-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 13 2006

Of the three big hitters whose names have been bandied about by Phillies fans this off-season, Gary Sheffield, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano, two have already found new homes.   Sheffield is a Tiger and Aramis Ramirez has decided to stay with the Cubs after signing a five-year, $75 million dollar contract.  Until Soriano signs on to become a Seibu Lion or decides to give football a chance in Detroit, he's likely to be at the forefront of Phillies discussion. 

So back to it.

Having spent significant time in recent weeks poo-pooing the notion the Phillies might actually sign Alfonso Soriano to replace Burrell it's important to remember that Burrell is a flawed offensive player.  His two biggest flaws may be all of the strikeouts and the fact that against right-handed pitching he has simply not been an exceptional hitter in recent years.

Soriano strikes out a ton too, so no advantage for him over Burrell there.  Against righties, however, Soriano is plainly better.  Here's what the two did last season against righties:

Burrell 324 244 365 472 18 837
Soriano 480 271 333 552 34 885

Advantage there for Soriano, who slugged 80 points higher against righties.  Burrell got on base more, however, even against righties.  Soriano has his own limitations as an offensive player, and the biggest is that his .351 on-base percentage overall last season was just the first time in his career he had on-based over .338 for a season. 

Soriano brings another dimension with he 41 stolen bases that Burrell clearly doesn't.  More speed in the outfield as well as an amazing 22 assists.  But it doesn't seem like it would be enough to get the Phillies to replace Burrell with Soriano, especially given that Burrell will be near the end of his contract and Soriano will just beginning his.

The Big Cacti were idle in the AFL on Sunday.  Their record sits at 13-15.

An article here claims that that the group of teams that bid on Akinori Iwamura is "believed to include the Devil Rays, Red Sox and Phillies."  The plot thickens.  The Yakult Swallows will accept or reject the highest bid by Thursday.

An article here seems to think Manny Ramirez is a possibility for the Phillies.  This would cause me much surprise.

A return to Texas still looks like it may be a possibility for David Dellucci.

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