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Painting the Black 

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06-30

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22

Painting the Black: The Trade Deadline Preview
by
R.J. Anderson

06-25

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4

Painting the Black: Red Sox Playing Badly, Playing Bradley
by
R.J. Anderson

06-16

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0

Painting the Black: Lessons of a Bad Basestealer
by
R.J. Anderson

06-04

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1

Painting the Black: How to Slow Down Dee Gordon
by
R.J. Anderson

05-27

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3

Painting the Black: Rebuilding a Right Way
by
R.J. Anderson

05-20

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0

Painting the Black: The Werth-Case Outcome
by
R.J. Anderson

05-16

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4

Painting the Black: Bullish on Dozier
by
R.J. Anderson

05-09

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3

Painting the Black: Go Fix Yourself, San Diego
by
R.J. Anderson

05-07

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13

Painting the Black: Rites of Springer
by
R.J. Anderson

05-02

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8

Painting the Black: A Trip Through the NL West
by
R.J. Anderson

04-29

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9

Painting the Black: Singles Falling Steady
by
R.J. Anderson

04-23

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1

Painting the Black: Some Things Brewing
by
R.J. Anderson

04-18

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5

Painting the Black: Super Twoing
by
R.J. Anderson

04-14

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6

Painting the Black: Portents for the Imports of Importance
by
R.J. Anderson

04-10

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9

Painting the Black: (B.J.) Upton No Good
by
R.J. Anderson

04-04

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6

Painting the Black: Nathan Eovaldi and the Jarrod Saltalamacchia Effect
by
R.J. Anderson

03-31

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0

Painting the Black: The Mystery Men of Opening Day
by
R.J. Anderson

03-24

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7

Painting the Black: Men at Work
by
R.J. Anderson

03-21

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1

Painting the Black: The Predictive Power of the Hit By Pitch
by
R.J. Anderson

03-19

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3

Painting the Black: Up and Adams
by
R.J. Anderson

03-07

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9

Painting the Black: Spring Flings
by
R.J. Anderson

03-03

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2

Painting the Black: The Prospect Proximity Rankings
by
R.J. Anderson

02-27

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2

Painting the Black: Lessons from the Top 50 Free Agents List
by
R.J. Anderson

02-19

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8

Painting the Black: Cash/Rizz Everything Around Me
by
R.J. Anderson

02-07

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4

Painting the Black: Slow Jams
by
R.J. Anderson

01-29

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4

Painting the Black: Blistery Science Theater
by
R.J. Anderson

01-14

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7

Painting the Black: Smyly Anticipated
by
R.J. Anderson

11-15

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10

Painting the Black: Suicide is Painless
by
R.J. Anderson

11-05

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38

Painting the Black: The 50 Best Free Agents of 2013-2014
by
R.J. Anderson

09-26

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5

Painting the Black: The Angels' Demons
by
R.J. Anderson

09-23

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3

Painting the Black: The Indians' Kluber Man
by
R.J. Anderson

09-19

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6

Painting the Black: The Things You See
by
R.J. Anderson

09-16

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4

Painting the Black: The Transactions We Didn't Analyze
by
R.J. Anderson

09-10

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7

Painting the Black: Flipping the Birds
by
R.J. Anderson

09-09

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3

Painting the Black: The Pirates' Untold Tales
by
R.J. Anderson

09-03

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2

Painting the Black: For Detroit, Who'll Stop the Run?
by
R.J. Anderson

08-22

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1

Painting the Black: Fish with Arms
by
R.J. Anderson

08-12

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7

Painting the Black: Wil the Thril
by
R.J. Anderson

08-08

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3

Painting the Black: Rating Rizzo
by
R.J. Anderson

08-05

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3

Painting the Black: The Holding Company
by
R.J. Anderson

07-29

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Painting the Black: The Mid-Season Unknowns
by
R.J. Anderson

07-22

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2

Painting the Black: The Brewers Who Might Be Moving
by
R.J. Anderson

07-19

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2

Painting the Black: White Sox Who Could Be Moving
by
R.J. Anderson

07-16

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1

Painting the Black: The Mariners Who May Be Moving
by
R.J. Anderson

07-11

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4

Painting the Black: Time for Phillies to Rebuild, or Refill?
by
R.J. Anderson

07-10

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5

Painting the Black: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Intervention
by
R.J. Anderson

07-08

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1

Painting the Black: The Outside Man
by
R.J. Anderson

07-03

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6

Painting the Black: The Astros Who May Be Moving
by
R.J. Anderson

07-01

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7

Painting the Black: The Marlins Who May Be Moving
by
R.J. Anderson

06-26

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3

Painting the Black: Trade Deadline Closeup: Chicago Cubs
by
R.J. Anderson

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The Buyers, the Sellers, the players who'll move, and one unacknowledged opportunity to snark about Omar Minaya.

The buyers far outnumber those interested in moving the present for the future. These four teams seem like the most likely to make moves.

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June 25, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Red Sox Playing Badly, Playing Bradley

4

R.J. Anderson

With the Red Sox in a mire, their rookie center fielder's present is up in the air.

At 35-42, the Red Sox have not played to expectations. The good news is, for the most part, neither have the other American League East teams. That widespread mediocrity has kept the Red Sox within 7 1/2 games of the Blue Jays—a surmountable, if sizable, gap, given the teams have 13 head-to-head matchups remaining. With seven of those games occurring prior to the trade deadline, July will have added significance for Boston. Not only will Ben Cherington learn a lot about his team's chances to repeat over the next few weeks but, by extension, we'll learn a lot about his evaluation of certain Red Sox players. Like Jackie Bradley Jr., who could find himself on the outs.

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June 16, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Lessons of a Bad Basestealer

0

R.J. Anderson

Who is Dee Gordon's opposite, and what can he teach us about the complexities of taking 90 feet?

You've heard some variation of the idea that you need to endure the clouds to enjoy the sunshine. That sentiment applies in baseball, too. For us to appreciate how good a basestealer Dee Gordon is, you need to experience the inverse. Because Gordon at his best is a high-volume, high-efficiency thief who creates a sense of invincibility—there's nothing you can do to stop him—the inverse is a player who runs often and succeeds rarely. This player doesn't have to be slow, or inept at the physical act of running, he just has to be inefficient and irrational. Lucky for us, Alex Rios fits the description.

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What happens when the best baserunner in the game meets the best pickoff artist? The rest of the league gets a lesson.

This was supposed to be Billy Hamilton's year. After a 13-game cameo in 2013, during which he stole 13 bases on 14 attempts, the 23-year-old entered spring entrenched as an everyday fixture. Two months into the season, Hamilton has failed to meet expectations. While he continues to inspire think-pieces and fun comparisons, his play—including his basestealing—has disappointed. Hamilton, likely the sport's fastest player, has gone 20-for-26 on stolen-base tries. Good, but not transcendent.

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The Athletics' latest zig has been as unexpected in the current baseball landscape as it has been impressive.

To think Billy Beane entered the 2012 season in an unenviable position. His Athletics had won 70-something games for the third time in four years, spurring the ever-active general manager to retool his roster for the umpteenth time. Beane removed the veterans; he traded Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, and Andrew Bailey for prospects, and wished David DeJesus and Josh Willingham all the best as they departed through free agency. Beane would later balance the subtractions by adding Coco Crisp and Bartolo Colon—moves that (seemingly) doubled as peace offerings to the union—but the net result was a payroll trimmed of about $15 million.

All the departures caused the A's to abandon their short-term aspirations in pursuit of the future. Beane, who has worked with a bottom-six payroll since 2011, was left to improve his roster using one of the game's best farm systems. Built mostly through trades—the A's have picked in the top-10 just once since selecting Barry Zito in 1999—Oakland's farm system entered that pivotal 2012 season ranked fourth in the league; however harmful those aforementioned trades were to fan morale, the returns had nourished a once-weak prospect stable. It's been said that in baseball you're either selling hope or selling wins.

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May 20, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Werth-Case Outcome

0

R.J. Anderson

Jayson Werth hasn't been, as predicted, the worst signing of the 2010 offseason. Does he have a case for being the best?

When the Nationals signed Jayson Werth to a seven-year deal worth $126 million, back in winter 2010, the expectation was that they would come to regret the decision.

The reasons were obvious. Werth was a 31-year-old corner outfielder who was closer to good than elite. Moreover, the Nationals were closer to bad than average. Washington had gone five years since its most recent .500 effort, and in the previous season had won just 69 games. True, the Nats had an impressive array of young talent climbing the organizational depth chart, but it seemed Werth would be in his mid-30s and on the decline by the time those kids matured. All those variables factored into a rival general manager telling Ken Rosenthal that the deal was “Absolutely bat[flipping] crazy.”

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May 16, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Bullish on Dozier

4

R.J. Anderson

Where did the breakout version of Brian Dozier come from?

Most of the time, prospects conform to their scouting reports. Those who don't are the interesting ones.

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May 9, 2014 10:23 am

Painting the Black: Go Fix Yourself, San Diego

3

R.J. Anderson

The Padres' offense is startingly bad. Who'll take the fall?

Near the end of Geoff Young's Padres essay in Baseball Prospectus 2014, he concludes that San Diego's recent struggles "might indicate a larger problem, but it also could be terrible luck. Without closer scrutiny than publicly available information permits, it's impossible to know."

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The Astros' slugging prospect is not slugging at all. Is it a phase, or does Springer have fatal attributes?

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May 2, 2014 6:17 am

Painting the Black: A Trip Through the NL West

8

R.J. Anderson

Walt Weiss' bunts, Tim Hudson's longevity, Robbie Erlin's future and Trevor Cahill's present are on R.J.'s mind.

A lot happens in baseball every night, and neither man nor Daniel Rathman can keep up with it all. So every few weeks we'll look at some stories within a division that would have otherwise slipped through the cracks. Let's start with the National League West.

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Zack Wheeler's early-season BABIP problem.

The easiest way to explain regression to someone is to do so in baseball terms. Batters rarely threaten .400 these days because of the upped quality of competition. The inverse works, too; pitchers with high earned run averages are replaced before long because teams have capable replacements. There are exceptions to those explanations—Neifi Perez tallied more plate appearances in the majors than Hank Sauer did, after all—but they train people to think in a certain way.

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Milwaukee is the surprise of the spring. A look at what has made them interesting.

Among the surprise teams in the early going, the Brewers have a case for most shocking. Milwaukee entered the season pegged for fourth place in the division by the Baseball Prospectus staff, but has raced to a major-league best 15-5 start. Of course it is early and any team can look brilliant over a 20-game sample—even last season's Astros managed a 12-8 run in late May and early June—yet the Brewers deserve some attention for their hot start, which gave them higher playoff odds through Tuesday than all but five teams in the majors. Rather than harp about their inability to play this well all summer long, let's focus on some of the intriguing developments surrounding the team.

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