Well, the calendar has turned
over and it finds me in my usual nervous anticipation of “pitchers and
catchers.” I’ve been dealing
with this difficult situation by getting caught up on some baseball reading.
As a gift I had received Bill James’ new historical abstract.
This has been a wonderful treat for me.
I love the history of baseball, but have been negligent in comprehending
the full scope of it. This is
helping to get the juices flowing again. The
book itself is a solid starter reference and argument starter.
It’s been quite fun looking up some of my favorite Brewers in
particular and seeing where they rank in James’ “Top 100” lists. One player I was stunned to see listed was Charlie Moore.
Now, in all honesty, I love the Brewers and their teams from the late
70’s and early 80’s quite a lot, but never would I have fathomed that
Charlie was any type of player to be considered the Top 100 of anything.
James ranks him the 96th best catcher of all time.
Right ahead of Bo Diaz. Go
figure. James’ new Win Shares
system gives those interested in hardcore statistical analysis a new toy to play
with. As always, James is quite
opinionated and well, frank, about some things.
But he is also quite humorous. Take
this quote about Joey Meyer: “Meyer was…just fat as a bear in August.
Huge, fat thighs, fat arms, immense rump.
He was kind of gross actually.” For
curiosity’s sake here’s James’ Top 30 players:
1. Babe Ruth
11. Tris Speaker
21. Mike Schmidt
2. Honus Wagner 12. Henry Aaron 22. Rogers Hornsby
3. Willie Mays 13. Joe DiMaggio 23. Cy Young
4. Oscar Charleston 14. Lou Gehrig 24. Frank Robinson
5. Ty Cobb 15. Joe Morgan 25. Turkey Stearns
6. Mickey Mantle 16. Barry Bonds 26. Rickey Henderson
7. Ted Williams 17. Satchel Paige 27. Pop Lloyd
8. Walter Johnson 18. Eddie Collins 28. Mel Ott
9. Josh Gibson 19. Lefty Grove 29. Jimmie Foxx
10. Stan Musial 20. Pete Alexander 30. George Brett
I highly recommend this book if
you have been thinking about it. Some
times I think James is off his rocker, but more often than not I found myself
nodding in agreement with his methods and principles. The man always brings the stats to the argument, which is to
be commended. An understatement, I
know, but this ain’t the “New York Times Book Review” J
Also, I read Dan Okrent’s Nine
Innings, which I liked. Currently
I’m on another of James’s books- The Politics of Glory.
It’s an interesting history about the Baseball Hall of Fame and how it
went about selecting players. James
also seeks to identify some sort of standards that one could reasonably assume a
HOF’er should reach. Another
solid read so far. Well, I think
that’s enough about my reading lists. Let’s
proceed to the news of the day.
Also included in the ZIP file is
the 2002 schedule. The month of
April will see the champs from Ocala start their defense against Cook County.
Minnesota, 2001 runners up, will square off against Stanley to begin the
season. The other two division
champs, Glen Allen and Toledo, also go toe-to-toe in the first week of action.
Also of note, BRASSball action comes to the people of Springfield on
April 1st when they play host to Santa Barbara.
Look for Homer on the 1st base side, probably in the upper
deck. Charlevoix gets BRASSball
action back starting on the first also. Their guests will be the boys from La
Crosse. Four days later the Tigers
return the favor, as they’ll be the first BRASSball visitors to La Crosse.
Enjoy the view from Granddad’s Bluff when you’re in town, Tigers!
And yes indeed, the Metropolis Avengers are on the 2002 schedule. They survived contraction.
Of special note is BRASSball’s
8th Midsummer Classic. This
season, the AL will be looking to add to its 4 games to 3 lead in the All Star
Game series at the home of the Cook County Maulers.
The fans of Cook County are well deserving of this league treat.
While Bill Veeck Field has been a bandbox so far, rumor has it that Owner
Kolb is tinkering with the notion of changing the dimensions, presumably to the
favor of his mounds men. Either
way, the fans will enjoy the show I’m sure.
As Corey has already pointed
out, the next big league deadline is now the 25th of February.
On this day you need to have your 30 man protected lists sent to Jack
Howard, the Draft Conductor. Feel
free to “CC” Corey and I on these as a backup measure, but Jack MUST
receive this information. Also,
players on AM contracts DO NOT count against the 30 man limit.
Any player you leave unprotected must be drafted back if you wish to
retain him. Teams are allowed to be
at 40 players (not including AM’s) and no more upon the draft’s conclusion.
As always, a trade freeze goes in effect on the 25th and lasts
until the draft is done. The draft
is set for March 2nd. Please
get your lists in to Jack as soon as possible so he can get the necessary
information turned around to all of us as quickly as he possibly can.
To sum up: Do not miss this deadline.
My partner has a new e-mail address.
Please delete what you have and use this one from now on:
As you will remember we voted in a change that allows those
of you who have played in your park for three seasons to change it in any manner
you wish for a $500,000 fee. After
doing so, you are not allowed to change your park again for three seasons.
I, for example, took full advantage and ripped down that damn ugly, state
built dome that was the only building in town ready for my Mudcats in 1995 and
replaced it with my new Xanadu- John Galt Park.
Outdoor baseball and everything now for me.
And contrary to spurious Internet rumors, Galt Park was built totally
with my private fortune. What kind
of objectivist would I be if I hadn’t?
Corey on the roster sheets lists the year when you become
eligible to change your park if you wish. If
it says “Yes” you can change it right now. If it says “2005” that means you’ve changed it and have
to wait for the 2005 season to alter it again.
New managers can change free of charge initially.
All changes need to be submitted by March 15th for the first
league roster file. But please
submit them earlier if possible.
For those of you who haven’t checked it out yet, Joal has
done a fine job contributing off-season write-ups on all the BRASSball
organizations. Just head on
over to brassball.org. Some
tidbits from what Joal has written:
On Ocala: “Top-to-bottom,
few teams can compare to this modern day Murderer’s Row.”
On Iowa: “While a divisional championship is
not realistic with Cook County still running strong, Iowa does have an outside
chance at a Wild Card berth in 2002. To do so, though, it will need to stay
healthy and to have pitchers like Schmidt and Nomo lead the way.”
On Metropolis: “Thankfully for Metropolis
fans (if there are any left), the future is now close at hand.”
On Bloomington: “We are all aware of the
proverb that "what goes up must come down." Well, perhaps it works the
other way, too. After slipping over the past two seasons, Bloomington now looks
primed for success once more.”
On Glen Allen: “That said, the current
version of the Glen Allen team does seem to be on its last legs. The veteran
team is aging and many of its players are on the downward slope of their
On Minnesota: “This loss of talent has only fueled the controversy surrounding the team's desire for a new, state-of-the-art stadium in Minnesota.”
Toledo trades Vic Darensbourg, Miguel Cairo, Matt Perisho,
Benny Agbayani and Seth Etherton to Morris for Jason Tyner.
Santa Barbara trades Wes Helms to North Georgia for Jason
Santa Barbara trades Omar Vizquel, Arthur Rhodes and Travis
Dawkins to Morris for Rey Ordonez and Josh Karp.
Santa Barbara trades Ted Lilly and Mike Jackson to North
Georgia for Shane Reynolds and $4,675,500.
Glen Allen trades Doug Mirabelli and Marquis Grissom to Cook
County for Cook County’s 2002 3rd round draft choice.
Box City – Released Francisco Cordova, Alex Fernandez,
Eddie Perez and Rico Washington.
Charlevoix – Released Clayton Andrews, Elipidio Guzman and
Iowa – Released Jackson Melian.
Minnesota – Released Ben Broussard.
Plaza – Released Willie Bloomquist.
Springfield – Released Rick Elder and Vince Faison.
Once again we have a few articles below to fill the
newsletter out. Brian, Jack, Al,
Lenny, Paul and Jim Clark are our contributors this month.
As always these can be found on the league website, usually before they
appear here. They are at the end.
February 25th Deadline
to submit 30 man protected lists to Jack Howard, Draft Conductor.
Deadline for submitting articles for the next issue.
DRAFT DAY 2002!!!