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Hypothesis

This team couldn't possibly be as bad as it was four years ago.

Evidence

-The pitching staff's a lot better. We have a 4.34 FIP so far in 2008, as opposed to 4.96 in 2004. Even with a bunch of solid innings turned in by Freddy Garcia and Bobby Madritsch, that wasn't enough to save a lousy group. And while the back of our rotation has completely tanked so far, at least this year's edition of the team has quality pitching depth to...um....step in and...zuh...

-The offense is a lot better. The 2008 team's .309 OBP and .384 SLG run circles around the 2004 team's .331...and .396...this doesn't...but depth, we have depth, right? Clement and...and the...

-The defense is a lot better. You'd rather have a .312 BABIP than a .289 BABIP, right? Except...hey wait...but I thought...

Conclusion

oh shit

5_22_08_medium

Biggest Contribution: Ichiro, +2.8%
Biggest Suckfest: Miguel Batista, -30.0%
Most Important AB: Ibanez DP, -10.7%
Most Important Pitch: Inge homer, -15.7%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -36.5%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -18.4%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +4.9%
(What is this chart?)

(Note: I don't actually think we're as bad as we were in 2004 but man oh man would that ever be hilarious. And in Pythagorean terms we're right on track.)