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2002 Analysis Archive
Organization Strength Part 3: The Good
Having previously identified those who've given themselves lumps of coal, this week David Cameron looks at the MLB teams whose stockings are filled with goodies. Handle that gift carefully: live prospect inside!
Miss the winter meetings entirely because the boss wouldn't let you get away to Nashville during the holiday rush at work? Rather than saying, "Well, it's not my fault you work at the beef stick factory," Jason Michael Barker instead checks in with his take on the players who changed hands this weekend. Mmm... beef stick...
Organization Strength Part 2: The Average
Continuing his rankings of MLB's farm systems, this week David Cameron looks at the middle of the table - if you will, the That '70s Shows of player development organizations.
Pete Rose reinstated? Who cares? Dave Paisley opines that it's almost inevitable, but that life will go on regardless. Which means of course that the eternal "Was A-Rod robbed of an MVP again?" argument will continue to rage...
Looking back on the moves of the last week, Jason Michael Barker pauses only to ask, "What the heck were the Braves thinking?" Well, that and, "Does anybody have some cheese fries?"
Organization Strength Part 1: The Weak
After a comprehensive look at the top minor league players by position, David Cameron sets his sights on analyzing organization prospect strength. Or lack thereof, tempting us to revive the slogan What's Weak This Week? (The answer is the Orioles, by the way...)
The Phillies are all the talk of this off-season, but have they really done enough to make themselves the class of the NL East? Jason Michael Barker says "one down, one to go," and we're pretty sure he's not talking about leftover Thanksgiving pie.
The Mop Squad
It may be an uphill battle for minor-league relievers, but David Cameron figures that if a crew of elite snowboarders can save the world, these ten guys have a shot in the show.
Hampton, Johnson, What's
As if in answer to colleague Jason Barker's question, Dave Paisley delves into the mysteries of Colorado pitching and discovers, well, that it's tough to pitch there. But wait! There are other startling revelations. Mike Hampton may not turn into Randy Johnson anytime soon, but Atlanta may well have picked the pockets of their less smart brethren.
Trade Winds a Swirlin'
So, whatever should you make of the wacky trade between the Rockies, Marlins and Braves? Does CJ have anything left? Will Hampton ever pitch well again? And what's up with this Spooneybarger fellow? Fortunately, Jason Michael Barker is here to help those of you who can't form your own opinions.
Self-Starters, Part II
Switching his glove to the other fist, David Cameron runs down the top lefty pitchers in the minors, then says something nice about them just to be enigmatic.
As awards season wraps up, Dave Paisley takes one final look at the postseason hardware voting tallies and wonders just which soft drink commercial A-Rod could star in. And no, it's not "Make 7 Up Yours", although that might be a good selection for the voters this offseason. At least, we don't think it was.
Finishing out his look at this winter's free agents, Jason Michael Barker has just four words for you: "pizza in a cup." Don't worry, that wasn't any sort of commentary on the market for Charles Nagy's services this off-season. At least, we don't think it was.
Self-Starters, Part 1
Analyzing and enumerating the tip of the right-handed pitching prospect iceberg, David Cameron becomes deeply worried about his editor's use of weird metaphors in the teaser blurb.
Vote! Vote! Vote!
Republicans take the Senate back, the Fed reduces rates yet again, it sure looks more like life as we once knew it. But the really critical votes were cast five weeks ago. Dave Paisley takes a final look at the trophy votes before the last three are unveiled.
So, will your team be signing a Rolls or a Pinto this winter? Jason Michael Barker doesn't pretend to have all the answers, though he has a pretty good idea which category this year's free agents fall into. Remember: Just because you bought it for cheap doesn't mean it was a good deal, Mr. LaMar.
Definitely In The Right
Finishing up his look at up-and-coming of the position players, David Cameron finds a few of the up-and-comingest, as well as a few who may have already up and went. Number nine, number nine...
Some of the biggest gems on the diamond roam the middle outfield, and David Cameron knows which ones just might soon be a girl's best friend, if you know what we mean. Whaddya mean, you don't know what we mean?
They All Left
Dividing the back forty neatly into thirds, David Cameron begins assessing the outfield crop by writing two entire paragraphs about Chris Snelling without so much as a "g'day." It's almost as if Australians aren't inherently funny anymore.
Mild Card Matchup
Two wild card teams in the World Series and not only hasn't the world come to an end, but with two histories of postseason choking on the line, it promises to be pretty interesting. Can the Angels exorcise the ghost of Dave Henderson? Will Barry Bonds continue his prolific ways in the Ultimate Series Of His Career? Dave Paisley delves deep to figure out who has the edge.
Hot Child In The Corner
As he runs down the top prospects at third base, David Cameron proves that you don't have to be Dr. Drew from "Loveline" to use the words "oozing" and "tools" in the same sentence.
II: Hitting beats Pitching
After a brutal start to the playoffs for most pitchers, the pace hasn't slackened much. Post-season scoreboard operators are chewing through Advil like, well, a bunch of guys with tendinitis. With nothing better to do, Dave Paisley takes a peek to see if the scoreboard of doom is about to slow down at all.
Short, Short Men
In his continuing series on massive minor-leaguers, David Cameron continues in a counter-clockwise direction with the guys with the gloves. And special sauces.
With a rash of runs scored so far in the post-season, Dave Paisley can only assume that there's some bug going around playoff pitching staffs. Whatever you do, don't scratch. Uh, sorry, too late.
Continuing around the minor-league diamond, David Cameron susses out several second-sackers you'll soon be seeing in the show, and some sorry saps who'll sit and simmer, Sluggo.
As the season races to its conclusion, a couple of teams can maybe feel pardoned for feeling that the wire they're headed for suddenly seems ls friendly than it first appeared. Dave Paisley takes note, and then moves on to assess the accuracy of pre-season predictions and the plain wrongness of putting any faith in the Red Sox or Cubs.
If At First
Turning his attention to the youngsters guarding the right-field line, David Cameron compares and contrasts the slim pickings at first base with Prince Fielder's belt size.
As the season winds down, we can start taking a look at some of baseball's quirkier numbers - like, for instance, park factors. Dave Paisley wonders whatever happened to the humidor?.
Call of the Wild II
Wherein, Jason Michael Barker examines seven lucky National League call-ups, including three with three names! If you don't know your Wily Mo from your Hee Seop or your Pena from your Choi, brace for enlightenment.
Beginning this year's series of positional prospect picks, David Cameron lists the best of the boys in foul territory, and proves once again that the phrase "tools of ignorance" never goes out of style.
Going to the Whip
In every horse race there's comes a time to decide whether to put in the effort of trying to win the race. Dave Paisley figures it's pretty apparent at this point which teams have reached for the whip and which ones are just whipped. All this and bonus MVP coverage, too.
Call of the Wild
No, we're not talking about what Bud Selig had to say yesterday, but rather we're talking about Jason Michael Barker's look at the September call-ups in the American League. Shut your mouth! But we're talkin' 'bout call-ups! And we can dig it. Daaaaaaaamn right.
Prospect of the Year 2002
Wrapping up another minor-league season, David Cameron tosses off the chaff and presents the cream of wheat, if you will. Note that the voting was simultaneously extremely close and unanimous.
Labor settlement, Labor Day, it's enough to send even strong men to the sofa with a beer. Not Dave Paisley, though. No, he's off wondering how long the Oakland A's can keep up the late inning drama. Enough already. Plus, he just invented a new word.. Now isn't that cool?
Visiting his usual complement of minor-league tilts, David Cameron assesses two particular cannon-armed hurlers. Damned if he can figure out where the fuses go.
Waiting For What?
Tired of the strike speculation, Dave Paisley reviews the state of play around the majors, then dreams up his own playoff highlight reels.. What, like you never do that? Sure, we believe you.
Crunching the numbers in the Cal League, David Cameron finds some gaudy digits, then opines that the numbers just aren't crunchy enough in milk. What does it all mean? Don't ask me, I just work here.
Of Inhuman Bondsage...
With the name of our website looming large as baseball talks head at a glacial pace toward another Titanic clash of the garden gnomes, Dave Paisley turns towards the curious case of Barry Bonds. Like Sherlock Holmes' famous dog that didn't bark in the night, what is it that we're not seeing from Mr. Bonds this year?
The Boxscore Rebellion
Hungry for information and with nothing but the night's box scores to satisfy him, Jason Michael Barker extracted every nugget he could from those lines of names and numbers. Trust us, it sounded more interested when he first pitched the idea to the guys upstairs.
More Bravos, Again, Revisited
Far be it for David Cameron to dwell on Atlanta's prospects for his second consecutive column, but his other option was to compose a haiku about Wily Mo Pena. You're welcome.
And Now For
Something Even Less Spectacular...
Enough of all these MVPs and Cy Young contenders. What the people want to know (OK, Dave Paisley's brother in law) is, "Who's out there giving 59.9 per cent, day in day out?" And that's where the crack research team comes in...
Bravos To The Bravos
In this week's installment of his ongoing series of crop reports, David Cameron looks at Atlanta's future rookie arms and ponders whether AOL might have paid fair value for Time Warner after all.
Having given the once over to the hitters last week, Dave Paisley turns his attention to the hurlers. No, not the Giambi party animals, the guys who throw the ball for a living. As it turns out he could have left his calculator at home this week.
Runs, Hits and Errors
On a day when only a handful of games were played in Major League Baseball, Jason Michael Barker suggests that while the Angels and errors -- not to mention the Angels' errors -- might be stupid, the Cubs might not be as stupid as you thought Prior to this article. Get it? Prior? We give up...
Ray of Dope?
As talent moves to and fro in the minors, our man in the Carolinas, David Cameron, surmises that one particular payroll-impaired Florida team should stock up on bandages before they continue self-foot-shooting.
Most Valuable Prognosticator
With the season heading into the home stretch, it's time to take a look at the thoroughbreds in the MVP stakes. Dave Paisley heads over to the stables to check out the livestock. You can ask him if your favorite player is going to win, but he'll probably just say "Neigh...".
Inspired by the recent rash of trades in Major League Baseball, Jason Michael Barker files a report full of intrigue, deception and a wee bit of tomfoolery. Don't let the word "rash" keep you from reading, though, as we're nearly certain it's not contagious.
NL Rookie Roundup
"Rookies! Get yer rookies right here!" Once we got Jason Michael Barker to stop yelling like a crazy person, he told us all about the top young players in the National League. We enjoyed it and so will you.
Trekking to where the flavor is, David Cameron sends a message to Cleveland management regarding their rebuilding plans: don't think twice, it's alright. (You'll have to play your own bad harmonica.)
AL Rookie Roundup
If your June felt woefully inadequate in the rookie department, fear not -- our own Jason Michael Barker seeks to make up for that this month with a whiz-bang look at the American League's youngsters. "Whiz" and "bang" sold separately.
What do Carlos Delgado, Jim Thome, Eric Chavez, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Mike Mussina and Kazuhisa Ishii all have in common? Domination and rocking chairs, notes Dave Paisley, who also says, "Well too bad, that's life," as he runs down the All-Star selections. But do you think it's just coincidence that there are six Yankees and six Diamondbacks going?
Mondesi, Mail and
Raul Mondesi in pinstripes -- just another sign the Yankees and their money are somehow unfair to the rest of Major League Baseball? Not so, says Jason Michael Barker, because all they're getting is a really expensive Kia. Plus: Reader email, easily formatted for your browsing pleasure.
Southern California has been a baseball wasteland the last few years, but now things are looking less smoggy down in Ell-Ay and the suburbs. Dave Paisley checks out possible causes and ends up ruling out overzealous soccer fans turning to baseball now the US is out of the World Cup.
The Prospect All-Stars
While the rest of us are concerned with who'll finish fifth in the American League outfield voting, David Cameron took a trip to his local aquarium and exclaimed, "There be whales there, captain!" He also found time to pick the best of the best so far from the minor leagues. How does he do it?
Oh sure, we're all talking about it, and let's face it - John Burkett not taking credit for his grand All-Star game boycott scheme is like Einstein refusing the credit for the theory of relativity. Dave Paisley delves into the case of other players who seem to have headed down the boycott path...
The Not So All-Stars
Sure, Major League Baseball is all over the news these days with their fancy headlines touting the leading vote-getters in the All-Star balloting. But who's looking after the little guy? Dave Paisley is, sort of. Well, when the little guy is Greg Vaughn and he's making more in a week than you need to buy that Ferrari, maybe he's not so downtrodden.
Despite those 3 am World Cup games, Dave Paisley notes that it's time to wake up and smell the National League. That pungent aroma, by the way, is fresh from Milwaukee. Don't step in anything, especially in those new shoes...
Throwin' For Broke
After feasting his peepers on a few top young hurlers, David Cameron asks the musical question: why do they call them "hurlers," but never say, "hurling for the Mets" or "he's going to hurl"? Okay, maybe he didn't ask, but we really want to know. Also: are walks all you need, or were the Beatles full of crap?
Playing the Percentages
With just about two months of baseball under our belts, Dave Paisley decided it's time to start taking stock, making a list and checking it twice. What, you think Santa Claus is the only one who can use that tried and true technique?
Walk It Off
In his second article on the free pass, David Cameron will tell you that while walks aren't mandatory for stardom, any player without an eye for the strike zone had better hope it's because the spirit of Ozzie Smith is inhabiting his entire body.
And The Envelope, Please...
Not satisfied with dredging for competent National Leaguers for the All-Star game, Dave Paisley goes off in search of the Holy Grail of All-Star lineups for the AL, too. Well, at least he gives it the once over, if you know what we mean.
NL Rookie Roundup
Much to his delight, Jason Michael Barker found both quantity and quality in the Senior Circuit's rookies. Becket and Ensberg and Ishii -- oh my! Note: Rookies are packed by weight, not volume.
Yes, it's time once more for the annual ritual of finding something pointy enough to push those little circular chads out of All-Star ballots, but not so pointy that you can hurt yourself badly. That may be a tough job, but Dave Paisley at least gives you a hand with the selection process, starting with the National League. Pointy object not included.
Checking in with his first such installment of the year, Jason Michael Barker looks around the American League's rookie crop and discovers that there ain't no Ichiro this season, mister, so don't you go looking.
Walk to Stardom
It is possible to succeed in the bigs despite swinging at everything but the batboy in the minors. David Cameron also confirms that it's possible to live entirely on Big Macs without gaining weight and to build an entire house of Lego, all just as easily.
Red Sky at Night, Refinerys
After bursting the Pirate bubble last week, Dave Paisley takes aim at another NL Central pretender. Apparently, though, he'll have to wait. There's a line forming behind Ken Griffey Jr...
Simmer Down Now
Looking at the season's early returns, David Cameron has a hard time jumping on the Alexis Gomez bandwagon, and opines that it wouldn't be so danged difficult if the bandwagon driver laid off the gas for a minute.
Each season brings its own early shockers, and 2002 is no exception. It is shocking that Pittsburgh hasn't had even a whisper of trouble, though, with not a hint of Lloyd McLendon walking the plank. Dave Paisley opines that those timbers will be shivered eventually, though...
Next Position, Please
In his current agricultural missive, David Cameron gets a few more up-close look-sees, then shakes his head as teams shuffle their prospects around the diamond like a Vegas blackjack dealer. A push or a bust? You decide.
Life in a Box(score)
Box scores! Get yer box scores here! Jason Michael Barker offers up all the interesting tidbits you may have missed in your local paper, including Austin Kearns (who?), Kenny Lofton (huh?) and Randy Johnson (heh). Box scores not included. Box scores may not be box shaped. Box scores are not for everyone. Please consult your doctor before reading box scores.
Got That Rule 5 Fever
You may have noticed some unseasoned young punks dotting major league rosters this spring, prompting you to wonder just what the heck they're doing there. Jason Michael Barker wondered too, then did some digging and found out they belong there after all. Well, sort of.
Blowing Hot and Cold
Sure, it's only two weeks into the season, but it's never too early to start picking the sheep and the goats. For some, the early wind blows hot, while for others it blows cold. Either way, our intrepid Dave Paisley dons the thermal underwear to investigate. Caution: Tiger defroster not included.
Propping the Stock
No, it's not the "hot insider tip" on an obscure telecom stock that shows up unsolicited in your mailbox. It's David Cameron, letting you get in on the ground floor with a couple of farmhands whose rating has gone from "sell" to "accumulate."
With a just about seven days of baseball in the books, it's amazing that a discussion of what's weak doesn't include the Devil Rays. Oops, it just did. Never mind. Dave Paisley takes a tour of what's happened so far, and also wonders why nobody wants Sammy Sosa's used gum. After all, gummy bears are supposed to be popular, right?
With the bigs underway, David Cameron looks to the farm for entertainment, and we don't mean blindfolding chickens and watching them run into each other. Well, maybe sometimes. No, no, we don't. Please don't call PETA.
Is it just Dave Paisley or did we really just enter some bizarro universe where all the ace pitchers were mesmerized by the Easter bunny? Will it take a month to get their ERAs down into single digits again? Will Barry Bonds really hit 326 homers this year? All this, and much, much more await you inside...
Not So So-So Any More
Dave Paisley fesses up that he made a slight oversight a few weeks ago when handicapping the career home run race. Thanks to the ever-on-top-of-things corps of readers, he's ready to set the record straight and dub a certain Cub the next big thing.
NL Rookies to Watch
Back again with his look at the National League, Jason Michael Barker is your one-stop solution for all things Beckett, Burroughs and Spooneybarger. Don't worry -- we think he's making up that last one too. Just smile and nod politely.
While you and I are cursing the March cold and damning whoever it was who took the last cup of coffee without refilling the pot, David Cameron was in sunny Arizona, observing and admiring top farmhands. Not that I'm bitter or anything, but would it kill anyone to refill the frickin' pot?
AL Rookies to Watch
Who's the man who won't cop out, when there are rookies all about? Jason Michael Barker. Today, a look at the American League. Warning: Ruben Sierra not included.
To Say The East
Completing his 2002 divisional predictions by sizing up the NL East, Michael Cox is torn between hard-hitting analysis and working in as many obscure movie references as possible. As usual, the movie references win. Also, fightin', drinkin', and more.
Wait 'Til Next Year
While the runes and Ouija board are still on the table, David Cameron divines the minor-league players who'll be ready to rip up MLB...in 2003. And like Miss Cleo's, these predictions are for entertainment purposes only. Let's keep the Feds out of this, okay?
Casting a jaundiced eye at the NL Central, Michael Cox asks two important questions: "How the hell did I get jaundice?" and "Wow, that's one big-ass division." Of course, the Jeopardy producers would not accept that second one. Plus: Dan is done, and more.
Hot Stove: Blessed
in the West
If you're in the Central part of the country, well, too bad for good baseball this year. It's better in the East, but nowhere will baseball be better overall than on the West Coast. Or so says our indomitable Dave Paisley. Check out his prognostications for the Dodgers and Rangers here. Or maybe he meant the good teams.
This week Michael Cox looks at The Biggest Li'l Division in Baseball, and asks the musical question, "you gonna eat that pickle?" After that, he suggests that all those wins were neither a fluke nor the doing of one superhuman first baseman.
Delving deeper into his big list of top prospects, David Cameron observes that a certain World Champion isn't relying on old guys out of choice. He also tells Chicagoans to wait 'til next year, without quite comprehending the irony of that phrase. And here again is the list.
Hot Stove: L'East Difference
Dave Paisley moves on from the likes of Kansas City to visit the fair cities of the East. He predicts one perennial East division winner will continue that tradition, while the other will fail. Care to guess which is which?
Up Your Middle
If you're a fan of an AL Central club, Michael Cox has good news and bad news. The good news: your division has never been so evenly matched. The bad news: he didn't mean the entire division. Also, the topic you hoped you'd avoid by coming here (hey, he is half Canadian).
The Long, Long List
Before David Cameron begins analyzing his big Top 100 list of prospects, he'd like to ask our female readers to skip his first two paragraphs, or at least promise not to track him down and give him a good smack. Oh, and here's that list.
Sure, with the temperature in the teens it's nice to gather around the old hot stove. But Dave Paisley points out that the Central divisions are only using Duraflame logs in the first installment of his 2002 season prophesies.
Capsule: NL Central
Wherein, Jason Michael Barker wraps up his divisional series by looking at the comings and goings in the Selig Division, pausing just long enough to ask: Who are you, and what have you done with Ken Griffey Jr.?
You know how on HBO, they play the same six movies over and over for a solid month, with only the Sopranos and the occasional direct-to-video erotic thriller to break up the monotony? Michael Cox explains that the NL West is a lot like that, except no Sopranos.
Left to Bloom
In the final installment of his series of positional reviews, David Cameron wonders why they call them "southpaws" if California is on the "left coast." Next week: he buys a compass, once and for all.
Homer the Brave
Sure, Dave Paisley knows it's preview time, but before he finally gets around to deciding who's hot and who's not in 2002, he's wondering about the curious case of the sluggers who can't slug anymore. And the ones who can that we forgot about. And the women who love them. Next, on Jerry Springer...
Eschewing the National League Central for another week in favor of a division that's, well, smaller, Jason Michael Barker previews that there Ted Turner division. Who will live? Who will die? Who will toil in anonymity? Only the Shadow knows. Oh, and Jason. Him too.
Looking at the most promising young northpaws, David Cameron ponders the fact that he's the only one who calls them "northpaws." But never you mind, my friend, 'cause it's raining Fish. Halleluja.
Sure it's prediction season, but Dave Paisley's just not ready to go there yet. However, after another minor skirmish on usenet, it's never too late to thrash out one more Bonds/Sosa analysis, is it? Stay tuned as Dave cranks up the spreadsheets one more time.
Beginning his look at the National League, Jason Michael Barker surveys the west and boldly predicts that the defending champs won't defend, the Dodgers won't be able to dodge last place, and that a pack of young punks are on their way up, so don't say you weren't warned. Come and get it!
Right Makes, Er, Right
Back with another installment of his top-prospects series, David Cameron reveals that he just goes crazy over a man in Red. He also falls afoul of the editor who had to stay up late editing his story, resulting in the previous sentence.
After a week reviewing the off-off-off-Broadway run of "The Glue Sniffers", Dave Paisley returns to review the National League's offseason moves. What, that was Bud Selig starring in that play, you say? Now that you come to mention it, that dude did look familiar...
In his latest capsule, you'll never guess which team Jason Michael Barker picks to win the American League East. OK, so maybe you would, but don't let that stop you from reading. You can put your hand down now, Mr. Angelos.
Someone Say 'Centered?'
Bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the legendarily unfunny red-headed comedian/collect-call shill, David Cameron is back with a look at the prospects who are literally the longest distance from home (plate). No, there will be no cameos by Inspecta Collect or Eva Savealot.
Newly revived from the flu, interpid analyst Dave Paisley takes a quick motor tour through the AL off-season moves, assigning grades willy nilly as he goes. He slows down just enough to take a quick pot-shot at most AL GMs. Oh, and maybe an owner or two. Yeah, you know who we're talkin' 'bout, Willis.
In this week's capsule, Jason Michael Barker looks at the AL Central and wonders: If a train leaves Detroit at 10 AM traveling 75 MPH, and another train leaves Kansas City an hour later going the same speed, would anybody notice if both teams were on them, and if so, would anybody really care?
Out of Left Field
Continuing his look at the cream of the crop, David Cameron ponders the idea that among these young, up-and-coming outfielders are exactly zero budding Ozzie Smiths. Good thing too.
In the first of a six-part series, Jason Michael Barker begins his winter look at baseball's divisions. He begins out west with such clubs as the Mariners, A's, Angels and... uh, you know, that team with all the money.