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09-21

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3

Baseball Therapy: Confessions of a Fake Manager: May
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-19

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4

Baseball Therapy: Confessions of a Fake Manager: April
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-13

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4

Baseball Therapy: Confessions of a Fake Manager: The Set Up
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-07

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7

Baseball Therapy: Let's Design a Five-Way Tiebreaker
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-29

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0

Baseball Therapy: B-E Aggressive!
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-23

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3

Baseball Therapy: Positional Anarchy!
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-15

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7

Baseball Therapy: Whether to Waxahachie
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-09

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Case of the Missing Fireman
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-25

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1

Baseball Therapy: The Justin Smoak Problem
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-12

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5

Baseball Therapy: Mr. Jones and Me
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-05

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11

Baseball Therapy: The Great Debates
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-27

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1

Baseball Therapy: The Pendulum Swings Back
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-21

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6

Baseball Therapy: Senior Signs
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-14

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4

Baseball Therapy: The Fly Ball ... Revolution?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-06

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8

Baseball Therapy: Fire Up the Time Machine
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-31

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5

Baseball Therapy: Circumstances, Implementation, and the Slow Change of Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-23

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6

Baseball Therapy: How Long Can You Keep a Secret?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-16

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8

Baseball Therapy: Let's Assume the Ball Isn't Juiced ...
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-09

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4

Baseball Therapy: Do Strikeouts Spread?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-02

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7

Baseball Therapy: Is the Whole the Sum Of Its Parts?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-25

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6

Baseball Therapy: The Disappearing Left Fielder?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-18

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4

Baseball Therapy: Reliably Stable (You Keep Using That Word)
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-11

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7

Baseball Therapy: Whatever Happened to Predictability?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-04

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5

Baseball Therapy: Stop Shifting (So Much)
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-28

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14

Baseball Therapy: Let's Fix the Pace-of-Play Problem
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-22

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3

Baseball Therapy: The Secret Powers of the Foul Ball
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-14

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11

Baseball Therapy: Bring Back Ball Four
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-07

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2

Baseball Therapy: Is Defense Slump-Proof?
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-28

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7

Baseball Therapy: Baseball Needs Some New Words
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-21

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7

Baseball Therapy: Is Win Probability Broken?
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-15

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4

Baseball Therapy: Taking the Weirdness Out of Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-08

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3

Baseball Therapy: The Minor League Milestone Chart
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-01

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9

Baseball Therapy: Blame it on the Plane
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-24

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1

Baseball Therapy: Let's Dig Into These Tunnels
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-17

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8

Baseball Therapy: What Does Batter/Pitcher Matchup Data Tell Us?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-11

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10

Baseball Therapy: Grinding On Grounders
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-04

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26

Baseball Therapy: The Bullpen of My Dreams
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-23

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9

Baseball Therapy: Worrying About the Money
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-13

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5

Baseball Therapy: The Questions We Can't Answer
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-09

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7

Baseball Therapy: The New CBA, By The Numbers
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-30

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3

Baseball Therapy: The 26th Man
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-17

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2

Baseball Therapy: Can a Closer be Worth $100 Million?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-08

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2

Baseball Therapy: The Million Dollar Pillow Fight
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-01

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0

Baseball Therapy: I Don't Know What You'll Do Next Summer
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-25

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4

Baseball Therapy: Stop, Miller Time.
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-18

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4

Baseball Therapy: Getting to the Bottom of the Barrel
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-12

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9

Baseball Therapy: Cy Young Catchers
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-05

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3

Baseball Therapy: How Much Is Theo Epstein Worth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-27

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Baseball Therapy: Bullpen Contagion
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-20

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6

Baseball Therapy: Is The American League Just Better?
by
Russell A. Carleton

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September 21, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Confessions of a Fake Manager: May

3

Russell A. Carleton

Follow along as SaberManager™ leads the 2005 Chicago Cubs through the second month of their season.

Previously in this series:
Confessions of a Fake Manager: The Set Up
Confessions of a Fake Manager: April



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September 19, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Confessions of a Fake Manager: April

4

Russell A. Carleton

Follow along as SaberManager™ leads the 2005 Chicago Cubs through the first month of their season.

Previously in this series:
Confessions of a Fake Manager: The Set Up


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What would Freud say about the 2005 Chicago Cubs?

I hate Freud. I’m probably saying that because I love Freud so much. My column here at BP is called Baseball Therapy because I am, by training, a clinical psychologist. I didn’t train in the Freudian model of therapy (and I don’t see patients any more), but Freud is hard to escape in the world of psychology. Freud is hard to escape even outside the world of psychology.

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September 7, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Let's Design a Five-Way Tiebreaker

7

Russell A. Carleton

All hail Team Entropy!

It could happen. I mean, it’s possible in the sense that it isn’t impossible. And is it ever fun to think about. For those of us who like to poke and prod at the edges of baseball just to see what will make it finally cry uncle, the idea of a massive tie for a playoff spot and the chaos that it would create is the forbidden fruit that we all hope to add to our lunch at some point. What if five teams ended the regular season tied for one playoff spot? Hooray Team Entropy! (Thanks, Jay Jaffe!)

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August 29, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: B-E Aggressive!

0

Russell A. Carleton

Swing hard, in case you hit it.

Last week at FanGraphs, Eno Sarris posted an article that made me think. Sarris talked to a few players about the idea of hitting the ball out in front of the plate as a way to generate power. Aggression leads to home runs. Several of them cited the idea that instead of waiting back on a ball, sometimes it’s best to just go out and get it. Sarris then provided some data that showed that exit velocities, ideal launch angles, and home run probabilities are at their highest when a batter makes contact a couple of inches in front of home plate.

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The Shift. Four-man outfields. Five-man infields. Joe Maddon madness. What does a 'position' even mean now?

We’ve reached the end times. Last week the Cubs, facing Joey Votto, decided that the best way to defense him would be to have Kris Bryant play a little closer to the left-center field gap. The problem was that Bryant was listed as the third baseman at the time, and so he became the fourth outfielder. Votto smashed a grounder down the first base line for a double, but for a moment, it was possible that I was going to have to explain to my kids how it was that Votto had both popped out to third base and hit one into the gap in left-center field in the same plate appearance.

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August 15, 2017 8:09 am

Baseball Therapy: Whether to Waxahachie

7

Russell A. Carleton

Why don't more managers stash a reliever in left fielder for one batter in order to preserve the platoon advantage?

Let us take some time to appreciate the Waxahachie Swap. The term was coined by Rob Neyer and describes a maneuver occasionally pulled by a manager, usually in the National League. Suppose you have a pitcher on the mound—a right-handed gent—and the other team has a left-handed hitter on the way up. You’d really rather have that lefty face your LOOGY, but bringing in your LOOGY means that the current pitcher had to go take a shower and can’t come back until tomorrow. And that makes you sad.

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Who's to blame for the disappearance of the multi-inning reliever? Tony La Russa? Dennis Eckersley? Goose Gossage?

What if Goose Gossage showed up at a team’s spring training camp. Not the 66-year-old, still fabulously mustachioed version of Goose Gossage. Imagine if Gossage stepped out of a time machine from, oh, let’s just say 1978, and reported with the rest of the pitchers and catchers on a February day. The Gossage who was quite happy to work multiple innings to pick up a save. And he was pretty good at it. He is, after all, in the Hall of Fame.

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July 25, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Justin Smoak Problem

1

Russell A. Carleton

Calendars are just a construct, man.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the annual rite of summer in baseball, complaining about how the All-Star game rosters are selected. Sometimes, the rosters pick themselves. The guy who’s having the best season is also the guy who’s been the best at his position for the past few years and he’s also the most beloved player in the league.

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July 12, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Mr. Jones and Me

5

Russell A. Carleton

"To me it just means getting rid of all these stats. Everything they're throwing at us nowadays."

Every once in a while, a quote about sabermetrics pops up that makes me pause for a moment, and last week we got one from none other than Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. Responding to a question about how to make baseball “cool” again, Jones went off on a rather interesting tangent:

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Baseball's most important questions are ripe for arguing about.

There’s no fun in an argument that has a correct answer. You might think Lord Palmerston was England’s greatest Prime Minister and your friend might prefer Pitt the Elder, but there’s no real way to come to a conclusion. Sometimes, it’s best to agree to disagree, rather than get into a big fight about it. But what if there were a right answer? Last week, MLB.com's Cut4 site put up a whimsical poll in which they asked the big questions about baseball. I think some of those questions had correct answers.

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Something to think about next time you feel the urge to boo a pickoff attempt.

A pendulum consists of a weighted object tied to the end of a string. It is a simple physical property of pendula that if you lift one to a certain height and let it swing on the string without adding any force to it, the weight will not make it all the way back to its previous height when it swings back. The system loses a bit of energy in the process. This means that if you constructed a pendulum and let the weight go just a bit away from your nose, there is no way that the weight can return back and bop you on your snout. To do that the weight would have to come all the way back to where it started and a little bit further to get to your nose, and that is physically impossible.

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