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World Famous Infallible Magic Base-Ball!
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Once again, it is time to bravely set foot into the minefield of player projections for the coming season. If you haven't played this game before, here's how it works. We take each of the starting players, the rotation, and some key members of the bullpen, gaze into our crystal ball and come up with our estimates of what they will produce over the course of 2008. You can be as detailed or as vague as you want: we list BA, OBP, SLG, HR and RBI for the position players, and stats for the pitchers include W-L, ERA and WHIP, but don't feel obliged to fill in all the blanks. If you just want to pick BA, that's fine by us.
To help you in this matter, I'll be listing their figures from last year, and four predictions [Bill James, Chone, Marcel and ZIPS], to give you some sort of baseline from which to work - though last year, I think we were generally more accurate than the "neutral" systems. Insider knowledge? Blind luck? This season, you can be part of the answer... Because of the vagaries of playing time, I generally won't be making any official prognostications for any of the bench players, except Chad Tracy; however, if you want to take a shot at anyone I've missed, you're more than welcome.
Of course, your biggest help is the entirely unauthorized Arizona Diamondbacks Magic Base-Ball above, which has already allowed me to win the lottery and cure world hunger. I would ask it for Penelope Cruz's home telephone number, though I'm not sure how I'd explain that to Mrs. SnakePit. :-) I will, naturally, be relying upon it heavily to answer those burning questions beloved by all pre-season pundits. Feel free to post your own questions and the answers it provided in the comments. [I think I've fixed it so it should work and looks nicely centered in all browsers now. It seems to work best in FireFox.]