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Expanded Horizons 

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04-26

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8

Expanded Horizons: An Hour with Marvin Miller
by
Tommy Bennett

08-10

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6

Expanded Horizons: Anonymastros
by
Tommy Bennett

07-27

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9

Expanded Horizons: The Mystery of Jered Weaver
by
Tommy Bennett

07-19

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1

Expanded Horizons: What's it Thome?
by
Tommy Bennett

07-15

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0

Expanded Horizons: No Walk in the Park
by
Tommy Bennett

05-06

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26

Expanded Horizons: Get it While it's Hot
by
Tommy Bennett

04-22

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48

Expanded Horizons: Eight, Ten, Here We Go Again
by
Tommy Bennett

04-15

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5

Expanded Horizons: Relying on Relievers
by
Tommy Bennett

03-28

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7

Expanded Horizons: Diversifying Doug Melvin
by
Tommy Bennett

03-07

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10

Expanded Horizons: Jay Another Day
by
Tommy Bennett

02-28

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9

Expanded Horizons: Quantifying Hope
by
Tommy Bennett

02-18

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12

Expanded Horizons: Journey to the Center of the Worth
by
Tommy Bennett

02-11

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16

Expanded Horizons: Pujols Plays His Cards
by
Tommy Bennett

02-04

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10

Expanded Horizons: The Night Before PECOTA Christmas
by
Tommy Bennett

01-26

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6

Expanded Horizons: No One Man Should have All that Glower
by
Tommy Bennett

01-19

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1

Expanded Horizons: A Dominican Adventure
by
Tommy Bennett

01-12

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18

Expanded Horizons: White Elephants
by
Tommy Bennett

12-23

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6

Expanded Horizons: Just Stick to the Plan
by
Tommy Bennett

10-26

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9

Expanded Horizons: Lessons from the Flags
by
Tommy Bennett

10-12

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7

Expanded Horizons: Brooks Conrad
by
Tommy Bennett

09-21

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12

Expanded Horizons: The Great NL West race
by
Tommy Bennett

09-14

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3

Expanded Horizons: Don't Call It a Comeback
by
Tommy Bennett

09-07

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7

Expanded Horizons: Flooded with Choices
by
Tommy Bennett

08-31

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8

Expanded Horizons: Understanding Post-season Odds
by
Tommy Bennett

08-17

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23

Expanded Horizons: Mariano Rivera, Outlier
by
Tommy Bennett

08-10

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6

Expanded Horizons: The Benefits of Roy Oswalt
by
Tommy Bennett

08-03

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6

Expanded Horizons: Rockpiling On
by
Tommy Bennett

07-27

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12

Expanded Horizons: If July Were April
by
Tommy Bennett

07-20

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3

Expanded Horizons: Ulnar Landing
by
Tommy Bennett

07-13

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7

Expanded Horizons: The Difficulty of Being a Rookie
by
Tommy Bennett

07-06

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13

Expanded Horizons: AL Central Pitching
by
Tommy Bennett

06-29

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35

Expanded Horizons: Is It Next Year Yet?
by
Tommy Bennett

06-22

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20

Expanded Horizons: Popups Get Me Through The Night
by
Tommy Bennett

06-15

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11

Expanded Horizons: In the Red
by
Tommy Bennett

06-08

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18

Expanded Horizons: Perfection
by
Tommy Bennett

06-01

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16

Expanded Horizons: Two Dogmas of Sabermetrics
by
Tommy Bennett

05-25

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7

Expanded Horizons: Running Down The Standings
by
Tommy Bennett

05-18

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10

Expanded Horizons: The Unlikely First-Place Teams
by
Tommy Bennett

05-11

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24

Expanded Horizons: The No-Hit Teams
by
Tommy Bennett

05-04

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11

Expanded Horizons: Game Stories
by
Tommy Bennett

04-27

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2

Expanded Horizons: A Change in Style
by
Tommy Bennett

04-20

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14

Expanded Horizons: Lincecum's Velocity and Movement
by
Tommy Bennett

04-13

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43

Expanded Horizons: Trading Evan Longoria
by
Tommy Bennett

04-06

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11

Expanded Horizons: Closers To The Edge
by
Tommy Bennett

03-30

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30

Expanded Horizons: AL Central Battle Royale
by
Tommy Bennett

03-23

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18

Expanded Horizons: Mauer Present Value
by
Tommy Bennett

03-16

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5

Expanded Horizons: Don't Count Out The Diamondbacks
by
Tommy Bennett

03-09

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9

Expanded Horizons: Braves Optimism
by
Tommy Bennett

03-02

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31

Expanded Horizons: Best Non-Closers
by
Tommy Bennett

02-23

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31

Expanded Horizons: Overrating Fifth Starters
by
Tommy Bennett

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Tommy attends a panel marking the 40th anniversary of the 1972 strike and returns with tales of the Players Association's past.

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August 10, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: Anonymastros

6

Tommy Bennett

A look at the new-look Astros and the many unknowns currently inhabiting Minute Maid Park.

Since July 1, the Astros are 9-23 and have been outscored 109-163. At the trade deadline, they traded away their two most recognizable offensive stars, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn. Even before the deadline, Jeff Keppinger was sent packing. The Astros were probably the worst team in baseball before the deadline and were certainly that after it. The obscurity of the Houston lineup caused Larry Granillo to ask how the team would stack up against the Peanuts gang. That may be a stretch, but it seems fair enough to ask how they would stack up against a middling Triple-A team. Given how long Baseball Prospectus authors and our fellow travelers have been calling for rebuilding in the Bayou City, however, it seems unfair to criticize their current futility. Instead, let us provide this introduction to the new-look(-away) Astros.

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July 27, 2011 9:54 am

Expanded Horizons: The Mystery of Jered Weaver

9

Tommy Bennett

A look at Jered Weaver's outstanding 2011 season, his perpetually great ERA, and his propensity for pop-ups.

On July 21, Jered Weaver recorded his 13th win of the season. His box score recorded his seven innings, two walks, and six strikeouts to go with his zero runs and seven hits. His box score even recorded his 122 pitches—the sixth time this year he has thrown 120 pitches or more. Next to his box score, Weaver sits atop the leaderboard for ERA. But Weaver’s box scores do not tell the whole story.

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July 19, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: What's it Thome?

1

Tommy Bennett

While some home-run hitters can make it look easy, nothing about Jim Thome has ever looked effortless.

Jim Thome hit his 596th career home run on Sunday. The 490-foot blast was as pure a demonstration of Thome’s classic swing as any in his 20-year career. Delmon Young, who looked on from the on-deck circle, put it best when he simply gaped at the homer’s majesty. (The .gif linked above is almost certainly the finest of this baseball season so far. The way Young’s face slowly edges into the frame really sells it.) Others have written at length about the noteworthiness of Thome’s home run, but it’s worth reiterating the finer points of Thome’s style and swing.  

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July 15, 2011 10:17 am

Expanded Horizons: No Walk in the Park

0

Tommy Bennett

Tommy looks at the difficulty in improving one's control but three pitchers who have managed to do so thus far in 2011.

Just throw a strike, for the love of all that is good and holy. Surely you’ve thought this after you team’s pitcher walks the third guy in an inning. Just throwing strikes seems like the easiest way in the world to win. If only these bums would challenge hitters in the zone they might be able to limit the damage, pitch deeper into games, and eat more innings. But dumping walks by increasing control is one of those “good work if you can get it” type of situations. For every Brad Radke there are three Daniel Cabreras waiting in the wings.

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May 6, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: Get it While it's Hot

26

Tommy Bennett

Did the Royals jump the gun in calling up Eric Hosmer, or were they wise to risk making their top prospect a Super Two?

By now, you should know that the Kansas City Royals have exactly eleventy-million prospects capable of making scouts drool. If you watched any Royals spring training games this year, you probably already know that they got a lot more interesting after about the fifth or sixth inning. That’s when the ringers from Omaha and Northwest Arkansas would come in and knock the ball around a bit. You may also know that the Royals have an astonishingly low $11.73 million committed to next year’s payroll. (Even the relatively cheap Indians owe Travis Hafner $13 million; at least KC’s money is going mostly to Billy Butler.) And, finally, you may have heard that the Royals made the decision to call up Eric Hosmer, the prospect with the most compelling legend—all indications are that he will make his major-league debut tonight at home. Heck, the call-up was the lead story on Royals.com last night.

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Expanding the playoff field from eight to ten teams might enrich the Lords of the Realm, but what effect would it have on the fans?

Bud Selig has started up the expanded-playoff mill once again. On Thursday, the Commissioner told the AP that he believes the playoffs will expand from eight teams to 10 beginning in the 2012 season, reigniting what was already a very controversial issue even among the most devoted of baseball fans. At BP, reactions have ranged from pure criticism to mild tolerance. I propose we put to one side, at least for the moment, what the right answer is. Let’s see if we can first agree on a set of common principles on which to evaluate a proposal like this one.

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April 15, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: Relying on Relievers

5

Tommy Bennett

Teams that live and die by their bullpens tend not to succeed, which doesn't bode well for the Yankees and other teams that have eschewed their starters in the early going.

The Heath Bell Curve

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March 28, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: Diversifying Doug Melvin

7

Tommy Bennett

Does the composition of the Brewers' roster justify their decision to go all in?

[I]n the domain of zero to one, not-something to something, Pointsman can only possess the zero and the one. He cannot, like Mexico, survive anyplace in between. Like his master I. P. Pavlov before him, he imagines the cortex of the brain as a mosaic of tiny on/off elements. . . . [E]ach point is allowed only the two states: waking or sleep. . . . But to Mexico belongs the domain between zero and one—the middle Pointsman has excluded from his persuasion—the probabilities.

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March 7, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: Jay Another Day

10

Tommy Bennett

Toronto fans wish the Blue Jay Way wouldn't be long, but can the team be blamed for bowing out of the ultra-competitive AL East?

How do GMs of 85-win teams usually go about their offseasons? Most folks, not just major-league front-office executives, smell blood in the water and position themselves for the kill. The natural—and here I mean to evoke the ruthlessness of the Serengeti—reaction to the just-missed-it is the try-try-again. I take this phenomenon to be the primary explanation of, among other things: the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s; William Jennings Bryan; and the modern popularity of golf.

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February 28, 2011 9:00 am

Expanded Horizons: Quantifying Hope

9

Tommy Bennett

Is it true that every team has a shot this Spring?

I’m anxious to see how it all blooms together.” —Astros General Manager Ed Wade

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February 18, 2011 1:34 am

Expanded Horizons: Journey to the Center of the Worth

12

Tommy Bennett

Methodological musings on the nature of stolen base runs.

Baserunning is the neglected stepsister of offense. It tends not to be well correlated with metrics that evaluate hitting performance, and indeed is often more likely to be associated with defense. The common intuition that teams that play good defense tend to run the bases well to boot is corroborated by the data, which makes sense, given that speed plays an important role in both pursuits. The top ten baserunners in baseball by BRR are all considered above average defenders, and each plays—or is capable of playing—an up-the-middle position. At the same time, only Carl Crawford among them is considered a great hitter, and a couple of them (Emilio Bonifacio, I’m looking at you) are downright dreadful. In other words, baserunning is one of those dusty backwaters of analysis that continually confounds expectations.

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