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Geoff Young 

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06-16

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4

BP Unfiltered: Goodbye, No. 19
by
Geoff Young

03-21

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12

Baseball Prospectus News: Futures Guide 2014 is Coming Soon
by
Geoff Young

04-30

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0

Western Front: Walked By an Angel
by
Geoff Young

04-23

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16

Western Front: The Rockies and Dodgers Have Swapped Scripts
by
Geoff Young

04-16

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1

Western Front: The Continuing Development of Dexter Fowler
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Geoff Young

04-09

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3

Western Front: Xavier Cedeno's Not-So-Excellent Adventure
by
Geoff Young

04-02

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6

Western Front: Lines in a Larger Song
by
Geoff Young

03-27

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2

Western Front: The Reluctant Optimism of Spring
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Geoff Young

03-19

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4

Western Front: Pieces of Peoria
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Geoff Young

03-12

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1

Western Front: Rime of the '83 Mariners
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Geoff Young

03-05

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5

Western Front: Different Ballparks, Same Problem
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Geoff Young

02-26

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5

Western Front: Even Writers Need Spring Training
by
Geoff Young

02-19

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15

Western Front: San Diego High School Baseball at the Turn of the Millennium
by
Geoff Young

02-12

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7

Western Front: Three Former Astros
by
Geoff Young

02-04

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4

Western Front: They Took Their Turn
by
Geoff Young

01-29

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23

Western Front: Pass the Bonds, Please
by
Geoff Young

01-22

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6

Western Front: Pacific Surfliner
by
Geoff Young

01-15

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13

Western Front: Zeroes and Ones
by
Geoff Young

01-08

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4

Western Front: What Will Become of Neftali Feliz?
by
Geoff Young

12-18

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6

Western Front: An Almost Defense of Kevin Towers
by
Geoff Young

12-11

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22

Western Front: Padres Break Bank, Won't Pay to Have it Fixed
by
Geoff Young

12-04

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2

Western Front: Thou Shalt Not Run on Johnny Cueto
by
Geoff Young

11-27

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11

Western Front: Jeff Francis' Historic Season
by
Geoff Young

11-20

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2

Western Front: Surprise, You Won 90 Games
by
Geoff Young

11-13

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3

Western Front: Three Days in the Desert, Part 2
by
Geoff Young

11-06

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9

Western Front: Three Days in the Desert, Part 1
by
Geoff Young

10-30

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14

Western Front: Three Giant Draft Picks
by
Geoff Young

10-23

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3

Western Front: Better Than Setting Cash on Fire
by
Geoff Young

10-16

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10

Western Front: The Year Baseball Went Missing in San Diego
by
Geoff Young

10-03

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2

Western Front: If It Wasn't for Accountability, I Wouldn't Have Any Ability
by
Geoff Young

09-27

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4

BP Unfiltered: Jeff Ballard Award
by
Geoff Young

09-25

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1

Western Front: Portrait of a Hacker
by
Geoff Young

09-20

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1

BP Unfiltered: Steve Garvey's Return to Wrigley Field, May 1985
by
Geoff Young

09-18

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20

Western Front: Chase Headley is Awesome
by
Geoff Young

09-13

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6

BP Unfiltered: Home Runs at Home, Redux
by
Geoff Young

09-11

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6

Western Front: Céspedes Won't Be Leaving to Join Devo
by
Geoff Young

09-06

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4

BP Unfiltered: Home Runs at Home
by
Geoff Young

09-04

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12

Western Front: They Move Like Living Things
by
Geoff Young

08-30

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2

BP Unfiltered: Casey Kelly's Debut
by
Geoff Young

08-28

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6

Western Front: When Loney was Better than Gonzalez, and Kotchman was Better than Both
by
Geoff Young

08-23

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4

BP Unfiltered: Double Double, Arms in Trouble
by
Geoff Young

08-21

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6

Western Front: Before Felix was King
by
Geoff Young

08-16

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3

BP Unfiltered: Because No One Else Would Drive Them In
by
Geoff Young

08-14

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4

Western Front: Pick the Collie, or Maybe the Weimaraner
by
Geoff Young

08-09

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7

BP Unfiltered: Saved by the Rule
by
Geoff Young

08-07

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4

Western Front: When the Time is Right
by
Geoff Young

08-02

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3

BP Unfiltered: Bobby Jones Relieves Himself on Mound
by
Geoff Young

07-31

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3

Western Front: Where Has Upton's Power Gone?
by
Geoff Young

07-26

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4

BP Unfiltered: Mario Guerrero’s Scoring Problem
by
Geoff Young

07-24

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6

Western Front: Walk-off Wins are the New Market Inefficiency
by
Geoff Young

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November 13, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: Three Days in the Desert, Part 2

3

Geoff Young

While at the SABR AFL Conference, Geoff takes in the Rising Stars Game, sees Billy Hamilton run, and finds a few other intriguing prospects.

Continued from Part 1.

Saturday, November 3
The morning begins with a meeting of the SABR Flame Delhi Chapter. Chapter president and AFL Conference coordinator Rodney Johnson offers a few introductory words before turning things over to Bernie Pleskoff, who tells us what to expect in tonight's Rising Stars Game and generously answers our questions about players we may have seen (including mine about Rangers shortstop Luis Sardinas, who will not be playing but who impressed me on Friday).


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November 6, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: Three Days in the Desert, Part 1

9

Geoff Young

The AFL is in full swing, and Geoff is on site reporting from the SABR AFL Conference.

I try to visit the Arizona Fall League at least once every year. I don't always succeed, but it's a treat when I do. On my first trip to the desert, in 2001, I saw such future big-leaguers as Hank Blalock and Michael Cuddyer. In the 2004 championship game, it was Ryan Howard and Huston Street (who went on to be named NL and AL Rookie of the Year in 2005). The next November I convinced myself that Lastings Milledge would be a star. My last visit, in 2010, featured Jason Kipnis.

There were many other players that I didn't see or don't remember seeing. The point is that, much like spring training, the AFL provides an opportunity to watch players that most baseball fans haven't heard of yet but likely will in a few years (or sooner). For some people, this is cool in itself, in an “I saw them before they signed with Geffen” kind of way. For others, it's fun to watch a Cuddyer or a Howard on a larger stage now and be transported back in time, to memories accumulated in a given autumn.

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October 30, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: Three Giant Draft Picks

14

Geoff Young

With the benefit of hindsight, how different might the NL West look if given the opportunity to repick in several drafts?

Brian Sabean doesn't always get the credit he deserves. The Giants GM has been lampooned for his tendency to sign players who are past their prime (outgoing skipper Felipe Alou complained upon being dismissed after the 2006 season that, “I don't believe one manager enjoys having players die in their hands”) and for being out of touch with the hippest trends. Early in his tenure, Sabean went on record as saying “I am not an idiot” in defense of a trade that sent popular third baseman Matt Williams to Cleveland for four players, the most notable of which was future MVP/“Survivor” contestant Jeff Kent.

All of which I'm sure is fine with Sabean, who gets results while those that would criticize him must settle for dismissing his success as a fluke or some such. The man and his team have played in three World Series in the past 11 years and won two of the last three. Clearly he is doing something right.

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The oddsmakers in Vegas place some weird bets, but aren't you better off using your money elsewhere?

My wife and I drove to Las Vegas this weekend for an aunt's 90th birthday party. The aunt is a Dodgers fan, but we love her anyway. She, likewise, tolerates our affection for the Padres.

I typically don't make sports bets because setting fire to one's cash is more efficient, but once in a while I do. In 1997, shortly after the Padres acquired Kevin Brown from Florida, I put $20 on them to win it all the following year at 50-to-1. They got swept by the Yankees in the World Series, and I regretted not having bet on them to win the National League, which would have netted me $500.

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October 16, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: The Year Baseball Went Missing in San Diego

10

Geoff Young

Chronicling the Padres' off-field saga from 2012 and predicting its implications for the future.

The Padres had a strange 2012, even by their standards. The strangeness wasn't limited to on-field action. Ongoing ownership and television contract issues often overshadowed how the team performed in games.

It's all a bit convoluted, so we'll go over some background information before looking at the 2012 timeline and what effect the events of this year will have on the franchise and the city of San Diego in the short- and long-term.

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The season is nearly at an end. How many predictions made in the early going actually panned out?

Oh, navel. Thou art so lovely and so perfectly placed. I could gaze upon thy glory fore'er and still not grasp all the intricacies of thy splendor. Or I could point at stuff I said earlier this year and laugh. Yeah, let's go with Plan B.

January 31: Fixing a Bug in the Mariners
What I said
The Mariners did not score enough runs in 2011 to field a competitive team. There was no single point of failure; rather, this was a systems-level issue, with nearly all components contributing. The solution is to add a promising young hitter, Jesus Montero, to the lineup. His strong minor-league track record and pedigree suggest that he can provide a boost to the offense in 2012 and beyond.



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Who are the most effective pitchers who can't strike out batters?

Yesterday's Lineup Card featured nine fictitious awards that we'd like to see given to players for their efforts in areas not formally recognized. One such award was the Jeff Ballard Award, which honors “the most effective pitcher who can't strike out batters.”

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September 25, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: Portrait of a Hacker

1

Geoff Young

The Sultan of Swing, the man more allergic to walks than most players in major-league history, drew three walks in a game. Here's the epic story of Miguel Olivo.

Miguel Olivo hooked a two-run homer just inside the Safeco Field left-field foul pole last Friday night against Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando. The eighth-inning blast extended the Mariners' lead to 6-3 and helped secure Seattle's 71st victory of 2012. Beyond contributing to a meaningless win, Olivo's home run inspired the following table (stats here and throughout the article are through games of Saturday, September 22):

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How did The Garv respond to fan chants on visiting the team he'd helped eliminate a few months earlier?

At last Saturday's Dodger Stadium shindig, we heard from Vin Scully, Logan White, and Steve Garvey. All told fascinating stories, among which were Garvey's recounting of his first game at Wrigley Field after helping to knock the Cubs out of the post-season the previous October.

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Chase Headley is having a monster season in San Diego, but could this breakout have been predicted? Where does he go from here?

“When are we going to get a 'Chase Headley is awesome' article at BP? Or did I miss it?” These were the exact words, and this is the exact article. And I don't know if you missed it.

What you may have missed, particularly if you are in or not in San Diego, is that Headley has been on a rampage since being omitted from the National League All-Star team. As of this writing, he leads the majors—along with the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera—with 20 homers in the second half. As in, more than everyone else. As in, more than the 15 he hit over the previous two seasons combined. This helps explain why the Padres are tied with San Francisco for the third-best record in the NL since the break.

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Has a player ever hit more homers in his ballpark than an entire team has in theirs over the course of a season?

Last week in this space, we observed that two players (Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Braun) had hit more home runs in their home ballparks at that time than the San Francisco Giants had hit in theirs. It was good for a chuckle or three but also got me wondering: Has a player ever hit more homers in his ballpark than an entire team has in theirs?

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September 11, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: Céspedes Won't Be Leaving to Join Devo

6

Geoff Young

Despite his current late-season swoon, Yoenis Cespedes has exceeded expectations and hit well in Oakland's ballpark.

It has been a while since I've thought about Yoenis Céspedes. That isn't entirely true. I think about him quite often, in a purely platonic way, but it has been a while since I've put those thoughts into words. The last time came toward the end of July, while marveling at Oakland's ability to win games at the last possible moment. Included in that piece was the tale of a Céspedes walk-off homer against the Dodgers on June 21.

I also wrote about him back in April, when we all still wondered why the A's would sign a 26-year-old outfielder from Cuba to a four-year, $36 million deal. Between those two articles, Céspedes displayed his abundant talents and made it apparent that Billy Beane—backlash in the wake of being portrayed by Brad Pitt in Moneyball notwithstanding—might know a thing or 52 about baseball.

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