-The Eastern League in Baseball: A Statistical History, 1923-2005

-Baseball in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the National Pastime

-Jews And Baseball: A History, 1871-1948

-Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero

-Pro Football Prospectus 2006

-Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


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November 2 2006

And speaking of Howard and Utley, here's a look at Phillies in the top-five in the National League in some offensive categories for 2006:


Player Category   Rank
Howard OBP .425 5
Howard SLG .659 2
Howard OPS 1.084 2
Utley Games 160 T-3
Rollins AB 689 2
Utley AB 658 3
Utley Runs 131 1
Rollins Runs 127 T-2
Utley Hits 203 2
Howard Total Bases 383 1
Utley Total Bases 347 5
Howard HR 58 1
Howard RBI 149 1
Howard BB 108 4
Howard Strikeouts 181 2
Howard Extra-base hits 84 T-2
Howard Times on base 299 1
Utley Times on base 280 4
Rowand Hit by pitch 18 2
Howard Intentional walks 37 2
Howard AB per HR 10.0 1
Rollins Outs 521 2

Ryan Howard pretty clearly had a phenomenal year.  Led the league in home runs, RBI and total bases and second in both slugging and on-base percentage.  He was tied for second in extra-base hits despite being tied for 78th in the NL with his 25 doubles and hitting just one triple.

Chase Utley's magnificent season was overshadowed by what Howard did.  203 hits and fifth in the league in total bases.  Led the team in runs scored.

Jimmy Rollins makes a lot of outs.  In 2000 he got just 53 at-bats.  Every year since he's been in the top six in the NL in outs, and in five of those six years he's been in the top three.  He led the league in outs in both 2001 and 2002.  The 521 he made this year was the highest of any year of his career, but his 758 plate appearances was also a career high. 

Utley and Rollins combined to score 258 runs, which was the most of any pair in either league.  The Mets duo of Beltran and Reyes was very close, however.  Utley and Rollins were first and tied for second in the NL in runs scored.  Beltran tied Rollins with 127 runs scored and Reyes was fourth with 122, giving the Mets' pair a total of 249.

Aaron Rowand gets hit by pitches a lot.  Victorino and Utley also made it into the top ten of that category in the NL, each was hit 14 times.

Speaking of Rowand, he and the Phillies have both declined their part of the mutual option.  Rowand's was $3.25 million and the Phillies' was $5 million.  The most likely scenario is still that Rowand will return to the Phillies for 2007 at a salary somewhere between the two figures, which is just ducky as long as he's playing center field and not a corner outfield position.  You have to think that a Rowand return would mean less time for Victorino, who was better both offensively and defensively than Rowand last year, but Victorino has never hit 24 home runs in a season. 

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were part of the team of MLB players who faced the Yomiuri Giants in a tune-up before the five-game series starts in earnest tomorrow morning at four AM.  The game ended in a 7-7 tie.  The MLB players were down 6-2 in the top of the sixth before Howard and Andruw Jones hit back-to-back home runs.  Down three runs going into the ninth, the Mets' David Wright hit a two-run home run with two outs to tie the game at 7-7.

The series starts between the major league players and the NLB (Nippon Professional Baseball) All-Stars starts tomorrow.  There will be games at 4 AM tomorrow morning and 4:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday.  Monday is a travel day and they play again at 4:30 AM on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Read all about it.

In the Arizona Fall League, Elijah Dukes is killing the Big Cacti.  Dukes hit a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the tenth to give the Phoenix Desert Dogs a 10-7 win and drop the Saguaros to 8-11 on the year.  Jason Jaramillo was 2-for-6 with two singles to raise his average to .311.

Suggestions have been made that the Phillies might send Gavin Floyd to the Yankees for Sheffield.

If you had dreams of Joe Randa manning the hot corner for the Phillies next year, I'm sorry if I'm the guy who broke your heart.

Pat Gillick is not down with massive no-trade clauses and it might get in the way of a Phillies' pursuit of Soriano.

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