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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
i'm such a kidder . . .
peter gammons is the rob neyer of 20 years ago. now his only value is that he talks to all the general managers.


    Clubs with spring in their step

    By Peter Gammons
    Special to ESPN.com

    Jan. 11

    This is an eerie time in a red sky morning of an offseason. While most teams have begun humming along with Eddie Vedder ("no matter how cold the winter/there's a spring time ahead"), even after the Vladimir Guerrero bombshell, the oddities of having Greg Maddux and Pudge Rodriguez still out in the marketplace make this a unique January.

    That two Hall of Famers are still looking around at this time of year leads to boundless speculation. This weekend, all of a sudden some GMs realized that the Orioles were out on Guerrero and in on Maddux, and that while the Mets were willing to go to three guaranteed years on Guerrero, it wasn't close to enough to getting him away from Anaheim.

does peter gammons type his own stuff? probably. but for some reason i get a kick out of imagining him dictating a column during baseball tonight (tm) commercial breaks, or in-between phone calls to gm's. we can embellish the image by having someone dial for him, too. how many people does he have working for him?

as serious as dan snyder when he bought the redskins? what about the tigers? are they serious? are you implying, mr gammons, that there are teams that aren't serious about winning? what exactly are you saying?

and re-closed them. does peter know what "fascinating" means?

so they're not 100% committed to winning; they're also committed to attracting hispanic-american and mexican cable interests. does anyone know what "poster boys of the west coast" means?

peter is so smart. isn't peter smart?

ok. i know. quit it. but it's just so easy. in case you're wondering, the cubs will make the playoffs, but the phillies will not. i don't think the marlins will either. i think it'll be braves cubs astros giants. but that's what i say every year.

don't listen to him! he is a servant of darkness! his light is our darkness!

legitimate. how many wins is that? 70? 75? shea is a pitchers' park because it's hard to hit home runs there. the way to maximize that is to get flyball pitchers and groundball hitters. and i don't think peter is being very nice to cement truckers.

what makes orioles fans more deserving than any other fans?

jp ricciardi is smart. therefore, the following are probable: (1) ted lilly will have continued success; (2) pat hentgen will come back strong from tommy john surgery; and (3) miguel batista's 2003 was for real.

dustin mcgowan has a shot. jason arnold doesn't. david bush does.

alexis rios is gonna make it. guillermo quiroz needs to get his strikeouts down, but christ he can mash.

the jays will not sneak into the playoffs in 2004, but they will in 2005.

clemens is a bargain at $5 million. lidge and dotel will be fine. the offense will be fine. richard hidalgo, astro or not, will have a big year:

year age aab w k hr wal con pow
1997 22 62 5 18 2 .075 .710 .159
1998 23 215 19 37 7 .081 .828 .124
1999 24 388 60 73 15 .134 .812 .133
2000 25 567 77 110 44 .120 .806 .195
2001 26 523 70 107 19 .118 .795 .123
2002 27 390 49 85 15 .112 .782 .118
2003 28 519 66 104 28 .113 .800 .181

his pow is back near his 2000 peak, and it's a good bet he'll stay there.

the royals are fighting for third place in the worst division in the majors. but at least they're trying.

prince fielder will kill the major leagues. but the brewers suck, and always will suck.

at 27, simon pond is enjoying the peak of his career: a replacement-level third baseman. he is much better at baseball than i am.

i am so excited. really. really really. i am really so excited. i can't wait.

i kid because i care.
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