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Jason Wojciechowski 

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04-15

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 428: Jesse Katz on Yasiel Puig's Origin Story
by
Ben Lindbergh and Jason Wojciechowski

03-28

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19

Prospectus Preview: AL West 2014 Preseason Preview
by
R.J. Anderson and Jason Wojciechowski

10-24

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6

Baseball Prospectus Book News: Introducing Baseball Prospectus 2014
by
Sam Miller and Jason Wojciechowski

07-01

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BP Unfiltered: "Southern League" by Larry Colton
by
Jason Wojciechowski

06-27

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6

In A Pickle: The Unlikeliest MVP candidates
by
Jason Wojciechowski

06-20

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16

In A Pickle: The Sexy, Sultry San Jose vs. MLB Complaint
by
Jason Wojciechowski

06-13

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11

In A Pickle: What the Arbitrators Will Hear
by
Jason Wojciechowski

06-10

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BP Unfiltered: Stuart Banner's "The Baseball Trust"
by
Jason Wojciechowski

06-07

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7

In A Pickle: The Best Way to Watch the Cal League
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-31

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4

In A Pickle: The Bunts That Lead to Big Things
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-23

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5

In A Pickle: Walk Don't Walk
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-17

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2

In A Pickle: How Great Thou Bart
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-09

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2

In A Pickle: The Turn of the Two
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-03

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In A Pickle: Partial Victory
by
Jason Wojciechowski

04-25

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3

In A Pickle: Who'll Stop the Run?
by
Jason Wojciechowski

04-18

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3

In A Pickle: Torii of Relativity
by
Jason Wojciechowski

04-11

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9

In A Pickle: Seattle's Past
by
Jason Wojciechowski

04-04

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9

In A Pickle: Can You Buy What You Can't See?
by
Jason Wojciechowski

03-29

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5

BP Unfiltered: Cats! Predicting! Baseball!
by
Jason Wojciechowski

03-28

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4

In A Pickle: More Unknown Facts About More Unknown Players
by
Jason Wojciechowski

03-21

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14

In A Pickle: Becoming an Empowered and Informed Member of Society
by
Jason Wojciechowski

03-15

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6

In A Pickle: To Communicate a Failure
by
Jason Wojciechowski

03-07

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10

In A Pickle: The Worst All-Around Teams in History
by
Jason Wojciechowski

02-28

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7

In A Pickle: Enamorin' Hank
by
Jason Wojciechowski

02-21

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20

In A Pickle: All-Stars Are Not All Stars
by
Jason Wojciechowski

02-14

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23

In A Pickle: Not All Stars Are All-Stars
by
Jason Wojciechowski

02-11

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3

Arbitration Showdown: Mock Hearing: Martin Prado
by
Sam Miller, Jason Wojciechowski and Ben Lindbergh

02-04

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15

Arbitration Showdown: Mock Hearing: Chase Headley
by
Sam Miller, Jason Wojciechowski and Ben Lindbergh

01-31

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6

In A Pickle: Four Sentences About Strikeouts
by
Jason Wojciechowski

01-25

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4

In A Pickle: Average Love
by
Jason Wojciechowski

01-17

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12

In A Pickle: The Disunited States of America
by
Jason Wojciechowski

01-10

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10

In A Pickle: Jay Walking is no Felony
by
Jason Wojciechowski

01-03

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6

In A Pickle: That Blank Expression
by
Jason Wojciechowski

12-28

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9

In A Pickle: Slugger Off
by
Jason Wojciechowski

12-20

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5

In A Pickle: The Four-Tool Teams
by
Jason Wojciechowski

12-13

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5

In A Pickle: Winners and Losers of Winning and Losing
by
Jason Wojciechowski

12-07

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9

Transaction Analysis: Revere Rides Into Philly
by
R.J. Anderson, Mark Anderson and Jason Wojciechowski

12-06

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6

In A Pickle: Trout Au Vin, and Other Delicious Dishes
by
Jason Wojciechowski

11-29

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7

In A Pickle: The Men Who Stare at Relievers
by
Jason Wojciechowski

11-15

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1

In A Pickle: Managing Expectations
by
Jason Wojciechowski

11-08

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4

In A Pickle: The Two Towers
by
Jason Wojciechowski

11-01

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2

In A Pickle: Forever Changes
by
Jason Wojciechowski

10-25

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5

In A Pickle: Sweep Out The Ashes in the Morning
by
Jason Wojciechowski

10-25

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1

BP Unfiltered: Game One Not Really Recap
by
Jason Wojciechowski

10-18

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3

In A Pickle: Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
by
Jason Wojciechowski

10-11

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5

In A Pickle: The Raul Ibanez Special
by
Jason Wojciechowski

10-10

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7

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Game Four Preview: Tigers at A's
by
Jason Wojciechowski

10-04

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23

In A Pickle: Stop What You're Doing and Read About Adam Dunn
by
Jason Wojciechowski

09-27

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11

In A Pickle: Free to Be We
by
Jason Wojciechowski

09-20

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In A Pickle: Introducing the Bloop Factor
by
Jason Wojciechowski

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September 27, 2012 5:00 am

In A Pickle: Free to Be We

11

Jason Wojciechowski

A forgettable book raises a timeless question.

The "we" debate is a weirdly durable one among those of us who enjoy meta-baseball arguments, those fights that aren't so much about the game as they are about how we interact with it. You'll see the topic spring up on Twitter every so often, as surely as you will discussion of the serial comma, The Wave, and whether Budweiser is an acceptable alternative to water for adult humans. By "the 'we' debate," I mean the question of whether it is "OK" for fans to refer to a team as "we." "We won last night, but it was awfully close;" "We need some power in the heart of the order if we're going to make any noise in the playoffs;" "We stink."

My experience of the two sides of the debate is that many people feel strongly that the "we" is illegitimate, a putting on airs, a usurpation of the rightful ownership of the victories of the men who actually play the game. Those who say "we," by contrast, seem often to not be wedded to the word so much as they are following long-formed mental pathways. They know they're not on the team, and I imagine most of them will admit that no matter how loud they cheer, they don't really have any effect on the field. But they say "we" and they see their use of the word as harmless. The players know full well who drove in the game-winning run, after all, and the first general manager who will be fooled into giving a fan a seven-figure deal to yell real loud hasn't been born yet.


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September 20, 2012 5:00 am

In A Pickle: Introducing the Bloop Factor

8

Jason Wojciechowski

Who are the weakest humans in Major League Baseball? If we can't figure that out, we don't deserve to be here.

For lots of obvious and good reasons, we don't spend a lot of time talking about weak hitters. I don't mean bad hitters, because we actually do spend a lot of time talking about them ("Who's the worst everyday player in baseball?" is a common question, for instance). I mean weak hitters—guys who have an ability to put the bat on the ball but are completely incapable (or unwilling?) of doing so with any force, of causing the ball to travel at extreme velocities, of making a crowd, even a very inexperienced crowd, rise to its feet as it perceives the possibility of a home run.

Before we get deep into it, I want to give full credit to my sources, so I'll tell you about the genesis of this topic: this weekend, I listened to Sam Miller and Riley Breckenridge discuss how well they thought Sam would hit in adult-league baseball against low-80s heat and guys with no breaking stuff, which led to the question of how well reasonably athletic but really not terribly talented adults would do in the major leagues (one hit in 20? 30? 100?), which itself led to the question of which players in baseball have the least upper-body strength. I was along for the ride, as my brain tends to operate on a glacial scale, making me something less than a scintillating conversationalist, but then I got to thinking about weakness.

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September 13, 2012 9:35 am

In A Pickle: Defense in the 2012 Pennant Races

13

Jason Wojciechowski

Look at the A's record. Now look at the Tigers record. Now read this.

I'd like to tell you an introductory anecdote or post a GIF (soft-g) or something to ease you in to what we're about to engage in, but I don't think my chops are up to snuff, so why don't we just dive in?

There's a neat thing we provide in our stat reports on this website. It's called Team Defensive Efficiency and it has two key stats: defensive efficiency (DE), a very basic measure attributable to Bill James that simply says what percentage of balls in play a defense converts into outs, and Park Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (PADE), a metric designed almost a decade ago (gosh I'm old) by James Click, who these days graces the Rays' front office roster, serving as their Director of Baseball Research and Development. PADE, as the name implies, adjusts for each team's park's effect on their defensive performance and spits out a number that represents a percentage above or below average at turning balls in play into outs.1

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September 6, 2012 5:00 am

In A Pickle: How the Grinch Stole Strasmas

10

Jason Wojciechowski

Is the Nationals' decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg acceptable from a humanistic approach as opposed to a business approach?

"Are you seriously writing about the Stephen Strasburg 'to shut down or not to shut down' decision? Really?"

Yeah, really. But let's get some things straight. Here's what I don't care about for the purposes of this here article: whether the Nationals win the World Series this year, whether the Nationals win the World Series next year, whether the Nationals win any World Series ever. I am not, in other words, acting as your typical blogger/analyst/whatever, even though that is quite often the way I act. Sometimes even on these very pages.

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It's an all-AL East episode, as Ben and substitute co-host Jason Wojciechowski discuss a counterproductive proposal to fix what ails the Yankees, then talk about the latest Bobby Valentine controversy.

It's an all-AL East episode, as Ben and substitute co-host Jason Wojciechowski discuss a counterproductive proposal to fix what ails the Yankees, then talk about the latest Bobby Valentine controversy.

Episode 36: "How Not to Solve the Yankees' Problems/Bobby Valentine Says Some More Strange Things"

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August 31, 2012 3:58 pm

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 31

4

Jason Wojciechowski

So, so, so, so, so, so, so much baseball.

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August 30, 2012 10:09 am

The Prospectus Hit List: Thursday, August 30

4

Jason Wojciechowski

Celebrating the achievements of Brett Wallace, Matt Harvey, Bryce Harper and the non-achievements of the Seattle Mariners.

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This year's catchers are hitting like few catchers in history have hit. But will it continue?

At the risk of being branded some kind of weird catcher fetishist, I would like to point something out:

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August 29, 2012 11:18 am

The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, August 29

6

Jason Wojciechowski

Kelly Shoppach is trolling, and Lewwwwww Ford is Lewwwwww Ford.

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A.J. Pierzynski seems to be doing something unprecedented. Guess what: He is doing something unprecedented.

Sometime last week on the Effectively Wild podcast, either Sam Miller or Ben Lindbergh mentioned the great year that A.J. Pierzynski was having, and how interesting it was that he was having such a year at 35, and how further interesting it was that he was having such a year at 35 after never having hit even remotely like this in his major-league life. "Jason, old bean," I said to myself, "Jason, that sounds like a topic that the good readers of Baseball Prospectus, especially the ones who don't listen to podcasts, might want to hear about. Or about which they might want to hear. Either way, they're interested."

Now, if I believe in anything, I believe in a clear and readable structure, so the first fact to establish is that Pierzynski, who prior to this year was mostly noted as a rabblerouser, a part-time playoff announcer who hews closer to Eric Byrnes than Orel Hershiser, and the one-time object of Brian Sabean's early-century fetishes, is in fact having a fantastic year. Here are some numbers: Pierzynski has a .298/.347/.544 batting line that translates to a .306 True Average; he has accumulated 27.2 VORP (which, you'll recall, includes all the stuff you find in WARP except for FRAA, and is expressed in runs above replacement); and 23 homers in 393 plate appearances. (All stats are through Monday night's games.)

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August 16, 2012 8:52 am

In A Pickle: Oakland's Not-Too-Wild Wild Card Scenario

5

Jason Wojciechowski

If you can believe in Chris Carter, you can believe in this year's Athletics.

I write this on Wednesday evening. It is mid-August. The Ides of August, even, though you're reading this the day after. The Oakland Athletics are 61-55, counting the Wednesday loss to the Royals. The last time the A's had a record this good this late was 2006, when they won the AL West behind Frank Thomas's bat and then went 3–4 in the playoffs—three wins against the Twins and four losses to the Tigers.

They're not looking at the division crown this year. They were up 5 1/2 games in the Short Stack in 2006, and they're down six now. Six games doesn't sound like a lot when there are 46 still to play, especially with seven of those 46 against the first-place Rangers. But it is a lot. The Rangers are a better team than the A's, so those games remaining are more likely to bury the Green & Gold than they are to become their salvation. This is why Oakland is only given a 1 percent chance at winning the division in the current iteration of our Playoff Odds. (Current as of my writing, anyway, which doesn't incorporate the Wednesday games yet, though I'll eat my hat with mustard if that figure differs much as you're reading this.)

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August 10, 2012 5:00 am

In A Pickle: Why We Want to Be Smart

16

Jason Wojciechowski

The desire to participate in the intellectual aspects of baseball has never been stronger. This raises questions.

For 95 percent of you reading this, baseball is a hobby. You have jobs and kids, cats and lives. You have a lot of things occupying your attention, including things that provide better remuneration than baseball does, yet you, I'm willing to bet, spend quite a lot of time watching baseball, Tweeting about it, blogging, talking with your friends online and off. Most importantly, here's what I think you do: You spend a lot of time thinking about baseball, about teams and players, who is good and who isn't, the best ways to measure these things most accurately, and how on earth Bartolo Colon is still a going concern.

That interest in thinking about the game is what draws us, writers, readers, commenters, editors, database wizards, the whole motley lot of us, together as a committed group of (mostly) amateurs on Baseball Prospectus. What's fascinating, though, about this ever-growing group of amateurs is not so much the amount of dedication, the time and money we spend on the game that won't give us anything tangible back, but the way in which we dedicate ourselves.

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