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Zachary Levine 

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08-01

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Transaction Analysis: Astros, Marlins, Swap Sell-Low Guys
by
Zachary Levine, Jeff Moore, J.P. Breen and Jason Parks

07-31

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1

Skewed Left: The Nomar Garciaparra Trade Turns Ten
by
Zachary Levine

07-25

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4

Skewed Left: The Mismatched Incentives of Draftees and Their Agents
by
Zachary Levine

07-17

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 494: Evan Drellich on the Astros' Aiken Pains
by
Ben Lindbergh and Zachary Levine

07-15

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4

Skewed Left: What Is An All-Star Pitcher?
by
Zachary Levine

07-09

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7

Skewed Left: What the CBA Says About the All-Star Game
by
Zachary Levine

07-03

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16

Skewed Left: The Ingrained, Misguided, 162-Game Schedule
by
Zachary Levine

06-26

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3

Skewed Left: Which Position Players Make the Best Pitchers?
by
Zachary Levine

06-19

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2

Skewed Left: The Missing Mound Charge
by
Zachary Levine

06-12

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Skewed Left: The Wisdom of Pinch-Hitting with Pitchers
by
Zachary Levine

06-05

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17

Skewed Left: The Economics of the Singleton Extension
by
Zachary Levine

05-29

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7

Skewed Left: What We've Learned About Replay
by
Zachary Levine

05-22

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1

Skewed Left: Dallas Keuchel Defies his Destiny
by
Zachary Levine

05-13

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21

Skewed Left: How Much Losing Jose Fernandez Hurts
by
Zachary Levine

05-08

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2

Skewed Left: The Five Teams That Don't Have to Play by (All of) the Rules
by
Zachary Levine

05-01

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Skewed Left: Staying Alive in the Independent Leagues, 2014 Edition
by
Zachary Levine

04-24

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9

Skewed Left: The Squandered Promise of the Diamondbacks Rotation
by
Zachary Levine

04-18

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4

Skewed Left: How Service Time Dictates Top Prospect Promotions
by
Zachary Levine

04-16

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 429: The Dodgers, DirecTV, and Baseball's Broadcast Bubble/Your Finest Emails
by
Ben Lindbergh and Zachary Levine

04-10

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7

Skewed Left: The Surprising Sameness of Justin Upton
by
Zachary Levine

04-03

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11

Skewed Left: The Revolving Door Rankings
by
Zachary Levine

03-27

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11

Skewed Left: PECOTA vs. Vegas
by
Zachary Levine

03-25

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10

Prospectus Preview: AL East 2014 Preseason Preview
by
Andrew Koo and Zachary Levine

03-20

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7

Skewed Left: Where Are All the Australian Position Players?
by
Zachary Levine

03-13

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25

Skewed Left: The Good and the Bad News About Instant Replay's Spring Trial
by
Zachary Levine

03-07

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3

BP Unfiltered: Your Attempts To Explain Baseball
by
Zachary Levine

03-06

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42

Skewed Left: The Art of Explaining Baseball
by
Zachary Levine

02-27

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13

Skewed Left: What it Means to Move Off Catcher
by
Zachary Levine

02-26

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5

BP Unfiltered: Sabermetrics Goes MOOC
by
Zachary Levine

02-13

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41

Point/Counterpoint
by
Ben Lindbergh and Zachary Levine

02-13

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9

Skewed Left: Fun with 2014 PECOTA Comparables
by
Zachary Levine

02-06

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7

Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contracts
by
Zachary Levine

01-30

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18

Skewed Left: Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman
by
Zachary Levine

01-23

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3

Skewed Left: Bobby Abreu, the Phillies, and Other Reunions That Might Make Sense
by
Zachary Levine

01-16

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5

Skewed Left: The Historical Precedent for an A-Rod Comeback
by
Zachary Levine

01-07

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21

Skewed Left: What the 1936 Hall of Fame Ballot Tells Us About Today's
by
Zachary Levine

01-02

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25

Skewed Left: Better Versions of Bad Hall of Fame Arguments
by
Zachary Levine

12-26

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9

Skewed Left: The Quiet Offseason in Odds
by
Zachary Levine

12-19

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2

Skewed Left: The Company They Tweet, The Sequel
by
Zachary Levine

12-12

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11

Skewed Left: A Cooperstown Party Like it's 1999
by
Zachary Levine

12-05

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8

Ask the Industry
by
Zachary Levine

11-21

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12

Skewed Left: My Column: The Jokes the Internet Killed in 2013
by
Zachary Levine

11-14

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42

Skewed Left: Why Deserving MVPs Don't Win
by
Zachary Levine

10-31

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17

Playoff Prospectus: Boston's Fast Track to Success
by
Zachary Levine

10-25

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6

Skewed Left: Shane Victorino and the Hunt for the Elusive 9-3 Putout
by
Zachary Levine

10-24

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Playoff Prospectus: What the Media Asked the Managers (and What it Means)
by
Zachary Levine

10-21

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9

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game Six Recap: Red Sox 5, Tigers 2
by
Zachary Levine

10-14

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24

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game Two Recap: Red Sox 6, Tigers 5
by
Zachary Levine

10-13

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Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game One Recap: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0
by
Zachary Levine

10-09

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Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Game Four Recap: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
by
Zachary Levine

<< Previous Author Entries Next Author Entries >>

What do expanded replay's early returns tell us about how well the expanded replay system will work this season?

I give it one year until there’s a fundamental change to Major League Baseball’s new replay system.

I’d give it even less time if we weren’t less than three weeks from baseball season. While MLB certainly isn’t opposed to going seat-of-the-pants on this, the league probably won’t want to make another major change so soon.

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Responses to how one explains baseball to somebody who's never seen it before.

This was probably the most fun comments section I've had the pleasure to peruse. Thursday's "Skewed Left" piece on how to explain baseball to somebody who's never seen it before inspired some great stories of your experiences, mostly with visitors from other countries, it inspired a bit of push-back on some of my ideas, and it brought out some of your attempts to put an explanation together.

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March 6, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Art of Explaining Baseball

42

Zachary Levine

How quickly can you describe baseball to someone who's never seen the sport?

When you attend a graduate school program that’s 45 percent international, there are some things you expect to come with the territory. You may be asked to edit some classmates’ papers for things that seem pretty simple to us, like subject-verb agreement. You may have to relent and call that all-kicking sport “football” for a couple of years just to avoid an argument. But there will be payoffs. You expect to be introduced to all different cultures, and more importantly all different kinds of food, and that’s more than met my expectations so far.

But one thing I didn’t expect, even in a program that’s so diverse, was to show up at class one day and have this projected onto the pull-down screen.

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February 27, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: What it Means to Move Off Catcher

13

Zachary Levine

How have players who've changed positions from catcher (like Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana) historically tended to do?

One of the favorite storylines this time of year is the positional change, whether it’s putting on an entirely different kind of glove or just moving over a few dozen feet to the left or right. Predicting performance changes is hard, but a positional change is something we can see, so it’s something we can write.

One of the least-favorite storylines—or at least most confusing—is when a positional change comes with a promise that the player will be able to improve on offense because he can spend more time working on it.

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A Q&A with Professor Andy Andres, who announced the formation of an online course in Sabermetrics Tuesday.

It was year much better known for a different baseball breakthrough a few miles away, but 2004 was also the first year that Andy Andres first offered his class in sabermetrics at Tufts University just outside of Boston. Ten years later, the Tufts and Boston University-affiliated professor is bringing his course into a more populist place as a MOOC - a massive open online course - through Boston University and the online platform EdX.

Read the full article...

February 13, 2014 7:55 am

Point/Counterpoint

41

Ben Lindbergh and Zachary Levine

A First Take-type debate.

On Wednesday, Derek Jeter announced that 2014 will be his final season in professional baseball, leaving us with only eight months to contemplate his career and wonder what we'll do without him. For now, though, we can only ask: Was that just the best retirement announcement we've ever seen, or what? BP's Ben Lindbergh and Zachary Levine weigh in.

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February 13, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Fun with 2014 PECOTA Comparables

9

Zachary Levine

A look at the players who are just meant to be together.

As a non-fantasy player going on eight years clean, and also as a non-baseball team employee, I might not be the precise target audience for our PECOTA projection system.

Still, PECOTA Day continues to be one of my favorite days of the year, and I think the player comps are a huge part of the reason why. Comparisons are a dangerous thing in baseball. They can be too binding and too racial. They can set too high an expectation—the draft day comps on television are particularly laughable. They can cloud judgment.

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February 6, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contracts

7

Zachary Levine

Do one-day contracts actually exist? And should they?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (SEO Power Boost!) was even to most baseball fans the most recognizable name taken in baseball’s Rule 5 draft, and by far the most recognizable name taken in the generally ignored minor league phase.

That’s only because the biggest name available was passed over, though.

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January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman

18

Zachary Levine

Zachary closes the book on the career of the most interesting player he ever covered.

My favorite baseball player informed the world of his retirement yesterday, if I’m allowed to say that sort of thing and keep my BBWAA card. Lance Berkman had all the qualities of a favorite player before I started covering the game, when I was allowed to have a real favorite. He was a personality. He played on really good and interesting teams. He was a saber-appreciated player given his skill set. He hit left-handed. (OK, he nominally switch-hit, but really, he hit left-handed.)

But I didn’t really have favorites when I was just a fan, and so my favorite players were the ones who were fun to talk with as a reporter, and Berkman was absolutely that. I didn’t have the pleasure of covering him for long—I started covering the Astros something resembling full-time in 2010, the year it all started going bad and he was traded to the Yankees. But he was without a doubt the most interesting and outspoken ballplayer—on topics from drugs to the state of his or any other franchise to Bud Selig—I’ve ever dealt with. He had the best grasp of the business of baseball and his role as a player in that business. And the fact that he was pleasant never hurt and won’t hurt when Hall of Fame ballots are due in five years.

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Bobby Abreu improbably returned to his longtime team. Why can't these guys do the same?

Since the 1998 realignment—and by the way, it's always nice when your arbitrary endpoint stat starts being interesting in 1947, 1961, 1969, 1973, 1995 or 1998 so you can disguise its arbitrariness—only one National League team has had three position players compile 40-plus wins above replacement (full list here). And now Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and yes, Bobby Abreu are together again in Philadelphia, making this one of the more notable reunions for nostalgia's sake, if not any 2014 on-field impact.

Abreu signed a minor league deal with the Phillies this week and managed to avoid most of the snark that usually accompanies such signings of old players. For one thing, even though we're sometimes bad at this (see Young, Delmon) it was just a minor league deal. Also, the Phillies' standard in the public eye for their old signings is low enough that this one looks okay by comparison, and their outfield had a hole to fill. Mostly, I think, it's that unlike Young and some of the other aged relics, Abreu is somebody we actually like.

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January 16, 2014 6:08 am

Skewed Left: The Historical Precedent for an A-Rod Comeback

5

Zachary Levine

Could Alex Rodriguez return and produce in 2015?

The first A-Rod, well before the fat A-Rod that we know today, might have looked like this guy.

His name is Candy Nelson, and more than 120 years ago, he did what Alex Rodriguez is facing the prospect of having to accomplish when his 162-game suspension ends. Rodriguez will be four months short of his 40th birthday when he comes back to play, presuming both that no federal court intervention changes the decree and that he does desire to return.

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Player limits, backlogs, character clause controversies...none of it is new.

Hall of Fame voting is decidedly broken. Or maybe it’s only a mess depending on the alarmism factor of the columnist who says so. Or maybe the Hall itself is broken and beyond repair.

The problems are deep-rooted and comprehensive, covering everything from interpretation of the ballot to the moralizing of the voting base.

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