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Braintrust & Mailing Lists  Craig Tomarkin

Friends and Braintrust Subscribers,





Are you ready for some baseball? The season starts with two games played between the A's and Mariners in Japan on March 24th and 25th. Then there is a Sunday night game March 30th between the Rangers and Angels. The rest of the league games begin Monday, March 31st. Six members of the Baseball Guru staff made their 2003 Predicitions. Here’s the link:


Here are some ideas for how you can get the most out of this season:







The old 15 member veterans committee was replaced by a new body of 84 people. They were the 58 living Hall of Famers, 24 writers and broadcasters who won awards associated with the Hall of Fame and two former committee members whose terms had not yet expired. It was their task to determine who should get voted into the Hall of Fame this year from among the vast list of players and contributors overlooked in previous years by the baseball writers. The ballot they came up with included 26 former players and 15 non players. It did not include any players who did not play in America, such as Sadaharu Oh the world’s all time home run king. 75% of the votes were required for election and incredibly none got enough votes to qualify. The most often voted for players were Gil Hodges (61.7%), Tony Oliva (59.3%) and Ron Santo (56.8%). No other player was close. Among non players, Doug Harvey (60.8%) was the only one with a majority of votes, but still not enough for election. Joe Torre will have a better chance of getting elected once he retires from managing, so that he might get elected based on his managerial achievements.


This means that Gary Carter and Eddie Murray are the only new inductees in 2003. See the Guru’s updated Hall of Fame page for more details. Here’s the link:


Other players, who played exclusively in foreign countries, should have been considered, but were not among the eligible list that the new veterans committee had to choose from. According to the HOF chairwoman, Jane Forbes Clark, “The National Hall of Fame and museum has the unique responsibility of preserving baseball’s rich history and honoring its greatest heroes.” She also says that the HOF is the “institutional and spiritual homes of The Game…”


If this is true, then why is the Hall of Fame limited to the greatest players who played in America and not the world?  It is time that foreign players receive their due consideration for election. Otherwise, the baseball Hall of Fame loses its relevance. Today, roughly half of minor leaguers are foreigner born and only recently have they become eligible for the MLB. This number would be higher if not for limitations set by U.S. immigration laws. The no-brainer example of this is the exclusion of Sadaharu Oh, who played baseball in the 1960’s and 70’s before Japanese players could play in the MLB. He already has an exhibit in the 500 Home run room at the Hall of Fame (he hit 858 in Japan), but is not yet a “Hall of Famer.”


If you need to know more about why Oh should be in, read the well-researched case for Oh and the history of Japanese-MLB relations. The case includes a list and description of thirty of the world’s greatest players not in the Hall of Fame. Some were the best players of all time in Cuba, Korea and elsewhere. Had they been permitted to play in the MLB, they would have been household names here, although they are household names for millions in the countries they played. A hard copy of the case can be found in the Hall of Fame library in Cooperstown and all of the members of the HOF committee, including Bud Selig and Jane Forbes Clark have read it. Here’s the link:


The campaign to elect Sadaharu Oh to the Hall of Fame is already underway, but without public support, change will not come. You can make a difference by placing your vote online. Here’s the link:


Also, in case you haven’t read it yet, John Holway reveals Who's In? Who's Out? And why?. It’s controversial and raises important questions, because most of these exceedingly talented and accomplished players are not on the ballot for mainly political reasons. The article does not discuss Pete Rose. Here’s the link:


Fantasy Baseball Expert League Challenge

Fantasy Sports R Us initiated its first annual "expert" rotisserie league last year and invited The Baseball Guru to compete against representatives from The Sporting News, The Roto Times, The Sandlot Shrink and other high profile baseball web sites. We lead the league with one week to go and were caught from behind to finish third in a close horse race. This year, we appreciate being invited back for another try. Bart Ewing, our fantasy baseball expert, will take over and see if he can do better. He is prepared and is looking forward to the competition. It is an NL only league based on the 5x5 format. Bart says he is more comfortable with the AL, so this will make the challenge all the more interesting. Good luck Bart!

Anyone looking for advice on players or on the draft can email Bart. You can also visit the Fantasty Insider section of the Baseball Guru for cheat sheet downloads and other draft help. Here’s the link:

Here’s the link for more information about the FSRU expert league:

Minor Leagues

Ever wonder what the difference is between affiliated and independent leagues? Mike McCann explains the implications for the players who play in one league versus the other. Here’s the link:

Pro Yakyu


New Team Reports are Gary Garland’s latest addition to the daily Japanese baseball news. Catch up on the pre-season activity in Japan. Here is the link:

Negro Leagues

Ted Williams told about facing Satchel Paige in 1948. It’s a sneak preview from the soon to be released, expanded version of John Holway’s “The Last 400 Hitter.” The book includes an analysis of how Josh Gibson would stack up against Cobb, Ruth, Ted, Mays, and Aaron. Here’s the link:


Also read a story speculating on how the list of 400 hitters would have been changed if blacks had been allowed in an integrated league. Here’s the link:


John Holway also wrote up an interview with Harry Salmon and included a rare picture. Here’s the link:



Baseball Analysis - Some Highlights


Bruce Markusen, an author who works at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, contributed a series of articles this month recalling some past inductees.

·           Catfish Hunter. Here’s the link:

·           Roberto Clemente. Here’s the link:

·           Willie Stargell. Here’s the link: and

·           Orlando Cepeda. Here’s the link:


With so much player movement during the off season, have you ever wondered if two teams ever traded former MVP’s with each other and what happens to the teams that trade? Bruce Markusen tells the story of when it happened. Here’s the link:



The Guru’s Famous Game

The 1972 Season Set is now ready!  Here’s the link:

The A's and Red machine battled it out in a dramatic seven game World Series. Luckily for the The A's, the Orioles were one year past their prime when they had four twenty game winners, and four great sluggers: Boog Powell, Davy Johnson, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson. The Reds were not as lucky. They had fierce competition from the Pirates, who had a better regular season record and featured seven batters with over a .290 avg including Willie Stargell, Al Oliver and Roberto Clemente. See a list of great batters from the 1972 season

Back in 1972, teams used four man pitching staffs (some relied on three) so there were some great pitching performances including Steve Carlton’s pitching triple crown with a 27-10 record, 1.97 era, 310 strike outs. He had 30 complete games, unheard of in today’s game. Nolan Ryan had a rare ‘A+’ strike out rating. The rookies of the Year were a pitcher and catcher, Jon Matlack and Carlton Fisk.

If you want to learn more about the game, here’s the link to the main page:


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Keep on visiting and tell your friends about the most interesting baseball site on the web!

Sincerely Yours,

Craig Tomarkin (the Guru, webmaster and editor)

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