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TheHardball Times Baseball Annual 2007 is overflowing with articles on baseball history, the 2006 season, and sabermetric analysis. It also has stats and graphs you can't get anywhere else. Read Tony's Review for more info.

Get your copy today at $10 off the cover price!


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Previous News and Notes

2006
October through End of 2006
August and September
June and July
April and May
January-March
Richard's DN&N

2005
August-December
June and July
April and May
January-March

2004
2003


February 25 - Richard - Sir Swings-A-Lot

We call him the Secret Weapon. The nickname is ironic. It should be no secret that Pedro Feliz is among the worst offensive players in Major League Baseball. Even Bob Nightengale himself would have to concede that Pedro Feliz isn't quite as good a player as Barry Bonds is...

But just to erase any lingering doubt, Richard Van Zandt has conclusively debunked anyone who might possibly consider supporting the notion that Feliz is a useful player in an epic dissertation of his flaws:

Part 1: Clutch Hitter, or Cherry Picker?
Part 2: The Streaky Out-Making Machine
Part 3: Aging and Excuses

February 23 - Tony - 2007 Yankees Preview

Another year, and another disappointment in Yankee land. In 2006, the Yankees once again failed to complete their mission: to win a World Series. 2006 was really no different from 2005, actually. Great offense, so-so pitching in the regular season, and they lacked timely performances in the postseason.

Will 2007 be a three-peat of the previous two seasons? With a somewhat revamped rotation, and some youth, Yankee fans can only hope not

February 12 - Keith - Ten Lopsided Trades

For our Baseball Evolution Team Pages, we've tried to identify each franchise's best and worst trades.  But there have been many lopsided deals in the annals of baseball, and it's high time we underscore some of those head-scratcher trades that didn't make our team pages.  Here are ten skewed deals that tend to be overlooked in some way when the grading of the trading occurs.


February 3 - Tony - Good Riddance to Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium will not be hosting any more games after the 2008 season, and Tony couldn’t be any happier. Sure, it has the “aura and mystique.” Every time Tony passes by the stadium, he gets goose bumps knowing that players like Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle etc. played there. But "aura and mystique" are about all it has. Ever since the renovation, the stadium has been an overpriced dump.


February 1 - Keith - Splitsville: Ground Ball Pitchers

It hasn't taken much prompting to get us to write a Splitsville article concerning home/road splits lately. This time a cheap shot at Kevin Brown has led to an interesting discovery concerning groundball pitchers in general.

You've probably seen Keith rant about Chien-Ming Wang's home/road splits being affected by the Yankees allegedly softening their infield dirt before home games. An extreme groundball pitcher like Wang with a lackluster infield defense like the Yankees' would underscore this effect.

Are the Yankees the only team smart enough to employ this tactic?

January 29 - Keith - Revolutionary Competitive Balance

How competitively balanced is Major League Baseball? Some people will tell you that because a different team has won the World Series in each of the past seven seasons, that the game is balanced better than ever. Others will argue that since the New York Yankees had a 2006 payroll more than 13 times a large as the Florida Marlins' 2006 payroll, there is no way that the teams are balanced.

For competitive balance to become a reality in Major League Baseball, a revolution must occur, writes Keith. Not in baseball's economic system, but rather in the way that small market teams conduct themselves within the current system.

January 25 - Asher - Splitsville: Mike Piazza

As Mike Piazza heads off to the fifth team of his career (and, interestingly, his third California team), he will be playing his home games in what is largely considered a pitcher's park. But this is nothing new to Mike Piazza. In this era of tiny ballparks, Mike Piazza has spent his career playing his home games exclusively in pitcher's parks. He started his career out at Dodger Stadium in 1993, which in the 1990s drastically favored pitchers (somehow, in 2006 it magically became a hitter's park). He was then traded to the Marlins for five games in 1998; the Marlins played in vast Joe Robbie Stadium. Then he moved on to the Mets, and Shea Stadium, which was also a pitcher's park, though not as drastically as Dodgers Stadium. Finally, Piazza moved last year to Petco Park in San Diego, which stands out as one of the only two or three pitcher's parks to have been built in the last decade.

The impact on Mike Piazza’s career numbers has been impressive.

January 23 - Chatting with Chris Lincecum

Last summer, Richard Van Zandt watched #1 Giants prospect Tim Lincecum pitch from the most informative and entertaining one in the stadium - the one in front of Chris Lincecum, Tim's father. In this email exchange between Chris and Richard, several loose ends are tied up from Richard's previous article: Tim Lincecum - The Future.





January 22 - HALL OF FAME VOTING!

In the Second Annual Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame election, one very controversial player who was denied entrance into Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility in 2007 was ushered in to our Hall with open arms. Mark McGwire wasn't just elected into the BaseballEvolution.com Hall of Fame – he was elected unanimously and with no apologies. McGwire got six our of six possible votes from Keith Scott and Asher, a solid indication that we consider his numbers Hall worthy regardless of whether he used performance enhancing drugs. He may have – he was still one the extraordinary players of our time and of Baseball History.

Cooperstown's 2007 selections also joined the 2007 Baseball Evolution class, and barely merit a mention – Cal Ripken, Jr., and Tony Gwynn will be taking their place among the other greats in the Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame.

More Coverage: Breakdowns | Was Robin Robbed? | Total Vote Results

January 20 - Tony - What I've Learned from BaseballEvolution.com

Tony Aubry has been writing for Baseball Evolution for nearly a year now. Today, he takes the time to document how he has evolved himself since taking the Danny Darwin plunge.



Keith and Asher do not always see eye-to-eye regarding Hall of Fame criteria. Should 3,000 hits, 400 homers, or 300 wins ensure that a player becomes enshrined? Asher thinks so, but Keith sticks hard and fast to the phrase, No Automatic Elections.

He will, however, pay closer attention to such milestones when voting on the Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame next week.

Congratulations go out to Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, who not-so-surprisingly represent Cooperstown's 2007 Hall of Fame class. The best of luck goes out to Mark McGwire and Harold Baines, who remain on the ballot for next year.

Tony has strong opinions regarding four of the 2007 nominies who did not make the cut. Read his views on Bert Blyleven, Jim Rice, Goose Gossage, and Mark McGwire.

Who will represent Baseball Evolution's 2007 class? We won't know that until next week. But we do know that three pretty deserving managers, will not be among that class unless they are re-nominated for this year's ballot.

January 1 - Keith - Leading off the New Year...

Whose season was better, Craig Biggio's 1997, or Lenny Dykstra's 1993? What was Rickey Henderson's best year? And how in the heck do we gauge Maury Wills' famous 1962 season?

In a special leadoff series to start the New Year, Keith provides us with several metrics to look at when evaluating leadoff hitters, and then takes his own stab at ranking some of the best leadoff seasons of the past 50 years.

Tony got his copy of The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2007 for Christmas. It's everything he hoped for and more. Tony treats us to a sneak peek of some of its articles and analysis in his review.

Of course, you could also buy the book for $5 off at the Baseball Evolution Store and find out for yourself!

Just in time for the New Year, the staff at BaseballEvolution.com has completed its review of its league leaders predictions. Although looking back on our hits as well as our misses is something in which we take pride, this year the number of uglies overwhelms the number of pretties. But there are enough of each to keep things balanced.



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