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Happy Thanksgiving! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume Monday, December 1

Joe Sheehan 

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01-10

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: The Old You're In, You're Out
by
Joe Sheehan

12-26

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2

The BP Wayback Machine: The Money of Matsuzaka
by
Joe Sheehan

12-10

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: Winter Meetings Review
by
Joe Sheehan

11-26

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0

The BP Wayback Machine: The Guessing Game
by
Joe Sheehan

10-22

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: Game Last
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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The BP Wayback Machine: New Ways to Spell Relief
by
Joe Sheehan

04-05

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2

The BP Wayback Machine: Simmer. Down. Now.
by
Joe Sheehan

03-08

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The BP Wayback Machine: Passion
by
Joe Sheehan

11-02

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The BP Wayback Machine: Changing the Game?
by
Joe Sheehan

10-19

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The BP Wayback Machine: Bronx Mayhem
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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2

The BP Wayback Machine: Are You Experienced?
by
Joe Sheehan

10-05

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0

The BP Wayback Machine: Who Can Say No to Twins?
by
Joe Sheehan

08-31

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0

The BP Wayback Machine: The Clemens Signing
by
Joe Sheehan

07-06

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: Ten Days, One Column
by
Joe Sheehan

06-22

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5

The BP Wayback Machine: Darryl Kile
by
Joe Sheehan

05-18

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: Interleague Insanity
by
Joe Sheehan

04-13

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: Curbed Enthusiasm
by
Joe Sheehan

12-21

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: Leverage
by
Joe Sheehan

11-30

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2

The BP Wayback Machine: Seamhead Analysis
by
Joe Sheehan

11-15

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2

The BP Wayback Machine: The Disconnect
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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7

The BP Wayback Machine: The Value of the Series
by
Joe Sheehan

09-08

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4

The BP Wayback Machine: Incompetence
by
Joe Sheehan

08-09

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5

The BP Wayback Machine: The Question
by
Joe Sheehan

07-28

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: Houston, We Have Beltran
by
Joe Sheehan

07-07

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10

The BP Wayback Machine: State of the Game
by
Joe Sheehan

06-22

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9

The BP Wayback Machine: Bi-Coastal Silliness
by
Joe Sheehan

10-11

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7

Joe's Blog: Rain Delay
by
Joe Sheehan

09-22

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9

Joe's Blog: A Taste
by
Joe Sheehan

09-17

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22

Joe's Blog: Cardinals vs. Reds?
by
Joe Sheehan

09-13

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35

Joe's Blog: Yankees/Rays
by
Joe Sheehan

09-07

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19

Joe's Blog: Crazy
by
Joe Sheehan

08-26

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7

Joe's Blog: A Night in Brooklyn
by
Joe Sheehan

08-11

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92

Joe's Blog: Carlos Delgado/Barry Bonds
by
Joe Sheehan

08-04

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91

Joe's Blog: Welcome Back
by
Joe Sheehan

05-15

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3

Joe's Blog: Framework
by
Joe Sheehan

04-27

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36

Joe's Blog: Carpenter + Ortiz = Howard
by
Joe Sheehan

04-19

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8

Joe's Blog: One Night in April
by
Joe Sheehan

04-05

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0

Joe's Blog: 2010 Picks
by
Joe Sheehan

03-27

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3

Joe's Blog: Tout Wars
by
Joe Sheehan

03-23

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11

Joe's Blog: Decisions, Decisions...
by
Joe Sheehan

03-08

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36

Joe's Blog: Welcome
by
Joe Sheehan

12-31

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155

Prospectus Today: Retrospective on Runs and Records
by
Joe Sheehan

12-30

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19

Prospectus Today: Virtual Hall-Worthy Selections
by
Joe Sheehan

12-27

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45

Prospectus Today: Metropolitan Inactivity
by
Joe Sheehan

12-22

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84

Prospectus Today: The Braves' New World
by
Joe Sheehan

12-17

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128

Prospectus Today: Of Unselfish Decisions and Restocked Systems
by
Joe Sheehan

12-16

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66

Prospectus Today: You Say You Want a Revolution?
by
Joe Sheehan

12-15

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41

Prospectus Today: No Lack of Lackey
by
Joe Sheehan

12-14

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28

Prospectus Today: Getting Talent For Less Than It's Worth
by
Joe Sheehan

12-10

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23

Prospectus Today: Wheeling and Dealing in Indy
by
Joe Sheehan

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Inspiration, in the form of incompetence.

The epic Mets/Cardinals game Saturday provided more than just memories. It gave me the first concrete new-content idea for the upcoming book.

I've mentioned the struggle to decide exactly what the book will look like, what material it will include, what percentage of it will be original versus new. The process is a bit like taking four or five jigsaw puzzles and tossing all the pieces together in a single pile on the table. You know there's a good picture in there, maybe even more than one, but to get to the end you're going to have to not only make the correct pieces fit, but you're going to have to throw out three-quarters of the ones you start with.

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Predicted standings for the new season.

I ran my 2010 season preview at Rotowire, including a series of fantasy-leaning divisional previews followed by my traditional breakdown of all 30 teams, including runs allowed and runs scored projections. With their permission, I'm running my predicted standings here in the book blog as well.

For those who have asked, work on the book came to something of a halt during March, as college basketball, season-preview work, fantasy drafts and other things took precedence. I still find myself thinking about the question of what the book will be, and to that end have read or re-read books that to one extent or another touch on aspects of what I'm trying to do. I banged through Bill Simmons' The Book of Basketball, Josh Wilker's Cardboard Gods, Paul Krugman's The Great Awakening (a re-read) and parts of various Baseball Abstracts by Bill James. I need to close ranks on this question soon, because while I'm comfortable with the writing volume ahead of me, for my sanity I'd like to end the discussion in my head.

Read the full article...

March 27, 2010 3:50 pm

Joe's Blog: Tout Wars

3

Joe Sheehan

One of the best days of the year, no matter what my team looks like.

This is why there won't be a section of the book entitled, "Why I Kick Ass at Fantasy Baseball."

I play fantasy because it's fun. Or rather, I play fantasy baseball when it's fun. To me, that means playing in leagues with friends. I don't play NFBC or online leagues or anything where there isn't some connection to the people involved. The fantasy and Strat leagues that I am in because of the people.

Read the full article...

Figuring out what the book is is the current challenge.

I knew that when I made a call for suggestions for articles to include in my upcoming book, it would probably complicate the decision process. I thought I'd been fairly thorough in looking through the last decade of writing, thought I'd narrowed down the list to something manageable, thought there was little chance I'd missed anything of note. I was wrong. There were a number of pieces suggested to me by e-mail and in the comments section that I hadn't considered. Some had already been tossed-by and large pieces to specifically tied to events, that I think won't play well in a book-but some had simply made less an impression on me, in the re-reading, than they had on the readers. It is interesting, as a writer, to not realize what of your output has actually made a lasting impression.

When I talked out this book with Dave Pease over the winter, it started out in my mind as a collection, then developed into something that included more original material than that. The longer I live with this concept, the more I see that the decision between those two categories isn't just a matter of finding sufficient material to make it the former, or writing enough of the latter. It's actually a battle for the identity of the book. Is this going to be a "greatest hits" collection, a means of having all of my best work in one place as both a retrospective of and an introduction to Joe Sheehan, or will I create more of the book from whole cloth?

Read the full article...

March 8, 2010 9:40 am

Joe's Blog: Welcome

36

Joe Sheehan

I'm writing my first solo book.

Welcome to the blog for "The Untitled Joe Sheehan Book," which will presumably have a catchier title at some point. In this space I’ll chronicle the process of writing my first solo book, which should be out just in time for you to enjoy on an off-day during the World Series. The idea for a blog like this is, to some extent, stolen from the great Joe Posnanski, who started The Soul of Baseball blog while he was working on his wonderful biography, with the same name, of Buck O’Neil.

Since we announced "The Untitled Joe Sheehan Book" a month ago, I’ve spent most of my time reading what I’ve written over the past decade for Baseball Prospectus, trying to pare about 1,500 pieces down to a couple dozen for inclusion in the book. Those pieces are going to form the framework of the book, serving as both a "best of" for longtime readers and an introduction for new ones. Make no mistake about it; as much as I want the people who have read BP for years to buy the book, I want to be able to reach beyond that group as well. I want all baseball fans to be able to pick up the book and enjoy it even if they’ve never heard of BP.

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Evaluating predictions for the season past, and closing the book on it.

Every year I try to project every team's record and runs scored and allowed, using as much information as is available to me in the waning days of March. I do it because it's fun, and because the process of making those predictions is very educational for me in the ramp-up to the season. The process, rather than the end results, is what is important, because the chance of getting many teams' overall records or run differentials correct is fairly slim. The value of the pieces I write at that time is in the analysis, the words; the numbers are for information purposes only.

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December 30, 2009 2:20 pm

Prospectus Today: Virtual Hall-Worthy Selections

19

Joe Sheehan

Sorting through who belongs in Cooperstown on the new ballot, plus the Mets' splash.

I hadn't realized it until I went looking, but I've been pretty good about doing a Hall of Fame ballot each year. Mock, of course-I'm at least 11 years from having one, probably more, barring eligibility changes-but a fun exercise nonetheless. It can be a challenge to keep it fresh, as there are only so many ways to point out that Bert Blyleven is one of the 50 best starting pitchers in history, would raise the Hall standards for the position, and should therefore be elected.

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December 27, 2009 12:55 pm

Prospectus Today: Metropolitan Inactivity

45

Joe Sheehan

After a season of injuries and disappointment, the Mets have been uncharacteristically quiet on trades and signings.

A few weeks back, near the end of the Winter Meetings, I got a panicked text message from a friend of mine: "Are the Mets going to do ANYTHING?" It was a fair question, as even now the Mets have been almost completely silent this offseason, but as I pointed out then, doing nothing is better than signing Bengie Molina.

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December 22, 2009 1:39 pm

Prospectus Today: The Braves' New World

84

Joe Sheehan

Corporate management making corporate decisions handicaps one franchise in particular and the industry as a whole

I miss Ted Turner. Turner was controversial, brash, difficult, prone to mistakes of commission, prone to getting himself suspended, prone to making people really, really dislike him. Turner, however, had one trait that you had to respect: he wanted to win. Perhaps I value that too highly-I'm hypercompetitive myself, perhaps my worst trait-but I can forgive a lot of things if they're done in a sincere effort to succeed.

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It's possible that for all the coverage of the Phillies' wheeling and dealing, the biggest story has been lost.

Roy Halladay signed a contract extension today that will guarantee him $60 million over three years, with a vesting option that would pay him another $20 million if he pitches enough innings in the first three years of the deal.

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December 16, 2009 2:58 pm

Prospectus Today: You Say You Want a Revolution?

66

Joe Sheehan

Bud Selig's latest blue ribbon committee is doomed to fail, but maybe that is its objective.

As I write this, it's becoming just a little bit suspicious that nearly two days after they presumably "happened," neither of the two huge trades the Phillies made have actually come to fruition. The Phillies have apparently negotiated an extension with Roy Halladay, and physicals are being taken, but there have been no actual announcements, and as I write this on Wednesday afternoon, with a piece on the trade burning a hole in my hard drive, it's just starting to feel a little weird. The deal has been "imminent" for about 48 hours now, but there's been no movement since yesterday afternoon, when word that Halladay and the Phillies had agreed on a contract leaked out.

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December 15, 2009 12:40 pm

Prospectus Today: No Lack of Lackey

41

Joe Sheehan

Boston's pickup gives them an embarrassment of riches in the rotation, which might lead to the deal they really want to make.

John Lackey appears to have signed with the Red Sox for five years at a price in the range of $16 million per season, a total of more than $80 million. (The deal is reported by ESPN's Jayson Stark to be slightly more than what A.J. Burnett signed for a year ago.)

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