George Mitchell, the head of MLB's recent steroid investigation, has been named the special envoy to the the Israel/Palestine region.

Shysterball has his take:

  • Despite pronouncements of his neutrality, soon after he begins work, it will be reported that he is a board member of Hamas;
  • Ignoring decades if not centuries of political and social conflict in the region, Mitchell will approach his work with the assumption that all of the trouble began with Arafat, because a lot of people hated him to begin with;
  • Rather than work on the root causes of strife in the region, Mitchell will simply publish a list of 80 or 90 guys he is told have fired rockets or built illegal settlements and hope that speaks for itself;
  • I particularly enjoyed the Hamas-Red Sox parallel.

    This is the first joke of mine that my then-girlfriend, now-wife laughed at:

    Did you hear that Hizbullah is now recruiting women for suicide bombing missions?  Because of their strict beliefs of separating men and women, though, they're spinning off a new organization.  They call is "Herbollah."

    Is this humor inappropriate?

    Anyway, the news on the baseball front is a lot of the same old rumors, but there were a few good things out there this morning.

    Greg Rybarcyk compares wood bats to aluminum bats at a High School Power Showcase.

    The small sample size for wood bat homers means that there remains a lot of uncertainty in the “translation factor” from wood to metal bats, but knocking roughly 10 percent off the distance of a home run hit by a high school or college slugger can provide a good rough estimate of how far it might have gone with a wooden bat. For line drives that don’t clear the fence, knocking off about 8 percent of the speed off bat will give a reasonable wooden bat estimate.

    John Walsh checks out the best outfield arms of 2008.

    Manny's replacement in Boston, Jason Bay, is a terrible thrower, at least he was last season. Curiously, almost all of those negative 8 runs were "earned" in Pittsburgh, Bay was slightly above average in Boston (with 61 opps).

    For Juan Pierre there was good news and bad news in 2008. The good: he was nowhere to be found at the bottom of the list of center field arms, a place he had inhabited for several years running. The bad: Juan has now established residency at the bottom of the left fielders' list. I'm not counting Luis Gonzalez, who, as far as I can tell, has been playing with a paralyzed throwing arm for the last several years. Note the Kill+ of zero for these two.


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