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Braintrust & Mailing Lists  Craig Tomarkin's Braintrust Newsletter, June 2002

Friends and Braintrust Subscribers,

It's June and the All-star game approaches. This year you can cast your vote online, up to 25 times! And, you can vote in Spanish and Japanese for the first time. Here's the link to vote online:

The 73rd All-Star Game will be broadcast from Milwaukee on FOX, Tuesday, July 9th at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT.


I thought that the juiced ball was responsible for the recent explosion in homers. But, apparently that's not it. It's steroids. Jose Canseco claims that 85% of MLB players use them and he's gonna name names in his new book. Ken Caminiti says steroids helped make him an MVP a few years ago. I guess that explains how he got the nickname "Scary Man." What's more scary is that while Canseco is likely exaggerating, few doubt that lots of players are on drugs and it is impacting the game.

In solving the labor dispute, the owners have a mountain of obstacles ahead of them. Part of the current bargaining agreement with the players is that there cannot be any drug testing at the Major League level. The players claim it infringes on their privacy. Really! I wonder how the millions of ticket buying fans, who are randomly drug tested at the workplace feel about that?

The players union also wants to prevent contraction, because contraction costs them jobs. How ridiculous! If a team can't make money why can't they fold if they have to? Maybe there just aren't 30 cities capable of supporting an MLB team. Or, maybe they'll have to look outside of the U.S. for viable cities. How about the Russian Bears? I never thought I'd side with the owners, but increasing evidence mounts against the players. As it is, player salaries in 2002 were double what they were in 1994 when the players last went on strike. At this point it's more about greed and who can shove the other around, more than it is about finding a resolution. If the players strike, they won't have steroid driven home run wars to re-attract fan interest this time. They will do real harm.

The owners may opt for replacement players during the likely strike. The latest news is that if we do have replacement players, a class action suit will be filed to have replacement nicknames for the teams while they field replacement players. John Korsgaard suggests that the current nicknames, which inspire and depict strength and dignity, need to be replaced by nicknames that still correspond to the original nickname but depict the inferior, uninspiring status. Here's the link to find out what John thinks those new nicknames ought to be:

Email us your suggestions for what the new team names ought to be

For more on player salaries and the business of baseball, check out this link:

Pro Yakyu

Thanks to Ichiro Suzuki, American baseball has become a bigger draw in Japan than Japanese baseball. This has many traditional Japanese fans upset. For more on this enlightening topic, see the article in the Japan Times:

Jim Albright wrote an excellent article on Japanese franchise all-stars. Find out who were the greatest players in Japan by team and learn a little about their history. This article is particularly topical now, given the recent hubbub with Ichiro and given that the all-star break is imminent. Here is the link to the article:

On the lighter side, Gary Garland tells about the pitcher who got a win and a save in the same game! Here's the link:

Fantasy Baseball

If you haven't done this already, go to the Fantasy Insider section of the site to find your favorite source for live scoreboards and baseball news. You can actually follow the progress of every game as they happen! Discover a place that captures your imagination. Here's the link:

As of June 1st, The Baseball Guru had climbed to second place in the standings of's first annual "expert" rotisserie league. Pitching dominance continues to be the story. The Sporting news continues to dominate the power hitting statistics, placing them 4th. The Roto Times is in first with great balance across categories. Anyone interested in following the progress of this public league or who just wants to see how each web site drafted can check it out here or using this link

Baseball Analysis -- Some Highlights

John Holway presents the real home run rankings, including Japanese and Negro League players all in one outstanding list. Here's the link:

Find out about Lefty O'Doul's ties to Marilyn Monroe and Japanese baseball! Here's the link:

No way, Jose! Does Mr. Steroids belong in the Hall of Fame? Here's where to find out:

Finally, Abby Harris writes about what it's like to be dragged to a baseball game by Minor League Guru, Mike McCann. For those who don't know, Mike is on a quest to visit every stadium and writes about it. Here's the link to read Abby's article and learn more about Mike's quest:

Anyone who would like to contribute commentary, photos, articles, experiences or whatever may to submit them for online publication by emailing me. You don't have to be a Guru to make a valuable and interesting contribution.

Baseball Fiction

Charlie Haeffner contributed an excerpt from a baseball novel he's written - and rewritten, and is still tinkering with - titled "The Judge's Game."

The scene focuses on the book's fictional retired pitching great, Tom Killian, who some readers might think rather resembles retired pitching great Tom Seaver. Both hurlers, for instance, are right-handers, started their careers with the Mets and finished with the Red Sox, and wrote books assessing how they would pitch to the legends of baseball if they had the opportunity. Here's the link:

The Guru's Famous Game

The Free Cards Archive was established this month! Come see what new cards are available and look for more free cards to be posted. Here's the link:

Of particular interest is the free set of Babe Ruth cards from his years on the Red Sox. See his transition from star pitcher to star batter.

If you've never played the game before, you can print out the instructions from the Free Cards Archive. If you want to learn more about the game, here's the link to the main page:

You can support with very little effort…

Do your part by buying all of your books and CD's through The Guru's Amazon Affiliate Store instead of directly through Amazon. You get the same prices and service but also help keep up and running. Please use the search box on any page. It's much appreciated.

So, that's what's new. Keep on visiting, keep on emailing and tell your friends about the most interesting baseball site on the web!


Craig Tomarkin

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