UPDATE: KGJr and The Piemaster have options declined. Surprised Toby isn't back. Cole Armstrong is probably not ready and is left-handed, so doesn't make much sense as an AJ backup. Sox fans are lucky that Jim is around since he's made the backup catcher a pet project of his. He'll have something more in-depth pretty shortly I'd bet.
[Note by The Cheat, 10/30/08 2:57 PM CDT]: Declining the option on Hall doesn't neccessarily put an end to his time on the south side. Much like we saw last off-season when Uribe's option was declined, the Sox may still have some intent in keeping him around at a lower cost. Though, usually such events happen in rapid succession so as not to leave a player hanging in the wind.
Getting A Competitive World Series - Tango looks at creating a different structure for the playoffs with an actually competitive World Series matchup in mind. There's talk of abandoning the AL and NL as well as turning to a "Home Manager Picks DH/No DH" and all sorts of fun stuff. Personally, I think the current structure of the league is pretty bizarre and if the Brewers can be in the NL then I can imagine a world where the AL and NL are dissolved.
- BtB Decries Lack of Pujols - The combination of talent and relative obscurity in which Albert plies his trade is a testament to how badly the talking heads mangle the reality they purport to describe. David Byrne should be ashamed by association.
- Jim Talks Alexei and Jose - Hopefully you've already read this as Sox Machine is obviously awesome. Jim details how Alexei came to be a member of the squad thanks at least in part to Jose Contreras. KW, it turns out, never intended to send Alexei to the minor leagues in order to ensure Alexei was able to adapt to living in the States. Contreras was tasked with the mentor and advocate role.
- A Mechanical Model of Pitching - THT examines the impact of the hand and fingers in changing the shape of the ball's flight. If you haven't pitched or were wondering exactly what's at work behind the transition from grip to movement and velocity, it's a great primer. I wish there were more diagrams and that he talked about pronation and the sinker, but they are kind of implied by the basics anyway.
Royals Acquire Mike Jacobs For Some Reason - Royals Review examines the acquisition made by The Traditional AL Central Doormat and wonders why. Other observers have done the same. The cost was a relief arm, so that's unlikely to be a major loss, but for a team that's got Billy Butler and Kila Kaaihue, there's opportunity cost if Jacobs is getting at bats over cheaper and higher potential players. He's also a liability at first as Chone's projections have him at 8 runs below average. Konerko is a -3, for comparison. For the Royals' sake, I hope this was a depth acquisition more than anything in the veing of KW signing Grudz.