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Painting the Black 

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11-04

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32

Painting the Black: The Free Agent 50
by
R.J. Anderson

10-30

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2

Painting the Black: That Time We All Hated the Mike Morse Signing
by
R.J. Anderson

09-25

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2

Painting the Black: How David Price Gets The Best of Jose Abreu
by
R.J. Anderson

09-18

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14

Painting the Black: The Plightin' Showalters
by
R.J. Anderson

09-10

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4

Painting the Black: Bless Da 40
by
R.J. Anderson

09-05

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3

Painting the Black: The Short Lifespan of a Pinch-Hit AB
by
R.J. Anderson

08-22

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6

Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Twins Approach
by
R.J. Anderson

08-15

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5

Painting the Black: Danny Duffy's Bestie
by
R.J. Anderson

08-08

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7

Painting the Black: Seven Days with Oscar
by
R.J. Anderson

07-24

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7

Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer Myth
by
R.J. Anderson

07-17

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1

Painting the Black: The Stealth Steals
by
R.J. Anderson

07-10

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2

Painting the Black: Book Review: The Art of Scouting
by
R.J. Anderson

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

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Evaluations of the top 50 free agents available in the 2014-2015 offseason, with near-worthless predictions about where they'll land.

Another year, another top-50 list. Here are three things to remember while reading through the rankings: 1) international free agents were excluded on the principle that if I haven't seen them in some manner or another, then I don't feel comfortable ranking them; 2) "Randy" is a random number generator whose predictions were made by pairing integers with teams (e.g. the number 1 and the Angels); and 3) the list is ordered based on expected AAV with some other considerations (learned from past lists) factored in:

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We don't know anything about baseball, part 1 million.

This postseason took joy in reminding us how little we know about the game. Whether it was the Royals, the team that felt least likely to advance to the World Series, reaching the Fall Classic with a perfect postseason record; or the Giants, another Wild Card team turned pennant winner, taking the whole thing despite having five starts last four innings or fewer, and three end in under three innings; this October created self doubt for everyone at some point or another.

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September 25, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: How David Price Gets The Best of Jose Abreu

2

R.J. Anderson

In a repeat matchup, David Price shows the many things he can do, and teaches us something about Abreu in the process.

Even before he received a proper introduction, David Price seemed to respect Jose Abreu. Consider how Price approached Abreu during their first encounter. Price pitched to him three times, and all but doffed his cap with his pitch selection. The intent was clear: Price wanted to keep Abreu's barrel off the fastball, hence why he threw him a changeup in a different situation each time. First it was in a 1-0 count, then as the 1-1 offering, and lastly to begin the day's final conflict, which led to this resolution:

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Is there any good reason not to take the Orioles as seriously as the other contenders?

With their victory on Tuesday, the Orioles clinched the American League East for the first time since 1997. By any measure, the O's are a top-five team. Baltimore ranks second in the majors in wins, fourth in run differential, and fifth in third-order and Pythagorean winning percentages. Consistency? April was their only sub-.500 month. Peaking late? Doesn't matter, but they've won 39 of their 57 post-break games. It's enough to make even stolid Buck Showalter smile—well, almost. Yet impressive credentials notwithstanding, few seem to consider the Orioles a legitimate World Series contender.

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September 10, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Bless Da 40

4

R.J. Anderson

How a team without prospects is making the most of its 40-man roster.

It's been said before that desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius. Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto can relate to the notion. On Monday, Dipoto added a majors-leading 37th player to his roster, purchasing reliever Jairo Diaz's contract from the minors. The body count will increase by one in the coming days, when left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher returns from the disabled list. Even the two Angels players on the 40-man roster who aren't with the big-league club—pitchers Jose Alvarez and Drew Rucinski—have experienced life in The Show this season. As such, it's fair to conclude that Dipoto has utilized his 40-man roster to an extent and effect that differs from any other GM.

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September 5, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Short Lifespan of a Pinch-Hit AB

3

R.J. Anderson

What's so different about pinch-hitting?

Baseball is a game of countless axioms. You can never have enough pitching, you shouldn't make the first or third out at third base, and good things will happen if you throw strikes. Much of this wisdom has been challenged over the years, some of it verified. One self-evident truth is tested more in September, with its expanded rosters and flabby lineup cards, than in any other month: pinch-hitting and starting aren't the same. Considering their rarity—particularly in the American League—it's impressive that any truism about pinch-hitters could tally considerable mileage, yet one does. To wit:

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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Twins Approach

6

R.J. Anderson

Henderson Alvarez is unlike anything in baseball, and it's working.

Before Jose Fernandez's UCL popped, he was enjoying a fantastic sophomore season. He'd tallied nearly twice as many strikeouts as hits allowed, and five times as many strikeouts as walks. He'd surrendered just four home runs, or about one every 13 innings, leaving him with a shiny 2.44 ERA. Yet, for as good as Fernandez's season was, if he qualified he wouldn't lead the Marlins rotation in ERA—that honor would go instead to Henderson Alvarez and his 2.43 mark.

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August 15, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Danny Duffy's Bestie

5

R.J. Anderson

How much of Danny Duffy's breakout season can be traced to James Shields?

On July 21st, the Royals dropped to eight games below the Tigers, following a fourth consecutive loss. The negativity that so often envelopes Kansas City baseball returned. Fans checked prospect lists rather than the standings in preparation for the trade deadline, and some even rationalized that a fruitful haul would be preferable to a spot in the Wild Card game. That and other beliefs about this year's team have since been challenged, as the Royals have claimed first place after winning 17 of their past 21 games.

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The Cardinals' brightest young hitter has taken off since his competition for playing time was traded. Is it real, and what does it look like?

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak accomplished two goals when he traded Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to the Red Sox for John Lackey and a prospect: 1) he improved a distressed rotation, and 2) he ensured additional playing time for Oscar Taveras. Deducing which development excites St. Louis fans more requires no poll, as Taveras is not just a fascinating young talent with star potential, but a fascinating young talent with star potential who fans feel has been mismanaged.

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July 24, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer Myth

7

R.J. Anderson

It's not so easy to bamboozle teams looking for summer relief.

Among the lessons taught in Moneyball, the one that crops up every July is what Michael Lewis designated "Selling the Closer."

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July 17, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Stealth Steals

1

R.J. Anderson

Reviewing the transactions we didn't write about but, in retrospect, wish we had.

Although we've published more than 100 Transaction Analysis columns since November, the reality is not every signing or waiver claim gets covered. Most of those missed transactions amount to nothing, but a few result in larger impacts than expected. Here are five uncovered moves that yielded good returns during the first half, along with what we would have written if we had covered them at the time, and what we should have written if we'd focused on exactly the right details.

Chris Coghlan

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July 10, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Book Review: The Art of Scouting

2

R.J. Anderson

The highlights from Art Stewart's and Sam Mellinger's new book.

The Art of Scouting, a new book written by Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger, was released last week. The title belies the content to some degree, since what follows is not a scouting manual (though there is a chapter that covers the basics, like the 20-80 scale). Instead the Art in question refers to long-time scout Art Stewart, whose seven decades in the game are covered in memoir form.

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