Baseball Toaster The Juice Blog
Monthly archives: December 2003


Happy Happy
2003-12-31 22:32
by Will Carroll

Happy New Year to all the readers, friends, and sundry others ... when I started this little blog, I had no idea what I'd do, who might read it, or honestly, why I did it. I'm thankful for C-Ruz providing the outlet, for everyone that shows up, for those who make this more of a discussion than a lecture, and for the game that never gets far from my mind.

Thanks to Dan, Tim, the BP Crew, Barbara, and everyone else that made this a wonderful year. Who woulda thunk it just a year ago ... so who knows where we'll end up?

Things of Beauty
2003-12-31 14:59
by Will Carroll

First, go check out The Cub Reporter. Those shots are amazing, especially the "art shot." Wow.

Then, look at this. Reality hacking, indeed.

2003-12-31 08:29
by Will Carroll

A pretty entertaining debate going on over at NYYFans over my admittedly vague rumor that there was a "head-spinning deal." I always enjoy being called a bozo, but occasionally, I deserve it. I'm still not sure on this one and I'm still trying to figure out when to bring out the stuff I hear. Should it be the same standard here as it is on BP? I still don't have enough to bring out the full rumor - and it is just rumor, from a decent source - but I'll confirm that it's a free agent move and does not involve Giambi, except tangentially.

I'll also spell things out on my Giambi comment ... later this week over at BP. Remember, all my injury info goes there.

Interesting article at the Times today on Rose. I think we all see where this is ... well, I'm not sure either anymore. The deal's done, but Selig still has enough wiggle room to NOT complete it. 500k books printed is Grisham territory and I'm not sure anyone can hype something that much with nothing behind it.

2003-12-30 07:45
by Will Carroll

Anyone here work in a bookstore or own a digital camcorder? If so, email me at

I'm looking for info on shipping policies on the first; recommendations on the second. I have my eye on a JVC MiniDV. Not the highest end model, but one that does all the basics right, works with my Mac, and handles what I want to do (basic video in life, baseball captures, perhaps the occasional interview).

Things I'm Working On ...
2003-12-29 22:23
by Will Carroll

First and foremost, STP. That's 90% of my day, if you take out the sleep part, which as you well know, isn't much.

The Madness of King George is about to rear its ugly head again. He's working on a deal that will send Theo's head spinning if true. I have some conflicting reports and this one's big enough that unless someone beats me to it, it would be a BP story, not ABW.

Why's George all fired up? Well, first, he's kinda crazy and second, I'm hearing whispers that Giambi may deal with the same sorts of issues that JD Drew did during the 2003 season. Ouchie. Again, once I nail that down, I'll stick UTK's periscope up.

We all know that Pete Rose sat down with ABC a couple weeks back and that the book is printed. It's reaching the point where there's too many people with access for this not to leak. I'm not sure I'll be first and honestly, I'm not working the story that hard. My work was pretty much done on August 12th. The rest is just waiting, right Mike?

Lots of cool radio stuff upcoming. Lots of BP 2004 (book) stuff upcoming. Two major financial projects starting to come together. ILBIW.

He's Baa-ack
2003-12-28 17:23
by Will Carroll

People I respect tell me I was too hard on Jeff Torborg and Brad Arnsberg. People I respect have now hired Brad Arnsberg to handle one of the better young pitching staffs in the baseball. This article from Syracuse worries me. Maybe I'm wrong - it happens - but it doesn't sound like he's learned from the Burnett incident. Even if he's only partially to blame (and I've never said he deserves the lion's share), pretty much any conscious baseball fan knew Burnett was injured and overworked.

With guys like Dustin McGowan, Jason Arnold, and Francisco Rosario likely to spend much of 2004 in Syracuse, I'm still worried. This is one I don't want to say "I told you so" about.

Best of BPR
2003-12-27 03:05
by Will Carroll

The show this morning (Saturday 12/27) is a year-end, "best of" edition. It was really cool putting it together, listening to the tapes, and seeing the progress. From our first show with Theo Epstein to our most recent with Don Fehr, we've had great guests ... Tommy John, Harry Kalas, Ron Santo, Kerry Wood, Jack McKeon, Jon Sciambi, Mike Schmidt, Billy Beane, Michael Lewis, Paul Hagen, Joel Sherman, Mike Marshall, Bill Lee, Bill James, Vin Scully, Jeff Bagwell, Al Leiter, Jayson Stark, Peter Gammons, Rob Neyer, Alan Schwarz, Scott Boras, John Smoltz, Jim Bouton, and all the BP Authors. Wow.

So, for 2004, who do YOU want to see? Come on ... this is another "required comment" entry. Name as many as you want and I'll do my best to get them on ... and yes, expect a better archive and more stations soon.

Ruz's Present
2003-12-27 01:25
by Will Carroll

My pal Christian - Capo di tutti capo of all-baseball - gets my present to him tomorrow. I just hope it turns out great for everyone. He's headed over take pictures of Mark Prior for STP and hopefully gets to chat with him as well. Keep your eye on Cub Reporter in the coming days.

If I just say "ILBIW" will everyone know what I mean?

Double Down
2003-12-25 22:08
by Will Carroll

Continuing the Xmas Night, Waiting for Excel to Calculate Things I Don't Really Understand Fully Blog-o-thon ...

Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?

This Bud's For Who?
2003-12-25 21:49
by Will Carroll

Oh, the clever blog titles ...

So the Cardinals have a new, mostly privately funded ballpark coming and in a hurry. Groundbreaking already and scheduled for opening in 2006? That's fast. I hope they get a good stadium because St Louis IS a good baseball town, despite the Bo Hart fetish and because Busch is a hole. What I don't know is if the park and the bonds will be a "problem" in the way it is for San Francisco. Sabean and Magowan have had to be creative to field a solid team -- and that Bonds kid helps -- but I'm unsure Jocketty has shown that kind of creativity. I could be wrong on him though.

So here's a pic of the new park ... or at least what I could find. From the news stories, the location seems right. I can see the big parking garage past the OF and some new village style buildings (not sure what they are - shops?). Looks nice in the Camden/PacBell school of design, but nothing special. No dimensions yet that I can find.

What I don't see is Bud Selig's head popping up. Don't we always get some kind of announcement from the league saying how wonderful it is to have a new park? Aren't new parks the saving grace for cities like Philly and Milwau .... oops. Is Bud quiet because it's not on the public's dime? I hope not, but if I had a dime for every time ...

My new year's resolution is just to ignore Bud. Is that doomed to failure?

Ask a stupid question ...
2003-12-25 19:53
by Will Carroll

So I'm doing radio last night when someone asks me about the book. I paused, not sure if he meant BP 2004 or STP. I figure that I know where my bread is buttered and get in the BP plug and of course, he meant STP. I gave him the scoop and he asked how long it took and I said, "well, I'll let you know when I'm done!" He laughed and asked what I was working on now and I said "Newtonian physics and fluid dynamics."


I've really got to start thinking of better answers to questions like that.


I'm sure everyone's been reading David Pinto's defensive work. Good stuff, if admittedly I don't understand it fully. I know three of the people (tho David only in the bloggy email sense) that the Mets considered for their stats position ... since none of them got it, they better have hired someone REALLY good or they deserve to suck.

Another one ...
2003-12-25 09:30
by Will Carroll

Dan gets TiVo for Xmas! Hell yeah!

So what's your excuse?

Home Studio
2003-12-25 09:13
by Will Carroll

So while I didn't get nearly as much done on this week's BPR in studio, it did force me to learn how to work the home studio system. With the iPod out of commission (long story, Apple's taking care of it), I relied solely on the iBook and a $50 program called Sound Studio to put together two of the five segments. All that held me back from doing the whole show on the iBook is that I wanted to have Scott McCauley involved and he's not sitting around my place on Xmas morning and I don't have a complete archive of shows. A little work Friday morning and pow, there's a show ready to send out on the airwaves early Saturday.

I still don't have a way of recording over a phone line, so I guess I'll have to make the big drive downtown still and the quality on the iBook doesn't really compare to the 'big iron' at ESPN 950, but dollar for dollar, it ain't bad. I wonder if radio could go the way of blogs, with people broadcasting their own content or posting it so everyone could download it to their iPod. I guess, but probably not. First, getting guests is hard. I mean much harder than I expected. From my first "confirmed" guest flaking on me to teaching people about the vagaries of Indiana time, it's been one heck of a learning experience.

I'll do a complete guest list here or at BP sometime ... I'm in awe of it and I'm trying to be humble. I just show up, talk a bit, and try to stay out of the way. The show is what it is because of the guests, I think. Can't wait to see what happens in 2004.

Happy Holidays
2003-12-25 05:00
by Will Carroll

Hope everyone's having a happy whatever you're celebrating. Try and remember someone who's holiday isn't quite so good today.

A quote for how I'm feeling, from Ghost Busters ...

Janine Melnitz: Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?

Winston Zeddemore: Ah, if there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.

2003-12-22 05:48
by Will Carroll

Anyone have any experience with Vonage or any of the other net-based telephone companies? Thinking of switching off of SBC ... you all know how much I'm on the phone (and yes, I'm very happy with AT&T Wireless right now) so any way to get more for less is attractive to me.

I'm also happy with Apple's service. My new iPod died, but the service has been so good that they've minimized my damage. Quick, easy, supportive tech support is priceless.

The Orioles have jumped in with an offer to Javy Lopez. Huh? Didn't I say Pudge was signed about a week ago? Well, Beattie/Flanigan are doing some smart shopping. With only one team with both a need and the free cash, the O's are playing the two premier free agent catchers off each other in hopes one will blink. I'd much rather - MUCH - have Pudge, but I wonder where the other will end up. If it's Lopez, I think Florida would be a great fit. If it's Pudge, I'm kinda stumped. The Cubs would be a fit, but they seem happy with their recent signing of Michael Barrett. I can't see Pudge in Milwaukee or Detroit ... maybe the Mets?

God speaks
2003-12-21 20:23
by Will Carroll

Gammons' latest has more on A-Rod and what's next, more on non-tender moves, and that Vlad may sign before Pudge (though both will end up with Baltimore.)

The bottom of the article is also very interesting stuff. While I've seen several of the systems that teams use, few are worth the effort they put into them. There's better available on the open market and not just the work of Nate Silver, Keith Woolner, and Clay Davenport. Why teams with the intelligence and resources these teams do insist on using fourth or fifth best systems AT BEST is something beyond me. At least ten teams understand one thing - it's about runs, creating them and preventing them. Simple variations on Pythag do pretty well and it doesn't really matter which side of the equation you're on.

2003-12-21 18:27
by Will Carroll

I'm halfway done. With more writing to do today, I've hit the magical 75 page (of 150 estimated) mark. When you add in the graphs, charts, and pictures, I think it will be a substantial looking book and if I can finish the way I started, I'll feel good about the contents as well. Honestly, I'm still not sure who will read it, but then again, I was really wrong about how many people might be interested in injury information.

Special thanks to the two people that bought me stuff off my wish list. Unlike many writers, this isn't my sole means of support and I'd honestly rather have you subscribe to BP Premium than set up a PayPal link, or if you've already done that, help another writer. If you insist on sending me something, I won't argue and I'll be thankful. Unless you send me Charles Shaw wine ... even at $3 a bottle, it's not even wine-in-a-box worthy.

Map Brilliance
2003-12-21 15:13
by Will Carroll

Ok this map and analysis is just awesome. I hate simplification when it's unnecessary, but when dealing with amazingly complex issues like demographic politics, simplifying without oversimplifying is informative.

2003-12-21 10:43
by Will Carroll

The non-tender list is pretty interesting. Billy played contract roulette, the list isn't quite as long as some (including me) expected, and there's no real rush to sign some of the bigger but not big names out there suddenly. The threat of non-tenders to the free agent market looks to be bigger than the act. There's a lot of teams that could use a cheap Redman and several guys also are the type that fit well as backups or even starters for the right team. I'd take cheap flyers on guys like Wooten, Politte, Simon, Sandberg, Looper, Bland, and Petrick.

Bush is going to propose the taxation of wealth transfer and investment income go from progressive to non-existent, according to several sources, mostly Matthew Yglesias. As much as I like the idea personally (more money good!), regressive taxation and the lessening of the American work ethic worries me.

Best line of the day: My friend Blake Kirkman, doing research for STP on Eric Gagne said "he's not just good, he's Nintendo."

Newberg Book
2003-12-19 05:01
by Will Carroll

It's all about books these days, isn't it? Lots of good ones coming out and seemingly everyone hard at work on one. The BP 2004 is coming along nicely and should be out the first week of February. Mine is coming along, if slower than I'd like for piece of mind and pain of wrist. The Neyer/James project should be interesting. There's a guy with a bad haircut coming soon.

But out now is one that you might enjoy. Jamey Newberg collects his writing from each year and adds in a ton of value in his "Bound Edition." This isn't something thrown together. It has every bit of production quality you'd expect from a BP book - the covers look and feel similar.

I was honored this year to have Jamey ask me to write one of two forewords, stepping in when Dan O'Brien understandably declined. I'll give the 2004 Bound Edition my Fred McGriff bad hat thumbs up and wink full endorsement.

Guerrero Hoax
2003-12-18 16:58
by Will Carroll

During the Winter Meetings, Joe Ptak from Cleveland Indians Report had a bad idea. He thought that he'd put up a joke with 'hidden messages' saying that Vlad had signed with the Indians. Did he get a lot of people? Damned right he did. It wasn't because people thought it would happen, that it was particularly well written, or well anything other than one thing ...

People trusted Joe Ptak.

Joe was a guest at our Cleveland Pizza Feed and Asst GM Chris Antonetti said "you know more about the organization that I do" when Joe asked a question. I read Joe's reports and got the emails and think the world of Joe. Nice guy, good info, but ...

People trusted Joe Ptak.

I can't tell you how many people called or emailed me regarding this report. I saw people from the Cleveland front office and to say they were perturbed that they had to deal with this is understatement. What Joe's done doesn't just undermine himself, but the entire non-traditional media. What's to stop Jamey Newberg or Christian Ruzich from perpetrating a similar hoax? I can tell you - nothing.

With most sites, there is no editor and in my year as an "indy" and then a year with not one but two editors at BP, I can't tell you the difference it makes. It also provides a level of personal and professional protection. I've said things that I'm glad got spiked. I know not to write angry, but I've done it. Even here, where there's no editor, I now THINK like there's one.

I know, it's instant feedback in this world, but that's just not enough. It's really not. When something like this can happen - something that some will argue is insignificant, but in fact set back the movement to give net-based writers by a year or more - I start wondering if things will ever graduate to the next level or if we'll have to wait for traditional media to pick off the best and brightest. It gives MLB more excuse not to issue credentials -- and they don't need more excuses.

In the end, it comes down to this. No matter how smart, nice, or personable Joe Ptak is, he made a massive mistake. I hope Joe continues to write and I hope he continues to do great work. I like the guy and think he's a plus.

But people trusted Joe Ptak.

They don't now.

Overheard In New Orleans
2003-12-18 15:12
by Will Carroll

For fuller accounts, check out Joe Sheehan's great coverage at BP, Alex Belth's takes at Bronx Banter, and Jay Jaffe's recap at Futility Infielder.

The 2d Annual Winter Meetings Blind Quotes

"It's not like I'm at the stage where I'm consciously lowering my standards."

"Why are you calling me? I'm ten feet away from you."
"This is how I do business, okay?"

"He marches to his own drummer."
"No, I think he has his own band."

Upon seeing any man in any hat: "Look, it's Tracy Ringolsby!"

"You can't bluff if I'm not paying attention."

"I like looking at RBI."

"You're going to regret that second hurricane."

"I have Eric B and Rakim on my ringtone."
"Cool. I have King of Pain."

"What's in a hand grenade?"

"His clubhouse upside is Mookie."

"Who knew Nate Silver had a plus arm?"

A discussion of Jose Reyes in the press room: "He has the good face."

"All you're missing in there is the free half-bottles of Pepsi."

"Fisher Cats is not a team, it's my dentist."

"A.J. Burnett was better than our starting rotation down the stretch last year."
"A.J. was hurt and didn't pitch."
"Yep. See?"

"All three? Fuck no."

"Forget about business school. You got us a table for twelve on a Friday night in New Orleans. That's leadership."

"He's a human rumor mill."

"That's a little excessive for the Carolina League."

"It's not a secret; it's a formula."

"How did you get the first book deal? You're Forrest Gump, aren't you?"

"Does Nashville have a team left?"

"[That GM] is not ready for PECOTA, Nate. Let's get him past RBI's first."

"When Chris Singleton is the answer, you're asking the wrong question."

"I asked him for career advice and he sent me a Xerox copy of his media guide bio. I think I could have saved him the copying costs."

"People in the back having sex, come out!"

"Who's here? Bud? Coonelly? I thought I smelled pure evil a minute ago."

"He's rockin' the suit."
"Yeah and he's rockin' the bachelorette party."

"Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead."

"Have a minute?"
"Only if we can talk somewhere no one sees us."

"That's it. Me and Belth, we're gonna go take out George, Brooklyn-style."

"Manny's a complex guy."
"When did complex become a synonym for headcase?"

"The Orioles are spending the relocation fee fast."

"There's no rule against firing someone because they're an asshole."

"He's a great guy."
"Sure he's a great guy. No one's questioning his guyness."

"Ugly girls like to dance too."
"But no one pays to dance with the ugly girl."
"Could we please stop comparing Kenny Lofton to an ugly girl?"

"You won with a three five off suit?"

"How many pitches did Mark throw today?"

"Could you line them up and use them to take each other out, Red October style?"

"What's your favorite movie?"
"I haven't seen them all."

"Okay, tell me this: how many homers did chemistry have? I bet chemistry is league average."

"Lofton for two years?" [sound of Joe's head exploding]

"Sleep is for wimps. We're doing radio."

"It's better this year. Not all of my stories involve a bar."

"If Bob DuPuy was Commissioner, this deal would be done already."

"Joe went where? Jeez, he was SUPPOSED to come get me. I have to see this."

"Ugueth Urbina." Pause. "Let's move on."

"I'll come down, but you'd have to pay me $100 for every soccer practice and dance lesson I miss. I'd rather be with my kids."

"Where's Alex? He was just here."

"Good call on the mushrooms, Rene."

"These beignets are good. They're like a little alcohol sponge, aren't they?"

"Pinch me. I was just up in the [team] suite."

"No, you're one of us. If you had your face on your column, you'd have the same problem."

Just in time for the holidays!
2003-12-17 23:32
by Will Carroll

Order now!

Ok, it won't be there in time for the holidays, but it's the thought that counts! Hell, I'll autograph 'em.

Back in the Mix
2003-12-16 21:26
by Will Carroll

I won't go into details here, but New Orleans was amazing, the trip back sucked, and my book deadline is now a month ahead. This should be interesting.

New Orleans
2003-12-10 04:56
by Will Carroll

While Dan is on his blogging binge (ain't it beautiful?), ranting and raving about the downfall of the Twins, I'm prepping to head to New Orleans. Lots of laundry, debates about what I'll need for the time there, how to dress, weather, backups, and enough electronic gear to rival NASA are all heading into the bag. There's tons being written elsewhere speculating about what might happen, so I'll leave that to ... well, everyone else. I'll be on the ground, talking to as many people as possible. (For those of you that will be there, you know how to reach me.) Reading Alex's excellent Verducci interview (linked below) reminds me that while I am a sportswriter, I'm not a journalist. Just because you have a brush and paint doesn't make you Picasso - I can do things like a journalist, but I don't yet have the chops to compete with Verducci, Gammons, or Sheehan.

But I learn fast.

That has to scare the heck out of some people, doesn't it? Last year in New Orleans, I was just happy to be there. I stood in the sonic shadows of waterfalls, gazed longingly at my press credential, and generally genuflected anytime I recognized someone. I'll still be damned happy to be there, but I don't do much of the hero worship any more. Some, not much. My ace in the hole is passion. I don't sleep (hence the 5am post) and I'll outwork the people I can't outsmart.

Yes, I'm excited. There are stories I think will happen - some you'll expect, some you won't, and some well off-the-field. At worst, I'll have a couple good hurricanes and hang out with some great people, but I think the worst case scenario is about as likely as the Cubs signing Vlad.

Scheduled to interview Don Fehr for BPR tomorrow. It will air the week following - this week is "live from New Orleans" - but it should be interesting and wide-ranging.

Here's an odd one: I saw the name of one of my sources on the Rose story today in print. It wasn't associated in any way with the story, but I'd never seen that person mentioned, so it was something of a jolt. After the SI decision today, I'm understandably a bit jumpy about confidentiality.

I may or may not post much over the next week, depending on free time in New Orleans. I'm sure you'll understand if I'm otherwise occupied.

I'll be the one with the big cup of coffee and a big grin ...

2003-12-08 18:16
by Will Carroll

Be sure to check out the comments on the post "Jung" - great discussion there that shouldn't be missed.

Also, there's an interesting roundtable discussion going on over at Great site to begin with, but an interesting, far-reaching discussion.

Anyone really good at creating graphics? If so, I have an emergency request!

Mike Schmidt
2003-12-08 18:09
by Will Carroll

Boy wonder Graham Bensinger may not be tremendously accurate on "next week's show" but the interview he had with me in October is now up. There's a good deal of sound from Mike Schmidt as well. I believe it pretty much speaks for itself.

Break Time
2003-12-08 13:55
by Will Carroll

Taking a break from a big writing day (I think mouse clicks are harder on my wrist than typing ...) and doing my semi-regular Google search to see what people are talking about and to make sure I see if anyone's calling me a moron. The answer's yes, of course, but I did find the oddest link to me ever . Have to say I'm flattered!

2003-12-05 14:50
by Will Carroll

As I fight with FedEx ...

Good to see that Edward Cosette is also a Jungian. Even better to see that he's looking at an issue that I'm dealing with ... the re-sorting of media. As a member of BP (the closest thing the net has to an established entity) and a blogger, I find it curious. I wonder how teams will manage their web presences, probably the biggest problem from the MLB consolidation of sites. Schilling is just the first big name guy to have it come public. I've had contact with more than a few players online and like SOSH the first thing you have to do is confirm the identity.

On Ed's discussion of the role of media, the biggest (and only) thing he left out is trust and THAT is what i think the key will be. Let's use Gammons as our proxy for this. Some people, myself included, understand what he does and worship his amazing reports. Yes, he'll have some typos and some of the info he's being given won't check out fully (things change, people!). Others trample him for some of the things he says. You either trust him or you don't. It's the same with anyone ... and I use the word "trust" as shorthand here. You might read someone because you like their writing style rather than their information. (Chris Kahrl is a great example - I'll read TA to learn new words and just watch the work despite being uninterested in the minutae of rosters.) Trust does not have a format - newspaper, TV, blog, web site, guy at the water cooler.

What we have is not a sea change for the consumer. They just have more options now. For the few previous broad options, they're going to have to adjust quickly to the role of either being trusted or not. If they are, is their opinion worth paying 50 cents or seeing ads or whatever? If they aren't, is McDonalds hiring?

2003-12-05 07:12
by Will Carroll

The A-Rod to Boston talk is heating up again. I spent part of my night getting calls from all sorts of people ... during Survivor no less ... about that and on a UTK that should be up sometime today. Here's the deal as I can put it together right now: Boston gets A-Rod, Texas gets Manny and either forks over some cash or takes back someone under contract for a similar amount. I can't figure out who the someone that would fit would be - it sounds like the number they're looking for is around 15 mil. Yes, that means Boston would then move Nomahhhhhhh to another team. Speculation focuses on Anaheim and LA, but both Bay teams are trying to see if they could make it work. Looks like the winter meetings could open with a bang.

The Marlins are also busting ass on Pudge. With a Sunday deadline looming, they've made a 3 year offer. A one year out clause was rejected. If Pudge signs, expect Javy Lopez shortly behind him ... but if Pudge doesn't sign in Miami, would Lopez land there? It's possible.

Vlad's agent, Diego Benz, is asking for an 8 year deal at $18-20 million. Not many takers out there for that and it's not even in the vicinity of what he's going to get. I'll be surprised if Vlad gets much better than Sheffield's deal.

Expect a complaint from John Schuerholz if the Yanks are allowed to end run the rule on signings. He'd sure like that pick. The Cubs lose their first rounder for signing Hawkins, but their early look at the draft board didn't like what they could get for the slot price and Hawkins had suitors.

Any recommendations on last minute flights? I'm looking at all the major online places but if you know a trick, email me. Also, for you baseball type folk who will be in New Orleans, email me for my cell # and location if you don't already have it.

2003-12-04 03:56
by Will Carroll

Now why is this abomination , this giant story, not in bold type, screaming at the start of local news, and creating near-panic in the streets?

Oh, not Muslims.

It's crazy rednecks that scare me a lot more than cultic Wahabbis these days. I have this terrible feeling that the next big something will look more like something out of 12 Monkeys than September 11th.

Where's Dan?
2003-12-03 21:47
by Will Carroll

A big Twins deal and Dan not here to kvetch?

I'm not sure on this one. Milton to the Phillies for three minor leaguers. Milton's good, has a big deal with one year left, but his knee is a problem. Silva's okay, Punto's not appreciably better than Rivas (oy!) and a Rule 5 pick? Hmmmm ... this one has Wayne Krivsky's name all over it again. I'll be looking for this guy in New Orleans because he obviously has more power than I thought.

Millwood to Atlanta now is all but assured while Maddux moves ... somewhere. I'm beginning to lose faith in ESPN Insider. Jim Baker rules, but this Crasnick cat doesn't bring much to the plate. With the slow loads and iffy info, only Gammons, Stark and Neyer keep me going to ESPN. Fox, Sportsline, are you listening?

Best Baseball Writers
2003-12-01 18:03
by Will Carroll

I'm curious ... who are the BEST baseball writers, the one's you always have to read and revel in. Not just the ones that give you info, but the ones that actually have the chops too. There aren't many Gammons or Angells out there, but I don't want to miss any either ...

Here's mine, in no particular order:

Angell - amazing and lyrical, yet not cheesed.
Gammons - informed, but still writes with young passion.
Barra - strong opinion, no one smacks people better.
Belth - emerged with the most original, fully formed voice.
Sheehan - consistently raises his bar.
Zumsteg - few make me both think AND laugh out loud.
Caple - here's the other that can make me think and laugh.
Berardino - among the best in his columnic format.

Now - what's yours? All reading this must name at least one! :)

Music, Writing, All Sorts of crap
2003-12-01 17:54
by Will Carroll

I find myself listening to music more these days. While I'm a movie buff, I simply can't find the two hours or so for most movies, either in the theatre or on the 50 incher. Music can be multitasked. A few years ago - more than I want to admit - I had an email conversation with Billy Idol. He'd just put out the underrated Cyberpunk - heck, Idol's underrated period - and I asked if he thought the Walkman was the first step in virtual reality, altering our sonic experience of reality. He did, but he said the experience was too limited by format and size. I bet he has an iPod.

Still, I also find music more interesting and eclectic while what's "popular" is getting less and less interesting and eclectic. Really - who do you know that bought a Britney Spears album? (Do I date myself by saying album and not CD? What do we say when we buy something off iTunes?) Still, I can listen to a varied and interesting list of things, from the complete catalog of Ryan Adams, with and without Whiskeytown, or giving The Shins another listen. I can hear new Big Star (well, sorta) or a new Emmylou Harris song. What I don't see being done is some sort of communal experience and that's interesting. Where do I find people who are listening to a similar range of music or are we destined to just podjack and occasionally find that we have some common tastes? I guess that's okay too. I'm willing to listen.

Alan Light can do almost no wrong, though his stay at Spin didn't bring that rag back to its mid-80's glory. His new mag, Tracks, ain't shabby and is the closest thing to eclectic out there. I re-read Lester Bangs mid-summer and had to really try not to let that out into my writing at the time. We need a Lester, but Alan is the one to find him.

Someone needs to figure out how to use the Amazon-type "you might also like ..." for music. Until then, leave suggestions in comments.

More on this later, but I'm very intrigued by the story of how Schilling chatted on Sons of Sam Horn and on before agreeing to the trade. Baseball does a pretty good job of online - and it's offerings are the crown jewel of that organization - but will MLB or will teams control their community? Can they route people to official sites or will blogs/discussions be the destination of choice? There's no "Dawg Pound" in baseball ... but why not? Toronto is trying to organize a "cheer club" which is a great idea, but they do it through Batter's Box, a great site that I should have a link to on here, come to think of it. (And yes, I'm too lazy to do hyperlinks right now.)

One more thought, but for format's sake, I'll make it a new post.

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