February 24, 2003


Girls - all I really want is girls

And in the morning it's girls

Cause in the evening it's girls

I like the way that they walk

And it's chill to hear them talk

And I can always make them smile

From White Castle to the Nile

--- Beastie Boys, "Girls"

Last Friday I mentioned that I got my first ever email from a female reader.

Guess what? I got emails from 5 (yes, 5!) other female readers over the weekend, which is both extremely shocking and a very pleasant surprise.

So, to Sara, Kumiko, Melissa, Anne, Emily and Jen, thanks for checking out the site and make sure to tell all your (female) friends about it! A guy can never have too many women interested in what he is saying, particularly when they are baseball fans.

If I get enough of a female audience, we could have an "Aaron's Baseball Blog Mixer" or something!

Speaking of females...

I want to tell everyone how wonderful my mother is.

My Baseball Prospectus 2003 arrived in the mail a few days ago.

The arrival of BP is one of my favorite parts of the year, but the problem this year was that it arrived at my house and not my dorm.

But, my mother, being the lovely woman that she is, delivered it to me at the dorm last night and even took me out for dinner!

I'm sure I will be devouring BP2003 over the next few days and will probably discuss it in some more depth then.

That said, if you haven't picked up your very own copy of it yet, what the heck are you waiting for?!

Here, I'll make it very easy for you.

Just click on this link and...

Buy Baseball Prospectus 2003

Along with emails from a bunch of girls, I also got another interesting email over the weekend.

Friday's edition of Lee Sinins' "Around the Majors" email newsletter, which arrives in my mailbox everyday, had some info about Rickey Henderson:

Rickey Henderson's agent called the Padres, but the team says they don't have any room for him. Meanwhile, GM Kevin Towers says Henderson's agent says he's going to sign with the St. Paul Saints, an independent league team that has had a reputation for signing old players.

As all of you know, I was semi-obsessed with Rickey last week, devoting the majority of 2 different entries to him (#1 and #2).

As some of you know, the St. Paul Saints play in St. Paul, Minnesota - which coincidentally is in the same state I live in.

As none of you know, my uncle has season tickets to the Saints and I am pretty sure I can bug him enough to convince him to take me to a few games to watch Rickey.

I've never been real big into autographs, but I think I'd like to get one of Rickey Henderson.

Of course, I hope he signs with a Major League team and I never get the chance to see him in St. Paul, but it would still be pretty cool.

I was thinking about how he'd do in the Northern League and I've decided that, with his plate discipline and the "pitching" in the league, he'd probably walk about twice a game and he could probably steal as many bases as he wanted.

The Saints have a long history of signing "interesting" players, including J.D. Drew and Darryl Strawberry, as well as guys like Leon Durham, Matt Nokes, Darryl Motley and Jack Morris.

Big-news-maker Kevin Millar was even a St. Paul Saint once upon a time and they had the newly defected Rey Ordonez as their shortstop for a while too.

Ordonez defected from Cuba, along with Eddie Oropresa and join the Saints.

I never saw Ordonez or Oropresa play in St. Paul.

My uncle though had a full scouting report for me, which included:

"Everyone thought Oropresa was going to be so great because we kept hearing about him being a Cuban defector and everything and he got all this hype. Then he shows up and his stuff isn't even that good - no better than an average Northern League pitcher, maybe a little above average."

"Ordonez was the best fielder I ever saw. He would make plays that no guy in that league has ever even thought about making. He couldn't even hit back then though, he was a .250 hitter with zero power even in the Northern League. I didn't think he'd ever play in the Majors, because he couldn't hit."

Well, if it makes you feel any better, he can't hit.

And Eddie Oropresa's career Major League ERA is 7.92.

I didn't get a chance to see J.D. Drew there, but I saw Darryl Strawberry a few times, including his last Saints appearance before signing with the Yankees.

He was just in a completely different universe than the rest of the players there.

It's not so much that he would hit a homer every time up (although he did hit a ton of homers), it was that every single ball he hit was absolutely crushed.

Singles right back up the middle, line-drive doubles off the wall in straight away center, screaming liners into the gaps (and over the fences) in the left and right center.

And the more than occasional 400 foot bomb.

As my uncle says, "it looked like he was barely swinging."

I agree. It was almost as if he was trying to hit fungoes to the outfielders, but the ball would just explode off his bat.

It really made me realize just how great a "good" Major League hitter is.

I mean, at that point, Darryl was well past him prime, but, as he proved with the Yankees, he was still a very capable Major League hitter.

The Northern League is really good baseball and there are plenty of good players there, many of whom have gone on to the regular minor leagues and even the Major Leagues.

But, against that level of competition, Darryl Strawberry was simply unbelievable.

By the way, I looked up Darryl's stats with the Saints, just to see if my memories of him matched his actual statistics...they do!

29 Games

108 At Bats

.435 AVG

18 Homers

7 Doubles

1.000 SLG

18 homers and 7 doubles in 29 games.

Not too shabby.

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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