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Anyone watching Japan vs. USA?

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It happens to be a very good game. The U.S. just scored twice in the top of the 8th to bring the Yanks within two.

 

- The trend of 're-emphasizing' the importance of defense continues. John Dewan, creator of The Fielding Bible, quantified defense as being almost exactly half as valuable as offense. So when a free agent is being evaluated for an upcoming contract, he should be valued as such: 67% based on offense and 33% based on defense (not counting, of course, for other variables like injury history, age, position, etc.).

 

- The New York Yankees lost for the first time in 10 games (5-0 to Tampa). David Price started for the Rays and, while inconsistent, got enough 'big outs' to prevent any runs. Outside of Damaso Marte, no Yankee pitcher was terribly effective. Each gave up at least one run (including Igawa's first of the spring).

Robbie Cano went 2-3, Austin Jackson had the only extra-base hit (a triple), and Brett Gardner went 1-2 with a walk. He was caught stealing when Tampa's second-baseman put his foot in front of the bag, blocking Gardner's outstretched hand. I have to admit I've never seen that before, which leads me to believe it was an accident - but the Rays' announcers sure made it sound purposeful and heaped praise upon him.