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On the Duquette watch
MAILBAG: Sept. 10
Q: Who do you think would be a good GM in Boston if Dan Duquette does indeed
get fired? Is John Hart a possibility? -- Kevin Bergstrom, Auburn, Mass.
Q: Everyone always talks about the great young trio of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder
and Barry Zito. Do you think Houston could have the next trio of young studs
in Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller and Carlos Hernandez? Is there a chance they
could turn out to be better? -- Leslie Dupuis, Deweyville, Texas
PWG: My thoughts have been known for a long time -- I feel that to make Kazuhiro Sasaki or Ichiro the Rookie of the Year is an insult to Japanese baseball, which is a major league.
Q: After reading about Manny Ramirez wanting out of Boston, I wondered who
would take him and what the Sox would get back. The Red Sox have pitching
needs and right-side infield holes. Maybe a Ramirez for Edgardo
Alfonzo-Glendon Rusch deal with the Mets would work. -- R.J. Hawk, Clemson,
Q: With the Yankees pretty much a lock for the postseason, and since it's
looking like they'll play Oakland, do you see the Yankees and A's using
three- or four-man first-round rotations, since it backfired last year on
Joe Torre with Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte getting bombed in Games 4 and
5? -- Frank Wagenblast, Edison, N.J
Q: I have a question about your thesis that the best AL teams have had the best
pitching. While it's certainly true that the top teams have solid pitching,
it seems that the real connective tissue between the top AL teams is
great hitting. In runs scored in the AL, Seattle is No. 1, Cleveland No. 3,
Oakland No. 4 and New York No. 5. The pitching-poor Rangers do sneak in at
No. 2. In runs allowed, Seattle and Oakland are 1-2, but Anaheim and Boston
come in before New York, and Cleveland is mediocre at best. Doesn't it
seem, from this data, that what has really marked the best teams is offense?
-- Mikael Haxby, Philadelphia, Pa.
Q: What do you think needs to happen to turn around the dysfunctional O's: Peter Angelos sells the team, Syd Thrift goes away, or both? They keep
defending the farm system, but I sure don't see a Furcal, Berkman, Zito,
Mulder, Dunn, etc., down there. -- Rich, Baltimore, Md.
Q: With the success of Ichiro, what are the chances that Kazuo Matsui and
Hideki Matsui will play in the U.S. next year, or other stars from Japan? --
Rob Teaker, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Q: I was watching Baseball Tonight, and I noticed the Expos have had three
straight games with only about 3,000 people in the stands. If they are not
moved or removed from baseball, something is wrong. Obviously, the
population of Montreal couldn't care less. Otherwise, they would try to
fill the place to save the team. What's the most likely scenario for the
Montreal Expos? -- Pat Morgan, New York City
Q: Now that Ivan Rodriguez will miss the last month of the season for the
second year in a row due to injury, how is this going to affect his "trade
value"? Since it's obvious that his knees are starting to break down after
10 years of catching, should the Rangers sign him to a long-term deal or go
ahead and trade him? What in return can Doug Melvin get for him? -- Dave
Normanski, Ennis, Texas
Q: The NL Cy Young Award looks to be a three-horse race. I am partial to the
long shot, Matt Morris, but I think either Curt Schilling or Randy Johnson
will get it because of their names. How would you handicap it and do you
think Morris has a shot? -- Tim Swallers, Crown Point, Ind.
Q: Have you ever listened to the group "The Tragically Hip"? If not, I would
suggest "Fully Completely" or "Road Apples." Poetry put to music, I tell
you. Let me know what you think. -- Brian Andersen, Des Moines, Iowa
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