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Quick Content Update:

Two of our favorite features from baseball season will live on this season, though I still have no plans to re-start this site any time soon.

Voodoo Sabermetrics will now run on the far superior baseball site Babes Love Baseball.

Smells Like Pujols will be rejiggered a bit to determine the potential of minor league prospects to make the bigs, and run on my more focused sister site Bus League Baseball.

Huzzah!

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coolbaugh.jpgMike Coolbaugh had only been coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers for a few weeks before a line drive struck him in the head and killed him. To the players and administrators at Tulsa’s parent club, the Colorado Rockies, that makes no difference. Coolbaugh was family, and you take care of family. In this case, taking care of family means voting a full playoff share to Coolbaugh’s wife, Amanda, and his young children Joseph and Jacob.

Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was with Hurdle at a press conference when the manager revealed the players’ decision, said some of the veteran players brought up the idea and the rest of the squad agreed.

“We decided as a team … it was the right thing to do,” Tulowitzki said.

[MiLB.com]

And with that, the Rockies’ already impressive run to the MLB playoffs becomes inspirational and meaningful outside of the events on the field. Kudos to the elated Colorado palyers in the wild-card hunt for taking time out to remember what life is really about.

(Originally posted on Bus League Baseball)

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Usually I’m pumping up my own contributions to the MSM, but sometimes I get the happy feeling that comes with promoting others. Today, it’s one of my favorite baseball writers – Adam Godson from Bugs & Cranks. He put his Cubs knowledge to work and published a piece about Chicago reliever Carlos Marmol over at Chicago Sports Weekly (the bloggers friend):

Read it here (page 14)

And don’t stop there – I enjoy every writer who works for CSW – they’re a force to be reckoned with.

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All season long, I have rated the rookies against the staggering 2001 totals of Albert Pujols. Not today. Today, they stand against only their fellow rookies. Here are final stats for the first-year hitters, including the one-game playoff for Kouzmanoff and Tulowitzki.

NAME TEAM G AB R HITS 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO AVG SLG
R. Braun MIL 113 451 91 146 26 6 34 97 15 29 112 .324 .634
A. Gordon KC 151 543 60 134 36 4 15 60 14 41 137 .247 .411
J. Hamilton CIN 90 298 52 87 17 2 19 47 3 33 65 .292 .554
A. Iwamura TB 123 491 82 140 21 10 7 34 12 58 114 .285 .411
K. Kouzmanoff SD 145 484 57 133 30 2 18 74 1 32 94 .275 .457
D. Pedroia BOS 139 520 86 165 39 1 8 50 7 47 42 .317 .442
H. Pence HOU 108 456 57 147 30 9 17 69 11 26 95 .322 .539
T. Tulowitzki COL 155 609 104 177 33 5 24 99 7 57 130 .291 .479
C.B. Young AZ 148 569 85 135 29 3 32 68 27 43 141 .237 .467
D. Young TB 162 645 65 186 38 0 13 93 10 26 127 .288 .408
R. Willits LAA 136 430 74 126 20 1 0 34 27 69 83 .293 .344

Some interesting stats there. I had assumed that Ryan J. Braun would dominate in multiple categories, but he really didn’t. It was only in the crucial power categories that he truly shone. Troy Tulowitzki was able to contribute more runs and RBIs in the Colorado lineup, and does, indeed, make a very strong case for the NL ROY crown.

In the AL, Pedroia had an amazingly low 42 strikeouts. I had assumed that the low K total would go to a player with fewer games under his belt, but Dustin was on the Boston roster from day one, so kudos to him for his amazing patience at the plate. He also legged out more doubles than any other player, which makes him the best offensive threat for the American League ROY.

willits.jpgDelmon Young started his personal iron man streak, going all 162 games and amassing a bone-crushing 645 at bats on a terrible team. He nearly missed #162 by pissing off his skipper, but had the good sense to apologize. Reggie Willits contributed to the playoff-bound Angels as well, walking 69 times and stealing 27 bases, tied with Arizona’s Chris B. Young.

The triples award goes to the speedy Akinori Iwamura. The Japanese import legged out a nice, round ten three-baggers. He will likely have to learn a new position next year to make way for Evan Longoria, but nothing can diminish that speed and determination.

The players who didn’t master any category were Alex Gordon, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Hunter Pence. Three of them were hampered by their team prospects, and Kouzmanoff was kind of a jack-of-all-trades for the Padres, who narrowly missed the postseason on Monday. All four were great players, and should figure prominently in team plans next season.

Look out for Dustin Pedroia, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris B. Young, and Reggie Willits in the playoffs this year. I feel like I know a great deal about these guys and know what to expect from them by now, and I hope you do as well.

Enjoy the post season!

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It was an incredible one-game playoff last night. I live-blogged it at Awful Announcing and quite a few readers stayed up for the whole thing, to the tune of 173 comments. It was a five-hour extra-innings emotional wringer, so I may just rest on my laurels for much of today.

With one exception. If baseballreference.com gets last night’s stats loaded in, I’ll update the SLP standings for Kouzmanoff and Tulowitzki. My big plan after that is to do a final, end-of-season breakdown of how our rookies stacked up. I already know that Delmon Young is the games-played leader, for instance, because he played all 162. But I’m looking forward to seeing which players topped out in other categories.

I’ve turned in some work for both Awful Announcing (a recap of the TBS baseball experience) and Storming the Floor (team and conference previews are starting! Today, the Big 12 and Clemson!), so if you can’t go a day without reading me (which I suspect you can, sadly), check those two places.

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If you’ve been following SLP all season (and I know you have), then you know Kevin Kouzmanoff and Troy Tulowitzki. In addition to having alliterative names which are delightful reminders of our nation’s open-door immigration policy, these two will be crucial parts of a one-game playoff on TBS tonight, as the Padres come into Mile High to face the Rockies. Winner goes to Philly, loser goes home. Wait, did I get that right?

Anyway, I’ll be live-blogging the ballgame over at Awful Announcing tonight, and my host will be live-blogging the NFL game, so where else could you possibly need to be? Put your TV on your game of choice, and read and comment on the live-blog for the other. Piece of cake.

It’s a service we provide for you. You should use it.

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You might have noticed I didn’t post yesterday. Today might be a little light as well. Work and life just getting the better of me right now, hopefully we’ll get back to normal soon.

Just to remind you, though, the MLB season is coming to a close, and several of our rookies (see sidebar) are in dogfights to make the playoffs. Not the Devil Rays guys, of course, but the rest of them. Pedroia is in, but Braun’s Brewers are starting to falter. C.B. Young and Kouzmanoff are battling to see which can take the division – leaving the wild card to the other. Unless, of course, the Rockies and T3 add to their epic ten-win streak and snake it away. Whichever scenario happens, we’ll be able to root for at least one of these guys, maybe two. Of course, the whole Phillies/Mets drama could derail that, but I’m being optimistic.

Sadly, Josh Hamilton is injured and will be out for the rest of the season, but his numbers while healthy were admirable indeed.  Pence was a stud for Houston, but the team was so bad, most of his effort was completely wasted – very few runs or RBIs despite all of the hitting he did.

I’ll keep an eye on the race this week, and when the season is over and all stats are in, I’ll check out which rook won each category we tracked this year.

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