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09-03

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4

Baseball Therapy: A Veteran and His Presents
by
Russell A. Carleton

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

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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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Did Bill James revolutionize baseball? Did we? Did Michael Lewis?

According to the usual narrative, sabermetrics was invented by Bill James in the late '70s. Or possibly by Baseball Prospectus in the mid-'90s. Or maybe by Michael Lewis in 2002. Or whenever teams started to hire bloggers. For the longest time, those teams toiled under a veil of ignorance until, thankfully, Al Gore invented the internet and then they were able to see the light.

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Is the craziest thing we saw this week actually a darned defensible strategy?

Last week (or because this gets weird with time zones, three weeks ago) in Korea, the Kia Tigers of KBO (the professional baseball league in Korea) employed a rather interesting shift. It’s not entirely clear why from the footage released, but Deadspin documented that the Tigers tried to play their third baseman behind the catcher. The Tigers were tied with the KT Wiz 5-5 in the top of the ninth. Apparently, with two out and runners at second and third, they tried the rather unorthodox shift only to have the third baseman be told to go back to his home at the hot corner by the umpire.

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May 12, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Are You Over 18?

16

Russell A. Carleton

Do pitchers do worse the third time through the order because they're gassed or familiar? The Rays seem intent on finding out.

It’s the 2015 trend that no one is talking about. The Rays are at it again. Even with Joe Maddon in Chicago, they’re still getting all inventive on us. It’s easy to miss if you don’t watch Rays games every night (indeed, Tommy Rancel of Rays blog The Process Report tipped me off to this one) but the Rays have apparently figured their #NewMoneyball. It used to be signing Evan Longoria, or turning Ben Zobrist into a resonance structure, or trading for Wil Myers, or trading Wil Myers, but this year, the Rays are trying something different.

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May 8, 2015 12:09 am

Baseball Therapy: Chemical Equations

3

Russell A. Carleton

On measuring chemistry with what we have.

I want to try something a little different this week. Oddly enough, I have to confess that it was inspired by Yordano Ventura. Ventura and his Kansas City Royals, who apparently think that they’ve won an American League Championship recently, have gone from the feel-good story of October 2014 to the feel-kinda-creepy-when-you-watch-them story of April 2015. Ventura is now serving a seven-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the White Sox and earlier was involved in a beanball war with the A’s.

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April 28, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Death of the Renaissance Man

7

Russell A. Carleton

Who should bunt?

Last week, I did a quick survey on that newfangled “social media.” I asked the allegedly real people out there to answer a common question: “Who is the greatest baseball player of all time and why?” But then I asked them to censor the “Who?” part. (He was busy at first base anyway.) So don't tell me the name; just tell me the rationale. Of course, there are plenty of “right” answers for “Who?” Yes, we could look to see who has the Most. WAR. Ever. like this allegedly real person did:

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Runner on third, two outs, pitcher on deck. Walk him, right?

Last week, we talked about National League strategy. Because the Senior Circuit still hasn’t figured out the whole DH thing, teams have to ask questions like where should the pitcher bat in the lineup? The gambit of hitting him in the eighth spot, a strategy that’s been tried on and off, actually doesn’t end up helping a team. All the advantages that you get from having a “second leadoff hitter” are cancelled out by the occasions when you have to either let a pitcher hit in a key situation too early or sacrifice him for a pinch-hitter.

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April 14, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Hit the Pitcher Eighth?

38

Russell A. Carleton

The fallout from Joe Maddon's lineup choice.

Every season has its Sabermetric bellwether issue. Trout vs. Cabrera. The infield shift. Catcher framing. Joey Votto in the two-hole. But before all that, there was Tony La Russa hitting the pitcher in the eighth spot in the lineup. La Russa, when he managed the Cardinals, was known to be willing to experiment a bit to gain an edge. Then again, during his A’s days, La Russa was credited with “inventing” the modern bullpen and Dennis Eckersley. In 1993, he even tried a pitching strategy which had three groups of three pitchers each that worked a three-day rotation. The experiment lasted a week, but he gave it a shot. But now, the La Russa gambit of hitting the pitcher eighth is back.

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DIPS was half right. Which half?

Last week, we talked a little bit about how we might assign credit and blame for different outcomes on a baseball diamond. For the most part, it came up that the batter actually has much more control over the outcome of an at-bat than does the pitcher. Last week, I only looked at six possible outcomes of a plate appearance: strikeout, walk, HBP, ground ball, line drive, and fly ball. For the three balls in play, I didn’t go any further beyond the fact that the batter hit a ground ball. It might have made its way through the infield. It might have been scooped up and thrown to first for an out.

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Did you know that a pitcher is responsible for 35.3 percent of an individual strikeout?

In any one baseball game, there are 50 players who are eligible to play. Which of them is the most important? On any single play, there can be up to 13 players who can directly impact the outcome (the nine fielders, the batter, and potentially, three runners). Which one of them will have the biggest effect on what happens? Even if we zoom in on the batter and pitcher (because the answer is probably going to be one of them), should we worry more about what the batter brings to the at bat or the pitcher?

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March 25, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: On the High Five

8

Russell A. Carleton

Why teams touch.

Last week, ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote a rather curious column in which he asked a very simple question. Why do Major Leaguers high five each other so much? The issue came to light after the Milwaukee Brewers had to ban high fives for a little bit after an outbreak of pink eye in the clubhouse. (Makes sense, since pink eye is very transmissible.)

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March 17, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Can a Manager 'Win' Spring Training?

3

Russell A. Carleton

Trying to find a reason to believe some managers get their players ready better.

It’s officially the dog days of spring training. The pitcher and catchers finally reported. They started playing games. The Will Ferrell thing happened. Everyone is wearing green today, even though that doesn’t make any sense for some teams whose name starts with “Red”. But a funny thing will happen in these next few weeks. Gone are the days when guys play every other day for four innings. Oh, they’re not up to every-single-day mode yet, but this is the part of spring training where you have to get up to full speed. Opening Day will be here before you know it!

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