For those of you who find my semi-monthly updates not nearly adequate to quench your thirst for all things relative
to Scoresheet Baseball, there is a Yahoo Group dedicated to it. It is called Scoresheet-Talk. I just joined it recently. There
have been some interesting debates. One member used the group to start a new league with special rules involving a hold on
all players from each manager`s favorite team. It filled up in a few days. Best of all the guys in California who designed
the whole game and run the entire U.S. operation (brothers Dave & Jeff Barton) often pipe in with clarifications and news.
Early last month I discovered how addictive Scoresheet-talk can be. There is a break away Scoresheet group called
mcscoresheet (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/mcscoresheet/). Their claim is deeper and broader subject matter. Off Scoresheet topics are encouraged, if not abused. Humour is most prized
in mcscoresheet. It is run by someone who calls himself Medea`s Child. He`s good at getting into the flow the message streams,
and will verify facts, and produce polls for us to take. He calls me, ``Dude``. There are 134 members of mcscoresheet producing
an average of 350 messages per week. Scoresheet-talk has 800 members making only 180 messages per week. (Maybe those weren`t
average weeks, but they were a random inspection total.)
Here are some highlights from the last two weeks:
From Scoresheet-talk Gary Rogers asked ``how far up the charts is [Bobby Crosby] now compared to the rest of the AL shortstops? .
. . especially if Arod is listed at 3B only next year. ``
Ken Warren just like me is another Toronto based Scoresheet player who almost always wins his divisions. He is a long time prolific contributor to both of these Scoresheet Yahoo groups. His answer was, ``He is probably tied for 6th with
Young, behind Tejada, Garciaparra, Jeter, Valentin, and Juan (the joke)Uribe. ``
Ken referred to Uribe as ``the joke`` ironically, because an earlier message thread had tried to weigh the freakiness
of Uribe`s excellent play this year. One member referred to him as a joke. Ken and I both argued he was someone who could
be well worth protecting next winter.
The next response to the Crosby question came from jhnynk23 warning, `` . . . beware of the sophomore jinx(see Berroa). ``
Your Scoresheetwiz came to bat: ``The difference between Crosby`s
chances of a sophomore jinx and the apparent one Berroa is experiencing is that Crosby was much more highly regarded (i.e.
far more advanced for his age) than Berroa was going into his rookie season.``
The comment above included my top 11 shortstops long term AL shortstops (excluding ARod), who were the only ones
I deemed worth consideration of protection. One of the co-moderators of Scoresheet-talk Brian DewBerry-Jones noted that I
omitted Mike Young from the list. That was an accident as Brian assumed so. He guessed, ``Where does Michael Young rate? My guess is between Garciaparra
I responded, ``Not quite. Crosby is much younger
than Young and already about as good. Young has been progressing as though he were much younger. However, I can`t believe
that is going to continue. I think he`ll settle into an .800 shortstop with average defense. Then again, Soriano could get
moved to the outfield (somewhat likely), and Young moved back to second base slightly less than likely).
Joke Uribe actually has about the same percentage stats as Young, too, and is much closer to Crosby`s age. Granted
Uribe was in Colorado, so Guillen and he are having greater off-the-prediction-charts years than Young. Keep in mind Guillen
came from a pitcher`s park to another pitcher`s park. His defense seems to have improved, too, so I have to rate him above
Young. As Scoresheet players, call them tied. Young is in a hitter`s park. Until Uribe plays a full season at his current
level, I`ll squeeze Young ahead of him. I`d like to see how they play the 2nd half, though. Young slowly faded last year.
Upton - because he`s a phenom
2. Tejada - because he`s iron
3. Garciaparra - injury prone
Crosby - on the rise
5. Jeter - sliding downhill
6. Guillen - career year or late bloomer?
7. Young - incredable improvement each year
8. Joke Uribe
- needs to prove consistency
9. Berroa - needs to prove he can
10 Valentin - he`s got to age sometime
that we have 10 ``outstanding`` shortstops, [the previously bottom two rated Lugo and Aurilia might as well join Eckstein,
Woodward, Vizquel, and Guzman in the don`t-bother-protecting-them category. Of course, with Uribe possibly a secondbaseman
and Upton possibly still a prospect, some teams might well need Lugo and Aurilia.
(Don`t hold me to this, if I`m way off, but recognize my accuracy, if I`m generally right!)
The age of the big three is over. Tejada joined the group a couple years ago. ARod will be a 3B next year, Nomar and
Jeter have slid far in value. Upton is banging on the door. Crosby is progressing nicely.``
Most of the Scoresheet-talk jabber is regarding rules or the merits of a particular trade. I`m beginning to tire
of the ``should I make this trade?`` questions. Sometimes, it is nice to check your plans for reality slips or just to help
you decide one way or another. One interesting deal, however, was Joe Mauer and R#14 for Alfonzo Soriano and Adam Melhuse.
I strongly advised against it, but the deal was made, anyway. I don`t think I would deal Mauer for Soriano even up. Soriano
is bound to move to another position, soon. Plus, I don`t know what`s wrong with him, but he hasn`t really had a monster streak
that he used to have often in about a year. I think Mauer will be a Hall of Fame candidate, if he can stay healthy.
Another topic: who are the best centerfielders defensively? The consensus seemed to settle on Torii Hunter. Mike
Cameron may have lost a step, but is still a step ahead of just about everyone else. I touted Carlos Beltran – who`s
Zone Rating is second to none and has more assists than Hunter or Cameron. The interesting part was some of the obscure stats
the members came up with that I had never heard before.
MCScoresheet`s topics strayed more from Scoresheet into reminisces on Mazeroski magazines, Monty Python, the value
left in Jason Giambi, and this response to my asking why the members were referred to as ``the list`` rather than ``the group``:
Ken Warren: ``Or alternatively a herd of `nerds```
Anand Sinha: ``I always thought we were SDCNs (stats drunk computer nerds).
Would a bunch of SDCN be a gaggle? Or a list? Certainly not a gang nor a murder...unless we were Yankees then we`d
be both a murder and a row :-).
Back outside to bake my brains some more....``