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Rian Watt 

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05-25

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2

Short Relief: Toasting Bartolo, Reviewing Bryzzo, and Eating Hats
by
David Temple, Rian Watt and Zack Moser

10-30

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0

Playoff Prospectus: Of Errors, Common and Uncommon
by
Rian Watt

10-29

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0

Playoff Prospectus: Assessing the Managers' Moves in Game 3
by
Rian Watt

10-17

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1

Playoff Prospectus: The Bold and The Beautiful
by
Rian Watt

10-08

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6

Playoff Prospectus: Lester Was a Baez Better
by
Rian Watt

10-07

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11

Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Giants vs. Cubs
by
Rian Watt

09-29

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2

Transaction Analysis: Cubs Extend Theo and The Gang
by
Rian Watt

09-09

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0

Life at the Margins: Kris Bryant's Changing Changes
by
Rian Watt

07-26

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41

Transaction Analysis: Aroldis Chapman Takes The 105 To Wrigley
by
Christopher Crawford, Mike Gianella, Rian Watt, Adam McInturff and Nicolas Stellini

07-21

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4

Transaction Analysis: The Legend of Vogelbach, Now In Seattle
by
Christopher Crawford, Rian Watt and Brendan Gawlowski

07-20

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3

Life at the Margins: Seager See, Seager Do
by
Rian Watt

07-08

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4

Life at the Margins: Countering the Modern Ace
by
Rian Watt

07-03

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8

Prospectus Feature: But What If It Did Count?
by
Sam Miller, Rian Watt and Meg Rowley

06-17

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5

Life at the Margins: Lightning Strikes Adam Duvall Twice
by
Rian Watt

06-07

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2

Life at the Margins: Stuff Your Scouting Report
by
Rian Watt

06-03

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3

Life at the Margins: Marvelous Mookie Fails Twice
by
Rian Watt

06-02

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2

Transaction Analysis: Walsh Revolution
by
Rian Watt, James Fegan and Matthew Trueblood

05-26

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1

Life at the Margins: The Giants Have Had a Good Week
by
Rian Watt

05-21

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0

BP Wrigleyville
by
Rian Watt

05-19

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13

Life at the Margins: Deck Chair Moved
by
Rian Watt

05-13

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5

Life at the Margins: Swing, Batta Batta
by
Rian Watt

05-05

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0

Life at the Margins: Nola Ascending
by
Rian Watt

04-27

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5

Life at the Margins: In Dusty They Trusty
by
Rian Watt

04-25

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2

Life at the Margins: The Best Pitcher Right Now
by
Rian Watt

04-22

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0

BP Wrigleyville
by
Rian Watt

04-20

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21

Life at the Margins: Why St. Louisians Pursed Their Lips And Yelled Boooooo
by
Rian Watt

04-18

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1

Transaction Analysis: Don't Go Breaking Swihart
by
Ben Carsley, Joshua Howsam, Rian Watt and Adam McInturff

04-18

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4

Life at the Margins: Gotta Get 'em Early?
by
Rian Watt

04-13

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1

Transaction Analysis: The Ghosts of Bros Past
by
James Fegan, Nicolas Stellini, Rian Watt, Matthew Trueblood and Christopher Crawford

04-06

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0

BP Wrigleyville
by
Rian Watt

04-04

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6

Transaction Analysis: Gregory Polanco's Worst Case Has Never Looked Better
by
Rian Watt

04-01

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0

BP Unfiltered: Mental Skills on the North Side: Seven Perspectives
by
Rian Watt

04-01

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0

Transaction Analysis: From Atlanta to Atlanta
by
Rian Watt and Dustin Palmateer

03-30

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2

Transaction Analysis: Not So Swishalicious
by
Rian Watt, Nicolas Stellini and James Fegan

03-28

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7

Life at the Margins: A Cubs Championship, Probably
by
Rian Watt

03-23

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10

Winter Is Leaving
by
Rian Watt

03-21

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2

Life at the Margins: Greatness, Nearby
by
Rian Watt

03-15

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0

Winter Is Leaving
by
Rian Watt

03-14

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7

Life at the Margins: Not Fade Away
by
Rian Watt

03-11

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8

Life at the Margins: Catching Down
by
Rian Watt

03-08

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3

Winter Is Leaving
by
Rian Watt

03-01

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7

Life at the Margins: Things Are Looking Upside
by
Rian Watt

02-26

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33

Transaction Analysis: Fowler Comes In WAY Under Budget
by
Bryan Grosnick and Rian Watt

02-18

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11

Life at the Margins: The NL's Gut-Punchiest Team Projection
by
Rian Watt

02-08

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6

Life at the Margins: You've Got Males
by
Rian Watt

02-05

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24

Life at the Margins: What Comes After Sabermetrics?
by
Rian Watt

02-03

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6

Life at the Margins: The Case Against Hiring A Smart Person
by
Rian Watt

02-01

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7

Transaction Analysis: Segura-phobia
by
Rian Watt, Ryan Romano, Christopher Crawford, Adam McInturff and Bret Sayre

01-13

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5

Transaction Analysis: Rico Suave
by
Rian Watt and George Bissell

01-08

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3

Transaction Analysis: Spanning the World
by
Rian Watt, Ryan Romano, George Bissell and Greg Wellemeyer

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David congraulates Birthday Boy Bartolo Colon on a job reasonably well done, Rian breaks down the Bryzzo Souvenir commercials, and Zack... well, it says it right there in the title.

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October 30, 2016 3:25 am

Playoff Prospectus: Of Errors, Common and Uncommon

0

Rian Watt

Cleveland earned the Game 4 win, but Chicago's uncharacteristic miscues defensively helped too.

Errors are not the best way to measure a fielder’s quality. You know that. I know you know that. But still, here’s a fact for you: Kris Bryant committed just 14 errors all season, and only 12 at third base. Among players with as many innings at the position, that was the fourth-lowest total in the National League. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t bad, either—and he certainly defied expectations that he’d be unable to maneuver his 6-foot-5 frame into passable defense at the hot corner.

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October 29, 2016 2:20 am

Playoff Prospectus: Assessing the Managers' Moves in Game 3

0

Rian Watt

Einstein didn't watch many baseball games.

Sometimes, a universe turns on a single moment, and sometimes that moment doesn’t matter. Two such moments of interest from last night’s game, which the Indians ended up winning 1-0.

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Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen shut down the Cubs, tying the NLCS at 1-1 heading to Los Angeles.

The last time two starting pitchers with ERAs this low faced off in a postseason game, New Coke was still but a twinkle in Don Draper’s eye, and Bobby Kennedy had been dead less than four months. That matchup, as it turned out—St. Louis’ Bob Gibson (1.12) versus Detroit’s Denny McLain (1.96) in the 1968 World Series—wasn’t quite as good as the one we saw last night. Clayton Kershaw (1.69) and Kyle Hendricks (2.13) both acquitted themselves admirably under Wrigley Field’s bright October lights, allowing just a run between them, and together kept this joyful run of remarkable postseason games alive.

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Chicago took Game 1 behind the Jon Lester-David Ross battery and Javier Baez's power.

David Ross doesn’t play all that often these days, what with Miguel Montero and Willson Contreras penciled in above him on the Cubs’ catching depth chart, but when he does—almost always every fifth day, when Jon Lester is pitching—he takes to the task with enormous seriousness of purpose. In his final big-league season, it’s his only chance to contribute to what has been a charmed season. As the league became increasingly aware that Lester—for whatever reason—doesn’t like to throw over to first, and so became increasingly enamored of taking the big lead and getting the early jump when Lester was pitching, Ross decided to take what had been a weakness and turn it into a strength.

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October 7, 2016 6:00 am

Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Giants vs. Cubs

11

Rian Watt

Can the best playoff team of this era beat the best team in baseball?

The thing about the playoffs is that the best teams don’t always win. That’s what makes them fun. It’s also what makes them terrible. If we were interested in crowning the best team in 2016, we could’ve wrapped this season up two months ago. The Chicago Cubs (103-58-1) aren’t just the best team in this series, they’re the best team in baseball, by a long shot. That was clear as early as August, and you could make a good case that it was clear well before that, too.

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Chicago's front office is richly rewarded in the midst of a 100-win season and they might even be underpaid.

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There's a spring training story about Kris Bryant's choices, and a September story about Kris Bryant's season. Do they communicate with each other?

Kris Bryant never made much secret of the fact that he liked to hit the ball in the air. “I liked hitting home runs when I was little,” he told the Chicago Tribune last year. “To do that, you have to hit the ball in the air, so that’s why I caught on pretty quick to the idea of hit it high and hard.”

That approach—executed by way of a steeply uppercut swing—carried Bryant, with immodest success, through high school, college, and the minor leagues. The home runs came easy. Even in the big leagues, the harsh uppercut produced 26 home runs in 2015, Bryant’s rookie season.

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Chicago acquiring Aroldis Chapman from New York is a complicated, blockbuster trade on and off the field.

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Chicago makes the inevitable trade of Dan Vogelbach's big bat and gets team-controlled left-hander Mike Montgomery from Seattle in return.

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The world's been terrible, but the Seagers have been joy.

This is a curiosity, really, more than anything else. There’s no deeper meaning to it, and you probably won’t leave this piece with a better sense of why the sky is blue, the sea deep, or the winter cold. But it’s a fun curiosity, I think, and moreover it’s possible you’ll find the 10 minutes you invest in reading the words I’m about to write a worthwhile diversion from your ongoing journey toward nonexistence. Here’s Corey Seager’s 2016 line, through games played on Monday night:

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Are contact, line-drive hitters better positioned to succeed against this era's best pitchers?

About a week ago, I contributed a portion of an article published on this site that was centered around a simple conceit: Sam Miller and I would each design and manage an All-Star roster optimized to win a single game, and a single game only. In the introduction to my section of the piece, I noted that I found the whole exercise a little foolish:

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