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Baseball Therapy 

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04-15

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16

Baseball Therapy: Why Sabermetrics Needs Translational Research
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-07

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9

Baseball Therapy: Beware of the Intentional Walk?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-01

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14

Baseball Therapy: The Complete Value of a Complete Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-27

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15

Baseball Therapy: Advances in Chemistry?
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-24

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5

Baseball Therapy: The Complicated Recoveries of Aroldis Chapman and Salvador Perez
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-17

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22

Baseball Therapy: The Viability of Burying a Bad Bat
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-10

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Baseball Questions We're About to Be Asking
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-04

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9

Baseball Therapy: Why The Cardinal Way is the Most Important Book in Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-24

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22

Baseball Therapy: But…He Finished Strong Last Season!
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-17

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10

Baseball Therapy: Looking for Meaning Amid the Small-Sample Flukes
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-11

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15

Baseball Therapy: When Sabermetrics Gets Personal
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-03

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11

Baseball Therapy: How Would We Know That a Team Has Good Chemistry?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-27

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38

Baseball Therapy: Why Are Smart Teams Spending Money on Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-13

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15

Baseball Therapy: Building a Better Starting Rotation
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-09

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23

Baseball Therapy: The Hall of Fame Ballots By the Numbers
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-06

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11

Baseball Therapy: The Five-Man Rotation: The Appendix of Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-26

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7

Baseball Therapy: Rest an Extra Day to Keep the Doctor Away?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-16

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28

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Four-Man Rotation?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-09

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12

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Complete Game?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-02

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5

Baseball Therapy: Dating the Impulse to Protect Pitchers
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-25

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38

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-18

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20

Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for Free Agents?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-11

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14

Baseball Therapy: The Cost of a Cost-Controlled Win
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-06

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4

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Running Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-04

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10

Baseball Therapy: What Do Fielders and Homecoming Queens Have in Common?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-28

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3

Baseball Therapy: Is Cardinal Magic Real?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-21

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7

Baseball Therapy: The Effects of the Shutdown (Inning)
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-16

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1

Baseball Therapy: Did Big Papi’s Big Home Run Give Boston the Big Mo?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-14

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6

Baseball Therapy: Does Postseason Experience Really Matter?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-11

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10

Baseball Therapy: Why Sabermetricians Don't Talk About Chemistry
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-08

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27

Baseball Therapy: What My Four-Year-Old Taught Me About Bunting
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-30

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3

Baseball Therapy: Who Has the Momentum? And Does it Matter?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-23

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18

Baseball Therapy: If One Win is Worth $5 Million...
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-13

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11

Baseball Therapy: My MVP Case for Miguel Cabrera
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-10

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16

Baseball Therapy: How to Work with Scouting Data
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-03

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9

Baseball Therapy: Do Young Pitchers Fail to Develop When the Bullpen Implodes?
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-28

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14

Baseball Therapy: Matt Harvey and the Increased Risk from a Few Extra Innings
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-26

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5

Baseball Therapy: Baseball: Like Nothing You've Ever Seen Before
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-23

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5

Baseball Therapy: Ryan Dempster, Alex Rodriguez, and Waking the Monster
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-20

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14

Baseball Therapy: Saving the Save
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-12

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8

Baseball Therapy: Using the Closer to Keep a Deficit Small
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-06

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13

Baseball Therapy: Prioritizing the Pitcher's Health
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-30

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5

Baseball Therapy: Leave Me In, Coach!
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-22

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10

Baseball Therapy: The High-Pitch-Count Hangover
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-15

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12

Baseball Therapy: I Thought He Was Gonna Get It
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-09

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26

Baseball Therapy: An Attempt to Measure Makeup
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-01

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14

Baseball Therapy: What a Difference a Day Off Makes
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-24

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9

Baseball Therapy: The Zobrist Effect
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-18

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4

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Fielding Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-13

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12

Baseball Therapy: The Truth About Closers and Extra-Inning Games
by
Russell A. Carleton

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries

Why simply knowing an answer isn't always enough.

My father is fond of saying that a thousand “attaboys” is worth one “aw crap.” You can do a thousand things right, but if you get one wrong, all of the goodwill you built up over those thousand successes is now gone. It’s completely irrational, but no one ever said that human beings made any sense.

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April 7, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Beware of the Intentional Walk?

9

Russell A. Carleton

Looking for evidence of an intentional walk hangover effect.

I missed baseball. It’s like being in a relationship with someone and then having to spend an extended period of time apart from them. Oh sure, you call and Skype and send each other e-mails, but when you are finally back in the same room, you get the joy of re-discovering each other. (And yeah, that’s a Journey reference.) Then there’s the next day after you’ve… ahem… gotten re-acquainted, when you realize that in addition to all of the wonderful things you missed about each other, all of the things that drive you crazy are still, there too.

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Does a starter who goes deep into games really have an effect on days before and after his outings?

The complete game has become an increasingly rare beast. In 2013, there were 124 complete games registered by the 4,862 pitchers who started out on the hill, and Adam Wainwright led all of baseball with five. If a pitcher makes it through nine innings, he’s likely having a very good day, and nine innings of well-pitched baseball is nothing to sneeze at. But a complete game is more than that. It’s a sign of manliness. It’s like shouting, “I don’t need no stinkin’ bullpen!” It’s a cultural touchstone. It’s the guy yelling at his TV, “Finish what you started, you silly overpaid, coddled millionaire. I finish my day of work without calling in a reliever.” A pitcher who completes a game is just getting in touch with the common man.

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March 27, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Advances in Chemistry?

15

Russell A. Carleton

A look at the ESPN: The Magazine team chemistry rankings.

Let’s talk about the ESPN: The Magazine team chemistry rankings. For those who haven’t seen them yet, I suggest going here, but if you’d like to skip to the good part, the centerpiece of ESPN’s predictions about the 2014 season is that they adjusted them for team chemistry. The article actually (seriously, no really) says that the Tampa Bay Rays are projected to win 1.7 extra games this year because of chemistry. This will be enough to win them the AL East.

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Why the recovery from a traumatic event isn't always just a matter of surgery and stitches.

Last Wednesday night, something truly awful occurred in a spring training game between the Royals and Reds. In the sixth inning, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was getting in some work and faced off against Royals catcher Salvador Perez. In the regular season, that matchup would be compelling stuff, but this was just a fake game, so no one thought much of it. You’ve probably seen the replay of what happened next: Perez squared one up and hit a line drive that caught Chapman in the face. Chapman was taken off the field by stretcher and the game was called off.

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March 17, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Viability of Burying a Bad Bat

22

Russell A. Carleton

Or, would the Yankees be better off starting Derek Jeter or Brendan Ryan at shortstop?

Team captain and 39-year-old farewell tour participant Derek Jeter is currently the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees. That is the way of things and has been since I was in high school. But the Yankees also have Brendan Ryan on their roster. Ryan is a noted defensive wizard while Jeter is [must…not…make…Jeter fielding joke]. However, Ryan “hit” only .197/.255/.273 last year in 349 plate appearances. Is there a case to be made for Ryan as the starting shortstop based on his defensive prowess? Keep in mind that the Yankees could bury Ryan in the batting order to limit his exposure, move the ever-under-appreciated Brett Gardner up to the two-spot, pinch hit for Ryan late in the game, and enjoy that sweet glove for eight innings a night. Is that enough to overtake De-rek Je-ter?

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What new questions might MLBAM's forthcoming player-tracking technology inspire us to ask?

At the recent Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Santa Claus (dressed cleverly as Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advanced Media) delivered a new toy for us all to share—or at least the promise of a new toy, in 2015 or so. Santa Bowman announced that MLBAM has begun a project to put revolutionary—dare I say Orwellian?—tracking technology in every major league ballpark. For now, I’ll name it the HINZO System (High Information Nerdy Zootropic Online System) after former Indians second baseman Tommy Hinzo. It needs a name, and I grew up in Cleveland in the 1980s. Take that, Bill Pecota!

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And not because it's about the Cardinals.

I envy Sam Miller. He got to hold it in his hands. It. The book. That one. The Cardinal Way. I feel like I should whisper when I say its name. It might give me a magic power. Suddenly, I’ll be able to hit like Albert Pujols. Oh, right.

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February 24, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: But…He Finished Strong Last Season!

22

Russell A. Carleton

Does a strong stretch run in 2013 portend a successful 2014?

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve introduced the idea of estimating a player’s talent level at specific points in time, at least retrospectively, by using a moving average. The idea is that instead of simply assuming that at every plate appearance, a batter could be described by his seasonal average, we might allow that his true talent level varied over the course of a season.

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Rarely is the question asked: Is our hitters learning?

Last week, we discussed a new method for looking at how players change within a season. Baseball stats are normally denominated in years, but the problem with yearly stats is that they obscure any growth and development—or regression—that might have taken place. Six months is a long time. Players can change. This week, I want to look at how we might use that method to teach us something about the growth of individual players.

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February 11, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: When Sabermetrics Gets Personal

15

Russell A. Carleton

The importance of tailoring sabermetric studies to the individual.

Let’s try something.

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Why good team chemistry isn't necessarily what we think it is.

It’s one of the great unanswered questions in sabermetrics: Does team chemistry affect what you see on the field? I have a better question. What the heck is chemistry? I tend to be wary of words that have no explicit meaning, because they can mean anything, and undefined variables make for bad research. Ben Lindbergh recently found quotes uttered before the 2013 season from representatives of 25 of the 30 teams in MLB, who believed that their team had fantastic chemistry. Twenty-four of those teams did not win the World Series. In fact, some of them had really awful losing records. Ben found “great chemistry” quotes from the Astros, Marlins, Cubs, Twins, Mariners and White Sox, all of whom lost 90 games in 2013. If great chemistry is so important to a team, how is that possible?

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