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08-25

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5

Baseball Therapy: Interaction Effects and Credit
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-18

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5

Baseball Therapy: Collage or Jigsaw?
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-11

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23

Baseball Therapy: Starlin Castro and ADHD
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-04

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21

Baseball Therapy: No Relief For Starters
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-28

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2

Baseball Therapy: Bumping the Grind
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-21

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11

Baseball Therapy: So You've Decided To Trade Within Your Division
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-08

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24

Baseball Therapy: Why Not Make the Hole Square?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-30

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19

Baseball Therapy: Better Playing Through Chemistry
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-23

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12

Baseball Therapy: The Wonderful World of Throwing to First
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-16

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3

Baseball Therapy: Paul Molitor is the Twinspiration
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-10

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7

Baseball Therapy: Who Really Won Game 6 of the 2011 World Series?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-03

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5

Baseball Therapy: The Credit Card Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-26

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16

Baseball Therapy: When Was the Sabermetric Revolution?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-19

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20

Baseball Therapy: The Left-Fielder Behind The Catcher Shift
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-12

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16

Baseball Therapy: Are You Over 18?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-08

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3

Baseball Therapy: Chemical Equations
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-28

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7

Baseball Therapy: Death of the Renaissance Man
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-21

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13

Baseball Therapy: Should They Pitch to the Eighth Hitter?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-14

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38

Baseball Therapy: Hit the Pitcher Eighth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-07

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0

Baseball Therapy: Chopping Up the Credit
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-31

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11

Baseball Therapy: The Most Important Player on the Field
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-25

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8

Baseball Therapy: On the High Five
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-17

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3

Baseball Therapy: Can a Manager 'Win' Spring Training?
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-11

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25

Baseball Therapy: Understanding Josh Hamilton
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-03

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26

Baseball Therapy: The Thirty-Run Manager
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-24

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15

Baseball Therapy: The 10th Man in the Lineup
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-18

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15

Baseball Therapy: The Clock is Ticking...
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-03

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9

Baseball Therapy: The Power of Changing Speeds
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-27

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13

Baseball Therapy: Why Saber-Savvy Teams Might Want a Shift Ban
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-20

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10

Baseball Therapy: Rick Ankiel's Third Act
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-08

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7

Baseball Therapy: The Trouble With Velocity
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-30

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34

Baseball Therapy: How to Vote Strategically for the Hall of Fame
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-23

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17

Baseball Therapy: Do Stars and Scrubs Lineups Actually Work?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-16

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5

Baseball Therapy: Should Teams Worry About Lineup Balance?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-02

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4

Baseball Therapy: Mining the Meaning in Matchups
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-25

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3

Baseball Therapy: The Timeshare DH
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-18

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8

Baseball Therapy: Against the Grind
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-11

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14

Baseball Therapy: It's Not a Phase
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-04

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11

Baseball Therapy: Why Joe Maddon Matters
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-29

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7

Baseball Therapy: The Problem With Lists
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-21

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5

Baseball Therapy: The Truth About Butterflies
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-14

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Other Playoff Myths
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-07

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3

Baseball Therapy: Sure As Day Follows Night...
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-07

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9

Baseball Therapy: The Cardinals Do Not Own Clayton Kershaw
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-30

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Wild Card Penalty
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-29

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8

Baseball Therapy: There Is No Derek Jeter Conspiracy
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-23

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21

Baseball Therapy: Will StatCast Cure Our Defensive Metric Blues?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-16

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4

Baseball Therapy: Starving Young Royals, Battle-Tested Tigers, and an Unsquarable Circle
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-09

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24

Baseball Therapy: Poisoned by Losing?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-04

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10

Baseball Therapy: I Guess You Just Throw The Next Pitch
by
Russell A. Carleton

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August 25, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Interaction Effects and Credit

5

Russell A. Carleton

Do pitchers change approaches depending on their defense? How should credit (in the sense of WAR) be assigned if so?

Last week, we discussed the baseball team as a jigsaw puzzle. How the pieces fit together (or don't) can make a real, tangible difference to a team. How much difference depends on what we're talking about. The way a defense fits with the pitcher on the mound could make a big difference; given some modest assumptions, on the order of half a win. But is that the only difference a good infield defense makes?

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August 18, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Collage or Jigsaw?

5

Russell A. Carleton

How much does fit matter on a roster?

I was not an art major. Kind of like my dreams of being a major-leaguer, my artistic abilities peaked in about third or fourth grade, when the art-class assignments went beyond pasting construction paper shapes on top of each other in some pre-specified order. But I was handy with the collage, which is the big-kid version of pasting vague shapes, this time cut out of magazines, in at least a bit of a formation. The important task is to get all of the important stuff onto the page. How it's arranged is secondary.

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August 11, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Starlin Castro and ADHD

23

Russell A. Carleton

Our resident clinical psychologist weighs in on the Starlin Castro/ADHD kerfuffle.

Last week, Cubs beat reporter Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote an article in which he discussed Cubs (former?) starting shortstop Starlin Castro and the possibility that Castro has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; Wittenmyer used the older name—ADD—which was retired in 1994). It caused a bit of a tizzy on Twitter, but just about everything causes a tizzy on Twitter. It was a strange tizzy though, because no one quite knew what to make of it. Castro stated that he knew what the disorder was but preferred not to be tested. Was Wittenmyer right to ask Castro about the potential diagnosis? Is Castro right to ignore a potential issue like this and not seek out treatment?

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August 4, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: No Relief For Starters

21

Russell A. Carleton

A new approach on the "What if this ace were a reliever?" and "What if this fireman were a starter?" questions

What would happen if Aroldis Chapman were to start? Or Max Scherzer were to close? It's a strange invisible fence that seems to separate the roles of starter and reliever. If the Nationals wanted to, they could use Scherzer in relief. The Reds would have to stretch Chapman out a bit, but they could choose to make him a starter. And the world would continue spinning. It's a maddening question, but despite the constant pleas of the listenership of Effectively Wild, no team seems willing to run the experiment that would answer it. Pitchers either pitch seven innings or they pitch one. (Unless they pitch for Tampa Bay.)

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July 28, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Bumping the Grind

2

Russell A. Carleton

Do any hitters show a consistent ability to fight off degradation of skills as the year goes on?

I know, you all just want to talk about the trade deadline. It's fun because you get to see general managers pretend they aren't sweating over the fact that they just mortgaged two really good prospects to pick up a guy who may or may not even get them into October this year. Of course to get to October, the GM—and all of the other 24 players who weren't picked up in a trade at the end of July—have to get through August and September. The dreaded dog days of summer. By Friday, we'll know where almost everyone is going to land for the stretch drive. After Friday, teams actually have to go play the games.

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Is divisioncest really such a bad idea?

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The Rays have turned a punted roster spot into a positive.

If there's been a trend over the last few years that has caught on like wildfire, it's been the rise of the short starter. Not the 5-foot-9 starter who wishes he was a little bit taller or wishes he was a baller. The Tampa starter. The guy who goes 4 innings and 18 batters and then leaves. In 2015, the Rays began experimenting with the concept, although the Rockies were even trying a four-man rotation with pitchers limited to 75 pitches in 2012. But it was in the hands of the Rays that the idea found its heart. The team that always seemed to be a little bit further ahead of the curve than anyone else had it all figured out two years ago.

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June 30, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Better Playing Through Chemistry

19

Russell A. Carleton

It's unlikely that chemistry is worth nothing, so how much is it worth?

I'm going to be a bad scientist and accept something without proper proof. I'm going to assume that "the clubhouse guy" exists and is a real phenomenon. I say that I don't have proper proof only in the numerical sense. I don't have a measure called ENZYME to tell me which players are chemically enhanced and I can't tell you how many WARs it's worth. At least not yet.

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Everything you could ever want to know about the causes and effects of a pitcher's pickoff throws

Remember earlier in the spring when everyone was all abuzz over the fact that Jon Lester hadn’t thrown to first base since the Carter Administration? Lester’s nonexistent pickoff move became a story for a few reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he had signed a contract with nine digits in it over the offseason. But for the most part, it was just strange. Throws to first aren’t anyone’s favorite part of a baseball game, since they generally accomplish “nothing” and they take up time. Still, everyone understands that there’s a certain sense to those throws. If they were outlawed, then runners would be at liberty to take as large a lead as they wanted. They could walk halfway to second base with no consequence. A throw to first isn’t likely to actually pick the runner off, but it does keep him a few feet closer to the base. Even the fact that a throw to first is a legal play is enough in some cases to keep the runner close. It’s probably the one thing that Lester had going in his favor. He hadn’t thrown over in a year… but he could.

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June 16, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Paul Molitor is the Twinspiration

3

Russell A. Carleton

Or is he?

We now pause for a moment to ponder the mystery of the Minnesota Twins. Up until last week, they were in first place in the AL Central. In the offseason, some made the case that the defending AL champion Royals would win the division. Others argued for the defending division-champion Tigers. A few picked the up-and-coming Indians or the White Sox after they signed Zach Duke. No one expected the Spanish Inquisition the Twins to be in first place for any of 2015. This is the team that has specialized in losing 90 games over the last four seasons.

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Our resident gory math expert takes us play-by-play for science.

I remember October 27, 2011. It was right before my wife and I finally just got rid of our TV, mostly because we realized we never watched it. But that night, it was on, as it looked like the Rangers were about to beat the Cardinals in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series and claim their first ever World* Championship. In the ninth inning, Neftali Feliz took the hill against the Cardinals, armed with a 7-5 lead. And then… David Freese happened. And Lance Berkman happened. And David Freese happened again.

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June 3, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Credit Card Game

5

Russell A. Carleton

Who gets the credit/blame for fielding and baserunning events?

You’re at a restaurant with some friends. It’s been a fun meal, rehashing the good old days from Whassamatta U. Somewhere in there, you ordered a couple of pitchers of potent beverage, an order or two of cheese fries, Larry and Tom split an order of whatever that was, and Tom ... the other Tom ... wasn’t really hungry and didn’t order anything, but he did steal some of your chicken fingers. And now, the bill has come and everyone pulls out their credit cards.

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