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New and notes and stuff

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I'm bored on a conference call that I have no reason to be on, so I figured I'd help JD out a bit with a some stuff to talk about today.  Word is that he hasn't been sleeping well lately on his bags of money, so that's why he hasn't been around much...

  • Firstly, I think it hasn't been mentioned enough around here how useful and insightful JinAZ's series on total player value has been.  For the past few weeks he has looked at both hitting and fielding metrics to try to establish how much total value a player contributes over any old replacement level player.  Parts of it are a little mathy, but Justin does a great job of explaining his reasoning for every step he takes and he really tries to not talk over everyone's head.  If you are interested in learning about the various fielding metrics or understanding the effects of position on a player's value, this is an excellent series to read.
  • As the free agent market dealings kick off, the players union is already starting with the collusion talk.  I have a feeling it's just a preemptive move to scare the owners and GMs out of holding their ground.  There is a lot about the hot stove that is fun, but damn, stuff like this can be annoying.
  • This is kinda old, but some of you may not have heard that the Cubs are moving Ryan Dempster back to the rotation.  I don't know how I feel about this.  I mean, it was always nice to know that if the Cubs took a lead into the ninth, they still were going to hand the ball to Dempster.  I now expect them to give a boatload of money to Eric Gagne or Francisco Cordero.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. is happy the Reds signed Dusty Baker.  He says, "It's going to be good for the city of Cincinnati to see what can happen with a big-name manager, something it hasn't had since Lou Piniella."  I guess Davey Johnson and Jack McKeon weren't big enough names.  Dusty Baker is a rock star!
  • If you are interested in some minor league free agents, Baseball America has an all star team for you.
  • The most frequent pitcher being linked to the Reds so far has been Carlos Silva.  John Fay doesn't think the Reds can afford him, but I think some of the guys he lists will be traded to free up some cash.  I'm not sure what I think of Silva.  The guy is a ground ball pitcher who hardly walks anyone.  That's a good recipe, though he doesn't strike out anyone either.  Rob Neyer thinks that in the right situation he could be an All Star (subscription required), but that right siuation requires a good defense, something the Reds don't currently sport.
  • If you haven't been following the Sporting News replay of the 1986 season, well, JD has the Reds sitting in 4th place in the NL West, 3 games out.  The pitching is suspect, except for Carl Willis, of course, but Eric Davis is tearing it up.  He and Dave Parker have both hit 3 home runs in the first 5 games, tied for 2nd in the league.  Too bad these games aren't played live.  Could make for a fun off-season game thread.
Anything else that we should be talking about that I missed?