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Derek Jacques 

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01-04

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: How to Write a Letter of Complaint
by
Derek Jacques

02-02

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15

Caribbean Series 2009
by
Derek Jacques

09-22

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4

The Last of the Last
by
Derek Jacques

08-19

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Prospectus Toolbox: WHIP-ping Through the Mailbag
by
Derek Jacques

08-05

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Prospectus Toolbox: Minor League Mailbag
by
Derek Jacques

08-02

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Prospectus Toolbox: Minor League Statistics and EqA
by
Derek Jacques

07-15

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Prospectus Toolbox: Pitching Scales, Relief Stats, and Better Living Through Mathematics
by
Derek Jacques

07-08

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Prospectus Toolbox: Once More With the Pitching Scales
by
Derek Jacques

07-01

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

06-24

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Prospectus Toolbox: Translating Scales: Relief Stats
by
Derek Jacques

06-03

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Prospectus Toolbox: Translating Scales
by
Derek Jacques

05-20

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Prospectus Toolbox: Still Stranded
by
Derek Jacques

05-13

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Prospectus Toolbox: Stranded!
by
Derek Jacques

04-22

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

04-02

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The First Last
by
Derek Jacques

03-25

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Prospectus Toolbox: Tout Wars, Redux
by
Derek Jacques

03-18

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Prospectus Toolbox: Rock the Vote Contest Winners
by
Derek Jacques

03-11

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Prospectus Toolbox: Moneybag Mailball
by
Derek Jacques

03-04

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Prospectus Toolbox: Is Moneyball Dead?
by
Derek Jacques

02-22

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

02-12

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

02-08

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Caribbean Series 2008
by
Derek Jacques

02-07

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Caribbean Series 2008
by
Derek Jacques

02-05

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Caribbean Series 2008
by
Derek Jacques

02-04

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Caribbean Series 2008
by
Derek Jacques

02-03

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Caribbean Series 2008
by
Derek Jacques

01-29

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

01-22

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Prospectus Toolbox: How to Write a Letter of Complaint
by
Derek Jacques

01-16

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

01-14

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks
by
Derek Jacques

01-08

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by
Derek Jacques

11-27

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Prospectus Toolbox: Questions and Answers
by
Derek Jacques

11-06

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Prospectus Toolbox: Free Agent Compensation Rankings
by
Derek Jacques

10-30

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Prospectus Toolbox: Mailbag at Altitude
by
Derek Jacques

10-23

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Prospectus Toolbox: A Tale of Two Ballparks
by
Derek Jacques

10-09

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Prospectus Toolbox: On Awards and Statistical Tools
by
Derek Jacques

10-02

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Prospectus Toolbox: The Umpires, Part I
by
Derek Jacques

09-25

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Prospectus Toolbox: Doubled Up
by
Derek Jacques

09-06

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Prospectus Toolbox: The Playoff Odds Report
by
Derek Jacques

08-28

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Prospectus Toolbox: Non-Contact Part V
by
Derek Jacques

08-21

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Prospectus Toolbox: Non-Contact Part IV: Take, Jive, and Flail
by
Derek Jacques

08-14

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Prospectus Toolbox: Non-Contact Part III
by
Derek Jacques

08-07

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Prospectus Toolbox: Non-Contact Part II: More on Strikeouts
by
Derek Jacques

07-24

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Prospectus Toolbox: Non-contact, Part One
by
Derek Jacques

07-17

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Prospectus Toolbox: Even Further Reading
by
Derek Jacques

07-10

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Prospectus Toolbox: Small Samples and All-Star Berths
by
Derek Jacques

07-03

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Prospectus Toolbox: Measuring Team Defense
by
Derek Jacques

06-26

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Prospectus Toolbox: A Secret Affair
by
Derek Jacques

06-19

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Prospectus Toolbox: Dying Quails and Pitchers BABIP
by
Derek Jacques

06-12

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Prospectus Toolbox: Neutral—Like Switzerland, Like Ecru
by
Derek Jacques

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February 4, 2008 12:00 am

Caribbean Series 2008

0

Derek Jacques

Two pairs of veteran hurlers hooked up in the second set of doubleheaders, as the Caribbean teams moved a step closer to crowning a champion.

Saturday, when I first installed myself in the Estadio Cibao press box, something peculiar happened: a waiter came around offering everyone rum and cokes. Now, that itself isn't peculiar-thanks to Dominican rules of hospitality, you're constantly being offered food and drink. You fly into the capital city's airport and virtually the first thing that happens when you get off the plane is that someone offers you a rum and coke…even if your plane lands at 10:00 AM. So after the initial gesture I was again surprised when my press colleagues started passing around ice-cold cans of Presidente, the more famous of the various local beers. That raised an eyebrow. Then, an hour or so later, the rum and coke waiter came by again. Offer free booze once, and drinking's condoned, in a hush-hush, we-won't-tell-if-you-don't way; offer wait-service drinks regularly, and drinking's encouraged-in fact, it becomes a functioning open bar. I'm no great expert on press boxes-so far, I haven't been allowed to ply my trade in any of the major league variety-but I sense that this is unusual. Special, even.

There's a festive atmosphere here that's unique, or at least not stamped from the same stoic North American baseball mold. In the stands there's dancing between innings, and it's expected that you'll dance even if your team is getting trounced (a slightly different version of "There's no crying in baseball"). Both Dominican teams bring out their cheerleaders to dance on the roofs of their dugouts every few innings, and all four teams (to the delight of at least one of my colleagues' children) have mascots. That's not so alien to our thought. But then there's the Mexican contingent, who combine their love of baseball with a love of dress-up that's reminiscent of a Star Trek convention. There's a handful of the costumed partygoers who are members of the Mexican team's entourage, as evidenced by their constant dancing on the team's dugout roof, and, yesterday, an impromptu demonstration of masked Mexican professional wrestling. But others seem to have a wrestling mask, or a giant sombrero, or an Aztec priest outfit just lying in the closet, waiting for moments like these.

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February 3, 2008 12:00 am

Caribbean Series 2008

0

Derek Jacques

Our fearless reporter delivers accounts live from the Dominican, starting with an opening doubleheader that featured everything from homers to horned dancing creatures.

SANTIAGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-Santiago is the Dominican Republic's second city, a fact that goes a long way toward understanding this Caribbean Series. In many Latin American countries the second city is an afterthought since a huge chunk of the national population typically congregates in the capital city, seeking the money and opportunity that accumulates in what's considered the major urban center. As a result, the second city often feels like it has something to prove. Despite a great tradition of winning baseball, Santiago never seems to get its due: it's not the famous capital city, Santo Domingo, and neither does it get the respect accorded the much smaller town of San Pedro de Macoris as a baseball hotbed.

In the modern history of the Caribbean Series, 2008 is the first time that the tourney has been held in any Dominican city other than the capital. Santiago's been waiting for this recognition for years, and the national government has poured money into the city to clean up its historic district and get it ready for its big coming-out party to the world. Two parts of the city's public face that are definitely working in its favor are the ballpark-which is gorgeous and modern-and the ballclub that plays there. More so than the other teams in the tourney, the Cibao Eagles have been able to obtain and retain top players, making them the favorites to repeat as the Caribbean Series champs.

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January 29, 2008 12:00 am

Stupid Lawyer Tricks

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Derek Jacques

Bonds does the obvious, Big Brother takes the latest round on the subject of seizures, and the Rocketmen draw a fuzzy picture.

Barry Bonds Moves to Dismiss Indictment

You might have read that the all-time home run leader filed a motion last week before the federal court in the Northern District of California, asking that the perjury and obstruction of justice charges against him be dismissed based on the "unconstitutional vagueness" of the indictment. This story's a little confusing, since it looks like it should either be considered a much bigger deal than it is, or ignored completely.

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Setting writers aright, and conjuring up the perfect anti-campaign.

It's been a while since the last Toolbox, so you'll have to forgive me if I'm rusty. I'll start by relating a dream I had recently:

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January 16, 2008 12:00 am

Stupid Lawyer Tricks

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Derek Jacques

Yesterday's mayhem on Capitol Hill had one exciting development, but a lot of empty posturing and unasked questions.

There's nothing to feed human cynicism quite like watching Congress at work. So please pardon me if I get some of it out of my system at the outset: the big lesson that comes from yesterday's spectacle is that, if Congress is upset with you, they'll be much, much, calmer and conciliatory if the next time you come to them, you show up with a former member of congress on your side, after having reportedly backed up a truckload of money to his law firm. That seems to be the difference between congresspersons scolding you well into the evening hours on the one hand, and them hailing you as an outstanding American who gets to go home in time for an early supper on the other.

Forget the 20 months spent investigating and creating the 400-page Mitchell Report; yesterday's hearing was where George Mitchell really earned his fees. Unlike most everyone else involved in the hearing-Bud Selig, Don Fehr, even the members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform-Mitchell was absolutely smooth in his presentation and his responses to questions. He conducted himself with the confidence of a political alpha dog, the kind of guy who can make legislative in-jokes ("Amnesty is a loaded word in politics…") when he's not busy reminiscing about the Irish peace process.

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January 14, 2008 12:00 am

Stupid Lawyer Tricks

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Derek Jacques

A mailbag regarding last week's analysis of the Clemens-McNamee legal battle.

There was a lot of good mail about Tuesday's article. For all you non-attorneys out there, I apologize in advance if this discussion glazes your eyes over. Reader J.B. leads things off:

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January 8, 2008 12:00 am

0

Derek Jacques

Roger Clemens has decided to sue Brian McNamee--what's involved, and what are the potential consequences?

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Using the right tools for the right job, and sorting out how much chicanery is possible with free agent compensation.

Today we're going to revisit few recent topics with the help of reader mail, and start discussion of a new area with the unintentional help of a new general manager. Without further ado:

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Every winter involves some railing at the industry's wacky-pack free agent rankings--what gives?

Every year, one of the first steps in the free agent dance is the ranking of players who finished the year on major league rosters for purposes of compensation. Under baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams that lose a free agent may be entitled to additional picks in the next year's Rule 4 amateur draft, depending on how good the free agent is.

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October 30, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Toolbox: Mailbag at Altitude

0

Derek Jacques

The puzzle of park effects led to a flurry of reader emails.

I received a decent number of questions about my park effects piece from last week, so I think it's worthwhile to spend one more column rooting through the mailbag and discussing a few loose ends. The extremely short World Series-indeed, the extremely short postseason, with seven series played in just four games over the minimum-has taken some of the urgency out of the long-delayed umpire discussion.

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Skip nature versus nurture, let's talk environments and outcomes.

Lots of people are excited to see the Colorado Rockies in the World Series, but statheads are probably watching this series with a special glint of joy in their eyes. You see, for the past fifteen years, the Rockies have been the focus of one of the great inquiries in baseball-how do you win at altitude? Performance analysis can be defined as the study of baseball in context, and since 1993, the city of Denver has given the major leagues one of the most fascinating contexts in its history: a relentless high-run environment.

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Before voting in the IBAs, you may want to refer to a few tools from the box to build a better ballot.

I was completely intent on finishing up with our discussion of umpires today-based on the execrable officiating in last night's game, the men in blue deserve every bit of scrutiny we can focus upon them-but then I remembered something that's a bit more urgent. The Internet Baseball Awards seem to sneak up on me every year, and this season was no exception. Voting runs through this Friday, and if you haven't voted yet, you should absolutely take advantage of the opportunity to let your voice be heard in what some regard as the best year-end awards in baseball.

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