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I don't know. I was all set to speculate where Alfonso Soriano was going, and then I remembered that well dried up two days ago. I was going to speculate what terms it would take to keep him, but I figure we'll have plenty of time to go over that. What else is there to do?

Nothing, really . . . except for . . . BASEBALL BAFFLERS: THE GRAND SLAM EDITION!!!!


Let's suppose there is a runner at first base with one out; the batter is hitting against the opponents' star pitcher.

The hitter loops a ball to right field, and the outfielder either catches it or traps it. One umpire calls the play a catch; another, a trap. The runner at first, who is confused, finally decides to run to second. One umpire calls him safe; the other umpire, out.

How do the umpires resolve this contradictory situation? (Give it your best shot, then click on "Read More" for the answer.)

* * * *

While I'm at it, here's a new game. In front of me, I have the 2006 Sporting News Baseball Register, which I'm sort of ashamed to admit I actually spent money on back in spring training; provides pretty much the same service with the convenience of teh internets, and it's free---unless you want to sponsor a player, which is a nice gesture and highly recommended. At any rate, I did buy the Baseball Register, and it does have those hilariously tepid scouting reports we all love. (Sample: "[Nook Logan] will be a very good player as long as he hits.")

What the Baseball Register also provides is a neat resource, something very few websites offer (outside of BaseballCube, WayMoreSports, and CBSportsline): a statistical history for a player dating back to the minor leagues. I figured a fun game would be to pick out a random minor league season and see if we could match the player or pitcher.

Well, maybe not too random; the guy to follow---and any further guys---will be of some importance in contemporary baseball. And, seeing as I'm the one picking the players, when I say we, I really mean you. At any rate, here's a first shot at this:

YR       LG       IP       H        HR       BB       SO       W        L        ERA
1987 So. 140 100 10 128 163 11 8 3.73

(Hint: It's a pitcher.)

I'll provide the answer later on.

ANSWER: The umpires are in a tight spot on this one. The only way out is compromise. They allow the runner to stay at second, but call the batter out.

The Mets and Reds had a similar situation. The Cincinnati outfielder made such a good try that he confused the umpires. He also confused the Met base runner.

The only way out, the umpires concluded, was to give a little and to take a little. Neither the Mets nor the Reds argued too long, since each got something: the Mets, a base; the Reds, an out.