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breakfast of champions

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4-1 toronto; card bats on the ev'y-other-day plan? what is up with the offense, anyway? hope to have some clues by this afternoon. . . .

reyes of hope: i promised you an update on anthony reyes' next start, and here it is: 5 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 1 bb, 7 k, and a win vs round rock last night. (by the way, where in god's name is round rock? found it in texas, five miles north of pflugerville and about 20 north of austin. (valatan? did you get up there for the game? wainwright's turn comes up thursday. . . . ) reyes' good outing eases, but hardly eradicates, our concerns about his shoulder; the five-inning hook makes it obvious that precautions are still in order. his next start falls june 18, at home vs albuquerque; check back here.

short-selling: marc normandin identifies the worst (to date) free-agent signings of the 04-05 offseason -- and three of them are shortstops jock didn't sign, ie renteria cabrera and guzman. and now comes the phils' pricey five-yr extension of jimmy rollins, which at first blush appears every bit as ill-advised as the three bad free-agent acquisitions . . . . meanwhile eckstein's out-VORPing 'em all for thousands on the milliion. . . . .

i had to mention VORP . . . . : per baseball prospectus (scroll down), chris carpenter leads the stl pitching staff in VORP (ie, value over replacement player), followed closely by marquis and morris; then al reyes; then (ahem) mark mulder . . . . . but then, according to those statistics gabe white has added more value than jeff suppan. gimme a break. . . . . BP's "stat of the day" lists the top NL relief pitchers in terms of win expectancy added -- isringhausen ranks third in the league, tavarez fourth.

odds on: the cards' chances of winning the nl central stand at 71 percent this morning, per baseball prospectus; cubs at 19 percent, pirates 4, brewers 3. astros hanging in there with a 0.55 percent chance.