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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.

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September | October | November + December
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November and December, 2008

To traditionalists, Sizemore had a good, but not great 2008 season. He had a .268 batting average, struck out over 100 times, and failed to knock in 100 runs. But if you examine his stats properly, he had a phenomenal year. As a matter of fact, he might have been the best player in American League, with Joe Mauer and A-Rod right there as well.

The Red Sox lost the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes… or did they? The team currently owns David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Mike Lowell through the 2010 season at least. Had they signed Teixeira, they would not only have paid him around $180 million, but they would have also needed to eat some portion of Lowell’s remaining $24 million in a trade, even while Lowell had no-trade protection. Most likely, Theo Epstein’s interest in Teixeira was only manufactured to drive his price up and give the Yankees less money with which to sign other free agents.

See All Team Capsules

This has been an exciting offseason, particularly if you are a fan of a New York team. Both the Yankees and the Mets bolstered their pitching staffs at the Winter Meetings, and Tony tells us which team improved more.

Not a New York fan? Not a problem! Baseball Evolution now has regular updates on all 30 teams. Check out the latest on each team or view your favorite's capsule on its team page.

Here we go again. On successive days the Giants showed that, despite their publicly professed desire to get younger and more athletic, general manager Brian Sabean hasn’t lost his affinity for players on the wrong side of 30. On December 3rd, San Francisco inked right-hander Bobby Howry to a one-year, $2.75 M deal. The next day, the club found its replacement for shortstop Omar Vizquel by signing Edgar Renteria to a two-year deal worth $18.5 million.

The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs is portrayed as an objective, hard-hitting analysis of how well Babe Ruth might have performed in the modern era and how he compares to the other great sluggers in baseball history. Unfortunately, the author's biased analysis makes it little more than extensive praise for Babe Ruth. Ironically, the book accomplishes the opposite of what it intends to do, and gives the impression that the greatest baseball player of all time had an overblown career.

We recently had a discussion on the Baseball Evolution message boards concerning what the criteria should be for selecting the Manager of the Year Award.  Basically, the discussion centered around whether success, overachievement, or intangibles should factor most into consideration. Coincidentally, The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009 became available days later, and featured an article by Michael Lichtman entitled, "The Manager of the Year."  Keith compares Lichtman's findings to his own rudimentary analysis and learns some things along the way.

How much more effective of a closer was Brad Lidge than single-season saves leader Francisco Rodriguez this year?  Did Mariano Rivera's spectacular season put him on par with Trevor Hoffman in career Linear Saves?  How did Dan Quisenberry jump two spots on the career Linear Saves list this year?  Keith reviews the 2008 Linear Saves totals for baseball's closers and re-examines the best closers of all-time.

The 2008 Gold Glove Awards have been announced for both leagues. There were few travesties this year. Derek Jeter did not win a trophy, although that is due to his poor offensive season rather than a sudden realization of his lackluster defense, as evidenced by Derek Jeter Jr. winning the AL shortstop hardware instead. No designated hitters won awards this year. Albert Pujols did get snubbed again, but there's no point in going on and on about that.

But there was one glaring, smack-a-sausage-with-a-baseball-bat graphic blunder. Nate McLouth was a lousy McPick for a National League Gold Glove Award.

November is upon us, so it's time to determine which players are deserving of postseason accolades. Richard begins award season by analyzing the contenders for the NL Cy Young Award. He finds five pitchers with serious Cy Young credentials, narrows that field down to two, then comes to his inevitable conclusion.

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Ron Santo: Cubs Legend

Pat Hughes and Ron Santo were the Chicago Cubs' WGN Radio announcing team for 15 seasons. Their unique on-air chemistry became known as "the Pat and Ron Show" with fans tuning in as much for their eccentric banter as for Cubs baseball itself.

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