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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

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

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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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Et tu, Tampa Bay?

Last week, the Tampa Bay Rays signed Grant Balfour to be their closer for 2014 (and presumably 2015), committing to pay him $12 million over the next two seasons. It’s not an expensive closer contract, as these things go. But for the cost-conscious Rays, it seemed a little strange. The team also re-signed Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) and traded for Heath Bell over the winter. Another sabermetric darling team, the Oakland A’s, signed Eric O’Flaherty last week and, earlier in the winter, traded for Josh Lindblom and Jim Johnson.

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January 13, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Building a Better Starting Rotation

15

Russell A. Carleton

Is the five-man rotation the best teams can do?

In 2013, the average starting pitcher lasted a bit under six innings (5.89, to be exact), and starters as a whole had an ERA of 4.01 (and an earned-or-not run average of 4.17). Collectively, the guys who began the game posted an xFIP of 3.91. They did so by using what has become a standard rotation setup. Five starters take their turns in sequence and throw roughly 100 pitches in an attempt to make it through six or seven innings (the 5-6-7 model.)

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Statistical takeaways from Wednesday's vote.

There’s now officially nothing left to talk about in baseball for another six weeks. But at least we get some good news. Three new plaques will be going up in Cooperstown this summer, a welcome change from the unfortunate shutout that happened during last year’s Hall of Fame voting. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas will all take their places in rural New York. After weeks of the usual arguments over PEDs, the merits of Jack Morris, and the 10-person ballot limit, it’s nice to take a step back and reflect on how good the Class of 2014 really was. Also, we should take a moment to realize that the ballot is starting to read like a BuzzFeed list of “Players that only baseball fans from the ’90s would understand.”

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