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03-03

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25

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

02-24

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14

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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8

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

05-20

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7

Baseball Therapy: Beware the Genius Tag for Coaches
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-13

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7

Baseball Therapy: Analytical Master or Leader of Men?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-06

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5

Baseball Therapy: Is Oakland's Run Differential for Real?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-29

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11

Baseball Therapy: Do Innings Limits Work?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-22

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Houdini Hangover Effect
by
Russell A. Carleton

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

<< Previous Column Entries Next Column Entries >>

The Astros have lost a lot by design. Are they going to pay an on-field price?

Well, the Astros made news again last week by firing manager Bo Porter. According to media reports, which is the adult way of saying “I heard it from Larry in algebra class,” it was due to disagreements between Porter and general manager Jeff Luhnow. There seems to be a lot of that around nowadays. The Astros will break their streak of consecutive 100 loss seasons this year, but there’s no doubt it’s been rough for the past few years on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Luhnow is now the wampeter of the baseball karass (a billion points for that reference) and, strangely for such a mild-mannered guy, might be the most polarizing figure in the game today. Whether it’s fair or not, a narrative has developed around the Astros that their ruthless rebuild, while it may eventually prove effective, is an exercise in masochism. Sure, they needed to be rebuilt and rebuilds involve pain, but aren’t they playing Breaking Madden with a real live baseball team?

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September 4, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: I Guess You Just Throw The Next Pitch

10

Russell A. Carleton

How do pitchers react in the immediate aftermath of a homer?

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of presenting some research at SaberSeminar in Boston to a room full of sabermetric luminaries (also, Mike Ferrin was there!) and one guy who was really confused about why no one was talking about swords. The seminar itself was a joy but, of course, given that I was in Boston and within walking distance of Fenway Park, it would have been a shame not to go to a game. It was my first time at Fenway, and if you haven’t yet been, it is worth the trip from anywhere. TV doesn’t do it justice.

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August 26, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: How Billy Beane Built the Royals

18

Russell A. Carleton

The Kansas City Royals are in the first place. How did their genius general manager get them there?

Yes, I know.

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August 19, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Becoming An Adult f/x

13

Russell A. Carleton

Minor leaguers are barely adults. What are teams doing about that?

Let’s play Family Feud. Name something that you need to be able to do on your own in order to be a functioning adult. I’ll wait while you write a few things down. Here, I’ll even give you a little room

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In a shocking turn of events here in Saberville, renowned analyst Russell Carleton has announced that he is on the clutch bandwagon!

I know, I’m not supposed to, but I believe in clutch hitting.

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August 5, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Big Extension, Big Mistake?

6

Russell A. Carleton

Big contracts like Joe Mauer's often go bad, but teams keep signing them. Why?

Let’s talk about Joe Mauer. In spring training 2010, the defending MVP and reliable six- or seven-win Mauer signed a contract extension with the Minnesota Twins that will run until 2018 and pay him roughly $23 million per year. It’s by far the richest contract the Twins have ever given out. I suppose that if anyone were going to get that contract from the Twins, Mauer, who hails from Minnesota and apparently believes so deeply in the cause that he is the father of actual twins, would seem to be the perfect candidate. Still, it was a big commitment from the “small-market” Twins. Such contracts are usually only legal in New York and Los Angeles.

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"You can't just trade him for nothing!" Sure you can.

Last week, I saw what I thought was an Onion headline. After all, The Onion has gotten so good at what they do, I now assume that anything in my Facebook feed is satirical. The story said that the Phillies were “working hard” to trade Ryan Howard. I don’t often use “LOL” when I type, because I don’t often laugh out loud.

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Minor leaguers are probably underpaid

I think the secret is out. Minor league players get paid very little. Not just a little bit compared to the millionaires they hope to become. They put in long hours and have a couple hundred dollars at the end of the month (plus some per diem) to show for it. In fact, there’s a lawsuit on the subject that’s been filed by some former minor leaguers, alleging that teams have broken federal minimum wage law. (I’ll leave the issue of legality to the courts.) Some end up eating poorly because they can’t afford nutritious food and have no means to cook it. They share small apartments with teammates. They sleep on the floor. Plenty retire because they can’t afford to chase the dream any more. I’m sure some retire because they get sick of living hand-to-mouth (which would be a balk).

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July 8, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: What is a Fast Runner Worth?

7

Russell A. Carleton

Where should a manager bat his burners? And how much does it matter?

“He brings us that athletic dimension that we’ve been missing.”

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The injury impact of high-stress innings.

In their recent “position paper” on preventing elbow injuries in Major League (and Minor League and College and High School and Little League) Baseball, Drs. James Andrews and Glen Fleisig had an interesting recommendation for young pitchers: Don’t throw with 100 percent effort on every pitch. The arm, particularly the elbow, isn’t made to take that much stress all the time.

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What explains the low success rate of amateur prospects from the Northeast?

The Cape Cod League is the premier summer baseball league for college players. A good summer on The Cape might just make you a million dollars at draft time. I’m told there’s also a local professional team in the New England area that has had some recent success too, so good for them. And yet, in scouting circles, New England is seen as something of a desert wasteland. The standard explanation is that sure, there are athletes good enough to play professional baseball in New England. The problem is that players in Stars Hollow, Connecticut just don’t get the reps that they do in Georgia, because there’s a lot more baseball weather (read: time that it isn’t snowing) in the South.

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Why predicting player breakouts is more important than minimizing error.

Last week, the sabermetric community had—well, not an argument, because the participants were generally professional and cordial to one another, but a debate about what we might expect over the rest of the season from a player who is currently enjoying a hot (or cold) streak. It all started with researcher Mitchel Lichtman (better known by his initials, MGL) posting two articles, one on hitters and one on pitchers, that made the case that we should trust the projection systems rather than expect a player’s recent performance to continue. Remember Charlie Blackmon, who was the best player in baseball for three weeks and was smart enough to make those weeks the first three weeks of the 2014 season? He’s a good example. He had never been anything special, nor was he projected for greatness this year. And in retrospect, his hot streak to start the season looks a lot like a small-sample fluke.

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