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Across the (Blog) Universe

  • Batter's Box has set up a semi-competitive baseball league for anyone who'd like to join. The games will be played somewhere in the GTA, and the entry fee is minimal. Oh, and anyone who participates will receive a "Tom Selleck Memorial Trophy." They've almost met their 40-person requirement, so sign up as quickly as you can.
  • Last week, Blez of Athletics Nation fame posted audio files of interviews he conducted with Eric Chavez and Bobby Crosby. In his interview, Chavez said that if he had to choose one player to bat in a clutch situation, it'd be Marco Scutaro. He had a .679 OPS with runners in scoring position, but let's not tell Eric that.
  • ArmchairGM has launched a History as it Happens project. In the words of site co-founder Dan Lewis, "We want the sports community to surf over to our site and write/edit their team's "history" as it happens.  Basically, that means recapping the games and surrounding news -- and providing links to news, blogs, message boards, etc., discussing the events." Here's the link to the Blue Jays page, for those looking to help.
  • At Baseball Analysts, David Regan wrote a guest column in which he retrospectively analyzes long-term free agent contracts that were signed during the 2000-2004 offseasons. It's an interesting concept, but I have two main quibbles with it:
  1. Each player's stats should be adjusted for park, and team defence should probably be taken into account at least somewhat. By using only raw stats, an increase or decrease in production could be mostly due to a player's new environment, not a significant change in ability.
  2. As many others pointed out in the comments section, seasons prior to the contract year should be taken into account. If production in the contract year is an outlier relative to past seasons, then the player shouldn't necessarily be expected to match the totals from that season.
Nevertheless, it's an interesting article and it's worth a read, in my opinion.
  • The Chronicler posted a great review of John Dewan's The Fielding Bible. It's very informative and points out how long similar research has been done. When I can scrounge together enough money, I'll pick up a copy of my own.
  • Scott Christ over at Camden Chat recently finished posting his list of the 40 greatest Orioles of all-time. Not suprisingly, Cal Ripken, Jr. tops the list and long-time greats such as Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer aren't far behind. At one point, he states that Frank Robinson is the best player to ever wear Orioles uniform, but because he only played with the them for six seasons, he doesn't rank first. I'd have to agree with that assertion.
  • Marc Normandin and Dan Scotto are posting team previews over at Beyond the Boxscore. Let's hope none of Tony Batista's relatives ever read the Twins preview.