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Some random baseball notes

Alfonso Soriano was benched Wednesday for not running out a popout. Once again, Frank Robinson apparently isn't putting up with the sort of stuff Buck Showalter put up with from Soriano the previous two years.

Esteban Loaiza struggled in his Oakland debut yesterday. As I've said before, I didn't like this signing, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's out of the rotation by August.

A couple of items of note from Will Carroll's column today...

First, he says his sources are telling him Ryan Klesko will have shoulder surgery, which would mean Klesko is likely done for the season, and former Ranger Adrian Gonzalez is going to have a full season (barring a major slump early in the year) to show what he can do at first base.

That Adam Eaton trade could end up looking real, real bad by season's end.

Carroll also says that his guess is that Eric Gagne will miss the season, although the Dodgers are saying it will be 4-5 weeks. When I heard about the surgery last night, that was my thought, as well...that Gagne was likely done until 2007.

Peter Angelos is going to testify in Congress, about why more Washington Nationals games aren't being televised.

Here's my proposed solution...MLB takes a cue from the NFL, eliminates "local" broadcast deals, and negotiates an entire package for MLB as a whole, with every game being televised, and all the television money being evenly divided between the teams.

That seems to make a lot more sense than the current situation...

More John Dewan stuff...and I'm surprised at how much the mainstream baseball writers have talked about "The Fielding Bible," although it is great that it is getting so much attention.

Part of the reason the stathead community (such as myself) have traditionally tended to gravitate towards offensive positional players is that offensive production can be evaluated and measured so much more accurately than defense can. We can evaluate, with a fair amount of accuracy and precision, how much better Albert Pujols is offensively, compared to an average first baseman.

But there's much more grey area in defense...different tools may differ widely on how much better, say, J.T. Snow is defensively than the average first baseman. Without that level of certainty, us statheads -- who want objective data -- are going to go with the known versus the unknown.

But if strides can be made to accurately measure how good Scott Rolen really is defensively, or how bad Derek Jeter really is, then that's going to help better identify the truly good and great players. And it is also going to help put more emphasis on fielding ability.

Back in the late 80s, Bill James said that much of what we currently think of as pitching is really defense. Dewan's work is helping to reveal exactly how much that really is...