January 16, 2003

I hate computers

That may sound like a strange thing for a guy with a website to say, but, quite often, it is true.

Wednesday at around noon I was in my room, typing something on my laptop and the power cord got unplugged from the computer somehow.

No big deal because the computer just starts running on battery when it gets unplugged.

I noticed it, finished the thing I was typing and then went to plug it back in.

Usually when you plug and unplug the power cord, the computer makes this "beep" sound, so you know it either just went on battery or off battery power.

When the cord got unplugged, the computer made the "beep."

When I plugged it back in about 30 seconds later, there was no "beep."

So, my computer was running on battery and I had no ability to get it running on normal, plugged in power or even charge the battery.

Like I said, I hate computers.

I called up the customer support help line at this computer company that I won't name here (The company name is two letters and it starts with a "H" and ends with a "P" but that is all the clues I am going to give).

The guy on the other end was very friendly and he really wanted to be helpful, but he wasn't.

He had me unplug the computer and try something, he had me take the battery out and try something, he had me get a paperclip and press some secret button the side of the computer.

Nothing worked.

Then he told me he had "run out of stuff to try" and that I would have to send it in.

I really had no choice in the matter because at this point the battery was down to like 72% and the computer would stop running after another couple of hours.

The guy from the un-named company informed me that it would take between 3-5 business days to get it fixed and that "includes shipping time."

So, I got all the info from the guy and he dispatched a Fedex truck to my house and told me it would be there sometime "between noon and five" yesterday.

I waited around all day and guess what time they showed up? 7:15.

No big deal though, I was just planning on being a bum around the house yesterday (and every other day) anyway.

It really all sounded very easy and nice to me - they come to my door and pick it up and in 3-5 business days I'll have it back - until I remembered something: I go back to school on Sunday and start class again Tuesday morning!


Going on the theory that nothing is as easy as it sounds and computers suck, I expect to have my laptop back in time for my graduation in 2005, hopefully.

I really love laptops.

I have had 3 of them in my lifetime and I don't think I would ever buy a regular computer for myself.

When I am home from the dorm, it goes upstairs to my room with me and downstairs when I watch the gigantic TV we have.

At the dorm, it moves all around my room, from desk to chair to bed - wherever I happen to be sitting/lying at the time.

I play CDs and DVDs on it, I use it for internet access, I store all of my top-secret fantasy baseball cheat sheets on it and I type up all of my school related stuff on it.

And now, my baby is gone and who knows when I'll have her back again.

I hate computers, but only because I love them so much.

What's that you say? This is a baseball blog?

Hmmm...let's see if we can find anything baseball related to talk about...

Seligula and his cronies voted unanimously to give the league that wins the All-Star game homefield advantage in the World Series.

What do I think of this? The short answer is I think it is a really dumb thing to do.

If you want my long answer, click here and read what I had to say about it when Bud first proposed the deal last week.

Apparently the players still need to give their approval, so hopefully Bud's brilliant idea will never actually take place (kind of like contraction).

ESPN.com came out with their list of the "Top 10 Outfields in Baseball" yesterday.

I have always loved lists, making them and reading them.

I'm guessing my fondness for them comes from the fact that I like to argue about stuff and lists usually give you some sort of an opportunity for a healthy "debate."

However, I am not going to argue about anything on the ESPN.com list, because I don't think they screwed anything up all that badly.

Instead, I wanted to give my own list of what I think will end up being the top 5 outfields in baseball for 2003:


Atlanta - Chipper Jones / Andruw Jones / Gary Sheffield

If Andruw Jones ever has that breakout season people have been expecting for years, these 3 could be scary in 2003.

Even without the breakout year, Andruw was pretty great last season, hitting .264/.366/.513. That was good for 42.1 "Runs Above Replacement Position," which ranked 4th among all center fielders last season. Add in the awesome defense and Andruw is arguably one of the top 2-3 CFs in baseball.

The other Jones, Chipper, is one of the best and most consistent hitters in all of baseball. He's a pretty bad left fielder defensively and the Braves never should have moved him from 3B. Offensively, he was the 4th best LF in baseball and I think his 2003 will be better than last year.

Sheffield had an "off" year in 2002, but he was still good for 41.6 RARP, which ranked 8th among all right fielders.

I think he'll have a better 2003 too.

Last year the Braves 3 combined for 144.7 RARP and I think it'll be closer to 175 in 2003.

As an added bonus, all 3 of these guys may end up in the Hall of Fame someday, which not a lot of teams can say.


Cincinnati - Adam Dunn / Ken Griffey Jr. / Austin Kearns

You would think that this high ranking would be based on Griffey staying healthy and, to an extent, it certainly is.

However, I really don't expect him to ever be the same player he was in Seattle (for more on that, click here), but I am incredibly high on both Kearns and Dunn, which is why I rank them #2.

This ranking does assume that Griffey is healthy enough to play 140+ games and he hits somewhat Griffey-like.

This outfield has the potential to hit 150 homers and each get on base over 40% of the time.

Griffey isn't what he once was defensively and should probably be playing a corner position, but Kearns is a great defender in either corner and Dunn is above average.

This ranking may be a little bit of wishful thinking on my behalf, but if Griffey can hit .280/.375/.500, which is about what he did in his first year with Cincy, they will be one of the best offensive outfields in baseball for sure.


St. Louis - Albert Pujols / Jim Edmonds / J.D. Drew

If J.D. Drew can stay healthy and have a season close what he did in 2001, this will be the best outfield in baseball.

Unfortunately, neither of those is likely to happen and, together, they are a real longshot.

Edmonds was 57.2 RARP, which ranked 3rd among all center fielders.

He even missed some time with injuries, but that is probably somewhat likely in 2003 as well.

Pujols was 5th among all LFs in RARP with 55.4, one spot behind Chipper Jones.

I would expect Edmonds and Pujols to post similar numbers in 2003, somewhere around 50-60 RARP.

Drew almost can't help but improve upon his 2002 performance, but how much he improves is the key.


Boston - Manny Ramirez / Johnny Damon / Trot Nixon

Quite simply, Manny Ramirez is a hitting machine.

With Thome gone to the NL, Ramirez is probably the best hitter in the AL, although ARod might have something to say about that.

Manny also can't seem to stay healthy - he missed 40 games last year after missing 20 in 2001 and 45 in 2000.

If he can stay on the field for 155 games or so, he's going to drive in 140 runs and hit 40+ homers.

Even with all the injury problems last year, Ramirez's 73.0 RARP ranked 3rd among all LFs and 1st in the AL.

A lot of Johnny Damon's value comes from his great defense, but he also had a very good year with the bat in 2002, rebounding from an awful 2001 with Oakland.

Damon had a .292 EqA and his 40.9 RARP ranked 5th among all CFs, right behind Andruw Jones.

Like J.D. Drew, Trot Nixon is the key to whether or not this outfield makes a jump into the top 2 or 3.

Nixon had a slightly disappointing season, but still ranked 14th among all RFs with 23.7 RARP.

His defense is also very good, which bumps his value up a little bit.

If Manny stays healthy and Nixon rebounds a little, the Sox starting 3 could easily put up 170+ RARP.


San Francisco - Barry Bonds / a center fielder / a right fielder

Okay, remember like 10 seconds ago when I said I wasn't going to argue with anything ESPN said? I lied.

ESPN.com's list of the top top outfields did not even include the San Francisco Giants.

Now, I realize the identities of San Fran's center and right fielders aren't yet completely known, but that is somewhat irrelevant when you think about how good their one definite outfielder is.

For example...

ESPN.com has the Angels' outfield as #3, with Garret Anderson, Darin Erstad and Tim Salmon.

Offensively, here are their "Runs Above Replacement Position":

Anderson = 38.1

Erstad = 11.2

Salmon = 38.4


That's a pretty nice total, especially considering Salmon missed some time with injuries.


Barry Bonds = 140.8 RARP

The Anaheim starting 3 were a total of about 90 runs better than replacement level players last season offensively.

Barry Bonds was, all by himself, about 140 runs better than a replacement left fielder.

My math is not great and big numbers generally make my head hurt, but it looks to me like all the Giants would have to do to have a better offensive starting outfield than the Angels would be to have a center and right fielder that would avoid each being 25 runs BELOW replacement level.

Wanna know how bad someone would have to be to check in at 25 runs below replacement?

Last season, Neifi Perez (aka "The Worst Doctor in the World") was "only" 19 runs below replacement on offense last year.

Enough said.

Which all means that if you stick Barry Bonds in left field and find 2 guys that are the outfield equivalent of Neifi Perez, they are going to be a better offensive outfield than Anaheim was last season.

Brian Sabean was apparently interested in actually trying this experiment, so he went and signed Marquis Grissom to be an outfield starter.

Even if Barry drops off quite a bit, like say 50 runs, he still out produces the Angels outfield as far as RARP goes, which means if the Giants get any sort of decent production from Grissom (19.6 RARP last year) and the other guys they play in CF and RF, they'll have a much better offensive outfield than Anaheim.

I didn't account for defense and Erstad is, in my opinion, the best defensive center fielder in the AL, so his contribution there is significant.

But, I am not really arguing that the Giants should be ranked ahead of Anaheim (although they should be), I am simply saying there is no possible way that the Giants should be completely absent from a list of the "Top 10 Outfields in Baseball."

By the way, in case you were wondering...

The worst outfield in baseball for 2003:


Florida - Todd Hollandsworth / Juan Pierre / Juan Encarnacion

Not that bad you say?

First of all, they all have almost identical facial hair, two of them have the same first name and what the hell is wrong with Juan Pierre and his hat?!

Juan Encarnacion actually had a decent year last season, hitting .271/.324/.449, which was good for a .267 EqA and 15.2 RARP.

Encarnacion is, by far, the Marlins' best outfielder and even he was about 15 points of EqA worse than ML right fielders as a whole last season.

Moving to CF, it gets really bad.

Juan Pierre had the benefit of hitting in Coors Field for all of 2002 and he still managed to put up some of the worst numbers this side of Doug Glanville.

Pierre hit .287/.332/.343, which works out to a nifty .230 EqA and negative 5.9 RARP. To put that in context, that RARP figure of -5.9 was the worst out of any center fielder with more than 250 plate appearances.

In 2003, Pierre will be leaving the best hitting park in the Majors (Coors) and will head to one of the worst parks for a hitter, Pro Player Stadium.

Juan Pierre hit - get ready for this - .247/.297/.297 on the road last season.

If Juan Pierre slugs over .400 in 2003 I will eat my Minnesota Gophers hat.

Over in left field, the Marlins have their newest acquisition, Todd Hollandsworth.

Florida thought so much of him that they got rid of one of their best hitters, Kevin Millar, so they could give Hollandsworth $1.5 million bucks.

Like Pierre, Hollandsworth played for the Rockies last season and he really enjoyed hitting in Coors Field.

At Coors = .378/.444/.659.

Very impressive. Those are awesome numbers no matter where you are doing your hitting.

Hollandsworth got dealt to the Rangers at mid-season and also hit very well in The Ballpark In Arlington, which is another very good place for hitting.

However, on the road last year, away from Coors and TBiA, Hollandsworth was putrid, hitting only .224/.272/.346 in 237 at bats.

I will almost guarantee that the Marlins will lead the National League in stolen bases next season.

They better plan on stealing about 1,000 bags because with that outfield, it's gonna be a long season of watching Juan Pierre ground out to second base.

See, lists are fun aren't they?

Speaking of lists...

It's not too late to vote in Baseball Primer's "Primey" awards balloting.

I am up for "Best Internet Baseball Weblog" and I would really love it if everyone that enjoys this blog would go and place a vote for me.

The 2002 Baseball Primer Primeys

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