Spotlight on "Beyond the Boxscore"

Brian Walton calls out a website with some "must read" content for Cardinals' fans.

Let's face it. With no formidable competition for the 2005 National League Central Division crown remaining, many of us are already looking to the playoffs and wondering what the Cardinals' chances will be. The most logical and recent comparison point is the 2004 Cardinals squad. Is this team better? Will it fare better come October?

Like many of you perhaps, I try to allocate some time each day to read what others have to say about baseball and specifically, the Cardinals, and even more specifically, how others view their chances to take it all this season. Many of those stories I find easily by linking from Leonda Markee's time-saving, daily Cards in the News feature on this site.

Other times, I strike out on my own. One such excursion led me to a site called Beyond the Boxscore, which bills itself as "A Sabermetrics Blog". At any given time, there are a number of fresh, interesting topics presented there; especially stimulating for those who get into the numbers side of the game.

That is where I ran across an excellent three-part series published this week by a writer named Dan Scotto, who doubles as a student at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Based on a question from one of his readers, Scotto decided to take on those burning questions I mentioned above in his series entitled "Rigging the Deck: The Cards, 2004 v. 2005".

As you can surmise from the description, Scotto digs into a quantitative position-by-position comparison of this year's team versus last year's.

The articles are well-researched and of course, statistically-grounded. At the end, Scotto brings it all together with a view of the 2005 team in total. He concludes with a look at the Cardinals' competition in both leagues and assesses their chances of winning it all.

I think you will like the bottom line and as a result, I highly recommend you check this series out.

Rigging the Deck: The Cards, 2004 v. 2005, Part 1

Rigging the Deck: The Cards, 2004 v. 2005, Part 2

Rigging the Deck: The Cards, 2004 v. 2005, Part 3

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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