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Shutdown Inning
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Rivalries and respect

Fans don’t boo nobodies. – Reggie Jackson “I hate Houston.” I can’t recall how many times I’ve said that in my life as a Dallas sports fan. I can’t recall how many times I’ve made fun of mosquitoes as big as airplanes, or said something about their city literally stinking (as if I’d never been in the Trinity basin). I […]

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A deal at The Crossroads

“Yes. We spoke and educated three or four players there. Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez. I injected them. Absolutely.” – Jose Canseco, 60 Minutes, August 7, 2005 The above story may have never taken place. Rafael, sadly, has lost the credibility to deny anything. He infamously made an unequivocal denial before Congress, then tested positive.* Juan’s never bothered to […]

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Into the West

“He might be the best catcher I’ve ever seen. He could retire right now and go into the Hall of Fame. Johnny Bench had more power, but Bench never had this guy’s quickness.” – Blue Jays manager Jim Fregosi, on Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez after the 1999 season “He was the complete catcher, incredibly durable and intimidating behind the plate but […]

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Dodger Blue Bye-Yu – Part 3

As the cornerstone of the Darvish trade, the Rangers got (according to Baseball America’s John Manuel) the fourth-best overall prospect traded across all teams at the deadline or leading up to it; here’s Manuel on Willie Calhoun, who immediately slots in as the Rangers #2 prospect, right behind fellow 2020 likely arrival Leody Taveras: “A deal to an American League […]

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Best First-Round Picks – #8

A reminder, here’s our methodology. Best First-round Picks — #8 1981 – Ron Darling Everyone has that girl (or guy—but I can’t keep changing pronouns, so I’m going with that girl, and just saying I believe you can be and love anyone who fulfills you. So anyways.). Anyways, everyone has that girl. Probably the first one. The one that you […]

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Worst First-Round Picks – #8

A reminder, here’s our methodology. Worst First-Round Picks — #8 2005 – John Mayberry, Jr. This week, we celebrate the 241st birthday of a nation founded on the backs of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. We celebrate the strength of that nation, built, as with all great nations, on the proverbial shoulders of those founding fathers and mothers who […]

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Worst First-Round Picks #9

A reminder, here’s our methodology. Worst First-Round Picks — #9 1976 – Billy Simpson The bicentennial season was a year of momentous moments. Celebrations abounded for the country’s 200th anniversary. An awe-inspiring flotilla In New York Harbor, and spectacular fireworks (among other airborne wonders) over Liberty Island astounded a nation. Baseball, too, boomed, especially in the Bronx. For the first […]

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Best First-Round Picks – #10

A reminder, here’s our methodology. Best First-round Picks — #10 1985 – Oddibe McDowell This is probably biased on my part. I was a five-year-old, and my earliest baseball memory was seeing a guy on a bad baseball team do something remarkable—indeed, something that had never been done before. But we’ll get to that. The Golden child Oddibe McDowell was […]

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Only In Baseball

Over the weekend, the Texas Rangers took two out of three against the Yankees in the Bronx. In reality, the Rangers probably should have won all three games, but a series win on the road against one of the surprise teams in baseball this year will always go down as a positive. Especially when that surprise team is a Yankees […]

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Worst first-round picks: Honorable Mention

Worst First-round Picks—Honorable mention 1971 (A reminder, here’s our method of ranking.) So much of the failure in this series won’t be about true failure. It’ll be about failure of timing, or failure of health—or, most often, failure of clairvoyance, which, in truth, isn’t failure at all. With the #7 overall pick in ‘71, the Senators took a high schooler named Roger […]

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