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Does Anyone Else Feel a Little 2003ish?

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Does it seem a little bit like 2003 to anyone else? That team was incredibly efficient offensively (or lucky, or clutch, if you prefer) turning a somewhat limited number of raw bases into more runs than you'd normally expect. At the same time, the pitching was league average, which in the AL Central of 2003 meant something. Could we be heading down the same path this year?

I claim ignorance regarding pitching, but just think about the lineup for a second. It actually looks like a real American League lineup that never gives the pitcher an easy inning, especially if Buck/LaRue can keep things interesting. Last year, we had way too many Buck-Berroa-Gathright innings that lasted about 7 minutes long. Part of what 2003 demonstrated is that it can make alot of difference if you just don't have any absolute sinkholes in the offense. In the right environment, even if you don't have an elite hitter, facing guys like Raul Ibanez and Michael Tucker can be tougher than normal when Desi Relaford is on base all the time.

We'll see how it plays itself out.

For the pitching, if Peralta and Dotel can emerge... and Gobble eats innings... and... Well, you know...

The game thread will be posted later tonight. In the meantime, this story on the Royals Welcome Luncheon by Alan Eskew is worth the read. Nothing builds chemistry like winning, and it seems like everyone was feeling pretty good about themselves on Tuesday.

Now back to reading Washington Irving...