peter Magowan, but that's not going to happen. Ballparks can't be as good as everyone says or owners would go right ahead and do it themselves. Many owners - Reinsdorf, Jacobs, Pohlad, even Selig - have made or increased their fortunes in real estate. While I'll criticize owners, I've never accused them of being stupid or poor.

3. Getting a team - Adding Steve Stone to the group - or rather, publicly acknowledging his participation - is brilliant strategy. The Marlins and Red Sox were both sold at below market rates to friends of Bud. If the Expos are sold to the Stone group, Bud would go three for the last three. There's no use arguing that Montreal is a better market; Bud's salted the earth there and as shown in his idiotic call from a Montreal DJ, shows no interest in trying to rebuild baseball in Quebec. With San Juan, Portland, and DC falling short of Bud's insane expectations, the next best thing is opening a growing new market while helping his friends.

The Vegas group is working hard behind the scenes, but are dealing with some deadlines and timeframes that need to be addressed in order to make it happen. 2004 is almost out of the question, but 2005 is also a tough deadline. A new ballpark would be impossible to complete in time and using Cashman Field, the current Triple-A ballpark, isn't a good solution (too small and it's insanely hot in the summer.) There's no secondary stadium a la Mile High or the LA Coliseum, so a full season in Monterrey might be an option, as would a 2005 Farewell Tour of Montreal, if they choose to deal with crowd sizes more in line with Kannapolis or Boise than a real MLB city.

To pull this off, things will need to happen quickly ... but we might never know until Bud almost literally pulls the trigger on this. With their move on Pete Rose outted eariler this year, fixing the Expos 'problem' could be next on Bud's list of things to screw up.

I like the idea of baseball in Vegas. I think it could work if done right. This is, however, beginning to look like the right thing happening for the wrong reasons. I'll probably still like baseball in Vegas when it happens, but like many things in baseball, I won't feel good about it.

(C) Will Carroll 2003

2003-10-02 14:16
by Will Carroll

Anyone think Ken Macha had seen "Major League" recently?

Apparently, dropping the bunt down was all Ramon Hernandez's idea and if so, it was brilliant. As Rick Sutcliffe said, no one in the area code expected a bunt. That was an absolute epic of a game and here I am just hours later, ready to go again. I can only imagine that people in Boston are having the same problem - exhausted and facing a day game.

I'll be speaking with Michael Lewis in just a few hours for BPR. Lewis obviously has an insider's take on both the A's and Sox, so it will be interesting to see what he has to say about that series, looking back on the "Year of Moneyball", and I've got to ask him about California politics.

No account predictions for today: A's take game 2 in another close game on pure adrenaline and a great pitching performance from BArry Zito. The Yanks tie things up with the Twins in another sloppy game.

Nice to see Fountains of Wayne in super-heavy rotation on MTV. Heck, it's nice to see MTV play videos occasionally.

Kerry Quick
2003-10-01 01:59
by Will Carroll

Are you kidding me? Kerry looked into center, fully expecting to see that ball headed towards Kenny. Instead, he calmly tossed the ball to Karros and we're out of the inning.

And screw anyone who doesn't like me saying we. Part of the fun of the playoffs is believing I really can affect things, typing here and yelling at my screen, despite the fact I'm on about a ten second Tivo delay.

Braves Seats
2003-10-01 01:31
by Will Carroll

The Braves fans have always been somewhat nonchalant about their playoff teams. They wait for the LCS or even the World Series before getting serious.

Whoa - Grudz about had his head taken off by Ortiz doing the right thing and going up and in on a bunt.

Anyway, Turner Field looks full tonight, but there's a lot of Cubs fans who have made the trip down and if they get up early, that place will be Wrigley South. A couple years back, the Colts didn't sell out a playoff game and Titans fans rocked the dome. It was disheartening for the Colts and I can't think the Braves will feel much better about it.

Yep, Sammy's up and the boo/cheer ratio is slightly under 1:1.

2003-10-01 01:27
by Will Carroll

I went to Toronto this last weekend and something odd happened at the border. The little Canadian guy behind the glass asked me for my papers and I handed them over. He asked why I was there and I said "business." Sure, why not. It's not a lie - I was there for a BP Pizza Feed. He asked my occupation and for a moment I paused, then said "baseball writer." He looked at me and said, "what?" I smiled, realizing I was about to utter one of the coolest things ever: "I get paid to write about baseball."

It felt right. I'm the luckiest boy in the world, Pee Wee.

Aww crap
2003-10-01 01:23
by Will Carroll

Thom Brennaman? Ok.

Steve Lyons? Aawww crap. I wonder if I can pick the game up on radio ...

Yeah, there it is. Joe Girardi? Awwww crap again.

Maybe I'll just listen to myself talk. Yes, all small objects have been removed from the area. No, even I'm not dumb enough to throw my iBook.

I think. Better put it down.

More on Johan Santana and Barry Zito in tomorrow's UTK.

Oh - and I like the "I Live For This" ads. Solid.

Societal Critic at Large: Scott Long
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