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

Friends and Braintrust Subscribers,


Now that the regular season is over, it is time look forward to the playoffs to reflect. Did the season turn out as you expected? The Yankees and Braves remained division champs and both are early favorites to meet in the World Series. It did not turn out as expected for the Mets and Mariners, both of whom missed the playoffs despite high expectations. It's easy to recognize the Mets failure, finishing in last place in the NL East, despite expensive additions made in the off-season (Cedeno, Alomar, Vaughn and Burnitz lead the conga line of disappointment.) The Mariners suffered a less conspicuous but painful tailspin, dropping from 116 wins to 93. What a beating!

Your opinions and thoughts on the season ranging from the Minors to the Majors to Japan to what fans thought of the season to how the players performed to the impact of the labor dispute are greatly appreciated. Please email the Guru with your two cents!

Bill Chuck ( writer) did an excellent job summarizing the regular season in his Billy-Ball Daily newsletter. Email him at and ask to read the 9/30/02 issue. You might also ask to subscribe to his newsletter and get his daily perspective on the post season.

Should umpires be permitted to continue calling balls and strikes for themselves, or should machines replace them? Email the Guru your opinions and maybe you'll get quoted! Here's the link to an article discussing it

Fantasy Baseball

The Baseball Guru regained first place in the twelve team FRSU expert league with just five days remaining in the season. Two other teams, The Sporting News and Roto World, were nipping at the Guru's heels like starving dogs chasing a butcher carrying T-bone steaks into his shop. Unfortunately, they caught the butcher and the steaks just as he was closing the door on them. Congratulations to The Sporting News for winning the competition in dramatic fashion and to Roto World for its eleventh hour surge.

How did you do in your fantasy league? If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently? How can we help you prepare next year? Email the Guru your wish list.

The Legends of Sports

We want to thank Nic Antoine for mentioning two of our gurus in his baseball newsletter in September.

He highlighted Bruce Markusen's newest book, A Baseball Dynasty: Charlie Finley's Swingin' A's, which is a revised and expanded version of his early book published in 1998. For more information, email Bruce.

Our ballparks guru, Joe Mock was also mentioned for his excellent web site, which has info not on the Baseball Guru site.

To keep informed of baseball research not easily accessible to the general public, register for Nic's monthly newsletter. Email him at

Minor Leagues

Mike McCann reports on the September deadline for Minor league teams to change their affiliation and highlighted teams making the move. If you are at all curious about the process, here's the link to the article:

Pro Yakyu

Many of you don't follow the Japanese baseball, but events this month are really exciting over there and some news impacts the MLB, the Yankees in particular. Here's an excerpt from Gary Garland's popular daily game summaries (Sept 27th).

"Cabrera Thunders 54th Homer in Front of Oh; Matsui Ties Record

With Daiei Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh looking on from the opposing dugout, Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera launched a majestic drive into the centerfield bleachers at spacious Fukuoka Dome Friday for his 54th homer of the year, just one short of the single season record jointly held by Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and former Yomiuri Giants first baseman Oh in a 6-5 victory by the Hawks.

There was some history made in this one, too. First, with the bomb, Cabrera set a new standard for most homers across two seasons with 103, besting the previous mark of 102 by former Lotte great Hiromitsu Ochiai, who hammered 52 in 1985 and then 50 in 1986 while winning the Triple Crown each of those campaigns (while striking out a COMBINED 99 times in 877 total at bats and walking 202 times during that time)."

The Japanese season lasts one week past the MLB season, so Cabrera still has time to break their single season HR record.

Meanwhile, the migration of Japanese talent to the MLB continues. It is likely that Hideki 'Godzilla' Matsui will be a New York Yankee in 2003 (the 2001 season card of Matsui was added to the Guru's Famous Baseball Game free cards archive, the first Japanese league player card made). The Yankees agreed to broadcast some of the Yomiuri Giants games in the U.S. and will play a televised exhibition game against the Giants to compensate them for taking their star player. Email Gary Garland for more details about Matsui and other Japanese players. Here's the link to the daily game summaries:

Too bad the Yomiuri Giants will have to face Matsui in a Yankee uniform rather than rely on him to power their offense. But then, the Yankees will be used to that advantage, if they meet the Oakland A's in the 2002 ALCS, when Jason Giambi tries his best to vanquish his brother and former teammates.

Baseball Analysis - Some Highlights

Ever hear the expression, "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain?" If you have, you are a victim of the "Entrenched Error" perpetuated by baseball media. As John Korsgaard points out, it was originally, "Spahn and Sain and two days of rain" as the media tends to forget. Here's the link to his revealing article:

Can you tell the difference between a part time player and a "true platoon" player? John Korsgaard investigates. Here's the link:

Fans Speak!

Read the Guru's email, ranging every possible baseball topic. New material was added this month by nearly every guru (an eclectic collection of questions and answers to be sure!). Of particular interest is a lengthy compilation, by Charlie Haeffner, answering a battery of questions regarding collectibles and memorabilia.

Here's the link to some of the most interesting content on the site:

Article Submissions

Please submit material for online publication by emailing me. You don't have to be a Guru to make a valuable and interesting contribution, but you do have to present something original to be included in the analysis section of the site.

Visit the analysis section of the site to read submitted materials and for submission guidelines. Here's the link:

The Guru's Famous Game

A new card set is available now!

The Glory Years -- If you could pick the one season, when your team had its most baseball glory (since 1920), when would it be? This card set has twenty such teams from the cities below. None of these special teams are available in any other card set.

Atlanta - Boston - Anaheim - Chicago (2) - Colorado - Florida - Houston - Los Angeles - Milwaukee - Minnesota - Montreal - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - San Diego - San Francisco - St. Louis - Texas - Toronto - Washington

Find out which season was chosen for each city and why. Here's the link:

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…

The Baseball Guru offers loads of original content and does not charge any subscription or membership fees. Do your part to help keep the site up and running 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. Here's the link:

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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