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Old 10-25-2006, 09:01 PM   #301
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The 1987 Minnesota Twins won the World Series with a 85-77 regular season record, and that was when only four teams made the playoffs. Nothing to see here, move along.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:31 PM   #302
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The 1987 Minnesota Twins won the World Series with a 85-77 regular season record, and that was when only four teams made the playoffs. Nothing to see here, move along.
That team was also outscored during the regular season by 20 runs.

Sometimes these things happen.

damn rain
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:19 PM   #303
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rainouts suck.

just think though, if the cardinals play .500 ball the rest of the year they are world champions
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:50 AM   #304
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I hate all this "state of sports" when a team who wasn't that good statistically during the regular season (mostly cause of the implosion), who wins a championship. What's the big deal? A team gets a shot, they get hot at the right time, that's always happened in sports.

Just be happy it's not like the NBA where over half the league gets in.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:34 AM   #305
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Maybe this rainout will give the Tigers a chance to play better baseball. They better anyway
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:35 AM   #306
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from the sports guy (aka hewson)

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• Back to Rogers: Does anyone else believe that he planted that brown stuff on his left hand to deflect attention away from the fact that he fits every possible profile of a steroids/greenies guy? I mean, let's say you just returned from a three-week safari in Africa and I told you, "Yo, there's this veteran pitcher in his early 40s with a storied track record for choking in big games, only now he's working on a 22-inning scoreless streak in October and punctuating each start by screaming after every out and stomping around like a crazy homeless guy trying to clear out a bus stop?" Wouldn't your first thought be, "What's he taking?" Instead, we're worried about some mud on his hand? Somebody make this guy pee in a cup, please.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:53 AM   #307
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i find it very disturbing this team is even in the playoffs. a team that wins 83 games all year are considered wordl champions? is that the state sports is in?

What next? A 8-8 or 7-9 super-bowl champion?
do we need to bring up the record of the 1973 national league champion new york mets?

if the mets bats didn't shit the bed, you wouldn't be dealing with this oh so pressing issue. they did, they lost, the cards won. all year, despite their best attempt at choking it all away in september, i considered the cardinals to be the second best team in the NL, based largely on the fact that the national league west was god awful (despite everyone's best attempts to make it appear to be good... GO DODGERS!!!). it's not like the cards were a team that came out of no where. ya knew they were good all year. the mets had their opportunities, they blew 'em. the cards had theirs, and they took advantage. end of story.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:16 AM   #308
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Originally posted by Chizip
from the sports guy (aka hewson)

Maybe my column should have made mention of random pee tests not taking place during the postseason.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:27 AM   #309
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Maybe my column should have made mention of random pee tests not taking place during the postseason.
ding ding ding
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:40 AM   #310
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NEW YORK -- Gary Sheffield was told Wednesday that the New York Yankees will pick up his $13 million option for next season, according to a newspaper report.

Sheffield said he was hoping to test the free-agent market and get another three-year contract, USA Today said in a story on its Web site.

"This will not work, this will not work at all," Sheffield told the newspaper. "I don't want to play first base a year for them. I will not do that."

Sheffield, sidelined from May 29 to Sept. 22 with an injured left wrist that required surgery, hit .298 with six homers and 25 RBIs in 39 games this season. He played first base for the first time in his major league career after he returned in September.

"I don't know what they're [Yankees] going to do," Sheffield said. "Maybe they picked it up just to trade me. If they do that, if I just [go] to a team for one year, there's going to be a problem."

A message was left by The Associated Press seeking comment from Sheffield's agent, Rufus Williams.

It's possible the Yankees are positioning themselves to trade Sheffield, as several teams are reportedly interested in a player of his type. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that at least a half-dozen teams -- the Angels, Orioles, Cubs, Giants, Astros and Rangers -- are in the market for a power-hitting corner outfielder, and that doesn't include the Red Sox and Mets, who could also use the help. The Yankees can now prevent Sheffield from going to such rivals without getting anything in return.

One GM reportedly called Yankees GM Brian Cashman last week about Sheffield. "To be honest," he said, "I was kind of put off, leaving me to believe he's got at least a couple of teams really pushing him hard [for Sheffield]."







stupid... sure, they'll keep him away from the mets or red sox... but there's no way anyone's taking sheff at 13 million per year, so even if they trade him they'll be forced to pay at least half his contract for this year, anyways.

welcome back, bronx zoo... oh how we've missed thee.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:10 AM   #311
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i think the free agency market is going to be nuts this year

there are a ton of teams looking to add an impact hitter, and there are only a couple of them out there. soriano and carlos lee are going to get overvalued monster contracts. so then a 1 year 13 million dollar contract doesnt seem so bad.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:17 AM   #312
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there aren't a ton of teams who want to spend though... soriano should get around 13 million, lee around 8 or 9... sheffield, with his injury history, was probably only looking at 6 or 7 per... and yes, i do understand how ridiculous it is to say "only 6 or 7 million"
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:24 AM   #313
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
there aren't a ton of teams who want to spend though... soriano should get around 13 million, lee around 8 or 9... sheffield, with his injury history, was probably only looking at 6 or 7 per... and yes, i do understand how ridiculous it is to say "only 6 or 7 million"
There will be more teams willing to spend then you'd think.

I see Soriano getting up to 15 million per year. There are reports he's already turned down a 5 year 70 million dollar contract (14 million per year)

Lee should get 12-13 million

It's going to be like 5 or 6 years ago when GM's were giving out ridiculous contracts.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:27 AM   #314
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From discovering Pujols to working at Wal-Mart

HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark. -- Dave Karaff doesn't have to work right now. Five days a week he stocks grocery shelves at the local Wal-Mart, but tonight, he settles into the comfy, oversized chair to watch his beloved St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

The man's got a right to love them. He spent seven years as a Cardinals scout before being let go in 2003. His biggest signee was the guy walking up to the plate right now: reigning National League MVP Albert Pujols. Yes, that's right. The scout who signed Albert Pujols stocks groceries in an Arkansas Wal-Mart.

How's that for an organizational thank you? Some guys get bonuses. Others get watches. Karaff got canned.

Karaff, a friendly 64-year-old grandfather, doesn't mind if you come watch Game 2 with him, but under one condition: He's not gonna talk about Pujols. Though the slugger is wildly talented, he's also as sensitive as a junior high cheerleader and is still peeved because he believes Karaff said he wouldn't make it to the big leagues. In reality, Karaff felt like he was a talent but not a sure-thing first-rounder. Clearly, every other team agreed.

But after Pujols popped off earlier this year, it's best not to start any drama. So Karaff isn't gonna talk about Pujols, not a word about the guy who looks like he might walk off the high-def television at any moment. Not a word. Doesn't want to cause any problems. Well, you know, maybe a few words won't hurt. After all, signing the probable Hall of Famer is the highlight of his career.

"I will say one thing," he says. "If there's anybody that can stand there and tell me truthfully this is what they thought he'd do, I would call them a liar to their face and never flinch."

Karaff sits in his chair and watches Pujols watch the pitcher.

"When he's going bad, he really floats to that front side," Karaff says. "That's what he did in high school."

He ought to know. Karaff has spent his entire life around the game. For almost two decades, he coached Hickman Mills High in Kansas City. He worked as a scout for the Seattle Mariners and, starting in the mid-'90s, for the St. Louis Cardinals. He'd always been a Redbirds fan; he had his car stolen at the 1985 World Series and, instead of calling his wife, he bought new clothes at a discount store and went to the next game.

Scouting for his favorite team was a dream job, one he took seriously. For 130 or so nights a year, he rated players. He went everywhere. Three years before he was fired, for instance, he was assigned Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, half of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The highway was his home. His car logged more than 40,000 miles a year.

Mostly, he charted people who'd never spend a day in the big leagues. Then there was this young man in Kansas City. Albert Pujols. He had obvious skills. The Cardinals' scouting form gave players a grade between two and eight, Karaff says, with each prospect getting a present and future score in each category. A "five" is considered major-league average.

"I probably made him a six hitter future," Karaff says, "but he probably was a four hitter present."

The rest, of course, is history. Though he slipped to the 13th round of the 1999 draft, Pujols made it to the bigs in 2001, won Rookie of the Year and now has 250 home runs in just six seasons. He is arguably the most feared hitter in baseball. He's a superstar.

And Karaff? He was fired in 2003. The team decided to go in a different direction, and there was a massive shakeup in the scouting department. Lots of people were left to wonder what they might have done better. Karaff figured he should have sold his players harder.

"That was probably a weak point of mine," he says. "I sold them on paper, but I don't think I did a good job talking them up. Until the end. If I'm gonna struggle or if I've got a chance to lose my job, I'm gonna put 'em on the line. That's what they want you to do."

Three years later, the wound is still fresh -- seemingly more so for his wife, Jannette, than for him. He's explaining his release, and the personalities involved, and he's doing it with kid gloves. She's sitting nearby, practically simmering.

"Dave's just being nice," she says.

"Jannette," he says, "just let it go, honey."

"Well, I …," she begins.

"Let it go," he says.

He had to let it go. He needed to find a job that offered benefits. Hence the grocery stocking. But there are certainly days he wishes he had his old life back.

"I miss it all," he says. "I really do. It's the most enjoyable job I've ever had."

The things he did as a scout make him proud, even if it didn't end like he wanted it to. That makes Pujols' recent public comments cut deep.

The slugger, for instance, told The Kansas City Star: "He said I wasn't going to make the big leagues. That's why he got fired."

He told USA Today : "How can you draft a guy and say you don't know if he's going to make the big leagues? All of a sudden, the next year (I'm) in the big leagues, and he wants to take all the credit."

That burned up Karaff's family, who felt like a superstar multi-millionaire was picking on a guy who stocks shelves at Wal-Mart. They say Karaff isn't trying to take any credit.

"I was heartbroken for Dave because I didn't think it was fair," Jannette says.

Losing his dream job was bad, but being called out by the player he once championed to his organization is worse.

"I think everything that happened with Albert hurt more," he says.

Still, they are Cardinals fans. Both lean toward the television as their team holds onto a lead. Pujols comes to the plate. Jannette Karaff almost jumps out of her chair. They're just fans now, glued to the television.

"Come on, Pujols," she yells. "Do something!"

Wright Thompson is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He can be reached at wrightespn@gmail.com.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:31 AM   #315
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Oct 25 - According to The New York Post, Biggio is expected to bridge what is currently a financial gap and re-sign with the Astros. However, agent Barry Axelrod said that if matters cannot be worked out fairly, Biggio would seek the 70 hits he needs to reach 3,000 somewhere else.
"He said to me that if they don't value me enough and I have to go to St. Louis, Chicago or New York to play on a winner and hit milestones, then I will do it," Axelrod told the newspaper.
could the bigg be coming home?
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