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Ian Miller 

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05-29

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26

BP Unfiltered: What If Eric Wedge Was Right?
by
Ian Miller

05-28

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3

Punk Hits: Marco Scutaro Plays All the Hits
by
Ian Miller

05-21

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7

Punk Hits: Eyes on the Prize
by
Ian Miller

05-14

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7

Punk Hits: Javier Lopez Learns BABIP
by
Ian Miller

05-07

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20

Punk Hits: The Record the Houston Astros Won't Break
by
Ian Miller

04-16

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7

Punk Hits: Road Games
by
Ian Miller

04-02

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25

Punk Hits: Accidentally Making a Case for Astros Fandom
by
Ian Miller

03-29

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21

Prospectus Preview: These Questions Three: The Bottom of the Barrel
by
Russell A. Carleton and Ian Miller

03-19

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6

Punk Hits: Not Just Another Night at the Yard
by
Ian Miller

03-05

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13

Punk Hits: Why I'm Rooting for the Dutch in the WBC
by
Ian Miller

02-27

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20

Punk Hits: A Love (Hate) Letter From Arizona
by
Ian Miller

02-20

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12

Punk Hits: Baseball Players Are Too Damned Good For Their Own Good
by
Ian Miller

02-12

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7

Arbitration Showdown: Mock Hearing: Homer Bailey
by
Ian Miller, Doug Thorburn and Ben Lindbergh

02-05

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14

Arbitration Showdown: Mock Hearing: Jason Hammel
by
Ian Miller, Doug Thorburn and Ben Lindbergh

02-05

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3

Punk Hits: Top Team Cookbooks, Part 2
by
Ian Miller

01-29

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13

Punk Hits: Top Team Cookbooks, Part 1
by
Ian Miller

01-22

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9

Punk Hits: She Got the Beat
by
Ian Miller

01-08

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8

Punk Hits: So You've Decided to Join the American League
by
Ian Miller

12-19

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48

Punk Hits: A Modest Proposal for the MLB Network
by
Ian Miller

12-11

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26

Punk Hits: Why Do We Fear The Beard?
by
Ian Miller

11-27

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16

Punk Hits: Why Stadium Giveaways Are So Unbelievably Awful
by
Ian Miller

11-21

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11

Punk Hits: Why Tyson Ross Went South
by
Ian Miller

11-13

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8

Punk Hits: Scouting the Arizona Fall League: Off-the-Field Edition
by
Ian Miller

11-06

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7

Punk Hits: The Year Punk Broke (Into the Majors)
by
Ian Miller

10-31

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16

Punk Hits: Brian Science
by
Ian Miller

10-22

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5

Punk Hits: Three Nights In October, part 3
by
Ian Miller

10-18

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5

Punk Hits: Three Nights in October, Part Two
by
Ian Miller

10-17

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5

Punk Hits: Three Nights In October
by
Ian Miller

10-10

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4

Punk Hits: A Cespedes for the Rest of Us
by
Ian Miller

10-03

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1

Punk Hits: The Bay Area Body-Swap
by
Ian Miller

09-26

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10

Punk Hits: A Not Altogether Helpful Primer to the World Baseball Classic
by
Ian Miller

09-19

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6

Punk Hits: What the Hell Has Gotten Into the Astros?
by
Ian Miller

09-12

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19

Punk Hits: What Billy Beane is Doing Again
by
Ian Miller

09-06

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4

Punk Hits: The Fall and Rise of Joaquin Arias
by
Ian Miller

08-29

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8

Punk Hits: Will the Yankees West Match The Yankees' Success?
by
Ian Miller

08-22

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6

Punk Hits: The Other Side of Scoreboard Watching
by
Ian Miller

08-15

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37

Punk Hits: The Fabulous Major-League Baseball Rock n’ Roll Revue
by
Ian Miller

08-08

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4

Punk Hits: The Worst of the Best
by
Ian Miller

08-01

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14

Punk Hits: Bauer Pop
by
Ian Miller

07-27

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 8: Screen Door
by
Sam Miller and Ian Miller

07-26

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24

Punk Hits: The Goblins & Gauntlets Monster Manual, MLB Expansion Pack: Position Players, Vol. 1
by
Ian Miller

07-18

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8

Punk Hits: Baseball in the Old Country
by
Ian Miller

07-02

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8

BP Unfiltered: Nyjer Morgan Doing Tony Plush Things
by
Ian Miller

06-27

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34

Punk Hits: The Goblins & Gauntlets Monster Manual, MLB Expansion Pack: Pitchers, Vol. 1
by
Ian Miller

06-20

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7

Punk Hits: League Average, the Long Way 'Round
by
Ian Miller

06-17

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9

BP Unfiltered: The REAL Reason the Braves Released Livan Hernandez
by
Ian Miller

06-13

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6

Punk Hits: Pitching In the Age of Comebacks
by
Ian Miller

06-06

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22

Punk Hits: The Most Interesting Man in the Minors
by
Ian Miller

05-30

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9

Punk Hits: 2012 National League Upfronts
by
Ian Miller

05-23

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12

Punk Hits: 2012 Baseball Upfronts
by
Ian Miller

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It may sound crazy, but let’s entertain the idea that he knows what he’s talking about.

Late on Monday, Greg Johns, the Mariners beat writer for MLB.com, posted a story that quoted skipper Eric Wedge on Dustin Ackley’s demotion to triple-A. We don’t have the full context of the discussion from which the quote came, but here’s what we do have:

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May 28, 2013 9:26 am

Punk Hits: Marco Scutaro Plays All the Hits

3

Ian Miller

Over 19 games, the well-traveled 37-year-old second baseman hit better than .480. Four-eighty!

Marco Scutaro rode a lot of buses before he ever sniffed the big leagues. After being signed by the Indians in 1994, he played six full seasons in the minors. Then there were cups of coffee with the Mets in 2002 and 2003, but Scutaro didn’t get a shot to play every day until Oakland picked him up prior to the 2004 season, when he was already 28. In four seasons with Oakland, he showed glimpses of the player he might become, including a .269 True Average in 2006. He was never flashy, but he was an integral part of the A’s playoff run that year, a super-utilityman who played significant time at all non-first-base infield positions.

Now, at age 37, when most players are well into decline or out of the game altogether, Marco Scutaro is arguably in the prime of his career. After a terrible first month, during which Scutaro now admits he was suffering from a bad back, he caught fire. He put together a 19-game hitting streak, during which he hit .481. He’s worked just 12 walks this year, but he’s also struck out just 13 times. Scutaro’s current TAv is .294, and he’s already accrued 1.0 WARP in just 46 games.

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May 21, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Eyes on the Prize

7

Ian Miller

A non-scout goes undercover at Evans Diamond to evaluate the potential 1-1 draft pick.

I saw Mark Appel pitch once before. It was early last season, down on The Farm, AKA Sunken Diamond, when it looked for all the world like he would be selected first overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

His stuff was electric. Fastball sat in the mid-90s and his slider absolutely unfair. It was there, and then it wasn't. To his opponents—mostly good-enough college hitters whose careers would end when they received their diplomas—it must have seemed like the ball was teleporting, Nightcrawler-style. Here it comes, the BAMF! It's in the dirt, six inches off the plate.

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May 14, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Javier Lopez Learns BABIP

7

Ian Miller

Ian teaches an old lefty new tricks

This might come as a shock to you, but there are some players who don't value advanced statistics.

I guess I always figured that major-league baseball players would try and take advantage of every possible strategic advantage, and a knowledge of statistics – his own, or a competitor's – can give a player an edge. So I was surprised to have my attempts to talk stats rebuffed by a couple of different Giants players before their game against the Braves last Friday night.

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May 7, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: The Record the Houston Astros Won't Break

20

Ian Miller

The Astros are bad, but they're not the worst ever, and they won't break the Mets' record for futility.

I’m legitimately excited to be going to Houston this weekend to attend the Baseball Prospectus event at Minute Maid Park. It won’t be my first BP event, but it’ll be my first event as a BP staff member. I hope no one asks me any tough questions about baseball, because I don’t really know anything about the game. Luckily Jason Collette and Jason Cole and lots of other smart people will be there to field the tough questions. What should I wear? I don’t have any golf shirts or polos, so I hope the attendees don’t mind hoodies and cutoff jean shorts. 

I also hope the Astros have a better week this week than last. I mean, I don’t wanna necessarily hang around with a bunch of bummed-out front-office types and personnel. Let’s be frank here: Saying the Astros had a bad week is an understatement of the highest order. It started out with them beating Andy Pettitte, and went completely off the rails after that. They ended up losing six straight and suffered a four-game sweep, at home, at the hands of the Tigers.

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April 16, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Road Games

7

Ian Miller

Ian plays the East Coast; the East Coast plays for Ian.

I have two amazing jobs, one of which is writing here, but neither of those pays my mortgage. For that I have a day job that is so arcane and boring that it does not even warrant description.

My other side job that doesn’t pay the mortgage: I play bass in Kowloon Walled City, a San Francisco-based band that’s been around since 2007. We’ve put out a few records and played a few shows. The pay is terrible, but the fringe benefits are great: Playing music not only keeps me from going insane, but it also gives me an opportunity to travel and see things I wouldn’t ordinarily get to see.

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April 2, 2013 9:45 am

Punk Hits: Accidentally Making a Case for Astros Fandom

25

Ian Miller

What the pundits mocking the Astros miss.

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the 2013 Major League Baseball season is underway. It actually began on Sunday night in a contest that pitted the Texas Rangers against their newly minted division rivals, the Houston Astros. The game was broadcast on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball and logged a 1.5 Nielsen rating. That’s down pretty substantially from Opening Night 2012, when the Cardinals and the Marlins pulled a 1.8 rating. You can thank the Best Fans in Baseball for those extra .3 percent.

I saw quite a few people on Twitter and elsewhere complaining about Opening Night and claiming that only Opening Day is real. I call shenanigans on that. Highlighting one game on the night before Opening Day focuses national attention on a single matchup, making it feel special, like the single present your parents let you open on Christmas Eve.

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The final installment of a five-part series on the pressing questions confronting each team in 2013.

In the week leading up to Opening Day, we're asking and answering three questions about each team in a five-part series ordered by descending Playoff Pct from the Playoff Odds Report. Today, we continue with a look at the group of six teams with the worst odds of winning at least a Wild Card. As a reminder, you can find links to our preview podcasts for each team here.

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March 19, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Not Just Another Night at the Yard

6

Ian Miller

On the ground at the WBC.

I’ve become slightly obsessed with the World Baseball Classic. When I learned the semifinals and finals of the 2013 Classic would be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, I made sure to purchase our regular-season seats for all three games. I’m regretting that decision a little now that they’re flogging $5 bleacher seats for the second semifinal game, but the buyer’s remorse is minimal; after all, it’s not every day that an international baseball event is held in one’s own backyard.

The first semifinal game took place on Sunday night and pitted Japan, the two-time defending WBC champ, against a plucky Puerto Rico team that really had no business making it out of pool play. They faced elimination twice and beat Italy and the United States to guarantee a semifinal berth, ultimately losing to the Dominican Republic in what amounted to a seeding game. Had they won, they would have had an additional day off in which to travel to San Francisco from Miami, and they’d face the Netherlands. But they lost to the D.R., meaning they had to fly west immediately after their Saturday game in order to face Japan on Sunday on a short turnaround and as a heavy underdog.

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March 5, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Why I'm Rooting for the Dutch in the WBC

13

Ian Miller

Is it possible that honkbal is even better than baseball?

The third World Baseball Classic kicked off pool play this week, with six games taking place in Taichung, Taiwan and Fukuoka, Japan. I watched most of the games this weekend (all games are being aired on the MLB Network), and seeing the Netherlands blank Korea, then lose a tough one to Taiwan cemented the Dutch as my team in the WBC. Here are just a few reasons why.

1. They call it “honkbal.” That should be enough right there, frankly, but I doubt my editors would be happy if I submitted a 75-word article. They typically like to have some content after the green “paywall” box.

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February 27, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: A Love (Hate) Letter From Arizona

20

Ian Miller

Food and Loafing at spring training.

If you set out to design a place that I would hate, it would look a lot like Arizona.

It’s got natural beauty, sure, but it’s usually way too hot, or too cold, to enjoy. Everything is spread out, Houston- or Los Angeles-style; you have to drive everywhere to get anywhere. And once you get there, odds are “there” is a prefab thing conceived by a team of hospitality management experts.

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February 20, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Baseball Players Are Too Damned Good For Their Own Good

12

Ian Miller

Or maybe for our own good.

I was never what you’d call good at baseball. My career peaked not at 27, when many pros come into their own, but when I was 12. I was one of the bigger kids in my league, and even though I hadn’t entered puberty, I already had the full complement of old player skills: good eye at the plate, low batting average, above-average power. On those occasions I did make contact with a ball, it stayed hit.

I was also a capable first baseman; the coach told me being left-handed gave me a reach advantage, but we both knew I was there because I lacked any semblance of speed or range. But when my fellow fielders threw a ball my way, more often than not, I caught it.

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