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04-28

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6

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

08-26

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18

Baseball Therapy: How Billy Beane Built the Royals
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-19

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13

Baseball Therapy: Becoming An Adult f/x
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-12

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28

Baseball Therapy: I Believe In Clutch Hitting
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-05

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6

Baseball Therapy: Big Extension, Big Mistake?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-29

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15

Baseball Therapy: Trading Ryan Howard For Nothing and Winning
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-15

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51

Baseball Therapy: Why Are We Playing Hunger Games with Minor Leaguers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-08

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7

Baseball Therapy: What is a Fast Runner Worth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-01

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4

Baseball Therapy: Do Some Pitches Do More Damage Than Others?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-24

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17

Baseball Therapy: Is it Really Harder to Scout in New England?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-19

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12

Baseball Therapy: Should You Trust the Projections?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-17

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7

Baseball Therapy: What High School Has to Do with Tommy John
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-13

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3

Baseball Therapy: What You Can Do With Your Old Baseball Cards
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-10

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4

Baseball Therapy: Can Draft Lightning Be Bottled?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-03

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19

Baseball Therapy: Introducing My Daughter to Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-30

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16

Baseball Therapy: The Hard Part About Preventing Tommy John Surgeries
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-27

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Annual Amateur Draft Guessing Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

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Maybe stathead teams don't love their favorite strategy as much as you'd think.

Well, congrats go out to Rob Manfred on assuming the post of Commissioner of Major League Baseball. And congratulations go out to Rob Manfred on igniting his first Twitter controversy about three hours into his lifetime term. In an interview that he gave to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, Manfred spoke of his desire to introduce “the clock” into the game, but then continued on to this tasty nugget:

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How come we never do transaction analyses for player development hires…

This is the worst time of the baseball calendar. There’s… nothing… going… on. Oh, there’s the odd free agent signing here and there, and I guess we’re getting into arbitration season where teams and arb-eligible players pretend that they are not going to just split the difference up until they get to the doorway of the hearing room. And there’s always the spring training truck. That will leave in a couple weeks. That’s nice.

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January 8, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Trouble With Velocity

7

Russell A. Carleton

When a 95-mph fastball for one hitter is a 90-mph fastball for another.

Alright, let’s figure this pitch sequencing thing out.

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Or: How historians will explain it if Pedro Martinez fails to get 5 percent of the vote and falls off the HOF ballot in his first year of eligibility...

It’s Hall of Fame time again. And since there’s not a lot to do this week—it's something of a mutual agreement that teams give their employees the last week of the year off, so that everyone can get some vacation—it’s pretty much the only thing to write about. But of course, Hall of Fame voting has been anything but boring in the past few years. Enshrining someone in the ranks of the immortals for the rest of time is sure to start a few arguments on what merits inclusion in that very select group, but now the process itself has come under scrutiny. Voters for the Hall of Fame are restricted to only 10 checkmarks on their ballots, but many of them have said that they believe that more than 10 currently eligible bachelors are worth swiping right on (or is it swiping left… I’ve been married almost 10 years and have no idea how Tinder works).

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Or: Is Miguel Cabrera and Miguel Cairo better than a pair of Melky Cabreras?

Is it better for a team to have a lineup with a couple of star hitters in it (and several not-so-good-ones), or to have nine guys who are all good-but-not-great? This is the classic balance vs. stars-and-scrubs debate. It’s a nice debate, but studying the answer has proved a bit of a challenge. We can study actual teams and see how balanced their rosters are then study their results. The problem there is that there aren’t many teams who have uniformly good players, but there have been a few who have uniformly mediocre ones. Teams that have a great diversity in their roster probably have a few good players. It’s a tough problem to get around by studying real life.

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December 16, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Should Teams Worry About Lineup Balance?

5

Russell A. Carleton

What's the penalty for a bunch of lefties hitting in a row?

This offseason, there’s been much made of the supposed lack of right-handed power hitters. Some teams are feeling their lineups leaning a little too heavily to the port side and are thinking that they need to either re-condition one of them to hit from the right side or trade for someone (Hello Justin Upton!). The tactical aspect of it is fairly obvious. Teams don’t like stacking left-handed hitters in their lineup, because it makes them vulnerable later in the game to a LOOGY coming in and being able to have a platoon advantage against a couple hitters in a row without having to worry about facing a righty somewhere in the middle there.

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December 2, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Mining the Meaning in Matchups

4

Russell A. Carleton

Step one in a journey.

There was one relief pitcher whom former Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez really loved facing. In the 23 times he faced him, he recorded 11 hits (three doubles and two home runs) and four walks, for a slash line of .579/.652/1.053. What wretched quad-A filler guy did Martinez light up like this? Some guy named Mariano Rivera.

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November 25, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Timeshare DH

3

Russell A. Carleton

Should designated hitters be only loosely designated?

Let’s have a debate about the DH. No, not that debate. The debate that a few American League teams are having as they gather around to eat turkey and cranberries. Should we sign (or trade for) a guy to be our full-time designated hitter?

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Another way that we might find a serious and significant measure of a good manager's effects.

If you talk to a professional baseball player about his lived experience, you’re guaranteed to hear a certain phrase within the first five minutes. Maybe even more guaranteed than hearing phrases like “throw a fastball”, “swing the bat”, or “comport with the platypus.” You’ll hear about “the grind.” By the time a baseball season reaches August, it's hot, he's tired, he's been living out of a suitcase for four months. Every night he has to play a game that requires intense concentration and lasts for three hours. Yeah, I know, it's hard to feel pity for a guy making $10 million per year, but these guys are human and those are rough working conditions, no matter how you slice it.

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November 11, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: It's Not a Phase

14

Russell A. Carleton

Will we ever have 10-9 games again?

Now that the warm glow of watching Madison Bumgarner pitch the final five innings of Game Seven has faded (and the warm glow has faded from Madison Bumgarner’s arm), we can look back over the year that was 2014 and talk about a rather uncomfortable truth. Scoring was down again in baseball. This year, the average team scored 4.07 runs, down a tenth of a run from 2013, and hitting the lowest level since 1981 (a weird strike-shortened year). I suppose that whether a 3-2 game is more beautiful than a 10-9 game is a matter of personal taste, but it does lead to a rather challenging question. Will the 10-9 games ever come back?

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November 4, 2014 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Why Joe Maddon Matters

11

Russell A. Carleton

Players respond to adversity differently under different managers. We brought numbers.

When Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays two weeks ago, there were immediately rumors that he would be joining up with all of the other 29 teams. (Yesterday, we found out that one of those rumors was true. He’s taking his talents and his back pocket card which drips with analytics to the North Side.) The rumors were understandable. After all, Joe Maddon is a certified genius. He’s gotta be better than that bum in our dugout. (Yes, Joe Maddon is a really smart guy, but so are the other 29 managers. All of them. Yes… even him.)

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Get ready for the season of Breakout lists. Be wary of the season of Breakout lists.

I want to get into a topic that might be the question in baseball. The one that people really want to know. Who is going to break out next year?

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