Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
It's Superweek!
2006-01-30 21:11
by Mark T.R. Donohue

At about 7:45 this morning, while I was listening to the Mike & Mike show on ESPN radio, I officially became sick of the Super Bowl. Don't care any more. Wake me up when the Olympics start. Meanwhile, here's a bunch of links:

The last two Thomas Harding mailbags at are pretty good, one on Jeff Francis and Ryan Shealy and one on the winnability of the NL West. The official site has also been working its way around the roster position by position. The first four are starters, relievers, catchers, and corner infielders.

Due to the WB"C" and the club's recent history of slow starts, Colorado has a new philosophy for its starting pitchers this spring. Starters will throw every four days for the first few weeks. This article also clarifies that the only competition in the rotation will be for the fifth starter's spot, and the candidates are Zach Day and Sunny Kim.

Electronic Arts' new NCAA baseball game is in stores. I haven't had a chance to play it yet but you can read reviews here and here. It sounds like the gameplay is pretty fun, and there's never been a college baseball video game before. It's $30 new, not $50, which is a good incentive to buy. There's interviews regarding the game up on IGN with Roger Clemens and cover athlete David Maroul.

Tracy Ringolsby weighs in on the Rockies' novel new bullpen depth. Tracy says Colorado might be interested in adding Josh Fogg, the first I've heard of that. Fogg was really terrible last year and in fact has never been much good, but if he comes cheap it never hurts to have fallback options.

Finally, the John Sickels 2006 Prospect Book is out. If you take baseball at all seriously, you should have one of these. The book is pretty much invaluable in spring training, as it gives you something interesting to say about virtually every no-name you will see wearing your team's uniform in Florida or Arizona. Of course, this might not always be such a good thing. In Mesa in 2004 I enthusiastically informed a Cubs minor league pitching instructor that Andy Pratt was a C- prospect; it turned out it was Pratt's dad.

2006-01-30 22:06:20
1.   deadteddy8
IMO, the game is okay. Not great. I love that it's the first game that I know of to have a legitimate ballpark editor since the old Earl Weaver games and I love that it was only thirty bucks, but there are a good number of major flaws. To sum up, there are only something like nineteen actual ballparks, and the rest are generic... They tried to make the game 3/4 speed of the previous MLB version, like they do with Madden vs. NCAA Football, but it doesn't really work for this sport... The ballpark editor is very limited; no outfield seating, only three versions of foul territory, little control over wall color and material, etc... The hitters' power seems way too low, considering they use metal bats... The uniform design options are laughably awful and don't allow much creativity... and so on. So many details seem out of whack.

I don't want to read a lot into it, but EA Canada made the game, and my biggest problem is that it plays like a game designed by people who have watched some baseball and consulted with baseball people, but aren't hardcore baseball fans. That may not be exactly the case, but for gamers spoiled by the genius that is Madden, the lack of imagination and vision is a disappointment.

2006-01-31 10:14:51
2.   Voxter
I've been sick of the Super Bowl since before the playoffs started. I guess I'll just never get why professional football is so gripping.

Wake me up when the World Cup starts.

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