BaseballGuru.com's Braintrust Newsletter, July 2003
The AL won home field advantage in this years World Series by beating the NL 7-6 in a thrilling come from behind victory in the All Star game. Putting the home field burden on the players proved to be worthwhile from the fans perspective, because the game was more competitive. Virtually all players were used as would be expected in an All Star game, but key players had at least three at bats, which hasnt happened in years. The MVP, Garrett Anderson had four at bats and hit a single, double and home run. He also won the home run derby.
For the first time, fans were allowed to vote online. Thanks to help from fans in Japan, who previously would have had no way to vote, Matsui was the ALs starting centerfielder. At the break he was batting .299 and was among the league leaders in doubles and RBIs, making him a reasonable choice, but Mora who was batting .349 with more HRs than Matsui would have been more logical.
The Canadians did not take the same advantage of their ability to vote online, however. The Expos Jose Vidro, has a .332 avg with 11 HRs, making him the logical choice as the NL starting second baseman, but Atlantas Marcus Giles with a .291 avg and 8 HRs was voted to start instead. Unfortunately, Giles missed the game with a concussion, allowing Vidro to start in his place making this point academic.
Meanwhile, at the break, Yankee wins (57) have not kept pace with Tigers losses (67). Detroit is on pace for 118 losses, so the Yankees may have to bust a move to catch them.
Mike McCann offers two new stories. First, read about MLB players taking rehab assignments at minor league games. Its a golden opportunity to see start players up close. Heres the link: http://baseballguru.com/bunko/analysisbunko18.html
Mike also wrote about his continuing quest to see all of the minor league parks. He liked Frisco the best out of his recent journey. Heres the link: http://baseballguru.com/bunko/analysisbunko19.html
The story continues to be the Hanshin Tigers. They have over a .700 winning percentage and appear to be running away with a season of historical magnitude. Can anyone stop them? Will they choke?
There is a poll on the baseball gurus Hanshin Tigers page, which asks people whether they will win the Japan Series, make the series, fall short or stink. So far, only 43% of those who have voted think they will win the Japan Series. Granted, it is not a scientific poll and some votes were cast before the start of the season, but directionally, it seems that there is a lot of doubt about how this will play out.
60% of those voting on the Giants poll of the same questions think they will win the Japan Series. Since both teams are in the same division it sounds like people are expecting an exciting horse race to the finish.
Last summer, Jim Albright wrote a terrific article identifying Japans most dominant teams. This summer, he topped his previous effort with a sequel that distinguished the greatest teams ever. You wont want to miss this update. Heres the link: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright20.html
There has been a recent drop off in daily Japanese baseball coverage on the web site. We are trying to keep the news coming. If anyone can translate Japanese and would like to help with occasional news postings, it would be a great help for the rest of us.
Work on building the historical Japanese baseball database continues. I want to thank Bill Stevens for the excellent work he is doing on compiling the stats. Michael Westbay continues to make progress with the biographical portion as well. There is still a lot of work to be done.
Anyone interested in helping us build this database should email either one of us and volunteer. Our contact info is: Craig Tomarkin from baseballguru.com and Michael Westbay from japanesebaseball.com.
You can also join the Baseball Databank Yahoo egroup at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baseball-databank where other researchers are building a similar database.
The Sinon Bulls won the first half of the season with a dominant 34-15-1 record. The second half of the season has gotten underway, but took a break for an all-star game. The leagues six teams were divided into the Red team and the White team. For all-star game details, find Andrew Wongs article in the daily news section of the site: http://www.baseballguru.com/archives
Womens baseball news and trivia has been added to the daily archive thanks to Leslie Heaphy, our ladies baseball expert. Look for a new question each week. This promises to be an enlightening addition to the site. Let it capture your imagination.
Anyone who would like to contribute commentary, photos, articles, experiences or whatever may to submit them for online publication by emailing me. You dont have to be a Guru to make a valuable and interesting contribution. Please see the analysis page of the web site for article submission guidelines. Heres the link: http://baseballguru.com/bbads.html
Herb Rogoff's famous ONEMOREINNING monthly magazine!
For a few laughs, read Herbs feature this month HAHAHA
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Charlie Haeffner submitted twenty photos he took from the 1987 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. For a candid and nostalgic look at some of the most recognizable people in baseball, these photos are a must see. Here is the Link: http://www.baseballguru.com/haeffner
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