January 30, 2004

A Seminal Season. Tom Singer describes Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield and Byung-Hyun Kim as "a quintet of starters unmatched anywhere else in the Majors in depth or in potential. ... [C]onsider what these five right-handers have combined to do across the last two seasons: 142-64. Needless to say, no other five starters come close to that resume. Plug a reasonable facsimile of those numbers atop a team with Boston's lineup and revised bullpen, and it's easy to understand why the Red Sox sit as preseason World Series favorites. That's right -- a team that has not won a World Series since 1918 is the early, early, early choice on the legal sportsbooks of Las Vegas, and will get similar respect from the reams of preview publications that will soon fill your bookstores." Spring -- it is coming ...

Chris Dial asks: "Just how useful is Defensive Efficiency Record?" According to Alan Schwartz, "Hugh Fullerton, a nationally known baseball writer for the Chicago Examiner, wrote a long magazine piece called 'The Science of Baseball,' where he personally measured not just how many balls infielders reached but also the speed, thanks to his 20th-of-a-second stopwatch, with which those grounders were hit. (One exasperated reader replied that baseball was no place for 'a tape-measure, a T-square and an intimate knowledge of algebra and fractions.')" Some things never change! ... January 30 in baseball history. ... Wrigley Field doesn't have landmark status already? ... Finally, from Misery Loves Company: Amen.

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