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

Friends and Braintrust Subscribers,

Happy New Year Everyone!

MLB news…despite all of the Mets high profile trades, Arizona remains the NL team to beat. The Mets don't have enough pitching to get the job done. Call me if they sign Rick Reed, I might change my mind. Likewise, the Yankees made some big time moves, but in their case it's gonna secure another AL pennant. Only the Mariners stand in their way, a fantastic ALCS looms.

Also, look for continued surprise impacts from players in foreign leagues. This year will have more surprises than last, as the rich salaries and fame afforded by the MLB take hold on the imaginations of the world's best baseball players causing migration to the MLB en masse. Ichiro paved the way by becoming rookie of the year, batting champ and AL MVP. Guru's tip: when drafting your fantasy teams this year, gamble on names that you hear about from foreign leagues. The arrival of spring training seven weeks from now will reveal the key new players. Visit the Fantasy Insider section of the web tour for players to watch.

As usual there is lots of news to share, so let's get down to it.

Once again, thank you all for visiting. continues to see record traffic during the off-season. The site is really starting to catch on. 2001 was an exciting year of growth in content offered and it will continue in 2002.

New Look, New Server

You may have noticed the new web tour navigation graphic. It's more than just a facelift. I added a new section called "The Players", which will be lead by John Korsgaard. He also has a free newsletter you can subscribe to. The web tour also now points to the primary server housing rather than AOL's servers. This means that the pages will open faster and more reliably.

Welcome New Gurus

The expansion of into a hub for baseball analysis is going great. I am excited to announce the addition of three authors and experts in various baseball fields.

Max Blue (historic teams) is a Retired Professor of Biochemistry and Plant Genetics and has published four books. He posted two excellent baseball articles. The one called "The Streak" is a must read.

A. C. Haeffner (former sports card and memorabilia dealer) is a huge baseball fan and has published three books. He posted the preface to a novel he's in the middle of writing called "The Judge's Game." He also posted 40 or 50 photos he took at Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Wow, the players and managers are getting old.

Mike McCann (minor leagues) is a young man with a goal to visit every major and minor league baseball stadium. Each month Mike will post another piece on the minor leagues. The December article has been posted and he obviously knows his stuff.

I have been on a quest of my own. I contributed a series of articles identifying the greatest teams of all time in rank ordered fashion. Each time I posted my list on the sabr-l mailing list I got lively responses. So, I took people's comments to heart and have since followed with the fourth iteration. I sense that we are approaching consensus on this exciting endeavor. Come find out which were the greatest teams ever by each era.

John Holway (esteemed and widely published Negro Leagues expert) and John Korsgaard (franchise by franchise/position by position specialist) have also posted articles recently. Periodically visit the "Analysis" section of the site to read what's new (click on the pink button at the bottom of each page).

As always, I will be looking to find more "Gurus" to represent other areas of baseball interest. I am still seeking a ballparks expert and a Japanese baseball expert. I hoped that Gary Garland would be the Japanese baseball expert, but he has continued writing for and has not yet contributed to The good news is that if you visit the new "Japanese Insider" section of the web tour, you can subscribe to the baseball mailing list that Gary contributes to. He's really in touch with what's going on over there and posts something about every other day.

Any of you 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.

New Analytic Tool

Do your own analysis using the Guru's free stat gadget. Download the Guru's T-Test Gadget - The ultimate argument settler! Compare a player's stats to another player or to his team or to his league to find out if the amount that he is better (or worse) is statistically significant.

How it works: Enter the "Base" (such as AB or IP) and the "Result" (such as hits or earned runs) for "Player 1" and "Player 2." Player 2 can represent another player, a whole team or league totals depending on what you want to compare. The gadget will instantly tell you if the difference is statistically significant.

Live News Feeds used to provide with live baseball news feeds. But, they are gone now. I replaced them with, who is supplying the Fantasy Insider with news feeds this year. It provides feeds from Major League Baseball, ESPN, CNNSI and USA Today. Excellent resources. is supplying the Guru's Clubhouse with a news feed that is updated every 15 minutes. That feed is all different sports, not baseball only, although during baseball season we can assume that it will be dominated by baseball news.

I decided to replace isyndicate with two separate companies to ensure a variety of news stories.


My obligatory plug: buying through my bookstore instead of directly through Amazon gets you the same prices and service but also help keep up and running. Please use the search box in the bookstore or on any page in the web tour. It's much appreciated.

The Game

Two new card sets are now available. Best Players of the Live Ball Era and Best Players of the Post War Era. The top eight players at each position were chosen from each league for each set. These are some really excellent cards.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Now through January 7, 2002 I'm offering, "Buy One, Give One Free!" Give the Guru's Famous Baseball Game as a Gift and keep a copy for yourself. Go to the Guru's Game for details. If you've ever bought a set of cards in the past, you can still give a copy to someone as a gift. It's not just for new purchases.

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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