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Happy Holidays! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume Monday, December 29

Marc Normandin 

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03-20

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6

BP Unfiltered: Support The Hall of Very Good
by
Marc Normandin

10-22

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12

The BP Wayback Machine: Closing the Book on Omar Minaya
by
Marc Normandin

05-26

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32

Fantasy Focus: Checking the Leaderboards
by
Marc Normandin

05-20

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8

Collateral Damage: Wristy Business
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-18

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0

Fantasy Focus: Danny Duffy No Longer Dithering
by
Marc Normandin

05-18

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2

Collateral Damage: Stressing Out
by
Corey Dawkins, Marc Normandin and Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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7

Fantasy Focus: Hurlers on the Verge
by
Marc Normandin

05-16

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7

Collateral Damage: Not As Seen on TV
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-13

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0

Don't Believe the Hype: The Unlikely Heroes
by
Marc Normandin

05-13

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19

Collateral Damage: Stemming the Tide
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-11

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13

Collateral Damage: Elbowed Out and Shouldered Aside
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-09

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7

Fantasy Focus: Kansas City, Here They Come
by
Marc Normandin

05-09

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7

Collateral Damage: No-Hit Hangover?
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-06

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5

Collateral Damage: The Usual Suspects
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-06

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3

Don't Believe the Hype: Gaping Hole at Third Base Edition
by
Marc Normandin

05-04

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3

Fantasy Focus: Back in the Saddle Again
by
Marc Normandin

05-04

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8

Collateral Damage: Loose Lips Lead to DL Trips?
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

05-02

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2

Fantasy Focus: Reinforcements on the Way
by
Marc Normandin

05-02

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1

Collateral Damage: Out at Third
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-29

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0

Don't Believe the Hype: Barney and Friends
by
Marc Normandin

04-29

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16

Collateral Damage: Thoracic Park
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-27

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5

Collateral Damage: Where No Man Has Gone Before
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-25

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7

Collateral Damage: Debriding Our Time
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-25

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5

Fantasy Focus: Waiting in the Wings
by
Marc Normandin

04-22

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11

Don't Believe the Hype: Leaving on a Jed Plane
by
Marc Normandin

04-22

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6

Collateral Damage: Lisfrancly Speaking
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-21

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5

Collateral Damage: The Concussion Discussion, Part II
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-20

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2

Collateral Damage: Fools Rush In
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-19

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5

Collateral Damage: The Concussion Discussion
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-18

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0

Collateral Damage: DL-less Starting Pitchers
by
Marc Normandin

04-18

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5

Collateral Damage: One Step Forward, Several Steps back
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-18

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9

Fantasy Focus: The Road to Hellickson Is Paved With Good Intentions
by
Marc Normandin

04-15

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7

Don't Believe the Hype: Buyer Beware
by
Marc Normandin

04-15

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22

Collateral Damage: Mauer Outage
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-13

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16

Collateral Damage: Hamilton's Poor Sense of Humerus
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-11

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4

Fantasy Focus: The NL's Rookie Outage
by
Marc Normandin

04-11

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7

Collateral Damage: More on the Core
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-08

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14

Fantasy Focus: Don't Believe the Hype, 4/8
by
Marc Normandin

04-08

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7

Collateral Damage: Cuffed Around
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-06

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4

Fantasy Focus: Clash of the First-Timers
by
Marc Normandin

04-06

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4

Collateral Damage: Dunn Undergoes Appendectomy
by
Marc Normandin

04-06

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5

Collateral Damage: Minor Threats
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-05

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0

Fantasy Beat: Walden In, Rodney Out in Anaheim
by
Marc Normandin

04-04

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13

Fantasy Focus: Don't Believe the Hype, 4/4
by
Marc Normandin

04-04

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0

Collateral Damage: Checking into the Holliday Insides
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-01

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1

Team Injury Projection: Los Angeles Dodgers
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

04-01

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6

Team Injury Projection: Los Angeles Angels
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

03-31

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Team Injury Projection: Oakland Athletics
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

03-31

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4

Team Injury Projection: San Francisco Giants
by
Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

03-30

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2

Fantasy Focus: Down the Rabbit Hole
by
Marc Normandin

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April 22, 2011 10:22 am

Don't Believe the Hype: Leaving on a Jed Plane

11

Marc Normandin

If Jed Lowrie is already snapped up in your league, here are some other names who could help, and some that won't.

If you have been paying any attention at all, the most added player of the week should be obvious. In fact, you may be missing your opportunity to add him just by taking the time to read this. Once again, the adds outweigh the drops, though Joe Nathan and Ryan Franklin, without save opportunities, deserve to be cut loose, at least in the short term.

Jed Lowrie, Boston Red Sox (81 percent owned, +52 percent)

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April 22, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: Lisfrancly Speaking

6

Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

Logan Morrison commits a foot fault, Geoff Blum's knee resists diagnosis, and Eric Hurley joins the concussion roll call.

There is a reason we discussed concussions in baseball and the importance of the brand new 7-day DL this week. As we mentioned, people don’t always consider baseball a sport in which concussions occur often, but just a handful of weeks into the 2011 season, we have already seen concussions strike two victims: Yunel Escobar, and now Eric Hurley (as well as a minor concussion Josh Beckett dealt with during spring training).

Logan Morrison, FLO (Lisfranc sprain left foot)
Logan Morrison can feel Barry Zito's pain. While we are not quite sure exactly which ligaments were damaged in Zito's foot, we do know at least one spot that Morrison injured. Lisfranc injuries occur in the midfoot, where several bones meet to help support the body's weight during activities (especially when going up on the toes).


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April 21, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: The Concussion Discussion, Part II

5

Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

Running the numbers with the aid of the injury database to determine how players who suffer concussions perform after returning to the field.

On Tuesday we discussed the addition of a 7-day disabled list for concussions to the MLB rules, as well as the progress being made on that front in terms of diagnoses and treatment. We mentioned that in the past, concussions had been believed to be something that happened only in the more violent NFL and NHL, due to the size, power, speed, and concussive force of the athletes involved. That is not true, though, as baseball players have suffered their fair share of head trauma in the last decade alone. Baseball players may not be able to catch a puck on the other side of the rink before icing is called or chase a halfback downfield prior to delivering the killing blow, but their knees still hurt when taken upside the head, and a fastball or liner to the cranium can do plenty of damage, too.

Our database goes back to 2003; in that stretch, there were 100 incidents diagnosed as concussions (including Yunel Escobar's from this year). Recovery from these concussions varied in length, with the shortest amount of time missed coming in at just one game (in fact, 19 of the concussions in the database caused just one game to be missed. On the high end, 108 games were lost. There are far fewer extended DL stays than short ones—after 108 comes 106, and after that the time frame drops to Justin Morneau's 78 games—but there are enough lengthy ones in there to bump up the average time lost.

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April 20, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: Fools Rush In

2

Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

Moylan's back is bulging, Martinez comes back too quickly, Braden proves they do suffer from shoulder stiffness in the 209, and the Cardinals take one step forward and two steps back.

We discussed yesterday why it is important not to rush back from concussions—a viewpoint that Major League Baseball agrees with, given its new disabled list policy for concussion victims—but let's not forget that patience is a virtue when it comes to even the most basic injuries. A certain off-season acquisition of the Tigers would have done well to remember that this weekend.

Peter Moylan, ATL (Low back strain/bulging disc)
Moylan recently underwent MRI testing, and a bulging disc was found in his lower back. Bulging discs, by themselves, are not that worrisome: most active people over the age of 30 have at least some degree of bulging in the discs of their lower backs and do not even know it. If the disc does not bulge to the point of compressing the spinal cord, then treatment is more focused on physical therapy and some activity modification.


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April 19, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: The Concussion Discussion

5

Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

Exploring the effects of concussions and the implications of the seven-day disabled list.

Hitting a baseball isn't the most difficult activity in sports—changing a long-standing culture is. For many years, a player was not officially diagnosed with a concussion unless there was a loss of consciousness. That started to change a few decades ago, but the physiological causes and long-term effects of concussions still were not fully understood. Thus, practices among players and non-medical personnel remained static.

It was almost as if concussions were not a part of the game of baseball except in the rarest of cases—they were considered nearly exclusive to the NFL, where raw power and violence reigned, or to the NHL, where speed and power dominated. If you have been paying attention to baseball over the last decade, you know this is not the case. Players were suffering concussions that were originally thought to be mild before suffering from post-concussive syndrome for weeks or months.

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Barry Zito has been placed on the DL for the first time in 12 years, but what other pitchers have done the same or better in their careers?

As Corey Dawkins and I discussed in today's Collateral Damage, Barry Zito's mid-foot sprain is pushing him to the disabled list for the very first time in his career. He has never made fewer than 30 starts in a season--he didn't start the year with the club in his age-22 rookie campaign in 2000--and has led the league in starts four times. He has had a remarkable run of health, regardless of the quality of his performances, and seemed somewhat of a lock to at least show up to work each year. However, Zito's move to the DL didn't knock him off the top of Mt. Health, as there are other pitchers who lay claim to even more impressive track records.

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Grady Sizemore returns, Barry Zito is introduced to the DL, and a quartet of backs act up.

It’s not often we get a chance to write happy news in this space, but seeing Grady Sizemore return from a layoff that seemed even longer than it actually was is one of those rare times. Sadly, one successful comeback didn't slow the torrent of new injuries, but at least nothing on today’s docket can match Sizemore’s absence in terms of recovery time and days lost.

Barry Zito, SFN (Right mid-foot sprain)
Zito suffered a mid-foot sprain on Saturday after diving to field a bunt from Joe Saunders, and he was lifted from the game shortly afterward. This marks the first time that Zito has been on the disabled list in his 12-year major league career, and it's an injury that is likely going to cost him more than 15 games. As a result, this may also be the first full season in which Zito will make fewer than 30 starts.


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April 18, 2011 6:00 am

Fantasy Focus: The Road to Hellickson Is Paved With Good Intentions

9

Marc Normandin

Fantasy owners know to own Jeremy Hellickson, but when will they learn to use him? Plus, a pair of Royals relievers who should be on your radar.

On Mondays throughout the season, Fantasy Focus looks at rookies and prospects likely to end up in the majors this year. As the minor league season isn’t even two weeks old yet, this week we will focus our efforts entirely on MLB rookies.

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April 15, 2011 9:00 am

Don't Believe the Hype: Buyer Beware

7

Marc Normandin

Justin Masterson and Willie Bloomquist are still who they always were, but there are a handful of early-season gems worth grabbing.

We are hitting the point in the season where some drops are starting to come in large doses: Manny Ramirez's retirement caused him to be dropped in 66 percent of leagues (though, for some reason, 13 percent of leagues still have him), Rafael Furcal's injury forced 22 percent of owners to make a cut, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, despite still having a job, was cut by 17 percent of owners who are as tired of watching him pitch as I am. I can't argue with any of those moves, so let's once again focus on the happier side of things and talk about the most-added players.

Chris Narveson, Milwaukee Brewers (68 percent owned, +48 percent)

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Joe Mauer's season could be in serious danger, Aroldis Chapman is dealing with arm pain, and the Yankees bullpen is frayed around the edges.

Joe Mauer, MIN (Bilateral leg weakness)
As more information comes out, we are finding out the true reason for Mauer's weakness: Troy Polamalu tackled him after Mauer made fun of his hair.

Lower extremity weakness can be caused by what seems like a million different things. Neuromuscular fatigue, muscular atrophy, neuromuscular inhibition as a result of knee swelling, herniated discs in the spine, and certain diseases all can produce bilateral leg weakness in the absence of direct trauma to the legs. Since Mauer's condition is severe enough to require a stint on the disabled list, we're sure that if he hasn't already undergone MRI testing, he will be doing so within the next day. Without seeing the images directly, we will discuss the two most likely scenarios.


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April 13, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: Hamilton's Poor Sense of Humerus

16

Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

Josh Hamilton and Rafael Furcal suffer their latest in a long line of injuries, while Ryan Zimmerman shows more signs of strain.

A lot of ink and bandwith has been expended in discussing how small, proactive investments by teams can help keep injuries to a minimum. Events of the past week suggest one such measure: teams might be wise to hire baserunning coaches to teach their players how not to crash awkwardly into bases, the plate, or their opponents.

Josh Hamilton, TEX (Right proximal humerus fracture)
Hamilton might want to re-learn some baseball basics after suffering a proximal humerus fracture following a slide into home on Tuesday. In an odd play—one that he would later throw his third-base coach under the bus for—Hamilton tagged up on a foul ball near the on-deck circle and slid headfirst in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the tag at the plate.


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April 11, 2011 9:00 am

Fantasy Focus: The NL's Rookie Outage

4

Marc Normandin

After the rookie greatness of 2010, this year's first-year National League class is Freeman and Belt and pray for gelt.

The 2010 season was an incredible one for National League rookies. Tyler Colvin hit .254/.316/.500 with 43 extra-base hits (20 of them homers) and still finished outside the top 10 in VORP for NL rookies. Logan Morrison (.283/.390/.447) and Jose Tabata (.299/.346/.400 with 19 steals) also missed making the top 10, as the NL produced a ridiculous amount of positional talent in one year. Jason Heyward, Buster Posey, Starlin Castro, Mike Stanton, and Pedro Alvarez lead this group, and all five of them are already capable of making an impact in both real and fantasy baseball.

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