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Friday, February 24, 2006

2006 Boston Red Sox Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

After finally breaking the 86-year curse of Babe Ruth not to
mention performing one of the most miraculous comebacks in
baseball history vs. the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox entered
the 2005 season hopeful their good fortune would continue. Even
though Curt Schilling’s ankle wasn’t 100% - the blueprint for
2005 began by adding newly acquired pitchers David Wells and
Matt Clement to the starting rotation. But from the beginning
of the season it was evident that Schilling’s ankle wouldn’t
cooperate as he started only 3 games prior to the All Star
break. Thankfully for Red Sox fans no one was running away with
the AL East just yet.

It wasn’t hard for Boston to remain in the hunt for another AL
East title especially with the lethal 1-2 offensive punch of
Manny Ramieriz (.292 45 144) and David Ortiz (.300 47148)
providing the bulk of the scoring. Outfielder Johnny Damon
(.316 10 75) continued his impressive output as the Red Sox
leadoff hitter while Trott Nixon (.275 13 67) and catcher Jason
Varitek (.281 22 70) returned another season of impressive
offensive numbers.

The starting pitching learned to live without Schilling with
David Wells (15 7 4.45) assembling a decent season. Pitchers
Matt Clement (13 6 4.57) and Tim Wakefield (16 7 4.15) also
stepped up their game in order to keep the Red Sox and Yankees
neck and neck until the last weekend series at Fenway. The
Yankees won the season finale two games to one, leaving the Red
Sox to face the Chicago White Sox in the Division Series.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, 2005 ended with a quick
postseason departure as they were swept three games to none,
losing game 3 in Fenway 5-3 to the White Sox.

Off Season Moves:

The chaos created by the initial departure of GM Theo Epstein
proved beneficial for the Yankees who were able to snag free
agent All Star Centerfielder Johnny Damon from under the Red
Sox noses. Boston struck back days later completing a seven
player deal with the Marlins netting 3rd baseman Mike Lowell
(.236 8 58) starting pitcher Josh Beckett (15-8 3.37) and
pitcher Guillermo Mota (2-2 4.70). Mota was later used to
acquire outfielder Coco Crisp (.300 16 69 16 SB) who will be
used to replace Damon in centerfield. Also picked up in the
Crisp trade was reliever David Riske (3-4 3.10).

Other notable off season moves included trading Doug Mirabelli
to the Padres for 2nd baseman Mark Loretta (.280 3 38) as well
as sending infielder Edgar Renteria to the Braves for cash
along with 3B Andy Marte. Additional moves included the Red Sox
avoiding arbitration with infielder Tony Graffanino (.309 7 38)
as well as adding pitcher Julian Tavarez (2-3 3.43) and
outfielder J.T. Snow (.275 4 40).

2006 Analysis:

Expect the starting pitching for Boston to be stronger then
last year with the addition of Josh Beckett and the anticipated
rebound of Schilling. The Red Sox are also hoping that Wells
will be more comfortable as the 3rd vs. number 1 starter - a
role he was forced to assume when Schilling was unable to
rebound from his 2004 ankle injury. The bullpen is upgraded
with the addition of Tavarez and Riske. Expect Mike Timlin (7-3
2.24) Keith Foulke (5-5 5.91 15 saves) Jonathan Papelbon (3-1
2.65) and Bronson Arroyo (14-10 4.51) to pick up right where
they left off last year.

Boston took it hard on the chin by losing Johnny Damon as his
production and leadership will be missed but Crisp is a young
player with a good deal of speed. Crisp posted career highs
last year in runs (86), hits (178) and homers and the Red Sox
are counting on him doing even more to fill the void left by
Damon. Also expect Manny Ramieriz to be on the opening day
roster as whispers of him leaving to the Orioles or Mets in
some multi-team mega deal appear to be nothing more then fodder
to sell newspapers. Few teams can manage Manny’s contract and
the Red Sox seem to unwilling to offer and financial relief to
any teams who have shown interest in acquiring him.

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Yankees’ Rodriguez To Play In WBC

By F.R. Penn

After several months of doubtfulness, Alex Rodriguez has
decided that he will participate in the World Baseball Classic
(WBC), and that he will do so wearing a Team USA uniform. After
struggling with his decision whether or not to represent the
Dominican Republic, Rodriguez’ country of origin, the American
League MVP came to a somewhat surprising conclusion on Tuesday
night, as Rodriguez posted on his Web site that he would
represent the United States in the initial tournament.

NEW YORK -- After several months of uncertainty, Alex Rodriguez
has decided that he will participate in the World Baseball
Classic, and that he will do so wearing a Team USA uniform.

The WBC saga of the reigning American League MVP came to a
somewhat surprising conclusion on Tuesday night, as Rodriguez
announced on his Web site that he would represent the U.S. in
the inaugural tournament. "Following discussion with my family
and agent, the Commissioner, and the Major League Baseball
Players Association, I have decided to participate in the World
Baseball Classic," Rodriguez said in a statement on
"In recent weeks, following dialogue with caring friends and
players, both Dominican and American, I reached the conclusion
that if I played in the Classic, I would play for the United
States and honor my American citizenship.

"I appreciate the support and understanding of my fellow
Dominican players and friends who aided me in making this
decision," he added. "The World Baseball Classic offers
baseball and its fans an exciting new forum and I look forward,
if selected, to representing the United States in what will be
baseball's greatest international competition." In
mid-December, Rodriguez said that he was leaning toward
representing the Dominican Republic, which would have been his
right because of his parents' citizenship in that country. Just
days later, he changed his mind, saying that he would skip the
event altogether as not to offend either the Dominican Republic
or the U.S. MLB and union officials lobbied the Yankees' third
baseman over the past few weeks, trying to convince him to play
in the event.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, it appeared that Rodriguez would
stand by his plan to sit out the tournament, even though the
Dominican Republic had placed him on its provisional roster on
Monday. USA Baseball was prepared to leave A-Rod off its
roster, as union officials informed the U.S. that Rodriguez
planned to skip the WBC. But as the day went on, Rodriguez
changed his mind, ultimately deciding to represent his home
country along with teammates Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Al

Rodriguez is one of 52 players on Team USA's provisional
roster, a list that includes four other third basemen: Eric
Chavez, Morgan Ensberg, Chipper Jones and David Wright.

"He's one of the best players in the game," said Paul Seiler,
USA Baseball's executive director and chief executive, of
Rodriguez. "We'll be thrilled to have him on our team."

About the Author: This article was written by F.R. Penn
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Saturday, February 11, 2006

2006 Colorado Rockies Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

The Colorado Rookies suffered through a tough 95 loss season ending the year 15 games behind the NL West Champion San Diego Padres. The 2005 offense was led by 1st baseman Todd Helton (.320 20 79), outfielder Dustan Mohr (.214 17 38), and the young 3rd baseman Garrett Atkins (.287 13 89). Shortstop Clint Barmes (.289 10 46) and Matt Holliday (.307 19 87) also contributed to the lineup.

The 2005 Rockies pitching was as thin as the air in their home stadium, Coors Field. Beyond youngster Jeff Francis (14-12 5.68) and Aaron Cook (7-2 3.67) the rest of the starting pitching suffered to provide quality starts throughout the entire year. Starters Jamey Wright (8-16 5.46), Byung-Hyun Kim (5-12 4.86) and Jason Jennings (6-9 5.02) all failed to impress. On the upside, closer Brian Fuentes (2-5 2.91 31 saves) did manage to convert 31 saves in 34 save opportunities, and was an impressive 14 out of 14 in save opportunities at Coors Field. Not an easy task when a pitcher is required to close games in a stadium that is notorious for late inning comebacks and blown saves.

Off Season Moves:

The Colorado Rockies didn’t make many moves in the off season. They did however add some veteran experience to the bullpen by signing free agent closer Jose Mesa (2-8 4.76). The Rockies also re-signed starter Byung-Hyun Kim and reliever Mike DeJean (5-4 4.48) plus traded for St. Louis left hander Ray King (4-4 388). Catcher Yorvit Torrealba (.234 3 15) was also picked up in order to upgrade the position.

2006 Analysis:

Growing pains are to be expected with a team this young. Rockie fans need to be patient and allow youngsters such as third baseman Atkins, and shortstop Barmes the time they need to grow into their positions. Look for right fielder Brad Hawpe (.262 9 47) and outfielders Matt Holliday and Dustin Mohr to be expected to contribute more in 2006. Both players proved they were capable of handling major league pitching during the 2005 season and both are expected to be an important part of the Rockies future.

Colorado is reluctant to abandon their game plan and with so many young prospects no one can blame them. Management remained overly cautious in the off season and passed by the opportunity to add a bunch of new faces.

One newcomer to the pitching staff will be pitcher Ray King. He will help, but the starting rotation shouldn’t be expected to provide much better numbers then they did in 2005. Francis and Cook should start more in 2006 and the Rockies closer Brian Fuentes ended the season very strong. In August and September Fuentes was an impressive 15 for 15 in save opportunities. The Rockies are looking for a few breaks to go there way and if the starting pitching can impress the offense should be able to score runs. The Rockies are still a few years and starting pitchers away to be considered a legitimate contender for a division title or wildcard spot.

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2006 Cleveland Indians Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

The Cleveland Indians were arguably the best overall team in baseball during the 2nd half of the season. The Indians remained right in the thick of the AL pennant chase until the very last week of the season when a 4-6 record in their last 10 games left them two games back in the wildcard standings. Cleveland ended the year with an impressive final record of 93-69. The Tribe fielded some of the best young offensive talent in all of baseball in 2005, led by a breakout year from shortstop Jhonny Peralta (.292 25 78). Peralta’s first full season helped Cleveland’s offense keep the Tribe close for the better part of the summer. Newly acquired 3b Aaron Boone (.243 16 60) also combined talents with infielders Ronnie Belliard (.284 17 78) and 1st baseman Ben Broussard (.255 19 68) in order to assemble one of the best all around infields in all of baseball. Additional offense was provided in 2005 from outfielder Grady Sizemore (.289 22 81) and Casey Blake (.241 23 58) who joined Coco Crisp (.300 16 69), catcher Victor Martinez (.305 20 80) and DH Travis Hafner (.305 33 108) to complete the rest of the lineup.

The Indians’ pitching staff also proved to be among the best in the AL with starting Pitcher Cliff Lee (18-5 3.79) and C.C. Sabathia (15-10 4.03) joining Jake Westbrook (15-15 4.49) and newly acquired pitchers Scott Elarton (11-9 4.61) and Kevin Millwood (9-11 2.86) in order to form a solid rotation. Aging closer Bob Wickman (0-4 2.47 45 saves) surprised skeptics by proving he still had plenty left in the tank posting a 14-year career high 45 saves in 50 attempts.

Off Season Moves:

The Indians didn’t make many moves during the off season although free-agent right-hander Paul Byrd (12-11 3.74) was signed to take the place of departing Kevin Millwood (who was signed by the Rangers). The Indians also replaced starting pitcher Scott Elarton (signed by the Royals) with Detroit Tiger free-agent Jason Johnson (8-13 4.54). Cleveland also tried to obtain another closer chasing both B.J. Ryan and Trevor Hoffman in the off season but finally settled on bringing back Bob Wickman.

Outfielder Coco Crisp was sent to the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Guillermo Mota (2-2 4.70). The Indians also sent reliever Arthur Rhodes to Philadelphia for outfielder Jason Michaels (.304 4 31), the probable replacement for Crisp as Cleveland's starting left fielder.

2006 Analysis:

The Indians did their best by addressing the free agent departures of Millwood and Elarton but the bottom of the rotation is still shaky. Paul Byrd should be a nice addition to the starting group. The Indians let Millwood go despite the fact that he posted one of the best ERAs in the league. Cleveland was somewhat disappointed in Millwood’s ability to win more games for them. The workhorse bullpen expects to pick up right where it left off in 2005 with Arthur Rhodes (3-1 2.08), Fernando Cabrera (2-1 1.47), Scott Sauerbeck (1-0 4.04) and newcomer Guillermo Mota setting up closer Bob Wickman. The tribe should be primed for another title chase in 2006 if the starting pitching and bullpen can hold up. With an offense like the Indian’s it’s hard to count them out of anything – especially if Peralta can continue to improve at the plate in 2006.

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2006 Chicago White Sox Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

After waiting 88 years for a World Series title, the Chicago White Sox and 2nd year Manager Ozzie Guillen entered the 2005 season on a mission. After an impressive rookie managerial season the Venezuela born Guillen led his troops to a division leading 99-63 record. The White Sox simply dominated the postseason losing only 1 game out of a total of 13 played - first by sweeping the defending champion Boston Red Sox and then by rolling past the Angels 4 games to 1. Chicago went home from the Fall Classic against NL Champion Astros with a clean 4-game sweep grabbing their first World Series title since 1917. The White Sox fielded one of the stronger offensive lineups in 2005 with 1st baseman Paul Konerko (.283 40 100) and outfielder Jermaine Dye (.274 31 86) leading the charge. Outfielder Carl Everett (.251 23 87), 3rd baseman Joe Crede (.252 22 62) and newly acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski (.257 18 56) also helped level out the rest of the 2005 lineup.

It’s often said that ‘pitching wins championships’ and in 2005 Chicago assembled one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Newly acquired Jose Contreras (15-7 3.61) and Freddy Garcia (14-8 3.87) sparkled in their new White Sox uniforms, while Jon Garland (18-10 3.50) and Mark Buehrle (16-8 3.12) rounded out the dominating starting staff. Newly acquired Reliever Dustin Hermanson (2-4 2.04) performed nicely in the bullpen saving 24 of 29 chances and doubling his output from the previous year with the San Francisco Giants.

Off Season Moves:

The White Sox did very little in the off season to change their team chemistry. Their biggest moves included re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko to a five-year, $60 million deal (he turned down $65 million from the Orioles) and trading for slugger Jim Thome (7 HRS in 59 games in 2005), who is scheduled to start the 2006 campaign as Chicago’s DH. The White Sox also strengthened an already strong rotation with a trade for Javier Vazquez (11-15 4.42) - they also acquired a versatile utility man in Rob Mackowiak (.292 9 58) from the Pirates.

2006 Analysis:

Guillen and company seem to have a solid blueprint for success and it’s hard to find many flaws in their off season strategy. The only real weak point appears to be centerfield since at least for now it looks as if Brian Anderson (.176 in 34 AB in 2005) will take over for Aaron Rowand (.270 13 69) who was traded to Philly in the deal for Thome. Expect Thome (.274 42 105 in a full season in 2004) to blossom as a DH, saving himself from the wear and tear of playing 1st base everyday. He’s a player perfectly suited for the DH role and the White Sox were wise to trade for him. Thome should provide some nice offense alongside Konerko, Pierzynski, Dye and Crede. Chicago’s pitching in 2006 should be stronger (if that’s even possible!) with Javier Vazquez joining the rotation. Vazquez could prove to be another interesting addition to an already powerful staff. Much like the acquisitions of Contreras and Garcia in 2004, the White Sox are hoping Vazquez will fit in nicely and produce better numbers then last season.

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2006 Arizona Diamondbacks Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

Rebounding from a truly disastrous 111 loss season in 2004, the Arizona Diamondbacks improved their 2005 season record to 77-85 including a final 8-2 record to finish the last 10 games of the year. Led by a balanced offense, the team was able to improve on their 2004 record thanks to the surprise performances supplied by 1st baseman Tony Clark (.304 30 87) and Chad Tracy (.308 27 72). The Diamondbacks also received much needed help from Troy Glaus (.258 37 97), Luis Gonzalez (.271 24 79) and outfielder Shawn Greene (.286 22 73).

Arizona’s starting pitching was spotty for much of the season with starters Brandon Webb (14-12 3.54), Javier Vazquez (11-15 4.42) and Brad Halsey (8-12 4.61) providing the majority of the quality starts in 2005. Relievers Brandon Medders (4-1 1.78) and Lance Cormier (7-3 5.11) joined Brandon Lyon (0-2 6.44 14 saves), Brian Burney (1-3 7.43 12 saves) and Jose Val Verde (3-4 2.44 15 saves) who combined to save 41 games in total.

Off Season Moves:

Arizona moved aggressively in the off season by shipping Javier Vazquez to the White Sox for Orlando Hernandez (9-9 5.12), and also trading power hitter Troy Glaus to the Blue Jays for closer Miguel Batista (5-8 4.10 31 saves) as well as Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson (.271 10 63). The Diamondbacks also picked up catcher Johnny Estrada (.261 4 39) in a off season trade with the Atlanta Braves. The team signed free agent center fielder Eric Byrnes (.226 10 40) to help improve the as well.

2006 Analysis:

The Diamondbacks addressed their need for a legitimate closer by dealing Glaus in an aggressive off season move. Although Glaus’ hitting will be greatly missed, the Diamondbacks will get far more reliability with Batista then any of the options they used last year. The team is relying on youngsters like Chad Trady and first baseman Conor Jackson to pick up the slack left by Glaus.

Arizona also extended Webb’s deal for another 4 years which was a smart move. Webb is a solid workhorse type pitcher and is the ace of the staff. In 2005 he led the team in both ERA (3.54) and Wins (14 ). The pickup of Orlando Hernandez will at a minimum eat up more innings in 2006. But fans shouldn’t expect many wins from him or this rotation. Eric Byrnes is another nice addition but offense really isn’t nor ever was this team’s problem. The lineup is solid and Luis Gonzalez and outfielder Shawn Greene should project to similar numbers in 2006 even without Glaus in the lineup.

The biggest problem for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006 will be their pitching. The team did very little to improve their starting rotation and in fact may have actually weakened it in order to improve their bullpen. Aside from Webb the starting pitching needs much more help. The team shouldn’t be considered as serious contenders for the NL West until the pitching receives a significant upgrade.

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2006 Anaheim Angels Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

Mike Scioscia and his 2005 Anaheim Angels entered the new season ready to defend their 2004 American League West Title. Although the 2004 season ended in a disappointing 3 game ALDS sweep to the World Series Boston Red Sox, the Angels remained poised and confident they could return to the postseason once again. The Angels good fortunes continued in 2005 as they ended clinching the American League West with an impressive 95-67 record. Unfortunately, the 2005 postseason ended in 4 straight losses to the Chicago White Sox as the Angels were eliminated 4-1 in the American League Divisional Playoffs.

Lead by superstar Vladimir Guerrero (.317 32 108) the Angels starting lineup provided a balanced attack against the opposition in 2005. The new additions of Juan Rivera (.271 15 59) and shortstop Orlando Cabrera (.257 8 57) helped provide much better offensive stability as they joined outfielders Garret Anderson (.283 17 96) and catcher Bengie Molina (.295 15 69) to provide one of the more consistent lineups in the AL.

The 2005 Angels pitching was led by Bartolo Colon (21-8 3.48) and John Lackey (14-5 3.44) along with journeyman pitcher Paul Byrd (12-11 3.47). Byrd emerged as a pleasant surprise in 2005 posting an 8-5 record with an 3.73 ERA prior to the all star break which was second only to Colon at the end of the 1st half of the season. While pitchers Brendan Donnelly (9-3 3.72 in 65 relief appearances) and Francisco Rodriguez (2-5 2.67 45 saves) anchored one of the best bullpens in baseball.

Off Season Moves:

The Angels remained conservative in their off season. Free Agent Pitcher Hector Carrasco (5-4 2.04) was signed after an impressive year for the Washington Nationals while additional bullpen help was added by trading 2B Alexi Casilla for J.C. Romero (4-3 3.47) from the Twins. Pitcher Jake Woods (1-1 4.55) was also picked up for late inning relief help, acquired off waivers from the Mariners. The Angels changed very little to their offense, adding Edgardo Alfonso (.277 4 43) to their lineup in a trade for Steve Finley (.222 12 54).

2006 Analysis:

The Angels were wise to add pitchers Hector Carrasco and J.C. Romero as both should help them improve an already strong bullpen and pitching staff. Finley failed to deliver the same results as he did when he was acquired in the second half of the 2004 season (13 HRS 46 RBI with Anaheim) so the Angels felt he was worth trading. Unfortunately for the Angels, Alfonso’s best seasons are clearly behind him - however as an upside he can still be relied on to drive in runs. The Angels also avoided arbitration with 7 different players during the off season so the ball club is pretty much the same as it was when it began the year in 2005. The starting 2006 lineup is balanced even losing Molina to free agency. The starting pitching could probably use another consistent starter. However with only three other teams to compete against in the AL West, there is really no reason to believe the Angels won’t contend in 2006 again.

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2006 Detroit Tigers Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

About the only good news for Detroit Tigers fans in 2005 occurred at the end of the season. In October it was announced that Jim Leyland was coming out of retirement and had accepted the Tigers managerial job. Leyland is looking to help change the team’s fortunes for 2006 and beyond but he will have his work cut out for him. The Tigers managed to win only 71 total games in 2005 posting a lackluster 71-91 record. Yet somehow the Motown offense was able to score a total of 723 runs which was only 18 fewer then the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. Of course it didn’t help matters that the Tigers also allowed a total of 787 runs - mostly due to an inconsistent and underperforming pitching staff.

The 2005 offense was led primarily by outfielder Craig Monroe (.277 20 89), and DH Dmitri Young (.271 21 72). Rookie 1st baseman Chris Shelton (.299 18 59) also provided some much needed offensive spark with veterans Ivan Rodriguez (.276 14 50) and Rondell White (.313 12 53) posting respectable numbers. The rest of the 2005 offensive production was supplied by 3rd baseman Brandon Inge (.261 16 72) and 2nd baseman Placido Polanco (.338 6 36) who was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in a midseason trade.

The Tiger starting pitching in 2005 had very few bright spots. Starters Jeremy Bonderman (14-13 4.57) and Mike Maroth (14-14 4.74) managed to combine for 25 total wins, while the rest of the starters struggled for much of the entire season. Both starting pitcher Nate Robertson (7-16 4.48) and Jason Johnson (8-13 4.54) turned in forgettable performances in 2005. The Tigers used a combination of five different closers with Ugueth Urbina (1-3 2.63 9 saves) performing the best, prior to his being traded midseason to Philadelphia.

For Detroit Tiger fans, the season couldn’t end soon enough.

Off Season Moves:

The Detroit Tigers signed free-agent lefty Kenny Rogers (14-8 3.46), to a 2-year, $16 million contract, hoping to provide some better stability in the starting rotation. The Tigers also signed closer Todd Jones (1-5 2.10 40 saves) from Florida in order to help upgrade their bullpen. Jones a 12 year veteran experienced a renaissance year with the Florida Marlins by holding opposing hitters to a .230 batting average while saving a total of 40 games (his highest save total in five years).

2006 Analysis:

Rogers is an improvement to the starting rotation as is bringing in Jim Leyland from out of his retirement to help. Leyland has worked in similar environments before and has proven he knows how to handle the challenge. The starting rotation is still lacking. Detroit made a run at a few different free agents this winter, but little materialized. The Tigers have some hitting and can score runs. There's also some talent in the bullpen, but the rotation doesn’t appear to be much stronger than it was last season (4.85 ERA, 10th in the AL). Fans will need to be very patient as Leyland attempts to rebuild from within.

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2006 Cincinnati Reds Preview

By Jack Scrafford

2005 Overview:

The biggest news for Cincinnati Reds fans in 2005 was the fact that Ken Griffey Jr.(.301 35 92) was able to play an entire season injury free for the first time in over 5 full seasons. What was so impressive about Griffey’s 2005 performance was his ability to completely return to form, hitting for both power and average. Griffey grabbed the Comeback Player of the Year Award for his outstanding efforts.

The rest of the Reds 2005 offense was provided by Adam Dunn (.247 40 101), veteran 2nd baseman Rich Aurilia (.282 14 68) and outfielder Austin Kearns (.240 18 67). Unfortunately, the Reds starting pitching didn’t offer many wins in 2005. Starters Aaron Harang (11 13 3.83), Brandon Claussen (10-11 4.21) and Ramon Ortiz (9 11 5.36) joined Eric Milton (8 15 6.47) and closer David Weathers (7-4 3.94 15 saves) to handle the majority of the pitching duties during the season. Weathers’ was picked up from the Mets and was converted into a full-time closer we he nailed down 15 out of 19 save opportunities. No real staff Ace emerged in 2005 with Harang leading the rotation with 11 wins. The Reds ended the season with a less then impressive final 73-89 record, finishing 27 games behind the NL Central Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Off Season Moves:

The Reds recognized pitching as their main priority during the off season so they traded away popular first baseman Sean Casey to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left handed starter Dave Williams (10–11 4.41). Unfortunately the Reds did little else to address their starting pitching needs. Veteran Infielder Rich Aurilia re-signed, and Cincinnati also traded for utility man Tony Womack (.249 in 2005), which was designed to give the team some options off the bench in 2006. Lefthander reliever Chris Hammond (5-1 3.84) also signed on from the defending NL West Champion Padres.

2006 Analysis:

Expect Adam Dunn now to move over to first base, leaving the outfield responsibilities to Austin Kearns, Ken Griffey Jr. and Wily Mo Pena. The Reds really didn’t significantly address the starting pitching in the off season and the one new starting pitcher they acquired (Williams) will hardly make a difference for the team in 2006. With Harang leading the group with only 11 wins there is a bunch of work to be done before the Reds can hope to contend. Williams was only a 10 game winner in 2005 so fans shouldn’t expect much from him either.

Like many major league teams, the Reds are relying heavily on their youngsters which include Kearns, Pena, Dunn, shortstop Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Freel. Fans were happy to get the old Griffey back in 2005 and are hopeful he will pick up where he left off when he starts the 2006 season. Dave Weathers is simply not a strong closer although the team managed to squeeze 15 saves out of him last season. Hammond was a nice pick up and should help out a struggling bullpen - but even more help is needed. Cincinnati Reds fans should expect more of the same in 2006.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

New York Mets: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview

By Proloy Bhattacharyya

One word that comes to mind when thinking about the Mets is "bust". I guess a close second would be "loser". If you have ever bet on the Mets, then you would know that they have lost their backers 54 units over the past 4 seasons. Last year year was the first time in the past 4 season for them post an above 500 record. Pedro Martinez had a lot to do with that.

In fact, they were overvalued as a favorite. The New York Mets are from a big market and whenever they are favorite, expect the odds to be stacked against you as the bettor. Unlike the Red Sox and Yankees, the Mets do not win their backers money as a big favorite. Whenever you are overvalued as a favorite, this tends to be most true when looking at the information about them on the road.

The Mets as a favorite on the road were 15-16 in 2005, losing their backers 7 units. In fact they are a dismal 22-27 on the road as a favorite over the past two seasons. A big market club like the Mets will always likely be too overvalued as a favorite on the road. The general betting public does not really feed into the home field advantage in baseball and does not bet accordingly.

In the 2006 season, we advise you to look for key situations to go against the Mets as a road favorite. A motivated or a steaking home team will do the trick.

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Philadelphia Phillies: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The Phillies have had pretty decent years over the past 3 seasons. As far as bettors were concerned, the 2005 season was pretty good for these Phillies as they won their backers 4 units as opposed to losing them 18 units over the previous 3 seasons. Did the public get tired of all the close finishes of the Phillies and stop betting them?

There is evidence to suggest that the public were more likely to lay of the Phillies in 2005 as opposed to the previous two years. The reason for this really boils down to their performance as a favorite of -130 or higher. You know, the public loves betting favorites and when these Phillies were -130 or higher favorite, they were 6% worse on the season than last year and lost their backers 4 units. At home as a favorite in that range, they lost their backers 5 units. Therefore when we saw the Phillies as a dog, few people backed them even though that was where the money lied.

The Phillies were a dismal 10-22 [-15 units] at home as a small favorite or dog in 2004 but improved to 19-15 [+5 units] in 2005. Kudos to them for improving their home field advantage but they need some veteran leadership on their pitching staff and with their hitters to improve on the road. Bobby Abreu cannot do everything.

As you bet the 2006 MLB season, look for spots to bet on the Phillies on the road. Over the past 2 seasons, they won their backers 14 units on the road. Being bad at home or on the road does not necessarily mean you always bet against them. If public opinion is that they are bad, then going for them can usually be where the value lies. Hopefully they can improve their 42 wins on the road from last season.

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San Diego Padres: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The San Diego Padres had a very disappointing 2005 MLB Season. After posting 87 victories in 2004, they won 5 fewer games. Their cryptonite in the 2004 MLB season was their play at home. Petco park was new and the Padres hitters had trouble adjusting. As a result, they were only 3 games above 500 all year at home. In the 2005 season, their batter adjusted, they became familiar with their surroundings and ended the season 11 games above 500 at home. In fact, betting on the Padres at home became a steady part of many of your betting tickets.

The problem in the 2005 MLB Season for the Padres was their road record. They could not get it done as they were 36-45 [-7 units] on the road. Much more striking was their 9-15 [-5 units] record on the road versus lefties. They had trouble hitting lefties on the road in 2005 which was the direct opposite of how they performed a year earlier. They were 15-9 [+7 units] against lefties on the road. So hen you are looking for why these Padres lost 5 more games in the 2005 season, you do not need to look further than their road performance against lefties. David Wells leaving had little to do with their drop.

So what do we expect to see out of these Padres in the 2006 MLB season? It is tough to tell. They are in a weak division that anybody could win. It could be the Giants division if Bonds is healthy. They will very likely hover around 500. Another problem with these Padres is that because they are young, it is easy for them to get stuck in a slump. Their record off of a loss is 3 games below 500 as opposed to their record off of a win which is 5 games above 500. In fact, it was pretty profitable to go against the Padres at home off of a loss the past 2 seasons and could spell another nice betting angle as you look to bet on the 2006 MLB season.

Our Free Baseball Picks were documented in the Top 10 in the country for the 2005 MLB season.

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New York Yankees: 2006 Baseball Betting Season
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The Yankees are a team you just do not bet on. There is so much public attention given to them and so much hype that betting on them has very little value.

Over the past 7 years, these Yankees are a 60% club but -60 units. They win their games but because of the juice cost their backers the bank when they lose. They had their worst season in 2005 getting only 97 wins. They were also dissapointed in the Baseball Playoffs but what else is new.

It is hard to know what to expect out of these Yankees. After starting the 2005 season on a sour note, they finished strong and won the AL East. We expect the 2006 season to be different as we expect to see a Red Sox team win this division. There is just too much drama in the Yankees dugouts now that they are likely to implode this season.

Betting against the New York Yankees in the 2005 baseball season when they were going up against divisional rivals would have won you a total of 12 units.

Some historical highlights--> Over the past 7 years, the Yankees have won an amazing 63% of their home games. Interleague teams have an advantage at home and it is most evidenced by an even more remarkable 51-21 home record versus interleague teams. On the road, they are a mediocre 49% against interleague teams.

As you handicap the 2006 MLB Season, betting against the Yankees should be a regular part of your arsenal. Despite the rocky start that plagued the Yankees last season, people still bet on them and their juice was always ridiculous. One of my favorite plays of the year was going against Randy Johnson on the road. His name recognition gave the opposing team a very valuable +220 money line odds because of the Big Units mediocre road record.

Never pay for a pick again because our Free Baseball Picks will win you plenty of money all season long.

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LA Angels: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The Los Angeles Angels will probably be a lock for the American League West in the 2006 baseball season. Uh oh, as soon as I said that the gambling gods were planning on ways to make them lose.

We say lock because we do not expect much out of the Mariners, Athletics, or Rangers. Even though we feel the Angels are not all that great themselves, they are still in the upper echelon of American League teams or so they should be.

In the 2005 baseball season, they had a 3 game improvement from the previous year. With 95 wins, they won their backers +8.5 units. Just like the Whitesox and Redsox, these Angels feasted on right handed pitching all year. Their 69-42 [+18 units] record against right handed pitching was one of the best money line records in baseball.

We do not expect this to necessarily be a trend though. The two years prior to their 2005 season, they were a dismal -28 units versus right handed pitching. They have been inconsistent because in those years, they were a combined +10 units against left handed pitching.

A lot of it had to do with their constant lineup changes during the 2005 season. I am not saying their lineup in the 2005 season was born and bred to hit right handed pitching but there could have been some type of chemistry existing last year that propelled them that season. In the 2006 season, I do not expect too much value out of the Angels odds. Their division is weak but when faced head-to-head, I expect great competition. I say this despite the fact that the Angels have feasted on their divisional opponents the past couple of years.

Check out the absolute best in Free Baseball Picks at our free handicapping service.

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Chicago Whitesox: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

News flash: The Whitesox did win the world series and they did it in dominating fashion. The WhiteSox steam-rolled through the regular season with the league's best record. There was no doubt that they were the team to beat until we got to near the end of the season when the pesky Indians started poking their way into the standings. This woke the Whitesox up at the perfect time to get them ready for a World Series run.

The Whitesox posted a 99-63 record in the regular season and won their backers an incredible 22 units on the season. The surprising thing about their success was their failure against left handed pitching. The were a mediocre 23-21 (-5 units) on the year versus lefties. This means they posted a 75-41 (+25 units) season against right handed pitching. What I was surprised to find out was that they were a total +18 units against right handed pitching last season. I guess it was a sign of things to come for the up and coming White Sox.

It is hard to decipher whether or not they will be in championship form next season or if they will struggle. They have great starting pitching but their hitting is always a question mark. This is probably why they were not very good against lefties. If they come out of the gate playing well, I expect to see these Whitesox as one of the public's teams. If that is the case, going against them when they play lefties is going to be the best bet in town. Even in their stellar 2005 MLB season, they were barely over 500 against lefties. With no reason to believe they will improve, their record versus lefties should remain dismal in the 2006 Baseball Season.

Check out the Best Free Baseball Picks from our absolutely free handicapping service.

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Oakland Athletics: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

With the firesales the Oakland Athletics have been having, there is no question as to why the Athletics were a fan favorite early in the 2005 MLB Baseball season. With all they have gone through, for them to finish 88-74 is quite impressive.

The Athletics began the season on a wild path and their backers were cashing in. But they finished the season with a 14-18 record and dropped their backers about 6 units in that span.

We actually expect them to perform worse in the 2006 Baseball season. We expect to see an Oakland Athletics team that hovers around 500. The love affair that the novice baseball handicapper had with the Oakland Athletics will no longer exist. As a result, the MLB Betting Odds on the Oakland Athletics are going to be a mighty tasty treat for the successful baseball capper.

One of the secrets to betting on (or against) the Oakland Athletics in year's past is to bet on them if they are going up against a lefty and to go against them if they are going up against a right-handed pitcher.

The Oakland Athletics were an amazing 30-17 against left handed pitching for a positive 11.6 units. The previous 4 years, the Athletics were still a profitable 109-73 (+17 Units). This is a combined +29 units over a 5 year span and we do not expect it to change. In fact, because public perception of how bad they are next season, going for them against left handed pitching, especially in the right spots are going to earn us a lot of money.

We offer absolutely free baseball picks that profit all season long.

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Boston Red Sox: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The Boston Redsox were the hottest story two years ago when they won the world series. The Yankees almost collapsed last season but still took the division from these Redsox. Will the 2006 MLB season be the year the Redsox get the AL East crown and will they continue to play second fiddle to the Yankees?

We are projecting them to win the division outright and show the Yankees that it is not their division every year. The Red Sox finished the 2005 regular season with a 95-67 +5 units record. I guess nobody really cares when you realize that they got swept in the playoffs but nonetheless they had a decent year that was also profitable for their backers.

The Red Sox are always in the national spotlight and get extra betting action because of it but is it always justified. Well, at home it is. The past 3 regular seasons, the Red Sox have combined for a 162-81 +30 units record.

These Red Sox have been a strong money-maker at home the past 3 seasons. Conversely, betting against them when they are on the road has been a great money maker. This is true of most high profile teams. The oddsmakers are content to let the public win betting on the team at home in order for them to get that money back when they are on the road.

Pyschologically, Vegas is doing the right thing. If you see Matt Clement at home with a -240 spread, you are likely to bet small but if you see Matt Clement on the road as a -135 you are likely to pound it. The number of units won at home roughly equals the number of units lost on the road by the Redsox but I can guarantee that the Redsox take in more betting handle on the road than at home.

It will not be enough to simply bet on the Red Sox at home. Let's look at one such situation that betting on the Redsox at home is just unstoppable. This is against right handers. Over the past 3 seasons, the Redsox are 116-50 +38 in home games against right handers. This correlates to a losing trend at home against left handers. It is very important to look into these small details when analyzing a baseball game.

As you bet the 2006 MLB season, look for the Red Sox at home against right handed pitching to give you some wins and we will analyze how this all plays out during the season.

Check out our Free Baseball Picks to profit all season long.

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Houston Astros: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The Houston Astros are yet another baseball team to make the playoffs after only winning the Wild Card. Since winning the wild card is so competitive, teams generally have to play extremely tough ball at the end of the season just to make it. As a result, they head into the playoffs with a lot of momentum. The Astros finished the 2005 MLB season with a 19-11 record L30 and 13-7 record L20 games.

Momentum got the Astros to the World Series but also cost them the ring. They ran into the Chicago Whitesox over in the American League that was just steam rolling through the end of their regular season and playoffs. The Astros had a very successful year and they have no reason to hold their head down.

The down point of their season was their hitting. They need bats, big bats, small bats. Really anything to help them get more runs. Roger Clemens posted one of the best ERAs the league has ever seen in 20-30 years and did not even get 20 wins. Did not even get the Cy Young, all thanks to their weak bats.

The Astros began the 2005 MLB season with a 4-14 record against left handed pitching. This correlated to a 1-11 mark on the road versus lefties. This was much to do with why and how they had such a slow start to the season in general. From that point forward, they picked up and to finish on a 21-10 streak versus lefties. They got the job done when it looked like they could not. We do not like to focus too much on season performance against lefties/righties, we much rather look at how they have been doing in their past couple of outings.

Without Roger Clemens expected back in the 2006 season and injury problems plaguing their pitching staff, I see these Astros having a really tough time making the playoffs in 2006. Monitor how they begin the season on the road. I expect to see many poor hitting performances by this Astros ball club on the road.

The best place to go for Free Baseball Picks would be at one of the nation's top baseball handicappers.

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St. Louis Cardinals: 2006 Baseball Betting Season Preview
By Proloy Bhattacharyya

The Cardinals finished the 2005 regular season with exactly 100 wins, five less than the 2004 season. The Cardinals were able to get to the World Series in 2004 but got ousted in 2005. The Astros pitching was just too much for them to handle.

The truth of the matter is these Cardinals went into the 2005 MLB Playoffs unprepared. They finished their last 19 games with a 9-10 record. In their last 30 games, they were only 16-14 on the season. This is a little over a month of just coasting through to get to the playoffs, effectively losing all of their momentum from a great baseball season. The same situation almost happened to the Whitesox until the Indians were able to get their juices flowing again.

On the flip side, the Astros steam-rolled into the playoffs with a 19-11 record L30 and 13-7 L20 games of the season. The season is a long season and the old cliche of "What have you done for me lately?" holds true.

Like most great teams, they smashed right handed pitching. They were at even money units against lefties but smashed righties for a combined +7 units the 2005 MLB Season. In fact, over the past 7 years, these Cardinals are 59% +70 units against right handed pitching. They only had one losing season against righties.

As you bet on the 2006 MLB season, expect the Cardinals to get off to another fast start and watch for them in good betting spots agains right handed pitching and good go-against spots against left handed pitching.

If you are looking to win big this baseball season, check out our free baseball picks that are a documented Top 10 finisher in the 2005 season.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Dynamic Duos – Those Incredible As
By Aron Wallad

Jimmy Foxx and Al Simmons

Two Hall of Famers that played eight years together.
Al Simmons career began in 1924 as a 22 year old.
Jimmy’s career started in 1925 as a 17 year old.

The Combo – These are the statistics that were the results of both men’s efforts while playing together from 1925 to 1932

They played 1088 games on the same team, batted .353 together, drove in 1721 as teamates and hit 374 home runs as a twosome.

Key points

Jimmy Foxx was most productive
after Al Simmons left the A’s.

And when he went to Boston.

Al Simmons best years were with the A’s
as Jimmy Foxx’s teammate.

Al Simmons had five straight years where
he had 200 or more hits.
Four of those years were as Jimmy’s teammate.

Jimmy Foxx had four years of 150 or more RBIs.
He also had 13 years in a row of over 100 RBIs.
He is tied for the record for most overall 100
RBI seasons with 13.

Jimmy Foxx has one of the highest RBIs per
at bat at .240 for his career.

Check this out

As a duo: Jimmy Foxx and Al Simmons

Year .... Runs ....... HRs ..... RBIs .... Bat Average

1929 .... 237 ....... 68 ..... 275 .... .360............

1930 .... 279 ....... 73 ..... 321 .... .358............

1931 .... 220 ....... 52 ..... 248 .... .340............

1932 .... 295 ....... 95 ..... 320 .... .342............

Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. His passions have included; playing, watching, reading, evaluating, and coaching the game he adores. Do you love inspiring quotes, unusual statistics and most of all, heartwarming baseball stories? If you love baseball you will love his baseball ezine.

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Bashin Braves - Hank Aaron Eddie Mathews - Dynamic Duo

By Aron Wallad

Hank Aaron played 23 seasons with the Braves in Milwaukee, and Atlanta and then returning to Milwaukee to play with the Brewers.

Playing with Eddie Mathews he averaged .186 RBIs per at bat
After Eddie Mathews left the team he averaged .184 RBIs per at bat.
For his entire career he averaged .185 RBIs per at bat.
These statistics typify the type of player Hank Aaron was.
While he shows overall outstanding numbers for his entire career, his per season numbers were never over the top. He was the model of consistency. Maybe the most consistent player in the game.

His greatness was his consistency.


Hank Aaron hit 44 home runs four times
In his career.

Mathews played 17 seasons
Most of his career was with Hank Aaron
Did Hank Aaron help Eddie Mathews? Probably.
Did Eddie Mathews help Hank Aaron? Probably.
Eddie Mathews is also in the Hall of Fame.

Eddie Mathew and Hank Aaron hit more home runs as a duo than
Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth hit. 869 to 818

As a duo the Bashin Braves drove in 2627 runs during their 13 years of teaming up.

As a tandem they also scored 2668 runs.

For both of their entire career playing with each other and alone they hit 1267 home runs.

They must have gotten tired, from producing so many runs.

Not too bad

Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. Writing about his favorite subject, baseball, has been a blessing. You will enjoy the heartwarming stories, the unusual statistics and inspiring quotes. But mostly you will love the heartwarming stories that hit a home run to your heart.
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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Clemens Strikes Out 20, Again; Rocket Repeats Magic 10 Years DETROIT--In 1986, Roger Clemens was a young fireballer amidsthis first Cy Young season when he struck out 20 Seattle Marinersand established a Major League Baseball record. That same year,Clemens won All-Star Game MVP honors as well as theregular-season MVP while leading the Red Sox to the WorldSeries. In short, he was baseball's best player. Fast forward toSeptember 18, 1996, and The Rocket takes the hill in Detroit infront of a sparse crowd of 8,779 in cavernous Tiger Stadium.Both teams are out of the pennant race and Clemens, who is 39-38during the past four seasons, is two weeks away from becoming afree agent. "I know I'm winding down," said Clemens, who enteredthe game 9-12 on the season, "and the wins haven't fallen my waythis year like I would've hoped." Four innings later, Rocket is firing on all cylinders. He hasnine strikeouts when he fans Travis Fryman to start the 5thinning. Melvin Nieves and Phil Nevin sit down next. Clemens nowhas 12 strikeouts including the last five batters. After aleadoff single in the sixth, he gets the side again as KimeraBartee, Bobby Higginson, and Alan Trammell fall victim in order.Clemens tacks on two more strikeouts in both the 7th and 8thinnings. He toes the rubber in the final frame with 19strikeouts, one shy of his own record. With one out, RubenSierra singles; it's the fifth Tiger hit of the night (allsingles). Tony Clark follows and flies out. Fryman is next andClemens rings him up to make history, again. "You can't evencount on striking out 20 big-league hitters, I'm just happy totie it. I knew that I had it in the upper teens, but then[catcher Bill] Haselman ran out to the mound to let me know Iwas near the record," said Clemens. "I think that made it moreemotional for me. I mean that's all but seven guys in the game." Just as he did 10 years earlier, Clemens issued no walks whilestriking out 20. The victory stands as his final win in a RedSox uniform and it took 151 pitches to complete. The win alsotied him with Cy Young atop the Red Sox all-time leader board invictories (192) and shutouts (38). "I feel very fortunate andvery blessed," Clemens said. "I've been doing it for 13 yearsand I can't believe I had 20 again. I knew I had a lot, but thisis incredible." About the author: Keith Gentili is an award-winning sports writer and editor, amanufacturer of Sports and Concert Ticket Frames. Their productscapture the experience and memory of attending significantevents by combining elements such as stats, stories, headlines,and licensed photography with actual tickets and personalpictures.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How to Buy World Series Tickets
By Amanda Gooch
Have you ever known someone who wanted so desperately to go to the Major League Baseball World Series that they were like a rabid dog? Well, I have…and it is not a pretty sight. I have been married for a few years to “Brian”. Brian is an avid sports fan. Ladies…you know the type I am referring to…the type that can quote obscure sports statistics at the drop of a hat, but can’t seem to remember your birthday. (It is May 5th, by the way!) That’s my Brian! Anyway, Brian has varied sports taste. He loves football, golf, basketball and tennis. But he truly loves baseball. In fact, baseball maybe his one true love…but I digress!
Brian has ALWAYS wanted to go to the World Series. Unfortunately, his team never seems to make it that far. After the past few disappointing seasons, he toyed with the idea of getting tickets to go to the World Series without his beloved team. He worries that this may be seen as “cheating”. However, I encourage it! Afterall, going to the World Series has been a lifelong dream of Brian’s. Sure it would be even better if his team was going with him, but I think he should take this opportunity now. I even offered to purchase his tickets. Now, I know what you are thinking…Sainthood, right? Yeah, me too! But then reality hit me…I have NO idea how to go about buying tickets for the World Series.
The first thing I do is go directly to and start looking for World Series tickets. Aaahhh…almost 23 million links!! Many of them are ticket brokers, but which one is the best? Which one is the most reputable? What is the typical price range? How will I get the tickets? How can I be sure the tickets are real and not counterfeit? Should I try Ebay? After a lot of research and worry, I came up with a very simple list of strategies. You may have to use more than one strategy, but it will well be worth the effort.
Strategy #1 Talk to friends, family members, colleagues, and your brother’s-wife’s-sister’s-boyfriend’s-mom’s-cousin who just happens to have season tickets for one of the teams going to the World Series. They have the best chance at getting World Series tickets at face value.
Strategy #2 Watch Ticketmaster or team websites for the scheduled on-sale period. You can do this via the phone or the internet. Keep in mind that these will sell out within minutes, so you have to be on your toes! Also, if you are given multiple phones for the scheduled on-sale, try picking one that will be less busy. For instance, say the St. Louis Cardinals are going on-sale. Instead of calling the numbers in St. Louis; try calling the number for the small town of Washington, MO instead.
Strategy #3 Visit This is a great site that gives you all kinds of information about the major sporting events as well as various ticket brokers who specialize in the World Series. You can feel confident that all of the ticket brokers listed on this site are reputable because consumers are allowed to review each ticket brokers and their level of service. It even provides event information, so that you can impress your family and friends with your obscure sports knowledge!! Consumer Choice Review also gives you helpful information on how to protect yourself from purchasing counterfeit tickets.
Strategy #4 Another option for World Series tickets is Ebay will have a plethora of tickets, but consumers should be aware that you could be paying top dollar for a ticket that is fraudulent. I have heard horror stories of people buying on Ebay, so I have always been leery of using it. I found some really good tips on using Ebay on Consumer Choice Review. This site provides a step by step guide to buying on Ebay.
Strategy #5 Go to the stadium and take the risk that there are no tickets available from scalpers. Or that the tickets that are available are ridiculously expensive or even worse, possibly counterfeit or stolen. I would never pay hundreds of dollars in cash for tickets that could turn out to be fake or stolen. You should always use a credit card because they offer protection of purchases that turn out to be fake or stolen tickets. ***Be very careful when taking this approach and be sure to read the tips posted on Consumer Choice Review prior to taking this strategy.
As a final note, I highly recommend checking out the website I used to collect information, They are not just for the World Series, but for any other major sporting event. It truly helped to calm my nerves when looking desperately for these tickets. It helped to guide me on what to expect and, more importantly, on how to protect myself. In the end, I chose a ticket broker whom I found through Consumer Choice Review and everything has gone just as I expected. And Brian…well, he can’t wait for the first pitch!
Amanda Gooch is a freelance writer with years of experience writing for and about various industries. She is currently focused on the world of consumer marketing and research. is an objective third party site focused on helping consumers find the best!
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Babe

The Babe... Throughout history there have been many people that
I have admired. Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln,
Lenny Bruce, George Washington, and Babe Ruth, to name a few of
my favorite people. They have all seemed to rise to the top of
their field. Edison was a top inventor - yes? The Babe was a top
ball player. I'll bet you have not seen Edison and the Babe
linked together like this before. They both invented. Or should
I say The Babe re-invented baseball. One of, if not the best,
ballplayer of his or any generation. His accomplishments
surpassed entire team's totals. More about that later.

I admired his flair. I loved his grace on the field. He glided
through the game. I loved seeing the old films of Babe waving at
the pitcher as he circled the bases on his way home after
belting one of his home runs.

In some years he hit more home runs than an entire team. In 1920
"The Babe" hit 54 home runs. The St Louis Browns hit 50 home
runs as the runner up to "The Babe" for most home runs that
year. In 1927 it was not so different. The Philadelphia
Athletics hit 56 homers to rank second to Babe Ruth's 60 home
runs. There have been players in their sport that have so
surpassed their peers they become legend. They are awe. For me
"The Babe" fits right in with Gretzky and Michael Jordan in
attaining the highest level of performance. I loved the Babe
Ruth story with William Bendix. As an eight year old that loved
the Yankees and especially Babe Ruth, this movie was the best.
Even the part where he brings the hurt dog to the hospital and
misses a day game. Babe Ruth could do no wrong in this classic.
The movie has not passed the test of time as I have gotten
older. But it was good for me when I was a kid.

About the author:
Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. You
will love his honesty and his passion.. You will be touched by
the heartwarming stories. The unusual statistics will amaze you
and the quotes will make you laugh..

Go here right now to join his ezine

Contact Aron - The Baseball Networking Guy at

By Their 30th Birthday

Some Interesting Baseball Statistics

By their 30th birthday. many players had made a name for
themselves. Here are some facts.

By the year they turned 30 years of age..

Ty Cobb had a lifetime batting average of .370 He finished with
a mark of .367 when he retired

Wade Boggs had a lifetime batting average of .356 When done his
lifetime average was .328

Joe Jackson had a .356 average and completed his career with

Ken Griffey Jr. had 438 home runs when he completed his season
in his 30th year. That was year 2000. As of August 28th 2005, he
has 531 home runs He has averaged less than 20 home runs per
year over the last 4.8 years.

Lou Gehrig By his 30th birthday he had 1285 Runs Batted In. That
year was up to and including 1933. From 1934 to 1938 he had 709
RBIs. And in 1939 in eight games he had one more RBI. His
falloff was not too severe after he turned 30. He averaged 141
RBIs in his last five full years of his career.

Mickey Mantle had 1251 walks when he ended the 1962 season. He
is number one on the list of most walks by your 30th birthday.
He finished with 1733 after his final year in 1968.

Lou Brock Completed his career with 938 stolen bases. 604 of
those stolen bases took place during and after he turned 30
years of age. In 1974 when he turned 35 he stole 118 bases. He
was also thrown out 33 times in 1974 That's a lot of running.

Otis Nixon Stole 515 of his 620 bases from the time he turned 30
to when he retired. The latter part of his career proved to be
his most productive time. 83% of his stolen bases were swiped.
when most players start to slow down. I guess he was revving up.

About the author:
Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. You
will love his honesty and his passion.. You will be touched by
the heartwarming stories. The unusual statistics will amaze you
and the quotes will make you laugh..

Go here right now to join his ezine

Contact Aron - The Baseball Networking Guy at

I Must Get The Newspaper

Every day when I wake up one of the first items that creeps into
my head is getting the newspaper. I have got to get the paper. I
have operated this way for over 40 years. The paper gets me in
the know. More so than the internet I guess it might be because
I can touch it or feel it.

I confess - I have to see the sports pages. It's out in the
open. I admit it. There is something missing for me if I do not
get to see the sports pages.

Who hit home runs? Who got the most hits the previous day? What
pitchers won? Who drove in the runs? Yeah I like that one the
most. RBIs.

If we are out of baseball season, it's off to the transaction
part of the paper. Who signed and who got released? ( I almost
always feel bad when I see a name of a player I liked that got
dropped by their team). Any trades I may have missed? People's
lives on the move. While this part of the paper announces
transactions, it's really about how how lives change by the
places these players move away from. And where they move on to.
Sometimes that is all it takes like a new city for some players
to excel like a Paul O'Neill or Roger Maris to name two great
Yankee transactions. During the season I have to see my boys,
how are they doing? Yankee Stats - I always observe them. Alex
Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield are the guys whose
statistics I scrutinize now. In the old days it was Mickey
Mantle, Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, Roger Maris,
and Thurmon Munson. I know I am omitting a few. Please forgive
me. When I am done with the statistics I peruse the pages for
some good story. I do not have any game plan for this pursuit. I
usually get caught by some headline and go from there. Lately I
noticed that when I see an article by a writer I do not care for
I spit at the paper. No I do not I am only kidding. I read the
paper as if I am about to get a test. I read by myself without
any interruptions, sitting in my car or at my kitchen table.
With a cup of coffee or tea by my side I engage the paper. I
think about who I might run into that might ask me a question
about the Yankees that I should know. I better know.

I remember when I traveled in Europe in the early 70's. I had to
get to the International Herald for their one or two page sports
section. Reggie Jackson was having an awesome first half of the
season. It seemed like every day he was hitting another homer
for the Athletics. I could not wait to see in the paper if he
hit another one.

The New York Times, The Newark Star Ledger, The Bergen Record,
USA Today and in the past The Newark News have been my
companions in the morning. I would not have it any other way.

I hope you get as much enjoyment out of your paper as I get out
of mine.

I even read the front page and do the crossword puzzle.

About the author:
Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. You
will love his honesty and his passion.. You will be touched by
the heartwarming stories. The unusual statistics will amaze you
and the quotes will make you laugh..

Go here right now to join his ezine

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